I recently had a chance to review individual and comparison photos from the 2012 NPC Nationals held in Atlanta. The show had an astounding 900 competitors across the various divisions and by the time all was said and done, 62 individuals became IFBB pros. When looking specifically at Men’s Physique, approximately 7 percent or 12 of the 177 entrants reached professional status.
As I clicked through the photos, I began to wonder what separated the winners from the “professional” winners. I mean let’s face it, anyone that’s on that stage is a winner, but rules dictate that only a handful can turn pro in a given year. In looking at the photos, you could point out physical differences between this guy and that guy but it’s almost like preferring a Ferrari over a Lamborghini. At the end of the day both cars are amazing. So what is it that separates one competitor from another?
Long ago there was a man who each day walked to town around a large mountain, the same as many others did. Each day this man would pick up a stone from the mountain and place it to the side of his path, this went on for many years. Soon others began to do the same as they saw the man slowly moving the mountain from their path! Now, sometime the stones would fall down, sometimes someone else would put them right back, but most of the time they stayed right where they were placed. As more and more people joined in, the once mighty mountain was dwindled away to nothing and the path they ventured became a straight line! What is the moral of this story? Well, as individuals we can only do so much, but collectively we can move mountains! By committing to something greater than ourselves we are able to truly help this world and gain the most satisfaction in our own lives!
How does this apply to fitness?
Competing is much more than bringing a nice physique to the stage. What most people don’t understand is that even though Men’s Physique is considered a “Beach Body Physique” there is still a lot of work and preparation that goes into preparing for a show.
On July 1, 2012 my coach Anthony Racanelli and I decided to compete in the NPC Titans Show Oct 20, 2012. This gave us 16 weeks of preparation time. After the first 6 weeks we were on target dropping from 220lbs to 210lbs then the expected happened. Literally overnight, no exaggeration, my body weight increased right back to where we started at 220lbs...
If I told you that I could tell you very simply the key to unlocking your ultimate potential, making everlasting progress, being successful, and finding happiness; would you wanna know?
Seriously… Take a few seconds to think about what I just said; most everyone’s reaction would be an immediate “YES!”
I was recently asked for some advice by an old friend who has been competing as a body builder for several years. Over his 20 plus year career he’s had some great success but he has also dealt with some frustration and disappointment.
His goal has been to capture a prestigious IFBB pro card which continues to elude him. He’s come close on several occasions and in my opinion, with a few minor adjustments has everything it takes to achieve his objective.
“Do you think I should go for one more pro qualifying contest before calling it quits?”
As I take a moment to stop and reflect on this past year, which has brought about such an incredible amount of change in my life, I can’t help but realize how my life has truly been impacted by consistently projecting positive energy. It was only just more than one year ago that I first began my journey to improving my health and wellness, beginning with an unbelievable transformation of losing over 30 pounds. Trust me though; this journey has not been without stress and struggle. I have definitely had moments when I had hit a plateau, or faced difficult times with work, or simply the intense pressure of preparing for back-to-back Men’s Physique competitions. There have been many times when I have allowed doubt and negative influences to impact my state of mind and/or progress towards my goals. Over time, I have learned to recognize these negative influences or thoughts, and shift my focus to the many positive things I have in my life.
As I sit here on my flight to Dallas, headed to the Europa for Myotropics, I finally have a little uninterrupted time to reflect upon the last week and a half. As usual, my life is a roller coaster. Everything from my show life onstage, my business projects offstage and my personal life seems to intensify and become more complicated by the second.
Back in April, I competed at Jon Lindsay’s LA Grand Prix where I placed eighth. I had just come off my first pro win two weeks prior and was severely disappointed with my placing. I am not afraid to admit that I was a bit embarrassed since I had my entire family fly from across the country just to see me onstage in LA...
It truly is amazing to see all of the new life that Men’s Physique is bringing into the competition realm of the National Physique Committee (NPC) and the International Federation of Bodybuilders (IFBB), literally growing by the day! Seeing so many who stopped competing, are changing divisions, and never have competed entering into contests week after week says a lot for the division and it’s excitement! With there being so many new to the sport, there also comes a lot of people with overall inexperience and sometimes with inexperience can come ignorance, this is where looking at those that have been successful within the industry for a long time and learning from their mistakes/successes and adding your own twist is crucial! If you want to know the best way to climb a mountain, ask someone who has done it before! Having been involved with the NPC for over 13 years now and always trying to stress balance in life, I feel that it is very important to discuss how the Fitness Lifestyle can and will enhance all other aspects of your life as long as you let it! Conversely, it can also tear you down if you don’t strive to find proper balance.