Contest Grooming!

Grooming and personal appearance are not supposed to count for or against your final score. However, more often than not, the bodybuilder who looks the most polished gets more attention from the judges.

Article Summary:
  • With all that skin exposed, make sure it is in healthy condition and tone
  • If you're going to shave, don't wait until the day before to practice.
  • Make sure you pack everything you're going to need to look your best.

Contest Grooming!

Grooming and personal appearance is not supposed to count for or against your final score. However, more often than not, the bodybuilder who looks the healthiest, has the right skin color and tone, and who wears a posing suit color that compliments their hair and skin color will get the higher marks.

In this guide you will find the following:

Skin: Color and Tone

      Did you know? The largest organ in your body is your skin, your liver comes in second. What does this mean? Your skin is what the judges and everyone else sees of you. And, being the visual creatures we are, it's good advice to take a little extra time out to make sure that you have a flattering skin tone and color during the competition.

Make Sure You Have A Flattering Skin Tone And Color.
+ Click To Enlarge.
Make Sure You Have A Flattering
Skin Tone And Color.

There's actually quite a few things you can do to improve your appearance in this area. One of the biggest sources of blotchy skin or a bad complexion is junk food and chocolate. As a seasoned bodybuilder who is into health, dieting down, and getting cut up this probably isn't too big of a problem.

Nonetheless, diet is extremely important to your skin and overall health in the long run. It's recommended to eat at least 5-6 servings of fruits and veggies per day. Also, make sure your body is getting all the vitamins and minerals it needs with a good multivitamin/mineral supplement. This will keep your skin and body healthy and looking good.

The Value Of Skin-Tastic Vitamins & Minerals!
[ Click here to learn more. ]
The Value Of Skin-Tastic Vitamins & Minerals!
The following are just a few of the more widely known vitamins, minerals and dietary supplements that are said to benefit the skin.
Jeff Behar

      Another problem that plagues bodybuilders is

stretch marks

      . Avoid massively bulking up during the off-season, rather go for the cut look, eat right, and gain about 10 lbs.

Vitamin E

      lotion will keep your skin moisturized, soft, and without as many scars or wrinkles.

Search The Forums Type in the keyword you would like to seach for in the box below, then click "Search".

      Of coarse, when talking about your skin looking good, the most common thought probably relates to your


      . Unless you have naturally dark skin, you will want your skin to have a deep tan for the competition. Darker skin shows the striations in your muscles better and looks better than pale skin.

How do you get tan? Well, you can take the more permanent natural approach...sun tanning and tanning beds...or you can use a route that is becoming more and more popular...tanless lotions and creams, pigment pills, or a combination of both.

Do You Mix And Match Your Tanning Methods?

Yes I Find It Gives Better Results.
No I Never Have.
I Tried But It Came Out Wrong.

      First, a natural sun-derived tan looks good and is more permanent. The only drawback is that if you lie out too long you may get burnt, especially if you have fair skin. Those who are at the highest risk expose themselves to the sun for intense, short periods of time. That's why sunscreen is very important. No matter how dark you are, you should at least put on a light amount of sunscreen. Obviously the lighter you are, the stronger your sunscreen must be. This way you will block most of the harmful rays that burn and let in rays that tan.

The Lighter You Are, The Stronger Your Sunscreen Should Be.
+ Click To Enlarge.
The Lighter You Are, The Stronger
Your Sunscreen Should Be.

      Next, another popular method for tanning in recent years has been tanning beds. The ultraviolet lights allow minimal burning rays to touch your skin, while mainly tanning. Fair skin tanners should go only 15 minutes max with maybe even a little sunscreen on sensitive areas like the nose. The longest duration anyone should tan in a bed is 30 minutes.

Last, the desire for artificial "tan-in-a-bottle" is growing faster than ever before. More and more people are deciding to stay out of the harmful sun and "put on the tan". This can be a truly effective method for competing bodybuilders. In the 80's, a lot of "instant tan" products left skin looking yellow or orange...not natural looking at all. But since then, Jan Tana, Pro Tan, and others have come out with revolutionary tanning products that work and look just as well, if not even better than a natural tan in some cases.

