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Written by Jade McKee (Clean Health Online Master Coach)

As we approach the end of 2020, Season A 2021 is almost upon us. If you have a client who wants to compete – now is the time to get their prep underway!

If you have a client that’s competing next year and want to learn more about how to coach & prepare clients for physique athlete competitions & photoshoots, click here to enrol into Dr. Layne Norton’s Training The Physique Athlete online course!

As the thought of ‘Show Day’ can be quite daunting to a new competitor, we thought we would help ease some of those nerves, and run you through how a typical competition day schedule may look.

Remember – all federations will be run differently. The IFBB Pro League will run their competitions as either a one-show format, or split into two parts over the day –  with the ‘Pre-Judging’ up first in the morning, and the ‘Finals’ in the afternoon. The WBFF will have a two-show format – with a ‘morning’ and a ‘night’ show.

Here’s an example of how a typical IFBB Pro League show day might look:

5am – Breakfast
Rise and Shine! It’s SHOW DAY!! 

First things first – your athlete will need to shower and remove the excess bronzer from their base coat competition tan, that was applied the day before. Then it’s time for breakfast! Following this will be all the important appointments for the morning – hair, makeup, and tan.

Tip – Remind your athlete to pack their comp bag the day before, if not earlier. Comp brain is a real thing, and come show day you don’t want them to forget anything important!

6am – Tan
Your client’s final coat, or ‘Top Coat’ of competition tan will be applied on the morning of the show. Depending on the company they choose, this may even be done by an onsite team at the venue – which is handy for touch-ups later in the day! This is the SUPER dark tan that will stay on for the day, and will emphasise your client’s muscle definition for the judges to see under the harsh stage lights.

Tip – Remind your athlete that once their Top Coat tan is on they must NOT get wet!

7am – Hair and Makeup
Once again, there may be an onsite team looking after hair and makeup for the competitors. This can be especially handy if your athlete is travelling interstate, or internationally for their show.

Competition day makeup is not your normal makeup application. The foundation used will be darker to blend with the competition tan, and the whole look will be a little more glam! Think fluffy lashes, contoured cheek bones, and shimmer galore! Everything will need to be a little exaggerated to look more ‘normal’ under those harsh stage lights!

9am – Arrive at the Venue
It’s time to arrive at the venue! If it wasn’t scheduled for the day before, show day will start with a competitors meeting. This will be where your athlete will collect their number, and you will find out any important information regarding the classes, and timing of the day.

10am – Let the fun begin!
Depending on the size of the venue, and the number of competitors, your athlete may be allowed into the backstage area right from the start of the day. Whether or not you – as their coach, will also be allowed backstage will depend on the federation, and rules of the particular show. Some competitions don’t allow anyone but the competitors backstage, while at others you may have the option of purchasing a backstage pass.

Tip – Be prepared, just in case you need to purchase a pass.

Backstage it will be time for your athlete to relax. All the hard work has been done! Now is the time to chill with friends, or to make new friends! Depending on the division they will be entering, your athlete may have a few hours to wait. All they have to worry about now is some last minute posing practice, and finding the best light for some glam backstage selfies!

Tip – Remind your athlete to pack headphones, and a blanket to lie on to relax backstage.

10.30am – Pump Up
The backstage officials have announced your athlete’s division will be on stage at 11am. It’s time for final checks of their tan, hair, and makeup, then it’s time to pump up!

Tip – Remind your athlete to pack their own pump up bands – don’t rely on there being any equipment at the venue for them to use.

11am – Pre-Judging
For pre-judging your competitor will do their individual stage walk. Whether this is a T walk, or an I walk – you will need to find out in advance so your athlete is prepared on the day! Remember that posing practice should start when prep starts, and posing should be second nature to them before show day arrives.

Once everyone has had their turn individually on stage, there will be comparisons of the competitors. The Pre-judging will be when the majority of the actual judging takes place for the day.

Tip – Remind your athlete to make the most of their time on stage, to remember to smile, and of course – to have fun!

12pm – Intermission
It’s time for your athlete to hang out with their family and friends who have come to support them. This will also be the time for any last-minute changes to the game plan before the Finals in the afternoon.

Tip – Remind your athlete it’s not time to relax with their post comp-treats just yet – even if other competitors already are! There is still one round to go!

2pm – Finals
It’s Finals time! This is where the judges will have their final look at each of the athletes, to determine the winner of the division. Again – remind your athlete to have fun and enjoy their time on stage – this is what they worked SO hard for, and it’s all over so fast!

4pm – All done!
The day has come to an end. What an experience!

Tip – Remind your athlete to take the time to appreciate and celebrate what they have just achieved. It can be all too easy to move straight onto the next goal, without taking the time to celebrate this one.

The next day…
After the celebrations – THEN it is time to head back to the drawing board. Find out the process for requesting feedback from the judges, set new goals, and put plans in place to make the suggested improvements.

Tip – Don’t forget the importance of reverse dieting post-comp. Make sure you athlete remains focused and on track, to prevent their hard work being quickly undone with an unplanned post-comp blow-out.

Hopefully this will give your athlete an insight into show day, and help to alleviate any nerves that they may have around competing for the first time!

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