I’ve just spent the last 12 weeks training for my very first men’s physique competition.
It’s something I’ve always wanted to do that’s been on my bucket list for quite some time.
The entire 12 weeks (all the training, planning, food prep, etc) leading up to the competition was one of the best experiences of my life.
Something I believe everyone should get the change to experience at least once in their life.
The experience changed how I think and what I feel – It’ll change you too.
Training For Your First Fitness Competition
It’s possible you’ve considered training for your own fitness competition at one point or another. Whether it’s a men’s physique competition like the one I did or a bikini competition like my girlfriend Kristen did.
You also may be thinking to yourself, “no way in hell” would I ever want to participate in such an event.
Going into it, I had no idea what to expect as far as how and what I’d feel with all of the training that was involved with preparing me for the competition.
I had mixed feelings going into it.
I was excited, scared, timid, nervous, anxious, happy – a smorgasbord of different feelings.
Highs & Lows
There were also some highs and lows during the 12 weeks of training.
The highs included feelings of excitement and energy by the progress I could feel and see myself making in the gym and in the mirror.
The lows came from the routine of 6 days of hard training per week and limited social life due to the alcohol and cheat food constraints.
There were times I felt fired up, strong, and on top of my game.
There were other times I questioned why I was doing what I was doing and if I should continue.
It was definitely a physical and emotional roller coaster ride the entire time.
At this point, you’re probably asking yourself… “if it was that much of a roller coaster ride, why exactly do I believe everyone should go through such an experience?” Great question – I’ll tell you why.
Now that the training is over and the competition is behind me – I’ve had a chance to reflect on the whole experience.
As I think back to those 12 weeks of training, all the work, challenges, the ups and downs, I’m met with an overwhelming feeling of joy, fulfillment, and gratitude.
Feelings so powerful and awesome they bring me close to tears.
This experience was so much more than just a fitness competition and checking off another item on my bucket list.
There’s seven specific reasons that made this experience so incredibly valuable.
It’s these seven reasons why I believe everyone should train for a fitness competition so that they too can have the same amazing experience and feeling I was able to have.
I’ll share all seven with you here now.
It’s not like I had bad eating and exercise habits before, but training for this men’s physique competition really made me commit to health habits that served me well during my 12 weeks of training.
Some of these habits included taking essential daily vitamins, drinking a gallon of water per day, eating regularly every couple of hours, and exercising consistently (6 days per week).
Just one of these habits alone has the ability to impact your health let alone committing to completing every singe one on a daily basis.
Every morning when the alarm clock went off at 5AM, there was never a question of whether or not I would get up and head to the gym regardless of how tired and exhausted I might have felt. It was automatic. There was no questioning it – I was going.
The discipline of eating every couple of hours and planning for the times I wouldn’t be home. That meant prepping food to take with me on the road. There was absolutely no skipping meals, it just wasn’t an option.
The discipline to abstain from having alcohol, including wine and cheese which I love. Staying away from all of the tempting desserts and foods that were not part of my nutrition plan the entire time.
Pushing past my limits in the gym with different exercises and weight I never imagined I’d be able to lift.
Drinking a gallon of water per day where I use to struggle and be uncomfortable drinking just half of that amount. At one point, during peak week (week before competition) I was up to drinking two gallons of water per day. What? It’s true.
Stepping on stage with other competitors who’ve also worked their asses off to be there and look their best. Standing beside them in front of hundreds of people screaming and cheering while several judges take note of your poses and score you.
I learned more about nutrition, nutrients, muscle building and fat burning in these 12 weeks than I did in all of my undergraduate and graduate health classes combined.
There’s a big difference between reading ideas, laws, and theories about health and nutrition and actually applying these concepts to your own body and seeing the results come to life.
Understanding how eating different amounts of carbs, proteins and fats and drinking more water effects the body. It’s effects on how I look and feel, and the changes the body makes when you alter these amounts.
As the weeks went on, I began to feel stronger with my workouts. This gave the the confidence to do more, push more, and work even harder knowing I could handle it.
I began to understand exactly how and what to eat to have my body react the way I wanted it to.
Whether it was to burn more fat, have more energy, or have more of a pump in my muscles during my workouts.
Stepping on stage with other fitness competitors while hundreds of people are screaming and cheering and judges are taking score no longer bothered me. In fact, the thought began to excite me.
I felt a sense of accomplishment not just after completing the competition, but every single day during my 12 weeks of training.
I felt a sense of accomplishment for every meal I ate with the appropriate amount of nutrients. For every weight training session I completed, every cardio workout, every gallon of water I drank.
I felt a sense of accomplishment every single day with each one of these individual training goals that I completed. It was and still is an awesome feeling.
During my 12 weeks of training, I had numerous people reach out to me telling me that my decision to train for a men’s physique competition inspired them to take action on their own fitness goals.
I had others reach out to me asking me about my workouts and what and how I was eating. Although they did not want to do a fitness competition, they did want the benefits the training provided.
I also had a few guys reach out to me asking for advice and suggestions on what to eat and how to train since they too were training for their first fitness competition and had came across me mentioning my training on The Wellness Bucket.
What started out as my attempt to fulfill an item on my bucket list, turned into something so much more than I could have ever imagined.
The fears I faced, the confidence I gained, the knowledge I acquired, the sense of accomplishment I felt, and the difference I’ve been able to make in the lives of others all because of my decision to compete in a fitness competition… it blows me away just thinking about it.
I’m grateful and extremely thankful that I got the opportunity to have such an experience.
I believe you too can have the same experience.
If you’re willing to put in the time, make the sacrifices, work hard, persist, push harder when it gets tough, keep going when you want to quite.
When you commit to all of this and see it through, you will never be the same.
The person you become during your training is the biggest reward of all.
On the day of your competition, you’ll already have won before ever stepping foot onstage.
I encourage you to consider it.
I promise to help and support you in any way I can if you do decide to take on this challenge.
There’s nothing you can’t do.