So you’ve finally decided to compete in your first show. Congrats girlfriend! Now get ready for quite a ride!
For the next 12 weeks, you will be up, down, and at times somewhere between total world domination and well, total mental breakdown (WE ALL GO WHITE GIRL CRAZY, AT LEAST ONCE.). You will be training like beast, eating like a saint, and a majority of the time during your first prep, wondering; “What in the hell am I doing?”
It’s very easy during training, meal prepping, posing, and life to forget about the small stuff, besides cupcakes; you will always, down to the minute, remember when the next time you can have a cupcake.
Before you know it, you’re 3 weeks out, and completely freaking out about shoes, registration, hotels, and orange spray tans.
So I’ve broken it down for the next 12 weeks, your Show Prep Check-List:
- Register for your show. Whether it’s your first one of you’re a veteran. Pick a show and register! This is an accountability piece to the prep puzzle. There are tons of federations to choose from! Research and pick the one that best suits your body, schedule (its a long 12 weeks), and your personality. I personally prefer to coach and compete with the NPC or the WBFF.
- Pick a coach. I do this for a living and I still have a coach! Why? Because having an extra set of eyes, ears, and mind will help you every step! Research online, with other competitors, and meet with coaches until you find the one that fits you perfect. It’s crucial you trust your coach!
- Start Posing. I coach my girls weekly on posing, because I feel it’s so important to competitions. You can have the best physique in the world, but if you don’t have presentation, no one is going to see you in a class of a 100 girls. Start with youtube. Search your federations previous shows and your favorite fitness girls! This will give you an idea before you start posing classes with your coach. Also, check out for upcoming workshops in your area.
- GET your Supplement game on.. Your coach will guide your on this, but having your diet and nutrition is vital in show prep. I’m so thankful for my amazing sponsor Axis Labs Performance Nutrition (www.axislabs.com) for all the supplement support I gesturing prep.
- Train, Sleep, Repeat.
- Have your “soft routine” done.. Start establishing your “posing personality” and how you want to present your package onstage.
- Start Promoting yourself. Whether you just want to accept the challenge of doing a show or you want to “go ham sandwich” on the fitness industry; what you’re doing is inspiring! Start sharing it! You’ll gain encouragement and be able to inspire others!
- Outreach. New to shows? Contact some veterans and rack their brain. You’ll have so many questions; from posing to “I’m gonna wax what?”. Reach out to them, they’ll have great insight to prep.
- Train, Sleep, Repeat.
- Find and order your suit, shoes, and jewelry. When I began competing, I couldn’t believe the costs that add up! $500 for a suit? No way; this chick balls on a budget! There are tons of easy ways to compete and not break your bank account. I’ve always ordered custom, plain, bikini’s and blinged them out myself, saving tons! As well as getting jewelry from great stores at decent prices like Claire’s and Charming Cherie’s. As far as shoes? Check out online discount brands.
- Schedule hair, tanning, and nails appointment. Some shows require you to use the on-site glam squads, so make sure to check with your federation first, but find stylists, tanners, and MUA’s that have worked with competitors previously and search IG and Pinterest for inspiration on your look. Remember: you want the total package! Not just an orange tan and Dolly Parton hair.
- Book hotel, flight, accommodations. Always check to see if your host hotel for the show is offering discounts. Rooms and flights can book fast, so just one less thing to check off the list ahead of time.
- Order your show tickets.
- Book your photo shoots. Every girl that I coach, I set up a photo shoot for. Why? Because you’re hard work should be captured and celebrated! A lot of shows will have photographers at the event, but don’t shy away from setting up some great shoots on your own! Check our modelmayhem.com or search FB for qualified, established photographers in your area.
- Get the game plan. Your 4-6 weeks out and it’s starting to get to the grind girlfriend! Sit down with your coach and talk about what’s to be expected from m you, them, and your prep for the next couple weeks; you’ll feel so much more at ease and know what to expect.
- Train, Sleep, Repeat
- Finalize all scheduled appointments.
- Finalize all travel and accommodations.
- Let the peeps know. From Mom to Cindy that makes your A.M. coffee, let people know the journey you’re on! So many will want to come and support and it’s always 10 x’s more fun to be onstage with a cheering section!
