Common Misconceptions About Competing

 Many people shy away from competition because they think they have to be huge, or have to have years and years of weight training experience. These are common misconceptions that are due in part from supplement company ads and many of the more popular magazines primarily showing professional level athletes who aren't drug-free. Many people think these images are what it takes to be a physique competitor. These people are often surprised by the difference once they actually see a local drug-tested competition. A wide variety of physique types and conditioning levels can be seen at local drug-free shows. Some athletes compete after only a few months of weight training experience too. It doesn't take years of training to compete. Drug-free competition is more about conditioning (lowering body fat) to show more detail in the physique. When more detail shows in the muscles, a person appears more muscular. Natural bodybuilders look like regular people with their clothes on, but when the clothes come off… look out! They look much bigger, especially under the lighting conditions on stage.

Many figure and fitness competitors think that they need to be at a certain low body fat percentage before even beginning their contest prep.  This is untrue.  A competitor simply needs to allow enough time to lose the desired amount of weight.  For some this is 8 weeks, for others it is 16 weeks.  Another misconception with the fitness division is that a competitor must be a gymnast in order to do well in the routine round.  This is not necessary.  While gymnastics skills do enhance a routine as they display moves of both strength and flexibility in one, if a competitor masters several strength and flexibility moves, has a well-choreographed routine to well-mixed music and is poised and perfected, she can place very well in this round.


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