Sometimes It Is Best NOT to Compete

January 25th, 2014 by

We’re never going to apologize for telling someone why they should NOT compete even if they misconstrue the advice as rude or harsh. Case in point. I recently had an email exchange with someone who said:

“During my off season, I rebound and I go from 120 lbs to 140 lbs within 3 months after my last show. I am very annoyed about that, and the thing is, I don’t eat junk food, like chocolate, donuts, etc… I keep eating clean, and yes I do have more carbs than I do in season, but I see no reason why I should balloon this much. Especially since before I used to compete, I was maintaining my weight between 115- 120lb most of my adult life. Until I started competing, I NEVER used to swing up to 20 lbs, I would always stay within 3-5 lbs of my 120 lbs frame. Yes, I do agree that I do have more muscle but I see no reason why I should be gaining and losing that much weight.”

Then she proceeded to tell me of her 2014 competitive plans and could I help her diet down and

Long story short I tried to explain why that post-contest rebound is happening to her (long story short, it’s because of the methods used to diet down for competition) and help her restore metabolism to what it was before she ever started competing. Sent a few articles, explained what was happening, etc.

One, returning metabolism to pre-competition days unfortunately not going to happen. And two, as I said to her, “we have a strong ethical compass in this area. We are unwilling to take any client down a path (competing) that we believe should not be taken due to rebounding issues, metabolic issues, etc. It would be irresponsible of us given we know clearly what that will result in.”

The motive behind this “prevention” is to help people avoid causing themselves MORE issues than they already have. But what kind of response was this met with?

“Wow, I wasn’t expecting such harsh treatment from someone who wants to help people. I find it disconcerting that by reaching out I get a lashing as if I was a 3 yr old child. I find that offensive and completely against what I would call trying “help” people. Good luck to you and I will relay this message to others that compete, I’m sure it will “help” them as well.”

That very much disappoints me. No apologies from me that’s for sure. I consider “help” to be preventing someone with issues from self-inflicting further issues. This individual did not consider that help whatsoever, which I’m left to conclude means that her version of “help” was simply to take her on with no concern about her repeated rebounds and just diet her down again anyway.

It would be UNhelpful and irresponsible of me, or any coach, to ignore the history of a client in order to simply “get a new client” and do what they want you to do with no regards to consequences when you know the risks at stake.

Sometimes you just have to say no. I wish more people understood this. There is life after competition and the last thing you ever want to do is go down a road that makes you regret the day you ever first decided to step on stage.

You get one body. Serve and protect it before it stops serving and protecting you.