Scales Don’t Measure Aesthetics


NoScaleSlideRecently, I jumped back on the NPC stage for the first time since July of 2013 where I was in the second callouts of Team Universe. Many would say that this was the best I have ever looked in the two years I have been competing in Men’s Physique. After I came off the stage with my first place trophy, which was the first time getting 1st, I had people asking a lot of questions. The most asked question during my birthday weekend (Aaaw yeah, hello 30!) was “Jay Hall, how much did you weigh on stage?” My answer was simple: “I have no idea.”

I lost a lot of weight before I started competing in the NPC. I was a little over 220 while playing strong safety and special teams in junior college. So when I jumped onstage in the 2012 Border States in San Diego weighing 192 pounds in Class D, I felt great and proud yet I was in the 3rd callout. I thought surely the answer was to lose more weight and I did and competed in the Las Vegas Classic where I again was in the 3rd callout even though I got down to 184 pounds.

That was the last time I truly cared what the scale said. Many physique competitors are too concerned about the numbers on the scale. Some of this is because their coaches want them to weigh themselves weekly. I’m not a fan of this method because there is much to think about during contest prep and having that weekly doomsday of having to get on the scale can be counterproductive.

Eventually, the competitor isn’t thinking about the look they are trying to achieve and begins to focus on making the number go down in their weekly weigh-in. Some may then eat less, or trim off some of their carbs despite not being told to do so by their coach. This gets athletes off their plan and makes things more difficult for their coach.

My coach, Terry Placker, head coach and CEO of Team Fidelis, told me that he has yet to see a head judge go on stage and have competitors step on a scale during 1st callout. Since he is dedicated to helping me for the long haul to reach the ranks of the IFBB, me keeping my sanity is also one of his priorities. Not once during my prep did he ever have me step on a scale.

I often tell new competitors that if you look in the mirror and you see veins, and striations in places you didn’t see them before then you are clearly losing body fat and are on the right track. Sometimes in the gym someone from social media will ask me “If I’m 195 right now, how much do I need to weigh to do well.” My answer, which always frustrates them: “Man I have no idea.”

Men’s physique is NOT a weight loss contest, nor is it an abs contest. The answer is right there in the name…”Physique”! What kind of…PHYSIQUE do you bring to the table?

One of my friends, Spencer Atkins, down in San Diego recently placed 4th in his first National Show – The USA’s in Las Vegas – and he was the heaviest he’s ever been on stage and looked GREAT! Again, lighter does not mean better. My last prep I stepped on the scale in the beginning and then again at about 6 weeks out and the difference was 20 pounds and that was the last time I got in a scale.

Lastly, instead of chasing a number you should look to attain a physique that YOU are ultimately proud of. If that physique is truly aesthetically pleasing to you then you will often find that the judges will think so as well.

May the Gainz be with you!

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