A figure competitor is anyone who participates in any figure or fitness competition. Figure competitions are a branch of physique competitions, which are composed of fitness categories. Although similar to bodybuilding in some ways, competitions such as these emphasize muscle tone over muscle size. Figure and fitness contests are so similar that contestants can cross over from one category to another.
Components of a typical competition
A figure contest does not have the usual rounds in a typical fitness competition. Judging mirrors the judging done in fitness shows, but it does away with the traditional fitness routine.
Who organizes and sanctions competitions
There are a number of competitions that organize and sanction figure competitions. These include the National Physique Committee, or NP C, the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness, or BIFF, as well as the World Natural Sports Organization, or OWNS.
Training for a competition
A lot of training and preparation comes with joining a competition. Knowing how to pose, how to stand, and the angles where you look best are all very essential if you want to win the event. In some occasions, how well you pose can make or break your chances. The ideal pose is composed of a tense back, flared arms, tense legs, and heels together. All these should be done with the fingers of the hand as relaxed as possible. Participants need to spend time practicing their walk, quarter- or half-turns, and how to stand relaxed.
It is essential that you choose comfortable high heels and practice your walk since you will be standing on stage for the length of the contest. Turning is done four times – from the front, to the side, to the rear, and to the front again. Standing on stage also needs finesse. Stepping one foot ahead of the other and twisting your body a few degrees to accentuate an angle are some tricks to help you look more relaxed on the stage. Whatever makes you appear stiff should be avoided when standing on stage.
Grooming and smiling help you make a favorable impression on stage. Grooming includes having the right hair, manicured nails, and shaved legs, to name a few. Make-up is essential as well. Standing in front of harsh, bright lights can make anyone look pale and flat, so make-up is definitely a necessity.
Most competitors get a tan before a competition. However, experts caution against using instant tanning products, especially without the use of a base tan. This usually gives an unnatural orange-y or greenish color to the skin. Make sure that the tan is even, without those UN flattering tan lines that won’t be covered by your swimsuit. These are just some of the helpful tips when preparing for a competition