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Steve April 22, 2014

Competition season is here and in full force.  This spring, thousands of bikini, figure, physique, and bodybuilding competitors will have completed their, what seems like forever, prep.  Their moment in the stage lights will have arrived, and they’ll be ready to showcase months of hard work, planning, and sacrifice.

What about you?  Have you ever considered showing YOUR best on stage?  Maybe you’ve been hitting the gym every day and surfing the web for fitness inspiration and news, and maybe that information has piqued your curiosity.  Maybe you’re even thinking about signing up for a competition- Congratulations on taking the Mental step!  Now my advise is don’t dive in too quickly, and consider a few important aspects first.

I’ve been in the competition business for over a decade.  Before you make the decision to compete, I want to share six steps that you absolutely must follow to maximize your potential to succeed.

CompetitionAttend a Show as a Spectator First

Sit in the seats, view the stage from a worms eye perspective, smell the funk of Pro Tan in the auditorium, and watch the competitors hit their poses as they battle out for top placements.  Until you see it, you can’t fully understand it and put yourself in their “trunks” or “suits” …  The appreciation of what it takes, comes down the road.

Witnessing a competition first hand from the outside-in will also allow you to set specific goals for yourself in beginning your journey- if so you choose the challenge.  Becoming a visionary of YOUR future dialed-in physique in comparison to those in front of you onstage is what ultimately creates the proverbial “itch” and motivation to get your drive in gear.

Seek For Help

Don’t just sign up for a show, train by yourself, and hope for the best.  Whether you hire a coach, join a team, or ask an experienced friend, get feedback from someone who has been in the trenches.

When I personally competed for the first time, yep back in 2002, there was no surfing the Internet and pulling up pictures for motivation or reading federation articles that would prepare me.  Heck, even if I had access, it wouldn’t have helped me much anyhow.  Yet, that’s what most everyone seems to trend to these days and they still don’t have a clear picture of what the judges are looking for.  If anything it just creates confusion and a cloudy vision of what’s expected as all the Internet “opinions” are bias, distracting, and sometimes hypocritical sources from those that don’t even compete.  Nothing replaces face to face credible communication and advice.

Now, I don’t believe that you have to pay someone thousands of dollars in order for the judges to notice you. However, it’s definitely best to have someone in your corner!  The same goes for your hair, makeup, and tan:  You can always do these things yourself, but having some help can take a load of stress off your shoulders. The quality of your hair, makeup, and tan also make a big difference in how you place, so don’t leave them up to chance!

Bottom line- You may have a good idea about how to eat and train, but it’s always recommended to check with someone who’s more experienced and had done it well.  They can save you from making small mistakes that add up to something bigger.

Accept The Challenges

Some folks complain so much about competing- the relentless whining of “bland” food they eat, the late night workouts to “get it in”, or constant chatter/pictures on Social Media about how they can’t wait for the show to be over so they can inhale all the Oreo’s they can get their hands on-  you would think they were told to do a competition at gunpoint.  If that describes you, remember that you signed up for this challenge voluntarily.  Before you yak on Facebook about how much you hate tilapia and spinach, remind yourself that anything worth achieving won’t be easy. But I’m telling you, you can do it and it’s 100% worth it.

Cathi Competition1Sure, you’ll be at parties where everyone else will be enjoying a cocktail. Yes, there will be Birthday parties at which you won’t be able to have a piece of chocolate cake.  And there will be some mornings where everyone else will be sleeping while you’re grinding it out in the gym.  Accept that these challenges will come your way and prepare your mind to overcome them.  Your mental toughness will be your best weapon that separates you from the rest of the competition.

Bring The Whole Package

Your body can look great, but you also need to be able to perform and show your absolute best with hundreds of people in front of you in your bare necessities and hot stage lights shining in your eyes.  Practice your posing and your stage personality over and over.  Make them second nature.  This will ensure that the judges are focused on your presentation, not on how uncomfortable you look!  Sometimes the competitor that takes first place may not have the best abs—they just paid more attention to detail.

Do It For Yourself

Your choice to compete should be personal. Don’t sign up just because someone says, “OH MY QUAD!, you should totally do a show!” Your decision and your motivation must come from within.  If your heart isn’t in it, you shouldn’t even consider competing.

Figure LineupTo have a positive experience, you need to commit every day, every week, every month up to showtime.  You can’t question or doubt yourself.  Make the decision to train consistently, eat like a competitor, sleep like a baby, and then follow it through to win like a Champion!

Entertain Yourself

You’ve been waiting months for the very moment to stride onstage.  So get out there and have fun!

No matter where you place, competing is a reward in itself.  I’ve not always placed first, but that hasn’t stopped me from entering another show.  Your goals for competition day should be to meet new people, have a blast, entertain the audience, eat a killer post show meal, and just be proud of what you’ve accomplished.

After you’ve competed, you just might rush to sign up for your next show.  You might decide that one show is enough.  Either way, you’ve taken a risk, fought hard to achieve a goal, and improved your quality of life.  That’s worth celebrating all in itself!

To happy and healthy competing,

Coach Steve @ Fitastic


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