Whether you are training hard as a bodybuilder or physique competitor, our sport is largely an individual sport where one is often left to figure it all out on their own and, compared to other pursuits, a greater number of things can, and will go wrong along the path to success.
For example, the pre-competition phase demands a number of critical steps to be followed before one steps onstage: diet, training, supplementation, posing and mindset all need to be worked on and perfected before competitive success can be realized...
It happens to all of us, no matter who we are; the feeling as if we are going through the motions. Those times when we’re not quite sure why we are doing what we are doing, and instead of acknowledging just how far we have come, we dwell on how far we have to go. During these times one of the most important things we can do is to find our Why!
Our Why is one of the most important things that we all have. It is the deep-seeded reason for what we do in our lives and what keeps us going when things get tough! However if we do not have a strong enough Why, we will lack the motivation to keep us moving forward. Our Why must be something that we are highly attached to and willing to protect at all costs!
The cyclical nature of things is very real and no different within the fitness community. One thing that seems to come to the forefront every so often is drama, but it certainly doesn’t have to! It seems anytime there is a mass of people doing one thing that spreads rather fast, many are waiting to combat it without even really looking into it. We must remember that there really aren’t a lot of absolutely brand new things being done; they just may have not been done in great numbers previously or in a while. We must also remember that for something to catch momentum there really must be something to it and that is where we should focus our efforts!
There have been many occasions in which I have heard a freshly nationally ranked NPC competitor declare that he or she will hit the national stage and easily snap up an IFBB Pro Card. While I applaud the competitor’s enthusiasm and drive, I cannot help but snicker to myself when I hear such a statement. Honestly, if it were that easy to earn a Pro Card, there would be Pros populating the country in droves. Alas, there are only a finite number of Pro Cards given out each year, and the competition for them is fierce.
I’ve been involved in athletics and competition ever since high school, so I wanted to continue that athletic mindset after I graduated from college. I ran track in high school and in collegiate competitions, but there was no way I'd ever be fast enough to line up against Usain Bolt! Fortunately, I graduated into being a full-time gym-rat and personal trainer. And after being surrounded by various Men’s Physique Division competitors and bodybuilders it was only a matter of time before I made the choice to compete.
Be aware, if you're seriously intrigued with the idea of competing in Men’s Physique then you should give it serious consideration. Personal relationships can suffer. Your friends might not understand why you can't join them for pizza and beer. Unless your significant other is vested in the fitness lifestyle as well, you could very well come to blows when carbs are cut and cardio is high...
One common occurrence that seems to accompany the competitive lifestyle is the yo-yo effect, or that of experiencing extreme highs followed by extreme lows! Anyone who has been around this realm for even a small amount of time witnesses this and honestly, it does not have to be this way!
Extreme swings not only hurt your physical gains, but also your mental outlook, health, career, relationships, etc. So why do these extreme swings occur?
Are you Ready to achieve a New Level of Success? – “Breaking the Mental Inertia”
What do Olympic athletes and other pro athletes know or do that normal athletes don't? They know as much or perhaps a bit more than most athletes with regards to training regimen, nutrition, and mechanics; however, they behave much differently. They do what they know, and master each aspect of training. The aspect that Olympic and other pro athletes master is their mindset.
Are you ready to achieve a new level of success in some aspect of your life?
I would like to thank everyone again. The response I have received since I started this 3-part series has been incredible. I appreciate you guys telling me your stories and letting me know how powerful this has been for you. I've had quite a few of you tell me how a light bulb went off after reading the first two parts. The realization that it wasn't your fault, but your coaches fault that you weren't in shape in time for stage or for looking better the week before. Here are some more bodybuilding myths:
Eat every 2 1/2 hours or your metabolism will slow down...
When do you know you’re ready? How do I even get started on my journey? If you’re like me, you probably asked this question to yourself time and time again . Every competitor has to start somewhere, but how do you know where to start? Where do you go? When do you know it’s your time to take the stage?
I’m here to share my “in progress” journey; my trials and tribulations, successes and failures and everything along the way...
In my first segment I was on a train bound for NYC to meet up with Mike Lyons and Adam Silver of Silver Model Management. It was just two days after winning my class at the NPC Rhode Island Championships and I was doing everything in my power not to eat everything in sight! I ended up having a great meeting with Mike and Adam and I am now in the process of updating my portfolio so that I can start getting some modeling work as a Silver Model. I feel very excited and feeling blessed to have such an amazing opportunity.
If you’re a fitness competitor or someone who’s taken their body to a place most haven’t, then you know the commitment and focus it takes to get “cut.” Sacrifice, blood, sweat, and tears are all part of the process. But, does it mean you can’t have social life while dialing it in?
