How To Win Your Next Fitness Competition

Let me start off with a small disclaimer before I get into things here… I do not in any way push, promote, or demand perfectionism in people.  Some of us have certain characteristics that make us want to achieve perfection in something, and if that is the way your brain works, then that’s the way it works! This can be changed of course, but it’s not the purpose of this article nor am I a qualified psychologist so I’ll leave that one alone!

I have partial tendencies to want to do certain things perfectly, usually at random times with random things like painting fence palings! So I do understand the feeling. But I also have the opposite side of perfectionism – maybe that is called realism. I use realism much, much more than perfectionism!

Progress Not Perfection

So with that out of the way, lets move onto what you really want to hear about. How to win your next Fitness Model or Bodybuilding Competition.

It seems to be a common theme with girls prepping for competitions lately, to hear them say “Oh I’m not in it to win. I am competing against myself. I’m just doing it for the experience” and so on… and this actually is a good thing! It’s always wise to just do your best, and not expect a placing. I am always mentally prepared to not place at a show.

However, I can tell you that there would not be a single girl or guy up on that stage that doesn’t wan’t to hear their name called in the trophy call outs.  Admit it right? Wouldn’t that be such a great thing to stand there with a trophy at the end of your long journey.

I most definitely don’t go in expecting to win or place, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t want to. I primary goal each year is to always better myself and be my best. But to say that I don’t want to win too would be lying.

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My collection of plastic bling accumulated quickly over the course of my last 3 years competing, including the 2013 IFBB State Champion and 2nd in the National ranks. I am extremely grateful for every single one of them. But what did it take to get there? Let’s consider what my category, Fitness Model/Bikini is judged on.

Good muscle tone, condition (lean), symmetry and balance of muscle groups, stage presence, presentation, hair/skin/nails, beauty,  smile,  how your bikini fits your physique, your poses and stage walk.

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I’m not the prettiest girl up there. I don’t have the perfect skin, the perfect pout, the perfect smile or the perfect hair. I am not the leanest, or the one with the most muscle. In fact I’m an extremely hard gainer. And often I’m twice the age of the youngest competitors there.

But this is what it took me to get there because it certainly wasn’t genetics, age on my side, money to buy the best of everything, or good luck.

It was dedication, consistency, the desire to win, attention to detail (I can’t stress this enough!), a ‘no excuses’ attitude. And to make the most of what I have.

It may sound harsh, but unless you have those amazing genetics and good luck on your side, you are very unlikely to win if you are not doing these things.

You can’t get on stage and expect a win if you are drinking on weekends, missing check-ins with your coach, not consistently hitting your macros, not tracking your progress every workout and every week, not pushing to your limits each and every chance you get, constantly missing workouts etc. You must be compliant to your diet and with your training. The very best of programs and diets are no good to you if you do not follow them.

You get to make your choices each and every single day. Sometimes things are out of your control and that’s okay. But control the things that you can. Choose to be your best. And by that I really mean your very, very best. Know that when you get up there on the day, you have done everything you could given your personal circumstances.

If you are competing in a bodybuilding competition, you are an athlete and you must think and train like one. Now that doesn’t mean a miserable and overly restrictive prep (this is where flexible dieting and an evidence based approach to training is essential!). But it does mean you have to make a solid commitment to yourself and to your coach to give this your all.

When I did my 2013 prep with Layne Norton, I remember standing back stage at finals for the IFBB Nationals and I was chatting to my friend. We were way off to the side away from the other girls crowding around the stage entrance, as I never once expected to hear my name called for the top 3 to come to the stage. I still remember my absolute shock when I was called up there, and even more of a shock to win my open category.

IFBB NSW Open Bikini Winner

IFBB NSW Open Bikini Winner

I looked back on that win over the coming weeks with such a sense of pride. I recalled that during my entire prep, I had hit my macros nearly every single day. I checked in on time with Layne week in week out. I never once missed a workout. I pushed and pushed and pushed in the gym.  I practised and practised my posing. I did my very very best. I made the most of what I had and I was rewarded for that.

I may go into the next season and not be so lucky. Again, I never expect a placing or a win. But I’m am certainly going to give it 100% and nothing less. And so should you.

Stay healthy and train hard… and I’m here to help as always!

Melissa

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