We sit 4 weeks after my last competition of the season and right in the mix of rebalancing all of my hormones and body systems.
The approach I take each year after competing is to learn to balance everything that’s going on in my body with the use of natural herbs and vitamins. Most people really have no idea the extent of the taxation a pro athlete puts on his or her body in a competitive season. Bodybuilders often seem to be so far behind other sports when it comes to stuff like healing the body, likely because we just don’t have the same financial resources that the other mainstream sports do.
It can really get expensive if you want it to, but I’ve learned many ways to be cost effective; just learning to weigh the cost to benefit ratio really.
Bodybuilding tends to be a very ego driven sport. “I’m bigger than you, so I must know more than you do.” I try to adopt the philosophy that there is something to be learned from every situation and every person we encounter. I like to look at myself first and foremost as an athlete. Every athlete has very specific needs and requirements to ensure optimal output. What exactly is it that allows other elite pro athletes compete at such a high level for so long and not burn out? Sure there are some that do burn out and get injured, but I chose to look specifically at the elite that are able to sustain an exceptionally high level of performance over a long period, or I look at the ones that are the absolute best in the world at what they do. They must be doing something differently, and I set out to find out what it is, and replicate it.
For me, it started out as baby steps. Learning what few factors I could change immediately and notice a quick response. The first thing I experimented with was supporting my adrenals. By using just a few herbs I noticed my energy was more consistent, my mood was more stable, my sleep was more sound, my body’s responsiveness to just about anything I asked of it increased. For someone like myself, who loves to train, often more than once a day, my adrenals were certainly fatigued. I found myself having more than ample energy to complete multiple workouts on a daily basis without the need for stimulants after just a few days on proper adrenal support. Check out James Wilson’s work on www.adrenalfatigue.org for some great information.
The second thing I noticed was that my body wasn’t using sugar as well as some people. A quick look at my blood work or my family history would verify my suspicions. Some dietary changes and workout manipulations and I noticed a significant difference within weeks. My energy was better. I found myself with a better ability to concentrate. Less likely to doze off at random times throughout the day. My strength in the gym went up and fullness increased dramatically. Something as simple as adding some lemon water into your diet in the morning or before each carb meal with significantly change your insulin utilization. My protocols tend to go into a lot more detail than this, but that’s definitely a good quick tip!
One of the most commonly asked questions is, “how do I know where to start? “ Or, “how do I know which of my bodily systems needs balancing or support?” I use a method of simply determining what I call my “weakest link”! What is it about my body that I feel holds me back from greatest gains? For me, if had always been a slight lack of energy upon entering the gym. Once I got going, I was fired up and ready to kill it. But often times I find myself walking into the gym thinking about a nap rather than this arm workout I was about to have. Is this normal? The answer is, yes it is! Apparently its very common. I traced this back to a mild case of “overtraining” and poor insulin utilization. For me, the weakest link changes every year and I’ve since taken on the mentality of simply addressing every body system to ensure optimum health and output.
Try starting with one system at a time to see if you notice an immediate difference.
Plenty more to come!!!