T Nation

Competing: How Often is Too Often?


#1

I know it's obviously going to come down to individual recovery ability, but to those of you who compete, what are your thoughts? A lot of natty guys I talk to seem to plan several over the course of a couple of months and just him 'em all. Ive been planning to do a show early next May, and then again in late June, but recently found out about a 3rd one in late May that I honestly think I would do well at. Thoughts?

S


#2

Hopefully not sucking too much cock here stu [no ghey], but im pretty sure if u come in the condition you came in for ur first, ill bet you do really well whichever u enter. Its been what 2 months since ur first, then 6months clean bulking and then 3months to get shredded for ur next for ur next comp. Im sure staying within 2-3%BF of contest BF% wouldnt be bad, maybe u’d get a tiny rebound effect and put on a few more lbs of muscle before u shred again??


#3

Don’t you think doing all those competitions would limit your ability to grow during your “off-season”? I see you’re 175 during comps and 205 offseason, according to your profile, and an advanced BBer at that, so I’d say do what you feel your body can handle.

I think the biggest problem is the limit of growth opportunities.


#4

Well, there aren’t going to be ANY growth opportunities during a series of several shows. We’re talking about 3 contests over a course of 2 months, so more than anything my concern is beating the hell out of my body and not being able to come in conditioned to the 3rd show (which will most likely be the toughest of the three).

All I’ve read and heard from others says that by competing two times in a row will actually allow you to dig deep into your conditioning and actually come in tighter for the 2nd show (which would be very cool). I certainly don’t plan on going full ‘offseason’ for the 3-4 weeks between shows, simply stop the cardio for the 1st week or so, and back my cals up maybe a few hundred a day (keeping my carb rotation), and then tighten up again the last week or week and a half before each show.

As of now, all I can do is theorize, but judging by how well my body seemed to hold it’s condition a good week or two after the last show, I do think it’s doable.

S


#5

[quote]pro-a-ggression wrote:
Hopefully not sucking too much cock here stu [no ghey], but im pretty sure if u come in the condition you came in for ur first, ill bet you do really well whichever u enter. Its been what 2 months since ur first, then 6months clean bulking and then 3months to get shredded for ur next for ur next comp. Im sure staying within 2-3%BF of contest BF% wouldnt be bad, maybe u’d get a tiny rebound effect and put on a few more lbs of muscle before u shred again??[/quote]

How much growth do you really think is going to happen in only 6 months?

I don’t compete…and there is a REASON for that. I knew how big I wanted to be and dieting down constantly would result in LESS long term progress than if I spent more quality time building more mass.

I see tons of guys who get hooked on competing and ten years later don’t look much different than when they first started getting on stage save for maybe 10-20lbs of extra size. on the other hand, I look NOTHING like I did 10 years ago and I am guess that is because I spent that time growing.

I am also not against Stu’s approach, but unless he is winning these comps, jumping on stage every single year will hold back his progress, not help it move forward.


#6

Is there a huge financial incentive to do and win these shows, or are you just doing it to rack in the trophies?

No knock on the latter, but if your goal is the get bigger/leaner the next time you compete, it seems like hitting these 3 shows so soon after your last one is counter productive. If you stand to make a few thousand dollars from each show, well I dont know if I wouldnt do it either.

You could probably post this over in the Thibs section for a MUCH more experienced answer.


#7

Well, There’s not much financial incentive at all in Natty BBing, it really is just about accomplishments and all that other feel-good stuff -lol. I just seemed to get different reactions from other competitors after I walked away from my last show with 4 trophies (two 1sts, an overall and a 3rd) saying how I wouldn’t compete again for a year so that I could bring a better package.

It’s not like I’m going to be dieting so soon after the show, hell, the show was May 2nd, and I’m not coming anywhere near a diet until Feb 2010. Also, In hindsight (I mentioned this a lot in my contest thread) I feel I could have come in bigger and still made my weight class (I decided to err on the side of conditioning over size).

In terms of development, at my age (not an excuse, just putting it out there) if I can make 3-5 lb gains each year in my contest weight, that’s a hell of an accomplishment.

So I’m looking at a good 10 months after the last show before I start restricting cals again, and I’m fiarly certain I’ve made some decent improvements during my initial rebound as well. My concern was in terms of doing too much in a small time frame, and the possibility of not being able to peak as well for each successive show.

S


#8

[quote]Lonnie123 wrote:
Is there a huge financial incentive to do and win these shows, or are you just doing it to rack in the trophies?

No knock on the latter, but if your goal is the get bigger/leaner the next time you compete, it seems like hitting these 3 shows so soon after your last one is counter productive. If you stand to make a few thousand dollars from each show, well I dont know if I wouldnt do it either.

You could probably post this over in the Thibs section for a MUCH more experienced answer.[/quote]

I don’t believe amateur shows are paid.


