I've observed a lot of competitors. Good ones. Mediocre ones. Ones who could be amazing if they just got all the pieces together. Those ones who are the 2%, and those who just should stay home.
While it takes all kinds to make the world go around, no one embarks on contest prep wanting to just get by. We all want to be really good. Better than really good. Great even. To be great, there are some things you have to do.
- Specificity - Really great competitors, regardless of division, train specifically for this sport. You don't become a better marathon runner by swimming laps. And you don't become a better bodybuilder by doing boot camp classes, or yoga. You just don't. You have to lift heavy weights, and use cardio as a tool to burn fat. Period. Specificity. If you have energy to do other things, or focus on other things, you're doing it wrong.
- Eat - You must be able to eat. Eat all your food every meal, every day no excuses. Food should not be your source of entertainment and no one cares if you're sick of chicken or if oatmeal makes you gag. This is not the sport for you if you cannot, or will not eat your food and comply with your plan.
- Work - You need to be willing to put in your time and work your way up the ranks. There are no "politics" if you work hard. Let your physique speak for itself. Keep showing up. The days of two shows to turn pro are over. The playing field is too full, and too competitive. Stop dreaming and work.
- Be accountable - Accountability to others is great, it can be a strong motivator. In order to be a great competitor, you must be accountable to yourself. Finding your purpose in this sport is a personal thing. Use this as a place of accountability and motivation. You have to want this for yourself.
- Focus - Getting your head in the game is critical. This takes clarity, organization, connection to your values. Great athletes have mental focus. This is what transcends them to the top.
If you hone in on these five things, you will become a better competitor. When you stop blaming other people for your shortfalls, your transgressions, your failures - you'll become a better competitor.
When you can put in the work and stop "wishing" your program would magically happen - you'll become a better competitor. When you can focus your mental game - you will become a better competitor. When you commit to the training specificity required to truly make progress - you will become a better competitor.
When you eat all your meals and stay on point following your plan 100% - you will become a better competitor. These things will encourage you to become accountable to yourself first. And you will become a great competitor. What are you waiting for? Put the pieces in place to become great!