How to Wind Down after a Bodybuilding Contest

Bodybuilding is a transformative journey that requires immense dedication and perseverance. After months of rigorous training and strict dieting, you finally step onto the stage, showcasing your hard-earned physique. But what happens after the contest? What does life look like once the competition is over?

Life After a Bodybuilding Contest

The post-competition period is a time of change and adjustment. It’s a transition from the intense pre-contest regime to a more relaxed and sustainable lifestyle. It’s a time when bodybuilders can enjoy some well-deserved rest, indulge in their favourite foods, and slowly reintegrate into regular fitness activities.

Transitioning from a strict pre-contest regime to a more relaxed post-contest lifestyle can be challenging. It’s crucial to remember that taking a break and allowing your body to recover is just as important as the training itself.

After a bodybuilding contest, you may notice some changes in your body due to the shift in diet and workout intensity. It’s essential to understand that these changes are normal and part of the body’s way of adjusting to the new regime.

Post-Competition Diet

A bodybuilder’s diet plays a significant role in their performance, muscle growth, and recovery. Post-competition, the diet usually shifts from a strict, low-carb, high-protein plan to a more balanced and nutrient-rich plan, usually reversing out of the deficit slowly is the most effective way to avoid adding body fat too quickly.

A balanced diet is essential in the recovery phase after a bodybuilding contest. It helps replenish depleted nutrients, supports muscle recovery, and provides energy for daily activities.

Post-competition, it’s crucial to focus on consuming a balance of macronutrients – proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, and micronutrients – vitamins and minerals. Each of these nutrients plays a unique role in recovery, muscle growth, and overall health.

Post-Competition Fitness Activities

Immediately after your bodybuilding show, while rest and recovery are essential after a bodybuilding contest, staying active and maintaining a certain level of fitness is also important. The focus should be on low-intensity workouts that help maintain muscle mass and flexibility, without putting too much strain on the body.

Yoga and Stretching

Yogasports massage, hot yoga and stretching exercises can be highly beneficial post-competition. These activities promote flexibility, reduce muscle tension, and help maintain a calm and positive mindset.

Light Cardio and Strength Training

Incorporating light cardio workouts and strength training exercises can help maintain muscle mass and cardiovascular health without putting unnecessary stress on the body. This will set you up ready for a good start to off season.

The Importance of Rest & Recovery

Rest and recovery are integral parts of any fitness regime, more so after a strenuous event like a bodybuilding contest. They allow the body to replenish energy stores, repair muscle tissue, and strengthen the body for future training sessions.


Sleep is a vital aspect of recovery. It’s the time when the body undergoes most of its repair, balance out hormones and growth processes. Hence, ensuring adequate and quality sleep should be a priority post-competition.

Active Recovery

Active recovery involves engaging in low-intensity workouts that promote blood flow and facilitate muscle recovery without causing further stress or fatigue.

Jovan Fitness Photography

Mental Health Post-Contest

Competing in a bodybuilding contest can be mentally challenging. Post-competition, it’s important to take care of your mental health, celebrate your accomplishments, and set new goals for the future.

Dealing with Post-Competition Blues

Post-competition blues are common among bodybuilders. It’s essential to acknowledge these feelings and take steps to stay positive and motivated, such as setting new goals or engaging in activities you enjoy.

Setting new goals can give you a sense of purpose and direction after a competition. Whether it’s improving certain aspects of your performance, gaining more muscle mass, or even competing in a new category, having goals can keep you motivated and focused. 

Immortalising Your Peak Physique

One of the best ways to celebrate your achievement and hard work is by immortalising your peak physique through a post-contest fitness photography session. This not only serves as a memento of your journey but also as a source of motivation for future competitions.

The Power of Visual Storytelling

Visual storytelling through fitness photography can be a powerful tool. It captures the essence of your journey, the challenges you overcame, and the heights you reached, telling a story that goes beyond just physical transformation.

A post-contest fitness photography session can help create a legacy, serving as a testament to your dedication, perseverance, and passion for bodybuilding. Share them on social media, print them in an album or proudly display in a frame, and then these images can inspire others to start on their own fitness journeys.

The Art of Fitness Photography

Fitness photography is an art that requires an eye for detail, an understanding of the human body, and the ability to capture the subject’s strength and character.

In fitness photography, the aim is to capture the body form in its most fit and sculpted state. This requires a deep understanding of lighting, angles, and poses that highlight the your personal best features and assets.

A good fitness photograph is not just about showcasing a well-sculpted body, though. It’s about capturing the subject’s personality and character, their determination, and the passion that drives them.

Choosing The Right Photographer

Choosing the right photographer for your post-contest photoshoot is crucial. The photographer should not only be skilled in fitness photography but also understand bodybuilding and what it means to a competitor to capture this part of their fitness journey.

Experience and Expertise

Choose a photographer who has carved out a solid niche in fitness photography, who has a deep understanding of the art, and somebody who can truly acknowledge your passion for bodybuilding through the lens of their own experience. 

Collette Evans, the founder of Picture Perfect Photography, is a title-winning bodybuilder herself, making her uniquely equipped to capture your peak physique.

Collette takes a personalised approach, understanding your journey, your goals, and what you want to convey through the photos. She ensures the photographs are not just visually stunning but also tell your unique story, in your style.

As you hit the final few weeks of your intense preparation, you should have one eye on capturing your achievements in photography form, and here at Picture Perfect Photography we have you covered. Whether it’s a location-based session at your favourite gym, or you come along to our Yorkshire studio for a truly amazing experience, we can adapt to whatever makes you most comfortable. 

Get in touch via the form below to book a consultation session, give us a call on 01226 872517, or alternatively drop us a message on WhatsApp to 07458 099039 and we’ll be delighted to help you capture that dedication.

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