Competition Prep on a Budget: Getting Started & Making your Dreams a Reality

In my experience of not only coaching competitors for shows but competing & turning pro myself, I feel that it’s an investment in more than just your hard earned dollars. Competing is not necessarily about getting on stage in posing trunks, board shorts or a figure suit or bikini; but it’s about making a mental commitment to challenge yourself beyond your wildest imagination, developing a discipline you’ve never experienced, & sacrificing a period of time in your life that will ultimately help you succeed in reaching your goals!

When you’re truly serious about this venture & ready to take on this challenge full force, you’ll find the means to do it…BUT, that doesn’t mean you need to break the bank to get there. The reality is, that will only cause you unnecessary stress & the competition process can be stressful enough in itself. Over the years I’ve had many clients who come to me asking for idea’s on how they can make competing a reality when they are nearly broke- I personally feel that you can make ANYTHING possible & I’ve never let finances stand in the way of getting exactly what I want out of life! Money, money, money….oh money! The reality is, LOOKING GOOD COSTS MONEY! It’s part of the commitment, right timing in your life, & the sacrifice you make to attain your ultimate mental & physical transformation. From hiring a trainer/coach, to purchasing the food & supplements, there is no way around it but there are many ways to cut corners & get the most out of your hard earned dough!

Necessities for competing: 

Register for your competition & Purchasing your Membership Card (ex.NPC, IFBB)

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First let me say, the sooner the better, as once this happens your goal becomes REAL & you’ll be more likely to finish what you started. The cost can be around $80-150 depending on the show & the amount of categories you’ll be entering. The nice thing is you can usually wait up to two weeks prior to the show to register without incurring late registration fees- so you can budget yourself accordingly…but like I said, don’t wait too long to commit! The NPC membership costs around $80 & doesn’t need to be purchased till the day of or day before the actual competition & once paid for it’s good for up to 1 year!

Check out WWW.MUSCLECONTEST.COM for a list of current California competitions put on by Los Angeles’s best, Jon Lindsay.

Hiring a Competition Coach, Personal Competition Trainer, Competition Nutrition Specialist

My Disclaimer: I may be a bit biased with this subject as I am a trainer, nutrition specialist, competition & athlete conditioning coach, stage posing coach, #1 body transformation expert in Los Angeles, & I also provide personalized diet & nutrition programs for clients with other needs as well! 🙂 

I personally feel that proper guidance prior to getting on stage is ESSENTIAL especially when you’re new to competing! I had been a trainer & nutrition consultant for about 8 years when I decided to do my first show but even then I hired a coach to get me to my goals as I needed to know the in’s & out’s & all the details of getting up on stage. It’s definitely the perfectionist in me but in my head I had to know that I was doing everything I needed to to be not only ready but absolutely flawless on that stage! The fact is about 40% of my clients are trainers or athletes themselves but the only way to truly be prepared for your competition both mentally & physically is with a coach to guide you!

Decide whether you’re the type of person who needs in-person one-on-one support or if you can follow an online type plan without that in-person contact. I actually offer both to my all my clients, some of who are out of the area, some who can’t meet weekly, or for those who want to come in as much as possible- whatever your situation you want to be successful in your program. It takes two things to be successful in your choice of a plan: 1) YOU have to make the “plan” fit/work with YOUR lifestyle. Meaning, you need to be ready to implement & make things work. And 2) Your COACH needs to be 100% confident in their abilities, education, & skills to help you reach your goals.  Without those two parts working together, you will not be successful…nobody wants that so think & choose wisely! 🙂

An in-house LA Fitness trainer isn’t going to cut it- no offense to those trainers but you need to FIND SOMEONE WHO SPECIALIZES IN COMPETITION PREP. If you can, find someone who you you “click with”, someone who does it ALL (nutrition, training, posing, etc.), someone experienced (not necessarily a Pro but someone with Pro qualities), & someone who does it well (not just as a side job to make extra money but a coach who truly treat this like the business that it is) , Someone Like ME! LOL…That would be the best plan of action as you’ll need a specific & constantly changing diet, a training program to follow or a trainer to guide you, along with the details & prep for the stage posing, etc, & of course the mental part of it all- real support, inspiration, & motivation throughout the duration of your journey.

Coaches & Trainers prices vary & can cost a good chunk of change. I feel that you can’t judge a trainer on their rates- choose wisely based on what you’ve heard about them, their proven results with other clients, & the connection you have when you meet with them. You shouldn’t be charged for a consultation & they should be willing to walk you through your program without additional charges as well. My total competition prep rates vary depending on your needs & the duration of your competition prep but I do not charge extra’s. My total programs rates are the true rates- no extra hidden charges: I teach the stage posing & stage presence etc. until you get it right without additional charges, you have full diet planning & support throughout the entire program & as your body changes I change your plan (to avoid plateau’s), I also offer a weekly progress check-in where we train together in person, discuss how things have been going, take pictures, etc… I also offer payments plans & I give all sorts of discounts/reduced rates for referrals! For more information contact the Body Transformation Specialist & IFBB Pro, Michele D’Angona: Email: Micheles.world@yahoo.com

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Other Things to secure down before you commit to taking your body to the next level:

1. Gym Access/Membership- You need access to a gym that is fully equipped to accommodate you. Of course there are plenty of ways to get in shape that require no equipment, no weight, etc…but we’re not just trying to get fit, we’re taking it a step up & actually going to compete which means you’re going to require weights, cardio equipments, & at least some weight machines. (I think the Smith Machine is a must!)

