Fit For Stage: There Is A Difference

Originally published on on Wednesday, 20 November 2013

We all know that the general population is pretty resistant to the idea of packing on the massive amounts of muscle which are seen in men’s and women’s bodybuilding. This has made the men’s physique and bikini divisions incredibly enticing since these divisions are represented by a lesser degree of muscularity. However, it drives me nuts when I hear people proclaim that they are going to jump onstage and compete simply because they are reasonably fit.

I am not referring to people who have realistic expectations and who understand that there is a tremendous amount of work and prep that must go into delivering a great package onstage. I am referring to the self-assured, short-sighted individual who thinks that he or she represents the division without recognizing areas which need to be fine-tuned.

I have recently heard a number of fit individuals tell me that they feel they are ready to hit the stage without any preparation or fine-tuning since, in their minds, there is no distinction between what they have to offer and what competitors work so hard to achieve. To me this is an extremely disrespectful approach to the sport.

Those of us who compete are constantly aware of the need to achieve a personal best and take being onstage and representing our divisions very seriously. We understand that the work needs to be put in if we need to round out pec development, work on taper, or fine tune our level of conditioning. So when some newbie comes along expecting to grab a spare pair of board shorts, slap on a Mystic tan and rock the stage, I can’t help but snicker. I know that the newbie who adopts such a cocky attitude can be found dejected post-contest, shocked that his fit body didn’t take down the rest of the competition.

If you have yet to compete and have yourself convinced that you have nothing to learn about the division or the culture, you need to abandon such an attitude and instead learn some humility. There are so many outstanding representatives of the sport who are willing to guide new competitors and offer constructive criticism that you would be foolish not to avail yourself of their experience and knowledge. Make the journey one in which you LEARN and GROW.

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