Pageant Fitness Pitfalls
On your journey to fitness, beware of theses common mistakes
Fitness can be extremely confusing. With all of the countless programs, internet articles and buff bodies giving us advice on social media, it is very easy to get it all wrong. By working with thousands of women in pursuit of their fitness goals over the past three decades, I have compiled a laundry list of pitfalls that many seeking the fit life undoubtedly fall in to. Upon venturing in to the pageant world of fitness five years ago, I found a majority of these pitfalls apply to pageant ladies as well. However, there are a few of these which are much more common in the pageant world than within the general population. Let’s break down these pitfalls and talk about how to avoid them as you sweat your way to a fabulous, healthy, and fit stage physique.
IT’S All ABOUT TIME
Getting fit is never an instant process. The key to getting fit is consistent effort over time. This means that even if your pageant is a year away, you should start your fitness preparation now. Actually, no matter when your pageant is, start now. Healthy, tight, toned bodies look best on the pageant stage with the key word being healthy. The reality is, that to create a tight, toned look in a healthy manner, it takes time.
Crash dieting, tricks, fads, and over exercising as you rush to the finish line will not create the stage body you are looking for. It is never too early to begin your fitness journey to the stage; the earlier you start, the easier it will be in your final weeks of preparation. If you are already in shape a few months out, you can roll right in to the final weeks without substantial additional effort or time in the gym. By putting in the work early, you are saving yourself stress during those last few weeks, which are stressful enough on their own, without having to worry about your fitness level.
Starting early will assure you are losing any body fat you wish to lose in a healthy manner which keeps your skin tight and your muscles intact. As an added bonus, when you are in great physical shape early in your prep, you are able to have your tailor perform any clothing alterations several weeks out, again saving you time during those crucial final weeks.
MAKE A PLAN AND STICK TO IT
With limitless information out there on the internet about fitness, it is very tempting to constantly second guess your efforts and continually research countless ways to get fit. With a simple internet search, you will find websites which promise to have the answer to your fitness needs. Not only can this be overwhelming, but combining methods and continually switching from plan to plan can negatively affect your results.
Once you decide to begin your pageant journey, make a plan and stick to it. If you hire a professional to guide you, follow the plan they give you and allow the plan time to work. Mixing plans and searching for other options while following a specific program is a recipe for disaster, plus you will be wasting precious time you could be spending on something else. You owe it to your Coach/Trainer and to yourself to give their methods a try consistently for a couple of months. If after 6-8 weeks you aren’t seeing any results, then seek another option.
If you are taking on the task of creating your own program, research reputable fitness websites and create a plan based on your body and goals. Once you start this plan, stick to it. Do not abandon your plan every time you log online and see something new, this will only leave you confused and not knowing what is actually working on your body.
DO NOT BE AFRAID OF THE WEIGHTS
The only way to tighten, tone and change the shape of your body is through weight training. Many pageant ladies are terrified of weight training because they think it will make them big and bulky. In reality, it is very physiologically difficult for women to add muscle size. The women in the gym who are extremely muscular are training and eating for that specific goal and it takes years to achieve. Going to the gym and weight training in a targeted manner will create the lean, streamlined feminine shape you are looking for and will not make you overly muscular or masculine.
CARDIO BUNNIES BEWARE
Cardiovascular training is a very important part of being fit; it simultaneously raises your heart rate and burns body fat. However, too much cardio can be detrimental to your progress. Engaging in hour upon hour of steady state cardio (keeping your heart rate at the same elevated rate over an extended period of time) can cause you to burn muscle, which will take away those gorgeous curves and lines as well as diminish the tightness you are looking for.
Cardio in moderation is necessary to look conditioned and tight, even if you don’t have any body fat to lose. However, too much cardio will prove to be counteractive and slow your progress.
DON’T FORGET TO EAT
One of the hardest lessons for pageant ladies, and women in general to learn, is you must eat to lose. It is counterintuitive to what many of us believe: that if you don’t eat, you will lose weight. Of course, excessive calories cause weight gain. However, limiting calories, skipping meals and starving yourself is just as harmful. In an attempt to tighten and tone, many women will cut their calories too low and end up not eating enough to sustain. Not only will not eating make you quite possibly gain weight due to slowing down your metabolism, it will make you exhausted and leave you feeling awful.
In addition, pageantry is all about healthy beauty, and for your skin and hair to look their glowing best, you must eat. An undernourished body shows on stage and does not radiate the healthy glow judges are looking for. Food is fuel for your body, just like fuel for a car. It is necessary for it to be at optimal performance.
If you are unsure about your caloric needs, it would be very well worth your time to talk to a Registered Dietician. Discuss with them your goals and they can help you create a plan which will allow you to achieve them.
It is very easy to follow a fitness program for a week and be discouraged when you don’t see instant results. Remember, it took your entire life to get to your current state, it is impossible to expect it to completely turn around in a short period of time. Whatever you do, do not get discouraged when instant changes don’t occur. It will take at least 3-4 weeks on any program for your body to even start to react. Be consistent, stay on track and the changes will come.
As you embark on your Fitness Journey, concentrate on the process. Work on becoming stronger in the gym, getting all of your healthy meals in and drinking your water. Focus on these tasks and the results have no choice but to come.
KEEP THE HEALTH IN YOUR FITNESS
This is the most important tip of all. In a panic, many ladies will resort to extremes, unhealthy fads and tricks in their attempt to get fit. Please hear this – those types of methods never, ever work. You may lose a few pounds initially, but your body will rebel from the mistreatment and not only will you feel awful, you will not find the look you are seeking and quite possibly experience poor health consequences as well. Before engaging in any fitness activity or nutrition plan ask yourself, does this seem healthy? If not, steer clear and find a method which does.
Fitness can be very confusing. However, if you start your fitness prep early, make a plan, stick to it and are consistent in your efforts, you can build a healthy stage body you feel amazing in. Until next time, start TODAY because SOMEDAY is NOT a DEY of the Week!