The Day Of The Contest Day!

Find out what I did to when the contest and what happened the day of the show!
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The show is over. I won the Jr. Heavyweight and the Jr. Men's overall. It was an awesome show. With over 80 competitors it was the biggest show Nova Scotia has ever hosted. The junior class alone had ten competitors. All of which looked amazing. In this article I am going to run through what I did on the day of the contest, and go over what comes next!

Saturday April 5th, 2003.

6:00 AM
My friend Larry Wallace (who won the middle weight division) and I woke up nice and early to start getting ready. For breakfast I had some raisins, and some peanut butter and jam on some rice cakes. I also snacked on some chocolate covered raisins throughout the morning. I don't want to be hungry on stage, but I also don't want a big meal in me.

Ideally I would have liked to have some oatmeal and a few eggs with everything else but it's tough to eat that stuff in a hotel room. To compensate I had a Meso-Tech protein bar. I snacked on some more rice cakes and went over my routine again. After my stomach was settled, I went over my body with an electric razor to get rid of some of the stubble that had come.

This Was My Checklist:

  • Extra Posing trunks - (I had mine on, but it's always better to be safe than sorry)
  • Extra Copy of Posing music
  • Towel
  • Dream Tan
  • ProTan - For touch ups
  • My competition number - (VERY IMPORTANT)
  • Water
  • Posing Oil - (not needed in the morning show)
  • Honey, Chocolate Covered Raisins - (the sugar helps bring out vascularity)
  • Cocoa Butter Skin Cream - I used this last year for the morning show to give a bit of a shine to my skin, without the oily look. I didn't end up using it this year however, because of the dream tan.
  • Ephedrine - Any fat burner will do, however I just used 8mg ephedrine.
  • Niacin - This is vitamin B3. It almost heats you from the inside out. Be careful though, it's quite uncomfortable. I was planning on using it, but with so much going on I forgot. It's good to have though
  • Potassium pills - Being so dehydrated and having such low sodium intake it's important to supplement with potassium. However, cramping is actually caused when Calcium Ions don't exit the muscles sarcolema causing tetanus (constant contraction). Magnesium is actually its counterpart and will help prevent this. The potassium I had this year had magnesium in it as well, however for the future I would have taken a higher dosage.

We packed everything up and headed off. We were the first two competitors there, which was nice. The show started at 9:30 and being in Juniors I knew I would be one of the first to hit the stage. I wanted plenty of time to put on the dream tan and get a good pump.

They posted the list of who would be on stage in what order. The Jr. Heavyweights were third to go on. With so many competitors they decided not to go through the routines in the morning. So I knew I would be on at about 9:45. Larry and I went to a bathroom and started putting on my dream tan. I can't say enough about this stuff, it was awesome. The perfect color and just the right shine. We put it on, and I went back out to begin pumping up.

Showtime! I got a good pump on, not as good as I had hoped but well enough. We lined up, all 7 of us. And they called us out. Then, it happened. I watched the head judge walk over to the MC and ask to have me and one other competitor toweled off for having oil on. The thing is neither of us had oil on. The dream tan I used has sort of a sparkle in it, which with a sweat on from getting pumped up looked like oil.

It's really not a big deal, the stagehand just came out and wiped us down, but it's something you always want to avoid. If I were to do it again, I would just pad myself off before hitting the stage. We went through the compulsories and then the comparisons. I cramped up slightly in my quads and in my calves. My right inner quadriceps (vastus medialis) cramped pretty bad when I hit my abdominal and thigh pose (the last pose), so when I came offstage I went to the massage therapist and got it taken care of.

I had to wait for Larry to finish his prejudging with the middleweights to get back to the hotel room. I had another protein bar and drank about 500 mL of water to help with the cramping. When we got back to the hotel room, we ordered two grilled chicken breasts with some brown rice and mixed veggies from room service. This hit the spot. It was nice to get a good quality meal into me. I felt a lot better and after eating took a nap for a few hours. When I got up, I took a damp towel and wiped off some of the dream tan from the morning. If I had left it on, I would be a bit too dark in the night show. Again I went over a few spots with the electric razor to get rid of any hairs I had missed.

