Do you have what it takes?
Hakeem Andrews is a 20 year old who has been inspired to become a body builder over the past few years. He never really had much size as far as height goes, as he is just five feet seven inches tall and 250 pounds. “I was strong but fat.” He said, he went on to play a year of football at the College of Mount Saint Joseph, but didn’t stick with it. Though he loved the sport he gave it up. Hakeem said he didn’t receive much playing time and was by far the smallest guy on the field considering his position was defensive tackle. That’s when he looked for other sports to get involved in and found body building. He loved weight lifting and felt it was worth a shot to try it. He then began training for one of the local shows in Cincinnati. His first show that he entered in was at Harrison High School on October 20th called Monster Mash. He said it’s one of the greatest experiences ever standing up on stage and posing in front of hundreds of people. “With all the adrenaline flowing and hard work that I put into preparing for this show the feeling is indescribable until you experience it. At the end of the show though nervous and fatigued he said he placed in the top five at his first competition. He enjoyed every minute of it and went on to compete in several other events throughout the year.
The nutrition actually plays the biggest part in forming the body. You will see that most professional body builders will say nutrition is 70% of body building and 30% of it is training. Hakeem said “I won’t drink because of the empty carbohydrates and I don’t eat bad or fast food because I eat for health and not for taste.” That’s what people don’t understand is that this sport takes a lot of discipline and dedication. That’s why so few make it in body building; they just don’t have the discipline or dedication to stick with it. Body builders eat a lot of meat because it has plenty of protein. To build muscle you have to put in a lot of protein into your body. To gain weight you have to put more calories in then you burn the process is easy. If you don’t burn the extra calories you will become fat plain and simple. Also, many people will disregard the sport because of steroids, but those men who take steroids are in the gym for weeks, months and for years to be the best body builder that they can be.
Hakeem said his workouts are brutal. “I do a lot of sets typically six to ten sets of heavy weights. As far as the intensity his workouts are always high intensity. “I don’t quit till the pain says hello Hakeem!” When cutting Hakeem typically cuts 35 pounds going from 215 to 180. The reason for this is, because you want to bulk then eliminate carbohydrates because carbohydrates store fat. I let my body fat get down to five percent or lower if I can.”
The Last Week
The last week is the hardest part about body building. This is where the body builder will eat extremely low carbohydrates typically 50 carbohydrates or less. “I’ll drink two to three gallons of water till the day prior to the competition to flush out my system.” Then Friday I cut water intake at four pm. This is where the body builder goes through a phase called depletion. This means the body builder will take a water pill to get the water out of his or her body. There are natural ways to do it, but typically it is done through pharmaceuticals because it’s cheaper and easier to do. The nutrition goes for every day, cardio every day, and posing. You have to be in shape for that last day so you have to practice with the posing so you are ready for that competition day without shaking and cramping up. You can’t let anyone have an advantage on you. Unless you have actually trained for a completion it’s really hard to relate to being a body builder. You have to experience it to grasp it. When the body fat gets really low the body goes through a lot of changes. You’re hungry and you can’t sleep, especially if you’re depleting. There are no carbohydrates for energy. So you become very lethargic. “Sometimes I don’t want to get up and move.” said Hakeem. The worst thing about being on a diet is not having energy you just get tired of being tired. Sometimes you’ll crave foods, but you can’t eat it if you want to look good on that stage. “I’ve learned to use my mind to my advantage in this stage.” Said Hakeem
Hakeem said he takes a lot of vitamins just to stay healthy and make sure he’s getting everything he needs in his diet. Also in an email, received from Frank Zane IFBB pro and three time Mr. Olympian he commented on using L-Arginine and tryptophan. Which L-arginine is an amino acid promotes nitric oxide and blood flow throughout the body which helps vascularity. Tryptophan is an amino acids that supports deep sleep which helps muscle growth. One must be aware that though a title may say its one thing the label can say otherwise. If a supplement isn’t checked by the Federal Drug Administration the company can put whatever they want in it. One must also realize that companies buy out the names that sound similar to steroids to get people to buy them even though they aren’t really steroids. For amateur contests they test for steroids so you can’t take steroids if you want to test clean. Hakeem said “Once you turn pro you can take steroids if you want because International Federation of Body Building does not test.
One of few
To become pro you have to first start to compete. If one has any desire to be a bodybuilder it’s better to start now than to wait, if you’re ready you should get your experience in as soon as possible. One must choose the IFBB for his or her country, because the rules are different in other countries. If you win your regional contest weight class, or place highly you will be invited to compete in your federations national championships for that year. To earn an IFBB pro card usually the overall champion of the show will receive their pro card, but some federations offer pro cards to the winner of each weight class.
Preparing for an Event
One must be mentally prepared for the onslaught of events that are going to happen in the world of Pro Body Building. Though you may be one step ahead of one person you have to be prepared to be behind another and swallow your ego if you lose. The sport is a tough one and is both mentally challenging and demanding, because as the old saying goes if you don’t believe you can do it then you won’t. The body builder depending on who they are will tan in preparation for an event. As one goes into the competition the competitors will put on a bronzing oil to make them look darker. The reason the body builder does this is because the darker the skin tone the more the muscles and veins will show and so the better you will look for your body competition. You may think well I can just put on an entire bottle of bronze lotion and be ready, but the judges look for this and look for actual muscle definition. They want an even amount of lotion they don’t just want a guy with mass body lotion on looking like a piece of burnt bacon on the stage. It must be done right. You have to practice all your mandatories and your poses. “The competitor must know what he’s doing when he gets up on stage, because the judges won’t hold your hand during the procedures.” said Gina Hakes who is an amateur body builder. Lowering your body fat will also help the veins pop out more. The judges look for different things and it varies from show to show. The judges will look for vascularity, size, how lean and cut one is, ripped, how well rounded your body is and they go as far as seeing if one arm is bigger than another .The judging is fierce they go to an extreme level of judging. It’s very strict and you have to be ready for whatever the judges throw your way. Therefore, preparing yourself not only physically for the event is important, but also mentally so that your mind will be ready to take on the challenges.
“My goal in bodybuilding just like anyone else in this sport is to become pro. I don’t want to work a desk job to me that would be boring and for the birds. Anyone with a brain can do that, I want to show off my God given body. I want to maximize my body and do what I love to do, workout. I don’t want to be a mindless drone at some job that I don’t really want to be at. As hard as this sport is, and even with all the work involved mentally and physically, this is what I want to do… this is what I want to do.” said Hakeem