Form is not necessarily everything that counts in our sport. But when it comes to the stage, the end is funny, because then there is only discipline and an iron will that helps to meet the strict dietary requirements. However, when you enter your gym, you can already see that only very few weight training athletes have the necessary qualifications to achieve the ambitious goal of excelling on stage. In addition to the majority of the exercisers who do not even bring on a respectable muscle, there are only a few athletes with bull neck, V-back, fleshy chest muscles and really thick arms. Statistically, there is only one athlete in this group who is really in good shape and is seriously preparing for a contest. For all the others, the muscles are more or less voluntarily concealed under a handsome protective layer of body fat. But why is that? We are looking for clues and give you seven reasons why only a few potential stage athletes achieve their top form.
1 - Many bodybuilders are food junkies
The most common reason why it does not work with single-digit body fat is simply that even the best athletes love food so much that they are at least as hard on dieting as any other ordinary person. Not that it would admit to one of the professional bodybuilders, but they also have trouble withstanding hunger. So it's an all too common phenomenon that nocturnal tours to the fridge end up killing cookies, peanut butter-jam toast, ice cream and chocolate bars. Others, however, are even more clever and post on Instagram several times a day pretty photos of their super healthy meals, consisting of grilled chicken without a dollop of sauce and a few lost bars of green asparagus. What they do not post, however, are the pictures XXL-Burgers and Pizzas, which they are displacing in the meantime. Whoever still thinks in the diet that he is in the mass phase, will never reach a single-digit body fat percentage.
2. Chicken is not the same chicken
Even though countless guides meander around on the internet, many professionals and amateurs still do not seem to know how to really get rid of body fat. They may understand that they should also use lean protein sources such as chicken meat. However, what they forget is that KFC Extra Crispy Chicken is just not the same as a skinless chicken breast fillet. Another phenomenon that also fits in with this pattern is the avoidance of fat. In return, however, it is often replaced by much larger amounts of other nutrients. The bottom line is that the caloric deficit is done by itself and the ignorance-based sabotage of your own diet is perfect. And to top it off, it is often these same athletes who completely misinterpret the important role of cardio training. So it is not uncommon that the cardio training is composed of a casual walk around the block. Breathe hard or even sweat a little? Wrong! Of course it is not possible. To be fair, we would like to say that we naturally exaggerated these examples of existing ignorance to illustrate the problem. Of course, those who are already so far that they want to qualify for higher laurels on the stage, makes such amateurish errors of course no more.
3. The problem with the shifted perception
One of the main problems, why self-imposed goals are not achieved, is the shifted self-perception, which can come in several forms. Probably the most common variant is that of the self-confident athlete, who just can not get into his best shape, because he is convinced that he has already achieved it, even though he is miles away from it. This effect, also known as dysmorphophobia, is supported by other people's perception of others, who see nothing but perfection in a 130-kilogram, muscle-bound athlete. Athletes who are prone to this perception disorder accept the often well-intentioned compliments of their friends and family members, forgetting that they still have a body fat percentage of 15 percent. The disaster on the stage is inevitable. So, if you have such a goal, you should not rely on your perceptions or other people's perceptions, but on bare numbers only. An exception to this, however, is an experienced bodybuilding coach, for whom you are not the first stage athlete.
4. Some medications lead to weight gain
Since the aforementioned causes were more on the mental level and sometimes with a wink, this reason for missing goals is a bit more substantial. People who suffer from health problems such as hyperthyroidism, Chushing's syndrome or having Polycystic Ovary Syndrome often need to take medicines that in themselves already lead to a body weight gain. Incidentally, the same applies to many medications used to treat diabetes, migraine and depression. Fortunately, especially for the latter, there are alternatives that you should talk to your doctor about. Remember that bodybuilding is a great passion, but your health should always be in the foreground.
5. An unclean offseason
A barely overcrowded obstacle is the misinterpretation of the offseason, because even when it comes to building as much muscle as possible with the help of a calorie surplus, that does not mean that you can throw all the rules overboard. Exactly this phenomenon is very common among amateurs as well as professionals. And so it is no wonder that the extra ballast in the form of body fat complicates the diet phase and makes the way to the top form much longer. Five pounds more or less can make up the difference between the first and the last place before the jury. Make sure that your calorie surplus does not get too big. As a result, you are not forced to fast just before the competition and suffer cardio double shifts.
6. To orient oneself too much to the modern professionals
The six-time Mr. Olympia Dorian Yates has made his opinion in a fatal trend in the bodybuilding scene, because the modern professionals set in his opinion too much on mass than on class. If we cross-compare earlier decades and today, Yates is quite right, because the athletes have definitely gotten bigger without achieving the absolute form perfection of the old masters. It was Yates himself who claimed to be in such good shape that the judges could have watched his kidneys pulsing. Well, we have not seen any kidneys pulsing through muscle peaks, but what Yates means by that should be clear. So if you think you have to enter the stage with only 80 percent of the possible top form, you will have to put off one or the other crocodile's tears on the way back.
7. Little cheating going backwards
The last point in our list refers to the little chitchat, the resourceful athletes, who are not in top form due to the reasons mentioned above, to reach them just before the competition. Classics such as the manipulation of water, carbohydrate and salt intake are only the tip of the iceberg. We do not want to start with synthetic agents here. Thanks to social media and the countless photos that modern athletes post every day, we can follow their form right through to the competition. Often it can be seen that the shape is still outstanding until shortly before the stage appearance, the athlete in the spotlight but presents clearly contourless or even bloated. Why is that? Of course, the little voodoo tricks do not last forever and often turn into the opposite. In any case, it is better to have a clean sweep of your project right from the start and to avoid as many of the errors as possible in this article.