Home » Keep your post-show cookies and treats – I never want to see food again

Keep your post-show cookies and treats – I never want to see food again

November 14, 2023

How contest prep under Troponin Nutrition and 1st Detachment changed everything

By Gary Chappell

SOCIAL media is awash with pictures of cookies caked in fancy icing, exotically flavoured doughnuts dripping in every sugary sauce possible and men and women alike shovelling as much of them down their necks as possible the second they step off stage.

Well, you know what? I’m two days out from competing at my only show of this year, the Masters Over 45s at the NABBA UK – and if I never saw food again it would be too soon.

That is honestly how I feel.

Since December, I have been working with one of the finest minds in bodybuilding, renowned coach Justin Harris (below) of Troponin Nutrition.

We rebounded out of my final show of last year, again the NABBA UK, where I finished runner-up to Matthew Hughes in the Over 45s, and enjoyed much success with Justin’s heavy carb-cycling approach.

The issue – some may consider it a blessing – is that I now struggle to eat. Anything.

I have zero cravings, something you might expect to have going into the final weeks of content preparation. In fact, rewind four years and at one show I was so impossibly depleted I drove to the supermarket post-show and spent £40 on junk food.

Now, I would happily pay £40 never to have to eat again.

Granted, the lack of appetite has made preparing for this competition pretty straightforward in terms of hunger – simply because there hasn’t been any. Yes, I still suffered with tiredness, prep brain and all the usual low-energy effects of single-digit body fat.

But hunger pangs, cravings etc? None. Perhaps my appetite is my genetic limitation.

The final few days of trying to fill out have been tricky for me because my appetite is almost non-existent. And that makes making the most of the post-show rebound – where Justin says 75 per cent of your total gains for the entire year can be made in the first six weeks after competition – fairly daunting.

I can detail in future articles here what a typical rebound, off-season and prep diet is when working with Justin, but I can tell you now that post-show on Saturday and the following day will be ‘free’ eating days, with the following week being a high day [1000g of carbs] every day – plus a cheat meal every night.

Sounds good, eh? Yes, if you are anyone but me.

Perhaps it really is a blessing in disguise, though. Because Justin has certainly made prep easier.

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April 27: PCA First Timers, London

April 28: UKUP Scottish Open, WABBA Universe, Glasgow; FitX Wolverhampton; PCA First Timers Ireland, Millenium Forum, Derry


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