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Bodybuilding yes or no? By Corey Reich
Just like any other sport some people will be great bodybuilders, some will be just good, and some should never start. Now when I say bodybuilder I am referring to anyone that wants to compete in the sport, anywhere from females competing in bikini all the way through guys competing in the heavyweight BB class or anything in between. There are those of us that are blessed with height, I however am not one of those, some blessed with speed, strength, blonde hair, blue eyes. Things that you are genetically blessed or not blessed with can determine whether or not bodybuilding is for you. It sounds kind of harsh but so is the sport itself, that no matter what you may do you will never be the next Arnold Schwarzenegger. Genetics being a big factor in your overall success is still not the only factor. Things like will power, drive, and heart need to be there as well or you should never even attempt the sport. Now this is not intended to sound like bodybuilding is the hardest sport in the world to be great at. Each sport carries its own set of challenges and not everyone can be great at all of them. Yes, no matter how much I practice or what I may try to improve on at 5’7 around 170 pounds I’m not going to be the next Michael Jordan. So let’s discuss the factors that may help you decide whether or not you should take the leap into the sport of bodybuilding.
Factor number 1, do you have the drive and determination to sacrifice time with friends and family? Can you not eat carbs for 34 days in a row and still train with maximal intensity? Can you do an hour of cardio at 430 in the morning before work? If it comes down to it are you willing to be so selfish that you don’t go out to eat for your best friend’s birthday or maybe just pack your own tilapia and asparagus? If these questions scare you or sound crazy then you haven’t even began to scratch the surface of what all it takes to be a great bodybuilder. The difficult and sad truth is that anyone that has competed before has done these things. I remember when I went with all my friends and family to a wing place for my brothers birthday. I watched them all devour burgers, fries, wings, and beer. All the while sitting there with my cold tilapia and asparagus in a tupperware container. It was low carb day for me and I was 10 days out from a show. It’s a difficult thing to slowly starve yourself those last few weeks. Make no mistake about it, if you are dieting correctly for a show, you are definitely in a slow starvation state at the end. Hey, no one said that this sport was exactly healthy, especially at the end when trying to reach dangerously low body fat percentages. Did I mention that most of the time this last for 1214 weeks and sometimes longer depending on the person. Sounds fun doesn’t it? So if you answered yes to all of these questions and you are willing to do these things to be great we can now move on to factor two.
Do you have the proper genetics to be great? Yes unfortunately you may be willing to do the things above to be a great bodybuilder but God did not build you that way. Do you have a small waist? I am not talking about just being skinny, I am talking about being stripped down to a skeleton, how wide are your hip bones? Having a small waist is very important because it gives the illusion of being even bigger across the shoulders. So if you have that small waist now we need to check and see if you have long or short collar bones. Can your frame even support enough width to make you appear twice as wide as your waist? Ok great, so you have a tiny waist and wide shoulders, but how well do your muscle insertions and muscle bellies make you
look? So you have short lats and now your vtaper is totally thrown off no matter how many pull ups or rows you do? And not to mention you just naturally have long stringy looking muscle instead of nice and full round muscle bellies. So you see, unfortunately no matter how determined you are, it just may not be in your God given ability to be a great bodybuilder. Once again it sounds unfair but as we all know life isn’t fair and we have to do the best we can with what God gave us. So now that you are determined and you are also a genetically blessed freak, let’s move on to factor 3.
You don’t have the money to compete or can not afford any of the supplements that always seem to be a part of bodybuilding. Now I am talking legal supplements such as protein powders or creatine. As we all know in any professional sport there seems to be illegal drugs but that is not something that I myself participate in or support. Let’s do a run down of the average dollar amount it takes one of my competitors that I train for competitions has to pay for. The entry fee for the show itself can run anywhere from 75$500 depending on the level of the show. The membership card for the organization for the year is $125. On average my female clients spend $200 on a suit and tanning cost around $110. So just to compete in the first show of the year it cost over $600. This is not including the $150 hotel cost or any of the cost to pay me to train/coach them. None of the cost of food or supplements is included because those are per person based and vary widely. So as you can see you may be blessed genetically, have the heart of a lion, but the funds just aren’t there for you. Believe me I totally understand it’s expensive and sometimes I wonder what else I could be doing with the saved money. However I do love what I do and if you do too you will find a way to make it happen.
So this article may seem like all doom and gloom but actually that is not the case. This was just to help you decide whether or not you have what it takes to be a great bodybuilder. You may not have that in your future but everyone can get in great shape and have muscles. You can be healthy, lean and strong no matter what genetics you have or the amount of money in your pocket. You will need determination and consistency to reach your goals of looking great. If competing in a show is just a goal of yours, then by all means I say go for it. Now if you have aspirations of being a pro or someone on a magazine cover, I suggest you take this article to heart. Being a great bodybuilder is not what is important in life anyway. What is really important and should be number 1 on your list, is taking care of your body and motivating/helping others to do the same.
Corey is the 2015 NC State NPC Physique Champion. He is now a Nationally Ranked physique athlete, and he does it all drug free. That is why he fit the culture at Mash Elite Performance. I am proud to sponsor this amazing physique athlete. Go follow him on Instagram at: @coreyreich
Don’t forget about the Mash Elite Weightlifting Team Camp:
We are hosting a three-day camp July 8-10 at the Mash Compound. It’s going to look like this:
• Day 1 Max Out Friday with the team and social afterwards
• Day 2 Clinic with Coach McCauley, Coach Wilkes, me and the team
• Day 3 Clinic about meet day prep and strategy, and then a sanctioned meet
We’ve decided to limit the camp to only 20 people, so don’t wait if you’re interested. Here’s the link to find out more: