The Ultimate Guide to Bodybuilding Competition: Everything You Need to Know to Crush Your Next Contest

The Ultimate Guide to Bodybuilding Competition: Everything You Need to Know to Crush Your Next Contest

Posted on

Are you planning on competing in a bodybuilding competition? It’s not just about looking good in a posing suit, it’s about showcasing all the hard work you’ve put into transforming your body. However, preparing for a competition can be a daunting task. That’s why we’ve put together The Ultimate Guide to Bodybuilding Competition: Everything You Need to Know to Crush Your Next Contest.

In this guide, we’ll cover everything from the basics of competition prep to the final touches on stage. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a first-time competitor, this guide will provide you with valuable information to help you succeed in your next competition.

Step One: Setting Your Goals

Before you start prepping for a competition, it’s important to set realistic goals for yourself. Are you looking to win your division or do you simply want to earn your pro card? Once you’ve established your goals, it’s time to start planning your diet and training regimen.

First, start by creating a meal plan that focuses on high-quality, nutrient-dense foods. This will help you maintain your muscle mass while shedding body fat. Next, develop a training program that focuses on muscle hypertrophy and aesthetics. This typically involves a combination of resistance training, cardio, and flexibility work.

Step Two: Selecting the Right Division

Bodybuilding competitions have various divisions, each with its own set of requirements. It’s important to select the division that best fits your physique and experience level. For example, the Men’s Classic Physique division focuses on a more streamlined, aesthetic physique, while the Men’s Bodybuilding division emphasizes muscle mass and size.

When selecting your division, take into account your height, weight, and overall proportions. You may also want to consider competing in a division that allows you to showcase your strengths. For instance, if you have exceptional upper body development, you may want to compete in the Men’s Physique division.

Step Three: Posing and Presentation

Posing Practice

Posing is a critical component of any bodybuilding competition. It’s important to practice your poses regularly to ensure that you can showcase your physique in the best possible light. Practice in front of a mirror, paying attention to your posture, facial expression, and overall presentation.

Stage Presentation

When you step on stage, you want to exude confidence and poise. Make eye contact with the judges, maintain good posture, and smile. Walk with purpose and grace, showcasing your physique from every angle. Remember, the stage is your opportunity to showcase all the hard work you’ve put in.

Step Four: Tanning and Grooming


Tanning is an important aspect of any bodybuilding competition. A deep, dark tan can highlight your muscle definition and enhance your overall presentation. When selecting a tanning product, be sure to choose one that won’t streak, run, or discolor your posing suit.


When it comes to grooming, it’s important to pay attention to the details. This includes trimming body hair, ensuring that your nails are clean and trimmed, and applying makeup or other beauty products as needed. Remember, small details can make a big difference in your overall presentation.

Step Five: Recovery and Rebound


After the competition, it’s important to allow your body to rest and recover. This includes taking time off from training, getting adequate sleep and nutrition, and engaging in activities that promote relaxation and stress relief.


Following a period of rest and recovery, it’s time to start planning your next competition. Review your performance in your last competition and identify areas for improvement. Use this feedback to develop a new training and nutrition plan that will help you achieve your goals.

Tips for Success

Stay Positive and Focused

Bodybuilding competition prep can be stressful and challenging. The key to success is to stay positive and focused on your goals. Surround yourself with supportive people and maintain a positive outlook, even in the face of setbacks or challenges.

Be Consistent

Consistency is key when it comes to competition prep. Stick to your nutrition and training plan, even on the toughest days. Stay committed to your goals, and you’ll see results.

Ideas for Inspiration

Find a Mentor

Bodybuilding competitions can be daunting, particularly for first-time competitors. Consider finding a mentor who can offer guidance, support, and encouragement throughout the process. This could be a friend or family member who has competed before or a professional coach.

Join a Team or Club

Joining a bodybuilding team or club can provide a sense of community and camaraderie. You’ll meet other competitors who can offer advice and support, and you may even get the opportunity to train with experienced coaches or athletes.

How to Deal with Setbacks

Adjust Your Plan

Setbacks are a natural part of any competition prep. Instead of getting discouraged, use setbacks as an opportunity to adjust your plan. Evaluate where you went wrong and make changes to your training or nutrition regimen as needed.

Focus on the Long-Term

Remember that bodybuilding is a lifelong pursuit. Even if you don’t perform as well as you’d hoped in your first competition, keep a long-term perspective. Focus on making progress and improving yourself with each competition.


When should I start preparing for a competition?

Most competitors start preparing for their competition at least 12 weeks in advance. However, the length of your prep will depend on your experience level and your goals.

What should I eat before a competition?

Most competitors follow a high-protein, low-carb diet in the weeks leading up to a competition. The day of the competition, it’s important to eat nutrient-dense, easily digestible foods that won’t upset your stomach.


If you’re considering competing in a bodybuilding competition, this guide has provided you with a comprehensive overview of everything you need to know. Remember to set realistic goals, select the right division, practice your posing and presentation, and take care of your body throughout the process. With the right mindset, preparation, and dedication, you can crush your next competition and achieve your fitness goals.