How committed are you?
Before you start putting your competition prep plans into
action, you REALLY should take a moment to figure out WHY you are
competing. Whether it is part of your
bucket list/pushing yourself to the next level/seeking notoriety…your reason
will determine how committed you are and which path you will take to reach your
Truth be told, no matter what your reasons are for
competing, there will be many sacrifices needed to be taken to reach your
goals. Time, food, friends/family and
sleep are usually the main factors in your life that will be sacrificed. How may you ask? Here’s how:
·Time – Be prepared to spend plenty of time in
the gym. Whether it is doing cardio,
weight training, posing or practicing your routine (fitness/physique/bodybuilding),
you will be spending much time in the gym to prepare for your competition. Cardio= 45-60 minutes, weight training= 45-60
minutes, posing= 60 minutes, routine= 60 minutes (physique/bodybuilding),
routine= 2hrs (fitness). Now if you add
all this up, it turns out to be a lot of time doesn’t it? If you compete, it turns out to be a part
time job. You should really sit back and think if this will be all worth
·Food- Be prepared to give up all the yummy
delicacies and desserts that you normally enjoy. This is not your Zone, South Beach
or Atkins Diet. At least these diets
permit some foods with flavor or fats. Dieting
for a competition will require 8- 16 weeks of restrictive/non flavor filled
·Friends/family – If we had 26 hour days and 9
days in a week, we probably would not have to sacrifice time with our friends
and family. When you tally up the time
needed to prepare for a competition, it will not leave much time with loved
ones. You would probably have enough
time to see your family or friends every other week.
· Sleep- Speaking from experience, a good portion
of my fitness competition years, I probably averaged 4-5 hours of sleep a night during
the week days. During a majority of this
time, I didn’t have a regular full time job.
I was a free lance trainer and group fitness instructor. If I didn’t teach/train, I didn’t get paid. Therefore, I had to teach/train during peak
times. (before work, lunchtime, after work)
So I had to get up at 5 am to get to work to teach or train. Meanwhile, for a good period of time, I was
going Monday- Thursday to train my fitness routine from 8:30 pm – 10:30pm. I would not get home until 11:30pm. After cleaning up from the day and preparing
for the next day, I would go to sleep at 12am.
Long day? Not enough sleep you
say? Please keep in mind, this was
during my fitness competition years.
When I switched to figure and physique, I did get a few more hours sleep, but
not by that much.
I was very fortunate enough to have a husband who is very
supportive. He helped cook and prepare all my meals. That saved me quite a few hours a week. I know NOT everyone is as lucky and have to
do everything themselves. As I stated
before, you really need to sit down and think very carefully if you are ready
to make this sacrifice. You know the
saying, “Behind every successful man is a successful woman”. Well, this also applies to a successful
competitor. Let me just say, “Behind
every successful competitor, is a SUPPORTIVE team (family/friends)”.
This post is part 3 of the Competition Perspective
series. If you missed the previous post,
you can check here.
Please check back
for my next post… How far will you go to
If you have any questions
in regards to this topic or general fitness, you can reach me at [email protected]
. Looking forward to hearing from you.
Competition Perspective…Under your control or not so much? Pt 2
Why are you competing?
This is the question you should ask yourself before you take
your first step towards competition preparation. Are you competing because:
·You want to push your fitness to the next level
·You want to use this as a marketing tool for
·You want to get your face into fitness modeling
·You want to cross it off your bucket list
·You want to attain “pro” status
Whatever your reason to compete is…keep in mind that it is all
about you! From my experience, I have
seen many competitors (myself included) get wrapped up with the supposed
stardom from competing. If you are clear
on your reasons why you are competing, nobody will be able to detour your goals
or make you do things that you DO NOT want to do.
If you have read my website you know:
·That my competition career started out as a way
to push myself to the next level. At
first, I started as a bodybuilder just to see how far my body can go.
·Then fitness competitions came on the
scene. I knew as a bodybuilder I could
not go anywhere because I was too small.
I started to think if I am successful as a fitness competitor, I can better market
myself as a trainer.
·As I competed in a few smaller competitions, I
realized I would love to get a fitness modeling career going. All I had to do is to place well in nationals
or better yet turn “pro” as a fitness competitor.
·At my first NPC Fitness Nationals, not only did
I placed 5 out of 50 competitors, I earned my “pro” status. Not too shabby?
Once I turned “Pro” with the IFBB, I thought it was going to
be easy to get sponsorship, fitness modeling and/or spokes model jobs.
Boy was I wrong…It seems “Pro” status isn’t what it cracked up to
be. It seems that you don’t have to be a
“Pro” to get the work. As time went on,
I had come to realize that if you have a few connections, a good marketable
look and persistence, you may have a chance.
Just remember, if you do not get the jobs or attention that
you were hoping for, please do not think you are worthless. You have no idea, how many competitors I have
seen go down the dark road of inadequacies. Don’t forget, you did something that about 80%
of the population would not even do. Get on stage in a skimpy little bathing
suit that barely covers your body.
At the end, if you can remember why you wanted to compete,
90% of the time from my experience, is you want to push yourself to the next
level. You are winner…you are worth
plenty…nobody should make you feel otherwise…..
