Archive | June, 2013
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Sparkle 601 Clear Competition Shoe

16 Jun

Sparkle 601 Clear Competition Shoe

Bikini & Figure Competition Shoe

Ladies: Don’t skip your chest workouts

16 Jun

For all the time female competitors spend tightening up their glutes, carving out their abs and slimming down their thighs, it’s amazing how often these ladies neglect their chests! It seems that some women – particularly those with a smaller cup size – are a little hesitant to really work this area for fear that building muscle mass may take away from their natural assets.

For girls competing in bikini competitions, it is especially important to keep a bit of extra weight up top. After all, these events favor toned yet feminine figures, so you still want a few curves when you take the stage in that posing suit. That’s why the experts at Bodybuilding.com have taken the time to address some key concerns that aspiring competitors may have about giving this area a rigorous workout.

Anyone who has seen a professional bodybuilding competition may understandably have some concerns about what may happen to her chest if she ramps up her workout regimen. Will all of that tissue be replaced by rippling pectoral muscles? In a word: no.

“This myth gets perpetuated because female bodybuilders sometimes hit the stage with flat-looking chests that are far from what we normally deem feminine. It’s not the muscle that makes their breasts smaller; it’s the extreme diet,” the training resource states.

Basically, because breast tissue is essentially fat, competitors who fall below a healthy level of fat will notice a difference in this area. No matter how much time you spend doing bench presses or chest flies, as long as you keep your body fat at a healthy 10 to 13 percent, you should be able to develop muscle without sacrificing your feminine physique.

Building your Personal Brand

16 Jun

Hard work, determination and a lot of self control can get you up on the stage, but in order to win, you need to stand out from the competition. Whether it’s an amazing posing suit or your glowing femininity, you need to make sure you bring something unique to the table.

If you play your cards correctly along the way, you may be able to go from amateur figure competitor to famous fitness model, just as so many other women have. The key to doing that, though, is to “build your own brand.”

But, what exactly does that mean? Just as any company establishes an image that it becomes permanently associated with, you want to give yourself a personality that judges and fans can’t forget – that personality is your brand.

Establish your brand at competitions

No one likes a poor sport, and it’s likely that you’re not always going to come out on top. Whether it’s your first competition or your fiftieth, make sure you treat the other girls with respect and always be friendly. This is just the tip of the iceberg, but if you want to make yourself a well-known figure in the industry, people need to be rooting for you.

Next, it’s crucial that you know what you’re talking about. If someone asks you why you choose certain figure competition supplements over others, make sure you can give them a firm answer. You need to actually sound like an expert in women’s fitness and figure competition training if you want to be taken seriously.

Perhaps the most important factor you need to pay attention to is your look. A smile and good conversation will certainly get people to like you, but if you want them to remember you, you need to have your own, unique style.

From your competition shoes to your rhinestone jewelry, you should look like the superstar you want to be. You’ve worked tirelessly to shape your body perfectly, so don’t spoil all of your training by wearing a dull figure suit or bikini. It can’t be just any posing suit though, you need to make sure that it’s an outfit that you can be identified by.

Finally, make sure you really dive into the industry. Don’t just be a regular at one competition every year – expand your horizons and try your luck in various federations and contests. This is critical for keeping a fresh image and networking with other important figures at fitness competitions.

Keep your brand alive even when you aren’t on stage

When you leave the arena or auditorium, don’t just put away your competition jewelry, head straight for the gym and disappear from the world until the next contest. If you want to make sure that people associate you with the industry permanently, associate yourself with the industry as much as possible.

One of the best ways to do this is to create a huge online presence. Be active in women’s fitness forums, and definitely start a blog. If you can produce engaging, informative and fun content on your blog, women – both pro and amateur – will start to recognize you as an authority.

Create a Facebook page that’s all about you as a competitor (not for just your friends) and a Twitter account to promote your blog and share quick thoughts and bits of information that you find interesting or valuable. That, of course, is also great for developing your public identity.

Lastly, take some time to get out of the weight room and volunteer. Not only are you obviously doing a good thing for others, you’re also showing people that you have a good heart.

Once you’ve established your brand and have fans from all over rooting for your success, going from figure and bikini competitions to fitness magazine cover model will be a lot more realistic than you ever imagined.

Jennifer Nicole Lee: From homemaker to fitness model

16 Jun

While there are many different reasons to enter the body competition arena, one of the most appealing aspects is the challenge. This demanding but rewarding field forces you to burst out of your comfort zone and really push yourself to the limit. And, for professional body model Jennifer Nicole Lee, signing up for a fitness competition was one of the best decisions of her life.

