At the beginning of 2021 I decided I wanted to step on stage as an IFBB/NPC athlete.
Every competitor knows how important it is to choose in advance what shows you want to aim for and when doing so many different factors will come into play.
For example; some choose shows that are local, others like to travel to experience different productions, I picked shows that were around the same time, so that I could do a few shows back to back!
The first thing I learnt about competing with theIFBB/NPC was how high the standard was!
My first show was the Romania Muscle Fest, which was a Tim Gardner Production. This show had 700 registered athletes and was extremely competitive due to the show's popularity. The standard and competitiveness continued when I competed at my second IFBB/NPC show in Denmark with 2BrosPro. This show was also extremely popular with 900 registered athletes!
If you are thinking of competing with the IFBB/NPC league in Europe the chances are you will definitely go against a high standard of athletes and it will be very competitive, which for us as competitors is great, as we prep for all those months so it’s a good way to learn and see how you place.
I learnt that each show day experience is different and not one show will be the same, which is what makes it even more exciting! There are many productions which means each one will run things slightly differently than others, i.e. show day running order, tanning companies, makeup and hair, photographers some even have pre judging I’m the morning and finals in the evening whereas some do it all in one. Therefore this also adds to the list of things to think about when competing in different shows.
I quickly learnt that your time on stage is very limited due to the amount of competitors. Your individual routine is no longer than 20-30 seconds max and the comparison rounds depend on how many competitors are in your class, however this also is not too long.
It taught me that when you are on stage, make sure you truly give it your all!! Making sure you stand out so that the judges remember you. Posing within the IFBB/NPC league is very particular and unlike other federations, you do not have as much freedom with your poses.
I actually prefer this as it not only looks nicer on stage, it also gives you confidence knowing you are posing the way that the judges want.
I learnt that you will not always be seen by the same judges when competing at different shows. This sometimes means you may have to learn what other judges prefer, which isn’t easy. Some shows you can make top 3 the next show you could bring the same look but not even make first call-outs! It all depends on who you are competing against and what the judges are looking for on that day, which is what makes competing an even greater challenge!
It taught me that if results don’t go your way, to always take feedback, work on it, and try again!
Overall, my first year competing with the IFBB/NPC league taught me so much about myself as an individual. I am so glad that I chose to compete with this federation and have already chosen my next shows for 2022… I am so excited!