Practicing Your First Bodybuilding Competition at Any Age

Competing in a bodybuilding competition is an thrilling, exhilarating and fulfilling experience. It will take determination, dedication and just plain hard work. And, unless you plan on becoming an expert, all you can hope for from all of your energy is a trophy.

Ah, but such a trophy!

When you stand on stage, holding a rigid “relaxed” pose plus hear the announcer call your own name as Champion in your Course or Winner of the Overall Competitors, it’s mighty sweet. You savor the moment and forget all about what it took to get there.

Deciding to Compete

If you are in reasonably good shape plus work out regularly, at least four-times-per-week, you can be prepared to enter your first contest inside a year. I trained five-days-a-week to get 10 months to get ready for our first contest.

You need that much time in order to gain the lean mass your body needs to sustain itself as you enter the fat-burning/cutting phase of your diet plan, about 13 weeks before your own contest. If you want to compete as a Center Weight, (165 – 185 lbs. ), for instance, you might need to be close to 195-200 lbs before you begin your slicing phase. The reason is simple. When you go in to the cutting phase, your body loses regarding one pound of muscle for every three pounds of fat. With regard to my first contest, I considered 154 lbs on January 1st. When I stepped onto the stage on March 19th, I considered a ripped 136. I was the particular lightest Bantam Weight. In fact , I had been too light. The Bantam Bodyweight limit is 143 lbs. Away season, I will bulk up with lean mass to about 165 lbs and try to come in at around a hunread forty two. 5, near the top of the weight class for next year’s competitions.

So , the first thing you need to do, after deciding to enter a contest, is to pick a contest 10 – 12 months in the future and decide in which weight class you want to compete. Then, see in which you are now and where you need to be on contest day. At that point, you can program your diet.

To make sure this is something you want to do though, you should attend the bodybuilding competition in your area. It’s the best place to learn about the sport. You can select who is really ready to compete and who needs to do more function. Depending on whether you go to a drug-tested show or non-tested show, additionally, you will see how huge some of the men, as well as some of the women, who use steroids and other illegal muscle enhancers appear. You can decide if that’s the direction you wish to go or not.

Competition Diet

Once you decide you want to compete, you must create a complete change in your life style. Bodybuilding is a life-style sport, much like ice skating dresses for sale, marathon running, competitive snowboarding, and so forth Bodybuilding takes a lot of time in the gym and a lot of time in the kitchen. Competitive bodybuilders build their lives around their particular workouts and their meals, which usually during daylight hours average once each two-and-one-half-hours. It’s also expensive, calling regarding large amounts of protein each day, at least one gram for each pound of bodyweight. Here is a typical diet for a bodybuilder who is trying to put on lean mass several months before a competition:

Morning meal: Three egg whites (protein) and another whole egg + one glass of oatmeal

Mid-morning: Protein shake (two scoops) in 8-12 ounce of water

Lunch: 8 ounce of steak, or chicken, or even fish + 8 oz of sweet potato + cup associated with vegetables

Mid-Afternoon: Protein shake (two scoops) in 8-12 oz of water

Dinner: 8 oz associated with steak, or chicken, or fish + two cups of vegetables

During the day, you need to drink between 1/2 and one gallon of spring water.

The dietary plan is designed to put on about a pound associated with lean mass a week. Lots of protein, lots of carbs and little body fat.

I’ll talk about how the diet adjustments as you get closer to your competition later on.


I said earlier, bodybuilding is an expensive sport. It’s not as expensive as a Bass Boat with all the accessories, but it’s close.

In order to help your body use the fuel putting in (food and drink) and also to take advantage of your workouts to build muscle, you need a good supply of supplements. I will not go into brand names or lead you to any kind of supplier, but , here are some of the supplements you should consider:

Protein Powder: Check the brands. Some are designed as meal replacements, some for lean muscle mass gain, others for general growth, some regarding fat loss and some for heavy-duty muscle mass building. One caution, check the labels to get additives.

Glutamine: Increases muscular development, offers a muscle pump while training, helps retain lean muscle tissue, decreases muscle soreness, helps increase fat loss.

Creatine: Allows you to train harder with better intensity and recover faster. It aids in increasing your weights and quantity of reps and reduces your relaxation between sets. Great energy enhance.

Flaxseed/Fish Oil: Fat is necessary inside your daily diet for the manufacture of hormones, proper brain function and joint lubrication. Eliminate fats totally and your muscles shrink dramatically, and your energy and strength levels go with them. Enter Flaxseed and Fish Oil. Usually in capsule form. They will act as solvents to remove hardened body fat, support muscle growth and fat metabolism.

Multi-vitamins: Everyone’s vitamin requirements are different. Hard-training athletes need a lot more vitamins and minerals. Getting the right amount of vitamins and minerals is equal in importance to protein and carbohydrates.

There are lots of some other supplements on the market today. But , if you use these five, along with good workouts plus proper diet, you are going to achieve the growth you desire.


Your competition training program will have three phases. The first, while you are adding lean mass for muscle mass building, you will workout with heavier weights and lower reps. During the 2nd or gradual (13 weeks) fat burning/cutting phase, you will work out along with lighter weights and higher reps. And, during your final two weeks associated with training before a show, you will use light weights and only “pump up” your muscles during your workouts. During your bulking up stage, you do moderate cardio. During your cutting for competition stage, you do max cardio and over the last two weeks, moderate to no cardio. I’ll talk more about the last two weeks later.

