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One of the most entertaining - and challenging - parts of bodybuilding is all the misinformation that comes along with it.
During my wife and I’s 14 weeks of prep, we heard it all. It seemed like every day someone said something to us in regards to our show that was blatantly wrong. It wasn’t any fault of their’s. I honestly had many of the same impressions before diving into a prep. Therefore, I thought I’d take this week to debunk a few myths of bodybuilding.
1. You have to starve yourself to get into contest shape.
There is no bigger fallacy surrounding bodybuilding than the belief that bodybuilders don’t eat. In fact, we both struggled to eat enough to keep up with the diet demands contest prep puts on your body. People think you’re not eating because you don’t take from the office donut offering or you aren’t indulging in fried foods and drinks together after work.
The thing is, you are replacing those foods with more nutrient-dense foods. Lots of eggs, chicken, fish and beef were consumed in the Lawson household during those 14 weeks of prep.
2. You can’t eat any carbs or fats.
This one I count as a half truth. I say that because one of the primary components of my diet was dropping my carb and fat intake, but I didn’t eliminate the two macronutrients altogether. In fact, it is just as important to hit your numbers for carb and fat intake as it is for protein intake as your body still needs those nutrients to function and keep your muscles intact.
Not all bodybuilders drop carbs and fats like I did. Some follow a high-fat diet, others do high-carb diets and some, like myself, took the high-protein approach. The ultimate goal for all of them is the same - put your body in a caloric deficit so that it must burn stored fat to make up for the lack of calories.
3. Only certain people can do it.
This particular myth really struck a cord with me every time I heard it. I heard reason after reason of why others thought it was a cool thing to do but they couldn’t do it themselves. One of the biggest excuses was that they didn’t have the body for it.
Everyone has a body for bodybuilding. It is how you prepare that body that makes the difference. If you think your genetics will prevent you from getting on stage and competing, you are wrong. I’m not a naturally blessed competitor. I gain fat quickly. I don’t gain muscle easily. However, I was willing to put in the work for 14 weeks to get myself into a place where I felt comfortable stepping on stage and competing. I had a body for it, my wife had a body for it and you have a body for it.