A Journey Beyond Muscles

A Journey Beyond Muscles: The Complex Path to Becoming an IFBB Pro

Embarking on the path to becoming a professional bodybuilder is both a rewarding and challenging journey that requires not just a significant dedication to training and nutrition, but also a deep commitment to mastering the sport’s competitive aspects.

Here’s a synthesized guide to help you navigate the complexities of transforming from a fitness enthusiast into a professional bodybuilder.

The Role of Steroids in Professional Bodybuilding

The use of performance-enhancing drugs, including anabolic steroids, has been a topic of much debate in the bodybuilding community.

While controversial, it’s important to understand the context and reasons why some athletes turn to these substances.

Performance and Recovery

Steroids are known for their ability to significantly improve muscle mass and strength (check here), which are crucial for competitive bodybuilders.

Moreover, these substances can greatly reduce recovery time, allowing athletes to train harder and more frequently, thus accelerating their physical progress.

This aspect is particularly appealing in professional bodybuilding, where the difference between first and second place can often be minute.

Leveling the Competitive Field

In professional bodybuilding, the competition is incredibly fierce.

Athletes are constantly looking for ways to gain an edge over their rivals.

Given the prevalence of steroid use at the highest levels of the sport, some competitors feel compelled to use them to remain competitive.

It’s a reality of the sport that many have come to accept, even as it prompts ongoing discussions about health, ethics, and the future of competitive bodybuilding.

Controversy and Health Implications

While steroids can offer significant advantages in terms of muscle growth and recovery, their use comes with considerable risks.

Health concerns associated with long-term steroid use include liver damage, cardiovascular issues, and hormonal imbalances, among others.

The bodybuilding community remains divided on the issue, with ongoing debates about how to balance the pursuit of peak physical form with the need for athlete safety and fair competition.

Foundation and Training

Your journey begins with building a solid foundation of muscle and strength.

This involves a comprehensive training program that balances weightlifting, cardiovascular exercises, and meticulous attention to nutrition.

The goal is to gain lean muscle mass while keeping body fat to a minimum.

It’s crucial to engage in a well-rounded routine that promotes overall physical development and prepares you for the rigorous demands of bodybuilding at a professional level.

Gaining Experience through Amateur Shows

Progressing from training to actual competition starts on the amateur stage.

Participating in local and regional amateur bodybuilding competitions provides essential experience and exposure.

These competitions serve as a practical learning ground for understanding the nuances of competitive bodybuilding, including posing, dieting, and stage presentation.

Success at this level is pivotal, as it opens the door to national-level recognition.

Achieving National Recognition and Earning a Pro Card

To transition to professional status, bodybuilders must first excel at the national level.

This typically involves qualifying for and placing well in national qualifying competitions.

Excelling in these shows can earn you a Pro Card, a critical step that signifies your eligibility to compete in professional bodybuilding events.

This achievement marks a significant milestone in a bodybuilder’s career, setting the stage for competing among the elite.

Competing as a Professional

Holding a Pro Card allows you to enter professional competitions, where the challenges and rewards are substantially greater.

At this level, bodybuilders must consistently demonstrate exceptional physique, discipline, and dedication to stand out and succeed.

Success in professional competitions can lead to sponsorships, endorsements, and the opportunity to build a brand around your bodybuilding career.

The Ultimate Goal: Qualifying for the Olympia

For many professional bodybuilders, the ultimate ambition is to qualify for the Olympia, the most prestigious event in the bodybuilding world.

Qualification requires a proven track record of success in IFBB Pro contests and a physique that meets the highest standards of excellence in the sport.

Achieving this goal is a testament to a bodybuilder’s commitment, skill, and determination.


The journey to becoming a professional bodybuilder is demanding and requires a blend of physical prowess, strategic planning, and mental fortitude.

From building a solid foundation and gaining competitive experience to achieving national recognition and excelling on the professional stage, each step is crucial.

With dedication, hard work, and discipline, reaching the pinnacle of bodybuilding and perhaps standing on the Olympia stage is within reach.…

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Best Competitive Sports for Obese Children

There exist sports that obese kids can excel in, and I’m not just talking bowling and golf. I’m a certified personal trainer and though I work with primarily adults, I am an extreme proponent of sports participation for all kids, including obese. Yes, obese children can excel in a number of sports.

I used to compete in martial arts tournaments. Being fat is no impediment to the success of overweight boys and girls at martial arts tournaments. I’d often see heavy kids taking home trophies. Obese children can be just as flexible as thin kids. I’ve seen fat kids easily drop into the splits or throw impressively high karate kicks.

