By Shannon Dey, M.S. Health Education & CEO-Founder Bombshell Fitness
Yep, not placing in your competition sucks. You worked SO very hard for months and you thought you looked great, but when the dust settled, you didn’t place in the Top 5 or perhaps you even placed dead stinkin’ last.
At this point you are probably, discouraged, upset, mad, disgruntled and ready to dive into a gallon of ice cream and QUIT, am I right? You blame the judges, your coaches, your training plan, your boyfriend, your friends and family, the WORLD!!!
STOP!!! Slow down, regroup and let’s be RATIONAL and REGROUP!
Yes, not placing well is a hard pill to swallow. It is extremely difficult to apply yourself to something over a long period of time and not feel rewarded for your effort. But remember, EVERYONE who competes has been disappointed over a placing at one time or another. It is the nature of the beast! However, what separates a Champion from a Quitter is how they HANDLE the situation.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself BEFORE you go off the deep end head first into that gallon of ice cream:
1. Did you TRULY follow your nutrition/training/cardio plan and for HOW long?
Many times competitors feel as if a few weeks of sacrifice should produce a champion’s physique. WRONG! Depending on how far out of shape you were when you started, it takes anywhere from 12 weeks to 12 MONTHS of training, cardio and CONSISTENT nutrition to create a stage ready physique! Competitors often nibble here and there all day on extra food and have extra cheat meals until about three to four weeks out from their show. They kick it into high gear for the final four weeks, think they endured horrible sacrifice and then can’t understand why they weren’t lean enough. You CAN NOT produce a lean, tight, round physique in four weeks. If it were that easy, EVERYONE would look GREAT!
2. Did you ALTER your plan to fit what you LIKE to eat, what you read in a magazine, heard someone talk about, what YOU think is best or what you saw someone do in the gym?
The Bombshell Training System is JUST THAT – a SYSTEM!!!! EVERYTHING flows together, works synergistically and is there for a reason!!! Start making changes in the system and you will NOT get the same results! The Girls who do the BEST – follow the system with no substitutions, deletions, additions or changes. The Bombshell Training System has produced OLYMPIA Champions, ARNOLD Champions, COUNTLESS Figure Champions and more IFBB Bikini Pro’s than ANY OTHER training system in the WORLD!!! Why would you NOT follow it 110%???
3. The devil is in the details
There are SO many factors that go into a winning package. It’s not simply your physique, but your tan, hair, makeup, suit, etc. Did YOU attend to every detail? A beautiful physique can be ruined by a muddy tan. Was your makeup too light? Do you have an outdated hairstyle? Is your suit the correct cut and color for YOU? Do you need to work on your complexion, are your teeth white enough? Honestly assess ALL aspects of the package you presented onstage to find the DETAILS that you may have missed.
4. Stage presence, stage presence, stage presence!
A very common complaint is that competitors feel as if their PHYSIQUE was superior to those who placed ahead of them. And yes, this may be the case. HOWEVER, there is the HUGE factor of STAGE PRESENCE! How often did you practice your posing? Was your posing fluid? When you walked on stage did you display cool confidence or were you shaky? Did you do STRANGE things on stage that you THOUGHT were “cute” like extra shoulder shrugs, flipped up hands, unflattering facial expressions, blowing kisses when you said goodbye, putting your hands in your hair, etc. etc. etc.? Did you hold your arms too wide, did you tuck your booty under? ANY of these factors can lead to ruining a fantastic physique. POSING is CRUCIAL to your showing. TRULY evaluate yourself and compare your stage presence to those who placed above you.
5. It just wasn’t YOUR day
Pretty much EVERY show, there is SOMEONE who gets overlooked. It is NOT the judge’s fault – there are simply a LOT of competitors on stage at these shows and depending on where a particular competitor was standing, a shadow in the stage lighting or perhaps just an oversight, someone gets overlooked. I have seen a girl get LAST place and then the next week in a similar lineup WIN! If your Coaches tell you that you looked GREAT and not to change a thing – don’t change a thing!!! It may have been nothing more than you being overlooked on THAT particular day!
6. Perhaps the other competitors on stage that day were simply better.
This one is a TOUGH one. You probably don’t want to hear this, but is it possible the other competitors on stage with you that day were plain and simple, better competitors? You may have done EVERYTHING right, followed your plan, looked your best and STILL did not place. This happens MORE AND MORE as you move UP the ladder. ESPECIALLY, once you get to Nationals and the Pro’s, you can do EVERYTHING right and still place at the bottom. The other competitors may have been training LONGER, been lean LONGER and therefore are tighter, have rounder muscle bellies, are better balanced due to training time, are more polished on stage due to experience, etc. And YES, Lord help me – I AM going to come out and say it: Perhaps they had superior genetic structures, better facial features, were blessed with natural beauty, are more graceful or are simply younger and look fresher on stage. ALL of these factors play into placing. Some things such as TIME in training we can change, others such as genetic structure we cannot. They KEY is to be REALISTIC, put in the time and effort and do our best to improve on what we HAVE!!!
