The Game Plan to go Pro
The one question up and coming amateur bodybuilders frequently ask is, what's the best strategy to go from novice to pro?
"I always tell athletes to first enter a novice show or city contest," says Manion. "Some people feel that they can jump right into a state show or a national qualifier. Lee Haney is a perfect example. Lee entered and won the Jr. Nationals and the Nationals in the same year. Now that is rare, yet it can happen. However, for most, the progression would be to enter a city contest, state contest, regional contest / national qualifier, Junior USA show, the USA show, the Jr. Nationals, then the Nationals."
For the athlete who has everything but patience, the time it takes to go from first show to becoming a pro is of major concern. "It's all so individual. Some people have great genetics and can do it quicker, but for most, it's about a three year process to get to the level of top national competitor."