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All you ever wanted to know about competing
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All you ever wanted to know about competing - 08-07-2011, 04:18 PM

Posted by superqt4u2nv:


The first thing you need to do is specifically identify what type of competition and also what organization is sponsoring the event.

For updated NPC rules please check here there has been changes for figure NPC News Online and NPC News Magazine
Are you:

WOMENS PHYSIQUE

DEFINITION:

WOMEN’S PHYSIQUE DIVISION (HERIN REFERRED TO AS “WP”) HAS BEEN CREATED TO GIVE A PLATFORM FOR WOMEN WHO ENJOY WEIGHT TRAINING, COMPETING, CONTEST PREPERATION. COMPETITORS SHOULD DISPLAY A TONED, ATHLETIC PHYSIQUE SHOWCASING FEMININITY, MUSCLE TONE, BEAUTY/FLOW OF PHYSIQUE.

JUDGING CRITERIA:

WP WILL BE JUDGED ON THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA:

* SYMMETRY, SHAPE, PROPORTION, MUSCLE TONE, POISE AND BEAUTY FLOW


*PHYSIQUE ASSESSMENT AND COMPARISON WILL TAKE PLACE DURING PREJUDGING

PHYSIQUE SHOULD DISPLAY ALL OF THE ABOVE CRITERIA WITHOUT COMPROMISING FEMININITY, BEAUTY/FLOW OF PHYSIQUE, ETC.

THE FOLLOWING ARE EXAMPLES OF COMMON TERMS USED IN THE BODYBUILDING INDUSTRY. THESE WORDS CAN BE HELPFUL TO ASSESS WHAT SHOULD NOT BE DESCRIPTIVE TO THE PHYSIQUES BEING JUDGED IN WP:

EX.) RIPPED, SHREDDED, PEELED, STRIATED, DRY, DICED, HARD, vascular, GRAINY, MASSIVE, THICK, DENSE, ETC.

WHILE ALL TYPES OF PHYSIQUES WILL BE CONSIDERED WHEN IT COMES TO HEIGHT, WEIGHT, STRUCTURE, ETC. EXCESSIVE MUSCULARITY SHOULD BE SCORED DOWN ACCORDINGLY.

WP SHOULD BE JUDGED AS A STANDARD BETWEEN WOMEN’S FIGURE AND WOMENS BODYBUILDING.

JUDGING FORMAT:

PREJUDGING

INDIVIDUAL ONE MINUTE ROUTINE WITH 10 SECOND WARNING

QUARTER TURNS

MANDATORY POSING COMPARISONS/ CALLOUTS

FINALS

INDIVIDUAL POSING ROUTINE

AWARDS

Who qualifies for IFBB Professional League status – at Junior USA and Junior Nationals the top two (2) qualify for IFBB Professional League status, at all other National events including Team Universe, USA, IFBB North American and Nationals, the top three (3) will qualify for IFBB Professional League status. The NPC wants to set the standard for 2011 at the Junior Events and therefore only qualifying the top two (2).

RULES



*SUITS WORN BY WP COMPETITORS FOR PREJUDGING MUST BE A TWO PIECE. SUITS DO NOT HAVE TO BE SOLID IN COLOR. THE BOTTOM OF THE SUIT MUST BE V-SHAPED. NO THONGS ARE PERMITTED. COMPETITORS CAN COMPETE IN AN OFF THE RACK SUIT. ALL SUITS MUST BE IN GOOD TASTE.

*MANDATOTY POSES WILL BE PERFORMED WITH OPEN HAND STYLE AND INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING POSES:

FRONT DOUBLE BICEPS/OPEN HANDS (NO FLAT FOOTED FULL FRONT POSE – SOME SORT OF FRONT TWISTING POSE)
BACK DOUBLE BICEPS/OPEN HANDS
SIDE TRICEP WITH LEG EXTENDED
SIDE CHEST WITH ARMS EXTENDED
FRONT AB/THIGH

*FINALS ROUTINE WILL BE MAXIMUM 90 SECONDS IN LENGTH, PERFORMED TO MUSIC OF ATHLETES CHOICE ADHERING TO RULES SET FORTH BY THE NPC.

