5 Things I Learned at a Competitive Bodybuilding Seminar

folder_openFitness, Transformation
Competitive Bodybuilding Seminar

The Live Lean Rx Houston team was recently invited to participate as a vendor at a posing and judging seminar hosted by Global Bodybuilding Organization (GBO) promoter Matt Storm in League City, TX. The world of competitive bodybuilding isn’t entirely new to our team. After losing more than 120 pounds, I earned a 3rd place finish in the Transformation division at the NSL Space City Open about six months ago. I’ve had the privilege to train with a team of bikini and figure NPC competitors, to cheer from the stands, to overcome the backstage jitters, and to talk with judges. This seminar offered a different perspective as I observed as an outsider. This wasn’t a snapshot of athletes grinding through workouts in the gym. It wasn’t perfectly posed or well-lit photos on Instagram. And it definitely wasn’t the glitz and glam of a show day when everything comes together in a competitor’s best package. This was an entirely different glimpse into a world most people won’t every have the courage to enter and I walked away with a few noteworthy lessons.

  1. Everyone can be an athlete.
    I’ll be really honest here. I fully expected this seminar to be full of strong, lean, hard bodies – and it was! But I didn’t expect to see men and women at the very beginning of the journey towards the stage. I’ve been encouraged to attend similar events as an athlete and never attended because I felt I’d be out of place but that was not the case with this GBO crowd. Everyone from every age, shape, and experience level was welcomed and included. You don’t have to be a professional athlete or to be in perfect shape to be an athlete. If you move your body with an aim to be healthier, stronger, leaner, or faster, then you are an athlete.
  2. The pros are the ones willing to do what their opponents won’t.
    I’ve had the chance to chat with some of the athletes I met last weekend. I’ve heard stories of waking up early, staying up late, measuring food down to the gram, and sacrificing indulgences in both time and diet. Whether we’re talking about athleticism or everyday challenges, the winners are the ones who are willing to do more than anyone else. They push harder than others are willing – and they reap the benefit! Apply that lesson to any area of life in which you want to succeed.
  3. It’s true – food is fuel.
    I smiled as I watched participants step out to eat throughout the day. Each had their meals prepped and ready and each knew when it was time to eat. I saw a lot of cold meals eaten but it was a reinforcement that food is intended to fuel our bodies to do what’s asked of them. Sure, there is a time and place for celebrations and indulgences but if no matter what result you want for yourself, you need a healthy outlook on food as fuel. I hope that I’ll remember watching those quick and quiet lunch breaks the next time someone teases me about eating the same boring lunch again.
  4. Competitive bodybuilding is an individual sport where athletes compete in community.
    Bodybuilding is, by nature, an individual sport and this is no different at a competitive level. When show day comes, every man and woman steps on stage to present the best package possible and to be judge on their own. Teams don’t win medals and pro cards – individuals do. But that doesn’t leave bodybuilders in a reclusive world. It was no surprise that coaches and competitors were familiar with who was who, but the camaraderie was unexpected. They didn’t just know names and faces, many of these people had built relationships with their competition and they readily stepped in with encouragement and support.
  5. Body composition is important, but so are other qualities of success.
    I’m a geek at heart. Science, technology, data… they all make my heart go pitter patter. I genuinely enjoy talking about body composition and helping clients see how important it is to understand their own bodies. Knowing what you’re made of gives you important insight into your health, risk factors, and progress towards goals. But changes to your body composition aren’t the only way to measure your success and progress. No matter your goal, as you transform your body, you’ll see other changes. Confidence, discipline, physical and mental strength, and compassion for people just starting are just a few of the things I witnessed, and I believe you’ll find changes in all those areas as you progress. Find out what you’re made of because it matters, but also focus on the less scientific changes you’ll experience during your journey.

Today, many of the athletes I met will compete at the GBO GBO Naturals Pro/Am Legacy Classic and I’ll be cheering for them and wishing them luck! I’m not convinced that the stage is the place for me. Despite extreme weight loss, I still have a long way to go before I even get to the body composition I’m working towards and growing a new business has shifted my priorities quite a bit. I’ll always continue to support athletes in their own transformations and goals, whether that’s with DEXA scans, metabolic testing, or nutrition coaching, and I hope that will give me opportunities to keep learning from the bodybuilding community.

Tags: body building, DEXA Scan, nutrition

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