5 Mistakes You're Making During Prep

We had the pleasure this week to speak to One More Rep Partner, Jason Orellana about the mistakes people often make during prep at the beginner and amateur level. Jason has been competing for many years and not only does he train people but he also spends a lot of time with meal plans and contest preps. 

Jason Orellana – One More Rep Trainer

5 Mistakes You’re Making During Prep

1. Loss of Focus 

  • While this one may seem like a no-brainer when reading it, it’s Jason’s number one reason why people don’t come into the show the way they’re expecting. True focus means continuing to stay prepared for food, training, and appropriate sleep every single day. Those days you make exceptions are the days that your body changes negatively.
  • True focus also plays into account when preparing for the financial burden of contest prep. We all know that tan, travel, and entry costs money but often times people forget to account for the proper food costs and try to cut corners on quality to save pennies.
  • Time Management is also a large part of “Focus”. Making sure you always have time to prep, food shop, get to the gym for training and cardio sessions and lastly, SLEEP.

Jason says that if you can mental prepare yourself for these steps during prep you’ll be on the track to success.

2. Too Short of a Prep

  • Many people don’t understand the dieting process and merely think it’s just losing weight. Dieting for the beginner and amateur is about figuring out how your body reacts during the process. A longer, but less aggressive prep allows people to make small adjustments as they go to analyze how their body is reacting.
  • Just like adjustments to your diet, a longer prep allows you to make adjustments to your training too. Typically training frequency and intensity changes when entering a prep phase.

A longer prep will allow constant reassessment of everything that is affecting your body – whether that be food, sleep, training, or general life activities.

3. Too Much, Too Fast

  • Piggy-Backing off of #2, Jason brings to the table changing too many things to quickly during prep. Often times people go from 0-100 with prep without seeing how just a singular change could affect the body.
  • Anything drastic can have a negative influence on the body throughout the entire duration of a prep. If you were to cut calories too much, too soon there are little changes that can be made for the remainder of prep.
  • People get fooled by the initial body response to a drastic change and often think those changes will continue linearly throughout the duration of their prep. Often times, not only is this wrong, but it hinders the duration of prep.
  • Many times when people decide to start prep they cut calories and add in cardio. With a proper offseason, they should be making small tweaks to their diet OR cardio when starting prep. Not always is adding both in immediately the best case for the beginner/amateur competitor.

4. Water & Sodium Intake Control

  • Most competitors cut or decrease water intake prior to a competition. This allows them to come in “dryer” and possibly a little less bloated when on stage. When water is cut too soon, the body will go into a “starvation” cycle and actually begin to retain water because it is not being supplied. Water cuts are supposed to be timed very specifically and close to the competition.
  • Sodium goes hand & hand with water retention. Many times people cut sodium entirely in hopes to decrease water retention. Often times the body wants sodium and this procedure doesn’t work out as planned. Jason believes bringing in sodium through foods you’re normally bringing it in through is the best approach for beginners and amateurs. This way the body stays consistent and there are no last minute negative changes prior to the show.

5. Posing

  • As with most things, practice makes perfect. Posing isn’t just about looking graceful for a photo but about the proper display of your physique while on stage. It’s not uncommon for a better bodybuilder to lose placing to a better posing (display) athlete.