Lifting Weights Competitively

By Nan Werther , last updated January 1, 2012
If you have an excellent physique honed from years of rigorous training and dedication, why not consider lifting weights competitively? Regardless of how bulked you are, if you know your way around a weight room, chances are you could enter a bodybuilding contest to show off what you're made of to the world. You don't have to have the perfect body to win, so why not give it a try? This article will give you all the information you need to successfully join the world of competitive weight lifting.

Explore the World of Bodybuilding

There are many places one can begin familiarizing themselves with this unique community. First and foremost, it is important to begin researching and joining one or several of the bodybuilding organizations that sanction competitions. For the most part, these contests are stepping stones to professional competitions, which are presided over by the International Federation of Body Builders (IFBB). Other organizations you might be interested in include the National Physique Committee (NPC), World Natural Bodybuilding Federation (WNBF), National Gym Association (NGA), Amateur Bodybuilding Association (ABA), North American Bodybuilding Federation (NABF), Organization of Competitive Bodybuilders (OCB), and the United States Bodybuilding Federation (USBF). Most of these organizations require that you purchase a membership in order to compete.

Eat Right for Success

Many amateur bodybuilders don't realize that dieting is one of the keys to maximum muscle definition the day of your competition. However, this is one of the hardest commitments you can make in regards to your success. Dieting right is often expensive and requires additional protein powders, meal replacements, and supplements in order to get the nutrition you need to support muscle gain. Additionally diet will test your resolve and willpower, so be prepared mentally and emotionally for these trying times. Ideally, your dietary restrictions will yield the leanest muscle mass while flushing all extra body fat and water retention from your system the day of. Any deviation from this diet the weeks before can influence crucial gains in your definition. It is important to see a doctor before starting this diet to better understand your fat ratios and dietary needs. Most bodybuilders maintain a diet anywhere from 4 to 12 weeks prior to a competition.

Practice Posing

Don't neglect this crucial preparatory element when prior to the competition. Indeed, a superior poser can win over a better physique, to practice daily. Bodybuilding judges will rate you on muscular size, muscular definition, symmetry, and your ability to present your body at its best. When practicing, make sure your muscle groups are clearly defined, hard and tight, that your body is well balanced and that you display yourself confidently. Lastly, familiarize yourself with traditional moves by name.

Look Your Best

There are some tips experienced body builders use to look better on stage. Make sure that you have a deep bronze tan, achieved through multiple coats of self-tanner or by booking sessions at your local tanning booth well in advance. Posing oil will enhance definition onstage as well. Cooking spray can be substituted in a pinch, but opt for something like Pro Tana Hot Stuff for maximum effect.

Resources and References
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