“OK FINE – What do I do NOW?”
At this point, YOU have a decision to make. Either you will get back on the wagon and give it another go, or quit. A large part of that decision is WHY you compete in the first place. If your sole reason for competing is to win, then you will be disappointed more often than not. HOWEVER, if your reason for competing is to challenge yourself and continue to get BETTER each and every show while living a HEALTHY lifestyle, enjoying the journey and inspiring others with your efforts then LET’S GO!!!! Winning is a BYPRODUCT of competing for all the RIGHT reasons!
Here are a few tips on how to IMPROVE for your next show:
1. FOLLOW YOUR PLAN
The most frustrating thing about being a Coach is watching you girls attempt to finagle your plan in every way possible. You add this, pull that, switch this and leave out that. If you simply STOP, let GO, practice self-DISCIPLINE and FOLLOW the plan, let the BOMBSHELL SYSTEM work, you will be AMAZED at the LONG TERM RESULTS!!!
2. TRAIN CORRECTLY
There is a difference between training and TRAINING!!! If you have not been to camp you do NOT know what it means to train as a Bombshell! If you have not come to camp, COME TO CAMP!!! We would rather you do one LESS show and come here to LEARN the training intensity, style and FORM that is part of the Bombshell SYSTEM and creates the BOMBSHELL body!! If you HAVE been to camp – are you training at the SAME intensity you did while you were here? It is VERY easy to lower YOUR training intensity based on everyone around you at the gym. KICK IT UP a notch, don’t just train but TRAIN and you will be AMAZED at the changes you make!
3. Get OFF the Nibble Train!!
EVERY extra nibble, condiment, BITE when you are attempting physical perfection comes into play. If you think that your extra rice cakes, prunes and chicken throughout the day don’t matter…think again!! Even if you nibble on “healthy food” the calories add up! Also, utilizing gummy vitamins, flavored flax oil, chocolate egg whites, protein bars, etc. is ONLY going to hold you back. All of these little things add up to a BIG thing which is YOU not reaching your goal. Why work SO hard and jack it up over silly things that aren’t necessary?
4. Don’t ask everyone on the planet what is WRONG with you
For some reason that I can not understand, competitors often CRAVE hearing everything that is wrong with them. They ask 50 different people for their opinion and get 50 different answers. And WOW – people LOVE for you to open that door and give them a chance to cut you down, ESPECIALLY if they train other competitors or feel as if they have all the answers when it comes to competitive training. THEN – you OBSESS about what they say and it makes you crazy. CUT IT OUT!!!! LISTEN to your Coaches – they KNOW what you need to work on and HOW you need to get there. Do not listen to ANY other outside influences. You came to us for a reason, we KNOW what you need to work on and we WANT you to be your best!!
5. PRACTICE YOUR POSING!!
Even our TOP IFBB Pro’s come to Bombshell Headquarters and have us look at their posing leading up to their shows. The top girls practice posing nearly DAILY in the final weeks! You have GOT to practice posing so that it is FLUID and second nature!
6. IMPROVE what you can and ACCEPT what you can not
We can ALL improve our physique, overall appearance, get tighter by not letting our weight yo-yo and take care of our skin to look younger. We CAN NOT make our arms shorter, feet smaller, shoulder girdle wider, take 15 years off the clock or be re-born as a stunning natural beauty. ACCEPT who you are and ACCENTUATE your positives. We ALL come to a point where no matter what we do, we cannot climb any higher on the competitive ladder. Of the TENS OF THOUSANDS of competitors there is only ONE Ms. Olympia!! HOWEVER, if you compete for the RIGHT reasons you can do some AMAZING things, do very well in your shows and INSPIRE more people than you could ever imagine simply by being YOU!
Ladies, I KNOW what it feels like to feel the agony of defeat. I have BEEN there. During my competitive career I placed LAST at Nationals more than once and LAST at many Pro shows. The HIGHEST placing I EVER got in the PRO’S was 9th. Did I LOVE placing low, of course not!! There are MANY times that I came in my ABSOLUTE best and it simply wasn’t as good as the other genetically gifted girls. But that’s OK!!! I competed for the LOVE of the sport, for the LOVE of the PROCESS and the CHALLENGE of improving myself each and every time.
Should you NOT compete if you are not genetically gifted, not a natural beauty or are older? OF COURSE NOT!!! There are PLENTY of competitors who are not genetically perfect, not 20 years old, and are not naturally stunning, who have done AMAZING things with what they have!
There are COUNTLESS stories of girls who have placed last in their first show and then worked their way up to the TOP! And trust me when I say, a VICTORY after tasting DEFEAT is MUCH sweeter!!
We are here to HELP guide you to becoming your BEST!! If you don’t place – don’t quit!!!! Take OWNERSHIP in your progress – be HONEST with yourself about your effort and let US help YOU become the BEST that you can be!!