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Ladies, 6 reasons NOT to take part in competitions

Ladies, 6 Gründe dafür NICHT an Wettkämpfen teilzunehmen

Any woman can compete on stage if she pays the competition fee. It doesn't matter how good you are. This is part of the appeal of the sport. And it opens the door to anyone, including people with a distorted sense of self, who really have no business making an already crowded competition stage even more crowded.

6 reasons not to compete

If the following doesn't apply to you, then you probably have the green light to go on stage. I said probably. It's like having kids - just because you can doesn't mean you should. There are a lot of things to consider.

1 - Winning is not important to you

Competing is not an opportunity for physical validation. It's not a place to show everyone else how much weight you've lost and it's not a place for your trainer to show off your achievements. It's a way to the top. You don't enter a Formula 1 race to see if you can park straight. There's this idea that competing serves many purposes other than winning - like transforming your body, seeing if you can do it, building confidence, having fun, or whatever. However, I belong to the school that believes you compete to win.

Competitions - especially at a national level and at the professional level - are serious business. Shame on those who abuse legitimate competitions for any selfish goal other than winning and stride onto the stage in any other form than that of a winner. I don't prepare athletes for second or third place or top 5. No coach should do that.

Either you compete to win or you shouldn't waste your time, the spectators' time, the judges' time and the other competitors' time. I'm tired of seeing people on stage who are fat, have no muscles, look sloppy, can't pose and have no charisma.

What many don't understand is that it's not the competition itself that defines the competitor, it's the competition preparation. As simple as contest prep may sound - dieting away nearly all body fat while maintaining as much muscle mass as possible - it's actually probably the hardest and toughest thing most competitors will do in their lives.

I've climbed the cliffs in Yosemite Valley, crossed Borneo on foot, passed survival school by finding my way back to civilization after 7 days with only the clothes on my body, raised 3 kids (2 of them girls), been a single dad, and gone through two divorces. And I would do all of this 50 more times before I would ever prepare for a bodybuilding competition again. That's how hard it is.

2 - You can't get through the diet

The most important and obvious reason for not competing is not being able to get through the diet. Insomnia, spontaneous crying fits, emotional breakdowns, unbearable bouts of hunger, repeatedly breaking off and on again with your partner, zombie-like behavior, completely irrational thoughts and escalating body dysmorphia are just some of the problems women experience during a strict competitive diet.

I rarely had dieting issues with the men I trained. Most of them would have robotically eaten sand if I had told them to. Women are a different story. And since a minimal body fat percentage is an important prerequisite for competing, the ability to sustain a competitive diet is a basic requirement for any woman's success on the competitive stage. Unlike men, women have a deep emotional connection to food. Over the last few decades I have prepared hundreds of competitors for competitions - most of them women - so I speak from experience. There was one competitor, for example, who had a penchant for peanut butter. This is nothing unusual. This young woman thought she could control her passion for her beloved peanut butter by handing the jar to her neighbor for safekeeping after indulging in a meager tablespoon of it. Well, on one particular day, the urge for an extra spoonful of this treat became unbearable an hour after her last meal. She rang her neighbor's doorbell to get the jar of peanut butter, but he had already left for work. Twenty minutes later, she came back with a ladder, broke into his house, stole the jar of peanut butter and ate half of it.

I've found cookie crumbs in the cracks of driver's seats of a contestant's car and candy bar wrappers in the trash. I've padlocked fridges and pulled stacks of junk food from under beds. The ways in which women try to cheat on their diets are as creative as they are hypocritical.

Initially, these issues tend to encourage a degree of strong self-control, but can soon after degenerate and quickly spiral out of control - it's not uncommon for female competitors to find themselves headfirst into an insulin coma 2 weeks before the competition, in the remains of a chocolate cake with ice cream and extra cream. Even if you occasionally hear of a man who finds himself in a similar situation, statistically speaking, more women start competition diets than women successfully finish competition diets. Certainly everyone starts with the best of intentions, but when reality rears its increasingly ugly head, the situation becomes difficult to unbearable. Others cope quite well. If you are one of those lucky few, then competing is an option for you.

3 - You're not built for it

Just because you love this sport doesn't mean it loves you. Mother Nature can be a disdainful character. And some women can diet all they want and will still have narrow collarbones, wide hips, a thick waist, skinny legs, no calves, shapeless abs, bony shoulders and a flat butt - traits that even the best trainer couldn't eradicate in 20 years. You can improve your physique to a certain extent, but you can't change it completely.

And, of course, you can't go into revision and hope to change the current ideal image. Either you fit into this ideal image or you don't. And then there is a special caveat for competitors in the bikini class - you must have breasts. There are no flat-chested professional bikini champions. If your class is defined in part by strategic curves and you don't have them, and can't develop them, then you're fooling yourself. It sounds cruel, unfair, chauvinistic, sexist and mean, but that's life. If you want to go out for ice cream, you're not going to settle for tapioca. If you don't have the necessary genetic characteristics that make up the ideal image, then your political or emotional standpoint on the subject won't change anything.

Even though it may seem noble to stand by what you believe in, the judges will not agree with you. You must have what is necessary. You can have the best trainer, the best nutrition guru, the most effective performance-enhancing drugs and supplements, the best hair extensions, the best makeup, a perfect suntan and the elegance and agility of a cat on stage with so much sex appeal that a bishop would kick a hole in a church window - but you will never be able to compensate for your unfavorable genetic predispositions with all this. You need to have the right foundation to build on. If not, then competitions of this kind are not for you.

