My thoughts on those thinking of doing a show
As I am sitting here at my shop, 1 week out, I felt like typing up something to kind of give some insight to those that are thinking of doing a show. You see many people thinking of doing a show, but 9 times out of 10 they never get on stage. Hopefully I can shed some light on what goes into the process of pre-contest dieting and all the odds and ends that follow. Many may know this stuff allready. Those that don’t, or that wondered what to do, this may be a starting point.
TIME- Its all about time to a certain degree. I really feel that this is one of the most important factors in your prep. You need to pick a date and stick to it. Allow yourself enough time to get ready for your show. If this is your first show you are gonna need extra time. I suggest about 16 weeks to diet for your first show. Some may not agree but it is better to be early than behind and if you have never dieted before, your body may take a little longer to get into the swing of things and take to a diet. Better safe than sorry.
STICK TO YOUR GAME PLAN- There are several ways to diet and everyone is so different that what works for someone else may not work for you. I kinda feel that the best way to diet is to plan it out and stick to it to the very end. What I mean by this is when you start listening to 10 other people, you run the risk of second guessing what you have done up to that point which can lead to making mistakes. The nice thing about sticking to one diet is that if you dont end up looking the way you want, you now know that this way may not be the best for you and you are slowly taking some of the guess work out of your next contest prep. If you try a bunch of different stuff at the end, you dont really know what worked and what didnt so its better to just stay the course of the original plan.
HAVE EVERYTHING AHEAD OF TIME- Things like your pro tan, suits, and other odds and ends are all things that may not seem important enough to be thinking of at 8 weeks out, but it sucks to be running around town looking for a bottle of tan when you could have planned ahead of time. If its a local show, most of the shops will be selling a ton of that stuff at the last minute, so there is a good chance that the longer you wait to buy that stuff, the better chance they have of being out of it. You are not gonna buy your posing suits at 8 weeks out, but its a good idea to know where to go or if you have to order them to see how long it will take to get them if you have to send them back if something is wrong.
Food is another thing that you dont want to be out of either. I like to make lists of things I need and I try to keep track of how much I have left of something so I dont run out at 10pm the night before. Try and keep extra bags of chicken, fish, rice, ect on hand so you are prepared to cook all your meals without having to run all over the place in a panic.
MONEY- Dieting is not cheap. It does not have to break your bank, but you have to know ahead of time that the whole process is going to cost extra money above and beyond what you might normaly spend. This all goes back to the time thing I mentioned earlier. If you know that in 6 months you are going to have to start your diet, start to save a little so that you have extra cash to make sure everything runs smoothly. I try to shop at Sams, Costco, ect to save money and I really try to watch my budget so I dont get into a bind where I cant afford something I really need.
YOU ONLY CAN DEPEND ON YOURSELF- Really that is the only person that is going to be there for you 100% of the time. What I mean by this is that when you start expecting other people to help you do things for you, you may get let down and put on the back burner. Its nice to have someone help you with your prep, but just be prepared to do everything yourself. Plus I think it really helps your learn about yourself and helps you stay more focused.
DONT BE AFRAID TO LOSE WEIGHT- I know this sounds strange, but one of the biggest mistakes is that most will sacrifice conditioning for size. You see that a ton at local shows. Be strict with your diet and have faith that you are doing everything you can to come in the best condition you can. Its better to be a little smaller and in great condition, than bigger and soft.
DON’T FORGET TO PRACTICE- Practice makes perfect and posing is one of the most important aspects of how you present what you have worked so hard to show. Practice your 1/4 turns and manditories every night and get used to not doing them in front of a mirror so it feels natural. The more you pose, the better your stage presence will be.
HAVE FUN- Its wierd to see guys on stage all serious looking. Smile, smile, smile…..make eye contact with the judges and have a good time. Keep in mind that everyone in that audience is there to see bodybuilding/figure/fitness and are fans of the sport. When somebody is all serious looking and not smiling, it makes them look uncomfortable and the judges notice that. The more relaxed and poised you are on stage, the better youll look in my opinion. With that in mind, don’t get hung up on placing if its your first show or whatever. Seriously you are one of the few that actually make it on stage and have the guts to put yourself in position to be judged on the merits of your physique. That in itself is an accomplishment.
So there is my take so to speak. Many may know most of it, but I just needed to pass some time and I thought maybe this might help a couple out there that thinking of gettting on stage.