T Nation

The Decision to Get Into Bodybuilding

#1

I’ve always found bodybuilding fascinating, and I’ve loved following the sport, but have never had a desire to compete myself. Recently, I’ve been rethinking that. My basketball career is over and I miss the thrill of competition.

I’ll never be a super high-level bodybuilder (I care too much about my career and relationship with my wife), but I think it could be an engaging leisure pursuit to compete in some smaller local shows.

So, I’d like to ask those who have competed or are currently competing:

  1. Are you happy you got into bodybuilding?
  2. How has it affected the other areas of your life?
  3. Do you think it’s possible to do bodybuilding at a lower level without sacrificing long-term health or harming your relationship/career?

Broadly, I’m just wondering about the pros/cons, based on your experience. I’d especially love to hear from those who are married and make their career/finances a high priority.

Thanks!

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#2

Go read @Jackolee’s log as he prepared for a physique contest just to get a glimpse into what is required.

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#3
  1. Are you happy you got into bodybuilding?

Sure! Lots of great memories, friends, definitely helped define who I am as a person, and something I’m still proud of to this day.

  1. How has it affected the other areas of your life?

If you can go through a contest prep,… a real one, not dropping a few lbs, or some silly 12 week contest your job is having, but pushing your body to the limit, physically, mentally, emotionally and achieving honest to goodness - my body thinks I’m trying to kill it - levels of conditioning without sacrificing muscle in the process, and getting up there in front of countless strangers in your underwear for all to see… it gives you some interesting perspective on what’s truly difficult in your life.

  1. Do you think it’s possible to do bodybuilding at a lower level without sacrificing long-term health or harming your relationship/career?

Sure. Some people fall apart during a prep, and others can hide it. I’ve known people who lock themselves away and never see their friends for 16 weeks, and others (like myself) who still go out, eat out, go to work, movies etc… sure it can sometimes involve some planning, and if you’re emotionally stable you won’t bore everyone who didn’t ask about why you’re eating certain things every chance you get. When I was competing, most of my co-workers had no idea. I ate when I had to eat, maybe I kept a sweatshirt on when everyone else was warm more than a few times,… but it doesnt need to derail your life.

S

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#4

[quote=“bkb333, post:1, topic:255141”]

  • Are you happy you got into bodybuilding?
    Definitely, it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, if anything I suppose I just wish I’d started a bit sooner & with a bit more wisdom, lol.

  • How has it affected the other areas of your life?
    Yes, but mostly only in a positive way, like people buying me drinks because they assume I’m a rugby player etc.

  • Do you think it’s possible to do bodybuilding at a lower level without sacrificing long-term health or harming your relationship/career?
    Definitely possible, you just need to have some sense of boundaries & priorities with regards how much time you are willing to pour into bbing.

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