Have you ever thought that you’d like to enter a fitness, figure or bodybuilding competition, but you never did because you had no idea how to prepare? A lot of would be athletes settle on honing their physiques in the gym, not because they don’t have a desire to compete, but because they don’t know what steps to take to get out of the gym and up on a stage.
If you’re one of those people, you’ll find this article beneficial as a starting place for your contest prep.
Step 1 – Pick a Show
The first thing you need to do is figure out when you’d like to compete and what organization you’d like to compete with.
There are a lot of shows to choose from; however, since you’re just starting out, I’d recommend finding a local show that might be a little smaller that a national qualifier or a larger show. This will allow you to enjoy the experience and get a feel for competing before moving on to a larger competition.
When you pick a date, make sure it will leave you about 3 months or more to prepare.
Step 2 – Begin Your Diet
Once you’ve set a date, about three months out you’ll need to begin your diet. To do this, you’ll want to eat five or six small meals a day (one every three to four hours). Make sure you’re eating a lot of lean protein, complex carbohydrates and green veggies.
You need to avoid foods that are high in sodium, simple carbs and fats and you should drink at least 1 gallon of water every day.
Step 3 – Increase the intensity in your weight training.
About three months from a contest, when you begin your diet, you’ll need to make sure you push yourself during each workout in the first two months. Since you won’t be eating as much as your body is use to, it’s important that you eat a lot of protein and workout hard so you don’t lose muscle. As the show gets closer, you’ll have to decrease your intensity slightly because you won’t have as much energy to work with.
Step 4 – At the three month mark, you should start doing cardio every day.
Bodybuilders don’t need to do as much as fitness and figure competitors in the first 6-weeks or so, but again, as the show gets closer, even the bodybuilders will need to do a little extra cardio to make sure you’re as lean as possible on show day.
Step 5 – Get your routines put together.
Bodybuilders need to know how to do compulsory poses and they need an individual posing routine. Fitness competitors need a fitness routine and they need to learn how to pose for fitness and figure competitors need to learn to pose for figure.
If this sounds simple, it isn’t. Please take this advice and start early because as easy as it looks, posing is no joke and needs to be practiced a lot so you don’t get nervous and mess up during your contest.
Step 6 – Order your posing trunks or one and two piece competition suits.
Ladies, get online and research fitness contest suits to get the right cut. It doesn’t matter how awesome your physique is, if you show up wearing the wrong type of suit, you won’t be given a second glance.
Step 7 – Do a trial run with your ProTan.
Yes, if you’re going to compete and want to do well, you’ll need to use ProTan. This isn’t a drug store tanning lotion and no, you can’t get as dark as you need to be by tanning at a salon or at the beach.
It’s good to have a natural base tan and then add your Pro Tan one coat at a time. Everyone reacts a little differently to ProTan. Some people turn a greenish tint some orange some a beautiful tan color. Some people need one coat others need up to ten coats. So you see, you really need to know what works for you prior to the weekend of the show. Don’t use it on your face and be careful not to put too much on your ankles, knees and elbows, otherwise you’ll just look dirty on stage.
By the day of the show, you should be lean and dry (no water weight); you should be able to pose in your sleep; you should have your competition attire (figure and fitness, don’t forget your stiletto heels) and you should know what you ProTan plan is.
If you have all of these things ready, the rest will fall into place. The other thing you may want to do is research bodybuilding, fitness or figure competitions on the internet. There are tons of great sites out there that have tips and links that may be helpful for you.