There’s no getting around the fact that competition prep is stressful. You’re running on fumes because you haven’t had many carbs, you’re tired from your two-a-day workouts six days a week – it just sucks sometimes.
But there are some things you can control, like being as prepared as you can for the days leading up to the competition, and for the competition itself. So I’m sharing a competition checklist that you can use as you prepare and pack for your upcoming bodybuilding competition. Good luck!
About three months out
- Place order for your custom suit. I use and trust CJ’s Elite Competition Suits because their designers look at pictures of your body type and skin tone and know what colors, cuts, and connectors will look best on you.
At least a month out
- Book your competition tan sessions. If possible, I always book with Pro Tan. Always spring for the “unlimited coats” package.
- Book your makeup appointments (remember, you’ll need two if it’s a two-day competition)
- Book your hair appointments (see above)
- Either book nail appointments for the week of the competition or purchase press-on nails and polish for your toes. Neutral or French manicure is best.
- Make sure your shoes are broken in. Now is not the time for new shoes y’all.
- Order jewelry that complements your suit and hair length. I have had good luck with Glam Competition Jewelry.
- Make your packing list! Or you can use mine below – there’s a pinnable version at the bottom of the post! 🙂
Competition packing list
Bring these things to competition check-in with you:
- NPC or IFBB card
- Cash/check if you haven’t paid your NPC entry fee or purchased your NPC card yet
- Competition suit (especially bikini; at NPC competitions they will sometimes need to check to make sure the cut is appropriate)
- Backup competition suit
Have these things in your hotel with you:
- Sheets you don’t mind staining. You need to cover your hotel bed/pillowcase with these so that you don’t ruin the white sheets with your tan and get charged for it.
- Towels you don’t mind staining. When you wash your tan off after the competition it will be like that scene from Carrie, so just take my word for it and bring your own towels.
- Spray deodorant. You can’t use regular antiperspirant with a tan because your armpits will turn green, so do everyone else a favor and keep the stank away with spray deo.
- Loose pants and long sleeved shirt for pajamas
- Cute outfit to wear when you go out to eat after the competition!
- Comfy outfit to wear on the trip home
- Mild laxative (in case you get constipated from being dehydrated)
- Prepped meals as directed by your coach
- Extra white rice
- Extra oats
Have these things backstage with you:
- Rolling suitcase to keep all of the stuff below in
- Competition suit (and backup in case of emergencies – ya never know)
- Clear heels
- Numbered badge you received at check-in. You will pin it at your left hip. Make sure it’s pinned where the judges can see it clearly.
- Bikini Bite to glue your suit to your butt
- Sewing kit in case of wardrobe malfunctions
- Layers to wear until it’s time to pump up/line up. A black maxi dress with a robe over it is my go-to.
- Flip flops to wear until you put your heels on
- Pillow (there’s a lot of waiting time)
- Makeup for touchups
- Full length mirror. They’re a hot commodity backstage so label yours.
- Low sodium rice cakes & nut butter and/or jelly. You’ll be eating these every hour or so to keep your muscles full.
- Exercise bands to pump up with before hitting the stage. Many venues do not allow weights, so it’s best to have bands with you.
Here’s the latest progress comparison! I’m within a couple pounds of my projected stage weight now. Wheee!!!
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