“But so many people tell me I should compete!”
If you had someone tell you to jump off of a cliff, would you do it? I didn’t think so!
This is the same concept with competing in physique sports. The fitness world is growing rapidly before our eyes; and many are starting to dip their toes into the waters of competing.
This is FANTASTIC! Don’t get me wrong, I can tell you a million reasons that competing is a great thing and encourage you to do so. At the same time, I could also tell you to step back and carefully evaluate the reasons why you are considering to do so.
There are MANY things to consider before joining physique competitions. Not only physically, but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
How did you hear about competing?
Most of us hear/witness physique competitions from friends/family, magazines, competitions themselves, and social media.
As said above, the fitness world is growing like weeds! A huge component to the exposure being social media. Everyone is competing in bikini, figure, women’s physique, etc. While this life LOOKS glamorous (and definitely has its benefits), there are many “behind the scene” situations happening that many are not aware of.
- Many of these fitness icons/professionals that are admired by many have taken YEARS to look a certain way.
- These competitors dedicate their lifestyle to their personal training/nutrition approach.
- Experience and CONSISTENCY has been practiced for a prolonged period of time.
This should not be a discouragement to aspiring competitors; but to realize what is the reality of these competitors.
If you are considering competing; that is honestly GREAT! Bodybuilding and physique sports have tons of beauty to the lifestyle/sport; reasons that some may not even realize. This sport is unique and invigorating; it drives you to be your best not only in the sport but in all aspects of life. Many would agree that it is not about the competition itself; but the journey there and truly finding out what you are made of. It is a fantastic goal to anyone wanting to step on stage, it takes so much courage to do so and I admire anyone that does. I know a woman whom use to compete and she wants to step on stage for her 50th birthday; HOW AWESOME IS THAT!?
If it is a personal goal to step on stage, to look a certain way for once in your life, and to see what it is all about I highly encourage you follow your intuition with that.
BUT! Let’s stop there and evaluate some reasons you should NOT compete.
- Someone is suggesting it to you: This is not bad by any means, great things happen when others can help us find our passions. More often than not; these people in which are suggesting these things do not know a lot about you. If you want to compete it is recommended that it is coming from within you and something you have as a personal goal; not just an idea thrown around by Jimmy in the gym.
- You are trying to heal/cover up certain eating habits by competing: This one is COMMON. In many cases (common with females), they might not have the best relationship with food or even have a past or are experiencing an eating disorder. At that point they are going through a yo-yo cycle of bingeing and wanting to heal it once in for all with a physique competition. THAT IS NOT THE ANSWER. Why? Competition preps are very strict and consistent, and will not heal any disorder if a person is truly looking to heal for long-term health. One thing that is very important here is separating your physique goals and working on your emotional and mental well-being for the long run; not a physique that will make you give you temporary satisfaction with the acute time frame given.
- Everyone around you is doing it: What you surround yourself is a strong influence of your everyday life; as well as your mentality, attitude, habits, etc. You may notice others in the gym preparing for a competition, or observing fitness icons on Instagram that are 3 weeks out. You think to yourself “I want to look like that.” There is nothing wrong with that-but if you just stepped foot in the gym 5 months ago and are just now getting comfortable with the weights; maybe it is time to re-evaluate YOUR situation. We are all to blame on comparing ourselves to others. This particular subject is something we must be realistic with and the answer is time and experience in the gym. It takes years to build a physique (or the one admired). The best thing you can do for yourself is learn your own body and take time to develop and learn over the course of time. The benefit of that has so much long-term effect on not only your physique but your mentality as well.
- You cannot afford it: This may seem obvious; but many are blinded of this fact. It is NOT cheap to compete by any means; and that speaks for almost every sport/hobby. Many people run themselves into debt by competitions and all of the fees aside it; not realizing that the stage will always be there. I completely understand the want/drive to get on stage and succeed, but one must do it when they are READY; mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, and do not forget financially ready. Which leads me to the next point!
- You are not ready: This could have several meanings for many different people. As I mentioned above, maybe you have a lot going on in your personal life at that time where competing maybe is not the best option. Some people want to start families, are going through tough times personally, or maybe are overcoming something huge in their life. There is a time and a place to compete and put all of your effort towards that; and at the same time LIFE requires other focus, too. Never forget that 🙂
As mentioned above; competing is a beautiful thing! It can unlock so many doors for people; it is a fire-burning passion that many are meant to live up to. It also is a great goal for people to set out to achieve; I myself have a huge passion for it. At the same time, one must know when it maybe is not the answer or best decision. This is hope to help anyone in the long run looking at competing or having any questions!