The first factor that will determine your success during competition prep is training.
Your success while you are training during competition prep will be determined by your consistency, discipline, and focus on progression. When it comes to building your physique from the root to the fruit, it starts with training. Consistent, hard training over time and during contest prep, is what will allow you to build a strong, complete physique.
But you cannot just walk into a gym and start doing whatever you want to do before a contest. Many so-called bodybuilders who use that method do not come anywhere close to building the physique that they want. They unfortunately end up spinning their wheels for years and either reach the stage with a subpar physique or never reach the stage at all.
After a bad performance on stage, most of these bodybuilders will just give up and fade away into the dustbins of bodybuilding oblivion.
The truth of the matter is that for training to be a successful endeavor you need consistency, discipline, and progression.
1) You Must Be Consistent And Disciplined
If you are not willing to be consistent with your training during contest prep, you can stop reading right now. You won’t ever build a great or even a good physique. And you definitely will not reach the stage.
Giving a consistent, quality effort over time is what separates the contenders from the pretenders. It takes years of consistent, progressive training to build a viable physique that is worthy of the stage.
Along this journey there will be days during contest prep where you don’t feel like training. But how you feel doesn’t matter or change the fact that when you skip workouts you lose ground on your journey.
I have days where I don’t feel great during competition prep but, on those days, I don’t skip training if a session is scheduled for that day. I may have to lower my expectations on how much weight I can lift or how many reps/sets I can do that day, but I still show up. That’s called having discipline.
Showing up is half of the battle. And it’s for dang sure better than sitting on the couch and feeling sorry for myself. The Earth is not going to stop spinning because you or I don’t feel like it.
Plus, if I don’t feel like it, and I lose my discipline, I’m 100 percent sure that my competition during prep will feel like it and gain ground on me. The wolf climbing the hill is hungrier than the wolf already at the top of the hill. Keep climbing.
2) You Must Commit To Discipline Instead Of Motivation
Motivation is great because being motivated can absolutely get you to started off in the early weeks of contest prep. And in those first few weeks, you have the ability to see predictable results in terms of fat loss and muscle retention. This is because you are fueled by the motivation to get on stage.
But after that initial burst of dopamine and adjusting to training, motivation naturally wanes. Your results begin to slow down, despite you being consistent. Training starts to become significantly tougher as you lose body fat and are reducing your calories. And when the motivation wanes and the results don’t come as fast, many bodybuilders get discouraged.
Some will quit and go back to “bulking.” Some will turn to anabolic steroids to keep the dramatic gains coming. But the truth here is that the slowdown that occurs during contest prep is just a part of training. Again, this is where discipline comes in.
When you have the discipline to reach your goals, you will continue to train regardless of slower progression, poor weather, or a busy day. You still train because nothing can stop you on your road to success.
The most successful bodybuilders in the world are on top, and not just because of genetics and steroids. They are on top because they are more disciplined than their competition. When their competitors take days off, or cheat on their diet, or skimp on sleep, you can be guaranteed that the cream of the crop is not doing those things.
3) You Must Focus On Progression
If your training program is not progressive, you will be going nowhere fast.
Walking into the gym and doing a bunch of random stuff or following the latest social media “workout” is not ideal for building a great physique worthy of the stage. Having a plan of action and being prepared is what will give you a blueprint for attaining your goal.
The best way to make consistent progress is to track your workouts. You can use a notebook or your phone to keep track of your sessions. I’m old school when it comes to tracking my lifting workouts, so I like to write it down in a notebook.
When you track your workout, you can see the changes in weight and reps over time. These changes, if they are going in the right direction, will result in a stronger and more muscular physique.
The lifter who increases their weight in the squat over time is going to have bigger and thicker legs than the lifter who is always squatting the same weight and never trying to improve.
Consistency, discipline, and progression are the pillars to having success with your training.
If you display consistency in the gym, are disciplined with your workouts, and progressive with your exercises, it’s only a matter of time before you build a physique that is ready for the stage.
I’ll holla at you next time.
The People’s Trainer,