MUSIC CONTAINING PROFANITY OR EXPLICIT LANGUAGE SHOULD NOT BE USED AND MAY RESULT IN ROUTINE BEING CUT SHORT.

*NO PROPS WILL BE USED.

*NO HEELS MAY BE WORN AT ANY TIME DURING THE COMPETITON/JUDGING OF WP.


- figure NPC FIGURE RULES

The judging criteria for fitness contests is based on the two Physique/Swimsuit Rounds. Each round is judged separately, with the Judges handing in a score for each round. The following is a general description of each round:
PREJUDGING ROUND I: TWO-PIECE SWIMSUIT
Each height class (if applicable) will be brought out separately in a lineup in their two-piece swimsuits with high heels to perform quarter turns as directed by the Head Judge. Depending on the number of competitors or the level of competition, the Judges may ask for certain contestants to be placed next to other contestants. The Judges will assess the overall physique for degree of athleticism, proportion and skin tone. The Judges will be scoring the degree of athleticism by assessing the degree of firmness, symmetry, proportion and the overall healthy physical appearance including complexion, poise and overall presentation. Muscle tone should appear firm and round with a small amount of body fat over the muscle. Muscle striations and extreme definition or leanness should be avoided.
PREJUDGING ROUND 2: ONE-PIECE SWIMSUIT
All contestants will be brought back out in their one-piece swimsuits with high heels to perform quarter turns as directed by the Head Judge. The Judges may ask for certain contestants to be placed next to other contestants. The judging criteria are the same as in Round 1.
NOTE REGARDING SWIMSUIT ROUNDS
Contestants should give special attention to the style of both swimsuits since the way each suit fits each individual physique is taken into consideration—different suits show the physique differently. Thong-style suits are not allowed.
FINAL SCORING
During both rounds, the Judges will place each athlete from first through last place in each round. After each round, the Judges will turn in their scores for that particular round. Once both rounds are completed, the scores are then tabulated. The Judges will be scoring the overall physique and performance during Prejudging. The only judging during the Evening Performance is of the height class winners (if applicable) for the overall award. No scores or placements will change after Prejudging.
FINALS
During the Finals, all competitors will be introduced in their two-piece swimsuits. The top 5 place winners in each height class (if applicable) will be awarded trophies. To determine the Overall Champion (if applicable), these women will be brought out in their two-piece swimsuits and high heels to perform quarter turns as directed by the Head Judge. Criteria for assessing the physiques will bethe same as Prejudging: Round I. Their scores will be tallied and the Overall Champion will be selected.
SPECIAL NOTE:

The focus of the fitness competition is on health and fitness and is intended to provide an alternative for athletic women who train but do not wish to gain muscle size or other requirements necessary for bodybuilding competitions.

- fitness - focuses on strength, energy, agility, presentation, not as muscular as bb but usuall more muscular than figure due to the gymnastic nature of the requirements. Competition involves a 1 piece suit, 2 piece suit with quarter turn posing in addition to a 2-3 minute fitness routine with mandatory moves to demonstrate strength, etc. Fitness girls will often compete in the figure category as well, and figure tends to be a next step for "retired" fitness competitors. This category is common to many competitive organizations including NPC, IFBB and most other fitness / BB organizations. NPC News On-Line
- bodybuilding - focuses on muscularity, leanness, symmetry and presentation. More recently there is a move away from size and "freakiness", less lean competitiors (less "man-like") after the excesses of the sport in the late 90s. Competition consists of symmetry rounds with quarter turns, mandatory poses (e.g. front double bi, lat spread, abs & thighs, side chest, side tri, etc.) and a 60 sec round of free-form posing with no music for the morning pre-judge, but switching to a 90-sec more cographed posing routine to the competitor's choice of music. Suit requirements are a 2 piece plain suit in the pre-judge and either the same or a fancier 2-piece for the night show. This category is common to many competitive organizations including NPC, IFBB and most other fitness / BB organizations. NPC News On-Line
- bikini
NPC News On-Line
COMPETITION JUDGING
Presentation
• Competitors will walk onstage alone and perform their Model Walk (personal preference)
• The Model Walk consists of the following:
Walk to the center of the stage, stop and do a front stance then a full turn and do a rear stance then turn to the front again in front of the judges and then proceed to the side of the stage.
Comparison Round, Two-Piece Swimsuit
• Competitors will be judged wearing a two-piece swimsuit and heels.
• The competitors will be brought out in a group and directed to do a full front and rear stance.
• Judges will have the opportunity to compare competitors against each other in half turns. (No side judging permitted, front and back only.)
• Judges will be scoring competitors on the following items:
o Balance and Shape
o Overall physical appearance including complexion, skin tone, poise and overall presentation.
- fitness model FAME etc
TYPES OF MODEL CATEGORIES