4 - You lack muscle

While bikini girls are expected to have the least muscle mass and bodybuilders are expected to have the most muscle mass, each class has a certain ideal and all expect a certain level of muscularity. A muscular body is the backbone of all classes - complete muscularity and balanced symmetry. You need to have well-defined muscles all over your body, including your abs. A flat butt does not make you a winner. If you don't have well-developed muscle groups and body parts that reflect the ideal image of the class you are competing in, then you should stay off the stage. If you have a weakness in your development, then even if you love your sport, you should not compete until you have corrected that weakness.

Competing should be reserved for those who have the necessary physical development in extremely good shape down to the last detail. If you do not have such development, then stay off the stage until you have developed it. You are competing to win. That is the point. If you're not there yet, then wait until you are.

5 - You don't have the necessary money

Finances are an obstacle that should keep some athletes off the stage. You should be ready when you step on stage and by this I don't just mean good body development, but the full package. This doesn't just mean a killer body in an extremely stylish bikini, but also hair, nails, professional makeup, high heels, tan, entry fees, hotel costs, food - the list goes on. And that's just the day of the competition.

Add up the cost of preparation: the coach, the choreographer or posing coach, food, supplements and performance enhancing drugs (yes, even bikini girls use performance enhancing substances). The list goes on, especially when unexpected events occur. And looking for shortcuts will only give your competition a head start. If you think you can apply your own fake tan backstage, that you can sleep in your car, that you can borrow a bikini on the day of the show, and that you can just put your hair up, then you've already squandered any edge you may have had.

My wife is an IFBB pro in the figure class. So I can tell you from experience that, as frugal as she is, it cost a fortune to get to the pros. And she had a sponsor who covered part of the costs. You have to do everything at a very high level. If you don't, you're just wasting your time. There is no place where you can be stingy without it being very obvious.

And don't think for a second that your friends are going to pay into your support fund to finance your way onto the stage.

6 - You are nothing special

I have to pick on the bikini girls for a second. There is no other competition class that attracts more competitors than the bikini class. At any given competition, you will see 25 times more bikini competitors than competitors in other classes. The reason for this is that a bikini competition is a walk in the park compared to all other classes. Even though training with weights, cardio, nutrition and maybe even a few performance enhancing substances should pave the way to the stage, the reality is that many bikini girls look like they have prepared for the competition with coke and plastic surgery.

And nowadays, a girl blessed with a good physique who works as a waitress in a pool bar can proudly promote herself on social media as an NPC bikini competitor without ever having seen the inside of a gym. At least that's how it seems. And this is usually an insult to legitimate competitive female athletes in other classes who have an exponentially harder and more difficult road to get to the stage. Here's what happens: A gal with a serviceable body starts training with weights for the first time in her life. Six weeks later, her trainer, boyfriend or husband encourages her to enter a competition. While not even Gene Roddenberry could have imagined anything further from the Olympic ideal, this encouragement sounds as flattering as it is exciting and she decides to go for it.

This adds a ton of gals to this class who have no business being on stage. Of course, they look tanned, shapely and pretty. They glisten and the camera catches when they turn, bend over and push their vagina all the way to the third row of the audience. Then Facebook and Instagram will be flooded with sexy pictures and before you know it, umpteen other girls who have no business being on stage and are even more shameless will be preparing for a competition because they want to be just like this girl. Ultimately, we have a snowball effect that floods the bikini class with participants. Sadly, less than a handful of these girls have the skills that will put them in the top 10 of a professional show. This only drags out the show, fills the backstage area with frustrated contestants, discourages real competitors, gives the judges eye cancer and bores the audience. For the good of all involved, if you don't have winning potential - as defined by the ideal of the class and not the coach making money off you - stay off the stage! There are plenty of pool bars where you can show yourself off in a wet t-shirt for free. Competitions are for female athletes.

Promoters, sponsors and organizers, Oh My God!

From the promoters' point of view, what I'm saying here is blasphemy. Their goal is to get as many women as possible to compete because every competitor has to pay an entry fee. Imagine a big competition at the national level with 1000 participants who each pay a 150 dollar entry fee. Do the math. That's a nice chunk of money - and that's before the sponsors even come into play. There's a lot of money at stake and most of it comes from female participants - mainly from the Bikini class (although the Mens Physique class is catching up). And therein lies the rub. If everyone listened to me (which they won't), these people could easily see a 20% or more loss of their revenue because there are at least that many female competitors at every national level competition who don't belong on stage. But would you rather go on stage because you are being manipulated into doing so, or would you rather stay off the stage and keep your money and your dignity?

Think of the audience

If you've ever been a spectator at a big show, you'll know what I mean: even at the best organized competition, it takes forever to get several hundred competitors of all classes across the stage. If you have to watch 50 women (who have no business being on stage) enjoying their 20 seconds in the spotlight between pre-judging and the final, then we're talking about hours of boring wasted waiting time. This kind of thing is absolutely selfish and has nothing to do with the spirit of the competition. If you think that a competition is something of a personal crusade and that everyone should take part for their own reasons, then you are wrong. If you're not striving to topple Ms. Olympia from her throne one day, then you're competing for the wrong reasons. If you want to have fun, then go to Disneyland. If you want to celebrate the weight you've lost, hire a photographer. Aside from your family and close friends, no one cares what you look like or wants to waste their time while you do your thing.

We don't go to baseball games to watch athletes who can't play baseball or car races to watch people drive who can't drive. And we don't want to go to a bodybuilding or bikini competition to see ill-prepared competitors. Not only is this an affront to the sport, it's also an insult to the spectators who have paid to see REAL competitors compete against each other. Taking to the stage in a form that is anything less than as close as possible to the ideal image of your class is quite simply competing in poor form and is not something the public should be treated to. When we pay good money to watch a competition, we expect to see competitors who give their all. We don't dress up, go to a competition and buy a ticket to see who can finish last.

By John Romano | 01/20/16

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