2 Weeks Out…Muscle Cramps

Where did the week go??  Not that I’m complaining as it’s the weekend already, but really, how did it seem to drag, but suddenly end.  The last couple weeks of prep always go this way, possibly from the mix of excitement to get on stage and the nervousness of needing a little more time to feel 150% ready. Either way, it’s the weekend! And, it’s our last weekend at home before competitions start (read between the lines: short work weeks!)

Kyle is entering his peak week before stepping on stage in Toronto next Saturday – which I’m so pumped to watch. He had a perfect off-season, worked so hard doing everything he possibly could to improve his physique, and his prep has been right on track. He’s looked phenomenal for the last few weeks, and I truly can’t wait to see him on stage again. He doesn’t like to broadcast much about himself during prep, which I understand and appreciate, but now that it’s so close, I can brag for him 😉  But really, I’m so proud of him and can’t thank him enough for being my training partner. I’ll be the crazy wife screaming in the crowd, until I lose my voice.

That puts me at two weeks out from the OPA competition in Guelph. Progress is right on track, weight is slowly coming down and I can notice changes in my body on a regular basis but am staying fairly “full” looking through most of the week. Things get harder towards the end of the week as my body is mostly depleted, so I just keep hoping for a refeed meal on Saturdays to help push me through the first half of the week. They’ve been incredibly helpful lately and are definitely a reason I’ve managed to continue training as heavily as I have been (and stay fairly sane).

I mentioned this before in a post – this is unlike any prep I’ve experienced before. Carrying a substantially larger amount of muscle mass than ever before, training this heavily, and getting even leaner has made me deal with new situations. One factor which is adding a little stress right now is chronic muscle cramping. I’ve always experienced these cramps / spasms / Charlie horses in my calves and feet – where the muscle completely seizes up and is painful – usually when my feet are freezing cold or randomly in the middle of the night. But in the last 4 weeks or so, it’s gotten far worse – basically to the point that once it happens, I’m unable to release the spasm at all, and they happen consistently throughout the day… everyday! From my history with them, I’ve read that they can be caused by dehydration and/or a lack of potassium.  Well, during prep dehydration is NOT a problem, so I started to take potassium supplements with no improvement. Further research suggested a lack of magnesium / calcium could be a factor, so I added that supplement… no improvement. Thinking it might be a basic electrolyte imbalance has led me to adding salt to all my meals while still drinking a lot of water… no improvement. Now, at two weeks out and no foreseeable “cure” to this, I’m just left hoping that I don’t start cramping up too badly on stage. Has anyone else experienced this issue, and have you found anything to help it?  I’ve also been stretching and using a therapy ball to massage my feet. Yup – this is the glamorous side of competing which people don’t see.

Here are two enjoyable things to start your weekend:

  1. I had my first experience of strangers negatively judging my physique as I overheard a woman tell her friend, “oh no, that’s just far too much muscle for a woman”. SCORE! This was nicely balanced out by a woman coming up and telling me that my muscles were amazing.
  2. And, for everyone’s taste buds – a picture of an incredible dessert…which will be made and enjoyed in exactly 14 days. I’ve been dreaming of this for the last 2 weeks…. Non-stop.
But really??  I'll do a full report afterwards.

But really?? I’ll do a full report afterwards.

About Ashleigh

I'm passionate about health and fitness. I work as a Health Promotion Specialist, a group fitness instructor, and also a coach for physique competitors / weight loss clients. I grew up as a competitive athlete, and have continued with this passion as a Women's Physique competitor. Research and writing is another interest of mine, which I use to share my knowledge with the general public.
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