Training For Your First Bodybuilding Competition at Any Age

Competing in a bodybuilding competitors is an thrilling, exhilarating and fulfilling expertise. It takes dedication, dedication and simply plain arduous work. And, except you intend on turning into an expert, all you possibly can hope for from your whole effort is a trophy.

Ah, however what a trophy!

If you stand on stage, holding a inflexible “relaxed” pose and listen to the announcer name your title as Champion in your Class or Winner of the Total Competitors, it is mighty candy. You savor the second and overlook all about what it took to get there.

Deciding to Compete

If you’re in fairly good condition and work out commonly, at the least four-times-per-week, you may be ready to enter your first contest inside a 12 months. I skilled five-days-a-week for 10 months to prepare for my first contest.

You want that a lot time with the intention to acquire the lean mass your physique must maintain itself as you enter the fat-burning/reducing part of your weight loss plan, about 13 weeks earlier than your contest. If you wish to compete as a Center Weight, (165 – 185 lbs.), as an example, you may should be round 195-200 lbs earlier than you start your reducing part. The reason being easy. If you go into the reducing part, your physique loses about one pound of muscle for each three kilos of fats. For my first contest, I weighed 154 lbs on January 1st. Once I stepped onto the stage on March nineteenth, I weighed a ripped 136. I used to be the lightest Bantam Weight. The truth is, I used to be too mild. The Bantam Weight restrict is 143 lbs. Off season, I’ll bulk up with lean mass to about 165 lbs and attempt to are available in at round 142.5, close to the highest of the load class for subsequent 12 months’s competitions.

So, the very first thing it’s essential to do, after deciding to enter a contest, is to select a contest 10 – 12 months sooner or later and determine through which weight class you wish to compete. Then, see the place you at the moment are and the place it’s essential to be on contest day. At that time, you possibly can plan your weight loss plan.

To verify that is one thing you actually wish to do although, it’s best to attend a bodybuilding competitors in your space. It is the most effective place to study concerning the sport. You possibly can pick who is admittedly able to compete and who must do extra work. Relying on whether or not you go to a drug-tested present or non-tested present, additionally, you will see how enormous among the males, and even among the ladies, who use steroids and different unlawful muscle enhancers look. You possibly can determine if that is the route you wish to go or not.

Competitors Eating regimen

When you determine you wish to compete, you could make a whole change in your life fashion. Bodybuilding is a life-style sport, very like ice skating, marathon operating, aggressive snowboarding, and many others. Bodybuilding takes quite a lot of time within the health club and quite a lot of time within the kitchen. Aggressive bodybuilders construct their lives round their exercises and their meals, which throughout daytime common as soon as each two-and-one-half-hours. It is also costly, calling for big quantities of protein every day, at the least one gram for every pound of physique weight. Here’s a typical weight loss plan for a bodybuilder who’s making an attempt to placed on lean mass a number of months earlier than a contest:

Breakfast: Three egg whites (protein) and one entire egg + one cup of oatmeal

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

Lunch: 8 oz of steak, or rooster, or fish + 8 oz of candy potato + cup of greens

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

Dinner: 8 oz of steak, or rooster, or fish + two cups of greens

All through the day, it’s essential to drink between 1/2 and one gallon of spring water.

This weight loss plan is designed to placed on a few pound of lean mass per week. A lot of protein, a lot of carbs and little fats.

I will speak about how the weight loss plan adjustments as you get nearer to your competitors later.

Dietary supplements

I mentioned earlier, bodybuilding is an costly sport. It is not as costly as a Bass Boat with all of the equipment, nevertheless it’s shut.

As a way to assist your physique use the gasoline you place in (foods and drinks) and to reap the benefits of your exercises to construct muscle, you want provide of dietary supplements. I will not go into model names or lead you to any provider, however, listed here are among the dietary supplements it’s best to contemplate:

Protein Powder: Test the labels. Some are designed as meal replacements, some for lean muscle mass acquire, others for normal development, some for fats loss and a few for heavy-duty muscle constructing. One warning, examine the labels for components.

Glutamine: Will increase muscular development, provides a muscle pump whereas coaching, helps retain lean muscle tissue, reduces muscle soreness, helps enhance fats loss.

