If your an aspiring bodybuilder, figure, or even bikini competitor don't fall prey to what's traditional in this industry when it comes to competing. It doesn't take countless hours of cardio a week & extremely low calorie levels as I see many do just because they think that is what they have to do. If you have to do 2 hours of cardio per day 6-7 days a week on top of training to compete then you are either getting bad advice, self-sabotaging yourself, or it just isn't in the genetic cards for you to be a competitor and there is nothing wrong with that. Be happy with yourself and just try to be the best version of yourself possible.
Is there sacrafice required, of course! But there is a difference between sacraficing social outings, having your favorite food and putting your body into metabolic shutdown and causing possible long term damage. There is no trophy or award worth that. There is so much mis-information going around these days from the next big "guru" to someone who may look the part and people falling prey thinking that is knowledge. Look at one of the top coaches in this industry "Chris Aceto". He doesn't compete or look anything like a competitor, but his knowledge about nutrition is undeniable (even though I see him prescribing crazy amounts of cardio to professionals, but that is due to his expertise in nutrition, not training)
So if you're looking to try and take your body to the next level, just be realistic with your goals and don't let it consume you. You need a balance in life and if exressing yourslef thru competition is your zen then do so, but be cautious to falling into the dark side of this industry, its there but no one wants to talk about it. I enjoy coaching competitors, but its sad when I get former competitors(and I coach a lot) who have done so much damage to themselves metabolicaly, mentally, and emotionally and realizing it wasn't worth it.
There will always be arguments made by people saying "so and so got shredded doing 2 hours a day of cardio". Of course they did. When you are burning off that many calories and you are in a calrie defict already you will lose fat, but no one seems to talk about the after effects of it. Most are in it for the instant gratification, but don't open their eyes to the long term effects after the contest is over. Don't compare yourself to pros or the high end national competitors because they are way above the average. You will always find someone who can do these things and never have the negative effects and unfourtunatley in this industry those are the ones people are making the arguments that it won't cause damage. Wake up!
I will never name names because I'm not here to call anyone out, I'm trying to open individuals eyes to something that goes on in this sport that no one wants to talk abouty because it may cause them to be an outcast and everyone wants to be excepted. IN my professional opinion if you're a coach and doing these thing to your clients without warning them the possible effects of the aftermath then you are part of the problem, not the solution. I know many who do it just to make a dollar without any regards to the clients well-being. If you are a true coach you will always look out for the clients well being and tell them things they may not want to hear instead of just being a cheerleader so you can make money. Ok rant over!
There has been a research surge of metabolic damage awareness. Layne Norton posted a vlog a few days ago about this subject.
There was a big argument between Layne and Lyle Mcdonald a few days ago about metabolic damage on facebook. Was pretty entertaining to read.
Originally Posted by Matthew Bryduck
I'm still not really sure how much I buy into the whole "metabolic damage" however. Slowdown, absolutely, damage, ehhhh...
Originally Posted by Invain
The problem with the term metabolic damage is that it is now being used as a selling point by many for their services saying they can fix it with a certain diet, training program, etc... Scott Abel coined the term and has done endless research on the subject and has coached hundreds of mostly female clients who have had this.
Most males have pretty resilient metabolisms and may downregulate their metabolic rate and screw themselves up for a while, but can usually come back from it if things are done properly. You can damage your metabolic rate, but no one ever said you couldn't come back from it, but trust me it can be a long road because you also have to deal with the psycological and emotional damage it creates and no one really addresses these issues, but they are a majoor problem as well.
When you have a female competitor do hours of cardio on top of a low calorie diet and then after the contest they eat whatever for a week or longer then all of a sudden they feel guilty and go right back to a contest type diet to shed the weight gain which then will most likely lead to another binge and then guilt and diet and cardio again tryst me this will completely throw horomones out of homeostasis and create a new set point for the body hence the diet no longer working. I have dealt with this exact situtation more times than I'd like and still do. There are also situations where the competitor or individual just doesn't give the body a break from competing or being in a calorie deficit because they wanna maintain that "look" which is unsustainable and this completely downregulates your metabolic rate, thyroid function, adrenal burnout, etc...
So is it out there, absolutely, but what metabolic damage actually encompasses is lost now and all anyone talks about is its just a diet and training issue. If you want in-depth detail about it then read anything by Scott Abel, who discoverd the issue, and there is a lot of quoted research about it.