Posts tagged npc

Are You Stuck in Your Own Little Box?

Get out of your boxMost people really like their “box”. They prefer the known – and the familiar. People rarely want to step out into unknown territory. Foreign territory can be scary. It’s unpredictable and it’s normally riddled with questions, fears and objectives – but it’s also where we grow the most.

Time to get out of my box!

3 Months ago, Steve asked me to compete with him. Hmmm…let me think. “No thank you”. Then I felt a tugging, a convicting, followed by open doors and confirmation. It was time to get out of my box.

As we started to make our plan, Steve told me he’d like me to get down to 133, and compete at 129. At 5’9″, I normally weigh 144-146 (16-18% body fat) and couldn’t remember the last time I was below 138, much less in the 120s! Knowing Steve knows what he’s talking about, I said OK, and started my fat loss journey to hit the stage for the first time.

you-are-now-leaving-the-comfort-zone1Before I talk about the weight loss highs and lows, I first have to go deeper into the danger of living in your comfort zone. I recently saw a post on instagram that said “the comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing grows there“. How true is this?!

When we step out in faith, we are forced to do things we normally would resist. We find out how strong we truly are, what we really can and cannot handle, and we learn new things about ourselves that we’d never learn if we remained where we were.

For me, stepping out on stage in next to nothing, and high heels, was absolutely completely out of my comfort zone. I’d rather sing the national anthem than stand on stage in a bikini. The crowd doesn’t bother me – I could lead them through a workout, give a diet talk or entertain them with music all night long – but just to STAND THERE and do NOTHING but smile and strike a few awkward poses? OMG! Shoot me now.

comfort zoneBut, as I tell all my competitors, it’s not about the stage. It’s not about getting a trophy and it doesn’t matter where you place. The stage is the finish line to a diet and exercise race. It’s not about the end, it’s about the process, the journey. So, I agreed to do it and felt God was telling me I had to get out of my fluffy happy easy box. I obeyed  – thinking “Are you SURE you want me to do this? I’m really very ok if you change your mind God. Are you SURE you want me to be half naked? It’s awfully vain God”. He wasn’t buying it. His ways aren’t my ways and evidently He has something He wanted me to learn from this experience. And I do admit, I’m learning a lot.

GROWTH REQUIRES PATIENCE:

PatienceI dropped 2lbs a week the first few weeks, then my weight loss started tapering off – more sporadic, more frustrating. It didn’t want to let more fat go, but I stuck with it. It’s just math, it will come off if I follow the rules and don’t give up. Boy was I irritated, thinking, “I wonder if this is as low as my body will let me go. I wonder what I’m doing wrong. How can I not be losing? Why is my weight slowing down?” (mind you, I’ve told hundreds of people why this happens and I know good and well it’s just a temporary sticking phase!) At 139lbs, I wondered if this was good as it was going to get. Ugh! (And I only WISH I could day I had a good attitude while I waited! #EPICFAIL)

GROWTH REQUIRES FAITH:

faithI hung on to 139 for what seemed FOREVER – but I had faith in the process. So I stayed the course, frustrated but determined. Then BAM! Suddenly I dropped to 135lb last week. This Monday, I weighed in (hoping to break 135), and was shocked to see 133. Today, I reluctantly weighed just to see how I was looking – and I was 129 lbs. Wow! 3 days before the show, and once again, Steve nails it. Talk about dialing someone in! Crazy!! It was my faith in Steve (and in science) that kept me going, knowing that it works for everyone we’ve ever trained and it would work for me too.

GROWTH REQUIRES FAILURE.

failure-and-successTraining for a show is the craziest science project I’ve ever worked on! What a cool experiment full of trials and errors along the way. Realize, with the trials, comes the errors (AKA: failure). How can you know what works if you are to scared to find out what doesn’t work? You can’t have success without the risk of failure. Did I fail along the way? Heck yeah! I’d go over my calories one day, and have to do an extra cardio to run it off the next day. I made a few mistakes, but I made a lot more successes. I reached several goals – and I could have never reached one of them if I wasn’t willing to also risk failure.