During my ten months of training for my first two contests, I used the following workout plan:

Monday (45 Minutes) – Back again & Biceps + 20 Minutes of Cardio
Tuesday (45 Minutes) – Legs & Calves + 20 Minutes of Posing
Wednesday (45 Minutes) – Chest & Triceps + 20 Minutes of Cardio
Thursday (45 Minutes) – Legs & Calves + 20 Minutes of Posing
Friday (45 Minutes) – Shoulders & Biceps + 20 Minutes of Cardio
Saturday (45 Minutes) – Posing (Video Session)

Each week I tried to mix up my workout routine so my muscle groups stayed “surprised” and didn’t let my muscles get used to a fixed routine. I mixed machines with dumbbells and never did a similar thing twice in a row.

I had great results with this training regimen. When I started, I weighed about 158 lbs. with about 14% body fat. Ten months later, when I stepped onto the stage at my first competition, I was 136 lbs. with 4. 5% body fat. At my 2nd competition, two weeks later, I was about 136 with 4% surplus fat. One ripped, competitive, dude!


Posing is one of the more important elements of bodybuilding and one that in many cases is neglected. A competitor with a well-muscled and cut body can lose to a competitor with less muscle who is better able to show the judges what she or he has.

I’m not going to get into individual poses in this article. There are many sources available on the web, in books, magazines and videos that demonstrate the many poses. Rather, I will talk about the “psychology” of posing and the significance of posing practice.

While you will hear the head judge repeatedly call out, “Relax! ” between poses, there is no such thing as being “Relaxed” during a competition. From the moment you step onto the stage you are being judged, and every muscle within you must remain flexed. Every pose is built from the legs up. If you are doing a side chest and your legs are not flexed, your upper body will look great while your legs and calves will look flat. You’ll lose points. In bodybuilding, the judges are looking for your flaws. As a bodybuilder, you are looking to hide those flaws. It’s a cat-and-mouse game. As a 67 year-old competitor, I have a little extra skin around my midsection. I can’t get rid of it regardless of how much I diet or how many hundreds of crunches I do. So , to hide my “extra skin”, I lean back a little during my poses to tighten up the area. And, when doing the last pose of the round, the Most Muscular, I place my hands together, in front of my abs, which shows my upper body cuts while “hiding” part of my midsection.

If you believe about it, all the training you do to get ready for a competition is laid out on the table during the 10 minutes you are on stage for your Class. It would be a shame to see all that hard work go to waste because you didn’t pose well. Posing practice must become part of your work out schedule during the entire time you’re training. I work out 45 minutes-a-day, five-days a week. I do cardio for at least 20 minutes, three or four-days a week. I pose at least ½ hour a night, two evenings a week, and pose for 45 minutes with a video recorder on Saturday morning. The final week before a contest, I practice posing every evening.

Posing is hard work. If you aren’t exhausted after being on stage for six – 10 minutes going through your “relaxed” round and mandatory round, you haven’t posed hard enough. One helpful hint: some competitors begin taking potassium tablets about a week before your competition. By doing that, you will prevent cramping, which if it occurs on stage, can be a killer.

Every competitor, as part of the competition, must choreograph a 60 or 90 second routine set to you own music. While most of the time, the individual posing routine is not counted in your overall score, it sometimes is used as a tie-breaker or to place a person second or third, if it’s close. Nevertheless, your posing routine should be entertaining, lively and should show off your very best body parts to their fullest. Try to pick music that is familiar. Make a CD and have two copies with you at your competition. Never do anything gross or that shows bad taste. Bodybuilding is a family-oriented spectator sport. A vulgar performance can get you disqualified from a competition. During the 60 or 90 seconds, you don’t have to show every pose in the book. Do between eight and 10, with graceful movements between poses. It’s OK to move about the stage while you perform your routine. In some instances, it’s permitted to use props. Check with you organizer.

Posing in a competition is a lot of work and lots of fun. If you have practiced enough, you’ll pose well and you will look confident. You might still shake a little and you might get a case of dry-mouth, but if you know your poses and are confident, you can deal with it. The individual posing routine is your chance to have the judges and audiences see you at your best, without any other competitors to distract them from you.

One final tip. SMILE while you pose. Don’t make faces or show strain. You are in control. Have a great time.


There is an old bodybuilding saying, “If you think your tan is dark enough, put on two more coats. ”

Great advice. Tanning for a bodybuilding competition differs than tanning for the prom or before you go to the beach or to a modeling job. While posing on stage during a bodybuilding competition, your cuts and muscularity must show up well against the very bright stage lights. You look your best if you are very, very dark. You look washed out and flat if your tan is not dark enough.

There are lots of ways to tan. Some are inexpensive and some are very costly. Lets talk first about the least expensive way.
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The sun. It’s free and easy to use. But there are drawbacks. First, you can’t always depend on sunlight being “out” when you need it. Second, it requires longer to tan in the sun than it does to tan using other means. Third, you can burn up in the sun and cause peeling, which, on stage would be a disaster. And, finally, unless you know of a nude beach or have access to a private deck, you will develop tan lines that may show up on stage when you wear your posing suit.

The most reliable tan is achieved over time by visiting a good tanning salon. By good, I mean one that changes their bulbs frequently and is clean and well organized. I wouldn’t go to a tanning salon located in the rear of a coin-operated laundry (they do exist). If you want to keep an excellent healthy tan throughout the year, you should purchase a tanning package of minutes or unlimited sessions and try to go twice a week. By doing that, you won’t have as much “white” to hide as you make your final preparations for your competition. And, to keep you skin healthy and smooth, you should apply a good tanning bed oil before each session and an excellent moisturizer after tanning. Both of those products are available for sale at the salons.