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If you love reading magazine's such as Oxygen and Fitness RX and watching Fitness America on ESPN then you are probably pitching a tent at your favorite gym as well.
If you are anything like myself, you have also thought to yourself, I can do that too, but when it comes down to the nitty gritty it isn't as easy as it looks now is it? Have you tried it? Well, that's what I am in the process of doing right now!
I started competing about 4 years ago; I actually wrote another article entitled My First Figure Contest way back when. I was in fact thinking I would get my feet wet by testing the water in figure first; I have been competing in Ms. Bikini and Figure ever since.
The Idiot's Guide To Competing In Your First Fitness Competition
So, you have NEVER taken a dance class in your life you say? Don't fret, life IS NOT over. Sign up for one now, I did, and although you do not need a dance background to compete, amping up the crowd with your best moves can't hurt. I took hip hop and even some ballet to prepare for my routine and it has helped tremendously to move the routine along.
I may have been a cheerleader, but all that meant for me was I could jump really high, had a big mouth and looked pretty darn cute in the pleated skirt! Cheerleading is way more structured today, than when I was in high school like 12 years ago!
Find A Choreographer:
If you are NOT very co-ordinated, think about finding a choreographer with experience in fitness competitions who can help you get started. I have been doing the majority of this on my own and it's far from easy. Find a choreographer. TRUST ME.
If I had more hours in the day I would invest in one myself. It will save you time as well as frustration. It will all come together much more easily if you have someone guiding you step by step, take it from me, I have come very close to ending the life of my routine music many many times.
If You Have Never Competed At All:
If you are thinking about starting off your competition journey with fitness first then you should also come prepared. Think about checking out a show first to see what it's all about and what is involved. Talk to some of the Fitness girls (make sure it's AFTER the show).
They are sure to give you some excellent advice to help you get started. Attend a choreography camp; it could really help to ease your nerves by learning everything you have been racking your brain about. Plus you have the opportunity to meet a lot of new friends, which will make your first competition experience that much easier.
You can also try out a smaller show first to get accustomed to the atmosphere, it's great practice for the bigger shows as well. Larger shows come with larger audiences and it can be quite intimidating to the first timer, heck, even to the veteran competitor! Your first show should be more laid back and fun.
Things You Need to Know Before Contest Day:
What is competition tanner? Which one is right for me? How do I apply it and how much of it?
What is stage makeup? Is it the same as my everyday makeup? Should it match my suit?
How should I present myself on stage? How do I walk?
What is a contest diet?
Where can I find a competition suit? Heels?
What should a routine outfit look like and where can I purchase one?
What federation is best for me?
Where can I find a good DJ for my routine music?
How many rounds are there in Fitness, will I have to do an interview?
What will I be judged on?
Ahhh... so much to learn, what is a girl to do? I bet I got you thinking with all those questions too, didn't I? That is why it is so crucial to do your research FIRST. So, find a choreographer, a camp, nutritionist and/or competitor that can help you in your area and let's get moving!
What Makes A Killer Routine?
Personality is key!
No matter what personality perseveres it is what will come through the most, whether it's fitness, bodybuilding, bikini or figure you are competing in. When it is YOUR time... you BETTER shine!
I am NOT a gymnast, nor a dancer, so what will I do? I will dance my BEST. I will concentrate on my STRONG POINTS. If you are a martial Artist, Kung Fu it baby; show off your skills. Whatever you do best, you accentuate THAT into your routine and make it your own!
What About My Weaknesses?
Everyone is weak in at least one area.
I believe that you still need to work on those areas to the best of your ability for a well rounded routine. Flexibility, dance, strength... whatever it is, work on it, it can only improve. Your routine should look like it comes easy to you.
Also remember you are being judged on your endurance, so practice it all the way through over and over again. Try to "skip' the skills you just have not been able to conquer thus far, it will only take away from your routine, just keep practicing them for the next time. For example: if you cannot do a backhandspring... skip the cartwheel, it's ok, really, not everyone is a gymnast.
Strength Hope & Determination:
Hope - knowing there IS always hope against all odds. Having heart. Looking at life positively and using any negativity around me as an outlet to persevere. What does not kill me WILL make me stronger and HAS made me stronger.
Determination - believing in YOU no matter what. Ignoring the negative influences around you, the haters, and the non-believers. In the end, it does not matter if everyone is with you OR against you. At the end of the day, you have to believe in yourself.
What does this mean to you? Strength to me means overcoming any obstacle in my way and learning how to grow from every experience, good or bad. Loving my feminine muscle and embracing my lifestyle.
So, where am I now in my fitness journey? I started this journey about 7 months ago. I am meeting with a choreographer next weekend to go over my routine and try to smooth over the rough edges. My first show is in about 11 weeks on May 6th. This is how I am preparing now.
My Sample Diet/Workout Now
Workout: Wt Train 1-2 hours and practice my routine 45 minutes.
Meal One: Protein Shake, L-Glutamine.
Meal Two: 4 egg whites with 1/2 cup oatmeal.
Snack: 1/2 cup almonds.
Practice strength moves and flexibility.
Meal Three: Organic oats cereal w/Light soy milk.
Meal Four: Egg white Salad with veggies.
One cup of green tea.
Meal Five: turkey, chicken or tuna plain with steamed veggies or 1/2 cup brown rice.
Snack: sugar-free jello 4 ounces.
Stay with me for part TWO of Fitness From scratch to see how my Diet changes as I progress and how my training becomes more intense.
Present Weight: 122
I know we only touched base on contest preparation, but now you know the questions that you need the answers to. Whether you are looking to compete in bodybuilding, fitness, figure or bikini come check out "The Fitness Atlantic" in New Haven CT, at "The Performing Arts Center" on May 6th.
I promise you the fitness show experience of your life and what better way to learn more than to come and watch one of the best put together shows around from stage lighting and presentation to the wonderful competitors and great entertainment.
If you have any questions on anything regarding this article, feel free to contact me. I can also help you out myself or with references for choreographers and consultants for contest preparation. Life is short so start competing!
NOTE: This article was written one month ago and I am now 8 weeks out, look for part two very soon.
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