* Swimsuit Model - 1 Round of Competition (Swimsuit) - Females.

* Fitness Model - 2 Rounds of Competition (Swimsuit & Themewear) - Males & Females.

* Muscle Model - 2 Rounds of Competition (Swimsuit & Themewear) - Males & Females.

* Toned Twosome (Couples) - 1 Round of Competition (Themewear) - Mixed Pair or Single Gender.

fitnessamerica.com
2009 Model World Tour


List of organization world wide:
CBBF - Welcome to the CBBF Website
World Bodybuilding & Fitness Federation
NATIONAL AMATEUR BODYBUILDERS ASSOCIATION & Ms. FIGURE®
NABBA International

Two areas of information:
1) How to diet & train -- the long-term prep
2) How to "do" a show -- preparation, presentation & execution AT the show

National Physique Committee is the largest BB / figure organization going right now. It is the amateur branch of the IFBB, of Olympia & Arnold Classic fame. Here's the NPC contest schedule so you can find out what shows are available in your area. Plan & schedule accordingly

NPC News On-Line

A great list of resources iabout figure / fitness / physique competition is available here:
Bodybuilding.com - Fitness Competition Articles!

Some general comments from experience:
1) Assess where you are starting from - weight, bodyfat, degree of comfort with diet & training and how well these are established already.

1a) I highly recommend you review this succinct post about "10 Ways to F--- Up Your Diet" - persistent and consistent dieting is hard enough in general. You add the stress and physical, mental and emotional rollercoaster ride of of 3-4 months of competition dieting and you have the makings for the most miserable days of your life. To avoid that, this is an EXCELLENT reminder of the things that can derail all of your efforts in a heartbeat. If you are prepping for a show (or not!) I recommend you print this out & stick it on your refrigerator or bathroom mirror to constantly be aware of the simple and unexpected ways you can yourself as you put everything you are into a show:
1b) Menstrual irregularity - this is not limited to competition prep, but is definitely an expected part of it. The specific caues of it is not clearly known, but it is a common occurrence within female atheletes. It is associated with a change / increase in exercise, very low bodyfat and use of anabolic steroids. In my experience, my period has been interrupted when I hit about 11% bodyfat during competition prep. It returns within 1-2 months after my show date. (Note: I've been off birth control for every one of my contest experiences.) I'm including a couple articles about so you can at least be aware of this:
Female Athletes & Mentrual Irregularities:
Female Athletes and Menstrual Irregularities by Elzi Volk

1c) Women, anabolic steroids & Competition:
You can't talk about women & physique competition or modeling w/o running into the steroid discussion. Its just the nature of the sport. The perceived demands of physique competition (and I'm not just talking bodybuilding) and even modeling, first in trying to develop the mass & shape required and also recovery and longevity as you age always end up with girls looking into steroids. It usually starts w/ their boyfriend or some guy at the gym telling them that all they need is a little winny to "lean them out" or whatever bull. And then it just goes from there. Women often fail to educate THEMSELVES and rely on the guy to tell them what to do, the guy to get whatever for them, and the guy to set up the cycle for them, and then the guy leaves them when it doesn't work like they thought it would. Always remember that with steroids you are dealing w/ maniting the hormones that make up the fundamental essence of ourselves as human beings -- our moods, our degree of masculinity / femininity, how our metabolism runs, how we look, etc. It affects every aspect of our lives and in turn, the people around us. That's all up to YOU, as the person who chose to self-medicate & manite your natural hormone levels. Not the people around you. Always keep this in mind when you get into this.

