Fake Tans and Speedos!
Big bulging athletic muscles, small waistlines, golden tans and….speedo shorts! Well that’s if you’re a bodybuilder, if you’re a physique athlete at least you can wear cool surfer shorts!
Bodybuilding on the outside appears to be a very healthy sport, after all it’s about training and eating well. The trouble is that once you’ve been in the industry for a while you start to realise that it’s probably one of the unhealthiest sports on the planet!
Now, when I say bodybuilding I am referring to anybody who either competes on stage (bodybuilders, physique athletes, etc) and also fitness models – basically people who devote most (if not all!) of their life to improving their external image!
WARNING: This post contains strong opinions. If you are easily offended it’s probably best not to read further – it’s definitely not for sensitive snow flakes!
My intention in writing this article is to educate those who are contemplating stepping on stage, by putting forth some opinions and home truths that should be considered…
Now first off all not every bodybuilder takes steroids or performance enhancing drugs (PED). In fact there are lots of exceptional looking athletes who are natural. There are also a lot who claim to be natural but have been blatantly taking steroids since the age of 3! (lol jokes!)
Like any sport where fame, popularity, success and money are up for grabs there will always be people willing to do whatever it takes to gain an advantage.
The bigger the competition, and prize money the more likely the athletes will be using performance enhancing drugs.
It’s obvious that all of the Olympia athletes use them…
If you want to reach the top and compete with the best are you willing to take drugs too?
What about the implications when you get older? What about the short and long term health risks?
Now, I don’t care who you are, how educated you are on science and performance enhancing drugs – you are changing your bodies natural chemical structure in order to enhance your image – to gain muscle and lose body fat. Is it really worth it?
Lots of people get into bodybuilding because they don’t like the way they look and they think that if they enhance their body shape they will be much happier. They think…
“If I get hench I’ll get more women!”
“I’ll get more followers on Instagram!” (loool!)
“If I get lean i’ll be super confident”
The truth is that when you go down this bodybuilding route, you will always want more! I see so many people who look amazing but who are never satisfied with how they look!
In bodybuilding it’s very easy to be self critical and compare yourself to the guy in the gym who’s bigger and more ripped than you!
You are also going to be judging what you see in the mirror every single day. When you look good you feel phenomenal (on top of the world!) BUT when you look bad you feel like the worlds gonna end! It’s like being on a rollercoaster ride – where one minute you’re up but the next you come crashing down!
#3 Making Huge Sacrifices
You can bet your bottom dollar that when you become a bodybuilder the following aspects of your life will likely suffer…
- social life
- relationships with friends and family
- finance (spending a small fortune on food, and supplements!)
In the picture above I felt pretty happy with how I looked…but the BUZZ and novelty soon wore off when I realised how much I had to sacrifice to get into that type of shape…
For example I never went out for food (I lived out of bloody tupperware boxes!), I avoided social occasions, and I felt tired and lethargic all of the time. Also, if on one day I noticed that my stomach looked a little fatter than usual it would put me in a bad mood all day!
Sounds great right?
#4 Harsh Judgements
When you hop on stage you are going to be judged…
“Your legs aren’t big enough!”
“You are too BIG!”
“Your muscles are too small!”
“the posing routine sucked!”
It’s ruthless, you need to be prepared for people to comment on your physique.
Now of course you can be one of those guys who says “the only person I compete with is me!” or “I don’t care what anyone else thinks!”. The truth is I have yet to see a bodybuilder who genuinely believes this BS! You are getting on stage to compete, of course you are bothered if not why step on stage? Why post pics of your body all over social media?
If you can’t deal with people judging you then bodybuilding is definitely not the right sport to choose.
#5 Little Reward
A handful of professional bodybuilders and fitness models will make a very good living. Those who win the big competitions and regularly get photo shoots for magazines like Flex, Mens Health, Muscle & Fitness.
But for the small handful that make some serious bacon there are millions who struggle to make a living!
There are so many youngsters going into the sport thinking that if they win a competition they will be rocketed to stardom, get a million Instagram followers and become a millionaire over night!
The harsh reality is that for most competitors who win competitions…
You get a plastic tub of protein and a cheap looking trophy of a naked man in speedos!
Sounds like the last 6 months of harsh dieting and dodging mates was worth it?
For most competitors the income will come from personal training, online personal training, etc. You have to be business savvy and look for ways to use your knowledge to make a living.
Thoughts Moving Forward…
Now it may appear that i’m strongly against bodybuilding but in actual fact I hugely admire anybody who devotes their life to this sport. The dedication and sacrifice that is required is like no other sport on the planet. It’s literally a 24hr and 7 day a week thing…
Tracking macros, prepping food, lifting heavy ass weights, using a stretching machine every day, keeping training logs, investing hundreds of pounds each month on food and supplements, analysing sleep, practicing posing, fake tanning, shaving, the list goes on!
Some key questions to consider…
- Does the bodybuilding lifestyle make me happy? and if so Why?
- What am I willing to sacrifice? and what aren’t I willing to sacrifice?
- Why am I doing this?
- How will it benefit me?
- How will it negatively affect me?
These are some of the key questions you can ponder. Make-sure to be honest with yourself.
Bodybuilding is an extremely tough and highly demanding sport…
Make-Sure you know what you are getting into before fulling investing all of your energies.
Thanks for reading,