My advice from my own experiences in 2016
I want you to acknowledge this article if you’re interested in competing, what you could possibly encounter and how to handle the situations.
Looking back at 2016, I’ve gone through many obstacles, travel schedules, work schedules all while waking up to do fasted cardio before work, then hit the weights and more cardio after work for months on end. To start the fat loss process, I started dieting roughly late 2015 and hired a coach, Hidetada Yamagishi, in April 2016. So I basically dieted hardcore for almost the entire year.
The first thing I always tell anyone who’s looking to compete in a physique competition is, “do you have stability?” This means, are you financially secure for the next several months?
Being financially stable to do a hobby is a must. I don’t care what. Take care of the important things FIRST. Competitions will always be there for you, but you can’t compete if you’re living very minimally. You need food to eat, you need a gym to train at, and you need to commute.
If you’re going to be dieting for weeks on end and hitting the gym a lot more than usual, is your relationships with others healthy? Be aware the training and diet regimen may affect those close to you.
I’ve experienced competing while in a relationship and it was hard. Lots of compromising happens. You both have to understand each other and the other person has to support you 100%. If s/he doesn’t then it will not work. You’re pushing towards your goals and you may slip here and there. You may not feel like waking up for cardio or you may want to cheat on your diet. Your partner has to be there to help put you back up on your feet and keep you accountable.
One couple that I met at the Muscle Contest Patriots Challenge said that they had a “safe word.” Use that safe word to let the other person know that you may say things because you’re hungry or tired because of the diet. Not because you really mean it. It’ll save lots of headaches and frustrations.
Did you hire a coach to help you through this arduous process? For me, it took things off of my mind because I didn’t have to think as much. I have the problem of being a perfectionist. So when things are good I may try to nitpick and do something else that doesn’t end up working for me. On top of that, I got to work with my brother and the 2016 212 Arnold Classic Champ, Hidetada Yamagishi.
I’ve learned so much from Hidetada Yamagishi. His training style has really brought up many lagging body parts that I have had in the past. Hire someone that you can trust and look up to. Someone that gives you the time and attention that you need in order to succeed. I’m grateful that I train at the same gym, Hide, so it all worked out well for the both of us.
This is probably the most IMPORTANT part of the article. What do you plan on doing AFTER the show? I always ask this to anyone looking to compete. Why are you competing? If you’re competing to get your feet wet or because it’s something you’ve always wanted to do (which I was in those same shoes), then that’s awesome. That question is for those who compete time and time again and have nothing to show for except a plastic trophy. Competing isn’t cheap and there’s no money involved, other than yours going to the organization. So, why are you competing? For what reason are you investing months and lots of money into yourself? I would highly suggest you really think about this before you make a decision.
Are you trying to help increase exposure of your training business by looking the part? Are you wanting to do a photo shoot? A lifelong goal? Be real and ask yourself, is it worth the mental and physical stress?
For me, it’s worth every second. To always be better than the last time. I have my own ambitions of what I envision myself doing in the near future. For the time being I’m using each day to improve my physique, my relationships, and my hunger for success in every aspect of life. I hope that this helps those who are contemplating about competing in the future. It could be an amazing experience if you do it for the right reasons, or it could be the worst time of your life if your heart’s not into it.