The day of figure competition is quickly approaching. Your nerves are setting in. You may not feel ready, but that’s just pre-contest jitters. To help calm you down and keep you on track I have some figure competition tips for you to keep close at hand.
Chances are you were stressed at 6 weeks out, and of course you were nervous a month out, and let’s not even talk about 2 weeks out and peak week. But, if you stayed on your figure prep program and didn’t do anything dramatically different, you will coast right on in and be ready on contest day. No worries, because I have some helpful fitness contest tips to help you for your big day.
Carbing Up (Do I? When To Do It?)
In the last two decades of working with fitness competitors I’ve found there are very few women that respond well to the standard carbing-up process, you know that kind that lasts for 3 days. Most women tend to respond better to a last minute carb intake approach. This can come as early as Thursday evening or as late as Saturday morning. It’s really a gauging process based on the athlete’s physique and how her body responds to carbs as well as the type of carb and the amount of carbs.
Also, keep in mind that the carb intake process that works for Figure Pros may not necessarily work for you. You may not be aware of the chemical enhancement some pros may be under. Certain elements can allow your muscles to uptake carbs more efficiently. So, these fitness contest tips might be exactly what you have been looking for.
Sodium (This Mineral Can Do Amazing Things)
It’s such a sad thing. Salt gets such a bad rap. Sodium is a mineral and it’s vital to life, just like the sun is vital to life since it’s a form of vitamin D! However, we’ve been spoon-fed that these God-given basics are damaging to our health. There’s this thing called use and abuse. Abuse water and it can kill you! Yeah, drinking an excessive amount of water in a short amount of time can cause water intoxication.
Now, sodium in your contest prep and the day of figure competition is a balancing act. Far too many figure competitors cut it out far, FAR too soon. You don’t need to lower sodium until the last minute really. You see, your body is brilliant. It’s designed to keep you alive under the most extreme circumstances. If you cut sodium out too soon, your body will recognize the mineral loss and RETAIN water!! This is your body’s form of survival.
Joe Lenihan at NextLevelPersonalTrainer.com states clearly, “Your body is very good at regulating it’s sodium/potassium balance. You can try and trick it…and if you succeed, you may end up slightly harder than if you had kept things steady. If you fail…you’ll end up with some serious bloat during your show that you will NOT be able to do anything about.” Joe is absolutely right on the money on that!
The good news is you CAN trick your body with sodium manipulation, but only for so long. There is a process to lowering sodium so you remove the water from under your skin and still can function as a normal human being.
So, can you have salt the day of figure competition? Absolutely! However, the trick is in your water consumption that day. Keep in mind that these figure competition tips are guidelines to put you on the path of having a die-hard body on the day of figure competition. If you want the step-by-step details, keep reading for some revealing information.
Practice Your Posing (And Chill Out)
Practice your posing shouldn’t be a new phrase to you if you’ve been prepping for any amount of time. One aspect to practicing is going over your posing in your head. Doing this over and over seals the deal and makes your posing and confidence become second nature.
So the morning of your show you should be relaxing, not stressing. Have someone take control of driving and all that other stuff so all you have to do is chill out and think about your posing, and of course the trophy and first place you’re going to win. 🙂
When you get a chance backstage go off to where you can be alone, if possible, and go through your posing quarter turns twice, with a 2-3 minute break between each. Don’t do any more than that or you can overwork your depleted muscles and make the flat on stage. You want full and round muscle bellies, not flat and strung-out muscles.
Look, it’s the day of figure competition, the work is done. The only thing you can do at this point is manage your water, salt, and diet to harden up and fill out your muscles. So, no working out, and definitely, and I mean DEFINITELY no cardio! Your diet is the catalyst at this point, not exercise.
Pumping-Up (The Final Touch)
You’ll be guided through everything once you arrive at the venue so just listen up and pay attention to what’s being said. Generally you’ll be called to the area designated to pump-up, if the show is running smoothly and the expeditor is up-to-speed. Typically things get chaotic for everyone there, so you really need to keep your eyes peeled and pay attention.
There are usually weights so you can pump-up, but they tend to be too heavy for depleted females. If you’re lucky to grab some light dumbbells you have scored! That’s okay if you don’t though. You don’t NEED weights, as too many people do a mini-workout backstage. You don’t need to do a workout. All you need to do is just pump-up.
There are many ways to pump-up. You can do pushups, towel pulls with a partner, muscle flexing poses, or use resistance bands. Just 2-3 sets of 12-15 reps are is all you need. If you over-pump, you can flatten your muscles out since your carb balance is so sensitive at this point.
Now keep in mind these are just quick figure competition tips for the day of figure competition. These guidelines will give you the general idea of what you should do to be stage-ready, and even win.
Now that I pounded you with a lot of information on what to do and what not to do the day of your contest, you might want to grab my FREE Contest Prep Crash Course. It’s what competitors are using to get in top-shape and compete. Get instant access by clicking the link below…
Karen Sessions NSCA-CPT
Thanks for reading over my article! I hope you found the information helpful. If you have any questions you can contact me directly using the “Contact Link” at the top of the page. I answer all emails.
If you did like this article then you should sign-up for my FREE Contest Prep Crash Course. These lessons provide science-based information on fat loss, muscle gain, and contest prep. Get the facts and you get the results.