Because “point fighting” in martial arts tournaments is not entirely based on endurance (though there are times when stamina pays off), obese children can excel in this discipline.

The only time when stamina becomes a factor is when both participants are very good at what they do, and are equal in ability, and thus, it may be several minutes before someone scores a point.

But usually, in youth point fighting, not much time passes before someone scores, and thus, the youngster with the most wind doesn’t always win. Usually, winning is based on who’s the first to score three points; the match can be over in under 30 seconds.

Some martial arts tournaments run the match for two minutes, the winner being who scores the most points. But even a poorly conditioned thin child can get very winded.

Do not let the name “point fighting” scare you into thinking this is a brawl. Point fighting is literally a game of tag within a very confined space.

Another aspect of martial arts tournaments is forms competition; obese kids can excel here, though usually, thinner participants are the best performers. Variables include experience and type of form. Sometimes, judges award high scores to the loudest kid, not necessarily the quickest.

Martial arts tournaments may also have board breaking contests. Need I say more? Fat kids can also excel in judo and jiu-jitsu.

Obese children are on an even playing field when it comes to bowling, archery and equestrian sports. Older heavy children can investigate discus, shot-put and javelin aspects of track and field competition. It’d be a lie to say that overweight children can’t develop skills in basketball, volleyball and of course, golf.

Older obese kids can try out rowing, baseball, softball, wrestling and football. Encourage your overweight child to get involved in swimming, dancing and even gymnastics. If your overweight boy or girl wants to take up jogging, cycling or tennis, by all means, support them. Never say, “You’re too big for that.” Never.

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Team Sports Are Good For Children Transitioning into Kindergarten

Getting your pre- K child involved in a team sport the summer before starting school, can really help with the transition between home and school.

Interacting with the other children and listening to the coach prepares them for the day to day experiences they will face in Kindergarten.

This is especially true for the child who has not gone to daycare or preschool prior to starting school.

Most team sports have a set schedule for games and practices.

This helps familiarize your child with a schedule and being responsible for their time.

Also being instructed by a coach, listening and following directions prepares them for the instruction they will receive from their teachers and other school administrators.

Finally, one of the best benefits to having your child involved in a team sport is the friendships him or her will make.

Most teams at this age are co-ed teams this helps break down 'The cootie barrier' that almost always exsist between boys and girls in Kindergarten. Try to enroll your child in a local sports team through the Y.M.C.A., local church or school organization one that is close to the school they will be attending.

More than likely, when Kindergarten does start, they will already know some of there fellow students from the team they played on over the summer.

Seeing some familar faces is sure to ease some of the first day jitters.

Kindergarten is always an adjustment for any child, but the skills learned during a summer of fun on the sports field are sure to carry on into thes chool year ahead.…

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Top 10 Sports Songs of All Time

America’s best past time is sports. Whether it be baseball, football, soccer, hockey, or even gymnastics, sports are extremely entertaining. When you’re at these games, the best songs will make it an even better experience.

These songs are played at games to not only pump up the players and add motivation, it is to move the crowd and have them get into the game.

“Let’s get ready to rumble!”

In this article, you will see my Top 10 choices of sports songs that should be played at every game.

At the end, I will also include some bonus songs that could be played, including one that should be played if the home team is beating the away team with only a few minutes to go, and some songs that can ONLY be played at its own respective sport.

  1.  Don’t Stop Believing – Journey

Whether you are losing by a touchdown or a few points, or whether you are even winning, don’t believe that the game is over.


  1.  Remember the Name – Fort Minor

This is a classic modern song played to motivate players to work their hardest and know that they will do well; even further, if you are an underdog and are beating your opponents, this will give motivation to show people to not underestimate the power of your team.


  1.  We Will Rock You – Queen
    – We Are The Champions – Queen

Everyone knows this song. It is a classic to be played at any sport.


  1.  Let’s Get It Started – Black Eyed Peas

Let’s get it started in here! Let’s make sure that the game gets off to a great start!

  1.  Rock and Roll 2 – Gary Glitter

Great way to start the wave!


  1.  Get Ready for This – 2 Unlimited

All I have to say is, “Y’all ready for this!” Da na na.


  1.  YMCA – Village People

This is just to get the crowd moving and making these letters with their hands.

  1.  Jam – Michael Jackson

He is the King of Pop. There is no doubt in my mind that this will get the crowd pumped up.


  1.  Whoomp! There it is – Tag Team

If your team is rallying and scoring point after point, or just to get the crowd saying the most useless words ever, this song will be sure to add fun to any sports game.