In including this little section I want to cite two things I consider "bottom line" if you choose to explore anabolic steroids. These are:
- Responsibility for YOURSELF: I'm not going to judge people on their decision to use or not use steroids but I will not hesitate to tell you to your face that your a ing ignorant idiot if you don't take the responsibility of educating yourself to both make an informed decision and also be responsible enough to accept both the results and the side effects of anabolic steroids use. There are lots of resources to gain understanding and lots of places you can ask questions, but you also have to be aware that as a female, your body is MUCH more sensitive to a little bump in testosterone than a guy will be, and further not everyone reacts the same way so in essence, you are your very own personal lab experiment and you have to be willing to take on the risk and the results and use common sense in managing both because no one else can do it for you.
- Natural / Tested Competition -- I consider it cheating (and this IMO is a reflection of your integrity as a person) to enter a natural or tested show or compete in a natural federation and you aren't natural. What does "natural" mean? You can get technical and look at the guidelines for the federation you are competiting in for the specifics - as even at Olympic levels, things like ephedra are considered "banned" substances. This could technically mean if you had a sinus cold and took some Sinutab prior to competing, you'd test positive for banned items. But use your common sense - if you ran a cycle of anavar off season and had it clear before you entered a natural contest and tested negative, I would still consider that cheating. If you feel its necessary to use a steroid, then you have no business competing in a natural show. There are plenty of non-tested shows where you can compete fairly.
2) Select target competition date based on how much work you have to do get there.
Shadow recommends that your bodyfat % should be the number of weeks out from the show you are targeting.

3) Select a back-up date near the same target date for your show. Sometimes you can't always hit the target date - you need to do the show you are ready for. If you aren't ready and you start to panic and try to force your body to be ready, you will probably encounter problems and create stress for yourself that just doesn't help anyone. Many first-timers see a particular show date as a make-or-break, as in "I'm a complete failure in life and everything else if I don't make this show". When really, there are several shows going on between March & November every year and the shows aren't going anywhere. YOu are better off shceduling a target date with some back-ups for flexibility in your ability to prepare and also to accommodate any "life-schedule" changes that can occur during the 8-16 weeks that people usually allow for contest prep. If you are able to hit your show date, if you have one or two back-up dates, these are also shows you can hit while you are still in shape and build on your contest experience from the first show.

4) Prepare to train 24/7. Contest prep isn't just time in the gym. It is also diet, tweaking the diet, giving the tweaked diet time to show results or be changed again. Time to recover. OVer training = under recovery. If you don't always get enough sleep and non-stress time, it will impact your ability to hit your date. You will burn out if you don't pace yourself. You are also giving up a large part of your normal life, i.,e. social activities, relaxed dinners, drinking, occassionally friends dont' understand or support what you are doing and will not want to hang out w/ you any more. So prepare for the stress that can be created by your show prep and the impact it will have on both you and the people around you.

5) Post show - everyone LIVES for their first meal or dessert after their show. A critical thing to keep in mind is that during your several weeks of contest prep, you have cleaned out and optimized your diet such that your body is going to have a hard time metabolizing anything outside of your diet. Therefore if you go out and load salty french fries after your show, prepare to retain water like the Hoover Dam for at least a week. You can easily see a water weight gain of 10-20 lbs immediately and it is not comfortable. The best thing you can do when you come out of a show, is continue to stick to your diet and ease slowly back into eating other types of food so that you don't bloat up and have to deal with that in addition to coming down from the the show itself.
Just a side note, I found the day after a show to be a huge anti-climax after living and breathing nothing but show prep for several weeks. If you can arrange to have some down time if that's how you enjoy your time or get a bunch of friends together so you can continue the post-show party for another afternoon. But do be sure to watch your diet. This includes drinking. Booze is sugar & you haven't had any processed simple sugar in your diet for weeks. You will be a VERY cheap date. So keep your r-alpha lipoic acid with you and drink water. Another note is that if you did water depletion for your show, be sure that you also ease slowly back into big water consumption.
Take some time off from training after your show. Let your body recover from all the stress of the extreme dieting & depletion. It will come back fairly quickly, but it needs that first week post-show to ease back into "normal" existence, let its processess adjust and the adrenaline just relax.

This is collectively known as Post Competition Syndrome -- it is a physiological reaction to the extremes of competition prep and it does exist. Most newbies hear about it but don't believe it until they experience it, and then they can't believe how dramatic the effect is. PLEASE READ THIS & UNDERSTAND WHAT IS INVOLVED!
Recent Articles | Mind and Muscle

Two really good articles & discussion that give a reality check about the challenges and sometimes consequences of competition that you shoudl be aware of:[*]Scott Abel - Metabolic Damage: Scott Abel - Metabolic Damage

Bodybuilding.com - Alissa Carpio - Figure It Out: How To Successfully Prepare For A Figure Competition.
Kind of a 12-8 weeks out checklist & diet thing.

Beginner's Guide Article (Fitness Prep): Bodybuilding.com - Alissa Carpio - Beginner's Guide For Fitness Competition Prep.

One woman's journey to competing: Bodybuilding.com - Lauri Rothberg - How I Went From Fat To Competing In Figure Competitions!

Tips & Tricks for the 1st Time Figure Competitor:
Bodybuilding.com - Jenny Hollister - Tips & Tricks For The First Time Figure Competitor!


Here's some more links I found on figure posing suits & some posing:

Used Suits -- useful if you are just getting into the sport & not ready to drop $$$$ yet:
Fitness and Figure Competition Suits- Pro Consign Designs Online -Lydia Haskell
Aloha and Welcome to DIVA Exchange Fitness

Here's some more sites I grabbed off some other sites - more suits and also some of these may apply more for "fitness model" shows or also for photo shoots:
Trashy.com - Lingerie - panties - hosiery - swimsuit models - sexy lingerie - Welcome to Trashy Lingerie !
Sexy lingerie, discount lingerie, sexy bikini swimwear & sexy costumes
Sexy Swimwear and Figure Suits by Suits You Swimwear
Pinup Girl Clothing! - Retro Clothing, Retro Dresses, Rockabilly Clothing, Vintage Reproduction Clothing and More!
Sexy Swimwear & Bikinis by Colleen Kelly – Swim Wear Catalog
Club Wear Dresses, Elegant Gowns, Plus Size Clubwear Clothing Sales, Tube Dress Retailer
cheap hot clothes wholesale clothing at hot-clothes.com
Bikinis, Thongs, Micro Bikini, String Bikinis, Brazilian Bikinis, Dangerous Curves Swimwear
http://hotthreads.com/hotshop/
http://www.sirenssecrets.com
Fit Wear Designs
http://www.suitsyouswimwear.com/fitness.asp
KHP Designs :: Karen Phillips Competition Suits, Posing Suits, Stage Costumes and More...
SXE FX DESIGNS WEB SITE COMING SOON!
marierouthier.com
Passion Fruit Designs
Bonitadress.com - Bonitadress and Proms Dresses
CCFITWEAR.COM/ CCSWIMWEAR INC.
IronMagazine Bodybuilding Forum - discuss bodybuilding & fitness
posing for figure competition - Bodybuilding.com Forums
http://www.suitsyouswimwear.com/faqfitness.asp
Figure Competition Prep Guide << THIS ONE LOOKS GOOD FOR POSING
Figure Competition Prep Guide << SAME SITE
Figure Competition Guidelines
www.setn-stone.com/_wsn/page2.html
http://www.californianaturalmuscle.o...hoto's.htm << GOOD PICS OF THE VARIETY OF WAYS PEOPLE WILL POSE -- not all correct...!
Bodybuilding.com - Alissa Carpio - NPC Fitness & Figure Posing Guide: Individual & Mandatory Poses.
Newest Videos: Overview << VIDEOS ON POSING FROM REPETROPE -- these guys do most of the "official" videos of the NPC / BB world.

Applying the Pro Tan:
- Make sure you do it either outside or in well-ventilated area

- Put up sheets or tarp or something to cover the area.

- When you are done, get a big fan to help dry it.
It needs to no longer be tacky to the touch before you can put clothes over it & not smudge it.

