Despite my appearance, or the fact I have been in the fitness industry for most of my life, competing was the very LAST thing I ever wanted to do. A matter of fact, it was at the very TOP on my list of things I NEVER wanted to do. I never wanted to compete in any kind of fitness competition, much less the kind that involves you getting on stage half naked so people could judge you. That sounded completely horrifying and miserable to me.
Nevertheless, Steve continued to ask me to compete with him (more like beg). I always said I wasn’t competitive. Steve says I’m too competitive, saying I don’t want to compete unless I can win. Fear of failure is definitely one thing that kept me from the stage for sure, so maybe he was right.
I already knew all my flaws. I would just rather judge myself and turn in my own score cards, which would be pretty low. I was very well aware of all the things that were wrong with me. I didn’t feel like I needed to be subjected to other people pointing them out. However, I would go on to compete and I would learn a very valuable message; a message I will share with you right now.
“Training for competition is the race and the stage is your finish line.” – Bonnie Pfiester
1. Competing Increases Intensity
“I’m never at my best unless I’m getting ready for a contest. I never train as hard as when I have a substantial goal, like a bodybuilding competition.” – Steve Pfiester, Body Building and Men’s Classic Physique Competitor
Steve always told me that I’d never be as disciplined with my diet and training as I would if I competed. I scoffed at the idea since I’ve trained very hard for various jobs and photo shoots. I’ve dieted my body down to what I thought was pretty darn lean. But, as always, he was right.
I’m not the only one that thinks that they could go through the same diet and training without competing and get the same benefits. Many people want to look like a competitor, but they (like me) don’t want to actually be one. That’s why we created Bikini Boot Camp – to teach people what we do to get ready for a competition even if they don’t compete. While our boot campers do get great results, the most dramatic transformations are the ones who actually compete. And I saw this for myself when I dropped 5% lower than my lowest body fat percentage when I prepared for competition.
Unlike many other sports or competitions, you physically wear your dedication for all to see. How hard you dieted shows on stage. Every cheat, every skipped cardio – it will reveal itself on stage. Every workout, every extra cardio and every day you nail your diet – it will also reveal itself on stage.
Competing is the ultimate accountability. You can weigh yourself every week, you can join a weight loss contest and you can even compete in marathon or other performance-based competition, but the accountability still won’t be as intense as getting on stage.
2. Competing Increases Chance of Success
In a way, competing forces you to succeed. It puts you in a place where you have more motivation to say “no” to the extra calories and “yes” to more workouts. There is more on the line. The stage exposes your body, your goals and your progress. And, when you tell your friends you are competing, it even increases your chances for success simply because of pride. No one likes to fail publicly. Sometimes reaching a goal publicly is just what we need to succeed.
Do you want to lose weight? Do you really want to get in the shape of your life? Maybe you need to compete to help you reach your goals. Maybe, just maybe, competing is exactly what you need to give you the intensity you need to force yourself to get the body you want.
3. Competing Holds You More Accountable
I’ll admit it. Accountability is no fun sometimes. Most people run from accountability. We don’t want people holding us accountable for our actions, our words, our food choices and our health. That is also why a lot of people won’t admit they are even on a diet, because they don’t want anyone to know if they fail.
We don’t like getting busted for slipping up so we tend to keep our goals, and even mistakes, private. We hate it when someone tells us what we know is right and what we need to hear, especially when it requires hard choices and a lot of discipline. BUT, we all need more accountability.
We NEED more truth and less fluff. We need more people to say “stop eating!” and less people dragging us away from our goals because they have no goals at all. We need our loved ones to help us get healthy, not enable us because they are scared our feelings are going to get hurt. We need support, even when it hurts. We need discipline, even though it’s hard. We need to set higher goals and expectations even if we have a fear of failure.
The fact is, the higher we aim, the better we become. Even if we don’t quite reach our goal, we’ll surpass any lower goal we’ve ever set before. Aim high! You are worth it! Brave the stage if it can help you break your weight loss plateau.
This is why I love being a part of a team. We are accountable to one another and we are not alone. We’ve made a commitment and we are following through together.
4. Competing Builds Confidence
Kimberly Mudge (in the blue suit) is a wonderful example of how competing builds confidence. Kimmy wowed all of us when she graced the stage for the first time despite her handicap. Not only does she have more confidence, she gained so many friends and workout partners in the process. She was part of something special and it changed her life, and even those who watched her.
I have to admit, the entire experience of competing improved my confidence and taught me a lot too. It taught me that I can do anything I put my mind to. It taught me that I have complete control over my body and it taught me so much about science, since I was it was my own science project.
It also forced me out of my box and made me proud that I did something so beyond my comfort zone. I was so proud even just showing up, no matter how well I did or didn’t do. I loved that it made Steve proud. I melted when my dad said he cried when I got on stage – to know I made my dad proud was an amazing feeling.
It also gave me more confidence to do other things, like doing the Mrs. Florida pageant and it even gave me more confidence in my career.
“Team Max took this guy, supported him, gave him guidance, boosted his self image and not only got him up on stage, but also (on stage) alone!!” - Dave Martone, Over 60 Bodybuilding 1st-Time Competitor
5. Competing Made Me Strong
If we avoid all the things we are weak in, we will never get stronger in those areas. Competing made me stronger. I learned I could be stronger in the gym and in the kitchen. It made me stronger with my walk with the Lord, as I relied on Him even more to keep me grounded and focused on His will for my life, in the midst of all that extra training and time working on my outer shell.
Grace became stronger in our home because nothing brings out the ugly in you like being “hangry”. Steve and I learned to extend even more grace to one another. And, doing it together made our marriage even stronger too!
“Competing strengthened more than my muscles. It strengthened me in ways I never would have imagined.” Bonnie Pfiester, Bikini Competitor
6. Competing Is For Anyone
There is a division and class for every type of person – from wheelchair to an Over 60 class. You can compete in your age group or compete by weight or height. There is a novas group, for all the people who have never competed before, and more advanced “Open” groups open to all ages for national qualifiers.
7. Competing Makes You Improve
You don’t have to win the competition, you just have to play the game! And, with practice, you can only improve!
You compete FOR you and AGAINST you – not for a trophy or against others. Training for competition is the race and the stage is your finish line. It’s not how you finish that matters most, the real prize is that you finish. Anyone can do it – and everyone who does do it finishes better and stronger than when they started, making everyone a winner on competitiom day!
Maybe this is YOUR YEAR to COMPETE! You Against You!
Meet some of our Team Max competitors…
“A lot can happen when you stay focused. On the left (October 10th), I was only a runner, didn’t focus too much inside the gym or followed a healthy diet. On the right (April 2nd) I am still a runner, but I’ve added weight lifting with my friend Will, boot camps at Max Fitness Club, a healthy diet, and AdvoCare Products. I’m a much faster runner than I was before, stronger than I’ve ever been, and feel amazing! I used to be on allergy shots and medication, horrible cholesterol, and pre-diabetic. I’m happy to say that I’m healthier than ever before and off all medication/allergy shots. On April 16th, I will be competing in my first NPC Competition as a part of TeamMax and I couldn’t be more excited! Fitness and Health is important in everyone’s lives and I hope my story will inspire others along the way.” - Brian Moore, 1st-Time Men’s Physique Competitor.