By Nick “3D” Trigili

Hey bodybuilding fans, I think that speaking about post-show depression would be an ideal topic right now since I just finished competing in my first professional bodybuilding show. I see A LOT of competitors, men and women, fall into this bad rut after competition. I repeatedly hear comments like, “I don`t know what to eat,” “I don’t know what to train” or most commonly “Why do I need to go to the gym now? I don’t have a show to do.”

One of the main reasons I believe people fall into this position is because first and foremost their coach or whomever is guiding them during their show prep didn’t take the time to create a post-show plan for them to follow. We become programmed robots during our show prep and once we snap out of that strict routine and get back to the daily grind, we are like lost animals in the woods. Without a strict plan, we have no idea what to eat or do next.

I personally feel the best way to deal with this is by taking a few days off completely for your body to relax and for your mind to catch up and register everything you just put yourself through. Whether you’re a professional at this sport like myself or you’re a beginner doing your first show, we all go through the same mental and physical test.

Second, once you give yourself a few days off, you need to get your ass right back into the gym on a planned routine. I always tell people taking time off for yourself is absolutely necessary, but after 2-3 days you should be back on your most recent diet before peak week and slowly introduce “cheat meals” into your regimen. Whatever you do, don’t use this as an excuse to gorge yourself for days on end! Your body just had the most natural, highest serotonin release it probably has ever felt after your show with all the sweets and extra caloric intake. You need to give your system time to catch up. The best way to do so is to stay in the gym, even if you’re there for only 20 minutes. Keep the routine you are used to so your body doesn’t shut down on you. Once you’re back into your routine, you’re going to feel like a million bucks. From there, adjust your gym time accordingly to what your future competition plans are.