1. Why do you want to compete?
If the answer first isn't for yourself. You're not ready to compete. To be one of the best, it is truly all about you. Every single day. You wake up and your first thought this either fasted cardio or breakfast specifics, nothing else. Then this is a constant through your days, weeks, and months, as you prepare for a contest. Life DOES get put on hold to be one of the best competitors. If you're not looking to be one of the best, then there is a little give and take on how much effort you put in. But if you aren't competing for 1000% for yourself, odds are you will never be able to mentally handle the fortitude it takes to fight through some of the hardest moments of your life at that time. Also, you'll have to be all for yourself in pre-gaming or planning too. You need to be able to set yourself up for success, not make excuses NO MATTER what it is, you'll need to take responsibility for everything that happens, you'll need to work out and follow macros even when YOU DO NOT WANT TO. That is what it takes to compete and be good at it. You MUST LOVE challenging yourself daily or you will fall short.
2. Can you truly go "all in"?
If one of these is out of place, it can cause a ripple effect. You have to have the strength and mentality to realign and keep it moving. Accept defeat or fall back and just work harder and smarter.
3. Last question, Are you prepared to lose?
We all want to be the front-runner and win every single show we go into. Failing to win can destroy your ego. If you do not have a firm grasp of the reality of the sport, you will be in for a rude awakening. Everyone on-stage sacrificed months and in some cases years, toiling away at the weight stack, slaving over food scales, and pounding out miles on the treadmill, but 95% of people go home empty-handed.
Final words: It takes years of training to reach peak performance. 12 weeks won't get you from newbie to trophy. Just because you have the mindset, resources, and physique to train for a competition doesn't mean you will win. That is why this will always have to be about you. Growing and enjoying the process. Becoming mentally stronger as well as physically. And letting those skills help you also be more badass in the other areas of your life. All of this doesn't mean you shouldn't compete.
There are some contest preppers that are genetically gifted, born winners right out of the gate. That is less than .5% of bodybuilders in the world today. We also live in a world where PED's are not lightly used anymore and they are the basic necessities of most competitors today. PED's when used, have their own negative side effects at some point in time, but the physical benefits are the highlight.
As long as you are always striving to improve and giving it your all. You will win at some point. You just have to have the mental fortitude to get you there. Without it, competing will only hurt your ego and put a bad taste in your mouth. Focus on your personal victories, enjoyment of the "game", and focus on strategy while giving yourself time to keep yourself well balanced and you will find yourself in the winner's seat one way or another.
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