Submitted By Timothy Rigby, M.A., NSCA-CPT
Ultimate Fitness Events (UFE) is ready to be your inspiration and your platform to make 2019 your best year yet. With a myriad of events spanning the globe, offering different levels of competition in several categories, there’s sure to be an event with your name on it.
Like all fitness enthusiasts, you’re likely to arrive at a point where you ask yourself, “Why should I compete?” There is not one single answer, but rather a multitude of valid answers to that question. In this blog instalment, we’ll take a look at 10 exhilarating reasons why you should stop merely considering entering, and take the first step to register with UFE today. Whether you’re a Novice or Open competitor, you’re bound to find a competition calling your name in the categories of Bodybuilding, Fitness Model, Physique, Figure, Bikini or Glamour. As the saying goes, there’s no time like the present, for the present is now.
The following 10 reasons to compete are provided for individuals who want to not only compete in fitness, but also improve the quality of their lives in a fun atmosphere, surrounded by an actively supportive network of athletes, trainers and organizers. This is what UFE Nation is all about.
GOAL SETTING / IMPROVEMENT / ACCOMPLISHMENT
For many athletes new to fitness competition, these three elements are unto themselves sufficient as a driving force. Upon choosing a date for competition, you’re automatically establishing a goal right from the start: to compete on stage. As part of your journey toward this major goal, you’ll need to identify and fulfill many smaller-scale goals along the way. But every time you hit your goal by adding an inch of muscle, or losing three inches around your belly, etc., you’ll move ever closer to accomplishing your bigger goal.
At one time or another, everyone has made a major accomplishment in their lives and therefore you can already appreciate that it’s a deeply rewarding sensation of satisfaction and self-worth. No matter how you place in competition, you’ll have accomplished something very special and rewarding. You’ll have made great improvements physically, as well as in terms of mental discipline. To use a metaphor, competing on stage is the fitness equivalent of hitting the tape at the end of a marathon. The satisfaction from such a profound journey of accomplishment will remain with you all your life.
Take a minute to ponder the fact that the specific brand of competition we’re discussing here is fitness. Consider how closely fitness is related to your health, and you can easily observe an abundance of natural benefits to improve your physical well-being. The exercises you do for competition – both resistance training and cardio – are excellent for boosting your health. The vitamins, minerals, protein blends and clean eating you do for competition are absolutely excellent for your health. Getting stronger, drinking more water and getting more sleep for the purposes of competition are also all excellent for your health. As you can easily see, all these of things that are requisite for competition furthermore provide a full slate of benefits to your health.
In all likelihood, your mindset during a training period will be so focused on the date of competition that you may not appreciate how healthy you happen to be getting along your journey. But the champions who’ve walked the stage before you all acclaim the abundant long-term side effects that a competition lifestyle has had on greatly enhancing their health. Who wouldn’t want more energy, strength, restful sleep and an overall sense of well-being? Competition can provide you with all of these and more.
There’s a reason that #mood is one of the hottest hashtags in social media these days. With such ever-busy lifestyles, people are concerned more than ever about their emotional well-being. Exercise enhances your mood; competition elevates it even more. Did you know that usually what’s of more consequence is not the severity of the obstacles and challenges we face; rather, it’s the state of mind we happen to be in at the time, which dictates the manner in which we handle these challenges. If you’re in a negative, lethargic or anxious mood, you can sometimes be affected adversely even by little nuisance events of the day. It’s better, therefore, to be in a positive, energetic or balanced mood, so that even monumental challenges and a barrage of bad news won’t even make a dent in your happiness.
To be sure, physical activity will enhance your mood. Resistance training does this in its own way, and cardio in its own – but nonetheless, in both cases you’ll release endorphins by exercising and keep that smile on your face throughout the day. The thrill of competing amplifies this effect even further, by affecting the neurotransmitters in your brain both in the short term and also over time. Want a sustainable, reliable mood boost? Compete.
Let’s quickly fast forward to those exhilarating moments after your first-ever fitness competition is completed. Whatever your placing happens to be, it will be secondary to your sense of self-worth and satisfaction. You did it! Then when you come to realize the differences in you now compared to who you were when you began your journey, you’ll be truly amazed. You’ll have discovered a whole other individual contained within the same body. You’ll have proved to your family, friends and co-workers that your sense of oneness is deep; more importantly, though, you’ll have proved this to yourself.
Renowned trainer and coach Dave Avery of Avery’s Body By Design, whose client base numbers over 400 competitive athletes, had this to say about the unique experience of hitting the stage for the first time: “Walking through the fear of prep, the fear of change, and the fear of putting oneself out there – and ultimately conquering all that fear on stage – in that moment, an athlete realizes there is nothing they can’t accomplish. It changes everything.”
A sometimes-overlooked benefit to competition is the myriad of opportunities you’ll encounter just from having competed. Many of the most recognizable faces in fitness have experienced a springboard to a whole new career from having competed, regardless of whether they won or not. Competitions are not just about placings, but they are where the who’s who of fitness congregate several times each year, often to discover new top models. You’ll see from browsing our website’s ‘What Is UFE’ page that “UFE provides more opportunities for our competitors to have their accomplishments recognized by sponsorships, magazine features and advancement in our tier system.”
