I know, I know, I wrote an article two weeks ago about whining and complaining, but apparently there is so much of it going on that I am not yet done...well, whining and complaining about it. After I finished the last article it occurred to me that the large majority of whining is coming from physique competitors. Oh, don’t get me wrong, bodybuilders complain a lot, too, but when I notice someone complaining more than bodybuilders, that should tell you how ridiculous it must be. So, I am going to explain a few things to anyone that competes in physique divisions to help you better understand your situation and hopefully contribute to less complaining and disappointment after a show. Apparently, no one has been honest with you up to this point.

Understand that I am an NPC Judge and I have been a competitor for over twenty-five years. I am not only qualified to opine on the subject but I am also brutally honest—not to the point of being insensitive—because I always appreciate that when I ask someone a question, they will give me an honest answer. If I expect that from other people, I have an obligation to do the same. I will also say, for the record, that I have a lot of physique-competitor clients and friends, so what I am about to say does not pertain to every single physique competitor out there — just a lot of you. And please do not email me and ask me if I am talking about you. If you aren’t sure, this information is for you.

RECENT: Quit Blaming The Judges

The physique division requires a total, overall look before it requires specific areas or body parts to be big or ripped. In bodybuilding it is easier to say something like, “I need more delt cap and my back is not up to par.” Physique is not bodybuilding.  All pieces have to fit together almost perfectly and this has more to do with someone winning or placing well than whether your arms are big enough or your back is wide enough. This is the first step to understanding one of the main differences between physique and bodybuilding competition and apparently the hardest to understand. To be even more straight-forward with you: It won’t matter if you are in better condition and have bigger pecs, delts and back if your physique is ugly as shit. This is a huge obstacle, obviously, because a lot of your shape and structure plays into this overall package and you have little to no control over that. Some of the reason you may do well in physique competition you simply cannot train for.

Another important point that people either tend to forget or just don’t want to admit is this: You are judged from the neck up. If you are ugly, be a bodybuilder. There are many ugly-ass bodybuilders and it won’t go against you from a competition standpoint. Phil Viz places quite well despite his ugliness. However, just like in bikini competition, you need to look pretty to win or place higher in physique competition. Don’t think that is fair? Then you’re ugly because only ugly people think that being marked down for being ugly is not fair. Pretty people have no problem with it. And before you get going on me, I’m a self-proclaimed ugly-ass bodybuilder. I would have loved to compete in physique competition had it been around when I started lifting and competing. However, even if I had the physique for it, I would not have had the face for it. See the difference here? I’m realistic where too many physique competitors aren’t.

Physique competitors complain more post show, as well. Quit making sulking posts on social media about how you need to, “take some time to reassess whether competing is for you." Blah, blah, blah. Most physique competitors that are not national level have only trained for competition in the range of two to four years.  Please tell me how after only a handful of shows you need to reassess and please tell me WHAT you need to reassess. Is it because you aren’t winning? You either love the sport and training for it or you don’t. If you are that wrapped up in winning, maybe you overshot your potential just a little bit and thought you were better than you were? Maybe your ass just needs to man up, go back to the proverbial drawing board, and instead of pondering whether you are going to quit (already), you figure out whether you can work harder and longer to get better — provided you’re not ugly, of course. No one can out-train ugly no matter what your mom tells you.

And don’t say something stupid like, “I poured myself into this show and deserved to do better." WTF? When did working hard qualify you to win? In fact, how could you possibly know whether you worked harder than the people that beat you?

“I sacrificed family time, going out with friends…” No shit? Welcome to the world of competition. Some of us did it for DECADES with no complaining. Just shut up and work or just shut up and quit.  Either way, JUST SHUT UP.

Understand your sport. Understand that it isn’t about “pieces and parts” but a total package that takes into account how “pretty” your physique (and face) is. Understand that you are judged against the people you stand next to and that each show is going to have you judged differently for this main reason.

Enjoy the process and don’t get hung up on placings; I say this to bodybuilders, as well. If you truly love what you do then show it by enjoying the competition—win, lose or draw—and the process including the day in and day out of contest prep.

And remember this: Keep your chin up, because even if you’re an ugly-ass physique competitor, you are still better looking than 99% of bodybuilders. Just Sayin’.