Creatine: Permits you to prepare tougher with larger depth and get well quicker. It aids in rising your weights and variety of reps and reduces your relaxation between units. Nice power increase.

Flaxseed/Fish Oil: Fats is critical in your every day weight loss plan for the manufacture of hormones, correct mind operate and joint lubrication. Eradicate fat utterly and your muscle mass shrink dramatically, and your power and energy ranges go along with them. Enter Flaxseed and Fish Oil. Normally in capsule type. They act as solvents to take away hardened fats, assist muscle development and fats metabolism.

Multi-vitamins: Everybody’s vitamin wants are totally different. Exhausting-training athletes want extra nutritional vitamins and minerals. Getting the correct amount of nutritional vitamins and minerals is equal in significance to protein and carbohydrates.

There are many different dietary supplements available on the market at this time. However, when you use these 5, together with good exercises and correct weight loss plan, you’ll obtain the expansion you need.


Your competitors coaching routine can have three phases. The primary, if you are including lean mass for muscle constructing, you’ll exercise with heavier weights and decrease reps. Throughout the second or gradual (13 weeks) fats burning/reducing part, you’ll work out with lighter weights and better reps. And, throughout your last two weeks of coaching earlier than a present, you’ll use mild weights and solely “pump up” your muscle mass throughout your exercises. Throughout your bulking up stage, you do reasonable cardio. Throughout your reducing for competitors part, you do max cardio and over the last two weeks, reasonable to no cardio. I will discuss extra concerning the final two weeks later.

Throughout my ten months of coaching for my first two competitions, I used the next exercise plan:

Monday (45 Minutes) – 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)

Every week I attempted to combine up my exercise routine so my muscle teams stayed “stunned” and did not let my muscle mass get used to a set routine. I blended machines with dumbbells and by no means did the identical factor twice in a row.

I had nice outcomes with this coaching routine. Once I began, I weighed about 158 lbs. with about 14% physique fats. Ten months later, after I stepped onto the stage at my first competitors, I used to be 136 lbs. with 4.5% physique fats. At my second competitors, two weeks later, I used to be about 136 with 4% physique fats. One ripped, aggressive, dude!


Posing is likely one of the extra essential components of bodybuilding and one which in lots of instances is uncared for. A competitor with a well-muscled and reduce physique can lose to a competitor with much less muscle who is best capable of present the judges what she or he has.

I am not going to get into particular person poses on this article. There are numerous sources accessible on the internet, in books, magazines and movies that show the varied poses. Moderately, I’ll discuss concerning the “psychology” of posing and the significance of posing follow.

Whereas you’ll hear the top decide repeatedly name out, “Calm down!” between poses, there isn’t any such factor as being “Relaxed” throughout a contest. From the second you step onto the stage you might be being judged, and each muscle in your physique should stay flexed. Each pose is constructed from the legs up. If you’re doing a aspect chest and your legs should not flexed, your higher physique will look nice whereas your legs and calves will look flat. You’ll lose factors. In bodybuilding, the judges are searching for your flaws. As a bodybuilder, you wish to disguise these flaws. It is a cat-and-mouse recreation. As a 67 year-old competitor, I’ve slightly further pores and skin round my midsection. I am unable to do away with it irrespective of how a lot I weight loss plan or what number of tons of of crunches I do. So, to cover my “further pores and skin”, I lean again slightly throughout my poses to tighten up the world. And, when doing the final pose of the spherical, the Most Muscular, I place my arms collectively, in entrance of my abs, which reveals my higher physique cuts whereas “hiding” a part of my midsection.

If you consider it, all of the coaching you do to prepare for a contest is laid out on the desk in the course of the 10 minutes you might be on stage to your Class. It might be a disgrace to see all that arduous work go to waste since you did not pose effectively. Posing follow should grow to be a part of your exercise schedule throughout your entire time you might be coaching. I work out 45 minutes-a-day, five-days per week. I do cardio for at the least 20 minutes, three or four-days per week. I pose at the least ½ hour an evening, two evenings per week, and pose for 45 minutes with a video recorder on Saturday morning. The final week earlier than a contest, I follow posing each night.

