I can think back to a time when I wouldn’t leave the gym until I burned at LEAST 500 calories.
How freaking ridiculous is that? I felt like if I didn’t burn at least that many calories, that I didn’t get a good enough workout, or that I didn’t work hard enough. THIS IS NOT TRUE. At all.
I did get over that eventually, but I still wore my heart rate monitor because I thought it was fun to see how many calories I was burning. No other reason. I didn’t feel like I had to burn X amount of calories before I left the gym, I was just curious. No problem with that.
So why have I stopped wearing it now? Well, as you all know I am competing in my first bikini competition. You would think that it is more important to wear one, right?
Well, I’m just a little badass and have decided not to wear one my entire journey of this prep. Before starting prep, I had a different style of working out. I didn’t do too much cardio, but I did do a lot of supersets, active rests, and was go-go-go in the gym. I would always leave the gym dripping sweat, and would workout for about an hour to an hour and a half.
Since getting some different protocols from my coach, I am doing zero active rests, still lifting heavy but giving myself more time to rest in between sets (before I would barely rest at all), and only doing two short HIIT sessions a week, usually on non-lifting days. That means I’m in the gym for only about 30 minutes on cardio days, and 40-60 min tops on lifting days.
It’s definitely different to me, but I am actually LOVING this split and this new way of training. I don’t feel run down, I don’t feel like I’m killing myself every day (and you don’t need to!), and I feel strong and powerful even while on a caloric deficit.
When you are in competition prep, you have to be very meticulous with your macros and your food. Yes, I am carb cycling. Yes, I plan out my macros for the day and weigh everything I eat. Yes, I weigh myself twice a week for check-in’s with my coach.
No, I don’t do this in everyday life when I am not prepping.
I do believe the way I am approaching my competition is the healthiest way possible. I will not starve, or do hours of cardio everyday. When I hear girls don’t even know their macros because their coach is telling them exactly what to eat, and they have at least an hour of cardio everyday because their coach said so, I cringe. My coach has never told me what to eat, just gave me my macros. I can eat whatever my little hearts desire, as long as it fits. And, he has actually cut my cardio down. WIN.
That being said, although this is a better way to approach competing, you still do have to be strict with certain things. I want to look my absolute best on stage, so I am giving this prep 110%. I still have to carb cycle, I still have to be in a caloric deficit, and I still have to give my all in the gym.
What I don’t have to do, is let a little strap that is placed under my boobs dictate if I worked out hard enough or not for that day. That is why I won’t be wearing it this entire prep. I go into the gym, do exactly what is on my plan, and leave.
What if it said I only burned like 150 calories on my cardio days? I really do not care. Competition prep is a challenge physically and mentally already, so I just want to trust the process.
So many people get caught up in silly things like that, that just do not matter. Who cares how many calories you burn. Did you give it your all during that workout? Or did you half-ass it? If you gave it your all, THAT’S ALL THAT MATTERS.
So farewell, sweaty, smelly, annoying little strap that means absolutely nothing. I’m breaking up with you, but I will keep your watch companion just so I know how long to rest in between sets 😉
I challenge you to give yours up, too. Screw it! Only YOU know how hard you worked in the gym. Don’t let a number tell you that you kicked-ass that day.
Do you wear a HRM?
Will you give it up if you do?