#9

Even though I’m far from a physique which would enable me to compete, I’d advise not to compete in an annual basis. Seriously, I’ve seen the most sick improvements from those guys, who miss 3-4 years on the stage, spend it with packing on more meat, brining up their weak points. Then go on stage and beat every other competitor with their size and muscularity.

Especially if you’re Natty, you won’t build too much tissue if you compete regulary.

Nonetheless, you’re the experienced one advanced lifter, and it’s your life, so your decision. I just wanted to drop my 2 cents into the hat.


#10

[quote]Professor X wrote:
pro-a-ggression wrote:
Hopefully not sucking too much cock here stu [no ghey], but im pretty sure if u come in the condition you came in for ur first, ill bet you do really well whichever u enter. Its been what 2 months since ur first, then 6months clean bulking and then 3months to get shredded for ur next for ur next comp. Im sure staying within 2-3%BF of contest BF% wouldnt be bad, maybe u’d get a tiny rebound effect and put on a few more lbs of muscle before u shred again??

How much growth do you really think is going to happen in only 6 months?

I don’t compete…and there is a REASON for that. I knew how big I wanted to be and dieting down constantly would result in LESS long term progress than if I spent more quality time building more mass.

I see tons of guys who get hooked on competing and ten years later don’t look much different than when they first started getting on stage save for maybe 10-20lbs of extra size. on the other hand, I look NOTHING like I did 10 years ago and I am guess that is because I spent that time growing.

I am also not against Stu’s approach, but unless he is winning these comps, jumping on stage every single year will hold back his progress, not help it move forward.[/quot

Your reasons would apply to some competitors, but I can see where it wouldn’t apply to others. Stu, you’re what, 34-35? There’s not going to be a ton of mass left to put on naturally, and he’s not trying to win a national NPC show, at least I don’t think he is. At that point I think the fun and challenge of competing more often would be your incentive for bodybuilding.


#11

i can’t believe you want to starve yourself for two months! That’s why they call you the gangsta…

Off topic: I was playing this ipod touch called GeoDefense…Well one of the bad guys are called “wiggers”…I thought that was funny!


#12

I like to take the Olympic schedule. Every four years. Everything is in four years for me. That way I do not have to get into a hurry, I do not like to hurry. Hurrying is like running, it’s for people who are scared.

  • Brother

P.S. I’m only scared when your mom walks into my room in a thong.


#13

Stu, When I started competing I was a lightweight 149 lbs and eight years & about 15 contests later I was a middleweight and weighed 169 lbs at my heaviest contest weight. Even though I did well at all of the shows, I shouldn’t have done more than 1 a year, if that.


#14

I plan on doing a natural competition in a few years, and I was only planning on doing one or two a year. Otherwise not enough time for growth.


#15

I never had problems doing one show a year an still grow. Much the opposite. I found the period right after a competition to be the best in terms of anabolism and new growth.
Whend I was in my late teens, I did 2 shows within 2 or 3 weeks each year. I came in heavier every single year. I found it easy to stay in contest shape for that time period and to peak twice within 3 weeks or so.

I wouldn’t, however, do shows over the course of several month, since you’ll have to stay in very-near-contest-shape for weeks and month, which is very hard mentally as well as physically and it will limit further muscle growth.

I do not agree with professor X. You’re a bodybuilder. Compete. There are so many guys out there crying about how big and strong they are and they say they won’t compete because they don’t want to limit their growth by contest preps or that they do not want to compete against dwarfs or whatever remember Victor Richards?). But to find out and prove how good you really are, you’ll have to compete.
Or then don’t compete but be quiet.

Personally, I’d do the two May shows and skip the one in June.


#16

The two in May do seem to be the logical choice. Still, without sounding overly dramatic, I am 36, with 16 years behind me, and I do realize that I only have so many years left to make real progress. I’m not at the point where I’m trying to still put on size, I think a lot of guys trying to be helpful don’t realize that. I went from 150 to 220 over YEARS, and only upon persuasion from Jim Cordova did I figure that I’d take a shot and finally working on conditioning and throw my hat in the competitive ring.

Even now, I’m back up to about 200, and if I had to figure, I’d say that I’m probably no more than 10% bodyfat, so again, I’m not looking to put on 20 lbs of muscle anymore, I’ve been through that :slight_smile: Jim figures that there’s more than enough time between shows, and I gotta say that several of the better natty pros I talk to agree that 4 weeks in between shows is plenty of time to not only hold condition, but to swing the pendulum a bit and come in tighter with each successive show. I guess it really will come down to keeping my nutrition perfect, and not killing myself in the gym (depleting too much to recover from).

Should be interesting to see though, I’ve come to realize the last year or so that I’m not as bullet proof as I used to think -lol.

S


#17

I think it depends a lot on the category you wanna stay Stu. If you wanna go higher, it’ll take another year or more to follow on the shows. I think that if you wanna be the king of your category you could do that, and worry about lagging bodyparts and other stuff.


#18

I agree with Paragon, best gains were after a show. One a year is all I want…I like to eat.