Earlier this week, I had opened up my Instagram story for y’ all to ask me anything and everything you wanted as a first time competitor, current competitor, or someone who may be interested in competing at some point. Here are the most requested questions and my answers.
How much does it cost to compete? (This question alone, was asked 13x)
I actually have a FULL BREAK DOWN in a separate blog that covers what you’ll need, where to get it, how much it all costs, and any discounts I have that could help you. But as a quick answer, if you did the ABSOLUTE BARE MINIMUM and pinched every penny you could, and only did 1 local show, you’re looking at around $4-500 for that one show. But if you plan on doing multiple shows a season, like most do, you would need to budget for a lot more. For the entire break down, CLICK HERE.
Is there any advantage to being tall? Are there fewer people in the tallest class?
In short, no. There is no advantage to being taller or shorter when competing. Yes, shorter physiques vs taller physiques look different based on limb length, but we all have the same 24 hours in a day to build our own personal best look. As for class size, that’s a big no as well. The tallest class actually has the most room to be the largest class out there. Most classes A-E (if only 6 classes) are only separated by an inch or two, while Class F includes any and all heights from 5’7″ and above, thus leaving A LOT of room for this class to be comprised of a lot of girls, as well as a larger height gap between competitors (ex. 5’7″ vs 6’4″ vs 5’10” vs 6’2″ etc). There is, however, one disadvantage to being in the tallest class, and that would be the order of events. We are the last class that goes on, in the last division that goes on. This can make for a very long day, in which HOURS could go by from Class A – Class F if it was a large show. This just means that the taller girls have a longer period of time to peak, which makes ts difficult to stay on point all day long.
How do you stay confident and smile all the time?
(I’m going to assume that this is pertaining to the time while being on stage). Let me put it into perspective for those wondering why we look so happy up there. To a competitor, show day is the absolute best day there is. After months and months of training, dieting, and putting our minds and bodies through the ringer, ON TOP OF this day being what we’ve been working towards this entire process, WE’RE FINALLY HERE! The second I step on that stage, I honestly can’t help but smile. This is what I’ve been working so hard for, and I’m stepping out there knowing I’ve brought the best I could, and HELL YEA I’m going to be confident in that! However, keep in mind that even if I wasn’t super confident -maybe I was nervous to be in my heels and what the judges or audience thinks- y’ all will never know that because your stage presence is a HUGE part of your judging. If you look confident, happy, and sassy out there, the judges see that and like it. If you go out there with an obvious nervous demeanor, and aren’t confident in you posing, the judges see that too. So remember that when you step out there. Even if you are nervous (that’s normal!), put on a smile and work that stage! You worked way too hard for this moment to screw it all up because you didn’t believe in yourself.
Do you shave your whole body?
I personally do not. I shave the normal bits (or get waxed), but I do not shave my arms. Some women competitors do shave everything, but this also depends on how hairy of a human you are. I have natural hair on my stomach and arms, but it is basically like peach fuzz and doesn’t effect my tan. But if you have very thick arm hair, I may suggest you do shave or wax it so that the spray tan does not stick to your hair and cause an uneven appearance. Male competitors, yes. I believe they do shave everything from backs and chest, to their arms and legs as well. But again, totally up to the competitor.
What do you think was the biggest change you made from your first show to your best show?
I wouldn’t say there was just one thing, because A LOT has changed in that time, as I’ve become more experienced, and learned a lot about what works for my body. My first show was April of 2016, and my best show (also my most recent show) was June 2018 this past summer. If I had to narrow it down to the 2 main things I changed, it would be that I got a new coach, and I increased my training intensity. To keep it under a broad spectrum, with my new coach (I went through 2 before him), also came a new accountability partner, a new approach to nutrition (I’ve still done iifym for each prep I’ve done), superior peak protocols to any that I’ve done previously, and a new sense of drive. My coach pumps me up and is one of my biggest supporters. He believes in where I can go in this sport, and pushes me to find the best competition out there and go after my pro card (not that I needed much pushing because I am pro card hungry y’all!) But regardless, he just pushes me a lot more than previous coaches, and isn’t afraid to let me know when I may need to dig deeper. As for my training intensity, I’ve learned a lot in the last 3 years of being a competitor, and finding that I have to work harder and smarter every single year. In no way does this get easier the longer you do it, it just gets harder. So being able to adapt, and know that my body needs to be pushed a little more each rep, each set, each minute of cardio, continues to put me in a good place to lose the body fat that I need to year after year.
What does peak week consist of?
Peak week varies from competitor to competitor, and each coach has their own style and protocols for this, some of which, I do not agree with and don’t suggest, but we’ll get to that. Here’s my two cents on what peak week should look like:
It should look just like the rest of your prep. BOOM. Stop changing crazy shit around; your body won’t like it. You should be eating the same foods you’ve been eating all prep. I personally do not incorporate new foods during this week, and stick to my go to meals I eat daily. The only things changing nutrition wise FOR ME PERSONALLY is that I go into the week depleting carbs, and then increase carbs to above normal towards the end of the week to fill back out (we monitor how my body is reacting each day to make our next move). Cardio gets lessened as we get closer to the show, as I want to minimize inflammation and stress into the show date. Water stays the same all week, no water loading and depleting EVER. Stop that shit, that’s not good, I almost blacked out while getting my makeup done at my first show because my coach at the time had me drinking like 8 oz of water ONLY the day before and “sips as needed” on show day. Don’t do that. But like I said, peak week is just another week of prep, and shouldn’t be anything super drastic. If you’re trying to do something crazy, thinking it’ll make a huge difference, you may not be in a good place. The truth is, if you’re not ready by Peak week, you’re not ready. #1 point: The peak week protocol itself will be different for each person on what has been working best for them personally.