- Put moisturizer on your fingernails & toe nails to avoid getting those stained. The stuff comes off your skin fairly quickly but essentially has to grow out of yoru nails and can be there for months.

- Put an opaque hairnet over your hair, but be sure to spray up into the hairline so you dont have a white line at the perimeter.

- I'd recommend not spraying your face but rather stopping at the chin & relying on a good face bronzer & makeup. But you can spray your face if you want - just close your mouth & don't breathe when the spray is going (duh...)

- Don't spray the bottoms of your feet.

- Be sure to spray while your fingers are spread apart to get between the fingers.

- Don't forget to spray with your arms both up & down -- to get the inside of the arms & arm pits as well.

- Spraying "down there" -- make sure you are covered enough at least for where your suits will be.

Show spray
1) First layer should be the heaviest - good coverage, doesn't have to be perfect but should cover everything
2) Give each layer 1 night to sleep in, shower in the morning
3) I used 3 layers, starting on Wednesday.
4) Exfoliate and don't put on any oil or moisturizer before the layer goes on.
5) After your first layer, don't exfoliate in the shower the next day - just soap & water.
6) Once the first layer goes on, don't shave any more.

For Figure

Suits
Order much in advance and give a date a few weeks before you actually need it. Try it on right away so you can make adjustments. Do not cut straps until you get to the show because your dry weight may need you to cinch the suit even more. Bring safety pin to help you thread the sash through the loops. Make sure it is centered in the back. The sides of your suit on the two piece should be as high as your belly button. Think about the shape of your suit. If you have a great back make sure there is not much fabric on the sides of your suit. Think about your legs would a really high cut make you look lanky? Definitely get a suit made for you. The girls that don’t get one made for them don’t look comfortable. Be wary of bikini bite. It can take off your tan which is a problem if your two suits are different cuts. Hopefully your suit will fit and you do not need it. No matter what do not pick your butt on stage it looks tacky.

Packing for Hotel
Bring plastic trash bags and masking tapes to put on the walls, carpet, and floors
Bring your own towels and bed sheets and blankets
Not only bring towels for floors but to shower
Bring cleaning spray for toilet seat after each use
Bring paper towels, gloves
Bring robe and flip flops
I tend to cover all up at night: socks, long sleeves, long loose pants with no must elastic.
Elastic will wear away more

Days before Prep
Nail brush for palms and heels cleaning incase it absorbs too much tanning products
Waxing is good but it may take off some skin. Wax a day or two before starting to tan. Hair removal creams work ok but not great. Shave if you like but watch for razor burn it will make your tan blotchy.

Clothing at show
Shoes in Tupperware
Clothing in plastic bags
Teal Suit
Heels should not be platform
Bring own mirror to show
Have name on items
Rolling bag so don’t rub bag against body—wipe off tan
Have an extra pair of shoes for the event incase you break a heel
Jewelery for day show: ring, bracelets, not to ornate belly ring ok, ear rings –keep the jewelry out of hair until the night show—no glitter during the day show

Make-Up
DARK-if going for dramatic eyes, then tone down lips or visa versa. If you dramatize both it can look like a clown (MAC consultant)
If worried about application, have a MAC store put it on for you ($40)
Nails must be done—most keep fingers with French manicure
Cover tatoo

Prep for stage
Bring your own weights but be ok if you do not get them back. Some shows had too few weights to pump up with.
Have your two suits be dramatically different in color
Color suits will distract from your body which is not a bad thing.
Bring book or music for back stage-lots of waiting time..relax
Bring hair clip (bananna clip) to keep hair off oily back before stage
Hot curlers for first round, hair will straighten with oil so then go straight second round
Talc powder for hair to absorb oil
Fake lashes a must
Nivea Moisturizer extra rich lotion possibly instead of oil
Or curly first round. oil makes hair straight for second round due to oil.
Jewelry on last so not to snag suit
Spray glitter for night stage

Tanning
8 coats protan
Shower
2 coats
(we thought I was too light after this
--shower a must tan looked less caked (showered Friday morning before a sat morning show
Stop tanning (salon earlier—when got waxed lots of dead skin came off affected tan—remember underarm blotches)
Lotion on hands, feet, and knees before Mike paints to reduce amount the absorbs in those areas.
Watch for bathing suit to rub off tan between one piece and two piece round
Training:
Neutral hips on ham curls
Push through toes on calf raises
Walk on treadmill w/ highest incline for 0 min 3 X week
Stretch more to reduce injury


