Thursday 23 April 2020

How Bodybuilders Prepare For Unconfirmed Competition

By Lesley Timbol (Adapted from Dr. Patrick Cohn at Peak Performance Sports, LLC.)

We want that green light when shows are confirmed, when we can return to our gyms, when we can return to our pre-COVID-19 regimes. The problem is that we still face many uncertainties and dealing with the coronavirus isn’t a typical challenge in our prep. 

The solution is held in facts that we have forgotten so allow me to explain. It would be ideal to train under optimal conditions, never experiencing an injury of any kind, having the same prep formula producing the same results every time, being able to present your best physique and conditioning at every show, win at every show and never have setbacks of any kind. Problem: that’s not reality. Every bodybuilder will experience some type of adversity. This could even include outside factors, i.e., losing a loved one, a relationship challenge/change, an unexpected work development. Throughout your lifetime, you will have ups, downs, obstacles, challenges, injuries, wins, losses, setbacks, successes and failures. Adversity comes in various shapes and sizes. Some circumstances will be manageable while other situations will feel insurmountable and overwhelming. You cannot control what comes your way or when adversity strikes, such as COVID-19, but you can minimize the impact by maintaining your focus on what you can control.

We have all prepped for shows when things haven’t been ideal and now is an extension of that. How you respond to adversity is all about your patience, persistence, and attitude. Are you the type of bodybuilder that needs a show to train or do you like training with weights regardless? My previous blog discussed training without going to a gym so I won’t repeat that here. The key is to give yourself new targets to keep you challenged.

Are you using this downtime as an opportunity or as an excuse? If it’s the latter, you have the choice to turn that around. With mini goals, you can make improvements without feeling rushed but set reasonable time limits to feel challenged. When was the last time you practised your posing? You don’t need weights for that. For fun, you can create a posing routine to your favourite song, and who knows, you may use that routine one day. It may sound trite but it is true, while you cannot control your circumstances, you can control your reactions to the situations you are experiencing.

Making the Most of your Current Situation:

Each morning when you wake, ask yourself, "What positive action can I take today to improve as a bodybuilder?" Write those steps on an index card and place the index card in a place where you can review it frequently.

Decide on a routine or schedule that can help you focus on this one skill, body part, drill, or lift at a time, which will help you use this downtime more effectively. 

It doesn't help anyone to lose patience. How can you use your time to become a stronger bodybuilder when you return to competition? 

You decide and then commit to the plan.

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