- Polish your routine: down to the details. Front, Back, Side, Turns, Transitions: they have to be spot on sister! Also, the small things like knowing how to pose depending on your line position or flexing; make sure to check with your federation on posing requirements and nail your walk, poses, and personality!
- Find some inspiration. This is a step a lot of competitors forget. You’ve been training for what feels like ages and you might be slightly burnt out; which is ok! Dig up some new inspiration! Go to a show, watch competitions online, I even write down a diary of why I started this prep; anything to get you in the zone!
- Train, Sleep, Repeat.
- Try on your suit. I always have my girls order their suits at 6 weeks and try them on at 2 weeks out; why? Because at 2 weeks your suit will fit best before the last inches may come off and you will still have time to do alterations if needed. I strongly suggest don’t trying on your suit to early in your prep; nothing like a little bedazzled butterfly bottom to completely freak a sister out! (hey, been there!)
- Be a posing machine!
- Get all peak week supplements needed.
- Train, Sleep, Repeat.
- Pose blind, half naked, and afraid.. Well let’s not go too literal on this one ladies! But a major reason why I’m so comfortable onstage is because when practicing, I MAKE MYSELF UNCOMFORTABLE! I pose without mirrors, my eyes closed, and yes, in public, with no music. Basically, if you can pose in front of anyone, a stage, lights, and hundreds of people will be less of a shock on show day.
- Check your social. Most federations have an online community base. Check these outlets for last minute show updates, encouragement, and deals on show specials!
- Remember who to thank.. No matter what your reason is for stepping on that stage, no one, I mean no one, goes at it alone. My favorite part of competing is learning from my coach, sharing it with my loved ones, and celebrating it with my people! I COULDNT DO ANY OF THIS without the amazing support team I have from family, friends, and my clients. So give some thanks back for all the help!
- Prepare for the post. I know you’ve heard horrific “post show” experiences, and I can tell you first hand, how much post show binging, blues, and expectations can be. ALWAYS HAVE YOUR POST SHOW NUTRITION, WORKOUT, AND MENTAL PLAN ready for after the big day. If your coach doesn’t supply one; stop and run, immediately! Also, realize that the work and dedication is far from over. If you want to transition in a healthy to a sustainable, “off season” package, its a slow, patient process. I, myself, suffered from some of this issues and have been actively working on metabolic damage repair and a healthy, balanced approach to off season life.
- Train, for heaven’s sake woman; sleep, and repeat!
- Pack your bag.. Peak week can be hectic! Pack your bag early and don’t forget the crucial items (suit, shoes, jewelry) and I always make sure to have back UPS of everything; just in case.
- Get some direction. Attend any athlete meeting or check-in to know the show’s schedule. Also, meet with your coach to know this week’s final instructions.
- Pamper yourself. Massage, facial, whatever goes! This week is all about feeling your best! Just be sure to not try anything for the first time this week…. don’t even get me started on my bikini wax episode!
- One last hoorah. Do final posing session in suit and shoes a couple days before your show and you’re not leaving until you feel completely prepared.
- Relax. Seriously; you have too! There is nothing left to stress about, you made it to the day. So finish those last workouts and posing sessions, pack your bag, kick up your feet, and mentally prepare for awesomeness!
- You’ve trained those peaches off, now go show everyone what you’ve been working on! 12 weeks of mental, physical, sometime social sacrifices and determination has led you to these couple short minutes on stage. The only regret you can have is not giving it your all; so dang it sister; go work it!
Every time I train for a show, people always ask me a question: “What do I get for doing a show?”
They’re normally shocked when I tell them that most the time, if I’m lucky enough, it’s a trophy.
“Why would you put yourself through that for 12 weeks for just a trophy?” they ask.
My answer is always the same: because I can.
No one can understand the process of training unless they’ve been through it, and until that moment you walk across the stage for the first time, neither will you.
But once the grind, the work, the celebration is over; you’ll notice something different about yourself.
That you never really look at obstacles in life the same. You’ll find yourself taking chances, being fearless in your pursuits, and finding your next goals even challenging than before.
Why? BECAUSE YOU CAN.
Work.Hard. Lift.Heavy. Live.Blessed.