This is a common question for many people who are interested in competing in a Bodybuilding show, but perhaps do not know what category to enter. The more people you ask, the more confusing it can become. The wave of Social Media “celebrities” combined with the generation of required instant gratification, has really made competing even more convoluted than before. Here’s my suggestion… After watching a few shows, decide which category you think would be most enjoyable for you to compete in… now I use the word enjoyable cautiously here. Let’s be straight, competing is NOT all enjoyable, fun, rainbows and gold coins. It is a lot of hard work. We know this. But the only way a person will get any valuable feedback is by going through the preparation process, getting on stage, having some photos taken and getting a critique from the head judge of the show (This is something you would do post show by sending a polite email introducing yourself along with a stage photo showing your number).
Now, if you have your heart set on a specific division, but perhaps you just need more time to develop a certain body part, than humble yourself, put in the work (which may take years) and focus on that end goal of getting on stage in the division of your choosing. If you decide to keep competing without giving your body ample time to recuperate and develop, you will not evolve and your chances of success may dwindle. Bodybuilding (and all of the other divisions included) is one of those beautiful hobbies that will afford you the opportunity to improve over time. The body cannot develop while under a caloric restriction. So the idea of dieting for a show and trying to “build up” a certain body part at the same time is illogical and foolish. Hypertrophy (GROWTH) requires proper amounts of fuel and a specific method of training.
If your heart’s desire is to get on stage and you are willing to do a little trial and error until you find the right division for yourself, you might have a little easier time… doesn’t mean you won’t diet as much as the next person, or be able to skip training certain body parts… But you may wind up placing or having a good competition experience because you chose a division that may be the right fit for your body type/structure/build.
Again, it’s about having clear goals and utilizing resources to achieve the best outcome possible… and that term “best outcome possible” I leave to interpretation. One person’s best might be a Top 10 placing. Another might want to win an Overall title… and another person might want to just be onstage and bask in that glory. There is no right or wrong, it’s about personal goals.
Find someone experienced and honest to consult with, if you feel unsure. I am willing to give my input.
Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Remember… Everyone starts somewhere. Never give up on your health and fitness goals!
One of my former bosses used to always say to people he had not seen in a while, “you are conspicuous by your absence”
And, no… I have not published a blog entry in a few months… partly because I am working on restructuring the format, reworking the content I present, and also I’ve been doing a lot of writing/saving entries… just have not felt the push to post anything.
I also have been thinking about my own image/portrayal… How do I want to be received? How do I want to be remembered? I have a lot of experiences to share, views on things related to life and fitness more specifically… yet, I do not feel this drive to shove my views down the throats of my social media followers and blog subscribers.
I have been posting less, sharing less, taking less photos, talking less… spending more time reading, reflecting, learning, and of course, exercising. You see, while I know I am completely transparent, honest, and express myself freely… I also realize that not every thought needs to be expressed exactly at the moment in which I think it. Maybe I’m analyzing too much… but the more nonsense I see being put out into the world, particularly on social media… the more inclined I am to remain quiet and focused on the things that truly bring me joy, happiness, a sense of fulfillment.
So have no fear… I have not disappeared… I have not gone anywhere, except the Jersey Shore for 2 days at the very end of the summer (that was the first and only time I felt sand in between my toes in 2015)… Just rethinking EVERYTHING!
Everybody thinks they “Eat Clean” and some that “eat clean” feel it’s pointless because they do not see results. That term is used too often and means something different to every person you ask. For some people, not drinking alcohol on weekdays or not having any dessert after dinner is what they consider eating clean. For others, they might follow a plan that is gluten-free, dairy-free, low-carb, paleo, or some other type of dietary lifestyle and that is what those people view as eating clean. Again, too vague of a term to define.
If you want results, you need to be accountable. First, establish your goal(s). Are you looking to lose some body fat? Do you want to perform better when you go to your Crossfit box? Would you like to add some muscle to your body?
After you determine your goals and determine which type of nutrition plan you want to follow (if you are not hiring a Nutritionist or Coach) you should examine your current intake so you can make adjustments where necessary. Keep some type of log… use a journal or one of the many free smart phone apps that will not only keep a log of your food intake, but also break down all of the macronutrients and micronutrients. I tend to go for the latter of the two.
Few more simple tips that will help you dial in on your nutrition…
Make a list prior to going grocery shopping – this will help you stick to the new plan and not buy snacks/foods that you should avoid.
Prep food in advance – I’m not big on making an entire week’s worth of food, but I do like to have enough prepared food in my refrigerator to last 2 or 3 days.
Pack and bring your food with you in a cooler if you’re away from the house for several hours – Some people might view this as extreme, but if you want to be sure to eat on time and avoid impulsive eating, having your own food is the best option.
One more thing… When you do embark on a new Nutrition plan… I strongly suggest sticking to the plan 100% for 2 weeks before determining that something isn’t working and making any changes. COMPLIANCE is usually the biggest issue for people… and it doesn’t matter how flawless a plan is, if the individual is not following said plan.
