T Nation

Pre-Competition Rituals

Hi everyone, wondering what everyone’s pre comp rituals / things you like to do in the days leading up to comp? Things such as eating, recovery and what food you take to comp? I myself always like to take 3 days prior at home eating the exact same foods at the same times as I will on comp day, I also always get a massage 2 days before and spend an hour the night before stretching, be interesting to see how peoples differ and what people do differently :+1:

I tend to train up until the comp and treat the comp like an events day. I may slate my deload week to be the week of the comp.

I try to keep eating the same leading up the comp, and especially the night before the comp. I’ve made the mistake of eating a ton of food after weigh in to “load” before the comp, and all it did was give me an upset stomach during the night and feeling like I was going to crap myself the whole time I was competing.

During competition, I tend to have minimal appetite, so I pack a lot of snacks but no meals. I’m a fan of pop tarts, chocolate donettes, fruity pebbles, etc. I’m typically a very low carb individual, so these foods are like jet fuel the day of the comp. I keep gatorade on hand to drink. I used to mix the gatorade as a half water/half gatorade mixture, since it doesn’t bloat you as much when you do that, but I’ve been lazy about it and just drink the gatorade straight.

I’ll have 2 zero carb rockstars over the course of a competition typically.

I avoid rituals or any manner of fetishizing the competition. I try to keep things as close to training as possible. I don’t want to do things differently on comp day than I did in training.

I will say one thing I do that is sorta a ritual is packing my gym bag well in advance of the comp, doing a good inventory of it and making sure I have EVERYTHING I need. Some items that are unusual for a competition

-Super glue
-First aid kit
-Sun block

Yeah I get the lack of eating on the day, I often have a big breakfast but throughout the day it’s normally protein bars, shakes even though I often take meals. Absolutely nothing worse then a deadlift for reps on a full stomach :joy:

I have to have a week of no training before though otherwise I feel far to run down

For me, this is just something I do for fun at this point. Training gets me big and strong, and I don’t want to compromise getting big and strong just so I can do better at a competition. I’ll show up fatigued at a comp, have fun, and get back to training instead. Good excuse for a massive cheat meal though.

I’ve not competed yet - but I’ve got one coming up.

My plan is:
Deadload the week before the comp. But keep weight “high”. So 1 or 2 rep with my 5 rep max. I feel this will keep my body ready - but refreshed.

Food wise - I’m dieting down ATM to make the 105 weight. But I will be below 104 the days before the comp. I dislike losing water weight on the day of comps.
I eat a fairly standard breakfast every day. I’ll do the same before the comp. Nothing new. I even know what I’m wearing so I can train in it.
Food in the day will be pasta and chicken salad and a pack of nuts. I’ll snack on it all day never really allowing myself to develop hunger. I’ll have plenty of sugary treats for just pre and post events.

Rituals - na. I do a lot of visualization. But nothing as far as wearing certain clothes or warming up with certain weights.
Rituals like that can be out of your control. Introducing a psychology tool that’s not 100% in your control is dangerous.