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Not that long ago Fitness competitions were something that only the “crazy fitness people” did.
It was thought of as almost scary. If you competed, you were among the 1% of society that took the challenge .
I don’t know the actual statistics, but I feel very confident that that percentage has grown quite rapidly within the last couple years.
Last week alone, I had 5 girls approach me regarding prepping for their first bikini comp.
Within the world of “Fitness Competitions” there are multiple categories including Bikini, Fitness, Fitness Model, Figure, Men’s Physique, Women’s Physique and Men’s Bodybuilding
Each organization will be looking for something slightly different so it is always important to research your desired show thoroughly before registering.
Here’s a general guideline:
Bikini – Healthy, fit, lean ( 6 pack not required) feminine commercial look ( think happy and confident) – T walk poses only – bikini.
Fitness Model – Healthy, fit, lean ( 6 pack welcome) commercial look ( think magazine cover girl) T walk poses + quarter turns – bikini / athletic wear ( only with specific organizations)
Fitness – Same as “fitness” with the added athletic / gymnastic ability – Routine required + centre or T walk – bikini / athletic wear ( only with specific organizations)
Figure – Symmetrical muscle , very lean (6 pack REQUIRED), quarter turn posing – Stage suit is traditional posing suit.
Physique Men’s – Healthy, lean. Symmetrical (6 pack welcome / required) masculine commercial look ( think Magazine cover) T walk + quarter turns – stage suit is board shorts.
Bodybuilding Men’s – Symmetrical muscle, very lean ( 6 pack REQUIRED) – routine required, quarter turn posing – stage suit is traditional posing suit.
Physique Women’s – Same as Men’s Bodybuilding
As a first time competitor the choices can be overwhelming.
Women, unless you currently have adequate muscle mass to begin with it, figure or physique is generally something to build towards over a few years of training.
Bikini, Fitness or Fitness Model are generally great first time choices, just to get your feet wet so to say.
The same goes for men, if you are coming in with great size, then bodybuilding might be perfect, but if you are still working on gaining the ideal mass, You may want to opt for Men’s Physique.
Some key things to keep in mind when taking the leap into competing.
People will question you, critic you, doubt you, peer pressure you, shake their heads at you, stop inviting you to social things, tell you you are unhealthy, tell you that what you are doing is wrong…These are the people that you should probably distance yourself from regardless. The lack of support is detrimental, in any chapter of your life, not just this one. I have been in the industry for 10 years, I have seen my share of judgement, I have left “friends” behind to follow what is true in my heart. I have repeatedly explained my “why” to people who simply do not understand. It has nothing to do with YOU, and once you learn that you are free. This is YOUR journey, and YOUR vision, YOUR goal, YOUR training, YOUR choices, YOUR money, YOUR big day, YOUR life. No need to explain. End of story. TRAIN ON !!!
Your muscles will hurt for the next few months- Training is serious. Regardless of category chosen, you are now training harder than anyone in that gym. WHY? Because if you trained at the same level as everyone else, then everyone else would be show worthy and what would the point in that be?? If it were easy, everybody would do it. It’s NOT easy, and not everybody is doing it, YOU are doing it, so kill it. EVERY DAMN DAY
You will own more Tupperware than you ever thought possible!
Food prep will become a nightly or perhaps weekly event in your household and to store it all you will need copious amounts of Tupperware containers. Your fridge will look like a masterpiece and you should probably post it on Pinterest for all to see.
You will have many Up’s and Down’s between today and show day. It’ only fair with the added training, the limited cheat meals, the lack of extracurricular activities, the sometimes two a days in the gym, the food prep, the posing practice…. it weighs on you. You will feel like giving up somedays. These are the days that your REAL friends come in very handy. Now it’s totally ok to feel like crap from time to time, to have a bit of a lull. If your personal “WHY” is strong enough and you want it bad enough, you will simply feel the emotion, and move on. The next day might just be the greatest day of the entire prep phase!! Your body will react differently to the small changes, simple nutrient changes or training switches will often result in noticeable physical changes, some will frustrate you and others will make you want to jump right on stage, cuz you look so fabulous. Just go with it, learn from them and enjoy.
Your posing is just as if not more important than your training. I made the mistake the first time.If you do not practice your stage walks and poses, you are basically showing up for a job interview with rollers in your hair and a mustard stain on your white shirt. You have lost the job already. The judges of course want to see a strong healthy physique, but without the confidence and stage presence to showcase it, what good is it? You have worked hours upon hours months upon months on creating this beautiful strong sculpted body, you’d better spend some time learning how to show it off properly.
You are being judged on how you look, straight up – This created strong self esteem issues with me for a few solid years after my first 2 shows, which is why I find it VERY important to discuss this with first time athletes. You could be the next Mother Theresa with the amount of philanthropic work you do, but that has nothing to do with this moment. You MUST have a strong sense of self to compete. Having said that, as I aged and learned to love and appreciate myself in every arena, this has dissipated.