2. Workout Clothes/Shoes- Comfy shoes are a must & one or two gym outfits won’t cut it unless you plan of doing laundry daily! Now you don’t have to go all out & buy brand name crap but you do want workout clothes that fit well, comfortable, & you are going to want to feel good when you’re wearing them- trust me…when you FEEL that you LOOK good in your workout clothes, you will actually feel good mentally & you’ll become your own daily motivation- ready to hit the gym hard! 😉

3. Supplements- The nice thing is once you purchase the basics they should last you throughout your prep- buying in bulk is definitely worth it so watch out for sales on specific products. Again, your coach should be advising you on at least the basic supplements to be taking if not the actual brands they recommend. A word of warning: Walking into a GNC or Vitamin Shop can be dangerous if you’re not quite sure what to purchase. The sales associates are just that, SALES ASSOCIATES…LOL, not that they are ALL sharks out to sell you the next big commission product but some of them may be, so it’s best to walk in with a budgeted list & specific products & only purchase that. One of my favorite ways to shop is online because I can do my research, read reviews, find the best prices, & I don’t have to leave my house. WWW.BODYBUILDING.COM is one of my favorite places to shop for supplements because I can not only read the reviews & see ingredients & nutrition facts, but they constantly have special sales, free shipping, & all sorts of great deals.

4. Food- Grocery shopping will become (if it hasn’t already) a weekly thing. If you haven’t noticed, the foods that are organic, all natural, & healthier for you are more expensive but again, where there’s a will there’s a way! Check for sales- those “buy one get one free” on packages of extra lean turkey, etc…those are the times/sales to stock up & have a freezer full of fresh proteins. Buying in bulk from COSTCO for let’s say, eggs for instance is a great idea or even going to a local farm is worth buying gallon size containers of fresh egg whites. Many times the 100% egg whites gallons purchased from farms come frozen & honestly last a long time! Veggies are best fresh but if you had to buy frozen veggies you could substitute for the fresh stuff. Frozen can save money & time- I always have frozen veggies in stock in my freezer for those days I run out of the fresh stuff & I’m in no mood to go to the grocery store for the 10th time that week! LOL! Stores like TRADER JOES can also be fairly priced & much better of a deal then a traditional market. Also, look online for places you can order your proteins from, bison, chicken, etc…there are more websites than you can even imagine that will deliver fresh, grass-fed meats,etc. right to your door within days!

5. Suits, Heels, Bling, Hair, Make Up, Tan…the little details that make all the difference!

If you’re a bikini competitor, bodybuilder, or men’s physique competitor then the suit/trunks/shorts can be as easy or as complicated as you make it. Figure suits can get very pricey as can bikini’s if you want that extra special touch or bling. I have a lot of great, inexpensive, & custom suit places to shop at both online & local southern california locations..these are just suggestions & if you have other company’s you feel have done a great job on your suit, please contact me so I can add them to the list!

FIND A CUSTOM COMPETITION BIKINI: 

MY TOP CHOICES (In no particular order)

Barracuda Bikinis, http://www.facebook.com/barracudabikinisMermaid Mafia, 

Mermaid Mafia, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mermaid-Mafia-Swimwear/202473173098356Chynna Dolls, 

Fresh Peaches, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fresh-Peaches-Swimwear/8902184261

Other websites to checkout:

www.suitsyouswimwear.com, 

www.teenyb.com, 

www.beachbunnyswimwear.com, 

www.passionfruitdesign.com 

FIND A PROFESSIONAL COMPETITION MAKEUP ARTIST, HAIR STYLIST, & TANNING SERVICE ON SITE IN CALIFORNIA & AT NATIONAL SHOWS: MY TOP CHOICES

I’ve put together a great local team of the best of the best when it comes to the finishing touches needed to get on stage. They take their businesses & work just as serious as I do & their artistic skills & perfectionist ways make them the #1 choice to use when looking your best at your competition on the west coast. These are a MUST for your show & you will not be disappointed with the results. I don’t put my guarantee on just anyone or any company but these are the trusted officials who have made TEAM SASS look like the champions that they are!

  • Professional Make Up: Contact Safoura “FouFou Makeup” www.foufoumakeup.com, www.facebook.com/FouFouMakeup
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Whether your goal is competing in your first show, improving your placing for the next, earning your pro card, or just achieving your own personal level of fitness; nothing should ever stop you from reaching your full potential! You deserve to have all that you want in life & I believe that with strategic planning, the will to success, & with ambition put into everything you think & do you can achieve anything! 

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