T Nation

How Long Did It Take You to Compete?


How long from just starting bodybuilding fresh to actually getting up on stage did it take? Would I be right in thinking it would take at least a good couple of years just to compete in amateur shows from an untrained body?


Depends on your efforts, discipline and genetics... you can't say for sure until you actually get the ball rolling for a good few years.

For most people, it would take more than just a couple years if you not only want to compete, but do WELL.


I see a lot of people competing for motivation purposes only. Nobody wants to make a fool of themselves in posing trunks. i see guys training for a year and then entering a contest and busting out some abs along with small defined arms and legs. They are happy with that.

I did some practice dieting and it sucked losing muscle and feeling like a sissy...So I decided I won't be competing until I am sure I can win the whole show. I don't even know if winning a show is worth all the muscle loss that goes along with dieting.

If I were a personal trainer I think i would reach for show success because I know it would bring me more clients.

  • Adam


Go to a show and watch the novice group.


it's not about time, it's about the level of muscular quality that you get/want to get to be in par with the guys you wanna compete with.


Here's your answer. Getting onstage when you're not ready can be a pretty disheartening experience. Seriously, go to a amateur show and honestly assess where you're at. When I started to originally ponder competition, I went through the most recent Natty mag and stuck post-its on every photo with the person's height and weight. It gave me a sort of guideline what I would need to bring to the table in order to be seriously competitive on game day.