This timeline will give you an idea of what you need to do during your contest prep for a bikini, figure, physique or bodybuilding show. Being prepared is VERY important so get out your calendar and write some of the following important steps down.
Prior to 20 weeks to your contest
- Finding a prep coach if need be. Make sure you leave plenty of time for prep. If you have 20 pounds to lose, don’t seek out a coach at 12 weeks and expect miracles. Find a coach well before your prep should begin, somewhere 22 or more weeks before your show. (What to look for in a good prep coach)
- Research information (See Costs of Competing)
- Contest date has been chosen (See Choosing and Registering for Show)
- Get your diet and exercise plan in place. Stick to it and be consistent. (See How Much to Lose and How to Cut Calories)
- Start tracking weight and macro-nutrients. You need to know where your metabolism is at before you can start dieting down.
- Take progress pictures 1x per month in poses
12-20ish Weeks out
- Cut phase on! Work hard and stay focused.
- Get a workout buddy. Have someone to hold you accountable.
- Track macros. I use MyFitnessPal.com
- Do a daily or weekly weigh in to track weight
- Track workouts
- Start to cut calories or add cardio slowly! (See How Much to Lose and How to Cut Calories)
12 Weeks out
- Get your federation membership card specific to your contests (example NPC, NANBF…). (See Federations Explained)
- Practice posing everyday from here on out.
- Start by holding each pose for 30 seconds, then increase this time daily or weekly.
- Attend posing sessions if needed (highly suggested).
- Start thinking about suit and shoe options- where to buy, new, used etc.
8 weeks out
- Buy DIY tanning products specific for bodybuilding shows such as Jan Tana or Dark As (not necessary if using the event spray tanner). (also see DIY Tan- NO PROB and Your Competition Tan- What to Expect)
- Buy bikini glue such as bikini bite spray (not roll-on) or 3M spray adhesive ($3 at Menards).
- Buy competition suit, heels, jewelry.
- Print out registration forms for your contest, find out when they are due. (See Choosing and Registering for a Show)
- Posing practice everyday, in suit and heels. If no heels yet, where any 4-5″ heels you own.
- Practice walking in your heels around the house.
- Make sure you know the entry form date for your contest! (yes, stated again)
6 weeks out
- Take progress pictures every 2 weeks in poses.
- Make travel plans if show is not local.
- Send in entry form and payment for contest.
4 weeks out
- Continue with progress pictures.
- Continue with posing and routine practice.
- Buy make up for contest day (not necessary if you are having a professional do your make up the day of)
- Make tanning appointment with the contest event tanner (if you are not using your own DIY products)
- Make hair and make up appointments (not necessary if you are doing it yourself).
- If you are DIY hair and make-up: practice. Do a dry run. Dark make up isn’t always easy!
- Make a travel packing list and a day of show packing list. (See below)
- Have suit altered if need be.
1 week out
- Peak week diet and workout!
- Print off check lists for show day.
- Finalize packing list.
- Finalize food list and meals.
- Directions to venue and check-in locations.
- Practice all routines and posing in costumes everyday.
- Have fun!!!!
- See What to Expect on Show Day, Your Competition Tan and What to Expect, DIY Competition Tan, Show Day Packing List and other competition articles!
Also check out:
- Cut phase 2014
- Build phase 2014
- Contest prep 2015 – Calculations and initial plan
- My weekly cut phase updates
- Competition Articles and Info
- Get Fit. Go Figure!’s Dynamic Fitness Services