Preparing for Your Competition – What to Bring!

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The final weeks of contest prep are stressful for competitors at all levels.  Being prepared is key to minimizing stress and assuring you are at your best.  Make a list of everything you need to take with you to the show so that things go as smoothly as possible.  After all, you’ve put so much into this, you want it to be great!

Leading up to the show, make sure all your travel and tanning arrangements are made, including reservations and appointment times.  The week of the show, make a list of everything you’ll be taking with you and begin assembling the items.  I’ll share my list of essentials below:

  • Posing suit (of course)!  Make sure that it has been fitted properly close enough to the show, since your body will change significantly during prep.  Bring a back-up suit with you, if you have one, in case of an emergency, Super Glue to replace any stones that fall off, and a small sewing kit for unexpected mending.  If you are flying to your show, pack your suit(s) in your carry on to avoid lost luggage!
  • (Ladies) Shoes, if required for your division.
  • (Ladies) Jewelry to complement your suit.
  • Bikini Bite – they will have this at the show, but it’s always a good idea to have some with you for last minute emergencies!  Always use a glue designed for skin, as we have seen competitors use other glues that will remove your skin along with the suit at the end of the night.
  • Music – make sure to bring the required CDs (if required for your division), and make an extra copy for yourself in case one gets lost.  Label your music with your name in permanent marker. Make sure the music is a “clean” version, as most shows will not allow the use of music with any explicit lyrics.
  • Phone or iPod and headphones with your music so you can practice your routine or just use it to relax.
  • A small bag or backpack to take with you backstage, to tanning, etc to carry your food and essentials.
  • Your NPC or IFBB card.
  • Cash – you can’t always pay for incidentals by bank or credit card!
  • Toiletries – all your “normal” things you’d pack for a regular trip, plus hand wipes (especially for after you get your tan and can’t wash your hands), an exfoliating sponge or latex gloves to get your tan off after the show, a body bronzer if you plan on doing any photo shoots, extra false eyelashes, touch-up nail polish and make-up.
  • Evening wear to go out following the show, as there is usually an “after party” or get-together at a nearby venue.
  • Extra towels to clean up any tanning product or make-up in your hotel.  Also, consider bringing extra sheets, as the spray tan can and will rub off on hotel bedding and could result in a charge.
  • Water.
  • Meals – whatever food you need to get you through the show.
  • Exercise bands – it is always good to have a set of these with you, in case the venue does not provide equipment in the pump-up area or if it’s too crowded for you to get a set of dumbbells.

Once you get your competitor number, make sure to keep it with you so you can put it on backstage.  Although show preparation can be somewhat stressful, being organized makes it much easier.  Most importantly, make sure you have fun at the show!  It’s your big day, and you’ve work so hard to get there.  Enjoy every moment!

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