With Fatima Leite Kusch, Competition prep coach and Pro Fitness Model competitor
You’ve always dreamed about stepping on stage and now, you’re ready to cross it off your bucket list.
Join Coach Fatima Leite Kusch here as she walks you through the steps of signing up for a show, plus what
to do once you’ve taken the plunge. She’ll be giving away her pro tips and secrets to rocking the stage,
so don’t miss it!
If you missed Part 1: How to Choose the Right show, click here
Part 2: Preparing for the Stage Physically & Mentally
The topic this month is all about the tools you’ll need to look your best on stage. Now that you’ve decided which show to sign up for, and calculated approximately how much time you’ll need to achieve that stage-ready look, its time to hash out an action plan. Start by jotting down some important information to track your progress.
WHAT TO TRACK AND WHEN
1. Body Fat Percentage – Once per month
Find a method that is most convenient and realistic for you to measure your body fat percentage easily (even some home scales will calculate body fat).
Note: Do some research and find yourself a scale that’s specific to athletes, measuring everything from body weight to body fat.
2. Measurements – Once per week
Take these measurements with a measuring tape first thing in the morning, before eating or drinking. Do this exercise on the same day each week (ie: every Saturday).
1. Bicep – measure at the widest point
2. Chest – measure across the nipples and straight around
3. Waist – measure at the belly button
4. Hips – measure at the widest point
5. Thigh – measure under the bum crease and evenly around the leg
6. Calf – measure at the largest point
3. Weight – Once, every other week
For the best accuracy, weigh yourself first thing in the morning before you eat or drink anything. But don’t get hung up on this number! Remember that no matter what your numbers show, you’re being judged on how you look, not what you weigh or what your body fat percentage is. This is just another tracking tool.
Photos – Once per month
You’ll need a well-lit area and the smallest bikini you own to really get a sense of what your body looks like from head-to-toe. Take these photos around the same time once per month, and then once per week as you get closer to show time.
Tip: Remember to include the following angles of your body each time:
• Front with arms at your side
• Back with arms at your side
• Right side with arms slightly away from the body
• Left side with arms slightly away from the body
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The Right Workout Program
As mentioned in Part 1, a training program tailored to hit your specific stage goal is key. It’s never a one-size-fits-all training routine, especially when it comes to stage prep. For example: if you’re a little light on muscle, you’ll likely follow a body building-style program, even if your category is Bikini. Your goal is to build enough mass to fill out and rock that two-piece. On the flip side, if you’re too muscular for bikini, then you’ll need to adjust your training to create a softer looking physique for the category.
Tip: Research your look!
Each federation has a slightly different version of their ideal look for each category (Bikini, Figure, Fitness Model, Physique) and level (amateur, national, pro). So ensure that your training method matches the ideal look you’re aiming to achieve for that particular stage. If you’re not sure, get out there and talk to other competitors, coaches and trainers to make sure your plan is on target with your goals.
Keep a Food Journal
Track everything you eat. This will allow you to adjust your diet as needed, and prevent you from doing anything drastic to get fast results. It’s just not worth the risk. Take your time and do this right; in the long run your body will thank you!
It’s important to allow yourself enough time to “lean down” for the stage. Ideally losing no more than 2 pounds per week is recommended, but a lot of industry pros suggest 1-1.5 pounds per week is optimal for keeping as much hard earned muscle as you can. If you feel you need to lose more than that per week, that’s a telltale sign you’re not giving yourself enough time to prep.
There’s no doubt that it takes as much mental prep to compete as it does physical prep. To help train your attitude and get your mind laser-focused, I recommend the book, “In Pursuit of Excellence” by Terry Orlick. It will teach you how to focus, visualize, and use your thoughts positively to excel during your prep as well as on stage.
One last thing… Your goals are your goals
Another important thing to keep in mind is that your goals are your own. Watch that you don’t fall into the pit of comparing yourself to others, since everyone is at a different place in her training to get to that stage. Remember: this is your journey. If you have a coach you’re working with, trust him or her implicitly and lean on them for advice when you’re feeling frustrated or lost.
Finally, have fun with the process and enjoy the journey!
Part THREE: Finishing Touches & Taking the Stage
For more on Coach Fatima and her Team Blessed Bodies, or for extra tips and advice, check out fatimaleitekusch.com