Posing is difficult work. Should you aren’t exhausted after being on stage for six – 10 minutes going by means of your “relaxed” spherical and obligatory spherical, you have not posed arduous sufficient. One useful trace: some rivals start taking potassium tablets a few week earlier than your competitors. By doing that, you’ll stop cramping, which if it happens on stage, is usually a killer.

Each competitor, as a part of the competitors, should choreograph a 60 or 90 second routine set to you personal music. Whereas more often than not, the person posing routine will not be counted in your general rating, it typically is used as a tie-breaker or to put an individual second or third, if it is shut. Nonetheless, your posing routine ought to be entertaining, full of life and will exhibit your finest physique components to their fullest. Attempt to decide music that’s acquainted. Make a CD and have two copies with you at your competitors. By no means do something gross or that reveals unhealthy style. Bodybuilding is a family-oriented spectator sport. A vulgar efficiency can get you disqualified from a contest. Throughout the 60 or 90 seconds, you do not have to indicate each pose within the e book. Do between eight and 10, with swish actions between poses. It is OK to maneuver concerning the stage whilst you carry out your routine. In some instances, it is permitted to make use of props. Test with you organizer.

Posing in a contest is quite a lot of work and quite a lot of enjoyable. You probably have practiced sufficient, you’ll pose effectively and you’ll look assured. You may nonetheless shake slightly and also you may get a case of dry-mouth, but when you realize your poses and are assured, you possibly can cope with it. The person posing routine is your probability to have the judges and audiences see you at your finest, with out every other rivals to distract them from you.

One last tip. SMILE whilst you pose. Do not make faces or present pressure. You might be in management. Have enjoyable.


There’s an previous bodybuilding saying, “Should you assume your tan is darkish sufficient, placed on two extra coats.”

Nice recommendation. Tanning for a bodybuilding competitors is totally different than tanning for the promenade or earlier than you go to the seaside or to a modeling job. Whereas posing on stage throughout a bodybuilding competitors, your cuts and muscularity should present up effectively in opposition to the very vibrant stage lights. You look your finest if you’re very, very darkish. You look washed out and flat in case your tan will not be darkish sufficient.

There are many methods to tan. Some are cheap and a few are very costly. Lets discuss first concerning the least costly approach. The solar. It is free and simple to make use of. However there are drawbacks. First, you possibly can’t at all times rely on the solar being “out” once you want it. Second, it takes longer to tan within the solar than it does to tan utilizing different means. Third, you possibly can burn within the solar and trigger peeling, which, on stage can be a catastrophe. And, lastly, except you realize of a nude seaside or have entry to a personal deck, you’ll develop tan traces that will present up on stage once you put on your posing go well with.

Probably the most dependable tan is achieved over time by visiting tanning salon. By good, I imply one which adjustments their bulbs regularly and is clear and effectively organized. I would not go to a tanning salon situated within the rear of a coin-operated laundry (they do exist). If you wish to maintain wholesome tan all year long, you can purchase a tanning package deal of minutes or limitless classes and attempt to go twice per week. By doing that, you will not have as a lot “white” to cowl up as you make your last preparations to your competitors. And, with the intention to maintain you pores and skin wholesome and easy, it’s best to apply tanning mattress oil earlier than every session and moisturizer after tanning. Each of these merchandise can be found on the market on the salons.

Upon getting an honest base tan, one the place folks ask you in the midst of the winter, “The place have you ever been?”, preserve that colour till it is time to your contest.

Throughout the last week, whereas your physique is carb robbed and your mind is a lump of mush, you could take into consideration making use of sufficient tanning colour to be “right-on” for the stage.

Once more, there are a few methods to attain this unattainable activity whereas the remainder of your world is in a pre-contest daze. One strategy to apply self-tanning merchandise and the opposite is to be professionally sprayed.

The bodybuilding trade has a number of merchandise that assure a competition-quality tan, utilized in coats, two to 3 days earlier than your present. And, they provide a number of merchandise to reinforce the “look,” together with competitors bronzers, contest finishers, hair removing merchandise (we’ll speak about that later), prompt tanners, and many others. All of them work, some higher than others. One firm is ProTan ( ), one other is Dream Tan, featured on many bodybuilding web sites. Since they’re oil-based, a lot of the self-application merchandise by no means actually dry in your pores and skin and also you wind up leaving a path everytime you contact or rub up in opposition to one thing.

