Do You Have What It Takes To Compete?
By Karen Sessions

Do You Have What It Takes To Compete? More and more ladies are venturing to the competitive stage, whether it is in Figure, Fitness , or Bodybuilding. There is a desire to display your hard work and dedication. The sport of physique competing is growing by leaps and bounds, but it's not limited to just a pristine few. Competing is for everyone who has a willingness, desire, and a positive attitude.

So now the golden question is, do you have what it takes to compete? If you don't know, let's go over a few key aspects.

-Have you been training more than a year?

-Is your body fat 25% or lower?

-Can you eat strict?

-Can you resist temptation?

-Can you be true to yourself?

-Can you set and achieve goals?

-Are you willing to put in the necessary time for training and dieting?

-Can you manage the stress of contest preparation?

-Can you prepare yourself or do you need a trainer?

These are just a few of the basic questions to get you started. There is an entire different field to contest preparation which involves body assessment, training, cardio, dieting, mental preparation, and much, much more.

Attend a Contest to Compete

It would be in your best interest to attend a local bodybuilding show in your area to see what real competitors actually look like. You may be surprised to discover they may not be huge with bulging muscles and ripped to shreds. Most are average in great condition and the added skin dye and bright stage lights create an enhanced illusion.

Too many people have pre-conceived idea that bodybuilders, or any other competitors, must be completely flawless. Let me tell you, everyone up there has their weak body parts and strong body parts. The job of the competitor is to hide their weak areas and enhance their strong points.

Take notice of each category competing, and how they walk on stage, how they pose, and their rapport with the judges and audience. Take your own personal judging sheet and see how you score each in relation to the judges.

Do You Have What It Takes To Compete In addition to attending a local contest, you will be less likely to compare yourself to professional levels athletes and create unrealistic expectations of yourself.

Body Type to Compete

First, take a look at your body type. Are you an ectomorph, mesomorph, or endomorph? Determining your body types serves as a guide in creating a dieting, training, and cardio plan. Notice I said guideline and not the determining diet and training factor.

If you are an ectomorph you are a hard gainer, like myself. You will benefit greatly from more calories from clean food, training approximately 3 to 4 days a week, using heavy poundage in the 4 to 8 rep range. The idea is to build muscle on that small frame. Keep a close eye on cardio to ensure you are not over doing it.

If you are a mesomorph, I envy you. You are genetically gifted and muscle gains come easily. Keep eating clean and train about 4 days a week varying sets and reps, as well as exercises. Constant shock works well on this body type. Cardio need not be too taxing, perhaps crank up the intensity about eight weeks out.

An endomorph gains weight easily and has a hard time losing fat. Diet is most important. This body type needs more training and cardio sessions to kick the metabolism up and keep it there. Training should be about 5 times a week and cardio 5 to 6 times a week.

Take Stats and Watch the Mirror to Compete

Taking stats (weight and body fat percentage) is another guideline in the road to the competitive stage. While having good and accurate numbers are effective in getting you into contest shape, don't get too hung up in them. I have seen ladies literally stress themselves out over their numbers to where the stress they create ceases results.

Many people, knowing better, watch the scale so intently, and when it goes up in weight, they fail to realize that it's an increase in muscle weight. This is a GOOD thing. I don't care what you weigh on stage, that doesn't matter. Your goal should be to get your body fat down, not just scale weight.

Physique shows are the sport of illusion. With that said, you need to also put focus on the mirror, how clothes fit, and comments you receive from a trained eye.

I have competed at 106 and placed third before, 122 and placed second, and 115 and 117 and placed first and won overall. It's not about how much you weigh, but it's how you look and how low you get your body fat down, without looking drawn-out.

There is a lot to cover when it comes to taking your body to the competitive level, but you can do it. You just have to have a willingness to do it. How bad do you want it?

Check out Spice and Biker Chick. They did their first competitions last year. They both had a driven goal and they did what it took to get to the finish line.

So, before you go thinking you can't, think again.

About The Author

Karen Sessions has been in the fitness industry since 1988 and is a certified personal fitness instructor and specialist in performance nutrition. She is a nationally qualified natural female bodybuilder, holding numerous titles in the southern states including two overalls.

Karen has written six e-books on fitness. She also writes articles for several fitness websites, and distributes two monthly newsletters regarding weight loss and female bodybuilding.

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