George Peterson talks about how social media can play mind tricks when preparing for a bodybuilding competition.
Social media has provided not only fans, but athletes, with more immediate updates on competitor physiques. So can it be used as a tool to analyze fellow competitors before a big bodybuilding show? Can it help adjust contest prep to be better prepared for victory? In our latest GI Exclusive interview, George Peterson warns of the mind tricks social media physique photos can play when preparing for a bodybuilding show.
Back in the day, bodybuilders would hide their physiques while training for a big bodybuilding show. This served two purposes. It made for the big reveal at the competition a true shock and delight for fans. It also prevented fellow competitors from seeing what they are going up against.
While some bodybuilders still follow this tactic, the landscape has changed significantly due to the rise of the internet and social media. Now physique updates before a competition are commonplace. How many “John Doe’s Physique Update 5 Weeks Out” posts have you seen over the past decade? We’re guessing a lot.
That’s because the immediacy of social media has been a huge benefit to the bodybuilding world. It allows for more interactivity with fans. It allows for more news and updates to build excitement week after week. No longer do bodybuilding fans need to wait once a month to see the magazine photos or a big bodybuilding show for news about their favorite sport.
Check out our latest GI Exclusive segment with George Peterson above!
But for as many benefits as social media brings, it also has its drawbacks. The constant updates provide newfound expectations. What we see in photos on social media may not be a fair representation of what we will get on the night of a competition.
This is something that George Peterson is very aware of and keeps in his mind while he’s in the midst of contest prep. On one hand, social media can provide itself as a tactical tool for pro bodybuilders. Theoretically you can keep your eye on fellow competitors and adjust your training based on what you see.
George Peterson tries to avoid this as much as possible. In fact, many bodybuilders we speak to don’t go out of their way to analyze rival physiques online. George explains this is due to the false reality social media can create. While this affects everyone, it can be especially dangerous for bodybuilders during contest prep.
George Peterson speaks specifically of mind tricks that social media can play. Training and dieting and dedication are all important factors in a successful prep. But mental preparation is also important. If a bodybuilder gets into a bad headspace, they can psych themselves out throwing off their prep.
This is true for any high level pro sports. You’ve likely heard of many strange traditions and habits that pro athletes will go through before a game or competition. It’s all in order to keep their mindset stable and ready to perform under such high pressure.
That’s why George Peterson tries to avoid looking at athlete profiles on social media during contest prep. Of course, they sometimes slip in on his feed. But he won’t go out of his way to witness them. He claims it’s very easy to play tricks on your own mind during prep. That’s the last thing he wants. Any one small thing that can throw off his prep can lead to disastrous results.
You can watch George Peterson explain in more detail the delicate balance of social media and bodybuilding in our latest GI Exclusive interview segment above!