The costliest, however best strategy to tan for a contest is to be sprayed professionally two or 3 times the week of your contest. Most bigger tanning salons have a spraying room the place you strip all the way down to your posing go well with, pulling it as much as how you’ll put on it on stage and let the attendant apply a beneficiant spray-coat of darkish colour. You’ll discover immediately that you’re darker than you have been once you walked in along with your base tan. If you’re actually darkish to start with, you will get away with two coats over two days. Three coats over three days will assure you may be darkish sufficient. The sprays dry in your pores and skin and last as long as 4 days earlier than starting to fade, and they are often washed off within the bathe on Saturday night time after your competitors. However, in the course of the competitors, you’ll not have to fret about being darkish sufficient.

Irrespective of when you determine to do it your self or have it finished professionally, simply bear in mind that your tan will assist decide your standing in your competitors. Give it the eye it deserves.


Throughout a bodybuilding competitors, the viewers and judges are you if you are standing on stage sporting nothing greater than a skimpy posing go well with. You are attempting to indicate off your physique and grooming is a vital a part of your look. If you’re not well-groomed, it’s going to take away out of your general look. Within the final part, I coated tanning. Right here I’ll cowl hair. In brief, aside from the hair in your head, it’s a must to do away with it. A male bodybuilder can not have chest hair, underarm hair or leg hair. Ladies have to rid themselves of all underarm and leg hair. Until your hair could be very high-quality, additionally, you will have to do away with arm hair, toe hair, and hand and finger hair. And, the place there may be hair beneath your posing go well with, it has to not present, interval.

Begin you last week of contest preparation by getting haircut or styling. It’s best to do that earlier than you start your last tanning prep, since it would be best to tan any space that was coated by hair earlier than it was reduce. For a Saturday contest, I like to recommend you narrow your hair by Tuesday.

Eradicating the remainder of your physique hair may be tedious. There are a number of methods to take away hair. The costliest and most everlasting is laser hair removing. It could possibly take a number of classes and value tons of of {dollars} nevertheless it very efficient in order for you your hair eliminated completely. Extra non permanent and much inexpensive is utilizing hair removing merchandise. Normally discovered within the ladies’s merchandise part of drug shops, the preferred are Nair and Sally Hansen. A bottle of lotion prices round $4.50 and is normally sufficient to care for your contest wants. It takes about 5 minutes to use, 4 minutes of ready after which a bathe to take away the lotion and hair. After drying, it’s best to apply a light-weight coating of moisturizing cream over the world the place you eliminated the hair. Hair removing merchandise normally maintain the hair away for per week, loads of time to your contest.

Should you do not wish to use a hair removing product, one other strategy to take away hair is to shave it off. Use a contemporary razor and loads of cleaning soap or cream and go slowly to stop nicks and cuts. Typically, shaving will depart a rash or stubs of hair that might present up beneath the brilliant lights on stage. If I’m going to shave, I do it on Wednesday morning earlier than my Saturday contest and on the opposite days, whereas I am tanning, I’m going over the areas with an electrical shaver to stop cuts. I additionally use an electrical shaver the morning of the competition, by no means a razor.

Probably the greatest methods to take away hair is to use tape-like strips to the specified space after which rapidly rip off the strips, eradicating the hair with the tape. I’ve by no means tried this technique and I do not assume I’ll. It does work although and appears to last more than lotions or shaving. However, man, it actually hurts!

You at all times wish to look your finest on Saturday morning on the prejudging. Should you care for the little issues early on in your preparation, you may be assured, look assured and present effectively.

The Ultimate Two Weeks Of Contest Prep

The plan in the course of the last two weeks is to lose any remaining fats and water and to deliver out the cuts and definition in your muscle mass.

First, you’ll act slightly goofy. Anticipate it. This is because of a mix of a excessive protein and low carb weight loss plan. The physique wants carbs. If you take them away or reduce them again, you are likely to lose slightly of your thought processes. Not sufficient to be harmful to your self or others. It is OK to drive, and many others., however you may grow to be slightly forgetful.

