When it comes to competing, there are many factors to think about! In this video, I’ll discuss 5 tips to help you get to stage, have fun doing it, and be successful at it!
Friendly reminder that the stage should never be used as a weight loss tool if you’re over 30% body fat. Instead, focus on slowly getting to a point of lean maintenance and stay there for 6-12 months. This is going to allow your body to reset to a new metabolic setpoint. From here, think about stage plans. This is going to go a long way towards keeping you from rebounding and gaining weight back plus some. Health should always be your number one priority – the stage will always be there 🙂
Tip 1 – Assess your physique and look at the different divisions to see where you might fit in best.
It’s important to also think about your own ideal physique here, too. In a perfect world, your current physique fits into a division well – and you also love that division. In this case, you wouldn’t have to spend much time adding or taking away muscle to get to stage. More often, a little muscle gain is needed to be competitive in a division, and that’s ok!
Think about why you want to compete. Is it for beneficial reasons – are you doing it for yourself? If so, you’ll give it 100% and it will be an overall enjoyable experience.
Tip 2 – Come up with a long-term plan for getting to stage.
In your long-term plan, you should have some short-term goals, such as a building phase or a re-comp phase. Give yourself plenty of time here. If you need to gain muscle, you’ll need at least 90 days for your body to build new muscle and for you to keep it when you start to lean down. Getting a DEXA scan can show you body composition, and exactly where you would need to build and/or shred. Take progress pics, too, as you’ll be able to track muscle gain and fat loss.
Tip 3 – Budget – have an idea of costs involved.
Competing is expensive. You have competition suits, hair, makeup, tanning, shoes, jewelry, membership costs, entry fees, travel costs, etc.
Of course, you can do it on a shoestring, but items still add up.
Tip 4 – Study the science and/or work with a coach.
If you have a background in training, exercise science, or nutrition, you’ll be at an advantage here. If not, it’s totally fine. Plan on reading, watching videos from scientists and doctors, and learning your body. You can do it all by yourself. I won 2 Olympia titles as a self-coached, lifetime natural athlete. But, I was a student of the sport. I still had people who would give me objective feedback, too. If you work with a coach, make sure he/she creates a custom plan for you and listens to your feedback… and answers your questions.
Tip 5 – Don’t forget the finishing details.
This is like baking a beautiful cake and not adding the icing! Peak week, posing, and presentation can be the difference between a top 5 finish and not getting noticed at all. Practice your best angles, so you’ll shine on stage. Do a mock peak week to test out how carbs, sodium, and water manipulation work on your physique.
Is there anything else you’d like to know about competing? If so, let me know.
Thanks for reading! Until next time, train hard, y’all!