Whether you’re preparing for your first marathon, getting geared up to compete in a strongman, or preparing for a figure competition, one thing remains the same: getting to the starting line is half the battle.
Consider Your Motivation
Fitness competitions are about mental toughness just as much as they’re about physical training. There’s a reason why most of the population have ever even considered running a marathon or participating in any other type of fitness competition: it takes a lot of hard work and dedication. Many who set out to train for a competition come to a crashing halt the first time they question why they’re doing it in the first place. Don’t let that happen to you.
Before you lay out your training program, sit down and think about why you want to enter a fitness competition. What is your motivation for putting in the time and effort? If you can’t answer that question, your chances of making it through an intensive training regime are slim to null.
Consult With Your Physician
Before you lift that first barbell or run that first mile, schedule an appointment with your physician to discuss your fitness goals. While this is particularly important for those suffering a chronic ailment such as diabetes or pernicious anemia, everyone – whether they’re 21 and feeling vital or 81 and slowing down – should consult a physician before undertaking a strenuous training program.
A physician isn’t the only medical professional you should consult. It’s equally important to consult with a podiatrist to determine whether or not orthopedic shoes are advisable, a dentist to ensure that your smile is in A1 condition for that victory photo, and a nutritionist to develop a diet that meets your increased metabolic needs. If you’ve been putting off an important medical procedure, now might be just the time to get it done. Set up an appointment to get dental implants Charlotte NC or take the time to get that irritating wart removed. If setting so many appointments seems unnecessary, remember this: an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure. Not getting important procedures taken care of now might mean having to stop your training midstream later.
One of the best ways to stay motivated during a long, arduous training program is to get your friends and family involved in the process. Tell everyone you know what you hope to achieve. It’s a lot harder to break a commitment to your fitness when everyone you know and respect is pushing you to reach your potential.
Take Plenty of Rest Days
When you’re pushing yourself to reach your fitness goals, it can be hard to break away and give your body the time it needs to recover. Be sure to take a rest day as frequently as needed. Listen to your body and keep in mind that pushing too hard without taking the time to recover is one of the best ways to hurt your body and break your morale.
Regardless of the type of fitness competition you plan to enter, adequate hydration is one of the most important things you can do to ensure peak performance.
Above all, stay positive! If you stray from your training routine for a few days, or even a few weeks, don’t dwell on your shortcomings. Just get back up, dust yourself off, and get back at it!