Week one of many two weeks is loaded with floor turkey and fish! After a breakfast of three egg whites and 4 ounces of 98% lean floor turkey, the remainder of your strong meals include fish. Fish and salad for lunch, fish and inexperienced greens for dinner. The opposite two meals are protein shakes. On Monday and Thursday, add a sixth meal, a carb load, consisting of a cup of oatmeal, a banana, a cup of broccoli and ½ of a candy potato. This meal is designed to fill you out slightly so you do not wind up trying flat on stage. You wish to appear to be Bluto, not Popeye. Or if you’re a lady, Betty Boop, not Olive Oyl. The opposite a part of this week’s weight loss plan is water. A lot of water. One to 2 gallons a day. It looks like lots, however when you maintain a jug close by, consuming from it and filling it when it is empty, you possibly can simply take within the water you want. Strive consuming filtered water or spring water. Do not be stunned when you go to the toilet lots. You might be flushing out your system and eradicating subcutaneous fluids whereas consuming this a lot liquid. Steer clear of an excessive amount of espresso (one cup a day is OK) and avoid alcohol throughout this coaching interval. Do not snack. You’ll have cravings. Simply focus in your contest. Would not you hate in charge a loss in your contest on a slice of chocolate cake?

Your exercises this week ought to be reasonable. Use lighter weights with 8-10 reps per set. Do not go heavy. You might be weak as a result of weight loss plan and doing heavy lifting may trigger accidents. Watch out within the health club. Go slowly. Watch what you might be doing. Keep centered. Do not get offended or impatient with others. Do not more than 20 minutes of simple cardio per day.

Week two is loaded with floor turkey, fish, lean floor beef and grapefruit. On Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, after a breakfast of three egg whites and 4 ounces of 98% lean floor turkey, like week one, the remainder of your strong meals include fish. Fish and salad for lunch and fish and inexperienced greens for dinner. Once more, the opposite two meals are protein shakes. On Wednesday, eradicate the salad and greens and substitute grapefruit. Fish and ½ a grapefruit works effectively. Additionally on Wednesday add a sixth carb meal. Similar schedule on Thursday. On Friday, the ultimate reducing day, all 5 meals include 6 – 8 ounces of lean floor beef and ½ a grapefruit.

Your exercises this week ought to include pumping up within the weight room after which follow posing. No heavy lifting. It’s best to have finished your final leg exercise no later than final Saturday. Final Friday is even higher. Do not do any cardio after Tuesday.

On Saturday morning, earlier than pre-judging, have a steak and two entire eggs. Eat the toast and hash browns. Have a cup of espresso. Simply sip water as wanted. About 45 minutes earlier than your contest, have a Snickers bar. It’s going to fill you out a bit and provide the increase of power you want for pre-judging. Be sure you spend about 20 minutes again stage pumping up every part besides legs. Then, have enjoyable on stage.

Selecting A Contest And Submitting Your Software

When you determine to coach for a contest, earlier than you start, it’s best to give quite a lot of thought to the kind, measurement, location, and sanctioning authority of your occasion. The biggest newbie bodybuilding and health group on the planet is the Nationwide Physique Committee (NPC). They run contests all through the U.S. and overseas and supply alternatives to compete within the Professional ranks (IFBB). The one downside to the NPC is their popularity for tolerating steroid use amongst their contestants. All of their contests are non-tested occasions and you may count on most of the rivals to be “juiced” and large consequently, giving them an unfair benefit.

Given the local weather of damaging publicity surrounding steroid use at this time, many bodybuilders are turning to examined occasions, the place rivals are screened for unlawful muscle enhancing medication, resembling andros, steroids, prescription diuretics, testosterone increase and development hormones. A majority of these occasions give the athlete a degree enjoying discipline through which to coach and compete. There are a number of nationwide and regional organizations that provide drug-free packages. One of many largest is the Nationwide Gymnasium Affiliation (NGA). One other is Worldwide Pure Bodybuilding and Health (INBF) and Supernatural Bodybuilding and Health (SNBF). The previous requires seven years of drug free coaching and competitors, the latter requires 5 years. A big worldwide group of drug-free competitors is the World Pure Sports activities Group (WNSO) which incorporates regional competitions that result in the annual FAME World Championships in Toronto, Canada in June. All the pure federations supply alternatives for pure bodybuilders and health rivals to show Professional. All of those organizations have websites that listing contest places and necessities. Most permit you to obtain contest data and functions.

