Competing is very popular these days, and it seems like everyone is either prepping for a show, about to prep for a show, or have already competed. I am all for everyone challenging themselves to do so and working towards a goal. Trust me, I love competing and I plan to compete again very soon 😉
The mental and physical challenge, seeing what you are capable of, stepping outside your comfort zone, and the feeling of finally stepping on stage and having your hard work all pay off – nothing beats that rush.
While I’m sure a ton of people want to do it for all the right reasons, I’m sure there are some people out there who are doing it for all the wrong reasons. I always, always urge people to do your research before committing to prep. There is a LOT behind the scenes that you don’t see and may not even know of. Sometimes it’s not all that glamorous that you see showcased on social media. I also don’t think people who just started working out seriously last week should jump right into a show. There is no rush, the stage will always be there. You must know what you’re getting yourself into before you decide to prep and compete in your first show.
So, what possibly could be considered a “wrong” reason to compete?
- To get a lean, ripped body.
- Yes, obviously that is the whole point of competing, and once you actually do get competitive, you compete to see who has the best body, according to the judges. However, that’s not what I mean! Lets say you have someone unhappy with how they look. They decide, “well, maybe if I enter a bikini competition I’ll be happier with my body”. If this is your mentality, I can guarantee that you will not be happy with your body once you start prepping. If anything, your image will start to get skewed, and each week you’ll think you’re not lean enough – it’ll never be enough. So please, make sure you are happy with your body before you decide to compete. It is so, so important.
- To get attention/adoration from others (or insta famous).
- If your only reason for competing is to show off your ripped abs everyday, your butt in a bikini, to get more likes or followers on instagram, or to get people to like you, that is obviously ALL the wrong reasons. There is so much more to competing. Yes of course showing off your hard work is awesome during prep, but if that’s your only reason, please re-consider.
- Because everyone else is doing it.
- Yes, it seems like everyone and their mom, brother, grandma, dad, friends, cousins, etc. is competing these days. Does that mean you should too? You should only compete if you really want to, not because everyone else is doing it. If everyone was shooting up heroin because it was the cool thing to do, would you do that too? Ok, that’s a little extreme, but you get my point.
- Because someone said you should.
- Maybe you’re in the gym and you already know what you’re doing in there and have a decent based of muscle. Someone comes up to you and says, “have you ever thought about competing?” This has happened to me before, and I’ll be honest, that definitely put the idea into my mind. Don’t just jump right into a prep then and there. If I had did that the first time someone said that to me, I would NOT have been ready. I had just started lifting seriously, had very little muscle mass, and that guy would have been my coach and I can tell you right now, he would have been one of those coaches that would have put me on a super-bro diet with barely and calories and a shit-ton of cardio. I’m so thankful that I did my research and waited a bit, or else it would have been a horrific experience.
- You want to look like “insert bikini model here”.
- Competing in hopes of looking like a certain person is just silly. First of all, you are YOU and I’m sure you have a very different body type than your favorite fitness icon. Second of all, you have to realize everything that goes into competing AND that being stage-lean is NOT a type of lean you can maintain the rest of your life.
Before jumping into a prep, you must do your research – on your coach, on what competing is like, on the ups and downs you may experience, on how to come out of a competition and not rebound, what goes into it, the cost (read: it’s freakin expensive), and so much more.
I always recommend people go to a bodybuilding show before you commit to prep. I have heard of people who went to a show and while they were sitting in the audience, they got completely turned off by the whole thing. It happens, and it’s not for everyone. For me though, I went to a show and it fueled my fire and I KNEW I HAD to be on that stage, so I committed to prep right then and there, and I’m so, so glad that I did. I fell in love with it all, and I freaking won first place. Nothing compares to that feeling.
I also waited YEARS to actually compete before I did. I knew I wanted a better base of muscle, so I started lifting seriously for 2-3 years before I prepped. I also wanted to do it in the healthiest way possible which an amazing coach and following a flexible dieting approach. If I had competed any sooner, I would have probably had a terrible experience. Some people do, and they are scarred for life from it. Yes, competing and prepping is hard, regardless if you have a wonderful coach or not. However, there are so many better ways to prep and to make it a great experience. Also know that you CAN achieve your dream body without showcasing it on stage. You don’t HAVE to compete, but if you WANT to, it is a blast and so much fun (well, for a lot of people)!
So please, do your research, make sure this is something you 100% want to do. If it is, give it your all and have FUN! Just make sure you are doing it for the right reasons 🙂
Do you compete? Why do YOU compete if you do?
Any reasons you can think of that would be a wrong reason?