  1.  I Like to Move It – Reel 2 Real

I remember hearing this while watching a movie called Madagascar, but when I heard this at a football game, I had to move it!

Bonus #1: Kiss Them Goodbye – Steam

Whether you just want to be cocky, or you are in the final moments of your game and you are winning, this song will piss off the other team. You should remember these lines, ” Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye!”

Bonus #2: Take Me Out To The Ball Game

This is pretty self-explanatory. What a great song to sing during the 7th inning stretch of a tiring, long baseball game.

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Too Many Trophies in Childrens' Organized Sports

My seven year old son plays sports. Since I am the type of mom who insists on one activity at a time, he plays soccer during soccer season and basketball during basketball season. So how come, after only two years of playing sports, he has more trophies than I ever got during my entire middle school and high school sports career?

My son participates in relatively laid back sports leagues. There are no awards banquets or most valuable player trophies given at the end of a season. Generally, the parents are well-behaved at games. I am thankful for this because I think sports in the elementary school years should be about learning the particular sport and having fun. I would have to reconsider letting him play in organized sports if our community was one of those with hard-core, competitive leagues for elementary school children.

Instead of trophies for highest scorer or best defender, the sports leagues my son has been involved in have decided to give all participants a trophy at the end of each season. After the first soccer season, my son was thrilled with his participant trophy. I didn’t think it was necessary, but I also thought it was harmless.

However, my son decided that he loved soccer. He wanted to play fall soccer. Then spring soccer the next year. Then fall soccer again. So, now we are up to four soccer trophies. He also decided to join his friends on the basketball court this winter. At the end of the season he was presented with, you guessed it, a basketball trophy.

He no longer gets excited when he gets a trophy. The coach gives it to him, he says thank you, carries it home, and sticks it on the shelf with his other trophies to collect dust. I now think the trophies are one of so many other examples of the empty praise we fill our children with in modern society. My son is old enough to know that trophies are traditionally given for exceptional achievements in sports or other areas. He scored one goal in four seasons and had a lot of fun, but he knows who the really good soccer players on his team were. And, he also knows that they, just like him, received the same trophy for showing up to most of the games.

So, if everyone gets a trophy just for showing up, then what does the trophy mean? It doesn’t mean that the kids played exceptionally well. Maybe it is supposed to be an incentive to keep the kids showing up from game to game. But showing up for each game is really more the parent’s achievement, not the child’s. The kids can’t get to the games on their own. Many of the kids aren’t even old enough to read the game schedules yet, much less be self-motivated enough to remind their parents that they have a game.

I like to think that the kids don’t play for trophies. They play for fun and for the chance that they might be the one to score a goal or two, or if they are lucky, many. The best trophy my son has from all four seasons of soccer is the memory of scoring a goal, his only one, which he’d practiced and worked hard to get. Now that is a trophy that won’t collect any dust.

If each and every sports league my son plays in gives a participation trophy, by the time he graduates from high school we are going to have to have a trophy case installed in his bedroom to display them all. Or, maybe he would have lost interest in sports by then and the trophies will be sitting in a box in the attic somewhere as proof that he actually got out of the house and got some exercise when he was a kid.

I would like to ask the organizers of these leagues what they would like us to do with all these trophies. I’m sure it seemed like a good idea at first. Maybe they still think it’s a good idea. I’m thinking it’s a practice that should come to an end. I don’t imagine any mother is going to display all these trophies in her home once her child is past middle school age. And, I can’t imagine the children, once they are adults, are going to ask for their participation trophies so they can proudly display them in their own home. They’re going to have to save the room for their own children’s participation trophies.

When I was a kid, growing up in the 1970’s, we didn’t have organized sports for elementary school-aged children. The first sports team I was on was a sixth-grade soccer team. It was an informal league. We didn’t even have uniform t-shirts and the only team we played was the other sixth-grade soccer team at our school. We didn’t get trophies at the end of the season. But, I still remember some game highlights. There was the time we sang about being ducks on one drizzly, muddy game day. I don’t remember too much about soccer from that season, but I do remember having fun with my friends.

I think kids now are going to have the same types of memories. At least I hope that my son will. These are the memories that count. The trophy doesn’t represent any of these things. It doesn’t even really represent soccer or basketball, even though each one has a picture of miniature ball on it. The things he has learned about sports he has stored in his mind, not in some dust-covered trophy on a shelf in his bedroom. He talks about the game where the field was so muddy that everyone had mud going all the way up their back. He talks about the goal he scored and the countless other goals that he almost scored. He talks about the kids on his team, but he never once mentions the trophies.…

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