Beyond the Lights
Take a trip into the world of competitive bodybuilding and the ensuing climb to the top.
Remember to consult your doctor before starting any diet and exercise plan.
The Biggest Show on Earth
And so you stand – shoulder-to-shoulder – with the best physiques on the planet as the judges begin to compare. They call out their favorites first, and have each hit the seven compulsory poses. You stand in shock watching them flow from one pose to the next while the crowd shouts out the names of their favorites. Eventually the judges call your name and you're compared accordingly. You hit each pose with dead-on precision as you're put through the grueling comparisons. When the dust finally settles, the judges demand one more comparison to conclude the pre-judging. Your name is called second as you're placed in-between two of the best bodybuilders on the planet – one of them being the reigning Mr. Olympia himself! This is an extremely good sign that you're doing well going into the finals at the night show.
After loading up on carbs all afternoon in an attempt to fill up your glycogen storages and ensure your muscles are full, you arrive at the night show ready to commence battle. The auditorium is packed with muscle-head fans and the roar from the crowd. M.C. does his bit and everything stirs up your adrenaline even more. You make your way backstage and begin to pump up. The blood begins to ripple through your veins as your muscles swell in size. You hit a couple more poses in the mirror to make sure you're pumped, primed and perfected. You hear the M.C. call your name and it's time for the stage to be your own. It's time to make your mark and perform your first professional posing routine.
You hit the stage and look at the crowd, but the stage lights make it almost impossible to see anything, so you buckle down and focus. The music starts and you flow from pose to pose as each transition from one to the next gets smoother and smoother. The crowd erupts as you hit your signature poses displaying mountain peaked biceps and massive, striated quads. When you're done your posing routine, you actually have people – strangers – chanting your name. The sensation is electrifying you as you humbly make your exit.
|The 3 D's
Characteristics of a Champion
|1. Desire: Before you can go anywhere in bodybuilding, you simply have to want it. You have to want it so bad, you can taste it. Visualize yourself getting bigger and better and someday walking onstage successfully. Visualization is a key motivational tool to keep you thirsty and wanting more.|
|2. Dedication: To be good, you must dedicate yourself. In doing this, sacrifices must be made. Specific ones such as controlling what you eat, when you eat, getting to the gym everyday regardless of how busy your schedule gets and getting proper rest are all vital to being successful. Nothing worth having comes easy and bodybuilding is no different.|
|3. Discipline: You must stay disciplined and focused to continue the climb to the top. There will always be temptations luring you to stumble off the path, but you must withstand them. And likewise, no matter what the stress, stay focused on your goals and remain consistent. Consistency, like sacrifice is another major key to becoming successful in bodybuilding.|
As you sit backstage recuperating, you wait for the other competitors to finish their routine. When they do, the final six are called back out for the final comparisons and posedown. Your name is called within the group and it's time to do one final battle for the coveted Mr. Olympia title.
The crowd is in an uproar as you make your way out and stand beside the rest of the lineup – the best of the best. The head judge calls out the mandatory poses before finally shouting out the traditional words, “Gentlemen, posedown!” The crowd is out of their seat as you duel head-to-head versus some of the great names of the sport. Despite the bumping and pushing, you stand your ground and smile confidently while striking each pose with dead-on accuracy. You see the reigning champ at the end of the line up and now's your chance! You walk over beside him and start hitting your best shots. He obliges and goes toe-to-toe with you hitting a brutal front double bicep. You counter with an ab and thigh – pointing out your quad striations. He smirks and busts his own abs and thigh followed by a devastating most muscular. The crowd's chanting is at the highest level at this point as you shake hands with the reigning champ to conclude the posedown. You got your shots in but so did he and it's going to be a close one.
The judges begin to call out the top six placing. From sixth place to third place, you haven't heard your name – meaning you're in the top two! It's now just you and the reigning Mr. Olympia looking on – awaiting the final verdict. “… And in second place …” Your breath is held and the noise becomes deafening. Your name is called in second place as the reigning Mr. Olympia shakes your hand congratulating you on embarking so successfully into the professional ranks. “Second place, kid, not bad for a rookie,” he says as you smile, vowing to come back to battle it out again next year.
At the end of this day though, you've made your mark and engraved your name into bodybuilding history. The climb to the top wasn't easy, but because you kept surging forward, you paid your dues and the most meaningful result of all is the greater self-respect. No trophy or money can replace that.