Dieting, cardio, training, posing…all of that for 16 weeks can be a real grind. But they don’t call me the Pepper Mill for nothing! (Ok, I gave myself that nickname, but I’m still using it!)
One of the things that you don’t necessarily think of when preparing for a bodybuilding contest is your mental toughness! However, if you chose to do a show and you have other factors in your life (family, a job, a house, etc.), you must get mentally stronger. Picture a pendulum! It swings back and forth, left to right. One side we will call “energy” and the other side is “no energy at all”. The closer the weeks and days get to the show, that pendulum will swing more toward the “no energy” side than the “energy” side.
As far as the gym goes, I promise you that the weights you were throwing around before all of a sudden feel like a ton of bricks. Dieting & cardio will leave you with zero energy some days. The lack of food (carbs) will have your hormones to the point where you start becoming a bit temperamental with people – and sometimes with the people you love most (BE CAREFUL with that one!).
It is at this point where mental toughness becomes a necessary tool in your bag of tricks. Keep your eye on the ultimate goal! What I have done may seem silly to some, but could be helpful to others. I have printed a few inspirational sayings throughout some strategic places in my house and at work. The one that gets me through the most is a phrase I printed on 2 pages using a very large font. It simply says FIGHT FOR IT. Simple. But if I read it periodically, even glance at it, I remember to buckle down at my weakest moments. At the end of the day, this is something I choose to do. Why not enjoy the ride?!