Tips for first time competitors
Competing in a bodybuilding show is no small undertaking. There are many diverse aspects of this pursuit to consider and it can be totally overwhelming to a new comer. In this article I will be provide some professional guidance and tips to make your first trip to the stage as advantageous as possible.
Give yourself more time than you think you need
With it being your first time preparing to compete, Im going to assume that you have not been “stage lean” or “ripped” before, to the extent that you need to be to do well as a competitor. The level of conditioning needed to win a bodybuilding show VS look good for Instagram is miles apart.
While you may have been in good shape before, being competition shredded is a different beast and it will take more time to achieve. I suggest that you add an extra 4-6 weeks onto how ever long you thought you would prepare for the competition. Most competitors, especially new ones, usually think 12 weeks is enough to prep for a show. I suggest 16-20 weeks. This way you have more time than you need and if you run into any speed bumps along the way, which I’m sure you will, you won’t be stressing and rushing the process.
Save up so you don’t have to cut corners
Competing is an expensive pursuit. There are many things as a first time competitor that you do not realize you will need to pay for throughout the process and on the day of the show. Tanning, make up, hair, stage attire (trunks, bikini, shorts, heels), registration fees, membership fees, stage pictures, never mind we haven’t even touched on how expensive quality food is, gym memberships, the list goes on. You do not want to add extra stress of financial burden on yourself when dieting, especially unexpectedly, so make sure that you save up before you jump into competing.
Practice posing and stage presence
Even though is is your first time competing, you don’t want it to look like its your first time. One way you can easily spot a first timer is their lack of stage presence and poor posing. What ever your category whether it be bikini or bodybuilding, you need to take the time to educate yourself on the mandatory poses, watch competitions before hand and understand what is going to be expected of you on stage.
During your contest prep you need to allocate time to not only your mandatory poses, which you need to be able to hit blindfolded, but also your posing routine. You can easily upstage and beat other competitors that have better physique than you do, if your posing and stage presence is better than theirs. Its not what you have but how you are able to display it that matters.
Hire a reputable local coach
Having a coach is always an investment that pays off no matter what aspect of life you are pursuing. Coaches, hopefully, are people that walk the walk and have been there and done it themselves as well as having a reputation for helping many other people do it as well. They can help prevent you from making any of the simple mistakes first timers usually make and also help you make the absolute most of your first time preparing for a competition.
Now I specify local coach, versus online coach, because being your first show and being relatively inexperienced in this pursuit, it will help to be able to communicate with your coach face to face and have them there at the show with you to keep your nerves at bay. If you can not find a reputable local coach, you can always find a reputable and professional online coach that has helped many people with their first show as well.
Document the process and your time on stage!
You only get one shot at your first show, so make sure that you soak up the experience and document as much as possible so you can have these memories forever. I can tell you from experience, you can never take too many photos when you are in the best shape of your life. Especially in todays age of social media and self promotion, you want to be able to have as much content as possible for a rainy day.
Aside from social media these are memories you will have forever and maybe someday show your children. When it comes to the day of the show, make sure you pay the assigned photographer and videographer that covers your local show to take pictures and video. These will be professional high quality images that you can use and enjoy the rest of your life.
Don’t forget to have fun and enjoy the experience. Getting to the goal is important but what’s more important is the person you become on the way to achieving that goal.
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