What would be the most detrimental thing to your performance in a physique competition? If you take a second to think about it, the answer is quite simple. The single most dangerous aspect that could prevent you from ranking among the best of the best in your competition is injury. If you manage to injure yourself during the process of preparing for a show, it will greatly impact your ability to work up to your potential. In order to keep your mind, body, and spirit healthy enough to give a peak performance it is incredibly important to remember the phrase slow and steady wins the race. Sure, as an athlete, you may get the natural temptation to go a little too hard at the gym. However, it is so vital to your fitness regimen to know what your body is willing to accept (for example, doing one more rep, pushing yourself a little harder on the last sprint,) and what is pushing yourself over the limit and risking injury. Drawing the line between these two specific realms of fitness routines is what will ultimately keep you ready for your show.
Secondly, you must be prepared to live the lifestyle of a competitor. You must realize that there are certain sacrifices to be made. If your friends and family wants to go out to eat or for a few beers, you need to accept the fact that the unwanted fat and unnatural chemicals in food that you do not prep yourself may hinder both the way your body looks and feels. Ultimately, the sacrifices you make to keep your body in flawless condition will be worth it when you are standing on that stage, feeling like your hard work and dedication has paid off. The lifestyle of a competitor can be summed up in two words: PREPARATION and DEDICATION. As for the preparation side of things, you must prepare your food on a daily basis. As you know, nutrition is 90% of the battle. Therefore, you want to have your healthy snacks ready for when you get hungry, this way you make sure you don’t turn to a lesser alternative as a snack in those insanely hungry moments. Preparation is also a mental aspect, as you must prepare yourself to turn down some traits of an unhealthy lifestyle. Dedication is clearly the term that applies to the gym-centered theory of preparing for a show. You have to truly dedicate yourselves to your workouts. If you go half-strong on your workouts, skip reps, and don’t push yourself to the absolute best of your ability, your show day will not be what you hoped for.
Once these first two steps are achieved and it is during show or even post show, the best bit of advice I can give to competitors is that it is NOT all about the win. It is important to remember that your effort and dedication can sometimes mean so much more than a medal or status. A good way to judge yourself is on overall progress. If you don’t win your first competition, do not compare yourself to the individual athlete who won. Instead, always compare your new self to your old self. The only person you should be in competition with on a day-to-day basis is yourself. If you truly believe that you are improving your mind and body with every show you compete in, you are a winner regardless!