Women’s bodybuilding is a fast growing sport and whilst its popularity grows, so do the rumours and false perceptions. It can be an intimidating sport to join; with so many approaches and opinions. So this article gives you 5 top tips.
1. Ignore the nay-sayers!
When you first get into bodybuilding, people seem to be split into two camps. Those who are supportive and almost envious of you. They’ll be surprised your diet and training regime can be so regimented, baffled that you enjoy training and they’ll often say that they wish they could do it. Then there’s the other camp…these are the people who will ask if you’re scared of looking like a man, the ones who really don’t understanding bodybuilding or the fact there’s more than one category within the sport. These are the people you have to ignore. Negative comments will come your way all the time – it’s important to remember they have no impact on you, that the only person who has a relevant opinion on the matter is yourself. It’s easy to lose focus on your own goals if you care too much about what other people think!
2. Get active…on social media.
Social media, and the support it can provide, has been one of the most helpful things in my fitness journey. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, forums….no matter what your issue, someone’s been through it. Someone’s ranted on Instagram about bloating, someone has asked a forum for tips on competing for the first time. Not only can you find support and tips, you can find friendships and inspiration. Anything you need will be right where you need it.
If you don’t know anybody in your everyday life that trains the way you do, the internet is an invaluable resource, get involved!
3. Find what works for you.
Not everyone is the same. Your body won’t respond the same as somebody else’s body. This goes for training, dieting, rest days, exercises, the lot! It can take some experimenting, but you need to find what works for you. There’s so many different diets out there – IIFYM, clean eating, high carb, low carb, high fat, low fat, paleo…Try those you think you’ll enjoy and find what you respond to. For some people, clean eating is mentally impossible. For others, their body won’t react to flexible dieting as well as it will low carb. Play with your weights, play with your rep. If you’re just starting out, try different plans that are available free online! Find what you enjoy – if you enjoy training for strength, why play with light weights and high reps? Don’t stick with something that doesn’t work for you just because you think you “should”.
4. Find a good coach.
If you’re wanting to compete in bodybuilding, there’s nothing better for it – especially if it is your first time – than a coach. You don’t need a coach just for the run up to the competition too, help and support in your offseason is just as vital. Shop around, find the best coach for you – make sure you know what you want. If you want an IIFYM approach to coaching or a clean approach, if you need help with posing or if you’re just happy with diet and training, do you need someone active and involved to support you mentally, or are you happy to go it mostly alone? It can take some time to find the right person for you, but that support and guidance in your first prep is essential. There’s a science to competition prep, winging it could end in disaster.
5. Have fun!
Don’t forget that, at the end of the day, bodybuilding is a crazy sport. If you compete, your place in a line up can be entirely down to a judge’s perspective. It’s a sport where we grind all year for a few hours wearing very little clothing with a crazy tan on stage. Have fun with it. Don’t take it too seriously, and always remember one bad day doesn’t equal the end of the road.