Find an NPC amateur fitness contest in your area (or where ever - I lived in Texas and competed in Ca!) Look at the back of the mags. Or log on to www.npcnewsonline.com to find competitions. There are many around now, so be sure to plan in advance so that you have plenty of time to get it all together! Remember, carbs = energy! If you don't use them readily, they turn to fat. Yuck!
A good nutritionist is a must for anyone learning how to eat properly and for deciding which foods are best for YOUR physique. Don't be neglectful here, diet makes 80% of the preparations. Make sure you are taking in plenty of protein, carbs, and fat. You will need someone who can help you figure out your correct amounts and teach you how to weigh and measure your foods. Start early! I'm not eating as many complex carbs.
Gymnastic training is also a must. Beginners with none or little background in this field will need a good, experienced coach who can teach basic moves and tricks. Finding someone in your area is the best route...mostly because you will need anywhere from 3-5 practices weekly and you want it to be as convenient as possible. Private lessons are best...1-2 hours max. Depending on your availability and endurance. Make sure you learn drills and strength movements that will help you acquire the strength to perform all the moves you will need to do. I personally like to do push-ups in a variety of hand positions to strengthen the whole chest and shoulder region.
Also, I like doing handstand push-ups with my face toward the wall and my toes helping to balance. Both types of push-ups I do sets of 3-4 with each going to fatigue. Usually doing these after a gymnastic practice. Don't wait too long in between sets, just long enough for you to catch your breath and do another set! Remember, the routine is anaerobic mostly and you need that deep breathing ability, which comes from the hard training and little rest! DON'T FORGET TO SMILE! You are supposed to be having fun! :)
Depending on how often and duration/intensity of your gymnastic practice-train shoulders, chest, and triceps accordingly to how you feel. Listen to your body, but make sure you aren't being lazy.....if you are really sore from practice (I always was) then you might think about leaving the weights alone for those body parts mentioned.
Dance classes can be very instrumental too! 1-2 times weekly if available to learn coordination, spotting, leaps, etc. If you are already good at one type, try another for a variety! All of it helps!
Buy videos from the past contests to see routines and find moves you like. Show the videos to your coach and maybe view it together. Click here to buy my video of me working out, winning contests, and more...
Practice standing for the physique round! These are very crucial rounds! Don't forget them! You can learn from watching videos and having someone (who will be honest) critique you. Even Bodybuilders ( and ex-bodybuilders) can help tremendously! You want to walk on that stage knowing exactly how you should be positioned and know how it feels, if you are doing it correctly, it is very tiring! :) Having someone video you during your practices will help you learn what looks good and what doesn't! Start doing these practices at least 6 weeks before your show, if not sooner!
Pull out magazine photos of suits and costumes/outfits that you like. Make sure they are colors and styles that are flattering to your body. Two women that have made many, many suits/outfits for the competitions are:
Cynthia James (C.J.)
Both are fabulous and know what the suits should look like! Be sure to give them enough time to design and send them to you! Back-up bikinis never hurt too!
I know I need at least 2-3 months to get everything together and feel ready...so make sure you are planning in advance properly! Make sacrifices and be focused! It is really rewarding, when it is all said and done!
Now for the make-up/hair and color part.... Make sure your hair is in the best condition possible and have it freshly colored/ permed/ cut...whichever you do. Don't try new hairstylists right before a show; if you are unhappy with their work you will not feel your best on stage. Go to someone new way ahead of time! Have your hair nice and neat for the physique rounds and pulled back - out of your way and face for the routines. I think you don't need to be distracted with your hair in your eyes when you are trying to do a press-it is hard enough! Play with different styles to see what is most flattering for YOU!
I recommend asking a professional make-up artist to help you with colors and stage lighting. You should have your tan on and the color suits you want to use with you. Tell your artist that you want your face to match your skin color...don't worry I know it is really dark, but on stage you get washed out with all the lights. Watch what colors she/he uses and either buy them (if you like it) to make sure you are prepared for backstage, or see if you may have the similar colors already. The make-up is important, don't wait till the last minute! Give yourself time, especially if it is your first show.
Now, for the color aspect...I prefer Jan Tana color (www.jantana.com). Before any color I use Jan Tana PreTan scrub and shave ALL HAIR that will be visible. I use the Show Tan for 2-3 nights before competition (washing off the excess each morning) and then the Face and Body Bronzer for the morning before getting on stage. Be sure to have plenty of latex gloves available - no one wants to see brown/orange palms! You will need someone willing to help you get your back thoroughly and evenly. Practicing earlier will save you some time too! * If you want to do photo shoots. Let me suggest you use Jan Tana Fast Tan...very nice color and easy to apply.
I think this about does it for competitions...as for doing work for the magazines....let me suggest you have PROFESSIONAL headshots and body shots taken. Next send them with a resume and short letter about yourself to the editor of the magazine you want. You should be able to find the address and name of editor one of the first few pages of the magazine. Be sure to tell them what you do and give them a reason why they would want you for there publication! Remember there are 100's of girls/guys sending the same type info everyday to them, so you want yours to be memorable! Have fun and maybe I'll see you in the magazines. too!