Last year started with a question: How often do we remember the meals we eat? When I thought about it, only a couple. The other 99% we completely forget about. And as much as I love great food, I realized it rarely ever adds to my long-term happiness.
This led me to wonder, why then are eating habits so hard to break? Why can’t I control my body and health, when other areas of my life are in order? How do I rethink the way I eat, and ultimately transform my habits into investments?
May 4th I’ll be entering a bodybuilding competition, and I’d love for you to be there! For me competing represents everything I’ve learned about controlling my body and my health. It’s the realization of a year-long process of transformation and exploration.
Yes, I’ll be in a speedo, tanned and oiled up, posing for your amusement. Don’t miss out!
Silver & Black Muscle Classic
Skyline High School (map)
12250 Skyline Blvd.
Oakland, CA 94619
Prejudging: 12:00 pm ($15)
Main show: 5:00 pm ($25)
VIP package: prejudging + main show, first 8 rows ($50)
CASH ONLY at the door.
I’d love for you to be at both events, but if you can only attend one, come see the prejudging. This is where there judges take their time evaluating all the bodybuilders, so the audience can get a close look at the physiques. This is also where I’ll get the most stage time, versus the main show where I only get 90 seconds.
What is natural bodybuilding?
All bodybuilders who compete on an elite level (Mr. Olympia, IFBB, etc.) take steroids. Because anabolic steroids are illegal, they are not technically allowed in competition. Thus competitions usually split into two major types – bodybuilding and natural bodybuilding. Natural bodybuilding competitions test their competitors for HGH and steroid use, while bodybuilding competitions don’t test for these things.
How much of bodybuilding depends on genetics?
At the level I’m competing, almost none. The difference between a person with an average physique and a person with a great physique is almost all mental. Do they have the discipline to train regularly and stay on the diet? Are they an expert at nutrition? Do they train hard every time? When they plateau do they find a way to keep moving forward, or do they blame external factors? Can they resist social pressures to eat out? Over time, these little differences add up and become significant differences. Bodybuilding is really about training the mind. The body is just a reflection of it.
How long does it take to build muscle?
On average a guy can build about 3 lbs of lean muscle mass per year (drug free). On steroids, they can build about 7 lbs per year. I first started weight training after college, around 2008, where I weighed 170 lbs. At the competition I’ll weigh around 180 lbs, which means my yearly gain has been only 2-3 lbs per year. Some of the best bodybuilders start training at 15 years old (like Arnold Schwarzenegger). Since I’m 27 and have only been seriously bodybuilding for the past 1.5 years, I’m technically at a disadvantage. But I’m hoping my dedication and nutritional knowledge will help offset my late start.
Why did I decide to compete?
The short answer is YOLO. The long answer is, I take all of my hobbies seriously because you extract the most value when you commit to things long-term. As you reach higher levels of competency, you unlock new opportunities that otherwise wouldn’t have been available. Competing is also a way of creating permanent assets (pictures, memories, awards, a sense of accomplishment, etc.) from something that’s generally regarded as temporary (your body / youth / good looks). I wrote a whole blog post on this for those interested: