So you want to compete in fitness and don't know where to start? Fitness and bikini modeling, fitness, figure and bodybuilding all require different levels of preparation and execution. But there are basic principles to follow.
Before we get started, you need to grab a few things:
A Fitness Journal: Sounds extravagant but it isn't. All you need is a sturdy notebook where you can keep track of your progress and jot down information you learn.
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Competition Calendar: Again, another simple thing. Just grab any calendar where you can mark important events, milestones in your training and keep track of how many weeks you have left until your big day!!
Now read on... and get ready to get P.U.M.P.E.D.
Plan Your Work
You can't compete unless you know what you're walking into. Stand before a mirror and take a serious look at yourself and your physique. Better yet, take a picture of yourself and spend some time evaluating what positive qualities you have and what needs work.
Do you have what it takes? Do you want to do a fitness routine because you have a good dance and gymnastics background? Then the fitness category might be right for you.
Click Image To Enlarge.
Adela Garcia: Winner, 2006 Fitness Olympia.
Do You Have A Dance & Gymnastics Background?
Or are you shy, never stepped on the stage, have no background dance or gymnastics experience but know that you have the potential to present your exceptional athletic physique? Then fitness modeling is the arena to learn more about. Search for competitions that are appropriate for you and be honest with yourself.
Now if you haven't already, pick up your fitness journal and calendar and start booking time to research fitness organizations and attend competition events in your area.
Here are some resources to get you started:
FAME: Fitness and Model Expo is a World Natural Sports Organization (WNSO) sponsored event that provides the opportunity for first time fitness and seasoned competitors to show off their natural athletic talents and abilities. Events are scheduled all over the world and range from fitness modeling to bodybuilding.
2. Fitness Universe:
Fitness Universe offers a variety of competitions ranging from Fitness Pageant, Ms. Bikini & Model America. Like FAME, Fitness Universe has events posted worldwide so to all you beautiful, fit women, strut your stuff and compete in this event!
3. Oxygen Magazine:
Oxygen Magazine also has an online resource to search for competitions in your area. This website allows you to search for competitions based on the Federation so if this is your first time, be sure to allot time to check all federations to see which ones would suit you the best.
It's always a scary feeling when you want to compete for the first time and don't know what it's all about. So, attend local competitions in your area. Get an idea of how the competitions are carried out, carry your fitness journal and make your own comments on the competitors and how they present themselves on stage.
Network with others who are involved in the fitness industry and get their business cards. They may very well be the important individuals who help kick start your competition journey.
Contest planning and preparation is not easy and don't let anybody tell you that it is!! All aspects of your life will be affected when you are competing. You need to devote time, money and energy into sculpting your physique, as well as sticking to your nutritional goals, ensuring adequate vitamin and mineral supplementation, and maintaining the mental strength to keep you going.
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Remember, failing to plan is planning to fail. We've heard it said over and over again. Check out some of these very informative articles to help you develop your plan.
- Getting Started in Fitness
- Monica Brant's Guide to Getting in Shape
- Effective Tactics for Physique Competition
Understand Your Situation
Now that you've decided which competition you want to enter, mark that day on your calendar!!! Make conscious efforts to be consistently reminded about how much time you have left before your big day on stage. But remember, be realistic and understand your present circumstances.
You can develop the best workout schedule and nutritional plan, but if you're not aware of your situation, it will all fall apart. Understanding your situation is crucial in developing a realistic plan of action.
Consider some of these questions when finalizing your plan. What are some of your barriers? Obstacles? How will you address these issues? Do you have a full time job that takes a big chunk of your energy?
Then think about doing your cardio in the morning and your strength training at lunch. I didn't think I had the energy to do it, but not only did the cardio wake me up to start my mornings, the lunch sessions energized and prepared me for tackling the rest of my day.
Also, getting the workouts out of the way during my workday gave me time to spend with family in the evening and time to prepare food for the next day. Time management is crucial. Balancing relationships with family and work obligations is not a simple solution.
Competing in fitness, no matter what category requires time and energy and it's up to you to determine what consumes most of your day. A great article to kick start your contest prep planning is by Gregg Gillies on The Smart Way to Reach Your Goals.
