So to those who were unaware, I competed in my first ever NPC Figure Competition this past Saturday. I had written about this in the past, but figured I'd write about everything in greater detail once it was completed so that I could help others as well. While I'm not a seasoned competitor, I feel my information could most certainly help others. Like I stated in my previous blog about competing, I began my prep back in October 2017. I will admit that I was very lax about it. I did track the macros (Macronutrients: Fats, Carbohydrates, Proteins) but I also allowed myself to "cheat" every so often. A few gummy bears here, a few extra bites of peanut butter there, some cheese here... etc. In reality, it may not have made that big of a difference, but I couldn't help but wonder "What if I didn't do that?" I would have probably taken 1st place as opposed to what I did receive. DO NOT GET ME WRONG! I am absolutely ecstatic that I placed as well as I did. 3rd in Novice, 4th in True Novice, and 5th in Open Figure. This is a tremendous accomplishment, especially since this was my absolute first ever competition and I have atrocious stage fright. The competition was fierce and I'm extremely proud of everybody who got on that stage.
So typically (if you have a good coach), you will be asked to check in weekly. This prevents you as a competitor to veer too far off track and maintain vision of your goals. KEEP THOSE PHOTOS! As much as you may not want to take the photos because you feel "fat" or bloated, not ready, etc, do it anyway. You will have those photographs to reference back to and you'll see a world of difference from week to week. I assure you. Here's an example:
BIKINI & REGISTRATION
I had purchased my bikini from Angel Competition Bikini's. I was blessed enough that they approached me to become a sponsored athlete for their brand and jumped at the opportunity! This is where having a coach is detrimental to your goals because they will have a better idea on where your body will be come show day. Your bikini measurements will need to be spot on because it needs to fit like a glove on show-day! I ordered mine enough in advance so that if anything happened, I would have had time to take it to a seamstress to be taken in if needed. I also purchased a practice suit. I highly recommend buying a suit just for posing practice. This will save your wallet, your mind, and your show-bikini. Nobody spends a ton of money on something just to turn around and ruin it during practice. With that being said, register for your NPC Card online ahead of time. These are good for 1 calendar year (Jan 1 - Dec 31) and are a requirement for any competition you'd want to enter. If this is your first competition ever, I highly recommend registering for as many classes as you're able to afford. For example, I registered in Figure True Novice (for true first time competitors), Figure Novice (New Competitors), and Figure Open (this class is for all Figure competitors). They have the same options for Bikini, Physique, etc. There are options for Masters (35+) and (45+) if applicable. The only reason I recommend registering for more than 1 class is because you've busted your butt to get to this point! This is the ONLY time you can register for 3+ classes and get the practice you need. While I was completely exhausted by the end of the day, it was absolutely worth it.
What about the tan and shaving?
Oh lord yes. So as a competitor, you have to begin exfoliating at least 2 weeks out from your show. Use an oil-free scrub. There's a great one from Bath and Body Works that my coach gave to me. I used it every other day until it came to tan day (which is the night prior to the show for your first coat). Along with this skin prep, I highly recommend a Brazilian from a trusted wax location. This was the biggest life saver for me. When I didn't have to worry about ingrown hairs affecting the tan, growth showing around the bikini, and other possible issues, I had a flawless experience. Totally worth it. If you know you're goin to compete in multiple shows, I strongly recommend finding a European Wax Center in your area and buying a multi-wax package. :) Okay, back to the tan prep, 2 days prior to the show, you want to make sure you stop using perfume, lotion, oils, and deodorants. I saw it first hand, using these products can react negatively with your spray tan and turn it different colors. You do NOT want that to happen! So sleep in baggy, long sleeve clothes (light, so you don't sweat), and keep the AC Cranked with a fan blowing on your if possible.
Using the bathroom:
Guys, you have it so much easier than women in more ways than one. Ladies, I strongly recommend purchasing a She-Wee. Once you have your tan, you cannot sit on the toilet! And trust me when I say, you WILL splash on yourself no matter what you do and you will need more coats of tan to fix it. There's all I have to say about that :)
I was extremely nervous. To the point of wanting to cry. However, I didn't because during this process, I had made so may friends who have been my anchor during this process. One is my sports massage therapist, Elise. She was recommended to me by my coach and I couldn't be more thankful. IFBB Pro, Licensed Therapist, and genuinely AMAZING person, she stood by my side and made sure I was perfect for stepping on stage, even with her other competitors there. There are so many coaches that will ignore competitors that are not "theirs" and only want their people to win. So I am extremely grateful that I had her on my side. The other competitors, I had made friends with other female competitors that competed in Fitness/Physique and they were so phenomenal! Their energy was contagious and their hard work/determination was off the charts! Diamond, she is a diabetic body builder who was also competing in her first show. Let me tell you what, I love that girl to pieces and she motivates the hell out of me! Then there's Sheree. This little bundle of strength and poise, she and I had met at the gym and had posing practice a few times with mutual friend of ours, Chris. I cannot say enough great things about all of these people. A support system is CRUCIAL in this sport. Your body, your mind, your emotions have been put through the absolute ringer and they will keep you grounded. Do not be so stuck in your pride that you push them away, these are the people that are going to help you succeed.
Because of all of the support I had, I was able to place in all 3 of my classes and I couldn't possibly be more grateful.
Right now I'm prepping for my SECOND show! The Salt Lake City Showdown that's happening during FITCON (local fitness convention). I'll let you all know how that one goes later ;)