The night show started at 6:30pm and I wanted to get there early. Because of the huge number of competitors, and the fact that we all would be doing our routines, the wait between Jr. Men and the Sr. middleweight was about 2.5 hours. Larry was still exhausted, so I got to drive to the night show with Melissa Conrad, who won the short class fitness. Just something to keep in mind, if you can, then drive yourself. It's nice to be able to go when you want to and not depend on others for drives. This gets hard on the head and is something you can avoid easily. I arrived at the show and started to prepare mentally.

I had about an hour until I was onstage, so I put on my dream tan. After it dried a bit I carefully put on some Jan Tana posing oil. As I was getting ready one of the jr. middleweights Prince Boabang, who looked awesome, informed me that he was now in the heavyweight category. There was a mix-up on his weight and he had been put in the wrong category for the morning show. So this meant we had to be completely re-judged. I was frustrated with this because I knew it meant more comparisons, and I was already very tired. I shut it out of my head however. I couldn't do anything about it, so why worry? I was ready to go. This is what it is all about. I could hear the crowd. The show was sold out completely. The place was packed. I had so many friends supporting me, along with my family. I couldn't disappoint them. I went through my routine over and over in my head. I was ready. "This is not a game" ran through my head.

SHOWTIME! I put some more water into me to keep my lips from sticking to my teeth. Some things to remember; if you are chewing gum, spit it out, it's very unprofessional and you might even loose marks for it. As well, if you are wearing socks, take them off. Sounds stupid, but when you have so many things to concentrate on you forget about a lot of things. I was competitor number one, so I was first in the Jr. Men's heavyweight category to do my routine. They introduced me and I walked out onstage. I'm getting goose bumps right now writing about it, and it was worse when I was actually onstage. I was so excited. Totally ready.

I took my starting pose and waited for the music. I don't really remember my routine. I had done it so many times that it was almost automatic. The crowd seemed to enjoy it, so I was happy. I came offstage and tried to keep it together, while I waited for the others to finish their routines. After the routines were through, we went out and were re-judged. Comparisons were done, and we filed offstage. Then only the top five were called back out. I felt bad for those that didn't make it because I knew how hard everyone worked to get to this point. Here we were though, the top five. We had 30 seconds of pose down, then took our places. We stood there while they announced 5th, and 4th. It was such a hard class, and I tried not to look at the other competitors too much, so I really had no clue how anyone would do. 3rd was announced, which the crowd seemed to be disappointed with the judges decision.

And then there were two. Myself and Mike Martin, who looked awesome. "The 2nd place trophy in the Jr. Men's Heavyweight category goes to competitor number…" and there was the long pause. I was so nervous; it was like there was nothing else going on. I couldn't hear the crowd; I couldn't hear anything but my own breathing. "…4 Mike Martin". I can't describe the feeling. Every minute of morning cardio, every can of tuna, every day of being sore somewhere, it all paid off at this moment. I won the Jr. Men's Heavyweight division. The best part of the night was hearing the crowd cheering, and the MC saying, "And your 2003 Jr. Men's Heavyweight champion, is competitor number one Ryan Swan." I really was the happiest man alive at that moment.

I congratulated Mike on his placing, and after some pictures I was back around for the Jr. Overall. I was exhausted by this time. The Jr. Middleweight winner, Trevor Ryan (who also looked great), and I went up against each other. We went through the compulsories and had 30 seconds of pose down. In the end, the judges awarded me the Jr. Overall title as well. Again after some snapshots it was over. Finally, I could eat. I am still high off my win. Everything paid off. It's so gratifying to work so hard and have it turn out so well.

As for what's next, I plan on competing in the Canadian Championships, which are September 20th of this year. This has been my ultimate goal since I started bodybuilding. There are the world qualifiers, which are an option, but I thought about it, and I like the fact that you become "Mr." Jr. Canada. No other sport calls you MR. It sounds stupid, but if you win a gold medal in the Olympics, you're a gold medalist. But you aren't Mr. Gold medalist. It should be a good competition and I will be keeping track of my progress on As always, thanks to those who sent me supportive emails throughout the diet. If anyone has any questions or comments just send me an email. Keep training hard, and remember...

"This is not a game."

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Train hard, see you at the gym,