So… you’ve stepped off stage. You feel epic. You look epic. You didn’t place, you placed, maybe you even won – regardless, you made it to stage and gave it your all and you’re super proud of yourself. You’ve dieted down for maybe up to 26 weeks, maybe only 12 weeks – either way, its been tough. The cravings are hard to deal with. The hunger is a nightmare. The lack of sleep was unbearable… but you got through that all, as you kinda expected it all, right?

So, now that you’re finished life goes back to normal right? WRONG!

Here are 10 things that aren’t mentioned/discussed much that you should be aware of once you step off that stage. 10 things you should prepare for… good and bad and why you shouldn’t panic!


You’ve waxed, veeted or shaved for stage. Everything is as smooth as a babies bottom and feels lovely. If you’re a guy, this is a kinda weird at first, but then you start to wonder why you’ve waited all this time to have smooth armpits – feels heavenly. If you’re a woman… its just another day at the office and wondering why your boyfriend is smiling and stroking his skin so much.

However, the tan goes on and blocks up every fucking pore you can think of. Literally…. every pore,…EVERYWHERE!!! 3 days after the stepping off stage, the hair starts to grow back and those blocked pores start to prevent your little hairs getting through. They start to become red little lumps. Within another day or two they are either little blackheads or white heads begging to be popped and release the little hair to the surface.

Now, if you’re a woman, then your skin is probably used to this kind of abuse and you’re A-O-K! However, guys, this is where you can start to expect itchy armpits, itchy arse cracks, itchy balls and an itchy groin. Depending on how close to your John Thomas you shaved/veeted, you can likely expect and itchy knob too.

How long does this last… at least a week! Its fucking brilliant! *sigh*

So how can you prevent this and make it as easy to live with as possible?

Well you have 2 options: –

a) you continue to shave/wax/veet until you die…
b) you exfoliate your skin morning and night and try your best to scrape your skin off until you reach the muscle to allow the hairs to come through. You need to really try hard to get that tan off ASAP and allow your skin to breathe.



If you’re anything like me, you spent the last 8 weeks of your prep wondering what an erection felt like. Wondering if its actually even going to work ever again. You see, the thing is, dieting down for a show isn’t healthy and requires some serious caloric deficit for a long time – this means that hormones get messed up and libido just bottoms out. Even if it was working, you’re training so hard that the thought of any additional bedroom HIIT or LISS is the last thing on your mind.

However – you’ve stepped off stage and the cheat meals begin. Now if you’re sensible, this should only last a day or two and then you get back to training and focus on a solid reverse diet. However, regardless of what you do, there is no getting away from a sudden huge increase surge of calories that are going to hit your body in the 48-72hrs after the show.

You start to feel alive again. Your body is going crazy with all this new food and the endless quantity you are giving it. Your metabolism is starting to rise and quickly! You start to get food sweats after most meals. You then start to notice that the morning after the show, after consuming the MOST EPIC of meals and desserts that Mr John Thomas is at full alert and appears to want to run after anything that moves. You can expect this to last pretty much constant for the week after the show and depending on your reverse diet, it’ll be back to normal in no time.

But, this is new to you. You haven’t felt horny in months. The Mrs is also pretty randy too – either she’s been waiting for months for you to get ripe again, or she’s been dieting with you and is now going through the same thing. You can expect to spend a lot of time in the bedroom, the sofa, the back seat of the car and even the back row of the cinema! You’re officially 15 again and jumping with joy that it works as you used to remember it once did.

*(apologies to my in-laws who are going to no doubt read this at some point lol)

So what do you do about this?

NOTHING… you enjoy it while the novelty lasts! Stop reading this intact and get back to it with the Mrs 😉



Now this is very common. As above, you’re pretty messed up internally right now and your immune system is at an all time low. The stress of competing is over and you feel a million bucks.

Give it 24hours and you will feel like shit… i promise you.

Its still not 100% clear as to why this is so common, however, its almost like (metaphorically speaking of course) your body has been holding on for so long to get you to stage, that once you get there is says “right… thank god for that. I can relax now” and BAMMMM!!!!! You get the next virus that floats up your nose.

Or, it could be that you’ve been so introvert for the past 6 weeks, hiding away from all civilisation, and then when you’re immune system is at its all time lowest state, you then go an hang out in a venue for a day with 500 people – what are the chances that one of these people has a cold? Quite high i imagine. Combine that with a very low immune system and you can expect a pretty hardcore cold a day or two after comp.

So what do you do about this?

Honestly… there isn’t much you can do about this. You can take all the lemsip you like, but it won’t do much. However, over the years to come, each time you diet for stage it will get easier and easier and you’ll know what to expect each time, so in theory should improve over time. However, as a 1 off, it may be worth booking the week after comp off work – particularly if its your first ever comp. You are almost 100% going to get ill after.