It is so disturbing as a veteran in the Bodybuilding world, to see so many people searching for instant gratification and shortcuts to success in competing. I hate to tell you, but if your body lacks muscle maturity, density, or size, there is no shortcut to develop that. Of course there are things people turn to in an effort to speed up the process, such as anabolic steroids, but… if used improperly, disastrous and sometimes irreversible, effects will show up… and nothing can be done to go back. I see it often with women who have trained for a short period of time but want to put on muscle. Instead of training heavy, eating more food and giving the body time to grow… they take something recommended to them and a few weeks/months later, freak out when their voice gets deeper, the jawline changes, certain parts of the genitalia become deformed, bald spots form on the head, and then unwanted body hair in other places develops… and this is just to name a few of the visible side effects.
Why do this to yourself?
Oh, that’s right… Some guy from your gym told you if you did “just a little” you would be fine. I’m sure all of his experience with the female body and hormonal system have made him an expert. (insert sarcasm)
It’s tough for me to watch this go on, but I learned many years ago that I cannot get involved, because most of the time the party I’m concerned for will tell me to mind my own business.
Sad… But hey, a plastic trophy and maybe a Pro Card are certainly worth enlarged female genitalia and a beard, right? I know… Horrible… and yes, very true.
Be patient, put in the work and allow your body to develop naturally… You don’t get any bonus points for being a freak of nature or for getting to wear some t-shirt representing a company that will never be in the Forbes 500.
We don’t have bad days
We smile and are courteous to our clients even on the worst of the worst possible days.
We stand on our feet all day long.
We shovel food in our mouths like animals, most of the time cold, out of a tupperware, and usually just standing in the locker room because there is little time for eating. Most of us live on protein shakes.
We service clients that want to train early in the morning as well as late at night, many times on the same day.
We scramble to do things like grocery shopping and laundry in between appointments on our “light” days, which could be any given day of the week, but most definitely not Saturday (which is when all the weekend warriors want to train).
We work hard to maintain a professional tone throughout our sessions, even when clients tell us very personal things like stories about their spouse, kids, work, etc.
We generally work hard to accommodate our clients’ needs.
We drink a lot of coffee and/or tea to remain alert and focused for our clients.
We do get tired at times. We are human too. We like to workout also and love our private time to do that, even when you interrupt us on our own time.
We want you to succeed and accomplish your goals.
We often become emotionally invested in your journey.
We appreciate your “thank yous” and loyalty.
Be nice to your trainer.
There is one day left in the year 2014… by the time you read this, there may be even less than 24 hours… I’m not going to go into cliché bits about “looking back” or establishing new goals for 2015… I mean, come on… you’ve heard it all before. Truth is, if your goals have anything to do with getting in shape for an event such as a mud race or Powerlifting meet or just trying to get lean for yourself… why would you wait until 2015? Hopefully, you’ve already started! There are no rules as to when to start a new goal. There is no right time. The time is now, no wait… the time might have just passed… but now is the moment you realized it and can get going!
oh… hang on… so, before we go racing off to the sporting goods store to get a pair of weightlifting shoes and chalk for that meet you entered…. or placing the order for that rhinestone-encrusted bikini for next spring’s bodybuilding show….
HOW DID YOU DO IN 2014?
If you feel brave, leave a comment below telling me what your goal(s) for 2014 consisted of and how you did.
Ok, I’ll go first… My goals for 2014 were the following:
1. Master Olympic Lifts – Started learning various lifts and by April, I made a hard left and got into Powerlifting. I entered and won my very first Powerlifting meet in July. Great experience. Can’t wait to do another one next year.
2. Improve Cardiovascular Endurance – Made noticeable/measurable improvements so that can be marked off as COMPLETED!
3. Earn Nutrition Certification – Still in the process of studying. I did not receive my course book and materials until the 2nd Quarter of the year, so I did have a slight disadvantage. Plan is to complete this certification by the end of January 2015.
So, I was honest…. Are you honest with yourself? I really would love to hear from you… you can leave comments in the comment section below or find me on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/FitbyTiana
And before we say Goodbye to 2014…. I would like to wish you all a very
Happy New Year!
I would like to briefly explain my thought process behind a desired repetition range of an exercise/workout program. If you are relatively new to weight training, you may find this helpful.
In your workout routine, for a specific exercise, the program calls for 4 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions. Before you even select a weight, think about what weights you have used for said exercise in the past. Now, in a perfect comfortable world, you should be able to complete 4 sets of 10 repetitions with this weight. But the idea here is to push yourself outside of your comfort zone. The only way to grow is getting to that uncomfortable, challenging place, where you are going to struggle, grit your teeth, bite your tongue, possibly yell out loud and might need help.
My approach is as such… select a weight that starts to get difficult for you around the 6th rep, is very difficult at the 7th rep, and the remaining reps might not even be completed without a spot. Of course you want to complete the number of sets listed in the workout, but you should be challenging yourself, which is what resistance training is all about, right?
If you are a beginner, you might want to hire a trainer to help you understand this concept and to push you accordingly, until you get accustomed to doing it on your own.
Try this mental approach the next time you’re in the gym. Push yourself just a little further than you feel comfortable with… I bet you can complete the task at hand… DO IT!