I am starting to notice more people are expressing interest in competing in body building, figure or fitness model competitions lately. It seems like that is all people are talking about in my gym these days. Perhaps it is because I just took a whole team up with me to a recent competition and we kicked major butt. It just seems like people are "liking" the idea to try a competition.
Liking the idea is totally different than actually dedicating yourself to the hard work. Just like working out and losing weight, getting competition ready is very hard for most people. There are a few things to consider before entering a competition like this, and a few things to ask yourself and think about beforehand:
1. Are you willing to commit to 8-12 weeks of a strict diet?
If you do not think you can give up your wine or your pizza for this amount of time, then this probably is not for you. I know of some people that could still have this kind of stuff and they still will do well and look good, but for most people they need to give this all up. Some people have to diet longer than 12 weeks because they have more to lose. Trust me, if you hit that stage at 18% body fat you will not win. I find it a total waste for people to sign up for a competition and they are cheating on their diets every other day. You got to think, why are you going to go up on stage half naked and have people judge your body and not look your best?
2. Are you prepared to have no social life?
Some competitors do still go out and have fun without the booze and the bad food, but I know for myself it is hard when everyone is having their wine and eating cake and I am sitting there with my bottle of water and my can of tuna. It is just not fun, especially when everyone is looking at you like you are the weirdo in the group. The worst thing is when the people around you say "oh just have one beer, it is not going to do anything to you."
3. If you do go out to social events, be prepared to answer a lot of questions.
People are very curious when I am dieting for a competition. They ask a lot of questions, some good and some really stupid ones. For instance, I have been asked if I eat. Well of course I do! How else am I alive? And be prepared for the "look" when they ask you what you eat on a day to day basis. The last competition I just did, I was asked why I was not drinking and if I was pregnant. I must have been one lean and muscular looking pregnant girl, jeez!
4. Be prepared to have friends show their "true colors".
Friends can be surprisingly unsupportive with your decision to compete. It actually really sucks and throws you off when someone in your life that you think will support you no matter what tells you that you are weird or thinks your decision to go on stage is not right. Well that is just their opinion and everyone has their own opinion. They might be upset because they are losing their drinking buddy for a bit, who knows.
5. Do you think you can actually stand up there in front of hundreds of people?
If the answer is no or not sure then don't do it! If you get up there on stage when you know you have stage fright, it will show in your walk and in your smile and your posing. Of course your first competition you will be nervous and that is normal, but there is a difference between feeling nervous and feeling like you may pass out or vomit from going out there.
6. Are you willing to put the time and effort into your workouts?
Competing is a never ending schedule on or off season. Off season you should be hitting the weights hard to build as much muscle as possible before being back on season and starting to cut the body fat. You can't just go to the gym 2 or 3 days per week and expect to get ready for a competition. Your workout can be 7 days per week, mine usually are during my "cutting" phase. Sunday usually is a light cardio day nothing too strenuous. Other days can be cardio morning and night with some of those cardio sessions 20 minutes of high intensity interval training.
7. Do you want to spend the money?
Competing is not cheap thats for sure. For my last competition, membership for the year was $120, first category was $115, second category $100. I got 2 suits made up for myself, the first one was $160 and the second one was $120. There is also other things to buy like shoes, tanning products, accessories, and there could be hotel costs involved if you are travelling to get to the show. Also if you want to pay a photographer for your pictures at the show, you are probably looking at another
$100. Unless you are lucky enough to have someone sponsor you, you need to be prepared to burn a hole in your credit card.
8. You need to practise your posing and walking!
This takes time as well, and most people need a lot of work to get their posing right. You can have a smoking hot body and if your posing looks bad, then you look bad.
Hope this has been helpful. There are a lot of benefits to competing and I do love the sport myself personally but that is another blog!