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Friday, June 14, 2013


Now that summer is finally here, the bodybuilding competition season has finally started. There are many competitions and categories out there, and no matter what level you aim to compete in, extended physical, mental and nutritional training is needed to be properly prepared for the contest day.

But what is needed for the appropriate preparation for a bodybuilding contest? How do you decided in which category to compete in? How do you choose the competition and level to compete in? On the contest day, how do you know if you are ready or not?

The first question will be answered last. First of all there is no right or wrong training, nutrition or supplementation. If periodization of training and nutrition are used, you are able to get to know your body, and test methods, techniques and types of training and different diets and supplementation to see what works the best for you. What might work for one person might be counterproductive for another due to differences of each individual. What needs to be done is get the max results of your body for the category that you are preparing for. This is why many may end up disappointed with the final results and the coaching that they received. But most do not trust their own instincts about what they know about their own body. With time, comes experience and an athlete to enter in his/her best form will always need coaching and nutritional orientation because with each competition the body changes.  

Today when you arrive at a competition there are so many categories to choose from, and each one can be divided into age group, so you may see some participating in two or three events. But is this fair? There is a lack of definition as to what category an individual can or should participate in. Because there are so many categories in each competition you will see athletes jumping from one to another or even participating in two or more events. There should be general guidelines as to what is being looked at in each bodybuilding category when the line-up is on stage. Sometimes there is a minimal difference between athletes, especially those who are participating in the women’s Physique or Figure, or Lightweight women’s bodybuilding or physique. The pre-competition phase can become frustrating due to this because on top of all that preparation the athlete has to worry about exactly what will be looked at by the judges.

Then there are the different Bodybuilding Federations with unique requirements. It is understandable that there is a need to divide amateur and professional levels and in order to get to the professional level, placing well in the event will qualify the athlete for the next level up, like in any other sport. But the different Federations should come together and define parameters for each category so that the judging of physical appearance and condition of the body will be similar for the same categories no matter what Federation is promoting the competition. 

Competitions have changed from when Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lou Ferrigno and Lee Haney were competing. Yes the health world has evolved with the continuing research in exercise and nutrition and so have the competitions, but there is no prediction as to what will happen in the competition, for it will always have the hand of human judging in the defining results. In the future guidelines must be set as to how to judge can be formed, but the dedication of the athlete will never change.  

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