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 2: Preparing for the Stage Physically & Mentally, click here


PART 3: The Finishing Touches and Post Show

You’re just a few short weeks out from show time and you’ve done everything you can to prepare for the spotlight. One of the most important elements at this stage in the game is to ensure you’re showing off all of your hard work in the best way possible. Here’s what should be on your “To-Do List” from now until your show.


Note: For every item listed below it’s important to check the website of the federation you plan to compete with and be sure to follow their guidelines. Presentation will differ depending on the category, federation and show.

Once on stage, you’ll need to do a comparison round called “quarter turns” or “half turns” and usually an individual walk called a “T-walk”. The turns and walk are where you get to show off all your hard work, so it’s critical to understand how to bring your A-game with your physique. Although it’s not mandatory, consider hiring an experienced pro to help you. Practice your posing (in high heels) as often as you can. Work it into your training schedule and hit those poses in front of a mirror until you’re confident you’ll own the stage.

It’s very important to you buy the right shoes for the show you plan to compete in—some have very specific rules regarding platform heights and shoe options.
Once you have your shoes purchased, start working those heels in as much as possible. It’s important to break them in and get comfortable walking in them. The more you practice, the smoother your stage-walk and turns will be.

Suit Selection
Track down a person or company who has experience with show suits. Ideally, find someone in your area so it’ll be easier to make last-minute adjustments if needed. Your suit expert will let you know when to come in for fittings and discuss the suit’s material with you. The final fitting should be close to your show date, since most bodies will change significantly right up until show time. An experienced suit maker will know how to work around this.

Tip: When choosing a suit color and fit, it’s important that both compliment your body. Usually jewel tones (ruby, emerald, sapphire, etc) stand out the most on stage and flatter everyone. Make sure your suit’s coverage is in keeping with show regulations.


For most federations, there’s a specific tan color required for show day. It is extremely dark but looks more natural on stage and helps to highlight muscle definition. The easiest and most effective way to get this color is to hire an official spray tanner and get sprayed the evening prior to the competition. This will ensure you get the right color for stage. But be sure your face isn’t too darkened – one light spray is enough.

Tip: Be sure to wash off your facial tan the night before the show. The color will be more inline with your makeup.

A professional makeup artist can help you create the best look for you. You’ll need to have stage make-up (much heavier than normal makeup), but the skin on your face still needs to be lighter than your body (otherwise you’ll look like a ‘floating head’ under the bright stage lights). You want to stand out in a positive way.


After the show it’s important to gradually work your way out of your intense pre-show regime; you’ll need to adjust your diet plan as well as your workouts.

The focus should be getting back to a diet and training that matches your post-show goals (maintenance or growth). This is a really critical time to stay on track with your programming in order to avoid an extremely rapid weight gain immediately after. You need to gradually work your way out of being “stage lean” so your body can adapt slowly and positively.Now that your show is over, find new goals to work toward. After all these months of focus on show prep, you’ll need something else to focus on so you don’t get the “post-show blues”, which most athletes will tell you is more common than you might think.

It’s no small feat and not for the faint of heart to train for a show. Keep in mind that the best you can do is to bring your best to the stage. The trophies are fun but shouldn’t be what makes you feel accomplished. Getting on stage is not easy, so be proud that you did it.

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