by Kate Richlin-Zack
I’ve been operating under the false pretense that the hardest part about competition prep would be sticking to a strict diet or working out on a daily basis. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not easy turning down cupcakes but it’s a lot easier than I expected… and apparently I love lifting things up and putting them down so I don’t mind hitting the gym in lieu of prime time television. But it wasn’t until I stood in a room with four other competitors during a posing class (yes, a posing class, but I’ll get to that in a minute) wearing nothing but a teeny bikini and Lucite heels that it hit me: I actually have to get on stage.
And that’s when panic set in.
The problem is, skilled athletes and trained professionals make it look easy. You look at pictures of people who are bodybuilding pros and they look so happy. So polished. So confident. And so you sign up with a personal trainer, follow a diet, enter a competition and assume, “if I follow the plan, I’ll look just like the impossibly fit women in the pictures.” And that’s true. When I’m parading around in my underwear admiring my physique from the comfort of my own home, it’s really easy to say, “I did it! Look at me! I could crack walnuts with my ass cheeks!” But when you have to stand amongst a group of other people who have worked just as hard for walnut cracking capabilities, you realize just how difficult it is to get up on stage and attempt to make it look easy.
And that’s why you need coaches to help you prepare to be on stage. The diet and exercise is vital. But presentation is key and your stage presence (or lack thereof) can decide your fate.