The life of a bodybuilder. Notice I said “the LIFE” of a bodybuilder. Because you know what? It IS a lifestyle. I can go on and on, hitting on various topics over time. But I feel these basic points are extremely important to get out there, especially if you are a first time competitor!
Over the past few years I have been working with a ton of NPC competitors: bodybuilding, physique, figure, bikini. A few in the bunch truly showed me that they have what it takes to be a truly disciplined, humble, hardworking competitor.
Here are a few points to keep in mind if you are a competitor or interested in getting involved in competing. This lifestyle is NOT for everyone, and THAT IS OK!!! No matter what your goal, make sure you are choosing to do it for the right reasons! :)
1.Competing is a MENTAL Sport
It’s pretty ironic that this sport judges your physical appearance or “aesthetics”. However, to get to this physical goal, you need the mental toughness that it takes! You can’t eat emotionally, as most people do. Instead, you eat for fuel, performance and purpose. You may have to avoid certain social gatherings that, if you feel you will mentally break, you will have to avoid. I personally, can go to social gatherings and make it work! Luckily, flexible nutrition teaches you how to find this proper balance :)
You will doubt yourself. You will be tired, and still have to get your butt in the gym and train. And keep in mind, you WILL BE JUDGED. If you do not have a good sense of self worth, this sport isn’t for you. If you already have body dysmorphia, or eating disorder issues, this sport is CERTAINLY not for you. This is a YEAR AROUND sport. It’s not all about hitting the stage, posting selfies and stage day pics and that’s the end of it. After you compete, what are you doing in your “off season” in order to make your next stage debut better? This truly is a LIFESTYLE. AND NOT A WEIGHT LOSS PLAN.
- Stay Humble!
Most competitors are the BEST in their gyms. But what happens when all the best come together on one stage? AWARENESS AND HUMBLING. Everyone is a big fish in a little pond, until they get on that stage. You never know who is going to step on that stage next to you! However, don’t let this bring you down. In fact, it should inspire you to keep working to your fullest potential! Everyone starts somewhere, and we are all at a different part of our journey! And if you don’t place? No one wants to hear all of the excuses you have, or hear you put others down. I have heard competitors backstage throw temper tantrums after not placing where they thought they deserved to place. Guess what? EVERYONE thinks they deserve first! But if you don’t place first, don’t make yourself look like a sore loser. It is what it is! Now, work on improving, instead of finding excuses or tearing down others around you! :)
- Stop Comparing Yourself to Others!
If you constantly doubt yourself, then you are doing yourself a diservice , stressing yourself out, and THAT will have a negative effect on your body. Get off of Instagram and Facebook if you are going to sit there and analyze your competition. Guess what? You are you, and they are them. You are doing the best YOU can do, and so are THEY. The WORST is if you are a first time competitor comparing yourself to someone who is a veteran competitor, or worse, a pro! They have had MUCH MORE time to attain a different level of muscular development, more years of dieting and growing. So there is NO comparison! Remember, every Professional was once a amateur.
- Blinders On!
Once you start leaning out and people notice it, you are going to have EVERYONE barking in your ear, “do this method. Do that. Take this supplement! Try this super secret cool move! Why do you do that when you can do this instead?!” My gosh, if I could share all the crazy conflicting garbage I have heard throughout my years of competing…. EVERYONE suddenly becomes a genius! If you are on your path, STAY ON IT. Do NOT combine methods. If you half ass two different methods, you will get half assed results!
- You Will Not Walk Around Stage Lean All Year!
WOW! This is a BIG ONE. Veteran competitors KNOW that the off season is used to develop lean mass, challenge weaknesses, grow and strengthen! This does not mean to “let yourself go”. You should still be following a structured nutrition plan to attain your goals as efficiently as possible. However, do NOT expect to walk around stage lean all year around. It just isn’t going to happen!!! So get off the scale. If you weigh yourself stage day, vs the morning after, you bet your butt that you will have put on a few pounds just from hydrating yourself! If this number is going to get in your head and mess with you, do not get involved with this sport.
- Lifestyle Changes!
Things will need to change. You will not be able to go binge drink and carelessly eat on the weekends. You will not be able to dine out and eat whatever you would like multiple times a week. You will be weighing and measuring food. Precision, and consistency is key while competing. It IS an extreme. So do not do a competition simply to lose weight. Because you will absolutely have a major rebound if you do not truly live the lifestyle. If after a show, you go straight back to partying and doing whatever you want, I can assure you, this will not have a positive effect on your body. You have to continue to nourish it correctly as you reverse from your contest prep!
Have respect for your fellow competitors. In the end, everyone knows the grind that goes in to this. It is a mutual understanding. Don’t judge each other. We don’t know the challenges that another may face day in and out, even OUTSIDE of the competition world. As a competitor myself, I have nothing but respect and admiration for my fellow competitors. And I have made some INCREDIBLE friends!!!
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If you would like to work with Michele and Randy to get prepped for your next show contact us through our website or call 732-462-LEAN(5326)
Written by: Michele Zandman Frankel BS Health and Excercise Science,NQ Figure Athlete NPC, Co-Owner Revolutionize