Well, I the Mid West Iron Man Competition was amazing! I'd love to say that I placed at this show like I did my first Two; but I didn't! What did I learn from all of them? Here are some of my tips.
First of all let me say that I loved doing Bikini, I am told it is a good fit for me. I just LOVE Figure as well. If you have read my other posts you know that I competed in my First Competition earlier this year, I did back to back competitions in Figure and I placed 3rd in the First one and I placed 3rd and 5th in the second one. Well for Bikini there were 21 girls in my Tall class and a ton in the short class too. Anyway, I feel at 38 I did pretty good up there with all those young ladies! Would I have loved to place in the Top Five? Of Course I would have! Either way, I learned a lot and had FUN competing with my Friends in the above picture. Keneese in the middle, competed in Figure and Lori on the left competed in Physique. The best part of the weekend was being with them and getting on stage after all our hard work. I even started coming down with a sniffle and couldn't believe how much my nose was running on stage during Pre Judging, I was freezing!!! Its possible to sweat and freeze at the same time, yes that is me all the way. So I have some tips to help you if you are thinking about competing or ready and looking for what its like to actually do it!
1. Getting Prepared is KEY: Finding a Fitness/Figure coach that knows the BIZ and how to help guide you is super important!! Yes I am a Fitness Professional and Help others with fitness and nutrition, and I still needed to have the support of others and help with posing. I have my Dream Team girls above as well as my coach Staci Boyer and Team FAB!!! Putting all of what you need together is helpful and keeps the stress down. After all it should be Fun, even though its a Sport and Art and Hard Work, it should be Fun!!! Pick a Suit that is a great color on you, get feedback and be picky. I have learned that not being picky enough will get you a suit that isn't made the way you want and then you are left to deal with it and make it the best you can. Give Yourself plenty of time to make sure you get it right! And don't forget some high heel clear bling shoes!!!
This past competition I only trained for 7 weeks, I highly recommend 12!! So check out the competitions for 2013/2014 and pick one that you would like to do! In your area is always a great start. You may have to drive an hour or more but they have host hotels to accommodate you.
2. Workouts: Depending on your category of choice will depend on what you many need to focus on more. When I was preparing for Figure I needed to really focus on my back and shoulders as well as hamstrings and glutes. I naturally am more curvy in the lower body so I need to balance my upper body out by having a wider back. My shoulders are my Tough spot, meaning they develop but its very hard to get them too. If I want to do figure again, I need to seriously take time to build. With bikini I could get take my focus off my shoulders so much and really work my glutes and not worry about the time I had. I know I will continue to work on all of my body and build more of a strong base. Even though I get compliments on my glutes, I know I have more work to do!!! I teach group exercise, so I have to NOT Count that as my own workouts. I love to do Turbo Fire at home for cardio, I'm not a fan of cardio equipment but I do it. I recommend splitting up your workouts to maximize the muscles you want to work, when you get closer to your competition and are doing fine tuning this can change. Lift heavier than you think you should, with good form of course!!!
3. Nutrition: This is an area where you need to make sure you are allowing your body to EAT what it needs to see results, it may be the most challenging part for you. For me I have learned that when I eliminate carbs like oats, quinoa, rice cakes, sweet potato and others, I lean out to much in my upper body, so when doing Figure I usually can't go to many days without these foods. Its really a method and when you follow your plan and keep track of what your body is responding too, by logging and taking pics, you will really know what works best for you. Having someone that helps you with this is super important, then when you have it down you will know what to do for the future. Water, Carbs, Fats, Protein, veggies, fruits, supplements, it all MATTERS!!!!! You will be amazed at what you can do!!
4. Posing: This is so important. I have to tell you this, practice, practice and practice some more. You will be Soar from it and it will make you hurt. This will show you that you are doing it right!! So you must feel it and get it in your brain. Start in the mirror and then away from the mirror, take a ton of pics of yourself as well as video of you doing your walk. Even though I practiced over and over for this past Bikini competition, we still changed my poses the day before the competition. When I did my walk at the night show, I still did a weird thing with my foot that I didn't do in practice, the floor was slippery and I was cold dealing with a migraine; so who knows, it happens. Make sure you are with a coach that can guide you and teach you and help you with this. Read, research, look at it all, study, get the rules for your show and always be ready with more!! Figure girls practice your quarter turns and hold each pose while breathing through your teeth with a great smile. Bikini girls, shoulders back, and glutes up high!! Shine in each pose!!
5. Hair/Makeup/Tan: I did my own hair for my Bikini competition, I will probably from now on do my own make up too. You just have to make sure you have the right make up so it stays on and matches your tan! You can spend over $100 on each if you have someone else do them for you, if you prefer it that way for your first time, make sure you ask your coach and or find someone who is used to working with competitors. Now the Tan I know I need help here. So if you are white like me with psoriasis, ugh its a big deal for the skin to deal with. Staci Boyer does an amazing job with the spray tan and I am forever thankful for her!!! The judges need you dark to see all your hard work under the bright lights!!
6. Bring what: Food, Water, a hand towel, bikini bite, lip gloss, hair spray, dream tan and puffs (be ready to put on outside, most shows to not allow it in the building) baby wipes, this list can go on and on. I learned this: Bring a hand towel, I sweat like crazy and it messes with the tan under there and likes to drip down the arm and back, not pretty! Keeping the hand towel with you to pat the armpit while waiting in line back stage will help. I took note of this for my future competitions.
Compete with friends, keep each other filled with joy and remember just doing this is an accomplishment.
I hope you find amazing Joy, Inspiration and a true love for competing.
Love Life, Laugh as you Live and Stay Fit,