Was it worth it to step out of my box? I haven’t even stepped out on stage and can already say it totally was worth it already. Even though I still dread the stage, the process has really grown me, and helped me to surpass any goal I’ve ever hit before.

Thank you Steve Pfiester for helping me get out of my box – out of my comfort zone. …and thank you for putting up with my grumpy butt! At least it’s a smaller grumpy butt! I love you!  <3

ABOUT THE SHOW

NPC Daytona ClassicClick here to get information about the NPC Daytona Classic competition Team Max is doing.  The Daytona Classic is a relatively new show, but a GREAT show with a fantastic turn out, and put on by a wonderful promoter, Mike Matassa. They always have the best entertainment and programming.

Last year, our team (Team Max) was honored with the best Team Award, recognized for our positive attitudes and support back stage for other competitors. It made us so proud – and we have nearly 20 competitors returning this year to do it all over again!

Go Team Max!

Motivation to be MORE than a Competitor

bikini competitorAs I prepare for my first competition, I am learning something new everyday. Cutting calories and denying the flesh is HARD (but it’s worth it). Cutting calories for 3 months in a row, logging every single thing that hits my lips (including my 5 calorie gum!) has been exhausting and challenging (but it’s worth it). Dieting 7 days a week, not 4, not 5, not 6, but 7 days a week, for weeks on end has been brutal (but worth it). Going from 18% body fat to 12% body fat (and still dropping!!!) reminds me it’s not for nothing, I am making progress (so, again, it’s worth it).

A few days ago I realized I needed to take my dieting up another notch to break another plateau. I flinched in anticipation of additional struggles, temptations and possible failures. Then I realized this: For some odd reason, I feel God wanted me to step out of my comfort zone to do this dang competition. I would have GLADLY bowed out if He even gave me one inkling of disapproval or a closed door. Instead, it was the opposite. Doors swung wide open, support came, confirmation begun. I began doing it (whining a little as I went – ok whining a LOT! lol), but I’m determined to be obedient. Yes, God. OK, if you say so.

why?But why in the world does God give a flip about my body fat or me being in a teensy-weensy bikini? Really? As always, His ways are not my ways and I don’t doubt for a second there is a bigger purpose than getting on stage. What am I supposed to learn? How can God use me – backstage, during the training, with our team? These questions are not answered yet, but I have peace I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing and waiting for God to fill in the mysterious blanks, even though there is no part of me that wants to be on stage in a bikini in high heels. Talk about awkward!

Maybe it’s for no one but me. For me to learn more about me, and more about relying on him. To learn how to fight the flesh – with both of my tongues; the one that desires food and the one that spews out mean things when I’m grumpy and short-tempered from the training and dieting. Yes, thank you God for pointing out how just out of control my flesh really is. I see I have a lot more work to do. 

Standing hamstring curlNow, going back to cutting calories more: I remembered the scripture “Whatever you do, work at it wholeheartedly as though you were doing it for the Lord and not merely for people” Colossians 3:23. It was this scripture that reminded me who I’m really doing this for. While Steve is the one who really wanted me to do this with him, it was ultimately up to God – and He said Go. So, in reality, I’m doing it for Him. Really? A fitness competition? Scripture doesn’t say “whatever churchy things you do, work at it wholeheartedely”, It says “whatEVER” you do – all of it, EVERYTHING! Yes, even this competition.

That really took things up a notch for me. Christians aren’t whoosies. He deserves my best. I don’t want to be the lame fat chick up there who obviously let my flesh rule me. What a poor representation of God’s power in my life. I’m not giving my best for a trophy, or to get praise from judges or the crowd, but I’m doing it because (for some ridiculous reason) He has called me to this so I am to give my 100%.

Fitness coupleMaybe I am supposed to understand what hunger is so I can relate better to clients. Maybe it is so I can understand the pressures of being tempted to enjoy the praise of people, and to be reminded the only praise I need is from God. Maybe it’s for a job opportunity. Maybe it’s just to experience this together with my husband, to draw us closer, to work through our “hangry” arguments from our short-tempered disputes from being low on calories – that might expose stuff in us that we need to continue working on. (God knows I sure have had some ugly come out lately, and it’s made me draw nearer to the Lord in the process).

