The over 40 figure competitor!
This is a picture of Karen we will get to her story in a moment. I often get emails from women who are interested in competing in figure but think that they can’t get into figure shape. They think the deck is stacked against them and that they can’t compete against younger competitors. The truth is that there are great advantages to being a little older (and wiser) which make it ‘easier’ to get ready for a show.
#1: Increased focus: older competitors are more focused – they seem to be able to block out a lot of the B.S. and just do what they have to do to get ready for a show
#2: Hard working: older competitors work hard – their extra years of wisdom helps them truly understand that ….you only get out of it… what you put into it
#3: More responsibility: When you’re 40+ years old you feel a sense of responsibility to show other women that they can do it too. I remember when George foreman came out of retirement to win the heavyweight boxing title at age 45 over an opponent that was 19 years younger… He said he just wanted to show people that you can do whatever you want if you work hard enough and dedicate yourself to it.
#4: Good muscle size: It takes a longer time to build muscle in women, so the older competitor may have more muscle if she’s been lifting for years. A lot of older competitors were lifting years ago when lifting (for women) was frowned upon – which is why the over 40 category is sometimes the best in the entire competition.
Now back to Karen …age 51
Before meeting me, Karen, who is a personal trainer (with a successful blog: http://www.getfitover40.tv/) competed but was not happy with how she looked on show day. Karen, being a trainer and not being able to get the results she wanted for competition was extremely frustrating… because as trainers we are supposed to ‘know it all’ – what she realized was that ‘competition’ training was a completely different beast from ‘getting in shape’ training. When I first met Karen she was in good shape but she didn’t realize that to step onstage she would have to push herself beyond anything she had ever done.
Karen was the perfect competitor, she possessed all 4 qualities I mentioned above she just didn’t know how to reach her goal of getting onstage and competing for that 1st place trophy. BUT… she had the usual concerns of an over 40 figure competitor:
Extra fat on the thighs: ‘I will never lose the fat on my things’
Age: “I can’t compete with younger women… I’m too old”
The unknown: “I’ve never gotten that lean before… I could never do it”
One thing that comes with age is knowledge and wisdom… when I asked Karen about each one of these ‘fears’ she realized that they were just excuses to not give 100%. She’s known people in her life who have overcome much greater obstacles to succeed in different aspects of life… so she realized that she would not let the ‘standard’ excuses get in her way. Once she decided to give 100% …the results were amazing!