To Compete Or Not To Compete!

Although genetics may play a role in how far you are able to push your body; discipline, a strong will and perseverance may blast you far past your expectations.
Ahhhh...The sport of natural bodybuilding. These few elite athletes accept the challenge of building a physique without the use of any illegal enhancements, relying solely on what was given at birth, mentally and physically. Although genetics may play a role in how far you are able to push your body; discipline, a strong will and perseverance may blast you far past your expectations!! I think I can speak for all drug-free bodybuilders by saying it is much more respectable and gratifying watching your body improve "naturally". This sport is like no other, when you are a bodybuilder you are a one man team, you control your own destiny. "YOU do your homework, YOU win, and YOU get all the credit!"

How Bad Do YOU Want It?

It's all about how bad you want to win and to what extremes you are willing to take your body, I am a firm believer in pushing my body past all limitations. The mind is THE strongest muscle you have, if you want something bad enough you WILL find some way to get it. As far as my stance on the drug free world of bodybuilding, I believe the words drug, free, and bodybuilding shouldn't be said together. What do you mean you ask?

By saying DRUG FREE or NATURAL in front of bodybuilding it is suggesting that there is another avenue to bodybuilding. Drugs shouldn't be a part of bodybuilding, or anything for that matter. Have I ever considered steroids? Well, clearly I would be lying if I said the thought had never crossed my mind. At 13 years old I joined a Gold's Gym, walking around eager to grow "larger than life" I saw some very impressive physiques. At the time I didn't really know what steroids were, after I found out about them I was deathly afraid of them. By the time this fear had left me I had already put 25 pds on and realized there was no need to pollute my body. I watched my body grow as well as watched the guys I thought were true friends slowly disappear.


I became very dedicated to the sport and gains were coming very rapidly! Me and my partner in crime at the time did nothing but train in hopes of someday becoming one of those guys in the posters we wall papered our rooms with. "Monetti and Betska are juice buddies" was just one of many bathroom wall slogans our classmates had rumored. This at first got us p***ed off beyond belief, but acknowledging the fact we were getting noticed as being on steroids was quickly transformed into quite a compliment. Now almost 8 years later I realize why such rumors were being thrown around, JEALOUSY!

Not many people are able to give that extra little bit into training and dieting, so they frequent the road traveled most...EASY STREET! I stayed in the gym, trained hard, ate right, believed in myself, and watched myself transform into one of natural bodybuilding's top competitors. Being labeled "Tomorrow's Superstar Today" by Natural Bodybuilding and Fitness magazine in March 2000 was a huge reward for all the hard work and sacrifices I made. Has the thought of steroids ever crossed my mind again you ask..? Does this question really need an answer? TRAIN HARD, EAT RIGHT, SLEEP TIGHT!

Is It Worth It?

That being said, now I will attack the question asked by many bodybuilding enthusiasts. Is one day of looking your ultimate best on stage worth all the hard work? This is a question asked by many. The answer I always reply with Abso-friggin-Lutely. Someone who could dedicate themselves to the gym and be able to be disciplined enough to change their physical appearance by means of weights earns the feeling of competition. Bodybuilding has also been the center point of my life.

I began training at the age of 13 to improve my physical appearance and it was love at first lift. A Christmas present I had asked for didn't get much enthusiasm from my parents. I cant blame them, I attempted baseball ,I got some aggression out on the football field but It wasn't until that DP Fit for life workout bench arrived Christmas one year. It wasn't long before the walls in my room began to get filled with posters and pictures of my goal....FREAKINESS!

Haney, Gaspari, in my eyes the most symmetrical, pleasing physiques FLEX and not to leave out The ARNOLD were just a few. Not one minute went by while I looked at my wallpapered walls did I ever think being in magazines or being in that great of shape wasn't in my future. I wanted it that bad.

Young Anthony

So my bandana was on and my mind was set. I began to grow out of my room and my bench so I joined a local Gold's. How bad ass am I 14 years out training at Gold's Gym training next to one of bodybuilding's well known pros Franco Santoriello… Anyhow, I began to add size as well as strength very rapidly due to my eagerness for hugeness. With four solid years of training under my belt I ran into an older friend of the family who was a seasoned bodybuilder and convinced me to enter a natural competition.

At the young age of 17, a lot of important things are going on in your life. Graduation, future plans of college, girlfriends, etc;... I had mad earth commitment to enter the Natural S. Jersey Bodybuilding championships in July. This would mean my senior ball, my graduation day, along with any other event that would let me have a good time and party were out of the question due to the dieting that comes along with competition. But, I knew I wanted it. Many of my close ones (friends, family) would disagree of course but that would only make me more driven and determined for victory.

After 12 long, hard dreadful weeks of double session training along with tasteless food July 15th was here. While training I only saw myself being the best and having no other competition. The Day of the show I had come to the conclusion there was nothing else I could do to win this show, I had done my homework. If someone had place higher than me at this point the deserved it, in other words there was no more nervous jittery feeling. All the friends and family members who watched me transform my once chubby little Italian kid body into a well sculpted champion physique decided to come to Wildwood NJ and show some support.

They were overwhelmed with the commitment and discipline I presented while training for this day. Everyone including myself would have been happy with a dead last finish simply because I had proved myself enough just preparing for July 15th. So, third place was announced... second place was announced... and the auditorium went off the chain... The 1995 Natural Teenage S. Jersey winner is Anthony J. Monetti Jr!!!

At The End

I actually couldn't hear my own name being announce dude to the overwhelming noise that had emerged, but I had know it was me. Let me just say that feeling of being label number #1 that day was in fact the the most memorable and greatest feeling in my life thus far. All those dreadful 5 am cardio sessions, all that tasteless dry chicken, those incredible hunger pains at night before bed, all disappeared when my name was called out. I cant begin to explain the feeling of putting your "all" into something like a bodybuilding competition and coming out victorious above all. So I ask this question to all you interested in competition,...To compete or not to compete...again. Does this question need to be answered by me??

Knowing Your Body

I have been training with weights for about 12 years now and only the past year have I been maintaining a certain bodyweight as well as body fat percentage due to the fitness modeling aspect of bodybuilding. These 12 years have been drug-free which means the food I eat, the intensity I train with and the consistency of both control my success in the industry. Cardio first thing in the morning at 5:00 am before breakfast and ending my day with weights at around 7:00 pm. This routine of training twice daily and being on as restricted caloric intake can result in what I am currently experiencing. The "Adonis complex", "Body Dysmorphia" are just a few names psychologist have given this disorder. I call it the mental strength of bodybuilding.

I have been eating a certain amount of calories Sun-Fri. Saturday is the wonderful day of "cheat",. on this day I allow myself to eat whatever I may be craving during the week "guilt free". This method has worked well for the most part of the year until now. I am currently in great shape at 205 lbs. and now this so called "guilt free" cheat day has been driving me into insanity. Last Saturday I found myself lifting up my shirt in the mirror to see if my abs were still there while I was eating a slice of well deserved pizza. This is when I recognized I had become "obsessed" with what food goes into my body and how it effects my physique. Although I see this as a potential health issue I also realize this thinking has brought me numerous titles as well as a pro-card by the young age of 21. Psychologists call it a disorder; Bodybuilders label it as just part of being a champion.

Over The Line Or Not

So, in conclusion there is a very fine line between dieting, the desire to do whatever it takes to become or stay a champion and what some may call a "disorder". I have to say now that I am aware of my obsessive ness I make a valid effort to recognize the balance that is needed between being disciplined and making myself crazy! Train hard, Eat right, Sleep tight, WIN BIG!