This is the second post of “Competition Perspective…Under
your control or not so much?” series. If
you missed the previous post, please check here
. If you have any questions in regards to
contest prep or post competition schedule, please contact me at www.marieallegro.com
. I am also available for everyday
fitness/wellness questions. Check back
soon and thanks for visiting.
Competition Perspective…Under your control or not so much?
45 years on the planet…21 years of them involved in
competition, in some form or another.
Whether competing, coaching competitors or both, I have experienced in varying degrees, situations where I lost perspective to why I
was competing. More importantly...my
sense of self.
In this series, I will discuss several aspects of events that
may occur, before, during and after competition. The topics that I will discuss are as
·Why are you competing?
·How committed are you?
·How far will you go to compete?
·How important is your placing?
·The big picture….
My goal in this series is to assist you with making the
correct decisions that will not make
you lose your sense of self, integrity and self worth. In my experience, I cannot express how many
times I questioned myself as a wife, competitor, trainer and coach. If I can prevent that series of events
happening to you, then all of it, will have been well worth it.
Come back soon for more tips and information about this topic. Thanks for stopping by...
Congratulations…You just did your 1st fitness/figure/bikini/physique competition…Now what? Pt 5
As the weeks go on after your competition, take your time getting back together with your friends. If you try to make up time too quickly, you can burn yourself out fast. Remember... you just went through 16 weeks(more or less) of intense dieting and training. Now it is time for you to enjoy and savor the time with your friends and family.
It would be no surprise after all the weeks of dieting and secluding yourself away from your friends and family, so you would not make anyone uncomfortable…You find it a challenge to work yourself back to meeting with them.
I remember when I was preparing for my competitions, one of my best friends, Linda said to me two months before my shows, “Give me a call after your show so we can hang out like regular people”. Believe or not, I was not offended…if anything, I understood her. I appreciated that she gave me my space to do what I had to do and not make me feel guilty for choosing to compete.
I even had to stay away from my family a month prior to the competition. During the preparation phase you need to surround yourself with positive reinforcement. Though I know my family loves me and wants me to do well, they may not have understood the whole dieting phase. You know how some cultures see plumpness as being healthy.
With my family, it was easy to get back to our usual gatherings. The Monday after my competition, my mom would make my favorite two dishes…and she made it with love and a big smile. She wouldn’t show it but I could tell she enjoyed every moment as I inhaled dinner.
During my years of competition, I have learned who my true friends are. As I mentioned above, my best friend Linda gave me the space that was needed for me to prep for my competition. She didn’t give me any guilt trips for not spending time with her. To come to think about it…I was blessed that most of my friends understood and gave me space.
This is the final post in the series “Now What?” If you missed my previous posts, check it out here
. If you have any questions on this topic or any other questions, please contact me at [email protected]
. There is more to come. Check back soon. Thanksfor stopping by……
Congratulations…You just did your 1st
fitness/figure/bikini/physique competition…Now what? Pt 4
dysmorphia and depression
After 16 weeks
(more or less) of dieting, training, posing, walking, anything and everything to
do with competition, it is now Monday morning after your 1st show,
what are you going to do now? After
dedicating 6 days a week and 2-4 hours a day to training and preparing for a
competition, you may be left with a feeling of emptiness. Don’t be surprised feeling depressed too because
all the anticipation of stepping on stage to compete…the climax has come and
gone. The feeling of worthlessness may
appear as well because everybody who knows you may have been complimenting you
with an abundance of accolades. Now,
with your competition, the climax has also come and gone for your friends and
The one thing you
need to keep in mind…
are the same awesome person the week before your competition as you are after
the competition. Nothing has changed
except that you can return to your normal life.
What helped my clients and me is to plan your following year. If you decide to continue competing, you will
need to listen to the judges’ feedback and work on a plan to make the
improvements necessary. This should keep
your mind occupied. Whether reshaping
your body or revamping your off season diet, this should keep you busy and not
dwell on the emptiness of not having a competition to focus on.
factor that may occur is body dysmorphia.
The day you step on stage, you will probably be in the best shape
ever. But you have to keep in mind the
body you present on stage is not the real you.
Remember you had to carb, sodium and water deplete a few days before
your competition. Depending on your
height/size, we can be talking about a 4-8 pound difference. In addition to the depletion, you had to cut
your calories to about 1000- 1200 calories/day.
Which is not feasible, especially if you live an active lifestyle. Be prepared to gain (if you slowly add back
in the depleted items) back a few pounds a few days after your
competition. Please know that you
deserve one meal (burger/ice cream/pizza) after your competition. However, do
not eat everything in sight or your body will balloon up. If you follow my previous blog, you should be
able to maintain a comfortable and realistic weight.
thing to remember, at 115lbs (just a number I chose) as you were losing weight
is the same look as you are going back up.
It is amazing how some competitors think they look totally FABULOUS at
115lbs as you are coming down but think they look out of shape at the same
weight as you are returning to a realistic weight. Something to think about, huh?
Keep in mind you
are FABULOUS no matter where your weight ends up because you did something not
everyone can do. Be proud of your
accomplishment! You are one rocking
is the fourth post in the series “Now What?”
If you missed my previous posts, check here.
Check back soon for my next installment… Rekindling relationships
. If you have any questions on this topic or any
other questions, please contact me at [email protected]