Spritual motivationOne thing I know is God can use all of us in EVERY part of our life. Whether in a competition or in a stock room. Whether surfing or singing. No matter how great you are at something, to keep God first – it says a lot. Anyone can run to God when things are tough, or when their life is a failure – but to succeed, to get praise of men and STILL say “that’s great, but I care about only one thing, that I can get to heaven and God say “well done my good and faithful servant” – now THAT’s what I want. The praise of one. My trophy is in heaven.

If you compete, already decide ahead of time, it doesn’t matter what the judges think. That’s merely men’s opinion. Don’t get me wrong, caring what people think about me and fighting my own vanity is just as much a struggle for me as it is to restrict calories or hold my tongue when hurt. However, it’s not a fight I plan to give up on. It’s a lifetime battle – fighting the flesh in every way. So, just as everything else you do in this life, choose to train and diet as if you are doing it for God Himself. I also remind you, He can see if you are cheating or lying to your trainer about what you eat. #JustSaying ;)

You are more than a competitor. You are more than 4th place. You are even more than 1st place. Do not let the crowd’s reaction define who you are. If you compete, use it to fuel you to reach a goal, but realize life is more than looks, body fat or attention. You will get much better, more honorable attention, by living a pure life, an unselfish life, and a life full of love for others. While fitness can be a very vain community if you let it, keep your eyes on eternity and you won’t get caught up in the body-focused world of fitness, but the health-focused self-improvement world of fitness. Work constantly to improve who you are – inside AND out. Remember, your body will shrivel up and eventually not be very attractive, but your spirit can remain beautiful your whole life if you keep your priorities right! 

fit-for-the-kingRemember what I posted a year ago – “It would be a shame to work so hard to be fit for this world, and be unfit for the king.” 

If you don’t think God has an opinion on fitness and training. Think again! Here’s a great scripture that warns us about bodily training… 

“While bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in EVERY WAY, as it holds promise for the PRESENT life and also the life TO COME.” 1 Timothy 4:8

Underneath the Bikini

BIKINI COMPETITORI don’t look at the body as a sex symbol or in vanity. To me, the body is like a clump of clay that can be sculpted into different shapes by applying science – and, like clay sculpted into a pitcher, our body is better used when it’s in good shape. A potter will cut away the excess, dig out the junk and squeeze the clay until it takes shape. If clay could hurt, it probably wouldn’t like the process very much. It would likely say “OUCH!”

In fitness, calorie management and training are the sculpting hands and much work is required to mold you in the best shape. One of the things I’m enjoying most, is one of the things I hate most – learning to set limits, stick to a plan and remain disciplined when I normally would cave. We live in a society where no one likes restrictions. People eat what they want to eat, buy what they want to buy and do what they want to do. When did restrictions become a bad thing? We need boundaries. We need to practice more self-control. It’s healthy and it makes us strong.

I’m loving living with more limitations, forcing myself to do what I don’t want to do to get to where I want to go. It’s hard work, but it makes me proud. I’m learning to control my flesh and not let it control ME! I’m learning I can do so much more than I thought I was capable of.

bikini competition suitYou may look at my suit and think WOW, that’s beautiful!! A bikini contest must be like a beauty contest, but it really isn’t. It’s more like a science fair. I am nothing more than one big science project.

I’m not competing to win a trophy, because I think I have a good body, or because I want to be on stage. I might not even PLACE! I can’t go on stage hoping to win a $40 trophy, or seeking praise from people. That is not what makes me who I am. A trophy can’t define me. It mustn’t. It’s the training, the self-discipline, the process and what God teaches me along the way that means more to me than a bronze sculpture or a medal. It’s finishing what I started to become the best version of me I can. That’s what will make me a winner, trophy or no trophy. It’s me against me – and I plan to CRUSH the old me!!

