As promised, a follow up to The Cost of Competing in Fitness Competitions with some great tips on how to save yourself some money!
- Save on your suit – There are a few ways to save on your suit. You can purchase a used suit (most have only been worn once) or buy an off the rack suit or a basic custom suit and bling it yourself! You can purchase wholesale stones (hello eBay) and glue them to your suit and save quite a bit. A basic custom suit runs about $150 while a custom blinged out suit can add another $100 easy. The more bling, the higher the cost.
- Save on Hair & Makeup – this one can be tricky and I only suggest using someone other than the official provider IF they have experience. Stage makeup is very different than your every day make up and if not done correctly can be a total disaster. Hair is not as tricky, but again, you want to use someone with experience doing hair if it’s an area you lack in. Hiring or enlisting a friend who has experience in these areas can save you up to $250!
- Shoes – don’t impulse buy! Shop around online on places like Amazon and eBay and guaranteed you will find yourself a better deal then by purchasing from a shoe store.
- Jewellery – stores like Ardene’s and Claires have a hue selection of accessories that wont cost you a fortune. Aldo Accessories has beautiful jewelry as well but the prices are a little higher. (I paid $50 for a pair of earrings and a bangle)
- Hotel – plan for a two night stay if competing out of town. There will be a ‘Host Hotel” where athlete meetings, spray tan, hair and makeup take place however you are not obligated to stay at this hotel. While it does make things easier to stay at the host hotel and most will offer a discount to competing athletes, you can save by booking at a cheaper hotel, I just recommend it be close by.
- You also have the option of sharing a room with another competitor to help cut costs. If you do not happen to know of anyone else competing, find fellow competitors on Instagram or Facebook and ask! (search the show, ex: #PopeyesFallClassic) While this may sound a little crazy and awkward you may just be surprised at how many other competitors are traveling alone and wouldn’t mind saving on room costs!
- Food – most of your meals should be prepped anyhow but once the show is over you may want something different or a treat so plan ahead and prep this meal and pack snacks.
- Mani/Pedi – do it yourself!
- Supplements – shop online and use coupon codes or stock up on a sale.
- Shop in Bulk – your meal plan will most likely include eating a lot of the same foods so buy what you can in bulk or again, stock up on a sale for items that wont expire anytime soon.
- Competition Coaching/Training – you can save big here by hiring an online coach HOWEVER, do your research, ask around and only chose this option if you have experience in the gym! If weightlifting is new to you hire a trainer, even if its just for 6 weeks to learn proper form and technique and how to use the equipment before enlisting an online coach to guide you through prep. Depending on where you are at when you start competition prep, the length of time you will need a coach/trainer will vary. If you have been working out for some time but just need help getting stage ready, 12 weeks is usually enough time.
Things you DO NOT want to skimp on!
- Nutritional Coaching – as someone who has their fitness nutrition certification I felt pretty confident during my prep doing my own nutrition plan then once I hit 3 weeks out I started to panic because I had never had to deplete or manipulate water and sodium intake and when researching there were so many options I was totally overwhelmed. I hired myself a coach and he guided me gracefully through the last few stages to get me super lean and it was the best decision I ever made. Nutrition is key both during and after prep so unless you have experience here, leave it to someone who does.
- Stage Tan – while many will tell you that you can save by getting your spray tan done elsewhere or doing it yourself, please let me explain, it’s not that simple. First off, you want to be the right shade and trust me, if you rely on yourself or someone else, you will think you are dark enough and you wont be. Stage tans are ridiculously dark and you do not want to be up there standing out because you are pale (or green) in comparison. The official tan provider is your best option and will also offer free touch ups which will be needed! Did you know that sweating will turn your tan green? Yup. So please, leave it to the pros, they will take care of you 😉