Do you have
what it takes to win at a body building competition? For many
people, a desire to win can be a great motivator-and for others,
just the thought of having to stand up on stage in a skimpy outfit
can be enough to make them work out harder. Participating in a
competition can be a great experience for any body builder-it
gives you the opportunity to meet other enthusiasts, show off
your progress, and work toward a specific goal.
But it's not
all fun and games. To succeed in a body building competition,
your body needs to be in top shape. Here are a few factors for
success in any body building contest.
Getting in shape for a contest requires intense concentration
and commitment. If you have a lot going on in your life-a demanding
work or school schedule, personal drama, or other distractions-you
may not be able to focus a hundred percent on your fitness efforts.
Many body builders fail to win because outside pressure from other
areas of their lives interfered with their workout schedule, their
diet restrictions, or their mental concentration.
discipline. To get into competition shape, you need to burn
more calories than you consume. It's that simple. You'll need
to commit to a "clean" diet and a more frequent eating
schedule than most people are used to, without slipping or missing
a meal, for weeks or even months on end. If you don't stick religiously
to your diet, you'll undermine all the hard work you do at the
toughness. When you burn many more calories than you consume,
your body takes a beating. Stick to a restricted-calorie diet
while performing intense weight and cardio workouts, and you'll
be more prone to injury and strain. You'll need to be careful-but
you'll also need to keep going. The body builders who can keep
motivated are the ones who succeed on stage.
lifestyle. Lifestyle can make all the difference. To succeed
at getting your body in top form for a competition, you'll need
to plan your day strictly from multiple workouts per day to the
time you get to rest. You'll have to stick to a regular eating
schedule as well. If you've got a lot of unpredictable factors
in your life, from work or family or school, your lifestyle may
simply not allow you to do what you need to do to get into top
shape. Training for a competition is an all-day commitment, even
when you're not at the gym.
for the right reason. Keeping motivated may be the single
most important factor in deciding who shows up prepared to compete-and
who doesn't. There's no right or wrong reason for joining a competition;
there are only reasons that motivate you and reasons that don't.
Winning may not be your most important goal; you may simply seek
self-improvement or a chance to gain recognition from family and
friends. But whatever your reason for joining a competition, it
had better be a compelling one. Otherwise, you'll have a tough
time sticking to the strict dietary restrictions and grueling
exercise routines you'll need to get your body in competition
Every body builder hits plateaus. When training for a competition,
it's important to keep your outlook positive. Are you a naturally
optimistic person, or are you a pessimist? If you're the latter,
you may have a more difficult time keeping motivated through the
tough periods. Experienced competitors will often say success
is more about controlling their thoughts than anything else-making
sure their outlook stays positive and hopeful, no matter what.
look. It's not just about fitness-it's also about presentation.
Tanning can make muscles look more defined, and most successful
competitors tan regularly. For women, the right makeup and hairstyle
can help create a good "look" for competition. You'll
need to know how to pose to show off your muscle definition to
best effect, as well.
help. Most people who win body building competitions get help
from those with expert experience. These people can include physical
trainers, but they can also include posing coaches; nutritionists;
choreographers if you need to perform a fitness routine; and even
costume, hair, and makeup consultants. If you have the time and
financing to hire a professional to help you out, you have a good
shot at winning. If you don't, bear in mind that you will be competing
against those who do. If you have any friends with competition
experience, take advantage of all the free advice they're willing
any body building competition depends on commitment, mental and
physical toughness, and a lifestyle that can accommodate a strict
workout and diet schedule. If you have all these things, you've
mastered the toughest part.
It often takes
competitors many tries to win their first competition, and winning
isn't everything when it comes to body building contests. You'll
get a lot out of preparing for a contest, no matter how you do
on the big day. If you don't win first place on your first try,
don't worry-you'll still have learned a great deal. Preparing
for a competition shows you what your body and mind are capable
of. With this knowledge, you'll be even better prepared to succeed
in your next competition.
Jean Lam is the webmaster of Body
Building Resource which provides articles on weight training,
nutrition and fitness, body building book and DVDs.