Road Map to the Stage-Part 1
Have you ever thought about doing a fitness competition but don’t have a clue where to begin? You’ve probably seen Instagram posts, Facebook posts…maybe your friend competed in a competition and you think maybe you would like to do something like that. You start Googling, looking for answers you get overwhelmed with the amount of information, but not necessarily the information you’re looking for. We know how you feel because this is exactly what we went through! We didn’t know how to pose, where to find a suit or even know what kind of suit. We also didn’t who trains for these shows, but we knew we wanted to do it.
Looking back 4 years ago we realize we wish we had someone like us to contact that would help us with a roadmap to the stage. A step by step process that made sense and gave us confidence that we had everything we needed to make our goal happen.
We thought it would be helpful to share an outline of what to expect and how to begin the thought process and commitments it will take to compete.
Step 1-Reach out to someone that has competed before whether it be a friend, trainer or online influence. Try to find someone that is local, often they can help guide you to a team or trainer. Also, they may be able to refer you to a local competition. These shows are usually smaller and are great for first time competitors.
Step 2-Research local competitions and different federations to see which one might fit you best. If you do not have a local competition in your state, check out other areas near you. Here are some federations you can research: Fitness America Pageant (FAP), WBFF, NPC, OCB, WNBF. Each federation has different rules and regulations, registration costs and criteria. It’s good to know what federation you are interested in before hiring a trainer or joining a team. However, if you are already with a trainer/team, they should be able to guide you.
Step 3-Find a trainer or a team. Now that you have familarized yourself with the different federations, you will be able to communicate better with a trainer/team what your goals are. Creating a game plan with your trainer is important as you will be picking your competition date. Depending on how much time you have before the show, will greatly impact your training and nutrition plan. You will begin training and following your nutrition plan and as the show gets closer, you will want to hire a posing coach. Posing on stage is critical to your presentation.
Step 4- Hire a posing coach. We recommend hiring a posing coach and finding posing heels about 10-12 weeks prior to your show date. Before purchasing your shoes, research what the federations preferences are. You can find posing shoes on Amazon, Ebay and other various competition related websites. If you have never walked in 5 inch heels in a bikini, you are going to want to practice! Learning the stage poses and walk in advance leaves plenty of time to master your presentation. Stage presence can make or break you. You can have the best physique in the world but if you don’t have good stage presentation, you will miss the opportunity to grab the judge’s attention. After a couple of one on one sessions, we highly recommended that you join group posing sessions. Standing next to other competitors posing in a group can build healthy competition and reduce the anxiety of being around other competitors. Your posing coach will more than likely have group posing sessions.
Step 5-Find a suit. About 8 weeks out from the show, you will need to decide if you want a custom made suit, used suit or if the option is available you can sometimes rent suits. If you want to purchase a custom made suit, we recommend finding out if you have a local suit designer. It’s always nice to do your fittings in person. If not, we recommend going with a reputable suit company. Some companies we have used before are Bilbo, Ravish Sands and Toxic Angelz. These are only a few, there are several other companies out there. New custome suits range anywhere between $300-$1500, depending on the hardware, stones and designer of the suit. You can usually buy a used one for 50-60% of retail. You can find these sites on Facebook, Instagram and Poshmark. Lastly, there is the rental option which will usually run you about 25% of retail value of a suit. Be careful not to wait too long because designers will charge a rush order if not ordered 6 weeks out. Each federation has their own criteria for suits so make sure the designer knows which federation you are competing in.
Hopefully this information is helpful in getting you started! Look for part 2 “Road Map to the Stage” next week. We will be talking about tanning, make-up, hair, backstage, show day and photographers!