The truth is, I really don’t want to compete. I don’t care about the stage (terrified of the stage is a more accurate description lol). I am not comfortable being in a bikini in front of hundreds of people – I don’t even walk to my car from the beach without a cover up on! I dread standing next to a bunch of other girls to be “judged” – don’t we get judged enough every day? Lord knows, I know ALL of my flaws already and could just slip the judges my own list of all my shortcomings and save them time.

Steve and BonnieI’m competing, first, because my husband has been dying for me to do this with him for years – and I admit, dieting and training together has been a lot of fun. Second, I am competing because it’s forcing me to break through plateaus, push my limits, reach my goals, and step out of my comfort zone. It’s an incredible amount of work and a time where God is growing me in ways I never thought possible. The same way your muscles can’t grow unless you put them under pressure, I personally can’t grow if I constantly am avoiding the challenges of being under pressure.

My body is NOTHING – it will fade away like a dying flower. Learning to not be controlled by it is teaching me so much about myself and about how much more we need to let God be in control – not out stomach, not our laziness, not our selfish ambitions. Learning to die to flesh and live in the spirit both require a lot of discipline – and I plan to run this race of life to the best of my ability!

“…I discipline my body and bring it to submission, so when I have preached to others, I myself should not disqualified 1 Corinthians 9:27

The Bikini – Sewn In The Sun 

Sewn in the SunShop for your perfect competition suit, shoes and accessories at www.sewninthesun.com. She also sells amazing custom swimwear and workout gear.Sports Bra

Cara will help you pick out the cut, color and design that will best enhance your physique. She’s AMAZING when it comes to knowing exactly what will look best on you. She’s got mad skills!!

Visit their site, or stop by their store!
763 N Alt A1A Suite D, Jupiter, Florida 33477
Email: SewnInTheSun@aol.com
561-762-6165.

Compete to Train or Train to Compete?

Train to Compete

runningEveryone knows someone who is training, or has trained, for something – whether it’s a 5K, half marathon, tri, bikini competition, bodybuilding show, crossfit games, power lifting meet or tournament – competing gives you purpose to train like you’ve never trained before.

I believe people who run marathons or do bodybuilding shows are often misunderstood. Some people may think they are just super competitive. Others may just think they are super vain. Ironically, most people who compete are just super normal. They are lazy, they struggle with their training and diet UNLESS they have something to train for. Often times, they HAVE to compete so they HAVE to train.

Another words, most people who compete don’t compete to win, they compete to train like a winner. It’s not about taking home a trophy or having the fastest time in their age group. Winning is showing up and doing their best. They compete because it pushes them further than they’d push themselves on their own. Setting a date to run a marathon without completely dying, or get in a teeny-weeny bikini in front of hundreds of people without shaming themselves motivates them to keep showing up – whether they feel like it or not. It’s added accountability.

Compete to Train

monica brandtWe just had a team of 11 compete this weekend in the Treasure Coast Classic bodybuilding, figure, physique and bikini show. Not one of our competitors competed because they think they will go pro or be the next Ronnie Coleman or Monica Brandt. They all competed to see how hard they could push their bodies, to give them a reason to train hard, and a reason to stick with it. They competed to force themselves out of their comfort zone and train and diet like they’ve never trained and dieted before.

You see, some people think that competitors are the most motivated people in the industry. I’d have to disagree. Sure, while there are people like Steve who are insanely motivated and disciplined (when they are actually training and dieting for a show). However, they are often times the people who lack the most discipline when they aren’t in training.

Team MaxCompeting keeps you in check. It holds up the STOP sign when you really want to go back for seconds …and thirds. It pushes you to go to the gym, when you really just want to skip. It keeps you sticking with your program beyond when you typically would quit or slack. It gives you purpose.

All competitors are not alike. Of course there are people who just love to train, but most people do it because they need to accountability and support. Some LOVE the stage, and some train to place first – but, for most, they love the results.

Compete for Results

karrie spooner

Karrie is a great example of someone who chose to compete to take her training up a notch. She had already lost a good bit of weight, but she was ready to train harder, diet harder and get even better results. Competing was exactly what she needed to blow her goals out of the water. So proud of you Karrie!!

