5 Tips to Help Prepare for Your First Men’s Physique Show

5 Tips to Help Prepare for Your First Men’s Physique Show

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Men's Physique Competition

Cameras flashing, the crowd is going wild, and you’re on stage showing off all of your hard work in the gym.

It takes a lot of courage to get on that stage and compete. To get to that point it takes countless days in the gym and hours on the treadmill or stair master to bring your body into the right condition to hit the stage.

However all of that hard work in the gym and eating clean can go to waste if you are not well prepared for the last 24 hours leading up to the competition. These next five tips can be the game changer if you have not competed before and are wondering what to expect.

Read carefully, take notes, and most importantly follow these tips to make sure that you bring your best when it’s time to hit the stage.

1. Schedule your competition tan with the host tanning company

Spray tanning
Most competitions will have a tanning company that is working in conjunction with the host hotel and the promoters of the show. It is important to schedule your appointment with them for a few reasons.

First they are located in the hotel so if you are staying there the tanning can be done quickly and you can go back to your room without having to sit in the car and smear your tan.

Second, the quality of their tan is usually the standard that the judges are looking for. The promoter signs them for a reason, so you can trust that you are getting the best quality possible for your competition.

Lastly, the tanning company will provide touch ups the morning of the show so you can get out of bed in the hotel go downstairs and get your tan touched up in a matter of 10 minutes. They are also usually back stage at the show providing touch ups so you really can’t go wrong and you know your money is being well spent.

2. Pack resistance bands

Resistance Bands Pumpup
What’s the most important thing for your body when hitting the stage? The pump!

Making sure that you’re pumped when you go on stage is huge and resistance bands definitely do the trick.

Most competitions will have some form of a pump up room back stage however, men’s physique is the biggest class at most NPC shows so all the equipment backstage might be taken. If this is the case, packing your own set of resistance bands can save your butt allowing you to look your best when you hit the stage.

Just make sure you put your bands away when you’re done. Someone will take them if you don’t!

3. Pack two pairs of board shorts

Men's physique boardshorts
You may spend a lot of time finding that one perfect pair of board shorts for your competition, but it can never hurt to have a backup pair. Looking presentable and setting yourself apart from the other competitors is crucial and it all starts with a good pair of board shorts.

One thing that every competitor is doing right before the show is eating while wearing board shorts. If you are eating something like honey or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and you spill some on your shorts, it could stand out like a sore thumb on stage.

The spray tan is something else that is susceptible to get on your shorts. Packing a backup pair will ensure that you are ready and have the most aesthetic package on stage.

4. Use oil

Oiling up
Ever wonder what gives the competitors that nice glazed look on stage?

Chances are you have some of it sitting by your stove in your kitchen. Most competitions have expediter’s backstage spraying PAM cooking spray or some other types of oil on the competitors. It is always a safe bet to pack your own just in case the show doesn’t provide it, however, most shows do.

The oil will give your physique a great polished look helping to show off all of your hard work. If every competitor on stage oiled up and you didn’t you will not stand out. When the judges compare, being oiled up will allow them to get a really fair and close look at you with the other guys on stage.

Some tans may be affected by the oil so be sure to check with your tanning provider on what oils are acceptable and which ones to avoid. The tanning provider may even have their own branded oil that is to be used with their tan.

5. Don’t pump up too early

Time your pump just right
Being dehydrated and depleted will not help with maintaining a good pump backstage. For those reasons it is very important to correctly time your pump up.

When you are back stage getting ready be sure to check the order of events and ask someone how much time until the men’s physique goes on. Allow yourself at least 5-10 min to get pumped up. Don’t be surprised if you see guys starting to pump up 30-40 min before stage time. If you pump up too early your pump will likely fade away before you go on stage because you will be so depleted.

You may feel pressured to pump up when some of the other guys are because it’s your first show and your nervous, but just relax and follow your plan. If you’re in line and you feel like you are losing your pump drop to the floor and do some pushups or isometric flexing.

Being aware of the order of the show is important here so make sure to check with someone to be aware of who’s on stage.


Getting up on stage is no easy task. The day of the show will bring on many nerves and feelings of anxiety, but being well prepared will allow you to feel more confident and you will know what to expect upon arrival.

The competitions are a wonderful place to showcase all of your hard work and dedication and every competitor deserves a round of applause for having the bravery to get on stage and be judged by everyone in the crowd.

Hopefully these five tips helped to answer any questions that you may have when entering your first men’s physique show.

The most important tip of all is have fun and enjoy the process! All eyes will be on you so take in the moment, stay aesthetic, and good luck!

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