Whether you are a complete new-bee or a seasoned vet when it comes to competing in female fitness and bodybuilding competitions, there are 4 things you MUST know and keep in mind when you compete in a figure competition.
1. Scales Can Be Full of It
Think of a handsome man whispering sweet nothings in your ear and how you feel oh so good looking back at him. Now think of seeing him act the complete opposite towards you a few days later…what may you think or say…he’s full of it? Well, the same can be said for the scale…it may say one thing but you (or judges) may see something different.
Let’s say you do figure competition 1, and the morning of, the scale says 115. Months later you do figure competition 2, and the morning of, the scale reads 120. You may naturally think to compare the numbers from the two competitions and think, I came in lighter (on the scale), so competition 1 should have been a better package? Right, wrong.
In a figure competition the judging is subjective so it’s more about what they can see up on stage not what the scale says. If you’re muscles look stringy or too depleted on stage at 115, yet full and symmetrical at 120, then the scale was full of it. It says one thing but you show another.
Point is, don’t live and die by the scale.
2. Mirrors Have A LOT of Meaning
You remember the famous line in the movie Snow White?
Where the Evil Queen said “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s has the Fiercest Figure of them all”? Well, I improvised on that line a bit, but my point is the mirror speaks truth.
If you’re having too many “cheats”, the mirror tells the truth. If you’re missing training sessions, the mirror tells the truth. It not only helps you to see what the judges may be seeing, and to be extremely in tune with how your body is responding daily to your prep, but it also allows for the constant gut checks and feelings of self accountability that come along with looking into the windows of the soul.
Basically, the mirror is an important tool and means A LOT, because if you’re NOT doing all that you’re supposed to do for a successful prep, the mirror will speak the truth.
3. Your Body Knows Your Clothes
The clothes you have in your closet at the start of your figure competition prep, don’t change (unless you buy new ones of course, which who’s against cute workout gear?). It’s your body that will do the changing.
Your body knows if clothes are getting too big (I hate loosing my boobs and baggy bras, sports and regular ones, when I start getting lean), feeling the same, or getting too tight! Regardless of what creative explanations one may come up with.
The calibration of a scale can be shaky, you can even try and lie to yourself when looking in the mirror, but the size of your clothes are going to be a constant so, know that using your clothes is a great way to measure and track your body changes along the way when you are getting ready to hit the stage.
4. You Need a “Marathoner’s Mindset”
There isn’t much that can compare to the level of commitment, training, and dedication that comes with successfully preparing for a figure competition.
There are so many choices that you have to make, EVERYDAY of your prep, which usually last for 12+WEEKS for many.
AM cardio, pre-work meals, post-work meals, shakes, training splits, PM cardio, rest-days, sleep, supplements, and the list can go on, ALL with the expectation that those daily choices will take you closer to the ultimate goal of bringing your best package to the stage. With all these choices comes, confusion, clarity, frustration, elation and an array of other emotions, but to get through it all, one must have the mindset to endure it all for the long-haul.
Accept what is working for your body and get rid of what isn’t, but know that it is a process when figuring out how to bring your best package to stage and the one that stays the course throughout, enduring set-backs, plateaus and the ups and downs, without giving up will feel the satisfaction of developing and show-casing the fiercest figure of them all!