Sunday, June 16, 2013

Chat with a Multiple BODYBUILDING NATIONAL CHAMPION Part 2: Competing

Do we have to take part bodybuilding competitions before we are allowed to call ourselves bodybuilders? Why do we compete? To earn the title of a "bodybuilder"? For fame? For the gratification? To win others? To claim a title? Well here's my perspective.

I notice a common sentiment some(not all of course) competing and even non-competing bodybuilders carry with them. Even non-bodybuilders. This include the national champion I spoke to. To which he gave off the impression that there are tons of big guys in the gym that walk and act tough but they don't compete and therefore are "nothing". He feels that unless you compete, you don't have a right to "talk". To put it into expression, it would be something like this: "Act so much, step on stage then see whether you still dare to act lah"

Which then begs the question, why do we compete(or not)?

Well it all depends on the type of person we are that determines our very own individual reasons for competing isn't it? That's certainly something that no one can be wronged for. We have our reasons and there are no right or wrong reasons(perhaps better or worse), just reasons. But to take your reason and place it on every individual for why he does or does not compete is wrong. As for perspectives, I believe there are right and wrong perspectives. Wrong perspectives lead to poor reasons for competing and vice versa.

So here's my perspective that I offer to individuals who feel like what I mentioned above, not to have, but to realize of it's existence. Bodybuilding is the aim of shaping our bodies to what we feel is the ideal physique. The ideal physique differs from person to person. It is usually because of our admiration for such physiques and passion for lifting weights that we engage in this sport. Henceforth, and by definition, anyone who aims to maximize muscle growth and build a physique is a bodybuilder. Competitions(especially non pro-qualifiers or amateur contests) are simply a means by which people who share similar interest come together on a set date to showcase their progress and results as well as to see where they stand amongst others with similar interest for the fun of it. Competition is a good way for motivation to work hard. To give a bodybuilder a fixed date to work towards to. Competition should not be the reason for working hard, just the motivation.

Bodybuilding is a lifestyle. Competitive bodybuilding is a sub category of the lifestyle that helps keep the it alive and helps motivate individuals. For majority of people who lift but do not compete, their logic is simple: They are interest in bodybuilding, they are bodybuilding, but they have no interest in showcasing their work to others, no interest in beating anyone and no interest in seeking the extra motivation in bodybuilding. They don't even intend to "act" big. It is the perceivers(individuals with the sentiment mentioned above) misinterpretation of them.

The reason people have the sentiment of needing to compete before earning the right to feel tough and big is because of the type of person they are. Their reasons for competing are probably to win a particular title and to show they are the best. Aka, they are competitive in nature. Hence they feel "threatened" in a sense when someone bodybuilds for leisure and comes around looking bigger or better than them, triggering the competitiveness in them to feel that they have to be better. Therefore feeling the sentiment that unless you compete, you shouldn't call yourself a bodybuilder.

Not to mention, dieting for contest is a whole different process that a bodybuilder who doesn't compete may or may not experience, depending if the individual has dieted on his own. This results in competing bodybuilders feeling that those who have never competed never truly understands bodybuilding. Let us not forget that dieting down to extreme conditioning isn't what bodybuilding is really all about. Despite all the emphasis placed on conditioning these days in competition, bodybuilding is alive today because people love muscle and to many, bodybuilding is that - muscle. Of course with not too much fat.

After all, what's the difference between dieting for yourself and dieting for a contest that isn't going to offer you a career? Do we need that sense of "formality" or illusion of higher purpose before we allow ourselves to diet? Can't we not diet for truly higher purposes such as passion and desire for achieving such a body? Or more importantly, to become the strongest/best versions of ourselves? Is that not the highest of purposes while competing should not be the purpose but just an incentive, a motivation? Unless the competition has some huge monetary reward or career opportunities, there really is no purpose in competing other than for the extra motivation or to satisfy that competitiveness of an individual. Which means there really isn't any significant reason for anyone to compete especially in Singapore.

Competing isn't of higher purpose than not competing. I also know some people who have the sentiment that: "He also not competing, diet/train until like that for what?". If you grasp the perspective I have offered, you would realize that dieting for self-reasons is a much higher purpose than dieting for a local contests that offers little/no reward or opportunities or even for contest that do offer such things for that matter.

No, I am not against competing. Like I mentioned, it's a good way to keep the sport alive, keep ourselves motivated and aim towards something. And no, I am not saying all these because I never competed. I think everyone with interests in this sport should want to try competing at least once for the experience of it. In fact, I'm planning to compete soon!!!!

Think.

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