Nathan, our resident fitness man, shares what motivated him to prepare and compete as a bodybuilder earlier this year.

So far this year has been extremely busy for me! With the birth of my baby daughter on Christmas Day last year and the start of some new business ventures you would think I had enough on my plate. However, after winning on my bodybuilding debut last May, I’d been bitten by the bug and wanted to get back on stage again!

Competing in a bodybuilding or physique competition requires a long and extremely strict dieting phase, lots of cardio and a lot of intense weight training. This is to reduce body fat as much as possible whilst maintaining muscle mass. It’s physically hard and extremely mentally challenging. Exhaustion, extreme hunger and bad moods are all part and parcel of the process, not to mention the extra time that needs to be dedicated to meticulously preparing meals and training in the gym. It’s all-consuming and easy to give up.

Nathan with his 2015 1st place trophy

I want to share with you the three factors that kept me motivated during my prep:

This is the only ‘selfish’ reason I have for competing. It’s not possible to complete a successful competition prep without it. I have a huge passion for training, the way it makes me feel and the self satisfaction I get from accomplishing my goals. I absolutely love that sense of achievement and empowerment.

I’m a personal trainer. My accomplishments, image and knowledge all help promote myself and my work. With a recent supplement sponsorship and the launch of some new online business ventures it was important to me to ‘prove my worth’ and increase my profile and credibility in a very competitive industry.
I really want to be someone that my family can be proud of. It’s important for me to show my children that anything is possible if you want it enough and you work hard enough for it. It was also important for me to prove to myself that I could complete this prep with a good element of balance. Competition prep can very easily take over your whole life. It happened to some degree when I competed last year, so I wanted to maintain a good prep/life balance this time around.

These three motivating factors helped push me through the toughest and darkest days of prep, and despite a last minute decision to change the category I was competing in, I managed to take first place and win!

Nathan with his 1st place trophy in May

I try to apply this same way of thinking to other aspects of life. Focus on what you want to achieve, set your goal, put into motion a plan of action and use sources of inspiration to motivate you. With dedication and hard work, anything is achievable!

Nathan is a Personal Trainer in Essex sponsored by MyProtein. You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.