Here are some quick tips of things you should do before a competition, ranging from 3 months out to right before your match. This mainly pertains to beginners that want to start competing. As you become more advanced, you learn what details work best for you.
- Start your diet early.
Most competitors have to cut some weight to make the most out of themselves at competitions. If you like competing at your walk-around weight, and you do well, then lucky you! But most have to go through the task of reaching a certain weight, and it’s not easy. The best trick is to lose fat and retain as much muscle as possible during the weight cut. More experienced competitors usually have their own system for this, but it can be very hard for beginners. One of the simplest tips is to start your diet early – don’t procrastinate. Starting early will give you some leeway if you still have some weight to cut. One of the most embarrassing things is to get to the scale overweight and get disqualified.
- Start all of your hard rolling early.
The logic here is that you need time to recover from all your hard training. The earlier you start all your shark tanks and conditioning, the earlier you can begin to restore your body for the competition. Also, if you have any injuries, as a result from that training, then you have time to recover and continue your training so you can compete again.
- Know when to rest.
It’s good to train hard, but you have to train hard in moderation. Overtraining can very easily lead to injury. If you’re feeling nauseous or feeling some sort of pain, think about it and decide if it’s worth stopping and taking a day off. Training hard is important, but training smart is more important. There is no point in showing what a tough guy you are in the gym and training through injuries. Rest properly and you can show everyone what a tough guy you are in the competition, where it really matters.
- Stop hard training one week before competition.
There are various different theories on this, but it’s been said by many professionals in the past (ie. Xande Ribeiro and Marcelo Garcia) that taking a week off before a tournament allows you to not only be physically ready, but it also helps mentally with your nerves and anxiety. You can still do light exercises to keep your body warm and sharp, but nothing strenuous.
- Learn new moves early.
If you really want to add new moves to your arsenal, you have to do it at the beginning of your training camp. Unless you are insanely talented, you need time to let the technique sink into your regular game. In tournaments when you are exhausted, you will only resort to your top techniques that are second nature in your game. If you want to expand that repertoire, you need to add those new techniques as early as possible. Adding new techniques right before a tournament is generally useless.