I know when I first decided to enter in my first competition, I didn't have a clue where to start or how to go about entering. There is so much to think about and get organised before you compete, so make sure you have a preliminary list and find some professional help. If you don't know anyone who has competed before, go to your local gym and find a personal trainer who has experience with competitors. Believe me, this task may be harder than you think!
Once you have found a suitable "professional" you can get started with your preparations.
Before even entering a competition, you will need to know what is expected of you so that you are able to enter the correct category for your size, shape and height. Many competitions are different depending on the federation you choose to compete with. Each federation will have compulsory poses that you must perform in front of a panel of judges. This can be embarrassing if you do not know what they are, so be sure you understand exactly what is required well before you step on stage. Remember to SMILE as you are supposed to be enjoying yourself!
A good nutritionist or Personal Trainer who specialises in fitness competitions is essential for anyone who needs to learn how to eat properly and for deciding which foods are best for YOUR shape and body type. Diet makes up approximately 85% of your competition preparations and if neglected can be the difference between winning and losing. Be sure you are consuming plenty of protein, carbs and fats. You will probably need help when it comes to correct portion sizes and amounts. This will all depend on a combination of factors including your training split, body composition and cardio program.
||Find pictures of suits and costumes that you like and be sure that you choose colours and materials that flatter your body. You can look in most fitness magazines for current designs and colours and get a basic idea of what appeals to you. The best costumes are usually plain and do not divert attention away from your physique and generally show off all your hard work before you even step on stage and start to flex (If you've never heard of flexing before, it simply means "tensing" your muscles to show them off). This usually occurs during the posing round of your routine. Make sure you are aware of any costume requirements or design criteria before getting them made.
Hair and Makeup
This is generally the fun part of the whole show. If you can afford to have someone "pamper" you backstage and get your hair sitting well and do last minute touch ups on your face, you will feel even more confident that you are looking your absolute best before you walk out on stage. If you can't have your own personal hair and beauty professional, ask someone to help you backstage who can assist you with your preparations. When I am away from home, I am lucky enough to have a very supportive husband who usually accompanies me to all the competitions. Just having someone familiar backstage to get you ready is invaluable to say the least!