For bodybuilding:
So you are doing a BB show in 10 weeks. Assuming the diet & training are tight, first get as much information about your particular show as possible. Generally the BB requirements are:

Pre-judge (morning) show:
- Use a plain color suit (no patterns, etc.)
- They do the symmetry round including general line up, standard poses and quarter turns. Find out what are considered "standard poses" for your show. You can usually contact who ever is running the show -- is it NPC? Then get the name of your state's NPC rep and see if they can get you the requirements for std poses. For ex, they may include a lat spread or a most muscular poses as mandatory, so you should know how to execute that to your best advantage. Even if you look great, if you don't look like you came to the stage prepared, the judges will hold that against you.
- Probably will include a 60 sec individual posing routine -- this is similar to your posing routine to music at the night show, with no music. Because you have no music, it looks stupid to just do your night routine without music. (This is what a lot of people do because they really weren't aware of this part of the competition. But what you really want to do with this is take 60 seconds to display your best poses. You can even just do your best mandatory poses and leave it at that.

Night show:
- Here you can use either your same suit from the morning or a fancier one. You should also ask about wearing jewelry, including things like belly rings. The figure / fitness competition is much more about presentation so you will see people w/ a lot of fancy jewelry w/ the outfits, but BB they usually don't like all the distractions. I had to take out my belly ring for my shows. If you can't take it out, its ok though. And also if you have any tattoos, try to cover them w/ some coverup makeup or something.
- Posing routine with music -- for the night show you usually get 90 seconds (as opposed to the 60 sec routine w /no music in the morning) and with music to do your thing. Here's where you again want to show off your best poses and keep the dancing & other distractions to a minimum. My trainer recommends for first timers to simply do your mandatories again but to music. E.g. do 2-3 poses in the center of the stage, move to one side of the stage & show 2-3 moves to that side of the audience, and then back over to the other side of the stage for the other sid of the audience. Or you can compose your own routine. MAke sure whatever you do, hold your poses for a good 3 sec each so the judges can get a good look. DO NOT under an cirstances bend over and show them your butt! My trainer actually says keep the back poses to a minimum again because you are turning your back to the audience and really you want to keep eye contact w/ the audience & the judges. Make sure you are always looking at & smiling at the judges. Don't let your gaze go out & stay out into the audience. The night show is your chance to give a performance & really entertain the crowd. Those competitors who show personality & look like they are having fun on stage are usually the most fun to watch and stand out. Those w/ excellent physiques but who dont' look comfortable on stage don't do as well as they could.

Show prep:
- Protan! Don't use Jan Tana products. Apparently now you can find people who can airbrush you w/ protan instead of doing the squirt & brush yourself. You should ask around about that. The NPC or your show rep may have suggestions as well. Get at least 2-3 layers of protan -- i.e. spray it on, sleep in it, shower, next day repeat until you have a smooth and dark even tan. Also I've heard lots of venues won't allow Dream tan -- this is stuff that lots of people like to use because you just put it on - not several layers and waiting for it to dry, etc. HOWEVER, because you just put it on, it tends to easily smudge and will get all over everything. So most places just don't allow it to be used.
- At the show itself, definitely bring a spare small bottle of protan for touch ups. And usually right before you get called out, while you are in the pump-up area, there are expeditors who have clothes covered in PAM (yes the cooking spray) who will rub you down & give you the "shiny" look.
- And also make sure that your face is dark enough. Often you put all the layers of protan on your body, but its hard to get it on your face and leave it there to dry. But you end up looking really blanched out on stage. This is antoher thing you might be able to find a salon that does airbrush tans & just get your face done.
- Makeup - if you know someone who does makeup for photoshoots or whatever, this might be the way to go so you dont' have to mess w/ doing good stage makeup. Otherwise you can go to the MAC counter & have someone do you a good make over for stage & show you how to apply it yourself. Again you want big & strong so you dont' look washed out on stage.

