In this video of my Gentec brother, Justin Firgaira, humiliating me and my small, fat arms, we discuss the focus of pre-contest training being to maintain strength. To do that requires the same training mindset used to gain strength in the off-season. The focus is on always trying to beat your best performances, no matter what.
What we did not say here, but is of equal importance, is, in this case, to NOT listen to your body! The mantra of listening to your body is wonderful and poetic but ignores one crucial point: your body does not want you to radically alter your body composition! Your body wants to stay exactly as it is!
In fact, if you were to truly listen to your body and obey its messages you would quickly lose your job, lose your partner, lose all respect from your friends, lose all your money, get fat and probably die in a gutter of a drug overdose. If a Psychologist could speak to your body they would probably diagnose it as a lazy, bipolar, delinquent at serious risk of self harm.
Your body is, really, an infant that never grows up. It only tells you something when its already too late. If your body is thirsty, it’s already dehydrated. If your joints hurt, inflammation has already set in. If it says it wants a pizza, it means it wants you to rebuild the fat you just lost. And if your body says it doesn’t want to lift that heavy weight, it’s because your body wants a reason to lose muscle instead of fat.
Fortunately, listening to your body and obeying are 2 very different things. Remember that YOU are the one that tells your body what to do and YOU are the one who wants your body to change; not the other way around. So, of course, listen to your body; but understand what it is saying and then do what you want to do to make your body what you want it to be.