Competition TAN Jan Tana Presents:
Competition TAN

Competition TAN'S dark bronzer gives an exaggerated deep, dark tan. Perfect for Stage use! Smoothes on easily, dries in minutes, and washes off! Makes tanning for your competition a breeze! For perfect contest color for any bodybuilding event, apply Competition TAN over SHOW TAN. Guaranteed perfect contest color. Smooth on - Wash off with soap and water.
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      Another popular method used to darken the skin is by taking a ASN product called Canthaxanthin. It uses the natural food substance called


      to darken the pigment in your skin safe and effectively from the inside out.

Many bodybuilders find a combination of tanning options to be effective, such as tanning in beds with Competition Tan. Or Canthaxanthin with Bronzer. Choose the tanning method that is safest and most effective for you...but be smart!

Nearly all (if not all) bodybuilders oil up before the competition to highlight and give definition to their muscularity. One of the most popular products is Pro Tan's Muscle Juice Pro Posing Oil. Remember how important it is for your skin to look healthy and tan at the competition.

Shaving Down

Virtually all competing bodybuilders shave down

      to before the competition to show off their muscles. You definately don't want to hide them behind a coat of hair. Also, your skin will be able to put on a better natural tan without the hair.

Top Selling Hair Removers:

Some bodybuilders use a razor and shaving cream to shave it all off 2-3 months before their competition, then keep it off by re-shaving weekly. It takes a bit of practice, you don't want to nick yourself before the show.

Be sure to give yourself enough time to experiment before the competition.

Hair Styling

Make sure you don't have a bad hair day at the big competition. It's not supposed to count...but for some reason I think you'd do better without the afro-puff or the rodman-do...maybe I'm wrong. Some bodybuilders just shave their head completely bald. That makes it very easy to style (not recommended for female bodybuilders). With your leaned-out, good looking bodybuilder face, and a good-looking do, it will be hard not to look good.

Don't Have A Bad Hair Day At The Big Competition.
+ Click To Enlarge.
Don't Have A Bad Hair Day
At The Big Competition.

It's usually best to get a fresh haircut and have your hair styled before the competition. It's really worth the extra few bucks. Clean cut is usually the best way to go. You don't want to hide your massive delts or upper back muscularity with long hair. Put on a lot of hair spray to make sure your style holds thoughout the show.

Facial hair is not a problem, unless you're a female...otherwise, beards and mustaches are welcome at the competition and won't affect your ranking as long as you don't look like Santa. If you're balding, you might consider hair transplants, hair tonic, or just shave it all off.

Posing Suit Choice

Suit color is usually not too big of a deal, although when you where a suit that compliments your coloring and hair, you will look better. Follow the color chart below for some excellent suggestions.

Then, check out our HUGE SELECTION of Posing Suits and get the fastest delivery and lowest prices!

Posing Trunks Color Chart:

Brown Black
Red Hair Medium Blue, Medium -to- Dark Green Gold, Yellow N/A N/A
Blond Hair Red, Royal Blue, Black Burgundy, Red, Medium Blue, Orange N/A N/A
Brown Hair Black, Navy Blue Burgundy, Brown, Purple, Teal Black, Yellow, Chocolate Brown N/A
Black Hair Black, Navy Blue, Chocolate Brown Yellow, Red, Gold, Orange, White Lime Green, Kelly Green, Baby Blue Bright Red, White, Red-Orange, Purple, Fusia

Source: The Shape magazine fashion editors.

      It's a good idea to have an

Extra Suit

      because it's not uncommon to get oil on your suit sometime throughout the posing. You'll also want to try on a few different cuts and styles to find one that fits you right and looks good. At the highest levels of the sport, you'll see professional bodybuilders usually sticking with the same color.

Competition Survival Supplies

Like going to the grocery store, unless you bring a list, you just might forget something. Here is a list of all the vital supplies you'll need at your competition.

        Experience will tell you what you personally need to add to this list to make it perfect for you. Check it all off as you add it to your gym bag and you won't get to the competition missing some vital item! Then, you will have less stress wondering if you forgot something and you will be able to focus more intensely on the competition.