How To Start Your Own Competition Training Crew!

Competing for the first time is the experience of a lifetime! But you can only make it better by starting your own competition training crew! Find out how to connect with other fitness enthusiasts and skyrocket to victory together!

Article Summary:
  • You can find people to join your crew through online forums, the gym, and competitions.
  • Plan to meet for about two hours each week.
  • Don't forget that you can always hire a make-up artist and hair dresser for contest day!

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How To Start Your Own Competition Training Crew

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I did my very first fitness competition in June 2003. I had an awesome personal trainer and a gymnastic coach, hung out on all the fitness forums, ate clean, trained hard, took a few workshops, researched a lot, and finally the day arrived! I'm a dancer, so being on stage isn't particularly stressful, but no shows I've done in my dance career quite readied me for the first time I walked onto that competition stage to perform my fitness routine!

I look back at the video and see that I was literally shaking during some moments in my routine. Backstage didn't help matters. Before arriving, I thought I was totally dark and all fake-tanned up, but when I got there everyone else was 100 times darker than me! I didn't know anyone backstage and everyone else seemed to know everyone! I didn't know what to do or when and worse yet, felt like I wasn't 'part of the club'. Even so, competing that very first time was an exhilarating experience, and I knew I had been bitten by the fitness competition bug! I also imagined there had to be a better way to get ready for that experience...

No Shows I've Done In My Dance Career Quite Readied Me For The First Time I Walked Onto That Competition Stage To Perform My Fitness Routine
+ Click To Enlarge.
No Shows I've Done In My Dance Career Quite Readied Me For The First Time I Walked Onto That Competition Stage To Perform My Fitness Routine.

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Prepare Yourself
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Still on a major post-competition high, I got right back on the forums for the association I had competed with. I soon came across a post by a competitor who had taken part in that same comp (and was awesome!) and she was looking for some other competitors who wanted to get together and train weekly for next year's competition. She suggested working together on strength moves, quarter turns, support, etc. I was a nobody in the fitness arena and she was a superstar, so I was a little timid about contacting her, but as I have my own dance studio, I figured a free venue the group could use might give me an 'in'.

I did respond to the post, and we got started soon after with about six girls meeting for two or three hours once a week at my studio. I learned so much about walking, posing, diet, tanning, routines, everything! We also felt accountable to each other to stay on track each week with our fat loss/muscle gains, routine progress, and costuming stuff.

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We all competed that next year in June 2004 and I had a million times more fun having a posse of friends with me backstage at the competition. We got beautified at one of the girl's homes with a make-up artist, helped each other with our tans, and got to the venue together ready to dazzle the judges! Five years later I still stay in touch with some of the girls I trained with in this group and now I've put together my own group to prepare for a competition this June.

Creating a competition training crew and bringing together like-minded and goal-oriented fitness friends, is a terrific way to gain knowledge, save money, stay on track, and stay motivated. Get together weekly to compare notes, seek advice, swap diet secrets, critique each others' posing, and practice strength moves for your routine.

I Had A Million Times More Fun Having A Posse Of Friends With Me Backstage At The Competition
+ Click To Enlarge.
I Had A Million Times More Fun Having A Posse Of Friends
With Me Backstage At The Competition.

In addition to sharing knowledge and motivating each other, you can also have experts come in and work with you as a group on posing, workout ideas, nutrition, dance and gymnastics for routines, etc. With a group, you'll be able to access expert advice at a fraction of the cost of training solo; find out how much the coach or trainer will charge for your group session and then split the cost! Here are some things to think about when putting your crew together.

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Know Your Strengths
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You don't all have to be totally experienced in fitness or figure competitions; everyone will have their own strengths. Someone may have competed a few times before and can help the others out with posing, tanning techniques, competition diet, and routines. Maybe someone else has a place to hold the weekly meet-ups - a dance studio, gym, or other large empty (hopefully mirrored) space. Another member might have dance experience and be able to help out with moves and routine choreography.

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Other

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Where To Find Group Members?
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It's ideal to find a group of girls who are all training for the same category (either fitness or figure), and hopefully the same competition; this way, you'll all be thinking along the same lines regarding what you need to do, and when, during the lead-up to the big day!

You can gather a group of fitness friends that want to compete with you, but if you don't have any of these types in your life, you can find people who may be interested in joining your crew through online forums, at the gym, and backstage or in the audience at local competitions.

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Plan Your Sessions Wisely
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Plan to meet for about two hours each week. Make up a calendar of what your focus will be each week; possibilities include gymnastics, dance, presentation, etc. Also, consider things that you'll practice regularly every week like mandatory fitness moves, stretching, walking in heels, quarter turns, and more.

Make sure not to waste any precious time - discuss diets while stretching for high kicks and splits, talk about routine choreography ideas while practicing your strength moves, etc.

Discuss Diets While Stretching For High Kicks And Splits And Talk About Routine Choreography Ideas While Practicing Your Strength Moves
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Discuss Diets While Stretching For High Kicks And Splits And Talk About Routine Choreography Ideas While Practicing Your Strength Moves.

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Competition Day
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It's awesome if you're all training for one specific show because it's always more fun backstage when you have some friends with you - all going through the same things, having similar stresses, concerns, jitters... and of course, excitement!

In addition, being able to count on extra pairs of hands and eyes to help with tanner, bikini bite, hair, make-up, and pre-show nerves is definitely handy. You can also hire a make-up artist and hairstylist to do hair and make-up for the entire crew on competition day and you'll get a better rate each because of the volume!

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Beyond all of the advantages of training with your own fitness crew outlined here, one of the biggest benefits is developing an awesome, supportive network of people with common goals... and often friendships that last long beyond the competition date!

About the Author:

Meagan Hesham is a Figure and Fitness Model competitor, dance & fitness studio owner, fitness writer, choreographer, and a mom based in Toronto, Canada. More info about Meagan at www.meagan.ca and about her studio and 12-week body transformation programs at www.flowfitness.ca

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