Here is a group pic of our competitors, which competed in various divisions and were all ages – from their twenties to their sixties. Click Here to learn more about Team Max.

team max

Today’s mantra:

Train with Purpose

Bikini and Figure: What the Judges Want

bikini posing don'tsWhether you’ve competed before, or you are just thinking about competing, the one question everyone wants to know is “what do the judges want?”

Recently, I went to a seminar led by judges from our region in hopes of finding the answer. Here is what I learned – and what I didn’t.

10 Things A Competitor Should Know

bikini walk1. Make your first few steps count. First impressions are EVERYTHING. One of the first things the judges said is they can tell if you are winner as soon as you step on stage. So, as soon as you are in view, the judging begins. Your first step should be just as strong and confident as your final one. Your smile should already be on, your posture should already be rocking, and your attitude should already be in play. Many competitors practice all their moves for center stage, but neglect practicing their walk and transitions (moving around in comparisons, etc) – and it shows. Don’t wait to nail your favorite pose, win them over in your first few steps.

2. Pose to look good from 5 feet below. Judges reminded competitors and coaches they are normally 4-5 feet below the stage. What may look symmetrical in front of a mirror, may not look the same from the bottom of the stage. This means, when you face away from the judges and bend over to stretch out your butt crease, you may giving the judges more than they want to see. The judges suggest trainers sit on the floor while coaching their athletes, or competitors practice on a platform to get the most accurate view of each pose.

bikini posing dos3. Stand naturally. Judges prefer competitors look natural. They don’t want a bodybuilder lat spread, and stiff hands that look like you are pointing a fake gun at everyone. They want competitors to stand tall and proud, maintaining a tight core while having relaxed arms and soft hands. I admit, it does look a lot better – unless you have a flaw that needs hiding. In that case, I suggest you do what you think makes your body look its best. Some of the most common mistakes were winged arms, flared lats, poor posture, forward shoulders, downward chin (showing insecurity), severe bent-over glute pose, torqued waistlines and awkward stances.

I picked out a few pictures online, from both bikini and figure competitions, to help clarify what they are not wanting – as well as show you what they want, which is demonstrated beautifully above by this woman in the blue suit. Refer to the very first photo in this blog to see how to make corrections.

bikini posing don'ts

bikini posing

4. Don’t resort to poses made popular by people who were trying to hide flaws.  Some competitors will twist more at the waist to hide width, or bend more at the hips when showing their rear pose to get rid of lose skin. However, if you don’t need to do these poses, then don’t do them. The judges prefer you stand normal with arms down to the side and only lifted slightly. In many ways, posing is smoke and mirrors trickery. But, it is always best to stand and walk as naturally as possible, while posing in a way that flatters you most. This is just my opinion, but based on what the judges said, I’d venture to say the girl with the legs crossed is fit enough to stand normal, as well as the girl with her legs awkwardly spread out wide. Of course, if you need to cross your legs, go for it – but if you’ve got the total package, stand comfortably in it and leave the awkward poses for the people who need it.

Since presentation is everything, a person who well-hides their flaws still have a great chance to beat out a hot body who lacks confidence and is missing other elements, so don’t be discouraged if you have to use the alternative poses. I think their whole point is not to do them if they aren’t necessary.

bikini dos and don'ts5. Be original. Just because someone else does something, doesn’t mean you have to. Choose your walk, suit, hair, style, poses and sign-offs that fit your own personality – not someone else’s. The judges love it when a person’s unique personality comes through. Some girls are girlie, some are sassy, some are classy, some are a bit sexy (but be careful on this one), and some are bouncy and fun. The key to your success is choosing what looks best on you,  going with your own personal style, and going with it 110%. Remember, they see competitors alllll the time – so give them something fresh and new to look at!

figure side pose6. Avoid the awkward side glide. No one really enjoys walking away from someone while in a bathing suit, knowing your butt is bouncing all over the place – but what looks even more ridiculous is someone obviously trying to walk away from you while forcing their body to face forward. The same goes with people walking out on stage. Side-gliding across the stage looks funny. It’s natural to point your body in the direction it is going. I only wish I could have found a photo to demonstrate this ridiculous looking walk, but I came up empty handed – so you just get this crazy quarter turn side pose (which I’m sure the judges would hammer by the way).

