Fitness Competitors – Tips To Compete in Fitness Contests


I have helped a few athletes compete in both fitness, bodybuilding and powerlifting. Of those I helped in fitness and bodybuilding, one went on to get a pro card in fitness and the male I trained for his first bodybuilding competition placed in the top 5. The female I trained for her first bodybuilding competition won her class and the overall! In powerlifting, my lifters have either placed in or won National and World titles.

Once you have made the decision that you want to compete in a Fitness or Bodybuilding competition, you will need to pick a competition. Depending on the shape you are in, you may pick a competition that is 3 months, 6 months, 9 months or even 1 year away. If you have never competed, you are in for a positive life changing experience.

Put your training program together to work hard on your weak areas and include cardio training to take off body fat. In your first few competitions, you will learn a lot about yourself. You will learn how disciplined you are with not only your training but also your eating along with how hard you can train and not quit. Another thing you will learn is what it takes for you to peak for a show and look your very best.

The day you compete, judges will not care what your body fat is, how much weight you lost, or how strong you are. They will be looking at body symmetry first, meaning the overall balance of your physique. If you have a great upper body and no legs, you will be at a big disadvantage. They will be looking for a lean muscular look and, of course, overall size in bodybuilding contents. In fitness, they look for symmetry and a nice tone shape with some definition.

In both competitions, your stage presence is very important. If you walk out on stage looking like you are scared or like a deer in the headlights, the outcome wont be good. So what should you do? Its called practice, practice and more practice. Months before your contest, you will practice doing all the mandatory poses along with your posing routine. You will want to practice in front of someone who has competed and done well before and preferably have a few people there. This way, you will get different opinions from others that have been there and you will be more comfortable in your suit when it comes to competition day. When you pose, you need to look relaxed and smile. Practice posing in front of full length mirrors over and over. Then practice posing without the mirrors and video tape your posing both times to compare. Many athletes will feel lost without the mirror, so that’s why you will want to pose without it. The more posing you do, the more natural your posing will be on stage. You will be able to hit the poses and know they are right since you have practiced so much.

With your posing routine, make sure to highlight your best body parts. If you have great abs and back muscles, then make sure you have a few extra poses in your routine showing them off. If you have a weak muscle group, the judges are going to see it because that’s their job. Don’t worry though since most athletes will have a weak body part. You are going to want to peak for your competition. This means you come in on meet day tight with great symmetry and full muscles. Some athletes will diet too hard and come in flat and actually look better days after the meet once they have eaten some more food. Others may come in smooth because they did not eat clean long enough before the contest.

Make sure you structure your training program so that you are working harder on your weak areas. Don’t give up on them and strive to make improvements. I will hear some athletes say that they just don’t have any genetics to get a V-taper look. In that case, they have given up already and never will achieve that look.

In general, eating clean for competition will consist of chicken breast, egg whites, turkey breast, sweat potatoes, brown rice, salads, baked cod or tilapia, oatmeal, protein powder, fresh fruit and quality drinking water. Calories, protein, carbohydrates and fats will depend on the athlete’s metabolism, the shape they are in and the activity they do during the day at their job.

You’re going to want a good tan also. When you get under those bright lights, you won’t look tan. Most competitors will use a pro tan spray or a wipe on tan product to help get them get darker. This is something you will want to do also. Picking your suit is important so make sure to choose a color that looks good on you. Also, have an extra suit or two. That way, if you see a number of competitors in your class with the same color, you can toss on a different color suit which will help you stand out.

Your suit and posing routine alone will not win you the competition but they are important. You will win the competition through your hard training and clean eating up to the day you walk out on that stage.

Remember, you are competing against yourself in all reality. If you look the very best you can then, that’s all you can do. You have no control over anyone else who competes or the shape they bring to the stage. When you’re on stage, the judges are looking at you the entire time, so always stay tight and keep your muscles flexed with a good smile, good posture and look like a winner. You’re already a winner for having the courage to train and compete, no matter what place you achieve in your first competition.

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About Author

Duane Burlingame

My name is Duane Burlingame and I have trained athletes in powerlifting taking them to both Regional and World competition with some of them winning Regional titles and World titles. See my profile page for more information!

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