Another very important and often neglected area of consideration when preparing for fitness competition are your financial resources. Do you have the money to fund your competition?
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When I decided to enter, I got myself all revved up, got my fitness goals and nutritional plans set up, but what I didn't realize was how much money it took to get it all together.
Take stock of how much money you will spend. This includes your:
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I got some great ideas from other competitors when they were strapped for cash. One did a fundraising event at the club she worked at. It was a bet to see how long she could cycle for. She cycled for 6 hours!! Not only did she get a tremendous cardio workout, she received $500 to pay for her registration and child care costs!!
Motivation Is Key
After all that do you still want to compete? Great! Now what's going to keep you motivated for the long term? It's important to always keep in mind, why are you competing? Write down your reasons and keep that piece of paper near you at all times. Better yet, makes copies of this and post it in as many areas as you can.
Your gym bag, your fridge, your fitness journal, anywhere you can!! Personally, what I do is put motivational quotes on post-its and place them in all areas where I know I become "de-motivated"... my computer, my fridge, my work desk and my organizer. If there's a particular quote that I like and know that I need it to keep focused on my goals, I can bring it with me and read it whenever I want to.
Bodybuilding.com has a tremendous resource of articles to keep you motivated. Not only do these articles motivate you to get up, get out, and do something, they also help you find ways to keep moving, especially when you don't want to.
Prepare. Prepare. Prepare.
I can't stress this enough. I wish someone gave me this advice when I was preparing for my first competition!! I never would have thought what kind of toll competing for fitness would be!!
You've done your research, you've put together a realistic plan of action, your motivation is at an all time high, and you've planned your work... now what?
Work your plan!!
Get Away From The Computer:
It's time to move away from the computer and get your butt to the gym! Workout, follow your diet plan, start tanning and/or practice putting on your tanning product with ease. Get your beauty sleep and make sure to drink lots and lots of water.
Think about how you want yourself to be presented on stage. Consider the services of a personal trainer to help you obtain the desired physique you are looking for. Book your local gym or dance studio and practice your walks, poses and routine.
What Will You Wear?
Remember to read the rules and regulations of the competition event you will be competing in. Some have very strict guidelines and others are more flexible, but make sure you find out. You want to be professional and be remembered as a respectable image for the organization.
What Items Do You Need?
Will you need a make-up consultation? What accessories do you need to look your best and stand out? Have you submitted your registration application? If the event is elsewhere, make travel and hotel arrangements.
To Do List:
Use your fitness journal to write down your "to do list". Include in your preparation a timeline of things to accomplish 1 month, 2 weeks, 1 week, the day before and the day of your competition.
Evaluate Your Progress
Are your workouts producing the results you want? Are you achieving the short-term goals that you set out for yourself? How far along are you in your competition training? Before your "big day", ensure that your plan includes time to evaluate yourself. Here are some suggestions to get you started.
1. Take Pictures Weekly:
Check out this article "Mastering Self Photography." This article describes how to take better pictures of yourself in order to give you a good picture of your progress and on the areas you need to improve.
2. Make Small Adjustments:
Are certain body parts not progressing the way you like? Then make small changes in your workout or nutritional program accordingly. Take note of the changes your make. The better you keep track of the changes you make, the better you will be able to make the necessary changes to optimize your physique for the stage.
Determine To Win
Lastly, imagine yourself on that stage, smiling, strutting your stuff. Master your training techniques, practice your posing and continue to imagine what your perfect performance will look like on stage.
Keep working your plan. Continually evaluate and re-evaluate yourself and your goals. Now that you've worked your plan, evaluated your progress and made the necessary "tweaks" needed to obtain your goals, you know that you've work too hard to stop now.
|WHAT'S YOUR GOAL?|
Don't give up and always look at your positive traits and strengths first. Utilize your supports and resources to stay motivated and keep you moving forward in your journey. Being aware and staying away from being negatively critical of the changes you need to make you look your best will keep you determined to win.
Now get out there and perform your best! Good luck.