So a few of you have been messaging me asking how I got started in the industry and asking advice on how you too can get started in the bodybuilding world! I first decided to compete back in 2009, I was already a member of the gym and trained regularly but I had never considered or known about competing until I started seeing a few posters up in the gym promoting upcoming comps. I looked at the images on the posters and thought to myself that I would like to maybe do that one day. I then met a female bodybuilder at a party one night and got talking to her about it when she suggested that I should do it. It just so happened that there was a competition on the very next day so she told me to go check it out. I went to watch my first bodybuilding comp that next day & saw all the amazing bodies on stage and decided that this was definitely something I wanted to do! That week I started looking into it all and I hired a personal trainer at my gym who made me a training program and nutrition plan for the competition! I prepped for 12 weeks and entered my first IFBB Sports Model (now called Bikini!) comp in October 2009! I found the prep extremely hard because I had never followed such a strict regime before but I enjoyed the challenge & I ended up placing 3rd in my first comp so I was ecstatic! My love for the industry began that day & I have been competing on and off since then! I stayed competing in Bikini right up until March this year (2015) when I finally decided to make the switch up to the Figure division. With my muscle this is something I probably should of done a lot earlier haha but I'm glad I finally made the move and have found where I belong in this industry. My next competition will be in March 2016 at the O'Mara Classic & Arnold Classic Australia and I can't wait to hit the Figure stage again!
My best advice for those of you who are interested in competing but don't know where to start would be:
Research different federations. Find out which federation and division appeals to you and suits your body type. I compete in IFBB but there are several other federations out there. The division you enter will depend on your muscle tone and shape too. For IFBB, Bikini is the entry level division, requiring the least amount of muscle, then there is Figure which is more muscular and lean, then you have Women's Physique which is the most muscular and hard of the women’s divisions. You also have Women's Fitness which requires an acrobatic performance. There are several men's divisions also varying in size and shape too.
Hire a coach. If you are new to the industry I would not recommend prepping yourself for your first competition. There is a lot involved when it comes to calculating your nutritional plan and designing a suitable training program. It also really helps to have someone you can report to on a regular basis who can track your progress and help to keep you accountable. You will probably be able to find a good coach at your gym otherwise there are many good coaches available across Australia and worldwide. There are a few great fitness groups on facebook where you can get recommendations also.
Pick a competition date and allow ample time to prepare for it. If it is your first time competing I would recommend a 16-20 week prep time so that you can prep gradually without having to drastically reduce your calories or over train right from the get go. This is provided that you are already in reasonable shape & have already built muscle before hand. If you are new to the fitness industry completely, I would suggest spending some time to build muscle and build the foundations first before you even think about competing. Remember, there is no rush, there will always be competitions available!
I hope this info helps some of you and if you have any questions please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or submit a question via my website or social media outlets! Thanks for reading guys.!
Jade Mead xox