Mon. May 20th, 2024

So, you’re considering entering a figure competition, aren’t you? “Yes,” you say. You’ve put in the hard work, committed to a disciplined diet, and maintained a lean physique. With a strong work ethic and an appetite for tackling challenges head-on, you’re ready to take on this new challenge. Well then, I say go for it! But be prepared – the road to a figure competition is no walk in the park. It’s demanding, both mentally and physically, but the rewards are incomparable.

Achieving contest shape and stepping onto that fitness competition stage is proof of your dedication and perseverance. It’s not just about showcasing your physical prowess, it’s about proving to yourself that you have what it takes to conquer any goal you set your mind to. And let’s not forget the incredible shape you’ll be in!

When I embarked on this journey years ago, I searched the internet for every bit of information I could find – a daunting task, to say the least. But after years of dedication, I entered my first competition. Now, I’ve decided to compile my knowledge into a comprehensive guide for aspiring competitors like you.

With this article, I aim to provide a complete roadmap for preparing for a figure competition – covering everything from diet and training to suits. I hope that this guide will take some of the stress and uncertainty off of your face during your preparation. And who knows? Bringing home a trophy wouldn’t be too shabby either!

Selecting the Right Show

The initial step towards competition readiness is choosing the appropriate organization and division. Assuming you’ve settled on a figure competition, the next move is to select the most suitable organization. Attend local shows and explore various organization websites to gather insights. Learn about results and images from past competitions to learn about body aesthetics and determine which style aligns best with your goals and capabilities.

For figure competitions, it’s advisable to dedicate 3-6 months to preparation. This timeframe allows ample room for meticulous planning without the added pressure of looming deadlines, ensuring focused training and dieting efforts.

Once you’ve learned about potential shows, dive into the specific criteria, rules, and judging rules of your chosen organization. This includes completing entry forms, following drug-testing protocols, and mastering posing routines tailored to the organization’s standards.

If you can get in touch with show promoters or hosts, they can help clarify any queries you may have. If the competition requires you to travel, ensure arrangements are in place well in advance, including transportation and accommodation bookings if required.

Nutrition Plan

At the 12-week mark, it’s time to buckle down on your diet plan. Start by tracking your calorie intake and gradually reducing junk foods. Transition into a routine of consuming 5-7 meals throughout the day, each comprising a balance of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats, while also drinking one gallon of water daily.

Reserve cheat meals for one day per weekend to maintain discipline. Begin crafting your daily meal plans, prioritizing whole foods, and cooking from scratch whenever possible. Employ portion control by weighing and measuring your servings, while also tracking your calorie, protein, carbohydrate, and fat intake.

Focus on reducing sugar intakes, restricting indulgences to those naturally occurring in fruits, and favoring complex carbohydrates over junk food sweets, or candy. Swap out full-fat dairy products for their low-fat or fat-free counterparts. Gradually increase fiber intake, aiming for a target of 35g per day.

If designing your diet plan, start by incorporating a minimum of 1g of protein per pound of body weight, with no need to exceed 1.25g per pound. Ensure a healthy fat intake by maintaining around 20-30g per day, supplementing with nuts or nut butter as needed to meet these goals.

Training Strategy

A common misconception among new competitors is the belief that increasing reps and reducing weight is the key to fat loss. However, this approach may lead to muscle loss, which contradicts the goals of contest preparation – leaning out while preserving muscle mass.

Instead, maintain your current lifting routine, whether it’s a 4-day split in the 6-10 rep range or an upper/lower split in the 8-12 rep range. Focus on lifting heavy weights throughout your preparation period to keep muscle mass. Be prepared for challenges as energy levels and strength may decrease due to reduced calories and lower body fat levels.

Ensure your weight workouts are high-intensity. There are various techniques to achieve this, such as reducing rest periods between sets to 45-60 seconds and incorporating super sets to increase intensity. By staying consistent with your lifting routine and emphasizing high-intensity workouts, you’ll maximize your progress leading up to the competition.

Choosing Your Competition Suit

As you approach the competition date, it’s time to start exploring figure competition suit designers and narrowing down your options in terms of style and color while considering your budget. Reach out to 2-3 designers whose work appeals to you, informing them of your show date and competition division.

Specify the type of suit(s) you’re interested in and request sample photos and fabric swatches to aid in your decision-making process. Many designers are booked well in advance, often 3-4 months ahead, so securing your spot early, ideally 2-3 months before the competition, is important to ensure you get the designer and suit that aligns with your preferences.

If you are looking for a figure competition suit designer, check out Competition Suit Shop -I have purchased from them in the past, and they stand by their top-notch quality. 

Preparing for a fitness competition is undeniably one of the most challenging journeys you’ll undertake, yet it’s also incredibly fulfilling. Let’s hope the entire preparation process helps you become a better version of yourself.

By Alex

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