T Nation

Contest Prep vs Life


@The_Mighty_Stu @robstein and any other contest prep coaches do you ever have clients whose life is to hectic or job to physical making prep not a good idea? If some one works a hard labor job is it a deal breaker or can you make it work?


Lol- no matter what your “real life” entails you will always feel that time is against you during a prep.

I’ve worked with physical laborers, teachers,
Even doctors (serious time constraints), but the bottom line will always be time management. When my wife was competing, she had two nights a week when she worked at a college. This was after a Full day at her day job. Getting to a commercial gym wasn’t going to be an option on thoSe days, so we came up with alternatives.

When I first worked with Rob, he was teaching full time, plus he had his side business which also required his time… if you want it, you’ll find a way to fit it in. It’s onjy in hindsight that you realize how well you balanced so many things :slight_smile:

As an aside, Sergio Olivia and plenty of top bodybuilders over the years jve worked physically demanding jobs. It’s just all about smart plannning!




Ultimately, it comes down entirely to the individual. Time management, rigid discipline, the determination; if someone is motivated enough, they’ll get it done. As Stu mentioned, my first year of contests I did two shows and prepped for 8 months, while having a full time teaching job and running my music business. I’d prep my breakfast and all food for the day the night before, wake up at 5am, get to the gym for cardio, shower, eat breakfast at work, teach all day, then to the gym for training and more cardio, and usually get home around 6-6:30, at which time I’d eat dinner, go up to my office and work on my music business. Weekends were tough at times, as I did not want my family to feel the effects of my prep. I wouldn’t sacrifice family time, so there were certainly times I’d wake up at 4am, get to the gym for cardio, come home, eat breakfast, wait an hour, back to the gym for training and more cardio, then out for the day. You do what needs to be done if you want it bad enough, and during a prep, IMO, you do whatever it takes to know you did everything you can, and have no “what-if” moments come show day. It’s the only way to be content, regardless of competitive placements.

Competing is an offense only sport, and you have no control over who shows up on show day. The success is in the journey, the prep itself.

Not a deal breaker at all, and the right individual can make it work. If anything, I think a hard labor job would make a prep a little more manageable because TDEE will be higher, you can eat more and get away with doing less cardio. When you’re 4 weeks out and feeling like crap, work may be more challenging, but there are certainly a lot of competitors that work physically demanding jobs and do very well.

This comes down to personal time management, planning ahead and discipline. Unless you’re working a 12-14 hour shift, I can’t see a reason why life would be too hectic to prep, if you’re willing to do whatever it takes.