#1 PICKING THE WRONG COACH
Yes, there is such a thing as the ‘wrong coach’. There are so many ways in which a competitor will not succeed with one particular individual and do phenomenal with another. Possibly because some coaches are able to coach a natural athlete, others only know how to prep with drugs, and some have absolutely no business in being a coach at all. A competitor must ask herself what kind of competitor she is choosing to be, because the answer is essential in choosing the right coach.
Another big consideration is whether the coach is able to satisfy the competitors needs during the prep process. Is the prep they offer in person or online? Will they allow her to contact them for anything at any time? Does this coach have a team? Does the coach have local vendors for tanning and suits? Are his/her athletes doing well at shows? Does his/her bikini, figure and physique clients have aesthetically pleasing physiques? All of the answers to these questions should have heavy bearing on choosing a coach. Some competitors enjoy working out at midnight with no one around and kind of lone-wolfing it – an online coach might be perfect for that kind of woman. While others, need the comradery of a team, enjoy the group fitness, workout partners and having matching robes come show day. Don’t judge, respect her process. The challenge in choosing a coach is finding someone that shares the same vision of a physique that a competitor wishes to obtain with the knowledge of how obtain it.
#2 PICKING THE WRONG DIVISION FOR A BODY-TYPE
Look around any room, all different body types exist. For this reason, the NPC/IFBB and many other federations have created a vast array of divisions for female competitors. A wise competitor will take an honest look at their physique – is the medial deltoid of the shoulder more pronounced? How are the quads doing? And from behind? It is not enough to just be on stage if a competitor actually wants to be competitive. The competitors must give the judges what they want and the specific attributes they are looking for if they wish to do well.
Each year the first show of the season will dictate and set the tone for what the judges want. It will be self-defeating, discouraging and depressing to try to do well in NPC Bikini if the competitor has a body type that looks like she belongs in NPC Figure. And make no mistake, if you wish to be competitive in the NPC/IFBB, it is more likely than not that you will need to use drugs to achieve the desired look the judges want – yes, in all divisions including bikini. It is an outlier physique that is capable of showing mature, conditioned muscle with retained size in the leaning out process naturally. Those women literally woke up like that and everyone is jealous of their genetics. But imagine what the outlier physique is capable of when using drugs to develop it further. The decision to use the assistance of drugs to be the best competitor possible in the NPC/IFBB is not an unwise one. However, it is unwise to use the drugs without the proper knowledge of the consequences to health and female attributes. Which brings about the next mistake…
#3 USING DRUGS WITH NO RESPECT FOR CONSEQUENCE
Female competitors in all divisions and at all levels of the NPC/IFBB use the assistance of drugs during prep to achieve their desired physiques. The drugs used are usually banned and most commonly consist of thermogenics as well as steroids. The voluptuous full curve of a vascular medial deltoid muscle is a beautiful thing; however, would that NPC figure competitor still want those IFBB pro shoulders if she knew her jaw line would have to be forever changed? Not all steroid use will cause the disfigurement of female attributes; but, the knowledge of a particular drug might be more likely than not to have said side effects, would have great bearing on a particular competitor’s decision. It is admirable that some women will take this sport to the extent that they will do anything to be at the top and will stop at nothing to obtain it. To them changing facial attributes is nothing in exchange for their success.
Furthermore, it is very common that women do not appreciate the consequences that taking drugs will have on their health. The use of steroids, even oral hormones such as Anavar, will raise the bodies red blood cell count and raise blood pressure. The results of those two conditions for prolonged periods of time have created many adverse effects on the body and, in some cases, has resulted in serious life-threatening conditions. If the competitor isn’t doing research as to what she is putting in her body and the consequences of which, then it is hoped that her coach has her health in mind when designing her prep.
#4 NOT DEVELOPING A THICK SKIN
As soon as a woman decides that she wants to display her physique in two inches of fabric with a ridiculous tan, which is complimented by four-inch clear hooker heels, on a stage, she is opening the flood gates for criticism. This is a sport (ok, more of a pageant), it has nothing to do with the competitor – male or female – as a person. It is simply the ability to build muscle and to continue to push their bodies to change and grow. Every person in a woman’s life is going to have something to say when they see the transformation into her prep body. It is important to ignore the naysayers. It is NECESSARY for a female competitor to look how she wants and to achieve the details the judges are looking for. In short, eyes on the prize during the journey. And after receiving criticism post-show from a panel of male judges, take a close look at those judges. Every female competitor should ask herself, “If I saw that grossly overweight man anywhere else on this planet, would it really matter what he thinks of me?” No. Nobody would care about his opinion. Take critiques like a grain of salt, know the areas of improvement, have a plan to effect changes and focus on the next prep, not on the imperfections.