There are several truisms in life that if followed will certainly lead us down a path of happiness, success, and fulfillment, at times they may seem difficult. In reality though, each time we stray from these is where things go wrong and really get difficult. One of the foundations on which all other things are built is the principle of “Always Doing OUR Best.” This is something that may take a bit longer at times, but in the end it saves us so much time and allows us to ultimately be fulfilled by what we have done!
When it comes to improving ourselves and building a better body inside and out its funny how we can often be met with resistance from those that we expected would be there to support our changes. The good news if you have found yourself in this situation is that you are certainly not alone. Having negative experiences with those around you about the healthier choices you are trying to make can easily derail you on the road to the physique and lifestyle you ultimately want to lead. This is why it is so important to make a conscious decision to surround yourself with those people who will only serve to uplift and support you during the difficult journey of true lifestyle change.
It's a sunny and crisp day in early June and I'm on a train headed to NYC for a long overdue meeting with Mike Lyons of Silver Model Management. Last year after competing in the IFBB North American Championships, which was my second time competing at a national level show, Mike had asked me to come down to meet with him and the Silver Team. I had submitted some photographs through Silver's website and was fortunate enough to catch the Creative Director's attention. Unfortunately for me the timing was bad....my Wife was due at any time with our first child, Sophia, and I simply had too many responsibilities that needed my attention.
Fast forward 7 months to May 5th, 2013...
I would first like to thank everyone who wrote me to let me know they enjoyed Part I. Without you guys I would not have the opportunity to write these articles. Thank you again and please keep the comments, thoughts, and questions coming. So here are some more bodybuilding myths:
• The only way to get shredded is fish and veggies: While tilapia and broccoli are excellent foods to eat anytime, the tilapia and broccoli diet to get lean is not necessary and honestly is just unhealthy. Your body won’t receive enough nutrition or calories. Your body is bound to go into starvation mode and a catabolic state. Weeks of this type of diet and large amounts of cardio will burn muscle mass quicker than you can imagine!
Motivation is a psychological feature that encourages an individual to act towards a desired goal. It could be the simple fact of seeing someone else lifting or squatting more than you which could motivate you, or maybe it’s because you are trying to impress the cute girl on the treadmill. Whatever it may be, there are motivational elements all around us.
Motivation is a very important factor in elite level sports for the simple reason it’s what makes you do what you do. If you’re not motivated to be the absolute best you can be, then you will definitely fall far short of that which you are capable.
There are two particular types of motivation, Intrinsic and Extrinsic.
Ever since I starting bodybuilding over 12 years ago, I have heard the same bodybuilding myths and advice over and over again. Things like; you have to do hours of low intensity, fasted cardio, don’t eat carbs 3 hours before bed, no fruit during contest prep, and my favorite……no water day of show. I thought I would touch on some of these myths and get to the truth.
Competitors often deal with changes in their meal plans which may result in breath that isn’t always the freshest. The problem is that the most readily available commercial breath freshening mints have sugar or artificial sweeteners which can cause bloating and potentially jeopardize a contest prep plan if consumed frequently. Luckily, there are a number of natural food substances which are very effective at freshening the breath and which are also safe to consume during contest prep. Try any of the following in place of mints or mouthwashes.
Here we are again in the full swing of competition season, the winter months are over and it’s time to show or begin to prepare to show all of the hard work that’s been going on in the off season! With this comes different demands and many who have competed before know that at times you may question why you are doing it or just can’t understand why you feel a bit drained as your competition draws near. There is however one thing that above all will always guarantee you an unlimited supply of energy: EXCITEMENT!
Do you have anyone in your circle of friends or family who are constantly harping about the negative? These are the people who don't understand why you are doing something and talk about all the things wrong with what you are trying to accomplish. I have certainly had my share over the years. When I was in endurance sports for so long and decided to train for my first marathon...many people asked "why in the world would you want to put yourself through that?" They would make fun of the long hours of running I needed to do to get ready for the race. When I decided then to do my first Ironman, the negative responses grew even louder. "You want to do WHAT...for a 140.6 miles?!??" They question my sanity, why I focused so much time and effort into the sport. Why I would do century rides on Saturday mornings, or 13 mile runs on Sundays. In time, I just had to reject the negativity and move forward. It would have been much easier if they all felt the need to give me some positive feedback, but I understand that some people will never change.
Why do I compete if it’s not to “WIN” or turn PRO?
The way I live my life is my statement to the world, representing by living values, beliefs, and aspirations. I’m defined by three core values FAMILY, COUNTRY & HONOR.
Many things are within control, and some things are out of my control. Knowing the difference gives two options: Surrender or die trying.
One and a half months out from the Governor’s Cup my knee gives way during a lateral movement. An MRI and Ultra Sound Reveals a meniscus tear and ACL Tear.