Everyone who knows me, knows I was VERY resistant to competing. Steve has asked me to compete with him for years, and I finally (reluctantly) said YES (with a grouchy face and all). haha! Well, now that I’ve done it, one of the most common questions I get is “will you do it again?“
A matter of fact, one of my friends (Susy B, who’s thinking about whether or not she wants to compete or not) asked me Friday night after weigh-ins, “would you do it again?” and my answer was “ask me tomorrow!”. At that point, I could honestly say I loved the whole process. I loved putting science to work. I loved being pushed to stick to my diet and training. I loved having goals. I loved the challenge – and I loved the results. I just wasn’t sure how I’d like the stage. And, at that point, I was pretty sure I’d hate it.
What have I got myself into?
I really DREADED the stage. I dreaded being half naked in front of everyone. I dreaded the stress. I dreaded the unknown. I dreaded the posing. I dreaded standing there all alone. I dreaded the attention. I dreaded the awkward long moments where you have to hold a smile forever and pretend you are completely comfortable torcing your body into a pretzel to look your best (yes, we may look like we are standing normal, but there is nothing normal feeling about posing). I dreaded the “judging”. I pretty much dreaded every single thing that could possibly happen on stage.
Here I go!
I woke up that morning already feeling like a winner. I met and surpassed all my goals. I was in the best shape of my life. I could have just stopped there, but I knew I was supposed to step out of my comfort zone and finish this. I never anticipated doing well. I knew it was a big show and there would be a lot of girls up there who worked just as hard as I did. I would have been happy with 12th place, because I was at my personal best. Then I got the call out. Wow! Top 5!
Then I waited as they started announcing places. “5th place goes to…. 4th place goes to….” and was just waiting for them to call my number. At that point, I was just stoked I got a call out. Truth is, I hadn’t even looked at the other girls, so I had no idea how we’d all place. Then they called out the 3rd place winner and then the 2nd place girl – and it wasn’t me! I remember making a funny face as I processed “oh my gosh, I’m the only one left!”
Then they called “24, Bonnie Pfiester” and I heard, “THAT’S MY GIRL!” from the audience – and that’s when I really felt like a winner. I made my husband and trainer proud. I made myself proud. And, sure, there could have been someone more fit that could have showed up to beat me, but none of that matters. A trophy doesn’t make me a winner. My hard work did – whether I took 1st or 5th!
So, the million dollar question: Would I do it again?
The answer is (drum roll…….) I’d do it again in a heartbeat. Don’t get me wrong, I still am not fond of the stage. However, the stage is a necessary part of the process. It’s what makes you get up early and do one more cardio. It makes it easier for you to say “NO, I’m not going to eat that”. Did I like being on stage? It honestly wasn’t nearly as bad as I anticipated (you can’t hear or see anything with all those bright lights, so as far as I was concerned I was up there posing for no one! haha). Nevertheless, the results, the discipline I learned, the experience I had with Steve and the things I learned about myself and my body were SO worth enduring the stage for 2 minutes.
First, I like the new improved me. I like the higher level of discipline and I like having parameters with my eating and weight. Basically, I’d like this to be my new norm. My new top weight (the highest weight I want to be) is now lower than it used to be. I’m now officially in maintenance mode. I am already thinking about next year – not for the purpose of getting back on stage, but to set new goals to hold me accountable for the off season.
My first goal for the fall is to keep weighing in regularly to hold myself accountable so I don’t gain weight back. I will diet (which means count calories and eat clean) during the week and allow myself some more freedom on the weekend as long as my weight doesn’t creep up. If it goes above my mark, I will go to competition diet until I get below that mark and then go back to maintenance again.
The next part of my goal is to continue sculpting. There are spots that still need work. I need to narrow my backside and also maintain a smaller size so my skin continues to tighten up. I need to work my abs more and I want to practice and improve my posing. I’m not doing this to win, I’m not doing it to look better than anyone else. I’m not doing it because I’m vain – because no one sees my butt and abs except for Steve and the few people who may see me at the beach! I’m doing it to have training goals, to keep myself in check, and so I don’t find myself aimlessly going through the motions at the gym. Competing gives my training purpose, and helps me stay more disciplined. Now, I better get off this computer and get to the gym!
A big thanks to all who supported me through this journey.
Thermo Heat – for their killer fat burner system & new pre-workout!!
Sewn In The Sun – for making my awesome suit (in the middle of giving birth!) & my jewelry!!
Designer Whey – for providing me with low-calorie protein!
Train Like A Freak Apparel – for workout clothes that made me feel like a winner in the gym
LoseIt – for giving me all the tools I need to track my calories
Energy Spa for tanning our team
Frankie J at Cloud 9 – for doing my hair!
The Shoe Lady – for my awesome insoles that helped me run pain-free and melt fat!
Misty Lundeen – for the best photo shoot ever!!
Kristie Gallagher – for believing in me and praying for me, that I could do this and still honor God.
Team Max – for all the support each team member offers each other
Muscle Papa – for capturing the memories on camera & posting them on your Facebook so we could see pictures SO fast!!!!
My Mom and Dad – who drove all the way up to support me, just to be there long enough to root me on & fly back home as soon as I left the stage because they had to be up early to lead worship and preach. What sacrifice!
I was blown away by the people who made the drive down to watch us compete. The last time I’ve experienced that kind of support was on our wedding day. It was an incredible experience and I’m so thankful for everyone!! THANK YOU!!!
