Muscle Sport Magazine

Top Mistakes Bodybuilding & Physique Competitors Make on Contest Day

Know them so you can Avoid them! By Jeff Behar

1) Forgetting your posing trunks (or forgetting an extra pair in case they get stained); not trying your suit on for fit.

2) Bringing improper posing trunks. (e.g., All suit bottoms must be V-shaped, no thongs are permitted. Suits worn by male competitors at the prejudging and finals must be plain in color with no fringe, wording, sparkle or fluorescents. Suits worn by female competitors at the prejudging must be two-piece and plain in color with no fringe, wording, sparkle or fluorescents. Suits worn by female competitors at the Finals must be two-piece but may include a printed design with fringes, lace, sparkle or fluorescents that are in good taste. All prejudging suits will be checked at the morning check-in, etc.)

3) Forgetting NPC Card. Tip, take a photo of it, make 2 copies, give on to whomever is coming to watch you.

4) Forgetting music CD (also not checking CD quality, not verifying that it is devoid of vulgarity, not bringing a back up copy).

5) Not getting to the venue in time. (always get there early, less stress, more time to realx!)

Diane Nguyen Ironman Naturally >35, >45 Figure Champ, Coach Jeff Behar, and Jose Velasquez, 2015 Ironman Naturally Novice Champ, Masters Champ and Overall Champ

Diane Nguyen Ironman Naturally >35, >45 Figure Champ, Coach Jeff Behar, and Jose Velasquez, 2015 Ironman Naturally Novice Champ, Masters Champ and Overall Champ

6) Counting on the expeditors or contest schedule. Seems like you should be able to count on these things, but trust me, you should not! Always be back stage EARLY. Realize with cross overs posing routines may have been done earlier, which makes the classes go quicker than expected. If you miss your call out, your DONE.

7) Not getting a solid base tan. Getting a solid base tan prior to any spray tan application is critical. I have seen bodybuilders who have terrific muscularity and definition, yet their skin appears blotchy and does not look good to the judges. A blotchy appearance will take away from months of dieting and training and have a profound effect on your stage definition.

8) Not being dark enough. Make sure you get a competition spray tan at least the night before so the dye sets in and darkens, as well as the morning of the contest, so again the dye darkens and you look great at pre judging and at the night show. Failure to get the early coat will result in less than optimal color for most during the critical pre judging. Optimal: Apply two applications the night before the competition and one application the morning of the contest.

9) Not tanning or bronzing your face. Even if your face is tan, you need to add bronzer because the bright lights will make your head/face look like a q-Tip when compared to the tan body. 1 coat the night before is enough to do the trick.

10) Using one of the “cool” copper colored or gun metal colored bronzer/tanners. DON’T! You do not want to look like CP-30 from Star Wars! Use companies like Liquid Sun Rayz Liquid Sun Rays, and other companies that use the tried and true contest color products like Jan Tana.

11) Using the wrong posing oil. Do not use highly reflective thin oils like Baby oil. I prefer thicker non shine oils like almond oil. If in doubt use one of the good products offered by Pro Tan, Jan Tana,  etc.

12) Not using the proper amount of oil equally distributed. Don’t come on stage dripping. You want to be remembered for having a good presence, not “the guy with all that oil on him.”

13) Using too much oil.

Diane Nguyen, Top 5 Masters Nationals Figure Competitor, 2014/2105 NPC West Coast Championship Masters Figure Champ

Diane Nguyen, Top 5 Masters Nationals Figure Competitor, 2014/2105 NPC West Coast Championship Masters Figure Champ

14) Pumping up too early.

15) Not pumping up at all.

16) Pumping up “wrong.” Everyone pumps up diffferently. Pushups and towel pulls work for some, while not for others. Some can pump up in two minutes, others take 30. Experiment with this before hand.

17) Forgetting the proper food. Stick to the food that your coach is telling you to eat, whether its zero or low sodium, dry carbs, etc.

I8) Eating crappy food that they have not been eating and getting a food reaction, gas, stomach distention. Stick to what you have been eating that has gotten you to the stage. You can go for some simple carbs, but be careful.

