I’ve just competed this weekend after a long break from competitive lifting. It was fun to be back on the platform.
It was also cool was seeing so many people do their first strength competition.
More and more folks are getting involved in competitive strength sports. It’s not always to win shiny trophies. Most of the time, it’s to test yourself, to see how you can perform under pressure, and to have fun in an adrenalin-fuelled atmosphere with like-minded people.
In the 24 hours following your competition, you’re likely to be fired up to dive straight back into the gym!
If you did well, you’ll want to build on that right away and go bigger and better.
If you did ok but wished you could have done a bit better, you’ll want to get back in the gym and really nail it this time.
If you were disappointed, you’ll want to get back in the gym and work harder than ever to fix it next time.
In most cases, though, you can’t wait to get back to training and to planning the next challenge.
So heed a word of friendly warning from a veteran of over 30 strength competitions.
Beware the post-comp blues!
They strike, not in the immediate aftermath, but a few days later. Once you’ve come down from all the excitement and adrenalin.
Your body allows itself to relax and ‘feel’ all of the hard work and training you did in the run up to the competition.
Physically, you’ll feel tired and drained.
Mentally, you’ll feel a bit jaded.
It’s really important after a competition to take it easy for a week or two.
You won’t feel like it (see above!) but for the sake of your own recovery and sanity, you need to.
The harder you’ve trained in the run up to the comp, the more you need to let yourself rest and recover after the event.
It’s not just the physical exertion. It’s the mental exertion. It’s the flood of hormones and emotions from the day. It’s all the stress and tension in the run up that you couldn’t let go of until now.
If you don’t take care of yourself and take it easy the week after a competition, here’s what can happen.
- You can lose all enthusiasm for training completely.
- You can get ill or injure yourself.
- You can have a few bad sessions and lose your confidence.
So it’s worth taking this advice.
You can still train, but you should train moderately (whatever that consists of in your sport).
You should relax and ‘play’ a bit more in the gym.
You should not have any expectations of hitting PBs in the couple of weeks after a comp. That doesn’t mean you can’t hit PBs but you should not expect or hope for any.
You should eat and sleep well.
If you manage your post-comp period, you will be able to get back to training hard in a couple of weeks and your training will continue uninterrupted.
And you’ll be happily planning your next challenge.