Train to Compete
Everyone knows someone who is training, or has trained, for something – whether it’s a 5K, half marathon, tri, bikini competition, bodybuilding show, crossfit games, power lifting meet or tournament – competing gives you purpose to train like you’ve never trained before.
I believe people who run marathons or do bodybuilding shows are often misunderstood. Some people may think they are just super competitive. Others may just think they are super vain. Ironically, most people who compete are just super normal. They are lazy, they struggle with their training and diet UNLESS they have something to train for. Often times, they HAVE to compete so they HAVE to train.
Another words, most people who compete don’t compete to win, they compete to train like a winner. It’s not about taking home a trophy or having the fastest time in their age group. Winning is showing up and doing their best. They compete because it pushes them further than they’d push themselves on their own. Setting a date to run a marathon without completely dying, or get in a teeny-weeny bikini in front of hundreds of people without shaming themselves motivates them to keep showing up – whether they feel like it or not. It’s added accountability.
Compete to Train
We just had a team of 11 compete this weekend in the Treasure Coast Classic bodybuilding, figure, physique and bikini show. Not one of our competitors competed because they think they will go pro or be the next Ronnie Coleman or Monica Brandt. They all competed to see how hard they could push their bodies, to give them a reason to train hard, and a reason to stick with it. They competed to force themselves out of their comfort zone and train and diet like they’ve never trained and dieted before.
You see, some people think that competitors are the most motivated people in the industry. I’d have to disagree. Sure, while there are people like Steve who are insanely motivated and disciplined (when they are actually training and dieting for a show). However, they are often times the people who lack the most discipline when they aren’t in training.
Competing keeps you in check. It holds up the STOP sign when you really want to go back for seconds …and thirds. It pushes you to go to the gym, when you really just want to skip. It keeps you sticking with your program beyond when you typically would quit or slack. It gives you purpose.
All competitors are not alike. Of course there are people who just love to train, but most people do it because they need to accountability and support. Some LOVE the stage, and some train to place first – but, for most, they love the results.
Compete for Results
Karrie is a great example of someone who chose to compete to take her training up a notch. She had already lost a good bit of weight, but she was ready to train harder, diet harder and get even better results. Competing was exactly what she needed to blow her goals out of the water. So proud of you Karrie!!
Here is a group pic of our competitors, which competed in various divisions and were all ages – from their twenties to their sixties. Click Here to learn more about Team Max.
“No one ever trains and diets as hard as they do when they know they have to get on stage in front of crowd.” – Steve Pfiester
When people talk about bodybuilding, most people picture someone who looks a lot like the Incredible Hulk, without green skin. They picture men with bulging muscles and veins popping out everywhere, pumping serious iron while grunting like a big dumb gorilla. If this is someone’s first impression of bodybuilding, no wonder they are terrified to go the gym.
Over the years, both gyms and bodybuilding have changed. Gyms are no longer a breeding ground for the next Mr. Olympia. Fitness centers have transitioned away from bulking up to sculpting and conditioning.
While there are still guys out there who think bigger is better, a more compact lean body is more desirable to the mainstream gym member. As the fitness industry shifted away from the old-school pumping iron days, the sport of bodybuilding also needed to change.
The National Physique Committee (NPC), as well as the IFBB Professional League created by Joe Weider and his brother Ben, recognized the growing trend and created a new division for men who wanted to look fit without extreme muscularity. The division is called Men’s Physique.
What is Men’s Physique?
Men’s Physique competitors look more like what you would see on a Men’s Fitness magazine cover than Flex Muscle Magazine. Instead of wearing skimpy posing trunks, Physique competitors wear long board shorts, with more of a focus on the chest and abs. Personality and poise is also graded.
Even though this division is new, it is catching on like wildfire. Men across the nation are using Physique competitions as a tool to get in the shape of their lives, including some Vero Beach locals.
A group of men, from Max Fitness, will represent Vero Beach in the NPC Southeast Classic April 6th in Hollywood Florida. Competitors vary in age, shapes and sizes. Since Men’s Physique also offers a Masters division, men can compete in their appropriate age group including Over 30, Over 40 and Over 50 age categories.
Who are the competitors? He may be your realtor, or your computer repairman. He may wait on your table at your favorite restaurant, or fly your plane. Most of them are just men who want to put their body to the test.
“This level of commitment, self-denial and discipline has a perfect carry over into our daily lives. It teaches competitors to be a better parent, boss, spouse, employee, and so on,” explains Max Team Trainer, Steve Pfiester.
If someone is looking for added accountability, a Physique competition may be the answer. “No one ever trains and diets as hard as they do when they know they have to get on stage in front of crowd.” Pfiester shares from his own personal experience. “Whether you win a trophy or not, you are a winner the day you show up because you will all be in the best shape of you life. ”
Original story by Bonnie Pfiester printed in the TCPalm’s NewsWeekly in the Indian River County Press Journal. Learn more about the new Physique competition and upcoming competitions in your area at NPCnewsonline.
“Before Photo” 2 months away from competition. Stay tuned for more competition news and updates.
Since this is a first show for many of our competitors, we at Max Fitness wanted to make this memory last. Doing a competition shouldn’t be just about the 5 minutes on stage – if you focus on that, you are doomed for a bad experience. The stage is just the finish line – and the preparation is the real journey. We took this video of all the competitor training after hours at our Team Max “Power Hour” training event to capture the memory of the hard work and dedication, the transformation, the friendships and the passion for fitness. No matter who takes home a trophy or not, the real prize is your new and improved physique!