Affirmation is a human trait that we all carry around with us to some degree. Whether it's measuring ourselves against other competitors in business and trade or when wondering if our skills and abilities could hold up in sport, most of us just want to see how good (or bad for that matter) we are. The sport of bodybuilding, in all of its subjective glory, is probably the most mind bending sport there is in this respect. The only way to truly measure yourself against the best in the industry is by standing beside them and/or seeing them in person. Once you do, you'll quickly figure out where you stand and the three main categories that will the deciding factor in confirming your position are size, shape and body composition. Let's take a closer look.
Pictures will never do justice to the physiques you see on stage or in a crowd and the only real way to appreciate the sheer size of some of the best bodybuilders in the world is to see them up close and personal. When you do, you will be amazed by just how much space they take up and just how massive they really are. You can be the biggest guy at your gym and hear it every day from those you train with, but I'm telling you now, once you start grazing at one of these expos and see the monsters who exist in the sport walking around, all of your insecurities start coming to the surface and feeling small is the only thing you can think of. If you've ever felt like this, trust me, you're not alone and you're not small either.
The one thing many people tend to forget when discussing professional bodybuilders is the fact that aside from their size and ability to pack on slabs upon slabs of new muscle tissue almost at will, is the shape of the muscle when it's made. There's a reason these people turn pro, and it's because they possess the unique genetic advantage of perfect symmetry, muscle balance, fullness and superior lines. This is what sets them apart from the rest. Being big is one thing, being big and shapely is a whole other level. When you see yourself or someone else of lesser genetics standing next to one of these bodybuilders, you can quickly see the difference and while you might even be heavier than them, their shape creates the illusion of being bigger thereby giving the advantage to superior genetics.
There's gym ripped and then there's stage ready ripped. The difference is significant. If you haven't done your homework and are preparing to step on stage, your confidence will quickly fade once you stand next to someone who is truly ready. If you're not competing and are just trying to stay lean, that phrase will take on a whole new meaning if you compare yourself to a professional bodybuilder who is just trying to stay lean and within striking distance of being stage ready. The vascularity and striated muscle that you will see will no doubt you have you looking for the nearest stepmill and a how to guide on ketogenic diets.
Now that you've read all of that, here's what I want you to do; forget it all! That's right, why would you ever compare yourself to a professional bodybuilder unless you are one yourself? Their body is how they earn their living and being in the best shape possible is what they get paid to do. Listen, we all have at one time aspired to look like that, and perhaps some of you have even come real close or do for that matter, but the fact still remains that looking for affirmation in what you've been doing by comparing yourself to those who do it for a living, is just plain silly. Be happy and completely secure in what you've accomplished and stop worrying about how you measure up against someone else. Do you think Heyday CEO Darin Hager worried about how his Heyday Footwear and all of the incredible designs like the Super Shift, Super Freak and Tactical Trainer would measure up against his competitors? Hell no! He just created a look that he loved and went with it which is what you need to do for yourself. Love the skin you're in, keeping building on it and never feel down about where you fit in amongst the masses.
Author: Dana Bushell
AST Sports Science sponsored athlete/writer, sponsored by Schiek Sports Inc.