Entering a Bodybuilding Contest? This is What You Need To Do!
Physique competitions are weird. There is so much about it that is wrong on every level. There’s no real athleticism displayed on stage. After all, you’re just posing. It’s the very epitome of being well, literally, a poser! The judging is arbitrary and for the most part, based on who is the biggest of the bunch. Even in the higher level amateur shows, the competitors are treated poorly, with virtually no accommodations of any kind. The shows are run shabbily with little regard to professional presentation No money is made. And there’s a fee to enter! And let’s no forget about the cost of preparation. A solid 12 week steroid stack can run you between one and two grand. Then there’s special food, supplements, ancillaries, and afterward, PCT, which alone cost a few hundred in done properly. So why do it? Well, there’s just isn’t anything else in bodybuilding that puts it all on the line like going up against the best of the best. The time, effort and dedication of a life passion is on display. No more promises, boasting, excuses or exaggerations about lifts or measurements. It’s all out there for the world to see. There’s no hiding. It’s all you. What have you got?
And that, is the very reason so many people decide to do it. It’s for only a select few Simply put, it takes balls to stand in front of 400 people in your underwear.
I’ve competed in the past. Back in 1996 when I was 42 I did a “masters” NPC show – the most prestigious non pro event, and I placed in the top 5. It’s funny to think how fewer than 20 years ago being over 40 was considered “the old guys.” I promised I’d never do it again, but at age 59, I was considering an “over 60” show. Problem is, there aren’t too many “over 60” competitions. (I guess most of those guys are already dead). So I entered an over 50 show. I know I’ve held up well over the years and the thought of going all out – one more time, was just the kick in the ass I needed. So with only 6 weeks to prepare I went all out and got in the best shape I’d been in years.
I got my ass kicked.
But I did it.
It was amazing how good these guys looked. One over 50 contestant entered the overall show and placed! It was ridiculous. The level is so much higher today. At first I was bummed that I finished 6th. Then I thought; ‘that’s still six places higher than the four million guys who DIDN’T enter! And along the way I learned a few things about contest prep.
I’ve coached many guys for their own competitions and when I worked for the newsstand muscle mags I spoke to countless pros about their philosophy concerning reaching maximum potential on a specific night. And one thing I’ve learned throughout the years was to simplify. As ex Mr. Olympia contender Jim Quinn told me; “If something is working, don’t try to get clever at the last minute. You’ll just mess it all up.” How right he was.
The best advice I can give to guys getting ready to compete is to not over-think it. Don’t do any drastic last minute alterations in a effort to look dryer or more cut. Carb loading, carb cutting, salt loading, diuretics…it’s all been tried before. And they tend to backfire as much often as they hit. Thinking of switching to test prop so you get less bloat? You might look less full. Thinking of carbing up to fill out? You might get smooth. Going to cut water? You could come in flat. I remember speaking with old time champ Zabo Kosewski who won hundreds of contests in the 1960’s. I asked him what he did to prepare for a contest. He said: The best thing you can do is never get out of shape. I train all year long. I just eat clean a couple of weeks before the show. Nothing fancy. Just cut out the crap and cut calories.”
THAT, is a real old school philosophy.
And by the way, here’s how Zabo used to look. Not too shabby for two weeks prep, eh?
But what compounds should you use? Ask a million guys and you’ll get a million answers. Anyone can suggest using Trenbolone. You’ll feel like shit but look AMAZING. Is it worth it? No one can answer that but you. Ultimately it comes down to what you like, what you best respond to, and how willing you are to push the dosages. Because the reality is, the more you use, the more results you’re going to get. That doesn’t apply to long term gains. We’re just talking about a one time deal.
Giving exact dosages would be futile. If you don’t know by now what dosages work for you or are willing to use, then you’re not ready to hang with the big boys.
Masteron is a purely cosmetic drug. It does not build very much muscle. But it creates a hardness that is unparalleled. If you want that sharp, thin skinned, razor sharp definition that blisters under the lights, 100 mgs of Mast every day, 2 weeks before a show will literally transform your physique. But you MUST have single digit body fat for Mast to show through. Then again, if you don’t, you’re not ready to step out on stage.
The other choice is Primobolan. It can actually continue growing muscle while in a calorie deficit and there is zero bloating. Again, sharp, solid muscle and nothing but.
Most guys still choose to use a little test, but just enough to stay full and keep libido at a healthy level.
As far as stims like Clenbuterol – you’d be surprised how many pros stopped using it. Of course, that’s a personal choice. I don’t like it, never got great results from it, and wouldn’t recommend it for no other reason other than it can be dangerous. You’re at risk of stroke and/or heart failure. The tacky plastic trophy you get (if you place) just isn’t worth it. But again – people have to make their own decisions.
One last tip – Practise Posing! The actual routine will have nothing to do with the placing, but all that tensing and flexing brings of striations and vascularity. Also, if the pre-judging goes long, you’ll be surprised how fatiguing it gets. It have to be prepared!
So there it is. Simple. Just keep in mind, success isn’t a secret cycle. It’s genetics combined with smart training and a good work ethic. After that, it’s all luck of the draw. So just go out there and have fun. Win or lose. It’s something you’ll never forget. And never regret.