You probably have competed utilizing steroids or different unlawful medication however have not for at the least 5 years, there’s a place for you within the pure area. You’ll have to cross a polygraph examination earlier than your competitors and be examined upon demand at any contest you enter.

If you’re simply starting and wish to enter a contest, the very first thing it’s best to do is to attend one among these occasions in your space to see what they’re all about. It is essential so that you can attend each the early morning pre-judging and the night leisure and awards occasion to get your entire taste.

It’s best to then examine the web sites for contests in your space which can be listed effectively upfront, select one, search for your age, weight, top and expertise classes, see if there’s a match for you and obtain an utility. Learn it rigorously, be sure to have sufficient time to arrange (from six to 12 months, relying upon your conditioning and bodily improvement). If you’re beneath 18 years-of-age, a mum or dad should co-sign your utility.

One last consideration is price. Since these are newbie competitions there are not any money prizes, solely trophies and medals. A contest may be costly. You should pay an entrance charge and the required drug take a look at, transportation, resort, meals and miscellaneous bills, resembling ordering contest pictures or DVDs. You possibly can count on to spend round $200 for a neighborhood contest and double that if it’s a must to journey and keep in a resort and hire a automobile. If you’ll find a coaching associate to enter a contest with you, you possibly can half your bills.

In spite of everything is claimed and finished, you possibly can enter a contest and, win or lose, have the time of your life. There’s nothing like standing on stage, realizing you might be as ready as you may be, and pitting your self in opposition to different like minded athletes. It is actually cool.

Household Issues

I saved this part for final as a result of if your loved ones will not be behind you and supportive of your efforts, you might as effectively overlook about aggressive bodybuilding.

“Scott was so devoted to his train, and I mentioned, ‘Gee, you’ve got put a lot time into this, possibly you must compete. His eyes lit up, like Mama had simply mentioned, ‘OK’ and now he may do what he actually needed.'” Vivian Hults

This precise quote, which appeared in a narrative about me lately in The Birmingham Information, our native paper, was what my spouse instructed the reporter who interviewed her about my aggressive bodybuilding. With out her “curiosity” in my sport, “we” may have by no means managed it.

As I mentioned close to the start of this text, bodybuilding is a way of life, plain and easy. Getting ready for a contest is time-consuming and all-inclusive in your every day life. You need to contemplate weight loss plan, which implies purchasing for and making ready particular meals required to achieve your contest weight loss plan targets. Typically it is lean mass acquire. Different occasions it is fats burning/reducing. You spend quite a lot of time within the kitchen in entrance of the range and oven. Your loved ones normally does not eat what you eat, so whereas your loved ones enjoys pasta and meat sauce, you might be “having fun with” fish and greens. That is the way in which it’s. You need to eat 5 or 6 occasions a day whereas your loved ones normally has three-squares. Your meals and dietary supplements take up room within the kitchen and fridge. And, above all, bodybuilding meals and dietary supplements are costly.

A aggressive bodybuilder spends at the least an hour-and-a-half, 5 or 6 days-a-week, within the health club. She or he may even spend 20 or half-hour every night in entrance of a mirror, posing. This, possibly whereas consuming a shake. And, in the course of the last two-weeks of carb depletion, typically a bodybuilder will grow to be moody and irritable. It is a part of the “recreation” and the bodybuilder’s household must be “understanding.” Typically, being a member of the family of a bodybuilder will not be enjoyable. And, your youngsters may be embarrassed that their father or mom participates on this sport.

Bodybuilding is an arrogance sport. It is one of many few sports activities the place the human physique is the star of the present. It is all concerning the physique. Hair removing, tanning, grooming, posing fits, and muscle mass, muscle mass, muscle mass. That is all there may be. Fairly easy, whereas very complicated.

Now, exit and win your Trophy!

By Scott “Previous Navy” Hults

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