Before she began competing, Lee was a married mom of two who was still struggling with her baby weight. In 2008, she appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show and opened up about her battles with depression and insecurity during that time.

“I felt horrible being overweight,” Lee confessed. “I was depressed. I had a lack of energy. I wasn’t able to feel pretty,”

After years of being ashamed of her physique and hiding behind big hair and baggy clothes, Lee had enough. For her, the first step to self-empowerment was to sign up for a bikini competition. With that end goal in mind, she was able to motivate herself through months of rigorous training.

By the time the competition rolled around less than a year later, Lee had shed an amazing 70 pounds, and took to the stage looking beautifully tanned and toned in a posing suit. All of that hard work paid off, and she was ultimately named Miss Bikini America 2005.

“I was like an animal that had been unlocked out of its cage,” Lee says of her first fitness competition. “My confidence level just went through the roof.”

That was just the beginning for Lee, who has acquired countless titles since then, and is now one of the most well-known fitness models in the business. Her story shows that it is truly possible to change your life for the better.

Bikini & Figure Posing

15 Jun

To win a figure competition, you of course need to look good and be confident. While you’ll have a few opportunities to impress the judges throughout the contest, your mandatory poses can really make or break your shot at the title.

Since this is one of the only times during the competition when you’ll be making the same exact poses and movements as your competition, there’s a lot riding on not only how you to present the poses, but also your facial expressions as you make them.

The poses, also commonly referred to as quarter turns, give competitors a chance to show off their toned bodies from four key angles that give judges the best possible look at their muscle mass, symmetry and definition. The four mandatory poses are front, right, back and left.

Front pose

You’ll start your routine facing the crowd straight on. It’s crucial that you keep a big, genuine smile throughout the four quarter turns, but it’s particularly important for this pose. Make sure you keep your chin up and don’t put any stress on your neck. If your neck is tense, your poses will look strenuous and unappealing to the judges.

Lower Body ♦ Keep your heels and legs together. ♦ Flex your quads very hard. ♦ Make sure you don’t lock your knees or hips. Keep them slightly bent.

Upper Body ♦ Do not hunch or scrunch your shoulders under any circumstance. ♦ Your shoulders should be flexed and wide. ♦ Keep your chest up and pushed outward. ♦ While the judges can’t see your lats in this pose, they should be spread to emphasize your upper body. ♦ Keep your abs very tight and extended.

Arms and Hands ♦ Hang your arms at your sides, with a bit of distance away from your body. ♦ Your upper arms – biceps and triceps – should be flexed. ♦ Your arms should be completely relaxed from your elbows down. ♦ Have you elbows bent slightly so your hands are level with your hips. ♦ Your palms should be facing inward.

Right side pose

To go into this quarter turn, smoothly swing your left foot in front of you, while pivoting on your right. Shift your body weight to your back foot, and lift the heel of your front foot.

Lower Body ♦ Flex your front hamstring and calf muscle hard. ♦ Keep your front knee slightly above the back knee. ♦ Your feet may need to be together depending on the competition you’re in.

Upper Body ♦ Keep your back arched so that your chest is prominent and your shoulders are still wide. ♦ Make sure you are still really flexing your abs.

Arms and Hands ♦ There is a degree of freedom with your arm placement. Play to your strengths. ♦ Arms may be at your side as they were in the first pose, but with your shoulders turned so your left hand is behind your left buttock and your right hand is in front of your right thigh. ♦ Or, you may bend your front elbow a bit to put your biceps and triceps on display a bit. ♦ As with the front pose, keep your arms relaxed from the elbow down no matter where you hold them.

Backside pose

Turn so that you’re facing the back of the stage. This quarter turn gives the judges their best look at your shoulders, glutes and calves, so make it count. If you have long hair, gracefully move it over your shoulder so the judges can see your entire back. Raise your heels so that your body weight is all on your toes.

Lower Body ♦ Keep your feet and legs together as you did in the front pose. ♦ Flex your calves as much as possible. ♦ Make sure your glutes are tight, but do not squeeze your buttocks together. ♦ Bend your hips just a bit. ♦ Stick your behind out and up.

Upper Body ♦ Squeeze all of the muscles of your back together slightly. ♦ Keep your shoulders wide apart. ♦ Arch your back, and keep your head high and chin up. ♦ Flex your lats as much as you can.

Arms and Hands ♦ Your hands and arms should be in the same position as they were for the front pose, but put a little more emphasis on your triceps.