This is fairly common – especially those who have lost a lot of body fat during the prep or previously in their past. Again, as above, your hormones are shot to bits, and will be for a long time. If you’ve water manipulated in peak week, then you’ll be extremely dehydrated on the day and likely to be pretty low on sodium and other electrolytes on the day of show.

After your show, you guzzle down a shit load of water along with a shit load of food that you’re not used too – more than likely with a huge sodium value – and then combine that with a ton of fat cells waiting to be filled up with anything possible, hormonal disruption with oestrogen, and possibly not feeling very well with a cold and you can expect a good few kg of water retention.

As i right this, i am 8 days post comp. My peak week starting weight was 106kg. I hit the stage 100.5kg fully dehydrated. I now type this sitting at 110kg. I have veins crawling up my abs, shoulders, quads and chest still. I may have put on a few kg of body fat in the past 8 days with the surplus of kcal’s, but certainly not 4-5kg worth. I’ve been hit with a lovely chest infection (as above, i got this the day after comp) meaning i’ve been unable to train properly or do cardio – so i can assure you that water retention is RIFE post comp.

So what do you do about this?

Drink LOTS AND LOTS of water. Try to get back to training and a good diet ASAP. But most important… don’t panic. Water retention is just temporary and it’ll go as soon as you get some structure back in place. I’m very confident that i’ll be back down to 106kg in less than a week, so no drama here.



This one is pretty annoying and funny at the same time. After your comp you will probably take a shower ASAP. You’ll be amazed at the colour of the water as some of the tan comes off – but don’t be fooled. This is just the top layer… you have about another 10 layers of tan to get through on your skin *evil laugh*.

For the next week you can expect anything you lay on, scrub with or wear to be tan stained. You can expect your toilet seat to start turning orange and the bottom of your bath too. White underwear? HAHAHAHA! Say goodbye to them.

Seriously… as that tan starts to come off, nothing is safe. 8 days after comp my sheets are still turning orange on my bed and i daren’t wear another pair of white socks yet. If its sweats, then it will stain!

So what do you do about this?

Don’t wear anything white for at least 2 weeks after you’ve tanned. Stage tan is a bitch to get out and it will stain things you didn’t think you even came in contact with. Be sure to wash your sheets, towels and tanned clothes separately from other clothing too. The tan can transfer in the wash.

Exfoliate morning and night! However, hopefully you’re doing this from all the bloody ingrowing hairs – as above.



99% of people who hit the stage will do some form of water manipulation – even if its just upping water a little bit to tighten up a little further. Or maybe you did a fairly extreme water manipulation and drop a large amount of body weight for the show. I for example dropped 5kg during my manipulation, but i’ve heard of the heavy weight guys dropping as much as 12kg.

So, the week after show you COULD expect to see a HUGE increase in daily body weight changes as the hydration starts to come back, the food surplus increases and maybe some water retention too.

My biggest advice here – especially for women – is not to step on the scales for 2 weeks after your show. Allow your body to calm down and get back to a normal regime of training and consistent diet. Then have a peak, because if you’re anything like me the scales are going to have a field day and piss themselves laughing as your body weight sores. Mine went a little like this, with joking aside: –

  • Sunday (comp) 100.5kg
  • Mon – 104kg
  • Tue – 105.5kg
  • Wed – 106kg
  • Thur – 108kg
  • Fri – 108kg
  • Sat – 110kg
  • Sun – 113kg
  • Mon – 110kg

Pretty drastic huh…!

So what do you do about this?

Be sensible with expectations. Take note of your weight before you started water manipulations and take this as your “fighting” weight. Ignore stage weight as this is not maintainable after the show if you have manipulated down. DO NOT STEP ON THE SCALES FOR 2 WEEKS. It will just mess with your head and if you’re not used to these kind of fluctuations and can’t piece the puzzle together as to what is causes the WEIGHT GAIN, then you will assume its BODY FAT gain, which its not. Well… some of it MAYBE… but the chances are this is negligible.



I write this with a smile on my face as i just farted to write this sentence.

You’ve spent the past 12, 16, 24 weeks eating a pretty solid nutritional structure – well i hope you did anyway. You may have had a few cheats/refeeds, but for the most part – 99% of your diet for the past months hasn’t included excessive amounts of “naughty” foods. You’ve stepped off stage and the first thing you want is a proper solid cheat meal – no restrictions.

You’ve now finished this meal and already regretting it lol. You’re bloated, feel sick and keep kicking yourself for having that 4th pizza within an hour.

