If one hears the term “peak week,” they may think about the best week to travel to a certain location at the peak of vacation time. But if a person is a part of the fitness community of bodybuilders and figure or bikini competitors that participate in competitions on the local or national level, “peak week” means something else altogether.
As witnessed by the more than 60,000 posts that show up on Instagram under the peak week hashtag, users can see that peak week means the seven days prior to a big fitness competition. It’s the week when fitness fiends find that their bodies can change the most and improve before they hit the stage. The world of self-described fitness freaks who like to use hashtags such as #gymflow is also replete with terms like fasted cardio, water depletion, and water loading — all tactics that might be used during the period prior to a big show.
Some of the big fitness shows include the NPC and the IFBB and others. They also include categories such as bikini, figure, physique, bodybuilding, and novice — plus others, all broken down by gender and age. As such, specific hashtags that further describe the federal and fitness category within the “peak week” participants are competing also show up on Instagram. For example, there are nearly 700,000 Instagram posts under the #NPCBikini hashtag.
The hashtag #BikiniCompetitor commands even more posts, with more than 800,000 showing up on Instagram.
As reported by BuzzFeed, Ashley Kaltwasser is a successful bikini competitor who hails from Akron, Ohio. Ashley recently won once more, defending her Ms. Bikini Olympia title. The publication gives a peek into the life of those who focus on fitness, and the meal planning and workout schedules involved in such a lifestyle.
It isn’t a lifestyle that comes cheap. After all, there are the gym memberships to consider, plus training sessions for those who have personal trainers and attend posing clinics to teach them how to pose on stage. Then there’s the cost of buying food, the time spent cooking it — or ordering it from one of the places specifically for fitness competitors. Add to that the cost of the bikini or figure suits, the glamorous and sparkly competition jewelry, mani/pedis, the high-heel shoes and more. That more involves spray tans, hair weaves, make up and a bunch of other little things that fitness folks may find help along their journey — be they waist trainers or wacky things like clear plastic penis rings to help those 5-inch stripper shoes feel more comfortable.
As reported by the Bangor Daily News, peak week can leave some trainers feeling a little sad or nostalgic, as the big build-up for an event that has been on the radar for months finally approaches and passes.
Despite the cost and workout routines involved, plenty of positives can come from going through “peak week” and every other week needed to prepare for a fitness competition. A look through Google News shows fitness competition articles popping up more often these days, such as one from the Brampton Guardian about a jump rope competitor making the jump to fitness shows, and winning the bikini tall division.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, volleyball star Gabrielle Reece will get into the fitness competition fun with a new NBC show called Strong, but instead of fitness shows, it appears this show will feature 10 women being paired with trainers to help them lose weight. A reality TV show about the “peak week” happenings and other behind-the-scenes preparations of fitness shows would surely become a hit show.
[Images via Instagram/Robert Cianflone/Getty Images Sport]