So You Want to Compete? Encouragement for the Future Competitor

Have you ever been interested in body building or physique contests? Have you ever wondered what its like on stage, back stage, or even in the crowd  on the night of the event?

npc bodybuilding, figure, physique and figure

Preparing the Body

Daytona ClassicI know how I felt when I first thought of getting on stage and seeing what this whole competition things was all about. I was terrified. I didnt know anything about diet, tanning, posing, how to pump up, what suit to buy, what to eat the night before, and on and on and on. I realized I probably wasn’t alone, and that this “abyss”of the unknown may be keeping many from trying one of the toughest sports in the world when it comes to training and nutrition.

Competitors don’t risk falling off of a balance beam after years of preparation, or getting knocked out by one rogue lucky punch but, instead, the competition is soley in the preparation. The day of the show is merely an unvailing of a sculpture (or science project) that took months, and even years, to perfect – or at least improve.

Preparing the body for  a show takes a lot of planning (and, as you can see in these pictures below shot at the hotel competition day, a lot of packing, cooking, supplementing and planning ahead).

Bodybuilding, Physique, Figure & Bikini Competition prep GNC vitamins  bodybuilding diet bodybuilding prep hotel gym

Preparing the Mind

Team Max This type of discipline is grueling – and takes a lot of mental fortitude and drive to keep going till the day of competition. This is when, as a coach, a little encouragement can go a long way. I have close to 20 people that are going to compete with me in an upcomming physique event, and the following is a letter I wrote them to encourage them to persever till the end.  I wrote this letter to encourage them to say the course no matter what their brain or body is telling them.  I wrote this letter to push them to keep faith that in 5 weeks their bodies will be the most amazing aesthtically that they have been in years, if not ever.

Dear Competitor,

Letter to my clients and future competitors out there where ever you are:

Bikini CompetitorsFirst, I want to applaud you all for your commitment, drive, discipline and self-denial – and your courage and your desire to step out into this scary world of physique competitions. 

Secretly I am hoping you find it very fulfilling, beyond the seemingly narcissistic focus it may have at first glance.  I promise you, this level of commitment, self denial and discipline has perfect carry over into our daily lives.  It teaches us to be better parents, boss’s, moms, dads, husbands and on and on… 

Here we are guys… 5 weeks to go. Some of you are still on the fence, and that is ok.  But next week we are either crossing the line of committing to April 6th, or we are going to gracefully bow out for another show. I am asking you to humbly allow me to help you with that decision.  Lets decide together if your physique will be show ready or not. 

Please don’t let fear into your heart, or head, when it comes to this decision of competing.  It is only a question of being ready or not physically.  Emotionally and mentally you will be wondering “what if” all the way up to and even the day of the show.  So get that out of your head.

You guys have already overcome so much.  We have only been training as a team for 5 weeks so far, and every single one of you has amazed me with your level of commitment. We still have 5 weeks to go.  I’ve never had a team with so many firsts, so personally I am overwhelmed with excitement.

What If’s…

Men's Physique (before)Guys (and girls), I know the inbody is messing with your head, I know the scale is your best friend in the morning and then your nemesis by noon.  You feel so weak trying to finish the most menial tasks around the house, never mind making it into Max to train.  When you finally do have time to train you may feel like you’re letting something else go, or putting other priorities on the back burner.  You are paying the price, you are paying your dues.  You will all have different levels of sacrifice depending on your support structure at home.  Some friends and family are supporting your every move, keeping you accountable, reminding you of how amazing your commitment is – and others… not so much. 

Your spouse may feel left out. You may have guilt about picking your kids up at school only to drop them off again so you can train. Your best friend may miss her drinking buddy, or even be jealous that she doesn’t have the guts to commit to this epic training.  Get all of this out of your head, because when your friends and family see you on the stage, all will be forgiven. 

Tell me I can'tI have seen my clients go to a show with a skeptic husband, and I watch his face as his bride walks out on stage and his jaw drops.  He stands to his feet and screams, number 17, number 17…  Or the look on the faces of your kids shouting from the crowd, mom… mom…  As a coach, this all plays a part of why I drive you guys, and beg for more when you have nothing left to give.  If you are struggling with this, stay true to training, stay true to yourself. The one thing they can’t argue the day of the show is that you deserve the applause they are hearing for you right now. 

I would like to encourage you, however, to arrange your schedule to train early or later or in the middle of the day as to not affect your friends and family as much.  The less impact our training and diet has on disrupting our social lives, the more supportive our loved ones will be.  It is a sacrifice to get up early, to get that extra cardio before your spouse or kids wake. It is a sacrifice to make PB&J sandwiches for the rest of the family when you’re dying to lick the spoon. It is a sacrifice to go out for drinks with friends and sip on un-sweet ice tea in a martini glass – but you didn’t think that all this sacrifice was just in the gym, did ya?

Bodybuilding TROPHIESSo here we are… 5 weeks out.  We feel too fat, too flabby, too skinny, too hungry. By now, I think I have had a chance to talk to each of you about dialing it in for the show.  If not, lets talk Saturday so we can straighten out these questions.  But in the mean time, stick to the program. Regardless if the scale doesn’t move, stick to the program.  If you feel skinny, it doesn’t necessarily mean eat more, and if you’re having a fat day it doesn’t mean you need to starve yourself. 

You must “stay the course”.  I know you are hungry, tired, emotional, scared, insecure… because I feel these things too – but guys, I can tell you what its like the day after… the accomplishment, the pride, the feeling as though you worked so hard and you deserve the compliments that people give you.  It is worth it in the end.

Lets all commit to taking our training and diet up another notch.  Don’t put your family and friends second, don’t let fatigue and hunger slow you down, don’t let your eyes tell you your not going to be ready, and never, never, never give up.

StevO’

Think It’s Too Late?

Steve Pfiester trains female bodybuilder

Dr. Josefina Monasterio STARTED competing for the first time when she was 60. She is one of our Team Max members who will compete in the upcoming Southeast Classic in Hollywood April 6th, even after hip surgery. So, NO it’s not too late. Read Dr. Josefina’s story…

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. #respectyourself

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About Steve Pfiester

Certified CrossFit, TRX, Kettlebell Athletics Trainer with a B.S. in Physical Therapy. Owner of Longevity Max Fitness and BCx Boot Camp.

Posted on February 27, 2013, in Figure/Bodybuilding and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Hello,

    I have a question about your blog, could you please email me? Thanks!!

    Melanie

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