They key to looking natural is practice, practice, practice! When you are walking on stage, you can still face your head toward the audience, while looking natural walking across the stage. If you want to avoid bouncing your bottom across the stages in front of the judges, you can still limit the time your body may have it’s back to the crowd while walking, but you need to do it in a way where know one notices. So practice how you would get on and off stage, how you would change places in comparisons, and how you will return to the back if asked to step to the side.

bikini pro attitude7. Bring your attitude – and if you don’t have one, act like you do. Have you ever wondered why the guy or girl that looks like they have enough attitude to go around (even if they appear a little TOO confident) always wins? Well, after this seminar, it was clear the judges want confident competitors. So, while the cockiness may be a complete turn off to me, the judges will take a confident cocky competitor over a pretty, but bashful, one. And, if you lack confidence, they suggest you fake it. This is when acting skills become very valuable. 99% of the crowd has no idea who you are, or what your real personality is, so bring your alter ego to the show and leave Little Miss Shy at home.

 nathalia melo8. Your posing suit won’t win the show for you. If you thought you needed to spend $500 on a suit to win, think again. The judges said there is no reason to spend a bunch of money on blinging out your million dollar suit – especially if you aren’t blinging out your body. I’d suggest spending the money on the things that matter most – like good training and a professional tan (the judges highly recommend getting sprayed at the show). As for the suit, its primary purpose is to have the right shape that flatters your physique. All the extra bling is just that – extra. This doesn’t mean you go pick up a bathing suit at Kmart, but it does mean that you shouldn’t let a pricey suit get in the way of competing. While overall presentation is super important, no one will notice that you have 100 less rhinestones than the next person – especially if you have the most rocking body! 2012 Bikini Olympia Champion, Nathalia Melo, (pictured here) proves a simple suit can still look like a million dollars.

 doutzen-kroes-2009-victorias-secret-fashion-show-019. You’re a bikini athlete, not a victoria secret model. One of the judges actually made a comment in the seminar that they wish they could just pop the heads off and judge their bodies. While I do understand the point they are trying to make (and realize the focus is on the body) the way you style your hair, wear your make-up, and express yourself through facial expressions is also a big part of your appearance and attitude. Although we can’t pop off your heads (sorry, you are stuck with it), what you choose to do with it still matters in my opinion.

What I believe the judges meant was this. When choosing your hair style, you shouldn’t be constantly trying to flip and rearrange your hair, or allow it to cover your body. They same way you don’t want your hair to be a distraction, your makeup should not be distracting either. Your make-up should enhance your natural beauty – not take over your face like a rhinestoned leaper. Most importantly, don’t spend a ton of money and energy on the extras. The judges aren’t judging how natural your extensions look or noticing the stones on your false eyelashes.

bikini competition tips10. Be YOUR best. The judges explained that they never know ahead of time what will win a show. What they meant was, if a bunch of hard girls show up, the winner will most likely be hard. If a bunch of soft girls show up, the winner will be most likely soft. This was super frustrating to me. Since I have seen how much judging can fluctuate from show to show, this is what we’ve always told our competitors. Choose ahead of time what YOU want to look like. Personally, I’d rather a competitor lose because they are too lean, than too soft. At least, even if you don’t win, you didn’t lose because you were too fat and deconditioned.

Before you compete, you need to decide WHY you are competing. Are you doing it to force yourself to diet and train hard? Are you doing it as a science experiment, to see what you can do with your physique? Are you doing it to win a trophy or get “discovered”? I would venture to say most competitors are doing it to look their best – and all the rest is the icing on the fat-free high-protein cake. Of course we would all like to look THE best, but that is a bit relative – so I suggest you just focus on looking YOUR best, and if the judges agree…BONUS!

