Contest Prep Timeline
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.
Before and up to 20 weeks to your contest
- Find 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 the Cutting Calories section in this guide).
- Start tracking weight and macro-nutrients. You need to know your metabolic baseline before you can start dieting down.
- Take progress pictures and measurements 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 in an app like MyFitnessPal.com
- Weigh in daily to track progress. Look at the weekly average. Not the day to day weight.
- Track workouts (sets, reps & weight lifted).
- Start to cut calories or add cardio (See the Cutting Calories section).
12 Weeks out
- Get your federation membership card specific to your contests (example NPC, NANBF, OPA). See Federations Explained.
- Practice posing every day 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. Order your suit at any time. Suit makers will make your suit closer to your show.
8 weeks out
- If you will do your own tan on show day, buy DIY tanning products specific for bodybuilding shows such as Jan Tana, Dark As or Pro Tan. These are not necessary if using the event spray tanner. Also read 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 (at hardware store).
- 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 every day, in suit and heels. If no heels yet, wear 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
- Take progress pictures every 1-2 weeks.
- 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-up foundation and powder should match your tan.
- 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 Show Day Packing List in this guide).
- 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 your suit every day.
Also check out:
- Cut phase 2014
- Build phase 2014
- Contest prep 2015 – Calculations and initial plan
- My weekly cut phase updates
- Build phase 2016
- Competition Articles and Info
- Join the GF2 Crew!