Preparing for a bodybuilding competition can be overwhelming and exciting all at once. You’re putting in the work at the gym, paying attention to your diet, and making progress. It’s essential to be a sponge about learning the tips and tricks that can set you apart from the pack. Here are five tips that will help you succeed in your first bodybuilding competition.
Following A Structured Bodybuilding Competition Meal Plan
A structured meal plan can keep you accountable and take the guesswork out of eating. There are a lot of variables when it comes to body transformation and preparing for a fitness and figure competition. The more you can limit decision fatigue, the more you can focus on executing your strategy.
The benefits of following a structured meal plan include:
- Removes guesswork and provides a framework
- Meal plans keep you on track to hit your daily nutritional needs
- Guides you past cravings and other temptations
- Engrains sound diet habits
- Swaps intuition (“I feel like eating this because…”) for intention (“I’m eating this because…”)
- Less wasting of food and lower cost for groceries
- Improved ability to make subtle tweaks and customize for better success
If you’re going to follow a structured meal plan, make sure it’s sustainable. Lack of variety can wear on a person over time. It’s easy to stray away from a structured meal plan if you’ve significantly restricted yourself. Once you figure out the ratio of carbs, fats, and proteins you need to optimize your body composition, move on to finding a wide variety of foods that can deliver on those macronutrient goals.
Find A Good Bodybuilding Competition Coach
A good coach will provide accountability to their client. Coaches monitor their client’s progressions and make sure that they’re sticking to the plan. The long and hard road preparing for a bodybuilding competition is often full of peaks and valleys, and the coach’s job is to keep their clients focused despite the highs and lows. Coaches will push their clients to work harder to achieve fitness progress.
Everybody can benefit from a coach. It’s a lesser-known fact that even the most successful people in the world welcome coaching from others. Sometimes you’re just too close to the project to realize you have another gear, or you’re too fixated on minutiae. A good coach can guide you in the right direction when you hit a plateau or have a terrible week of workouts. Coaches remove emotion from the situation and can see what the client cannot.
Ideally, a good coach can share practical and actionable tips and tricks based on their own experiences. The power of sharing experience, lessons learned, and how to improve the process is worth the investment. A good bodybuilding coach will help you avoid making mistakes that they made along the way, which will move you toward your physique goals faster.
Strength In Numbers: Have A Support System
Having a rock-solid support system during your training journey is critical, primarily if you haven’t competed before. There is strength in numbers. Surrounding yourself with people to lean on, ask questions and bounce ideas off of is extremely powerful. A support group will keep you accountable along the way and lift you if you doubt yourself.
The people you surround yourself with will push you to be the best you can be in the gym and outside of the gym. These are folks you can share your dreams and aspirations with without judgment. A body transformation can be a challenging process, and having people around you who support your vision and make sure that you stay on track will make it easier to reach your goals.
Preparing Yourself Both Physically And Mentally
Without question, bodybuilders are athletes. As an athlete, mental preparation will help you achieve a focused and confident mindset to compete at your highest possible level. Focus and confidence will develop trust in the process.
The body follows the mind. If your mind is weak, your body will follow suit. If you bulletproof and strengthen your mind, your body will follow suit. Building a resilient mindset is the foundation of anything physical. The mind will tap out before the body does. Building up the mental side things will put you in a great position to optimize your physical appearance.
Despite our best efforts, you have to adopt the role of an athlete. And that often means setting aside any life challenges or hassles to focus on your training in the gym entirely. When you’re in the gym, be in the gym and nowhere else. Be mentally and physically present for every set and repetition. We have a finite amount of time for training, make the most of it.
Overcoming adversity is part of accomplishing anything significant. Learning how to cope with adversity will keep you focused, confident and allow you to maintain composure when you need it the most. It can be helpful to anticipate challenges ahead of time. By preparing yourself for speed bumps, you’ll already have strategies in place to handle any setbacks.
Food Prep Ahead of Time
Diet is one of the most critical components of significant body transformation and will undoubtedly make the biggest difference with your contest prep. Once you’ve accepted that reality, you can leverage the power and convenience of food prep.
Food prep simplifies hitting your macronutrient goals because you can prepare and measure everything in advance and store it until you’re ready to eat it. The convenience of reaching into the refrigerator and pulling out a perfectly dialed meal into what your body needs to look at best will relieve a lot of stress and earn back time.
Food preparation can be challenging, but most agree it is worth the trouble. Pick a day each week to prep out all meals for the week. Sunday tends to work well for many people. The time investment will pay off with convenience!
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