De-Bunking 3 Fitness Competition Myths

Written by Tim Rigby, M.A., NSCA-CPT

In the business world during this seemingly never-ending pandemic, companies are relying heavily on their abilities to adapt and change.  Marketers, in their incessant quest to come up with new fashionable buzz words, have adopted a new one that you often hear in the sport of basketball: namely, to “pivot”.  What this means fundamentally is that while the core of your company remains in the same place, you nonetheless swing around to a different degree and face a new direction.  This provides a company with a new horizon toward which they can push off and sail toward.

So it is with we as individuals in our personal lives.  Making a change is sometimes a necessity, sometimes an option – but in every case, every “pivot”, it’s an exhilarating undertaking and presents a great deal of excitement and opportunity.  In fitness, a certain segment of people who have decided to make such a change in their lives, by adopting the mindset of training regularly, coupled with maintaining a sound diet, have gone on to become individuals known as competitive fitness athletes.  These are the people who demonstrate advanced-level muscle tone and leanness, all the while embodying strength and pleasing aesthetics.  In some way, from their very presence and deportment, they seem to be at a higher “level of life” with their athleticism and appeal.

But we here at Fit Deals are here to tell you that these fitness athletes are simply people like you.  They are not “immortal”, nor are they advanced in life.  They simply made a commitment to a specific fitness journey and carried it out with discipline and consistency.  You yourself can easily become one of such people.  Let that sink in for a moment.  Yes, friends, you too could be up there on stage at an organized competition run by one of the many fitness associations.  You too could be spotted from the crowd and offered a modelling contract by a photographer.  You too could be seen as the face of a brand-new sports supplement or athletic apparel company.  You too could become the hottest new social media influencer with lucrative potential.  Each of these developments have happened to other people just like you, and there’s no reason these eventualities couldn’t happen to you too.

Here are a few widespread myths/stereotypes to de-bunk so you don’t fall prey to negative hearsay and become deterred from realizing your own special fitness achievements:

Myth #1:  “The pros and elite athletes know all the deep secrets.  I’ll never be able to compete with them.”

Truth:  This myth can be easily shattered by considering one simple notion: when the pro fitness athletes first started out, they did not know all the secrets they do now.  They were veritably in the same boat as you, starting out.  Only through the experience of competition over time did they develop their so-called secrets, along with connections like trainers, prep coaches, nutritionists, etc. and therein developed an encyclopedic knowledge of the tricks of the trade.  Make the commitment and start out along the same paths they did, and as you gain experience, you’ll soon enough know all the relevant secrets that will make you competitive.

Myth #2:  “Committing to competition will negatively affect my family life and possibly put my job at risk.”

Truth:  We here at Fit Deals understand completely why you might think this occurs.  And the brutal truth of the matter is that sometimes it can happen.  However, you may be surprised to learn that the vast majority of successful fitness athletes do have families and jobs, and their relationships with both are not fractured by their undertaking a fitness transformation.  On the contrary, many family members will actually support you every step of the way, including lifestyle changes such as going to bed earlier and eating a different kind of healthier diet.  Many of them will take from your lead and thus follow your example.  As for your place of business, the majority of companies encourage employees to remain as fit and healthy as possible, particularly those people who interact with customers and clients.  Don’t worry over nothing!

Myth #3:  “Staying in a competitive shape is a 365-day-a-year commitment.  I can’t possibly dedicate myself to this activity every day of the year.”

Truth:  A little common sense is all that’s needed to shatter this myth.  Ask any personal trainer who prepares clients for competition, and you’ll discover that the goal of a competition is all about peaking at the right time – specifically, the day of the fitness event.  The most popular training/preparation periods for competition last only around 3-4 months (12-16 weeks).  These periods are broken down into weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly phases called cycles.  In no way is it required that you remain constantly in the best shape you can possibly be, all year round.  There simply is not a lot of money in fitness competition, and hardly anybody could make a living from competing except for the best in the world.  Local and regional (even some national) champions continue to compete as something of a hobby (and a desire to remain healthy so they don’t atrophy or reduce cardio function when not training for competition).  So relax, enjoy your off-seasons throughout the year, make the most of what life has to offer, and put the pedal to the metal come competition time!

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