So, thinking of basic advice to give someone competing.. here are a list of do's and don'ts.
I recently posted a blog about a big "no no" for me when it comes to competing.
say "but I trained so hard.. I deserve it". Everyone wants 1st place and everyone trained hard for the show. Everyone had struggles and everyone overcame SOMETHING. Some may have lost a lot of bodyfat while others struggle to gain muscle to be competitive. Some have jobs that get in the way, others have very families who don't support them. While we all have things we have had to overcome to get to the stage, it is VERY unbecoming to say "But I Deserved It". (Check out my blog from December 27th to read more)
Congratulate your fellow athletes that even placed better than you. They DID deserve it on that day and the judges agreed on that. We are in a VERY small sport where many people don't understand what we are doing. The ladies standing next to you on stage are the only ones who truly know what you've been through and can say I "get it". If we don't support each other, how do you expect others to support us.
Slack off in the off season. This is when you can mold and change your physique so that when you DO peel away those layers, you'll be amazed at what you might find to show off on stage.
Have cheat meals in the offseason. Live a little bit unstructured. Because if you don't, you'll lose your mind come contest prep and have more trouble staying on track. It'll definitely make you appreciate your contest prep even more =)
put off buying all of your contest prep items until the last minute. This is an expensive sport and suits and tan along with travel and hotel will BREAK your wallet FAST.
buy little bits at a time. Order your suit well in advance and get the payments out of the way. Order your tan as well. Put money away from each paycheck to go towards your travel expenses. That way you don't have to come up with a large amount of money right at the contest to get your hair and nails done, pay hotel, gas/flight, final suit payments, shoe.. and don't forget to get your registration card and entry fee in early.
change trainers or programs every other day. Unless there is a true conflict, miscommunication, or breach of trust.. changing your system without giving it a chance to take effect will only set back yourself from reaching your goals. If you continue to jump training styles or even worse .. take a little bit of training style from this and a little bit from that and make a "hybrid" style.. you may not only be spinning your tires, but actually be taking many steps back. Realize there's a reason for everything.
be open with you coach about your training. If you feel like something isn't working, let them know! Myself, as a trainer, I truly believe if it ain't broke, don't fix it. HOWEVER, if I do NOT know it's broken, I canNOT fix it. So open communication is key. You also need to realize that there are MANY ways to reach the same goal. Many paths to take to lead to the same result. So be open to different styles of training and nutrition.
These are just a few things to think about. If you talk to any competitor there is a million pieces of advice they can and will give you.
but first and foremost I want to say...
DO---- HAVE FUN!! This is something that you do for YOU! So enjoy it! No one is twisting your arm saying you MUST train. You MUST diet. You MUST get all tan, in a bikini.. and step on stage! This is a CHOICE. We CHOOSE to do it and take it as a whole.. the good AND the bad! Always remember,if it were easy- Everyone would do it!