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I Am An Athlete: What It Takes to Be the Best

Cellucor athletes Sadik Hadzovic, Janet Layug, Brett Mario & Erin Stern share their top tips for competing on the biggest bodybuilding stage.

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Moments before they took the stage at the Pittsburgh Pro, we connected with Team Cellucor’s Erin Stern, Janet Layug, Brett Mario, and Sadik Hadzovic. They shared their top tips for what it takes to become a top IFBB Pro.

What does it take to become a top IFBB professional?

Sadik: What it takes to be one of the best IFBB pros in the world is a whole lot of dedication. If you’re just getting started in this sport of professional bodybuilding what I would tell you is buckle up.

Erin: To be a top pro, you have to be driven. 

Janet: It takes grit, discipline.  

Brett: You have to realize that you have to get better every time you step on stage. And you have to realize that it might not always go your way.  

What does it feel like when you step on stage?

Erin: The challenge is in the chase; the joy is in the journey. It’s about getting to the stage. 

Janet: Once I step on stage and the lights hit me, I’m just like “this is my time to shine.” I’ve worked so hard to get here. 

Sadik: There’s so much preparation, there’s so much suffering, there’s so much sacrifice. That’s finally my moment where I can unleash my artwork to the world.  

Brett: I get very excited every time I step on the stage as if it was my first. 

Why do you compete?

Erin: I think my past drives me. I’ve had a lot of failures in my life. I’ve really known what the bottom feels like, and I want to avoid that at all costs. There is no quit in me. 

Janet: I compete because I love what I do. I love the process of transforming my body. I love stepping on stage and feeling confident in my skin. 

Sadik: Because I truly love the sport. What it does for my confidence, what it does for me as a human, it allows me to do better in all aspects of my life, even outside of the gym. 

Brett: Personally, I compete because I get to inspire and motivate people. I don’t think there’s a bigger purpose in life than doing that. 

Any final words of advice for people looking to compete?

Sadik: It’s going to be a long ride. There are going to be ups and downs. But those who are victorious in the end are those who stick on the path regardless of how fast or slow progress comes. 

Janet: You must believe in yourself. 

Brett: When you get to this level, it’s 100% mental, I promise you. A lot of people have great physiques but if you can mentally get through all the emotions that come with prepping, you’ll go a long way.  

Erin: I think you have to have that grit. You must have that determination. And you must have faith in yourself to know that you can do this. And to believe that you will do this. 

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