Do You Have What it Takes To Compete?
Ask yourself, “do you have what it takes to compete?” In the last decade women competing on stage in Figure, Women’s Physique, Female Bodybuilding, and Bikini has grown leaps and bounds. No doubt, women are in the gym training hard and have an aspiration to show their hard work and dedication on stage. You should know that anyone that has a desire and positive attitude can step on stage, compete, and place.
Now, the million dollar question is, do you have what it takes to compete? Let’s find out by going over a few key aspects.
Have you been training for at least a year or more?
Is your body fat 20% or less?
Are you willing to eat a structured diet?
Are you able to resist temptation?
Are you willing to be true to yourself?
Can you set goals and achieve them?
Will you put in the required time for food prep and training?
Are you able to deal with the stress of contest prep?
Can you diet, train and prep yourself or do you need to hire a coach?
Above are just a few of the questions you need to be able to answer before you get started on your competitive journey. After that there is a whole other area to prep such as body assessments, formulated workouts (weight training and cardio) structured dieting protocols, mental prep, and so on.
Attend a Contest to Compete
To get started, it would be a good idea to go and watch a local bodybuilding and fitness contest in your area to see exactly what the competitors look like. It just might surprise you to know and see that the competitors aren’t HUGE and ripped to shreds when they stand right before you. Many competitors are in excellent condition and when they are on stage under the bright lights with a deep tan and skin dye, an illusion is created.
A lot of people have the preconceived idea that fitness competitors and bodybuilders are completely flawless. Nothing could be further from the truth. Every athlete on the stage has a weak muscle group and a strong muscle group. No one competing in any competition is 100% absolutely perfect. YOUR job, as a competitor is to hide your weak body parts and highlight your strong ones. Do that, and you’re the winner.
As you study the competition, notice every category on stage. Take notes on how they walk on stage, across, and to their position. Jot down notes on how they pose as well was their connection with the judges and the audience. What you are doing is becoming a judge yourself. At the end of the show see how your score sheet matches up with the judges call outs.
The benefit of attending a local bodybuilding contest is that you won’t be comparing your physique to the professional competitors, creating an unrealistic expectation in your mind. This is an important step to what it takes to compete.
Body Type to Compete
What it takes to compete is knowing your body type. Now, look in the mirror at your physique. Determine if you are an ectomorph, mesomorph, or endomorph. Realizing what your body type is severs as a guide when you create your workout and diet program.
If you discover that you are an ectomorph, the hard gainer, you are thin and lean and have a hard time packing on muscle. You will benefit from more high-quality calories, and weight training 3-4 days a week using heavy poundage in the 6-8 rep range. The trick is to build muscle on the small frame, but you want to keep check and make sure you are not doing too much and overtraining, or you’ll never build the muscle you want and need.
If you learn that you are a mesomorph, you are lucky. You are what they call “genetically gifted.” You build muscle quickly and easily and lose fat quickly and easily. We hate you! A clean diet works best and you can get away with training 4-5 days a week, varying sets and reps as well as exercises. Continually shocking the muscles is right up the alley on this body type. Cardio doesn’t have to be taxing. You can get by with just amping up the cardio about 8 weeks out from your competition.
If you find out that you are an endomorph, you have some struggles, but it’s not impossible. You just gain weight easily, both muscle and fat, but mostly fat. Your diet is critical. You will do better on controlled calories and carbs. Your training needs to be higher intensity in the cardio format, and you need to include more cardio sessions using a variety of formats to kick your metabolism up and keep your body off guard. Your weight training should be about 5-6 days a week and cardio about the same.
Take Stats and Watch the Mirror to Compete
What it takes to compete in getting your numbers. To lose fat and get close to the physique stage you need to take your stats. By having good, clear, and accurate weight and body fat percentage you have first-hand knowledge at how well your fitness program is working. While your stats are critical for your prep, don’t get too caught up in the numbers. They can vary the close you get to a show, so don’t stress out over that.
A lot of athletes watch the almighty scale so closely, that if it moves just a smidge over they freak out instantly. Keep in mind that the scale is a tool that measures you as a whole, including water weight. Often times, when you diet down and start losing weight pretty quickly, your body may hold water because it didn’t want to lose that weight. Michael Matthews also notes, “The fat you lose through proper dieting can be obscured–both on the scale and in the mirror–by additional water that your body is holding on to.” It’s just water and it will soon shed and the weight will start moving down again.
Keep in mind that results will also come in the form of your clothing fitting better, your physique taking a new shape in the mirror, and comments from others. Use all your resources as you prep, and you’ll have what it takes to compete.