This past weekend, Eric and I competed in our first ever bodybuilding show.

Just kidding!

We went to support one of our favorite trainers who was competing, Ryan Washington, who has been a huge supporter of Gravitus. He’s been cutting down the past 12 weeks for a string of shows this summer, last weekend being the first. He came in crazy lean on stage, and the Gravitus team could not be happier for him! It’s been interesting getting to witness first hand what a competitor goes through, mentally and physically, in preparation for this type of event.

Lifting Is the Easy Part

Lifting is a distraction from food. It’s a distraction from thinking about it and being around it. Lifting is the easy part in a contest prep. It’s also not as fun as it was on a bulk, since you aren’t hitting PRs and it’s harder to get a pump without the amount of carbs your body was taking in during a bulk or at maintenance. Or maybe you’re on a very carb restrictive diet and fall flat as a board. This and the hunger will lead to mental hangups if you’re not coming in knowing this will be part of it.

Bodybuilding Contest Lineup
Ryan, third from the left on stage during pre-judging.

It’s All About Attitude

I’ve never met someone who can roll with the tides quite like Ryan, especially when it comes to food. He knows what he has to do to get to a certain point physically, and he just doesn’t let the caloric restriction get to him mentally. I’ve witnessed zero head games, mood swings, or food hangups from him. This is insane to me, because our bodies aren’t supposed to be cool with sitting at low single digit fat percentages. Our bodies often go through a mini hormonal freak out when we take dieting too far, outpacing willpower and making the dieter cranky, exhausted, and just generally miserable until giving in and eating their way out of the diet.

But It’s Also About Support

Emotionally Ryan kept it together 100%. Some days when we’d train though, he’d be a bit spacey. This was usually a sign he’d need to up the carbs, or just ride it out to a better day, since everyone has lows. He’s got a great support system of old clients, friends, and family. Every single time we’ve trained together this year, at least one person has come up to him and asked how he was, or how his cut was going, and his face would light up. This kind of emotional support, I’ve realized, is what helps keep things bearable. Yes, at the end of the day it’s up to the competitor, but things are just better when other people are along for the ride.

Congratulations Ryan, and best of luck at your upcoming show in Chattanooga!

Ryan and Eric after the show.
Ryan and Eric after the show.

Photo of Sarah Wagner

Sarah Wagner

- Gravitus profile

Sarah handles all things marketing for Gravitus. An avid baker, she enjoys developing macro friendly recipes. She's been lifting heavy since 2013, and loves the barbell like she loves cute puppies.