Posing suits -- there are some links on a post from iamfirmin that I included for suit makers. Unless you already have done that. (I can't link it here because I'm on a proxy connection)

Routine & music -- find out what medium you need to provide your music on -- tape or CD and make sure that you have at least one spare AT the show in case something happens to it. If you can download your music from the internet & rip it to CD that is sufficient. You just need 90 sec of music that is queued up at the beginning of your CD or tape. (They won't set you up on a particular track of a commercial CD -- you need to give them a single cut on a single CD or tape that is cut to 90 sec.) A DJ could mix this for you or you can just make the tape / cd yourself. It doesnt' need to be several cuts mixed like you often see with the fitness competitors. Just something that is upbeat, not too masculine (i.e. dont' do a heavy metal cut), allows you to not have to bounce around or move fast and can hold 3 sec poses. The music should be background and not distract from your posing. And again,. you don't need to dance around or anythign fancy. Just make sure you can move comfortably on stage. Don't make your routine too complex that it messes you up. And generally, I dont like getting down on the floor for any posing because you might wipe out and it just doesn't look smooth. (My opinion). And ALWAYS SMILE!!!

- Posing -- Practice your mandatory poses ALOT. Be able to hold them for 30 sec at a time. It is great conditioning exercise and helps to bring out the detail in your muscles. I'd recommend at 4-6 weeks start spending at least 15 min after training doing your posing. Do it in a mirror so you can get oriented, but also becau video tape yourself. You get a better view of yourself and you can also see in your mind how it is presented to the audience instead of you look in the mirror. I found if I see it in the mirror, it s up my directions once I get on stage.
For posing, check bodybuilding.com for some info. Also there are videos called "Perfect Posing" that are good. And you can also order videos of past large NPC & IFBB shows from Repetrope.com: Bodybuilding DVDs. I think they also have some posing videos as well.

- Depending on how many competitors, they usually allow everyone to do their routines, but they will do the mandatories again and all that from the morning show.

Aside from the actual show prep, are you comfortable with the diet & training tweaks during the last week of show prep? I.e. carb depletion, carb-up, water depletion, etc? This is really where you need to have your prep dialed in and I don't know what resources you have for that.

If you are new to contest prep, it is very helpful to have an experienced coach (not just a trainer at the gym, but someone who has experience doing the type of show you are interested in). However with the info and other experienced people on the muscle boards, you aren't totally without info. It is just harder if the person isn't there to see you on a regular basis and give you live-action feedback on things like posing and also to help dial you in as you near show time. If you can find the resource, look for it. Otherwise look to the boards & other ladies. And if you just can't find anyone, contact your state NPC chair or whoever is sponsoring the show you are interested in & ask them for some references.

Cost-wise -- I've worked with trainers who didn't charge and I've worked with coaches who charged big time. You can go in sessions or sometimes they charge a flat rate for contest prep or a per-month rate for training/diet. Depends. If you commit to doing a show say 3 months out, that is a commitment to the trainer to work with them for 3 months - so you might be able to negotiate a discount as well. Never hurts to ask. You may find that it isn't cheap. That would be my biggest caveat - it is very hard to do a competition, esp figure, on a budget. It is an expensive sport with the suits & stuff and the training & diet can get steep too. It is a business just like anything else so you can shop around but just be aware that it can get very expensive.

Suits: $500 +
Shoes: $70
Protan: $45 + any spray service if you can find it
Food: $LOTS
Training: $LOTS
Makeup: $100
Hair: $50
Gym membership: $35/month
NPC membership: $70 (if you are competing in NPC)
Show application: $50
travel to show, housing at show: depends

If you sign a contract for contest prep, just to get a clear understanding, ask what happens if say the diet or whatever doesn't really work for some reason & you decide to not do the target show. I.e. find out your wiggle room on a contract because I've been ed out of a "complete show prep" in the past and paid a lot of money with seemingly no recourse except to suck it up and move on. That really stinks. Also make sure you get your own copy of any contract you sign. Note that some trainers who are working privately and not through a gym may have a less structured agreement and you just really want any legal stuff covered as you would in any other costly transaction.


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