Left side pose

This will be your final quarter turn. This pose is an exact mirror of the right side pose, but as it’s the last shot you’ll have to impress the judges, make sure you keep a big, glowing smile that they can’t forget.

Different Types of Competitio​ns

15 Jun

Different Types of Female Body Competitions                      

You’ve finished your final half gallon of rocky road ice cream, and you’ve decided to hit the gym hard and get in the best shape of your life. Sure, you may simply want to look great in a bikini, but what better way to show off all of your hard work than to let your guard down and enter a body competition? Just like your dessert, the road to competing in even an amatuer contest is going to be rocky, but you can do it and we’re here to help!

Before you get started, you’ll need to figure out what type of competition you’ll be training for. There are five major types: figure, bikini, bodybuilding, physique and fitness.

Bodybuilding competitions

This is probably the competition you’re most familiar with. Bodybuilding certainly isn’t for every woman, but it’s extremely popular. Women in these contests are judged on their muscularity, definition and leanness. As with all body competitions, muscular and physical symmetry is one of the most determining features a judge will look for.

It’s important that these women have toned essentially every visible muscle in their body, and while extremely intensive weight training is key, strict dieting is most imperative if these competitors want to walk away with the gold.

Female bodybuilders can be described as “ripped” and “chiseled,” which isn’t necessarily true for competitors in other formats.

Bikini competitions

Today, bikini competitions are growing faster in popularity than any other format. While bodybuilders are typically blessed with the ability to bulk up more than the average person, bikini competitors have a look that’s attainable for a wider range of women.

In essence, judges look for the girl who can rock a two-piece swimsuit better than anyone else on stage. These women typically aren’t very muscular, and the winners aren’t necessarily the skinniest competitors. As a matter of fact, it’s important to have a bit of body fat so muscles aren’t too defined.

Figure competitions

Figure competitions fall somewhere in between bikini and bodybuilding. It’s important that these women are muscular, but not the way that bodybuilders are. Judges look for a bit of separation between the muscles, but there can be no visible striations. In other words, muscle tone is valued much more than muscle size.

It’s crucial that women aren’t too skinny, and skin tone is key in these contests as well.

Physique competitions

The National Physique Committee (NPC) explains on its website that physique competitions are “for women who enjoy weight training, competing {and} contest preparation.” It’s a bit different than bodybuilding and figure posing, as the NPC says these women shouldn’t be vascular, massive, grainy, thick, ripped or dense.

The judges look for shape, proportion and muscle tone, but also poise, femininity and beauty flow, which aren’t necessarily as important in the other formats.

Fitness competitions

Fitness competitions are probably the most unique of the bunch. These call for women to perform a short routine that entails more than just posing. Instead, these performances involve dancing, gymnastics or other physical activity that demonstrates the athleticism and stage presence of the participants.

The presentation and tempo of the performance, in addition to the competitor’s flexibility, are looked at closely by the judges in fitness competitions.

Whether you’re showing off your cut muscles or wowing crowds with a pole routine, you need to look good if you want to win. Each format has very specific clothing and accessory requirements, and at Fitness Pro Direct, we have everything you need, no matter what competition you’re participating in.

We have tons of posing suits, competition jewelry, figure shoes, tanning products and other items, but if we don’t have what you need, let us know, and we’ll get it for you!

Training for Figure & Bikini Competitio​ns

15 Jun

Training for Figure & Bikini Competitions

If you’re new to the world of figure and bikini competitions and you’re just mapping out your training plan, you may be unsure of which one you’ll be better suited for. Don’t worry. That’s quite common for a lot of women when they first dip their feet into the industry.

At the amateur level, the competing women may look like they could try their luck in either field, but as the competition becomes more advanced, the discrepancies are very clear.

The biggest difference is that figure competitors have very defined muscles, while the ideal bikini competitor has toned muscles without a lot of noticeable separation between them.

If you’re over 30 years old, it’s much more likely that your body will better lend itself to figure competitions. As women age, their bodies become less fatty, so long as they maintain a healthy diet and plenty of exercise. Bikini competitors actually need a little body fat to make their physique appear smoother and softer, while figure competitors aim to have as little fat as possible.

With that in mind, women who are naturally lean and have a hard time gaining weight should aim for figure posing, and women who are trying to lose weight to get competition ready are more likely to succeed in bikini competitions.

Once you’ve decided the type of competition you’re going to take on, you need to formulate a training and diet plan specific to that contest.

