The world of bodybuilding has become more mainstream over the years due to trends and pop culture’s infatuation with single-digit body fat percentages. People fail to understand that it takes more than protein shakes and twice-a-week weight liftings to achieve results.
Being a fitness competitor requires going through greater lengths than just drinking a “fit tea” in the hopes that a six pack will appear in the morning.
Competitors put their minds and bodies through strenuous workouts and must have the willpower to say “no” to sweet treats during the holidays.
What makes this lifestyle worth it?
Figure competitor and National Academy of Sports Medicine (NACSM) certified personal trainer, Olivia Hersey, stated, “It’s definitely not for everyone. You have your days just like everyone else where you find yourself unmotivated or tired, but you have to be able to find the strength to keep going and win. That’s why I chose this lifestyle.”
The workout routine before a competition usually entails one to two hours a day in the gym. The main workout required is weight lifting.
Interval training is required to help speed up the metabolism, which will allow the person to burn more fat while keeping lean muscle intact.
Fitness competitors stress the importance of mind-to-muscle connection. This entails picturing the muscle group in which you are exercising to create the best pump in that moment.
“I see so many guys in here trying to do the most weight they can, but their form is awful. Not only are they not benefiting from the exercise they are doing 100 percent, but they are also putting themselves at risk for getting hurt,” said LA Fitness trainer Jose Molina.
Fitness competitors thrive on the sport because they get to see how far they can push their mind and body until absolute failure. A common mentality revolves around the idea of doing what no one else is willing to do.
Along with a great physique acquired while training for a show, they put themselves out there for a chance to receive sponsorship from fitness companies. This promotes the possibility that the athlete could get paid to do what they love every single day.
Fitness competitions are not for everyone. That is why those interested in participating must do research and speak with trained fitness instructors before entering a show to ensure they are training correctly and safely.