I admire anyone that puts in the effort, has the consistency and steps on stage, and compete as a Bikini, Fitness, Muscle Model or Figure or Bodybuilder.
Its an achievement that only a very small percentage of people truly understand. The hours, effort and energy required to do so baffles a lot of people as they ask “…and for what?”.
If you are thinking about starting to prep for a competition, we need to squash some ideas first, so you don’t end up disappointing yourself and stepping on stage not in condition.
There are the occasions that I have seen people walk on stage and they just look “way out of place”… not lean enough, not enough muscle, no posing skills.
I admire the ‘gusto’ for going up there, but how about having the drive and smarts to do the work needed before hand.
With a lot of people competing, I see the ‘sport’ of bodybuilding changing, with the newer categories being such Fitness or Muscle Model and Physique. This is a revolution of the sport, as its not just the bodybuilders stepping up on stage now. You don’t have to be a 100+ kg giant when sub 3%…
You may not want to do it to win, or go all the way and compete at Olympia, however you do need to understand that this is a sport of dedication and consistency. Its consuming much of your time and effort. You’re diet and meals need to be on plan, and you have to spend the hours in the gym working hard.
It should not be an all-consuming venture, as Ive seen others lose relationships, severely slow their careers and lose touch with their happiness with just the goal of stepping on stage. You have to compete for the right reasons, and as much as its the physique we are looking at, like any achievement its the mental strength that you need to do it right.
There is one rule when missed that I see so many people go wrong with… And you can easily avoid it.
Get In Shape First
Getting in stage shape doest not mean starting a “12-week cutting diet”, and then your job is done and you’re in ‘stage ready condition’.
This is one of the biggest reasons that I want to give this article to you, is to give your the realistic time-frame and focus for what you need to do. There is a process of competing that you have to truly understand.
For Bikini competitors this isn’t as drastic, but if you come to me and say that you want to prep and and compete soon and you don’t have the shape or figure, there is work to be done. And its not just about burning off the fat. As a coach its my job to be be straight up and honest, and get you results. To be your friend is not why your investing in me.
You need to have muscle, you need to have shape, and the longer I do this, the more I believe that that you have to withhold and continue to be in shape year round. This is especially true for getting down into the depths of low body fat levels.
If you’re a guy sitting at 16% body fat now, and you have never gotten much lower, your body is going to struggle to down to 3-4%. There are going to be situations where your body fights back, its out of homeostasis, and even such situations when you start to tap in fat that has toxins and therefore your body wont want to open it up and use it for fuel.
I’ve found myself, and with other top athletes and coaches that the use of detox and cleanse protocols were needed, and then body fat levels could drop to the next level.
The question of…
“When should I compete?”
Gets asked a lot to me, or its I get told when they have decided to compete and there is a short time frame.
You need to get in shape first to know how you look, and to know how long it will take to get ‘stage ready lean’. Sitting at mid-teen level of body fat, the goal is to first bring you right down to 10% or below first.
Then comes the question of building the muscle and the shape your physique needs and working on weak areas. Being lean enough, you’re insulin sensitivity will be better and other mechanisms firing so that your ability to build muscle will be more effective and efficient.
Then the phase changes to keeping you lean — which you will probably love, because you now have a set of abs, and have the definition to strut around and take some selfies.
The traditional “bulking” is long gone, and I don’t recommend anyone do it. As i said, when body fat is lower your ability for muscle accrual is heightened, also being you dont want to be one of the people that looks ‘ok’ in a t-shirt and big, but once the shirt comes off, you just look out of shape and sloppy.
Once you are in shape and close to being ‘stage ready’ then the question can be asked “when should i compete?”… that is often a quick chat with your coach pick a show date and then finish the rest of the work needed.
Then there is the other common issue that can happen when I jump on Skype to talk to a potential client that wants to come on board.
They tell me they are 12-weeks out and need to do their “final prep” to get lean and in condition. This is perfectly fine if you’re already super lean, in shape and just need to fine detail of coaching to bring you all the way in.
If you’re not in shape, then I have to give you my opinion of that you should push it back.
When I go through your food diary and find you’re on a low calorie diet, with either super low (or no) carb, or even you’ve cut fats right down.
This is when I wont prep you for the show date you want. If you’re willing to shoot for a later date then you can come on board. The goal here is to Reverse Diet you, build your metabolic capacity to have a strong functioning intake of calories, and not over the top training frequency of training and especially with cardio cut back.
Often times they just want to step on stage and “ill do anything to get stage lean” which means they are going to just bash their calorie intake even lower, do more cardio and training and ruin their metabolism, and quite likely not look their best because of the poor plan they followed.
If you’re thinking about competing, getting in amazing shape and ‘stage ready lean’ then the best next step will be to use the Free Ultimate Comp Prep Guide…
…this will give you in-depth the truths in what you should be doing to get in condition and on stage wow’ing the judges, friends, crowd and yourself.