Updated: Oct 17, 2019
Ae you thinking about competing? Maybe you're new to the bodybuilding/competition world. Maybe It is something that you've been interested in or people have told you "you should compete" or maybe you want to set a new goal and challenge yourself.
I feel it is a great goal to have, to have something to work towards and achieve. And I will tell you from my own personal experience and working with others, so much is learned along the way not only physically but mentally and emotionally as well. But it is not just a 12 or 16 week process. I want to explain what is involved because a lot of people se the end result on stage but do not realize what it took to get there. This is not to discourage you, but to be transparent and open about the reality of prep.
It is not only extremely physically challenging but also tests our mental and emotional fortitude. This is not an easy journey. It can be consuming at times, very fatiguing, and puts a lot of stress on relationships, but the reward is so great!! The challenges are not only in the gym. For some, you will be questioned by family and friends on why you are doing it or they will have negative comments. My advice for new competitors when they face this is, it is not for everyone to understand and we can not control what others think or say only how we choose to react to it. So it is best to ignore the "noise". Other challenges, you willhave to attend birthday parties or events where you will have to bring your own food, you will have to wake up early or go late to gym to get your cardio and training in, you will be eating the same foods (egg whites, oatmeal, chicken, fish, rice, veggies...) for weeks, and know that life still happens around you, so don't expect smooth sailing with no life interruptions. MY TIP: Be prepared and roll with the punches. We can't control life or what happens, only how we deal with it. Keep and good mindset and attitude.
It is physically challenging but also tests our mental and emotional fortitude. It is not an easy journey. It is consuming at times and fatiguing, but the reward is so great!! The challenges are not only in the gym. For some, you will be questioned by family and friends on why you are doing it or they will have negative comments. My advice for new competitors when they face this is, it is not for everyone to understand and we can not control what others think or say only how we choose to react to it. So it is best to ignore the "noise" MY TIP: keep a postitve mindset and attitude. Snapping back or getting upset won't change how they feel, it only upsets you and adds not needed stress to your life. Remember they don't understand and that is ok.
Now that we have covered that onto what all is involved with competing. Th reason I writ this blog is so new competitors understand what is involved with competing. Not only with prep but also financially.
PREP: Prep begins 12-20 weeks out from competition date, considering you are ready to start prep. Your coach will advise you of that. Some think they can just jump into pre and look like the competitors they see on instagram. It doesn't work that way. This is why I highly recommend and off season plan for several reasons. #1. To build and shape your physique and to get you ready for prep. Some may need to build more muscle, some may need to lose body fat and lean out. Bottom line if you haven't been training long or are just starting out, you will need to follow a program a while before you compete. and #2. It allows a coach to see how disciplined and committed a person is to their goal. It also prepares you for a little taste of what you will be doing during prep just not as restricted. Because if a person can not follow an off season plan then they won't deal well with prep.
Most prep coaches use similar methods. You will be in caloric deficit, doing a lot of cardio (sometimes twice a day) training, eating 6-8 meals a day and practicing posing. You will check in weekly, with updates, photos and you coach will make changes if needed to your plan. It is VITAL you tell the truth on check ins so your coach will know what adjustments to make. If you don't, you are only hurting yourself because your coach is making changes according to your program and what you tell them. So be honest and know the majotity of people fall off, have a bad day/week and that is why you have a coach...to help you, guide you and get you back on track.
Now let's talk about what goes into prep financially and what costs you will have . There will obviously be coaching fees. During prep you will have supplements and gym fees For show day, ALL competitors will need an NPC card ($125 for the year), registration fees, tanning and a suit. Suits are determined by what division you choose. Competition coaches, again, will advise you what you need and recommend suit designers or where to get your suit. Ladies can purchase or rent a suit depending on your budget.
For the ladies (we always have more!) There will be hair, makeup, shoes and jewelry. Please don't think you can do this yourself. I am really good at makeup and trust me, stage makeup is an art so leave it to the artists. Plus, you work so hard to get to this point, you don't want to sell yourself short on any aspect of this. You are a total package from head to toe and the judges are looking at it all.
The only other expense you may have would be hotel if the competition is far away or you choose to stay at the host hotel for convenience. Prejudging begins usually between 8-10 a.m., so for ladies, that means getting hair and makeup done early in the morning. If your competition is far, it is beneficial to stay at the host hotel. Show promotors will usually have a block of rooms at special rate for competitors.
One of the most important things I highly recommend post show, don't go over board with eating everything in sight. I know you have been craving certain foods but your body has been depleted, is dehydrated and not used to consuming high calorie, high sugar, high fat foods. Over consuming at this time is a recipe for disaster, and trust me on this one, you will regret it. I found myself laying on the bathroom floor in extreme pain. I highly recommend easing into it, have a few treats or meal after your show, but most importantly....rehydrate and follow your reverse diet from your coach.
The last thing I will leave you with is...HAVE FUN and enjoy the process. Remember, we CHOOSE to do this. It is not forced on us so if we are not enjoying it, then why do it? It is not an easy journey. It is very challenging, but being miserable about it won't make it better. Its the hard that makes it great, because if it were easy, everyone would do it
I hope this helps explain the process and helps you to determine wether competing is something you want to try.
MY TIP: Plan. Prepare. Keep good attitude and mindset!
Contact me if you have any other questions about competing