19) Drinking too much water. Day of the show little water (for most people)! Your goal is to draw water from beneath the skin into your muscles with the additional of carbs.

20) Not enough carbs. Result too flat.

21) Eating too many carbs. For many, 50 grams every 2 hours upon waking will be plenty. Overcarb and risk being soft, undercarb and risk looking flat and soft. You need to find the sweet spot. If not sure, stay under 300 g if you are a anything less than a LHW, women, no more than 200 grams.

22) Wrong carb choices. Example, if you are holding water, dry carbs and exercise a bit to work them in. Baby food and other carbs contain fluids. If your not bone dry, opt for dry carbs (sweet potato, etc).

23) Not smiling. Your routine is your presentation. Make it look fun and exciting even though you are starving and can’t wait to get off stage to go eat that pizza you have been craving for 12 long weeks!

24) Not hitting your poses correctly. There is nothing worst than watching someone hit their poses incorrectly. These are the guys that watched a few shows and just decided to get up on stage and do what they see. Find some good posing videos or get some help from someone who knows how to pose. You can have the best body on stage, but if you don’t know how to show it off, all your hard work will have gone down the drain.

25) Not connecting with the judges. Always remember, every second you are on stage you are being judged. The moment you step on stage to the moment you step off stage, you are being judged. You only have a few minutes to show the judges what you have worked many weeks to achieve. Make eye contact with the judges. Enjoy it!

26) Looking  relaxed on stage. When you step on the stage, remember that the judges’ eyes are on you all the time. When the judge says relax, that only means to stand there flexed. Lots of bodybuilders do not smile, or they will let their stomach sag, and not keep their legs flexed. Just because you are not being called out does not mean you should relax.  It takes a lot to impress a judge, but it only takes a second for them to cast you off of the winner’s podium. You need to always remain erect, stomach tight, legs flexed. This is hard, but you need to practice so you have the stamina to do this. Never let your stomach or legs relax.  You should look relaxed while at the same time showing muscle hardness and definition.

27) Not shaving your entire body. Remember to shave your entire body. Purchase hair remover for your back and have someone help you. You should do it at least two weeks before the show and the at least two days before applying your “spray tan.”

Jeff Behar 2015 NPC California Championships Masters Champion

Jeff Behar 2015 NPC California Championships Masters Champion

28) Shaving too early. If you are a normal guy, with a normal amount of body hair, shave 2 days prior. Why 2 days? Gives you enough time to rebound from any potential skin rash, but not so long that hairs break through that beautiful “fake tan” dye you are going to use. If you are Chewbaca, then 1 day prior may be needed.

29) Eating a bunch of junk food after pre judging. Does it make sense to eat a bunch of shit food you have not eaten in weeks and risk indigestion, stomach bloat, gas, water retention, diarrhea/ constipation, and stomach distension? Remember, if you win your class, you will be called back out on stage for the Overall and pose downs. Also sometimes close places are re judged at night. Stay tight and do NOT make this common mistake. Stick to the foods that got you to the stage and do NOT use extremes to try to get an extra “edge”. You can end up lookingh like shit. Do NOT do it!

30) Not listening to your coach. So many people make mistakes the night before and day of the show. Follow the directions your coach gives you to the letter. Do not get confused by listening to others at this juncture, even if they look good, or if they are a IFBB Pro. Taking directions from more than one person always results in disaster.

About the Author Jeff Behar 

Jeff Behar, MS, MBA, is a well-known health, fitness, wellness author and anti aging, champion national level bodybuilder (2015 California State Masters Champion), and a recognized health, fitness and nutrition expert with over 30 years of experience in the health, fitness, disease prevention, nutrition, and anti-aging fields.

As a recognized health, fitness and nutrition expert, Jeff Behar’s has been featured on several radio shows, TV, and in several popular bodybuilding publications such as Flex, Ironman and in several highly regarded peer reviewed scientific journals. Jeff Behar is also the CEO and founder and www.MyBesthealthPortal.netand a Medical Commentator on exercise for The American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, the worlds largest medical academy for anti-aging and regenerative medicine, provides medical professionals with the latest Anti-Aging, regenerative, functional and metabolic medicine.


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