How do you get over the fear of failure? Or have you always been this confident when competing?
I think the best way to get over the fear of failure is to lose. And trust me, it’ll happen. I genuinely think that losing will either fuel your fire to come back to be the best, or it’ll weed out the ones who can’t handle it (the ones who fear that failure). Inevitably, you will lose at some point. I don’t know any experienced competitors with a flawless record. I wasn’t always as confident in this sport as I am now. My first season I was sooo nervous because it was all new to me! I hate being the center of attention, so this was a huge step out of my comfort zone. But the feeling I got when I stepped on that stage for the first time was what propelled me into this sport full force. I racked up a few 1st place wins, a 3rd, and even an overall that year. I would say it was eye opening into the fact that I may be good at this. The following year, I didn’t even make first call outs at my warm up show, and nailed a last call out at my first national show. That sucked. No way around that, because I HATE losing. But I lost with grace because that’s how I was raised. You will never see poor sportsmanship from me, and I urge you to win and lose gracefully no matter the situation. I took those L’s, cried about it for a bit (no shame), and then I made the decision to enter my improvement season and start working harder towards the next year. My fire was lit AF, and didn’t diminish my passion to get better at all; it fueled it. I think you have to lose sometimes to get that spark of reality that you weren’t working as hard as you thought. That following year, I got first callouts in each of my shows, and a top 15 finish at my second national show ever. While I did lose, I don’t consider those awful placings or get mad. It means I have shit to work on to get to the top. But I have no fear of losing, it’s inevitable when you’ve been competing as long as I have. There’s only one winner, and that’s what makes this sport so hard (and great).
Do your training/goals ever conflict with any aspect of your life?
Of course. That’s another aspect of prep that you really can’t avoid. Eventually there will come a time where you will have to choose between your goals and drinks with the girls, or super bowl party food, or whatever temptation your friends or family are presenting you with. You can’t do it all. You can promote BaLaNcE all you want on Instagram, but if you’re truly serious about prep, you have to say no a lot. It doesn’t have to be as severe as making you a hermit inside your house with no friends, but you’re definitely going to have to pass on more outings. You can only pack so many meals, for so many social interactions before it just gets annoying, and honestly draining to keep up with constantly. I pick and choose which social interactions are worth my time, and then I go about my life like normal. And not to sound all snooty when I say that hanging out with my friends is a waste of my time, but sometimes it be like that. If they want to go out drinking, or to a restaurant I can’t make fit, or it would be more stressful on me than it would be fun, I’m out. I don’t NEED to go, and I honestly don’t want to if it’s going to be an environment where I’m going to be annoyed or vis versa, who cares? It’s not the end of the world having to say no to your friends from time to time. Also, I think its important to note that my best friend is my boyfriend who lives with me, and he’s well aware of what my macros are adn what’s realistic, so I’m not really being pressured into many “social interactions” as I don’t have a lot of friends that live close to me in SoCal to begin with. Which leads me into the next question:
What does your boyfriend think of you competing? Does he compete too? Does it affect your relationship ever?
Payton loves that I compete! He’s my biggest motivator and even helps me stay on track when I’m thinking of straying from my diet. But also, he’s the instigator when I DO stray from my diet sometimes too. And while we train separately, we go to the gym together almost everyday, so he’s a great accountability partner as well.
No he does not compete in bodybuilding, but he is an athlete. He plays pro ball in the frontier league out in Illinois. So like I mentioned, we live together here in CA, but when April hits, he leaves for season and won’t be back until mid September. In this way, Payton and mine’s relationship is a little different than most. But even though we are long distance for half the year, it’s almost advantageous for both of us, because we both get to focus on our own goals, while being each others #1 fans from afar. The last 2 seasons (3 including this year), I’ve been in prep during the majority of his baseball season, so it honestly puts LESS stress on our relationship while being apart since we both are able to just focus on ourselves, and our own goals. I hate being away from him this long, but it is beneficial in helping us grow both individually and together as a couple.
I would say that the only time my prep really affects our relationship is when I am personally just not feeling confident in myself at that point in time. My mind plays tricks on me when I’m having a bad body image day, and even though Payton is always making sure I feel beautiful, and letting me know how sexy he thinks I am at all stages, it just doesn’t register and not a lot helps until I snap out of it. I know it gets frustrating for him when I’m feeling this way, and it definitely can put a damper on our sex life when my libido gets low as well. Other than those two things, I feel like I do a good job of keeping everything normal in our relationship. We are both active athletes, so we understand each other’s goals, and try to be considerate of those the best we can. And especially since we are apart for the tail end of my prep, Payton really doesn’t have to ever deal with me being in that final grind and moody (more than usual) near my shows. The downside of this though, is that he has also never seen me compete before either. Hopefully one day he’ll be in the stands, but for now we’re doing the best we can. 🙂
How do you know what you’re supposed to improve on for the next show or next year?
With any show, the judges will have feedback for you, but you have to ask for it. So you could either actually talk to a judge post show and get critiqued on what you need to work on, or you can email them with your stage shots, name, and stage number to get your critiques that way as well. You can normally get their emails from the show website, or facebook page if they have one.