Bodybuilder Describes The Severe Mental and Physical Side Effects Of Competition

Everything has it’s price.

This week, German bodybuilder Kevin Vreeburg shared his competitive experience with Manners Magazine. He describes competition preparation as an experience unlike any other. It’s all-consuming and ruthless, yet at the same time adds direction and purpose to life – both sides of the coin become addictive.

He first shares the appeal of the stage:

“I love the adrenaline of a competition. The moment at which you can show what you have worked so hard for is brutal but gives a great rush. A rush that you soon want more of.”

He competes in Men’s Athletic Physique, and says that the endeavor is anything but healthy, as it includes dropping down to around 5% body fat.

“You can become quite selfish if you are not careful and that is something I caught myself last year. Relationships come under tension, social opportunities are at a low level and the goal comes first.

“The gym sessions will become more difficult as you get lower and lower in your fat. Your energy levels will be lowered and you will feel tired faster, but stopping is not an option.”

But Kevins says that the real danger is not in the physical taxation of prep, it is in the mental and emotional void which occurs after the competition. He says athletes can fall into a psychological ‘black hole’.

“You learn a lot about yourself during the preparations, but the danger for most lies in the period after the competition. There is talk of a ‘black hole,’ because after weeks of struggling, all hectic will suddenly come to an end. Whether it went well or badly: the goal has disappeared. The grip and structure were secretly very tasty .. And now?

“Now everything is suddenly allowed again: that cookie, ice cream, bag of chips, that extra sandwich. It does not matter anymore, because the goal is gone. You do not have a deadline, so for many people self-control and motivation disappears. Athletes arrive in kilos in a couple of weeks, often without exercising, which of course also has mental consequences.”

Kevin says that the most important remedy for this is to remind oneself that the journey itself is the goal. Being objectively driven is an excellent quality, but it is important to understand that objectives come and go – one must strive to stay focused throughout.

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  1. He is not saying anything that we dont know, at the highest level of any sports it not really healthy and you need a strong hardcore mindset to do it and if you are a pussy you will quit.

  2. I’ve always wondered about after retirement. When you go back to being a “normal” size person. I’m far from being a pro bodybuilder but it even bothers me that I can’t lift as much as I did say 20 years ago now being 41. So imagine mentally someone like Coleman and look at him now. Father time is a real bitch

  3. Yes this is very interesting. Im preparing for me 1st competition next year April. I find it difficult to keep my training on one level. The looks i get of dismay. But im committed and doing this for myself.

  4. Only people who truly love prep and will for sure compete again will miss the structure. You can also keep structure around meal timing and preparing good food choices. It helps. As far as goals go, you should be picking the next show you will be aiming to compete in. This takes care of the motivation piece.

    • Prep is the most amazing way to have good structure I loved it…at same time the leaner I got the better I looked the more insecure I got the worse I thought I looked. The more I focused on smaller n smaller things n couldn’t give myself credit for what id done so far. Double edge sword for sure…. a lot of us end up cutting ourselves

  5. Only of you don’t have the genetics then it’s too difficult for you, drugs, extremely unhealthy dieting, learning how to turn, stand and pose.
    If YOU DO have the genetics it’s the easiest professional sport on earth


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