The Emotional Toll of Contest Preparation
If you are thinking about entering a bodybuilding competition, or have just started the preparation for your first one, there a few things you may want to seriously consider before going forward. Forget worrying about your size, forget about your strength, and forget any preconceived notions you have about bodybuilding competitions. You may be a brute in the gym and the envy of all the guys and gals, but are you emotionally and mentally prepared for what is to come?
Typical contest preparation runs from 12-16 weeks. The beginning should start out smoothly. You will still have your normal/elevated body fat level and plenty of energy. The excitement of what you are embarking on will be enough to keep you fueled for several weeks, especially as the initial weight starts to come off and people start noticing. I find that most people, including myself, find no problem in eating smaller more restricted meals in the beginning.
Things start to change a little after about 8 weeks. As your body fat lowers you will start seeing some key changes besides the physical ones. You will most likely start to experience a small decrease in strength or at least intermittent “weak” days. Food cravings will start to appear – even for food you never craved or ate previously. Mood swings will start to take over and you may find yourself easily agitated by small and irrelevant things. The closer you get to show day the worse it will get.
It is for these reasons that you need to surround yourself with understanding and supportive people. Despite what others believe, you will not have control over these changes. It’s not your fault – you won’t be able to help it. Don’t take this as a green light to be a jerk, though. Prepare yourself and others for what is to come. Tackle it together and formulate a contest prep strategy for dealing with emotional and hormonal changes.
Life saving advice: Look into products by Walden Farms. They are zero calorie products formulated for diabetics. They include a variety of salad dressing and treats – including chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, and marshmallow topping. These products keep my tantrums at bay!
2011 ABA Natural Illinois Bodybuilding, Fitness, and Figure Championships
2nd Place Novice Short Class
3rd Place Open Short Class
2011 NGA Heart of America Natural Classic
1st Place Novice Lightweight
1st Place Open Lightweight
1st Place OVERALL NOVICE
2011 NANBF Probody Solutions Natural
1st Place Open Short Class
2011 NGA Titan Classic
OVERALL OPEN MEN WINNER – PRO CARD AWARDED
2012 NGA Heart of America Natural Classic
3rd Place Professional
Jon-Carlo Astorina is a Team JBT Athlete
See More: http://www.nationalgym.com/
JC was born and raised in Melbourne, Australia. He now resides in Bloomington, IL and works as a private detective for a prominent PI firm out of Chicago. JC studied Criminal Justice at Illinois State University. He is married with four children. Besides his family, JC’s greatest passion in life is bodybuilding and fitness – a hobby he picked up in college.
JC has been bodybuilding for roughly four years and started competing in 2011. He has a short but impressive competitive resume. To date he has competed in five drug tested bodybuilding competitions, earning his Pro Card in August, 2011. He is recognized as a Professional Natural Bodybuilder by the National Gym Association (NGA).
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