As mentioned above, you’re probably going to have a few days of very relaxed foods before going back to some structure. However, if you’ve been hit with a cold or flu, then this may turn into a week of relaxed eating… maybe lol Either way, its foods your gut and digestive system just isn’t used too. So you can expect to have all kinds of digestive issues. These may be mild. You may just get the shits and farts. Or depending how hard you’ve dieted, these could be pretty serious and dangerous in fact. So on a serious note, be careful.

However, one things for sure, every day you indulge on foods that you haven’t eaten in weeks/months, you can expect to have the shits, constant farts and maybe even constipated – which again can account for the weight gain above too lol

So what do you do about this?

MODERATION! Have a day off, maybe 2…sure! However, get right back on the horse and get some good nutrition in you. This doesn’t mean stop eating the cookies… it means have your 4, 5, maybe 6 solid meals of good nutrition and then a few cookies on top each day. Don’t eat 6 meals of just cookies and cake 😉



Lads… i don’t care how alpha male you think you are. How manly you try to act. How loud your grunts are in the gym… When you feel how soft and smooth those quads are and how great they look too, you won’t every want to get hairy again.

Not only that, but whack a tan on top and all of a sudden you’re seeing muscles in places you didn’t think existed. You look the nuts!

4-5 days after stage and the tan starts to fade, the hairs start to come back and you start thinking to yourself “will the girlfriend/wife know if i just have a quick body shave and then pop down to the tanning salon”… these are thoughts you’ve never had before. These are thoughts you used to laugh about with your mates down the gym when the topic of TOWIE came up.

However… now all you want to do is smother yourself with veet and pop down to the tanning shop to get a nice layer of “mid summer tan” on…..however its november!

Lads… be careful, this shit is going to go through your head and before you know it, you’re squatting 200kg in the gym, its mid december and you look like Joey Essex’s best mate. But hey… your quads look SICK!



5 days after the comp and you’re back into the gym, grinding away. Trying to make full use of all these new calories. You think to yourself “holy shit i’m feeling strong”. You’re getting reps out of weights you haven’t lifted in months. All this food quantity has sent your energy through the ROOF!

However, don’t be fooled. Its false hope… you’re still as weak as my nan!

“no i’m not” i hear you shout at the screen…! Yes,… yes you are mate, sorry. You see, this strength increase is not relative to you before you started your diet. You haven’t lifted proper weight in months, so the slight strength increase you’re experiencing now is relative to the weight you’ve been lifting for the past 3-4 weeks. Sure… you’re stronger than that depleted version of you. But compare it to your workouts 6 months back and i bet you’re still 20% off.

Case in point – i was texting my mate last night as i informed him that my strength was going crazy. He could relate as he has also just finished his stage prep. I mentioned i squatted 190kg for 4 reps and was well happy with that. He concurred and we soon finished our text conversation. A few moments later he texts me a Facebook video Link of a video i posted about 5 months ago where i squatted 220kg for 4 reps… he simply followed up the text with “you’re still weak as my nan though hahaha”

I felt quite deflated i’ll be honest lol

So what do you do about this?

Be patient… its going to take a few weeks to get back to how you were before you started your weeks of dieting. Your strength will be back soon and you can start to benefit from good strength increases as you go into your offseason and your calories go nice and high. But don’t be fooled into thinking you’re now superman. You’ve lifted more weight previously, trust me!



For the past 6-8 weeks, you’ve been dieting really hard and sleep has no doubt been effected. One min you’re shattered at 3pm falling asleep wherever you are standing. However, come to 3am and you’re staring at the ceiling wondering why you’re not fast asleep as you’re exhausted. As above… you’re hormonally fucked right night, but don’t panic, this will return in due course.

One things for sure, the night of your comp will be one of the best nights sleep you ever have. Each night after that will probably be amazing too.

Again, its all relative to your sleep that you’ve become used to for the past 8 weeks, however, now…. it…..feels…..so…..gooooooooooooood.

The night of my comp i hit the sack at 9pm and didn’t wake until 9am. No joke. Didn’t wake to pee. Didn’t wake for anything. Pure 12 hours of uninterrupted sleep. It was heaven.

However, be careful here as you will VERY quickly get into a sleeping pattern and unless you’re planning for it, you will start to oversleep massively. Be sure to try and get back to the sleeping pattern you need to live with for the next X amount of months. If you used to go to bed at 10pm and wake at 7am, then be sure to set your alarm for 7am and get your arse out of bed the best you can. It will be tough, but if you start oversleeping now, then in a weeks time it will be horrendous to wake up at 7am when you need too.


If you can relate to any of this, be sure to comment and share the love.

Know it, Feel it, Live it

No Comments Yet.

Leave a Reply