The Necessities For Competition
Money! It is sad but true, money can make a complete change in your level of competition. Any type of sport or competition costs a lot of money! Start saving early, and request sponsorship or help from anyone who you believe would be interested! Every little bit helps!
- Gym membership
- Personal trainer
- Skincare/makeup products
- Federation memberships
- Entrance fees to competitions
- Competition suits
- Photographer/photo shoots
- The list goes on!
Just A Small List Of Expenses For Physique Competitions Includes:
If you can score free tanning or supplements, make sure you take full advantage!
You will need a strong support network. Between your spouse/significant other, friends, and family, you will need support. Your support network will need to understand the amount of time that competing will take away from your social life. Between training, cooking, planning workouts, practicing, and sleeping, there won't be much time to spare!
There will be many times while dieting when you will not be able to think straight. This is when your support network must remind you that you are trying to achieve something you are very passionate about!
Without my husband, there would be many times when I would have lost sight of my goals and then later regretted my foolishness. He is the best support I could ever dream of!
Make sure you are setting goals (daily/weekly/monthly/etc.)! Goal-setting will keep you focused on what you are trying to achieve. There will be many days where you are exhausted and will think to yourself, "Why can't I just go home and watch TV like everyone else?" This is when you need to look in your workout log where you have written your goals down to remind you!
I find it especially beneficial to set weekly goals, along with monthly and of course your long-term goal - the competition! Putting a picture of my favorite competitor on my workout log reminds me of my goals! When it gets really difficult, a daily goal helps out a lot (finish my workout/stick to my diet)!
Keeping On Schedule
Make sure you are logging all of your workouts in your journal, and make sure you have sufficient time to complete your workouts. Make sure your intensity, sets, and reps are changing enough to enhance muscle development and tone.
Many competitors incorporate supersets, drop-sets, and sprint workouts into their training regimen as they prepare for a competition to develop secondary muscles and enhance overall development. You have to keep your body guessing!
Superset Video Guide
Choose your version:
Plan each day ahead of time so you make sure you are not falling behind in other tasks. Make sure you are not wasting time at the gym chatting with others, especially if you are in a rush.
You will end up missing sets/reps/exercises if you waste time when you're on a time schedule. If you are able to split up your weights and cardio sessions, by all means, do so!
It is nice to get the cardio out of the way in the morning, and then be able to focus on your weights and intensity during weight workouts in the afternoon. Or vice-versa!
The Importance Of Nutrition
Nutritional planning and preparation takes up a lot more time than people think! You may need to find a nutritionist to aid in your course of dieting. Most of the time, another competitor or even magazine articles are helpful enough to give you the right idea. Have a weekly plan for your nutrition, and make sure your record everything, including serving sizes.
Many competitors weigh their food for appropriate portions. I like to tweak my program every couple of weeks to reduce chance of plateau in body fat levels. Diet is similar to exercise, if you do the same thing for too long, you will not see any improvements.
Make sure to eat whole foods every 2-3 hours. It also helps to eat at the exact times each day. Complex carbohydrates should be eaten earlier during the day, and should not be sugary. Closer toward the competition, carbohydrate sources should primarily consist of green veggies, and maybe a small yam and brown rice portions.
Catch Some Z's
Sleep is very important! 8 hours is perfect, some people need more, and others are able to get away with less.
When you are cutting calories and carbohydrates, you will be tired! Make sure you get enough sleep so you are not compensating by eating extra calories.
Sleep will keep your skin looking great and your muscles looking full and recovered.
I know you have heard it a million times that it is during sleep that your muscles repair and rebuild themselves. This makes it obvious that sleep is essential for healthy muscles, especially when you are dieting and depriving yourself of calories.
Plan Plenty Of Pose Practice
Make sure you practice your poses. If you have a killer body but can't pose, don't count on getting any slack from the judges. Video record your self and take pictures. Practice in front of friends. Remember, there won't be a mirror in front of you in your competition. You must learn what correct positioning feels like.
You must be confident that your poses look great and transitions between poses are flawless and smooth! There are videos and DVDs out which are able to teach you and aid in your posing practices and competition expectations. Make sure to have an audience. It is especially beneficial for another competitor to watch and critique your posing and transitions.
Get Painting Ready In Advance
Practice painting yourself, or have someone else practice painting you. Most people start the paint-job 3 nights prior to a show. This way, you can get a good 3 to 4 coats on without having to paint on the day of your competition. You have enough to worry about that day! Also, you'll want to research which product(s) will be best for your skin type.
If you don't know your skin type, you have a lot of work to do! The most popular tanning products for competition include Protan, Jan Tana, ASN Dream Tan, and DyoDerm. Don't forget to exfoliate first! And please make sure your face matches your body!
Don't Succumb To Negatives
Be ready for criticism from many people. The public does not understand what it takes to compete, and stereotypes label our sport with many negatives. Be ready to respond and defend your sport. When you are dieting, be ready to hear the famous words, "one won't kill you," meaning a cookie, slice of pizza, a drink, a candy bar, or whatever else it may be. One just may kill you!
Sometimes getting a taste leads to a binge! You know what you can and can not handle. The rule you need to follow is to not get yourself into any situation you won't be able to handle yourself in.
The last thing you need is a positive attitude! Always focus on the positive and not the negative! Visualize yourself in competition competing well and looking perfect!
Visualize yourself being successful and winning!