You aspire to step on stage one day as a First Time Competitor, but are not sure if it really is healthy for you.
While it can be very exciting and a challenging journey, there are some things that you may want to consider before dropping money into the sport.
Competing can be healthy if you go about it in the right way.
We are going to go through everything to consider so that you can make the best decision for you.
Recommended Reading: 10 Things You Should Know Before Entering Your First Bodybuilding Competition
Your Definition of Healthy
It varies per person
I have learned over the years that everyone has a different definition of healthy and what that means for them.
This doesn't make anyone either wrong or right per say, but there are some important things that as individuals we need to remind ourselves of to be healthier in the long run and what may really be considered unhealthy.
What is the definition of healthy?
If you look at Merrian-Websters definition of healthy, it just says, "in good health" and "free from disease."
This is true, but there is also more that goes into being considered healthy.
Even if you are free from disease, you will have to take your mental health into consideration too.
When being a bodybuilding athlete or losing weight in general, your physcial health can be impacted by the types and amounts of workouts that you do.
Getting workouts online is great if you are wanting to stay moving, but without having knowledge of proper workouts, form, and purpose for the exercises chosen - you can injure yourself or keep you from your goals.
When choosing to compete your mental health will also be impacted as you are trying to juggle everything you need to during prep.
It's not for every person, but it for those who like a challenge and can handle stress well.
What goes into Competing
What a day may look like in prep
If you are not sure what a day may look like for you in prep, the reality is that is not all that glamorous until you get to step on stage.
You will have anywhere from 60-90 minute workouts 4-5 times per week.
You will eat 5-6 meals per day with some form of protein in each meal. While also tracking your meals to ensure you stay on track with your macros.
You will need to practice posing in a bikini and heels that can be a workout in itself.
You will also need at least half of your body weight in ounces of water along with still getting your 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
Time and money spent on shows
As you can see is that it will take up a lot of your time, more so in the beginning too as you are learning everything.
Always start with having a good foundational routine.
What I mean by this is start with having a good consistent routine working out and eating healthy before even considering posing or entering a prep for a show.
Having a good foundation like most things, will save you a headache later on.
Competing is also pricey.
Your suit, hair and makeup, shoes, jewelry, entry fees, tan, coaching, hotel, and more all adds up.
Be sure that you want to make this investment for yourself.
The stage will always be there, so you don't need to rush the process either.
The mental challenge
The mental is harder than the physical.
I already mentioned that you need a good foundation because it is not easy to show up every day in your workouts or eat the food you have prepped.
This is more intensified when you are prepping for a bodybuilding competition.
You will have to push through the days that you least feel like it and give your best.
There have been many girls who struggled with this and then emotionally eat (myself included before), because they start feeling guilty for not working out or sticking to their plan.
Take time for yourself even outside of competing to ensure your mental health is not compromised in the process.
This journey should be fun even though it is challenging.
How your Health may be Compromised
Many make out carbs to be bad for us and the truth is that we still need them in order to help our bodies continue to function properly which includes our hormones.
Many women who have competed and had their calories and carbs too low, have experienced irregular reproductive hormones. Noticed through their PMS cycle.
This can result because of prolonged dieting with low-carb and low caloric intake for long periods of time.
Your metabolism will change over time.
The goal whenever prepping for a show is to be able to continue to eat as much as possible while still in a slight deficit of calories in order to lose body fat.
However, this can be hard for those who are trying to rush the process and starting out with too low of calories to begin with.
There are metabolic disorders that can be developed if not being careful and getting the right amount of nutrients needed or by using enhancers that are not allowing your body to naturally process calories on its own.
It also just comes down to your commitment.
If you are super strict with yourself and can continue to live like that for 12-16 weeks, you are definitely committed when it comes to your nutrition.
Not everyone can and will be as committed to their show date.
I personally believe as a coach that yes, there needs to be structure to your plan. You also need to have refeed days too.
This will help to prevent falling completely off course with your routine, but also help to replenish glycogen stores as well.
If you want to be more relaxed through prep. Make it a longer prep. Not being too strict too soon.
Something that I teach my clients early on so they can enjoy the process and not feel super overwhelmed by trying to make the number on the scale go down every single week.
By now, you have a pretty good idea whether or not competing is healthy for you, what goes into competing, and how certain decisions can impact your overall health and wellbeing.
If you like this blog and want to learn more about becoming a First Time Bikini Competitor, I have more blogs like this one created here on this website.
Read more from the First Time Competitors Blog here.
Need additional help to step on stage for the first time?
I have over 3500 women in our First Time Competitors Facebook group and have heard any and all of the questions.
They have been condensed down into the most common questions for newbies to Bodybuilding. Including more in depth about what it entails, what the judges are looking for, and how to be successful.
Grab my Beginner's Guide to Becoming a Bikini Competitor below to help you in getting started today!