In both cases, one of the most important characteristics the judges will be looking for is symmetry in your physique. Make sure that your entire body is proportionate, and that no muscles or individual parts of your body are significantly larger or smaller than the rest. Beyond drinking a gallon a water every day, the training and dietary needs for each is quite unique.

Training for a figure competition

Perhaps the biggest difference compared to training for bikini competitions is the focus on working out. For instance, you’ll definitely need to make sure you have strong, toned lats and cap shoulders, which are rounded with a very clear line separating them from the triceps.

If you’re used to doing cardio and plyometrics when you hit the gym, you’ll need to dramatically alter your workout regimens. In order to stand out in a figure competition, all of your muscles will need to be toned, which includes a ton of little ones you may have not even known that you have.

Big lifts like cleans and presses will definitely be key parts of your workout, but there will be a lot of light free weight exercises that will be much more difficult and important than they seem.

Women with big appetites are in for a treat, as the typical figure competition diet requires five to seven meals per day, each of which must be packed with protein, carbohydrates and fat. Don’t get too excited though – sweets and complex sugars are a big no-no. You’ll need to cook from scratch whenever possible to avoid using unhealthy preservatives and the like.

There a lot of figure competition supplements out there, but there are some certain things women should be taking, such as a multi-vitamin, calcium, glucosamine complex, glutamine and echinacea.

Training for bikini competitions

Working out almost everyday is very important for these contests as well, but the focus on lifting weights is certainly less. Flexibility and a natural, sexy physique are much more likely to catch the judges’ eyes in bikini competitions.

Protein shakes, lots of vegetables, some fruits in the morning, and whole grains and other healthy carbs will make up the majority of your diet.

For competitors, taking supplements such as calcium, creatine, fatty acids, leucine, glutamine and antioxidants are crucial.

Getting Started in Bikini & Figure Competitio​ns

15 Jun

Getting Started in Figure Competitions                       Monday, September 10, 2012 4:26:06 PM        

You’ve always been interested in staying fit, but you’ve finally decided to take that passion to the next level. That’s great, because now is the perfect time to get into figure and bikini competitions, as they are more popular today than they have ever been before.

At FitnessProDirect.com, it’s our goal to make sure that women, young and old, can get their bodies in the shape they’ve always dreamed of and proudly show them off in local, national and even worldwide competitions. Nothing makes us prouder than learning that one of our loyal, dedicated customers has used our products to look her absolute best up on the big stage.

We want to make sure that you know what you’re getting into before you make the leap though. Becoming a bikini competitor or bodybuilder requires a lot of commitment, both personally and financially, but don’t worry. Once you’ve decided to better your body and go for the gold, we’ll be here along the way to give you tips, tricks and other advice to make sure you that you get the most of our products and your body.

Setting a physical foundation for your competition body

Women from all demographics and ages get into figure competitions, even if they start their road to success in a body they are too embarrassed to show off at the beach. With hard work and persistence, you could be strutting your stuff in front of thousands of adoring audience members before you know it.

On the day that you decide to start your body-shaping journey, put on a bikini or other bathing suit and take a picture of yourself. Try to do this every week or two to gauge your progress. Remember that while you may need to lose weight, muscle weighs more than fat, so stepping onto the scale and logging your progress by the pounds you’ve shed isn’t going to be effective.

If you are serious about morphing your body into peak physical condition, you need to be eating right. In many cases, that means dramatic changes in your diet. Make sure you follow our blog to get dietary recommendations and guidance along the way.

Of course, getting into the weight room is going to be the most important part of this process. When you are figure posing, there are muscles you’ll need to tone, and in some cases, flex, that you didn’t even know you had. Start by doing cardio workouts first thing in the morning, and leave the lifting and plyo workouts for later in the day.

Understanding the financial undertaking of figure competition preparation 

By its nature, the business of body-shaping competitions isn’t cheap.

Again, you’ll need to be more conscious of the food you eat, and as regular grocery shoppers know, the healthier options are usually the more expensive ones. In addition, you’ll need to begin taking some figure competition supplements to get the nutrients and vitamins you can’t find in everyday food goods.

It’s a great idea to hire a trainer to push you through your training – everyone knows that they get more out of a workout when someone won’t let them quit. But, of course, that isn’t cheap.

Between tanning, purchasing competition shoes, posing suits and Rhinestone jewelry, the accessories can add up as well. That’s why we’re here. At FitnessProDirect.com, we don’t want any ladies to be held back from seeking the spotlight because of the cost. We offer these and many other competition products at great prices, so browse our great selection of items and email us your questions at info@fitnessprodirect.com today!