Bodybuilding competition time!

As the bodybuilding competition time approaches, I thought it would be useful and somewhat relevant to write a little bit about my own experience of standing on stage. I started dieting 16 weeks out from my competition time, having lost around 2 stone already, from eating cleanly and exercising more.

As it was my first time competing, I had so many things in my mind that had to be taken into consideration – tan, bikini, shoes, walking, posing, routine… so here are a few pointers that I would give to anyone who is about to compete for the first time!

  1. Be confident

Confidence comes from practice- so practice, practice, practice! By that I mean practice your posing, get someone who is GOOD at posing to teach you; your stage presence is paramount and so is the ability to show off your physique. A lot of people let themselves down when it comes to standing on stage because they cannot show their physique properly.

I spent hours wearing heels, and practiced walking up and down stairs, twisting, bending and just walking in them. Nothing looks worse than someone who strolls onto stage teetering in heels (or stomping their feet for the guys), so make sure you know how to walk with poise, confidence and have a structure to what you are doing.

I also think it is really important to be comfortable in what you are wearing. Girls, get your bikini fitted properly and make sure you have someone to help you get into it on the day- and make sure it won’t slip out of place! I made the mistake of getting a “pro cut” on the bottom of mine, and my glutes just were not lean enough to pull it off – I was constantly worrying about my wedgie (sorry, but this is real life!!!) Make sure your hair is in place properly too. Guys, the same goes regarding the fit of what you are wearing- make sure it fits properly.

2.        Be prepared

Make sure that you can do your routine without your music. So many people get into the “monkey position” in the middle of the stage, only to discover their music won’t play. They then either throw a tantrum and leave or half-heartedly carry through a routine with a very sad look on their face. Your music should not matter – it will be fantastic if your music plays, but you need to be able to perform what you are doing to a counted beat so if it doesn’t, it is irrelevant.

Be prepared when it comes to your competition tan. Both guys and girls need to make sure you exfoliate and that your skin is smooth and hair free, ready to get the lashings of rather fruity smelling tan that you need for getting on stage. I don’t agree with the necessity to use sunbeds as a “base tan” because after all, once you are tanned up, you will really see that whatever shade you are underneath does not matter because trust me… it WILL be covered!

Make sure you know what brand of tan you are going to use and that that your federation allows it. It is worth doing a “test run” (probably somewhere like your foot is a good idea, rather than your arm or something that people are going to see!)

Also, be prepared to win but be prepared to come last too- even if you come last, as cliché as it sounds, you ARE a winner. Getting on stage in next to nothing, being criticised on the body that you have worked so hard for, is a HARD thing to do. Be prepared to take a knock, for the criticism if it comes at you, and for the feeling of either winning, or not winning!

3.     Remember What You Did it For

Why did you decide to step on stage? What are you doing this for? I think that it is invaluable to remember why you set out to do it in the first place. Imagine, for example, that your goal was optimum health. You compete in a natural bodybuilding competition, and you are the healthiest you have ever felt- and you win! You have a trophy in your hands, and you are ready for the next level. Fast forward and you are advised you need to use anabolic steroids to advance, and fat burners, and cut out food groups… now is it healthy? Is it still in line with your goal? NEVER LOSE SIGHT OF YOUR ORIGINAL GOAL! Be true to yourself, be head strong, and remember what you are in it for.

4.      Never Take Life Too Seriously

Overall, be proud of what you have achieved and enjoy the experience! All of your weeks of hard work and dieting boil down to a few minutes on stage- so shine, have fun and show the world what you are all about! My “rule number 6” is “never take life too seriously” (6 is my lucky number, I know this is random but I have said it for years!) Really, there are so many important things in life and there is a difference between dedication and commitment, and taking life too seriously.

Joining a bodybuilding forum can be a good idea too, it lets you find people in exactly the same position you are in and it may allow you to befriend someone entering the same contest you are which means you can help each other back stage with tan and pumping up.

Good luck to everyone planning on doing a bodybuilding competition this year, ciao for now!

~Elle Mac~

Bodybuilding Competition Picture

A picture from the 1994 Mr Olympia Bodybuilding Competition