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Here are five great tips to make sure you’re as prepped as possible for your competition:

  1. For a good cause: Competing can be expensive. From the suits, to the heels, to the travel expenses, you can rack up quite the bill. So why not do a fundraiser? Clean bake sale anyone?
  2. Eat clean now: Whether your show is a year, six months or six weeks from now, don’t wait until the last minute to tweak your diet. Start eating clean now, learn how food affects your physique, and adjust as needed closer to the competition date. Early on, still give yourself a cheat day (in moderation, of course), and once the clock starts ticking, really hone it in.
  3. It’s a spectator sport: Go to shows and watch other competitors. Watching them live is the best way to learn. Study their walk, their poses and their charisma on stage. It’s not always the best body that wins – it’s the total package.
  4. Be available: Create business cards for yourself so you are prepared at all times. You don’t want to have to scribble your contact info on a napkin. But keep your card simple – a photo, email address, website/blog and your credentials.
  5. What’s your ultimate goal: Of course you want to win, we all do. But my personal goals are to develop confidence and a sense of accomplishment. Ask anyone who has ever trained for a show; it takes tremendous willpower and physical endurance, sacrifice and downright hard work. There’s so much more to gain than a trophy alone.