How Bodybuilders Prepare for a Competition


Bodybuilding is a sport that exacts commitment, will and dedication from its participants. It takes a lot of time, training and a special diet to ensure that bodybuilders achieve the kind of form and physique needed to compete.

Contrary to popular belief, bodybuilding isn’t all about bulking up and having bulging muscles. There are strict criteria on how well developed the muscle groups should be or how they are attained. Steroids are strictly prohibited in bodybuilding competitions, and this is why bodybuilders take the long and tedious route when training.

Starting Training

Training for a bodybuilding competition often starts months or years ahead of the actual event, depending on the level of bodybuilding sport. Once training starts, one has to devote a great deal of time to personal fitness, the right diet and training. Besides developing muscles, bodybuilders also train for strength and stamina.

In Seattle, bodybuilders have personal training sessions with coaches to plan their workout for the next weeks or months. Muscles also need rest and time to develop, so pumping iron every day won’t do the job. Instead, bodybuilders also do other forms of physical activity such as spinning, CrossFit or boxing.

Bodybuilding Diet

The most typical diet for bodybuilders consists of high-protein foods that help build their muscles faster. They often consume high-fiber foods that help stabilize stomach health, high carbohydrates for added energy and low fat to avoid weight gain. Protein shakes and powder supplements are also encouraged as long as they are natural.

Before the competition, bodybuilders take in less salt to prevent water retention in the muscles. They need to be lean and taut so the definition and cuts of the muscles will easily be seen.

Form and Poses

Bodybuilding competitions are also known for the form and poses that show off muscles and definition in the body. In the weeks leading to the competition, bodybuilders practice and perfect their poses to impress the judges. Interestingly, poses are also employed in between training sets to speed muscle growth.

These are no ordinary poses, though. These hard poses stretch the protective sheath that envelops the muscles. They pose to accentuate how firm and hard the muscles have become because of the training. The judges look at this definition during the competition proper.

The eight required poses during bodybuilding events are quarter turns, front abdominal and thigh, side triceps, front double biceps, side chest, rear double biceps, side triceps, rear lat spread and front lat spread. These are the most muscular groups in the body. A competitor may be asked to repeat certain poses or pose side by side with another contestant during the judging.

Bodybuilding Limits

Bodybuilder resting on a bench
Bodybuilding limits consist of strength, endurance, reflexes, speed and muscle mass. Regardless of how hard you train, once you have reached your limit, you can’t just go beyond that. It is important to respect your body and treat it with care. Bodybuilders still train and exercise even when they are not competing. This is how dedicated and committed they are to taking care of their bodies and staying in shape.

With the right diet, determination, and mindset you can do well in a bodybuilding competition. However, don’t expect things to happen overnight. Start training early and slowly work your way to the competition level.

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