Before You Prep Consider This

Embarking on a contest prep is not for the faint-hearted.

While the glitz and glamour of the stage photos may give off the illusion that the competitors are all happy and feeling their best, the internalised thoughts are often very different.

“My legs are still fat”

“I hope they don’t see my left pec is bigger than my right”

“My god im tired”

Standing on stage takes a certain level of willingness to suffer that isn’t seen on the external shell of a competitor, but rather, it is hidden beneath the surface and often not spoken about

Unless of course, you know what are looking for…

Sunken cheeks, emaciated faces and no body fat left on the bum of a competitor are sure signs of suffering


But again… it looks so impressive when all you see is the photo

So before you prep, consider this…

  • Do you have the time to ensure you never miss a training session?

  • Can you train at any time, even if it means missing an event or beginning your session at 11 pm at night because other commitments came first?

  • Are you willing to get outside and walk in the rain to complete your cardio or spend hours on a machine each week to burn those few extra calories?

  • Can you say not when offered just a nibble of someone else's food or even the lick of a spoon?

  • Do you have a support group that understands you're going to need to say no to a lot of things and despite this, they will still be there for you?

  • Do you have a disposable income available to spend on a hobby that will cost you $200-$400 a week for 20 weeks, depending on if you have a coach?

  • Are you able to recognise when you're emotions are getting out of hand and you need to take a step back?

  • Are you sufficiently educated on nutrition, training and supplementation so that you don’t have to follow your coaches opinions blindly?

  • Can you still support your loving partner, family and friends in their goals despite feeling like you want to sleep all day?

  • Are you truly ready to commit for 20 weeks…

These are all just simple questions, questions you need to ask yourself if you are considering a contest prep.

These questions are what will determine whether or not your prep is a success

These questions are what will help you maintain your relationships while committing to perhaps one of the most selfish sporting endeavours you can do.

These questions need to be answered

Whether you are a bikini competitor, women’s figure, men’s physique or in the bodybuilding categories, all of the above questions are still relevant

If you can’t answer 95% of those questions with a Yes, save yourself the heartache of prep now and either work towards reaching a yes or finding a different hobby

Bodybuilding isn’t a participation sport

You don’t stand up on stage just because you want to but rather because you did the work and earned the opportunity to show off what you have achieved

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That to me is what being a physique competitor is all about.

But let me ask you one more question…

Do you respect yourself enough to not falter?

That final question, question number 10, is the question I am most interested in when it comes to determining if I think a competitor ‘has what it takes’ to truly get into contest condition

To me, self-respect is the answer to prep success…

To me, cheating on your diet, slacking on cardio or giving in to fatigue during your training sessions is more about having a lack of respect for yourself than it is about being a bad client

Because the truth is this…

I hate seeing people sell themselves short because they haven’t learned the skill of being resilient

They haven’t said no enough times for no to become normal…

Instead, like most of our society, they have given in to temptation so many times that saying yes is easier than saying no

Say no enough times though, and you can learn that skill just like you can any other


Do you respect yourself enough to not falter?

You tell me.

Diet Smart Not Hard

Coach Dean