>So You Want to Compete?

>A lot of people often ask me how you go about getting started in fitness modeling and figure and bodybuilding competitions.

Here are some tips for those who want to take the leap:

First thing to do is to make the decision as to what appeals to you and your goals. The next step sort of coincides with the first – when you decide (possibly based on appearances of some of your role models) what “look” you want to shoot for, you must then decide what federation actually rewards that particular shape, body composition etc., that you are trying to emulate.

Remember though that while you may use someone or several people as your role models for that “look,” you are a completely different genetic makeup, so you will NEVER look just like that person. Do your own research on the federations (UFE, WBFF, OPA, IDFA, to name a few) and get acquainted with people who have actually competed in some of your choice federation shows, the promoters, the staff etc. It is always a good idea to do networking, even before you hit the stage.

Once you’ve made up your mind which federation you want to start out in and you have that picture in your head (even better to find one and post it on your fridge), it is time to get focused. The next thing that you are going to want to do is write down your goal and some people even like to make it a public affair to create accountability (like posting on forums). Mark your calendar, tell whomever you can, just do whatever you need to in order to make this a “real” goal for you.

Regardless of your knowledge and experience with training and nutrition, it is often a good idea to hire yourself a trainer or coach. Competition prep is pretty different than everyday training, eating and supplementation, and you will definitely need help on stage presence, posing, tanning, your last week and yes, even walking (for the girls).

There is so much more that goes into competing than just “looking good.” You need to have someone by your side to help you make tweaks to your physique, even if you follow your own plan, someone to teach you about what the judges look for, someone who knows how to properly “deplete,” properly tan, and someone who can direct you to the appropriate people for suits and costumes. It is always a great idea to do a ton of your own research – knowledge truly is power with anything. Ask around and use all the resources available to find the right coach and/or trainer for you.

Typically one needs anywhere from 8-16 weeks to get the conditioning they need to compete, but for each person that will vary. Once you have your coach or trainer, they will get your training and nutrition plan set up based on your current body state and will make it appropriate for the timeframe allotted for the show you have decided upon. Your next step is simply to follow what they have set out for you. Even with this professional help, it is always a good idea to watch competition videos, attend shows, and get to as many competition workshops as you can – the more help and practice, the better.

If you do decide to do it all on your own, here is a list of items you will no doubt be grateful to have for the day of the show:

•Bikini Bite, Glaze or Pam Spray
•ProTan, Jan Tana or Dream Tan
•Your suits, costumes and extras just in case
•Your posing shoes, again bring extras just in case
•Flip Flops for walking around backstage
•Baggy BLACK clothing or a robe
•Safety pins, needle and thread, scissors
•Towel and/or sheet
•Water, your goodies and your healthy meals for the day
•Your posing music
•Vaseline (for your teeth)
•Makeup and hair accessories/tools
The most important thing about deciding to compete is to remember to have fun! Unless you are one in a million who is just sooo genetically gifted, it is a ton of hard work and sacrifice, so you need to make sure that you are enjoying it along the way and having as much fun with it all as possible.

I will say this, the rush and all of the amazing people you will meet, will make it all worthwhile in the end no matter what.

So You Want to Compete?

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