CLICK HERE to read the Bikini Division Rules

CLICK HERE to read the Figure Division Rules

MY THOUGHTS

What I didn’t learn

I didn’t learn what judges want a competitor to look like in the ideal world. Their answer to that question was “it depends who shows up”. Ughhh!

What I took home from the seminar

Although the judges did say what they don’t like to see when it comes to poses, suits, etc – the fact of the matter is you WILL see people win who still do this stuff, so I don’t really think they necessarily count against these things, I just think they don’t prefer them. I still think it’s valuable to consider them and try to give the judges what they want as much as you can, while doing what you can to look your best.

What I wish the judges WOULD do (a girl can dream right?)

I wish they’d decide on what they want each division to look like and judge accordingly no matter who shows up. Another words. If a bunch of hard girls show up, but they want a softer look, give the trophy to the softest conditioned girl – or vice versa. Eventually competitors will “get it” and move into the right division and begin to show up prepared. But, right now, there are soft out of shape girls winning some shows and shredded girls winning other shows – all judged by the same judges. Although I totally understand the dilema, I feel judges have the power to guide the sport more by who they give the trophy too. Bodybuilding seems most consistent (which to me is much easier to judge), but it gets squarely with the women it seems. That’s just my opinion, but the fluctuation drives competitors bonkers and that can do a number on you mentally.

Are you a competitor? Do you want to be?
What are YOUR Thoughts, Questions, Concerns?

 

 

Men’s Physique Competition Gives Men Reason to Train Harder

“No one ever trains and diets as hard as they do when they know they have to get on stage in front of crowd.” – Steve Pfiester

The-Incredible-HulkWhen people talk about bodybuilding, most people picture someone who looks a lot like the Incredible Hulk, without green skin. They picture men with bulging muscles and veins popping out everywhere, pumping serious iron while grunting like a big dumb gorilla.  If this is someone’s first impression of bodybuilding, no wonder they are terrified to go the gym.

Over the years, both gyms and bodybuilding have changed. Gyms are no longer a breeding ground for the next Mr. Olympia. Fitness centers have transitioned away from bulking up to sculpting and conditioning.

men's physiqueWhile there are still guys out there who think bigger is better, a more compact lean body is more desirable to the mainstream gym member. As the fitness industry shifted away from the old-school pumping iron days, the sport of bodybuilding also needed to change.

The National Physique Committee (NPC), as well as the IFBB Professional League created by Joe Weider and his brother Ben, recognized the growing trend and created a new division for men who wanted to look fit without extreme muscularity. The division is called Men’s Physique.

What is Men’s Physique?

mens fitness coverMen’s Physique competitors look more like what you would see on a Men’s Fitness magazine cover than Flex Muscle Magazine. Instead of wearing skimpy posing trunks, Physique competitors wear long board shorts, with more of a focus on the chest and abs. Personality and poise is also graded.

Even though this division is new, it is catching on like wildfire. Men across the nation are using Physique competitions as a tool to get in the shape of their lives, including some Vero Beach locals.

A group of men, from Max Fitness, will represent Vero Beach in the NPC Southeast Classic April 6th in Hollywood Florida. Competitors vary in age, shapes and sizes. Since Men’s Physique also offers a Masters division, men can compete in their appropriate age group including Over 30, Over 40 and Over 50 age categories.

Who Competes?

Max fitness menWho are the competitors? He may be your realtor, or your computer repairman. He may wait on your table at your favorite restaurant, or fly your plane. Most of them are just men who want to put their body to the test.

“This level of commitment, self-denial and discipline has a perfect carry over into our daily lives.  It teaches competitors to be a better parent, boss, spouse, employee, and so on,” explains Max Team Trainer, Steve Pfiester.

If someone is looking for added accountability, a Physique competition may be the answer. “No one ever trains and diets as hard as they do when they know they have to get on stage in front of crowd.” Pfiester shares from his own personal experience. “Whether you win a trophy or not, you are a winner the day you show up because you will all be in the best shape of you life. ”

Original story by Bonnie Pfiester printed in the TCPalm’s NewsWeekly in the Indian River County Press Journal. Learn more about the new Physique competition and upcoming competitions in your area at NPCnewsonline

“Before Photo” 2 months away from competition. Stay tuned for more competition news and updates.

