How to Compete in an Amateur Bodybuilding Contest

Most bodybuilders enjoy the discipline of working out routinely and the benefits of looking ripped. When you compete in bodybuilding contests, you are more motivated to enhance your training and to work hard in the gym. Follow these deliberate steps to compete in an amateur bodybuilding contest.

Watch from the sidelines. Attend an amateur bodybuilding contest. It has two segments, the preliminary and the final show. Stay for both. Observe and learn. Judging is based on four events including a symmetry round, mandatory posing, comparison posing and contestant posing routines. Athletes usually compete within a weight class or sometimes by height or age.

Identify a contest you would like to enter. You can find this information at most independently owned gyms. Stick to an amateur bodybuilding contest with a novice class to even the playing field. Select one that is six months to one year away to allow enough time to prepare.

Modify your diet to decrease body fat and increase muscular weight. Start three to four months prior to the bodybuilding contest. Eliminate red meat, excess sodium, refined sugar, processed foods and between meal snacks. Prepare meals at home to ensure proper balance of food groups and to avoid additives.

Intensify workouts incrementally to increase muscle mass and definition. Establish goals. For example, on the bench press, double the current poundage and number of reps in six months.

Prepare a posing routine. The program must last exactly a minute and a half. Pick poses that emphasize your most well-developed muscles. Choreograph the poses to music. The right song will appeal to the audience and match the build of the athlete. For example, a heavy weight athlete might choose a dramatic, classical song. Bring the music to the contest on a labeled compact disc.

Shave your body hair two months prior to the contest. Keep it shaved. This allows an unobstructed view of musculature. Adjust workouts to address any deficiencies revealed. Decide on a posing outfit. Dress rehearse at least twice a week.

Start a tanning regimen two months prior to the contest. Under bright lights, a dark skin tone is best for revealing your muscularity and definition. The day before the contest apply a self-tanning product. Use numerous applications of the darkest shade.


Posing outfits are skimpy by design. Dress rehearsals will diminish discomfort with lack of coverage. When tanning, use sunscreen to filter out harmful ultraviolet rays. An amateur bodybuilding contest does not award prize money. After winning significant amateur titles, an athlete can become professional and win money prizes.


Performance-enhancing drugs, including steroids and growth hormones, are prevalent in amateur and professional bodybuilding. To avoid this element, look for a drug free contest, also termed natural bodybuilding.

Things You'll Need

  • Music
  • Compact disc
  • Posing outfit
  • Shaving razor
  • Self-tanning product
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