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The Jamaica Amateur Body Building and Fitness Association’s national competition is August 26-27, 2016, that is approximately 17 weeks away. Sounds like a lot of time right? WRONG! this is the perfect time to start getting ready for a competition.

First thing I would recommend for anyone who wants to compete is to get familiar with the various categories and determine which one is more suitable for your body type. Once you have determined this, do a candid assessment of where you are in physically and mentally. If you are over the body fat percentage of the average competitor in that category, can you lose enough weight to be lean enough to be a top contender? if you lose weight, will you have enough muscle to not look skinny? but to actually look lean and full? Do have enough knowledge to diet down on your own or do you need a trainer to guide you? These are questions you should be able to answer soon.

I also recommend that you try and do the poses, take pics and videos of yourself posing in as little clothes as possible. Be very critical and honest with yourself and what you see. Ask persons who have competed before to give your their opinions on what you would need to improve over the coming weeks.

DO not jump too deep into dieting at first, this is a mistake many persons make and end up starving towards the final week. Easy does it, if you give yourself enough time to prep, you won’t have to go through stringent methods to lose weight. Like double sessions, no carbs and no fats. If you go to deep too soon, you can actually sacrifice losing too much muscle with the fat. You will lose some amount of muscle while dieting, dieting too hard will make you lose even more. You have to also balance the cardio/weight training/nutrition. Too much cardio has adverse effects, same as too little food. The aim is to preserve as much muscle as possible, which means losing weight on as much food as possible.

If you have an unhealthy relationship with food and suffer from binge eating, prepping for a competition is going to be hard for you. You will be continuously suffering through prep with days of rebound eating. You have to attempt to establish a healthy relationship with food before you go into the realm of dieting down. If you have body dysmorphia (whereby you are not happy with your body) you will also have a harder time, no matter how much weight you lose you will always be thinking you are too fat. This already happens during prep, especially if you prep yourself. You will even be more critical. When you have a coach, the outside influence can help you to feel better about yourself and help you along those tough days.

Do not believe the hype, prepping for a show is not a happy thing. It is fun watching your body evolve. It’s fascinating even. But there are days, especially as a female when PMS hits, when you will want to say forget it. You have to remember the end goal.

After you have done your self-assessment,  you can get yourself in order. Start on your program and get the damn thing done!

Written By: Tobi-Gayle Smith

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