The sport of Bodybuilding requires an immense amount of dedication and determination. Based on my own experiences competing in bodybuilding shows, it is one of the few sports in which success is completely dependent upon the competitor’s strengths, knowledge, and abilities. There is no equipment, gear and furthermore, there are no circumstances to excuse bad performances and no teammates to blame for failure or to rely on for success. It is a sport where the entire road to victory is placed upon the shoulders of the sole competitor and the results are reflective exclusively on his or her performance. You are equipped with nothing more than your own knowledge and an extremely strong determination to reach your goal. Bodybuilding is also a great learning experience. For every show you do, you learn more and more about the chemistry of how your own body works and how it responds to certain exercises and nutrients. I have found it to be a never-ending learning and goal-seeking experience. With every show you may achieve your goal at the moment, but as you learn more you set new goals which require even more training in order to reach them.

The first time I competed in a bodybuilding show I had only one goal in mind which was to be in good shape and more importantly, to be able to “see” my abs, or should I say ab since I was not sure is I even had one, LOL. That first goal helped me to win my first show in New England as a mid-weight. However, the trophy and title were just the “icing on the cake” for me. From that time on I was hooked…not on winning trophies, but on improving my body’s weaknesses. In the following year I came to understand much more about the sport and the word “bodybuilding.”

As simple as it sounds, bodybuilding is what it is! These days I find myself looking back at my past shows and pointing out my weaknesses so that I may improve on them for further shows to come. No one is a ! better critic of you than your own self. For example, you may see yourself and decide that your biceps, quads, back and so on, are not as good as you would like them to be. Then you dedicate your time on “building’ and even “shaping” them the way you want so that they will become a strength rather than a weakness for your next show. In addition to what most of us think of in terms of weight training to prepare for competitions, there are also several things you have to learn about the sport before you participate in your first show. There are many rules and regulations to be followed, as well as tricks of the trades for a show.

You need to be well educated in such areas as diet and pre-competition diet, training and pre-show training, posing and posing choreography, color and presence on stage and even “post show/goal depression.” This last area is one that is often neglected, yet not uncommon! ly experienced. Therefore it is very important to prepare yourself for this so that you can attack it head on if you find yourself at this roadblock. (Please read about “post show/goal depression” by clicking here. This is very helpful information for EVERYONE, even if you are not a bodybuilder). There are some misconceptions about Bodybuilding versus Natural Bodybuilding shows. I compete in Natural Bodybuilding shows. In Natural Bodybuilding you are tested for drugs such as steroids, testosterone enhancers, diuretics, growth hormones and so on. However, in regular Bodybuilding you are not tested and there are simply no limits to how big and muscular you can become. This is why in regular Bodybuilding shows you will see some guys out there who are obviously way beyond natural growth. For me it is a matter of choice and personal preference. I appreciate the fact that I can look somewhat muscular, but at the same time I am able to have a natural and functional body that allows me to do the other sports I enjoy, such as rock climbing, surfing, kayaking, etc. That is the reason why I chose to compete in Natural Bodybuilding shows, as opposed to the non-tested Bodybuilding shows. I have nothing against the non-tested Bodybuilding shows nor its competitors. They put the same amount of effort and sacrifice into their sport that all athletes do with even more pressure, judgment and criticism from the public. However, before we judge them we must remember that they are still athletes of their own kind bringing themselves to the limits of what the human body can do. No sport is a stranger to drug usage, whether it is being used for enhancement and better performance or to aid in the recovery from injury. Although we may all have varying opinions on this and other controversial areas of sports and competitions, I think the best approach is for us to read and learn more about these things before we are able to form an educated opinion about them. For me, the sport of Natural Bodybuilding or Bodybuilding is truly an art form based on how you choose to represent yourself and also how you decide to lead your life. There is an infinitive amount of knowledge you can gain from shows along with self gratitude and satisfaction in the accomplishments you will make.

In this sport there is always a great amount of uncertainty as to what the outcome of the competition will be. You can never be sure whether or not you will win because you never know exactly who your competitors will be and which ones will show up to each competition. You are always up against a different group. Even if some of the competitors are present at every show, they are always changing in their strengths and abilities just like you. There are so many variables in terms of judging bodybuilding shows and what each judge looks for in a competitor. When it comes down to who is the best, you may have one opinion, and each judge may have a diffe! rent one. Whether truly superior to you or not, the guy or girl next to you may appear to look better than you in the judges’ eyes and there is nothing you can do about it. The only thing you can do is to make sure that you are the best you can be in every single aspect of the show. You are competing against yourself all the time, always working to improve and perfect your own craft. So whether you win the competition or not in the judges’ eyes, you can still have a victory for yourself. You may not receive the trophy from the judges in every competition, but if you continue to push yourself and reach the goals that you set for each competition, you can be sure that you will always have a “trophy” with you wherever you go. That “trophy” is your body and NO ONE can take that away from you!!!

Rolando Amorim

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