The perks of being sponsored by a supplement company, for example, are many. You’ll likely receive not only compensation but also proprietary products, often for free. This will in turn help you to maintain or advance your own training through more efficient recovery. Furthermore, the resources of your sponsor will likely avail themselves to magnifying your own personal brand through advertising and social media channels. The possibilities are limitless. You simply have to compete in order to make it all happen.
The beauty of competition is that it takes exercise and fitness to a higher (but definitely attainable) level. Rather than simply working out three times a week for improvised workouts, for example, training for competition gives you a structure that is necessary to optimize your results. Psychologists assert that it takes 21 days for your brain to become so accustomed to new behaviour that it becomes habitual. Along these same lines, once you make the effort to work out consistently and reliably, you’ll find the discipline required easier and easier.
Furthermore, the organization involved in training for competition teaches you the best ways to research your abilities, prepare your goals and establish a plan. These are, to be sure, transferable skills that you can apply to many other aspects of daily life. Constantly training with intensity as you get stronger and leaner will develop the elements of endurance and control. And in just about any job you hold, you’ll undeniably succeed at a greater degree if you possess all these traits.
Are you an individual who likes to play sports? In conjunction with a healthy lifestyle, many people remain active by participating in activities such as lacing on the skates in winter or hitting the softball diamonds in summer. Volleyball, basketball, running and bicycling are a few more examples of sports that remain very popular to both genders. Whatever your sport is, you’re in luck – training for a fitness competition will absolutely improve your strength and endurance. It’s quite simple: as you train for competition, you’ll get stronger through better-developed muscle tone; you’ll also augment your cardiovascular system. In turn, these wonderful “side effects” of training can apply to whichever game you call yours. Who knows, you may be the hero who hits a game-winning home run, or you may simply shave minutes off your best time in a 10k race. It’s a beautiful thing that you don’t have to train for both sports and fitness competition in addition to each other; the same training and lifestyle that gets you on stage will categorically improve your sports performance as well.
LEARNING FROM OTHERS
In our adult life, we increasingly become independent, regardless of whether we live with a family or alone. Self-sufficiency becomes habitual as the years go by. Fitness competition, on the other hand, provides an avenue for you to learn many things from your trainer, fellow athletes and competition organizers. If you’re stuck in a rut and finding it difficult to remain motivated – or perhaps you’ve hit a plateau in training where your gains seem to have stalled – you need simply to consult one of your training companions. Speaking with others about exercise selection, technique tips and innovative new ways to train is very commonplace, but nowhere more so than in UFE. You’ll never feel that you have to go it alone, and what you learn from others will amplify and accelerate your gains. If we take this to its highest degree, you’ll stand to gain perhaps the most when you consult with those Elite and Pro champions in your category. It’s very easy to forge relationships with fellow athletes because they love what they do, and almost always love to impart the knowledge they’ve developed along their own journey with others. If you don’t compete, you miss out on all of this.
Let’s be perfectly honest. Everyone has dreams about a place in the future where they’d like to be. For those even remotely interested in fitness, such dreams usually entail what they perceive a perfect body to look like (or at the very least, improvements to their physical constitution). Many people set out on a fitness program that’s usually unstructured and lacking in specific goals. They erroneously believe that as long as they’re physically present in a gym, they’ll achieve the body they dream about. This is a mistake.
There is no better course of action than entering a competition if you’re serious about realizing your physical fitness dreams. Your training will take on laser-like focus and you’ll make consistent progress in the fastest manner possible. Ultimately, before you know it, your ambition and drive will have propelled you toward that perfect body you dreamed about, all because competition requires high standards of physical excellence. In the same manner that your accomplishments will be significant, you’ll have completed a journey and reached the zenith of your aspirations.
If the preceding nine reasons to compete aren’t enough, consider that UFE holds an exclusive place in fitness competition because its unique community of athletes, trainers and fans is second to none. UFE athletes carry their affiliation with a great deal of pride, knowing there’s nothing else like it in fitness. It’s all about support, respect and camaraderie. A simple check of Instagram will reveal that the #ufe, #ufenation and #ufeshows hashtags combined have just under 100,000 posts from around the world. While the majority of these images showcase outstanding, aspirational physiques of fit men and women, there’s also a wealth of information on training, nutrition and personal branding – and it’s all for free.
There’s an undeniable passion that’s positive and dynamic among members of #ufenation that you just don’t see anywhere else. Those who compete in other associations generally are forced to adopt a more “go your own way” approach to fitness. And they usually speak merely of themselves and not the association in which they compete. However, UFE brings to the table a completely different entity. You’ll never be as welcomed with open arms as you will be when you join UFE, and you’ll never hear such a large community of athletes speak of how much they love it. Take the next step and register for UFE. Make 2019 your year (#2019myyear).
Timothy Rigby, M.A., NCSA-CPT is a freelance writer and one of Canada’s most published fitness writers.