All the hard work has been put in, you have carb depleted, carbed up, and finally the day has come…SHOW DAY. Many first time competitors are unsure what to expect the day of their show… For myself, even 3 shows later, i am still no expert. It is impossible to know how every show is going to run… With that being said, i wanted to share with you some insight from my past experiences on what to expect the day of your competition.
I want to preface this by saying EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED. Show day, and how smoothly it does or doesn’t run, depends on a variety of factors that are outside of your control. Shows can run ahead of schedule, behind schedule, things could change last minute, etc… You just never know. So my #1 advice? Focus on the things you can control and don’t sweat the small stuff. For example, at the the Mid-Atlantic Cup, last year, the venue’s air conditioner was broken… Yup, broken. It was so hot in the venue and the backstage area was the size of a small box. We were sweating our asses off (and our tans) lol- no exaggeration. But you know what, we couldn’t focus on it… Everyone was in the same, hot, sticky, smelly situation. We fixed our make up and rocked the stage anyway.. No point on dwelling on things that could not be fixed. Now that we have that in mind…Let’s continue….
Early Morning. In my experience, i have typically been up before 6 am on show day. First thing i do, the morning of a show, is take a walk to get the blood flowing and my thoughts focused on the day ahead. It really helps my mentality and gets me in a good head space. So when should you wake up? This can vary, especially for us females, because of hair and make up appointments. I like to get my make up and hair done first thing in the morning. This saves me the stress of having to deal with it later on. Often times, if you are late scheduling your makeup or hair appointment, you may find yourself being their very first competitor-I.E. 4:30 in the morning. I am not kidding on this-been there done that lol. So get your hair and makeup done before you go to the venue.
The Athlete’s Meeting. Depending on the show, there may or may not be an athlete’s meeting. This could be the Friday before the show or the Saturday morning of the show. If there is a meeting, GO TO IT! You will be glad that you did. At the meeting, they should give you an idea about the schedule, posing tips, where to stand, and any other expectations that they may have. Don’t skip the meeting. I opted not to wear my suit to the venue or to the athlete’s meeting my second show. I waited to put my suit on until about an hour-hour and a half-before it was time to go on stage. Why? You tie that suit tightttttttt, and it can get very uncomfortable by the time the day is over. If you want to wear your suit all day, that is up to you and your own discretion, just make sure you have it on and ready to go when stage time comes.
Spray Tan. The company who sponsored the show could be offering touch ups the morning of the show. If so, they would have told you the time and location of the touchups when you got your initial tan on Friday. Depending on the time, you may have to have your hair and make up done before hand. If so, this is no big deal- they won’t be spray tanning your face or messing up your hair in any way. If you can or need to get your tan touched up i would definitely recommend doing so.. no one wants a jacked up spray tan. Also, before you step on stage, the same company should be backstage applying bikini bite (to make sure your suit bottom stays in place) and glaze (that makes you look all shiny and glossy on stage to show case the muscles). There should be a line to get this done right before you line up to get on stage… Get in line and get ready to strut your stuff.
The Venue/Backstage Area. The area that you are working with all depends on the venue. You may be shoved in a cramped room, a hall way, or a backstage area filled with lights and mirrors. There may be weights available to help you warm up-there may not. The size of this space varies, however, but regardless, it is likely to be crowded. There will be a lot of competitors and bags everywhere. (You know how girls pack… we tend to overpack…. and it’s even worse on show day lol). In the area backstage, there will be competitors eating, posing, talking to each other, fixing hair and makeup, and the various classes waiting to go on stage. My recommendation? Pick a spot near an outlet, set up your mirror, charge your phone, and get comfy. Don’t isolate yourself while you are backstage. You can meet a lot of amazing competitors on show day so take tons of pics, meet some new fit friends, and get comfy.
The Waiting Game. This pretty much sums up show day… especially for us bikini girls. Bikini class typically goes last- they will let you know this at the athletes’ meeting so you’ll know the schedule before hand. There will be people backstage letting you know which competitors are next on, which class, so listen up. They may tell you bikini is on next, however, this could still mean another hour of waiting. Wait, wait, wait, wait some more… You get the point.
Prejudging vs. Finals. I’ll start by clarifying the difference between the two. Prejudging is what happens first and where the majority of the judging happens. This is where competitors will do their individual routines and comparisons will take place. The judges will move you and the other competitors around and compare you against the other girls. The night show is considered finals. Depending on the size of the show, individuals may or may not do their individual routines. They will bring out the top 5 for placing and hand out awards.
Between Prejudging and Finals. Between the two shows there is a little bit of down time for the athletes. Some coaches have their athletes go out for a “free” meal at a restaurant. I like to use this as a time to relax. I like to go back to my hotel room, put my feet up, and take a small nap (lol… show day is tiring). I would not recommend using this as a time to “eat like an asshole”. If you did make top 5, you will get your picture taken..and no one wants their picture taken with a food baby. It may be okay to have a small treat (listen to your coach’s advice on this one) but don’t go crazy. So what if you don’t think you made top 5?… So what? You never know what could happen..maybe you did. Don’t skip the night show just because you “think” you didn’t make top 5. Use finals as an opportunity to strut your stuff one last time. Us competitors pay an arm and a leg to compete on that stage so don’t skip out- you might as well get your moneys worth.
Finals. Depending on the size of the show and/or the schedule, finals may or may not start on time. By the time the bikini class goes on stage, it could be very late at night. Here they will hand out awards and the winners will get their photos taken. Enjoy that trophy and know that your handwork has finally paid off.
Judging/Placing. THIS IS SO IMPORTANT. Bodybuilding is a very subjective sport, especially for bikini. In bikini, you never know what the judges are looking for. Some judges may be looking for a “harder” look while others prefer a “softer” look. One judge may think you look the best while another may think you look the worst. You just never know. You cannot get upset based on someone else’s opinion of your physique. Were you happy with how you looked on stage? Did you do everything you could to bring your best physique to stage? If the answer is yes, then your placing is irrelevant. Bodybuilding is about a whole lot more than a trophy and that is something to keep in mind at the end of show day.
So there ya have it… After a very long day, the show you have worked so hard for for X amount of weeks is finally here…ENJOY your day and be proud of all the handwork you have put in for months at a time. The competition prep journey is never an easy one but you did it and that alone is awesome. Enjoy the post show NOMS- for me that will forever be Cheesecake Factory.. Mac and cheese bites and Adam’s PB Fudge Ripple Cheesecake, yes please! (See you in 8 weeks).- whatever that may be for you- savor it and enjoy every delicious bite.
Please comment with any show day tips or advice you may have for fellow competitors below.
Thanks so much for keeping up with my BIKINI PREP SERIES and keep checking back for more on Reverse Dieting, Post Show Blues, etc…. Feel free to comment with any ideas you may have for Post Show BPS content.
Have a great day and talk soon,