When to Compete in Fitness Sports: Tips and Considerations


How to Compete in Fitness Sports: Tips and Considerations

Fitness sports require discipline, determination, and dedication to achieve the ultimate goal of a muscular and well-toned body. However, preparing for a fitness competition is no easy feat, posing mental and physical challenges for athletes. In this blog post, we will discuss some tips and considerations for athletes considering competing in fitness sports.

Muscle Mass and Body Fat

The amount of muscle mass per sport and the absence of body fat are crucial factors that determine an athlete's success in fitness sports. Athletes are judged based on muscle size, symmetry, and lean body mass (Helms et al., 2014). Therefore, effective strength and posing training, disciplined dietary practices, and good recovery are essential in achieving the desired results.

Training and different training seasons

During the training season, the focus should be on achieving the highest possible sport-specific muscle mass. In contrast, the competition season's goal is to maintain the muscle mass achieved and to reduce body fat to meet the division criteria (Isola et al., 2023). Additionally, the transition period aims to help athletes recover from the adverse effects of the competition diet (Pardue et al., 2017).

Athlete Life and Expectations

Competing in fitness sports requires significant changes in an athlete's lifestyle. Understanding the potential conflicts that may arise due to a clash of everyday life with athlete-athlete conflicts is essential. Additionally, athletes with no previous experience in the athlete's life may have unrealistic expectations that may have been misrepresented, for example, through social media. Therefore, it's crucial to have open communication with coaches to set realistic expectations and understand the potential challenges.

Considerations Before Starting a Competition Diet

Before embarking on a competition diet, athletes must ask themselves several critical questions, including:

  • How do you feel about your body image and shape?
  • Do you have a basic understanding of training, sports nutrition, and body composition?
  • What are your training experience and previous weight loss cycles?
  • What's your current fat percentage and realistic time to diet?
  • What's your current muscularity?
  • How does the athlete's life fit into your daily life?
  • What's your emotional maturity?
  • What are your reasons for competing?

Understanding the effects of competition preparation on the body and mind is also crucial. The diet can cause fatigue, reduce nerve control, and increase anxiety. Accepting what you must give up to achieve your body composition is also an essential part of the process.

In conclusion, competing in fitness sports is a challenging yet rewarding experience. However, it requires discipline, dedication, and a thorough understanding of the training and competition seasons' goals. Athletes must also consider their lifestyle, emotional maturity, and reasons to compete before starting a competition preparation. Open communication with coaches is also essential to set realistic expectations and overcome potential conflicts. With these tips and considerations in mind, athletes can prepare themselves for the competitive world of fitness sports.


Helms, E. R., Fitschen, P. J., Aragon, A. A., Cronin, J., & Schoenfeld, B. J. (2014). Recommendations for natural bodybuilding contest preparation: resistance and cardiovascular training. Journal of sports medicine and physical fitness, 54(6), 757-764.

Isola, V., Hulmi, J. J., Petäjä, P., Helms, E. R., Karppinen, J. E., & Ahtiainen, J. P. (2023). Weight loss induces changes in adaptive thermogenesis in female and male physique athletes. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, (ja).

Mäestu, J., Jürimäe, J., & Jürimäe, T. (2010). Monitoring of performance and training in rowing. Sports medicine, 40(7), 587-619.

Pardue, A., Trexler, E. T., & Sprod, L. K. (2017). Case study: Unfavorable but transient physiological changes during contest preparation in a drug-free male bodybuilder. International journal of sport nutrition and exercise metabolism, 27(6), 550-559.

Schoenfeld, B. J. (2010). The mechanisms of muscle hypertrophy and their application to resistance training. Journal