Max fitness men

Since this is a first show for many of our competitors, we at Max Fitness wanted to make this memory last. Doing a competition shouldn’t be just about the 5 minutes on stage – if you focus on that, you are doomed for a bad experience. The stage is just the finish line – and the preparation is the real journey. We took this video of all the competitor training after hours at our Team Max “Power Hour” training event to capture the memory of the hard work and dedication, the transformation, the friendships and the passion for fitness. No matter who takes home a trophy or not, the real prize is your new and improved physique!

[youtube=http://youtu.be/gqdhkSVlTOc]

FITNESS MOTIVATION: Finish What You Started

EXCUSE (k-sky"z) Relieve, rationalize, explain, pardon, condone, exempt, rationalise, apologize, justify…

Training for a body building show can be pretty intense. The training, additional cardios, extreme dieting, and keeping up with all the supplements (listed below) can all be pretty overwhelming even when things are going smoothly. Then add an injury to the mix and you’ve got new beast to battle.

Steve Pfiester is not the only one to suffer a devastating injury prior to fitness event. Most athletes face some kind of injury at some point in their career. For Steve, it’s was a torn MCL and medial meniscus just 10 days prior to his bodybuilding show in Daytona. When something like this happens, it can throw you into depression fast if you let it. Key word: “Let“.

You can let an injury take control of you, or you can take control of it. The choice is yours. For Steve, he decided to go forward and do the contest despite his knee. As part of the preparation, I had to mix his music for his night performance and I wanted it to reflect his circumstance. In search for a motivational sound bite, I had a feeling Eric Thomas “The Hip Hop Preacher“, known for encouraging athletes, would have something cool that would fit Steve’s situation- and I found one of the most profound statements I’d heard in a long time.

It’s not about making excuses, it’s about making adjustments”.

Wow, is all we could say. We replayed it over and over and over again. It was the theme for our entire weekend, because making adjustments was exactly what was required.

In addition to all Steve’s normal training and dieting, now he had to go to Dr. Stepanek’s office to get cold laser therapy twice a day, which he felt was really helping. In addition to therapy, he had to ice his knee as many times a day as possible – all between clients, training, eating, teaching boot camps and running a gym.

He also had to adjust his workout routine around exercises that didn’t hurt. Hamstring curls and squats were impossible, but leg extensions and straight leg dead lifts were okay.  He had to keep up his cardio, so he traded running outside for melting fat on the elliptical in the gym. And, he had to do it all on less sleep because his knee pain kept him up at night.

His knee required him to adjust the way he walked and performed even simple tasks, like getting in and out of bed or putting his pants on. He even had adjust his clothing around wearing a brace, and he added compression socks to his daily wardrobe. Adjustment was his middle name.

Making adjustments can be a pain (sometimes literally), but necessary when you want something bad enough. However, most of us use the tiniest excuse to stop us dead in our tracks. Instead of listing all the things you CAN do, we use that one thing to convince of the things we CAN’T do.

It wasn’t that Steve wanted to win a bodybuilding show that bad. He didn’t need another trophy or the notoriety. He needed to follow through with what he had planned. He needed to reach his goal, which was to do his very best – not necessarily to BE the very best.

Steve showed up, knee brace and all, and won both his weight classes. But, even if he didn’t win, he knew in his heart he did his very best with his circumstance – and that’s what fitness is all about. It’s not about perfection, it’s about dedication.

Got Excuses?

What excuse are you allowing to paralyze you right now? For every excuse you are using, someone else is overcoming. Just because you have a good excuse doesn’t mean you have to use it. Finish what you started.

Steve’s Pre-Contest Supplements:
Designer Whey Protein
GNC Rampant
GNC MegaMen 
GNC Repower
GNC Reforge
Zinc
Magnesium and Potassium
Vitamin C
EFX Kre-Alkaline
Chromium Picolinate

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