On Sunday 6 October 2013 I stepped on stage for the first time competing in the Fitness Model over 75kg category. I had an amazing day and thoroughly enjoyed my experience of competing for the first time in my life. I want to share my experience for all of you who are thinking about competing and give you the extra nudge to go out there and do it. Here is my journey from the moment I began my prep to the day itself when I stepped on stage.
My final preparations for the Miami Pro Championships began 12 weeks ago and I made sure I had everything prepped and planned for it. I had everything worked out so I knew exactly what I was doing on each day and that way I knew nothing was left to chance. This meant my workouts, meals, rest days, sleep patterns were all worked out so I knew how I was going to maximise everyday. I am a firm believer in planning and as there was a plan in place I knew I couldn't go wrong. As each week went passed, each workout got a bit harder and my meals became slightly more bland. 12 weeks soon halved and before I knew it I was 2 weeks out from the biggest milestone of my life, which was representing myself on stage and ticking off a big goal of mine. As soon as I hit the 2 week mark I was introducing cardiovascular workouts most mornings and I really started to notice the change in my physique. I have been training and leading this lifestyle for many years now so I knew when to start running as I can lean out very quickly due to having little body fat all year round. This is a big tip for anyone thinking about competing, you must know and understand how your body works. Make sure a few months before you compete you have trialed different methods of eating and training to see how your body reacts.
The Night Before
So I am less than 24 hours away from stepping on stage and mentally I am as focused as I will ever be. I often checked my physique on this day to make sure I wasn't holding too much water and to go over my poses. Tan is very important when it comes to competing so this also needed to be checked daily. The night before the show meant I could relax just slightly on what I ate and drank. I stopped drinking water at 7pm and instead I switched water for a glass of red wine. That's right, I drank a glass of alcohol. 7 days before my competition I increased my water intake to around 6 litres of water per day and then slowly reduced the amount as I got closer to game day! This helps flush out the excess water and by drinking a glass of red wine helped tighten me up slightly. Leading up to the competition my carbohydrate intake was also lowered so that I depleted from my glycogen stores ready for a big carb load the night before. These are all things I knew would work well for my body and it showed on the day as I felt and looked great!!
Game Day, Sunday 6 October
I'm up early in my hotel room which is only 10 minutes away from the Arena where I will be competing for my first show. Feelings at this stage are of excitement and also nerves having not done something like this before I wasn't sure what to expect. I sipped some water, put on a fresh layering of tan and ate some scrambled eggs that I had prepared. For the next few hours I made sure my head was in the right place and that I was mentally prepared. I went through my poses for one last time and then I waited until I had to leave. Upon arrival to the arena I met some other competitors who were already following me on twitter and turned out to be pleasant, genuine guys. I placed most of my belongings in the dressing room downstairs where there were more competitors who again were friendly and supportive as for many of us it was our first time competing. We all had a athlete registration meeting and after that it was SHOW TIME. The nerves all seemed to disappear as soon as my feet stepped on stage and the only thing I was thinking was how awesome this experience is. I competed in the Fitness Model over 75kg category with approximately 15 other competitors who all looked fantastic and put a lot of hard work into the day. First round was swimwear with a T walk and quarterly turns. This was my favourite round and I was called out with 6 other competitors to showcase my physique further to the judges and to the crowd. This was a good sign as it meant that out of all the other competitors they wanted to see more of my physique. Unfortunately after the theme wear round I wasn't placed in the top 5 for my category but I still left feeling a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment.
Even though I didn't place top 5 and I feel as though I should have done, my presence on stage will continue. I hope to enter more competitions next year and really focus on building a bigger and better physique to wow you all with. For now, I am back in the gym training and reflecting on the show so that next time I can be even better. Like I have previously mentioned, I also met some fantastic guys who I will stay in touch with. If you are thinking of competing, I strongly recommend it and you never know what might happen. To everyone that competed, well done and hopefully see you all soon!! To follow more of my progress check out my twitter feed @scottriches where I update my workouts and meals. Thanks for all the support :)