Updated: Aug 11, 2020
⚠️ After the fact, it’s too late warning.
🍑 shot ahead.
Sometimes it’s really hard to be objective with your progress and accurately gauge where you are now, relative to where you’ve been. Especially in the moment.
And this is where progress pics come up BIG.
If you look at them WHILE you’re in a shred season, they’re very helpful. In fact, I would posit that the scale can be misleading day-to-day and the mirror will often reflect a version of yourself that doesn’t even exist. But pics don’t lie.
At least not all the time.
Even still shots can play tricks on you. We’re really good at finding our flaws, and our minds can do some crazy things. We’re always (read, ALWAYS) immediately drawn to the areas that are our weakest, softest, needs-the-most-work areas. It doesn’t matter how many times you do it, how long you’ve done it, how lean you’ve gotten.
This is always the knee jerk reaction.
So, I have found progress pics to be incredibly valuable during the season, but I’ve actually found them to be their most effective AFTER your season is over.
Here, you’re not emotionally charged up with every pic you see of yourself, and you’re not on lower back, love handle high alert. Instead, you can be the most objective.
Did you improve this season? By a lot? By a little? Not at all? What needs your attention for next season?
Case in point, in the above pic, the left was a stage shot from my Novice 2017 Title win - BW 168.
The pic on the right was the night before I was set to compete in 2019 - BW 167.
And this might sound crazy, but in the moment in 2019, not only did I not feel that lean (#endofprepfeels) but I felt like I had fallen short of my conditioning in 2017 - that I didn’t get better, at least not physically.
Looking back at these pics, however, a different story unfolds. Especially when you consider…
On the left, I was completely carb loaded, full pump, few sodium bombs, and 19 coats of dream tan. On the right, I was only halfway through my carb load, ne’er a pump in sight, and rocking my normal 👻 look.
And using the gold standard of leanness in natty BB, the glute shot, I’m clearly much leaner, by a fairly wide margin, with effectively no change in scale weight. Still no striations, but a little separation for sure.
TLDR? Take your progress pics. You don’t want to. You don’t want to see them, and you want to hide from the truth. But what you think is sure fact now might actually be pure fiction. Maybe more than you know.