Calling all first-time female fitness competitors!
Let me guess, you have no idea why your coach is having you do what you are doing and what the reasoning is behind it? The process from beginning to end is confusing. Unless you're in the know, you may continue to be at the mercy of your coach, who may be a terrific coach or not so much.
When I started, I was absolutely desperate for someone to take me on. After losing 150 pounds, no one online wanted any part of my journey to the stage.
I got e-mails that said stuff like, “You look like you have wing-backed scapula,” to “Yeah, we aren’t taking clients like you on at this time.”
I finally found my coach (who, by the way I still have because she is awesome sauce). She immediately cut my cardio in half and made me eat more. I was absolutely stunned and had absolutely no idea what she was doing.
I was too afraid to rock the boat and ask questions and just did what she said even though I felt she should be doing the exact opposite. It was a scary time, because I just let her take the wheel and had no idea what the outcome would be, let alone what the plan was overall to get to stage.
These are some of the things I wish I would have known or done at the time.
Tips for Fitness Competitors
1. Ask more questions
If a coach hands you a diet or exercise plan, ask questions.
I have met competitors that have no idea what their calories or macros are. They are just “following a diet plan.”
Now this may be perfectly fine for their lifestyle, but are they in the bulk phase of their diet or the cut phase of their diet? How do they know unless they know cals and macros? When does the cut start? What different exercise plan do I follow?
All of these are legit questions to ask your coach. If your coach is hesitant to respond or basically tells you, “I'm the coach, I got this for you,” RUN. RUN far away.
It's likely that they don’t want input and they may not even understand what they are actually having you do. If they act like its a chore to answer your question, then it may not be a good fit for you.
2. Go to more shows
You would think this would be high on every competitors list. It makes total sense, but it's still not generally a priority.
I watched all the figure girls on YouTube. I felt like I knew what I was getting into. My coach was persistent in having me see a show first.
Boy, was it an eye opener.
You will find out if you want to do a show for reals or not just by watching a show. I was excited to do a show, but my husband, who was on board at first thought it was awful and didn’t really want me to do a show.
Your perception of the show will shape how you prep. It will either make you excited to be in show prep or it will be a negative, and basically hellish experience.
3. Surround yourself with other competitors
I have no one in my general vicinity even now that I can commiserate to. My poor coach has to deal with it.
I don’t think I am a whiner (she may think otherwise), but really, only another competitor knows what prep is like and what you are going through.
4. Don't whine about your prep
So, yes, surround yourself with others that are competitors. But it's likely your mom or your husband aren’t. They just don’t get it.
Whining about how they made stuff you “cant eat,” or saying you aren’t going to a birthday party unless they don’t have cake is ridiculous.
You decided to compete, not your family. So don’t make them pay for any bad days you have. It's not their problem.
If your great Aunt Nina is turning 90, please go to the damn birthday party and love on her.
5. Don’t turn into a narcissist
I say this kindly, because I know it is easy to do.
You have abs for the first time in your life, and you want to share it with everyone by putting it on Instagram and Facebook. In fact, your abs should have their own Instagram account.
However, it gets old.
Loved ones are turned off by that. It's easy to be overwhelmed by the changes your body makes in a 4-6 month prep and want to tell everyone all the time. Guess what? No one cares.
I am sorry to tell you that, but really, no one cares about your show. It is likely they just think your doing some “coyote ugly” themed swimsuit thingy and have no idea the time spent being in prep and what you have to actually do to get to the stage.
Don’t get butt hurt.
My suggestion to you is to take 10 min in the morning, close the bathroom door and lock it - then admire your abs, your butt - whatever you think is looking smoking hot at the time. Then, go about your day and don’t do it again until the next morning.
Stop talking about you. The easiest fix is to focus on others and their problems.
There is so much more I wished I had known, but I will save that for a later article.
Prep is fun, exciting and can be very rewarding. It can also be terrifying, scary and horrific if you don’t understand what your doing and why your doing it. The most important takeaway should be to ask a million questions until you understand the process.