If you’ve been paying attention to the bikini and fitness modelling shows you may have been wondering “could I ever step on stage?”, “I want to do that one day, they look amazing”, “It looks cool – that’s something I want to do one-day”.
Well, if you’ve been tossing between these thoughts in your head it may be the perfect time that you read this post and take into some considerations.
When selecting a coach it’s important that you are with your coach LONG before considering a show AND they have taught you the meaning of LIFESTYLE. The words off-season and on-season float around the industry but to be honest if you want to compete you need to be in healthy habits for at least a year or more. And by healthy habits I don’t mean broccoli and salad, training stupidily hard and sweaty every day. I mean having a non emotional relationship with food, loving your body and embracing it, exercising because you love it not because “I want to burn off my weekend”, you can go to parties and celebrations without feeling ‘FOMO’ on food or drink, you also must see results from the coach and the way they coach you – physical (improved strength & body composition), mental processes – it’s a lifestyle.
BENIGO CLASSIC 2018 - BIKINI MODEL 1ST PLACE
BENDIGO CLASSIC 2018 - SPORTS MODEL 3RD PLACE
ICN NATIONAL SHOW 2018 – SPORTS MODEL 1ST PLACE
ICN NATIONAL SHOW 2018 – BIKINI MODEL 5TH PLACE
SHOULD YOU COMPETE CONSIDERATION LIST
WOMEN’S HEALTH & FERTILITY – you may lose your period. This has serious implications on you and your body during and post. During: you feel numb, not yourself, less jovial I would say. Also, if you are wanting to have children this is completely switched off. You might think “YES, NO MORE PERIOD!” but ladies, our period is physiologically important for us, ESTROGEN naturally buffers stress from short term memory without it we are unstable wrecks. If you are a competing offender (constant ON and OFF shows) this can be detrimental to your ovaries and potentially offset PCOS or menopause in some cases
Money – EXPECT to spend money, and lots of it. Coaching, posing coach, food, costumes, shoes, federation registration fees, division entry fees, photographer fees, tan, make-up, hair to name a few. I spent as little as 3k for my initial show, for my 2nd two shows it climbed up to 5k because of the extra registration fees and make-up/hair, tan and photographs! If you’re considering a larger federation, like WBFF expect to pay upwards of 6 – 10k maybe more.
Commitment & Time – You will be in and out of the gym between 5 – 6 days per week. You will be spending time on yourself and with yourself majority of the time. Your commitment is about YOU, it’s self-fish and that’s more than okay. Are you willing to commit that time to you and the sport? Are you willing to devote a minimum of 20 weeks to get to show and then many weeks POST show to ensure you aren’t rebounding? If you have children and a partner do they understand the commitment? Are they supportive of you? Are you okay with you spending less time with them? You may have less patience than normal. If not, are you able to commit to it and trust yourself in this process if they won’t?
Perception of one’self / Body Image – when you look at yourself in the mirror right now, today – What do you see? and What are you saying about yourself? Are you thinking about competing because you want abs? Are you thinking it looks cool? Are you considering competing because you think you can maintain that body long term? Answer these questions for your truths.
Post show, your body WILL change. It cannot stay lean like a bikini, fitness, sports of physique model year round. It's also not healthy.
Relationship with others – your relationship with friends, family, partner will be skewed at times. I can tell you there were times where Jordan or my family would be saying something funny and I had zero emotional response to it. I remember it clearly, I just had no life to give. It was a drag.
It was hard for me to work too. It was just a face, I didn’t want to come across rude but inside…I was unhappy and struggling to concentrate without wanting to hide and cry. People who aren’t in your immediate circle will compliment you everyday on your appearance and ask you a million questions YET the people in your circle will see the sacrifice and sometimes pain you are going through.
Emotional stress – Competing will challenge you mentally almost everyday. There were times I sat in my car for 30 minutes before going into the gym just with my eyes shut trying to bring myself up to open the door and get out of my car. There were times I was so fragile mentally that I couldn't bring sentences together properly. I noticed my speech wasn't as fluent and coherent the last 4 weeks pre-show. I'm so lucky to have Jordan who would always hold me and cheer me up. He was my rock through this experience and that’s what you need. You can be the most independent person but you really NEED someone to hold your hand and encourage you every-damn-day. It can't be a chore for this person. It's about support, it's not about having the answers. If that person can just be the ear you need, the hug you need then that is more than having answers.
CURRENT food relationship(s) – Are you a binge eater? I’ve known people who have dropped 10kg for a show and then gained 20kg in a matter of weeks…. I dropped 10kg but slowly gained 10kg in a matter of 5 months. If you’re food relationship is in the shitter right now, believe me it won’t be any better post comp.
The COACH you decide to go with – Who is the trainer you’re interested in taking you through a prep? Have you had a look at their previous athletes? I would advise you to REACH OUT to their client base and send them a message asking what their experience was like. Do some digging around, it doesn’t hurt to find out if the coach is really ‘all that’ that they boast about on IG. Ultimately you want a coach who isn’t going to have you on 1000 calories, 60 minutes of cardio – 16 weeks out from show. I got lucky with mine and she was a blessing to have in this process.
I made this video after my experience competing. It was a nice flashback, but not something I will be rushing back into any time soon again.