I have seen and have several clients who formerly got bad advice and prepared for their contests with a "win at all costs" mentality that is now hurting them long term. Ladies, (and gentlemen, too), you need to start choosing your coaches and trainers more wisely. Going to extremes of 2-3 of hours cardio per day, plus training, plus over-dieting, may get you to the winner's circle, but at what cost to you? One of the reasons I got into the whole Metabolic Power/Metabolic Training design was to try to find ways around these other potentially damaging pre-contest protocols.
I hope anyone reading this is paying close attention and will forward this to any other women they know who are dieting for a show and may be doing damage to themselves. If your nails are brittle, and your hair is falling out, these are warning signs. Please heed them.
I feel sorry when I see women at figure events damaging themselves for a bit of glory. Some are born to do it, others struggled like hell to get up there, and unknowingly have set themselves up for a one-way ticket to damage.
Repeated bouts of dieting and training to compete can permanently alter metabolism for the worst. If you have a coach/trainer pushing you to always compete, to "get your face out there," you may need to reconsider both the advice, and the advisor. Unfortunately competition also seems to appeal to people who are least genetically suited to do it, thereby again increasing the odds of metabolic damage. It is a fact, although no one wants to admit it, that many active individuals just do not function well at very low levels of body fat. Many also cannot healthily achieve it, nor should they try. This is a reality no one seems to want to recognize.
Do not fall prey to cultural or coaching pressures in setting unrealistic body composition goals. Many who wish to alter their physique have unrealistic body images that they haven't the time, the ability, or genetics to achieve. Make sure guidance is based on what is best for you, and what is reasonable for you as well. If not, the road may lead to shortcuts that have long term adverse consequences