So I have been weightlifting for about 6 or so years. I had hired a personal trainer in the gym for a couple years. For a few years I did my own thing. Here and there I worked with online purchased workout plans, some for a few months , some for a year- just for a challenge. I always have enjoyed being put through a regimen designed by other people. It keeps me from having to think of my own workout plan and designing it based on what I enjoy doing and not what I need. It is difficult to coach yourself in my opinion. Then finally after several people encouraging me to I decided I would throw my hat in the ring and try a bikini competition. I hired an experienced coach and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. He has completely changed my body, mindset, diet, and overall health. Now I count macros, have a disciplined workout schedule, and weekly check ins for progress checks. I have surpassed my own expectations already and haven’t even stepped on stage yet! I never was entirely sure I wanted to step on stage but after seeing the results of my hard work I feel I must give it a shot. With about 3 weeks left until show day I will say this much: Competition prep is no joke.
So the age old question you may ask yourself. Should I compete ? What I will say from my own experience is: yes, if you have the following in order.
1. Your finances. It is very expensive. The suit, shoes, hair, makeup, jewelry, registration fees, tan, a coach (yes you need one) the list goes on and on.
2. A good support system. Make sure your family is ready for this. It is very self consuming and very difficult on the family. You won’t be able to eat like they do, lots of extra time in the gym, mood swings. It all happens. It’s hard on everyone.
3. A good relationship with food. You need to be able to hit your macros through the good, bad, and the ugly. I don’t have any negative experiences to share but I have heard where it is very difficult on some people mentally to lose or gain weight. You have to understand you will dwindle down to nothing and that is not sustainable and you WILL gain weight again.
4. Plenty of time. It is time consuming. You have to spend time weighing food, extra time training, time posing. It can be exhausting.
5. A good body image. Know that the results of your competition only depend on who shows up that day and what the judges have to compare to. They do not define you as a person or how hard you have worked. When I step on stage in a few weeks in my mind I won just getting up there. I’m sure I will be disappointed if I don’t place well but remember your original goal that you set for yourself. And make sure your goal is realistic. Sure we all want pro cards, but there can be only one. Don’t set yourself up to be disappointed. Be realistic but optimistic. Hope for the best but don’t let it destroy you if it doesn’t happen.
That’s all I have! If you have all this in order and you feel ready, hire a coach and give it a shot! I’m hoping come November 10th I will have fun at the very least!