SHOULD YOU COMPETE?
6 SOUND REASONS TO HELP YOU DECIDE WHETHER YOU SHOULD DO A BIKINI COMPETITION
by Dominique Bouthillette
SO you’re in the gym, grinding like you would on the daily. A girl stops you during your weighted Bulgarian split squats to tell you how fabulous you look and you should totally compete! You graciously thank her for paying you such a wonderful compliment and continue about your workout. Then you start thinking to yourself, “Hey, maybe I should compete.”
“…people only dedicate themselves to things their hearts are fully into and long to achieve.”
I think anyone who has the drive in the gym and is interested in furthering their knowledge and experience in the fitness industry should think about competing, even if it’s only once. I will say if you put your mind to it anything can be achieved. However, I do understand whole-heartedly competing just isn’t for everyone and that not everyone has the same goals in life.
There are many reasons I have heard from friends and fellow competitors as to why they did a show or started competing as a hobby. They ranged from “I want to look sexy in a bikini this summer” to “I want this for personal and physical betterment in the quality of my life.” As it is fine to want to look like a bikini bombshell come those hot summer beach days, it would not be a reason I would choose to enter and get me through competition prep. With that said, here are 6 reasons to consider why or even why not to compete:
#1 Personal Gratification.
You want make a positive change in your life and its quality with a new appreciation for the mind and the body. Competing is rewarding, especially after 12, 14, 16 or 20 weeks of dieting and busting your butt in and out of the gym. You’ll start to see changes and gain a whole new respect for lifting and working out along with a better grasp on the value of proper nutrition.
#2 Dedication and Time Commitment.
If becoming a competitor is really something you want it will be for you, and only you, not anyone else. You will be driven to do the best you can and maximize your results through working hard and staying on track. I find people only dedicate themselves to things their hearts are fully into and long to achieve. If this sounds like you then considering a show isn’t a bad idea at all.
It takes a lot of willpower to stick to a prep diet and to get your workout in even when you don’t want to. You will have to manage your time for prep and all other aspects of your life including but not limited to: work, play, significant others, friends, family, etc. Preparing for a Bikini competition will be a time commitment in terms of training and diet no matter who you are. Making sure they exist harmoniously in your life is essential.
“…your mental balance and peace of mind going into a prep is very important.”
#3 Mental Wellness.
This may come as a shock to some but your mental balance and peace of mind going into a prep is very important. Are you ready for something so rigorous and sometimes draining? The results are a million times worth it but you have to be fully prepared for a lot of the good, the bad and the ugliest of days come competition season. I say this hesitantly because I know most of us women have experienced one of these to a certain level at some point but if you have suffered from a sever eating disorder or body image issue this is really one to think about. You only want the best for yourself and making sure your mind is in a good place before beginning a prep is best. Preps are tough and can distort your perception of body image and what is the norm…competition day bodies are not that.
#4 Handling Judgment.
I always say people will judge you and dislike you anyways so do what you really want to in life. But can you handle someone who doesn’t know you judging you on your physique, a physical masterpiece, you’ve worked so hard on for months; especially if you don’t win or even place? It can be scary as all heck getting up there in front of judges and fairly unnerving. But if you can handle constructive criticism and a little public scrutiny you’ll do just fine! Also know you will judge YOURSELF after a show. Post show blues are very real and send many into depression if they don’t reverse diet out of what they have been doing previously. So be prepared to forever compare yourself to the best you’ve been the day of show.
Although your stage body is not maintainable you will do it and miss that body from time to time. Understanding you can have a beautiful body not on prep is key and will help you keep judgment to a minimum in an off-season or after a show in general.
“First or last place, there is no feeling like being on stage…”
#5 Forever Friends.
You will probably meet some of your future best friends through competing. The people you encounter are simply some of greatest you’ll know, and who have been through the same struggles with months of consistent work just as you have. They live the fit lifestyle like you and have the same work ethic in the gym; it’s just bound to happen. So hopefully you’re not a lone wolf because the impressive amount of love and support you’ll receive from even strangers while prepping and competing is quite heart-warming.
#6 Finding Value.
It’s an amazing feeling doing a show. First or last place, there is no feeling like being on stage having that overwhelming wave of accomplishment come over you. You will be proud and SHOULD be proud of what you have done even if no hardware is involved. Take each prep and show as a chance to learn, gain familiarity and experience in the industry so your learning curve will be much greater the next time around.
I believe if you can handle all the variables listed above you are in the perfect place to do a show. I waited 4 years to do my first Bikini competition and when I did I was ready to give it my all. So mull it over and see what’s best for YOU. Good training and good luck!
Cheers my beauties.
Dominique Bouthillette | Contributing Editor
Dominique began her competition journey in June of 2014. She took 1st and Overall in Novice for her first INBF show and placed 2nd in Open at her second show. On a daily basis Dominique works as a Medical Animator and 3D artist. She also loves singing and has her own covers of songs on Soundcloud.
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