If you’re reading the blog installments on this site, the idea of competing in fitness clearly interests you. And the prospect of competing with Ultimate Fitness Events (UFE) has clearly crossed your mind on at least one occasion. It is our hope that reading the material on this site will help you resolve to make this YOUR year and register for an event with UFE. For now, as it stands, you’re faced with the question of whether or not you’re going to green light your fitness journey; commit to a competition date; plan your training; organize your meals; adjust your lifestyle; and so on. It’s not an easy decision, particularly because there’s a substantial amount of sacrifice involved. But you’re observant enough to know that others have done it; therefore, why can’t you?
Many aspiring fitness athletes irrationally fear that this journey is something one has to undertake all by oneself. And despite possessing all the enthusiasm in the world, you may have doubts as to whether you’re capable of following through with the commitment all by yourself. This rationalizing can go on and on, but we’re here to guide you with a clear understanding that you’re not alone in this endeavor – and if others can do it, absolutely you can too! Let’s put the commitment decision into proper perspective.
Consider for a moment that there are far more people interested in competing in fitness than those who actually do compete. For one reason or another, many people never make a true commitment and either fail to get out of the gate, or quit at some point along their journey prior to a competition. One of the most common (and unfortunate) reasons people quit is because a personal fitness journey strikes them as a lonely endeavour. They mistakenly believe that they’ll have to fly solo through all the elements of preparation for competition. These people look at themselves as being unable to design a sound training program independently, or as incapable of organizing their nutrition and lifestyle. Therefore, in their distorted mindsets, what’s the point of trying?
If these people only knew! Competing with UFE guarantees that you’ll never walk alone. As the world’s leading natural fitness and bodybuilding competition association, UFE has an extensive support system of trainers, nutritionists, athletes, organizers, mentors and resources for fitness information. If you’re one of many aspiring athletes who seek to turn a competition journey into a potential modelling career, UFE’s network of connections will partner with you in a manner that far exceeds other competition associations. UFE ensures that your journey will never be a lonely one in which you face obstacles all by yourself. Let’s take a look herein at the wide range of personnel available to be your teammates, your coaches and your confidantes.
There are many roles undertaken by prep coaches, but they all have a foundation in focusing on you. Prep coaches are an additional set of eyes that observe gains and changes better than you yourself can. The best among them have encyclopedic knowledge of preparing for competition since they have competed and succeeded themselves. The three main responsibilities of prep coaches are to be your (1) personal trainer, (2) nutritionist and (3) psychological support during your competition journey. Let’s examine each of these functions specifically.
Personal training. At the forefront of your fitness journey is how effectively you make use of your time in the gym (and wherever else you happen to train). Prep coaches have advanced-level knowledge of personal training, both from their own experiences, and also the other clients they’ve trained. It takes a skilled eye to observe key points about your body composition during the initial assessment, which you won’t get if you try to go it alone. From there, your weaker points and other areas of consideration can be organized and structured by your prep coach; you don’t need to worry about the level of your own knowledge because you’re in very capable hands.
The personal training aspect of prep coaches extends well beyond that of simply making sure your exercise technique is sound. Prep coaches will also design a multi-cycle periodization program from the time you begin training until the date of your competition. Simply put, that means they’ll draw up a roadmap of your training that will strategically maximize your gains and ultimately make the most out of the effort you put into it. Along the way, your prep coach will keenly scrutinize your progress and make adjustments accordingly. Things like weight loss, of course, are not linear; you’ll have many ups and downs along the way. But you don’t need to worry about making the right adjustments yourself; that’s one of your coach’s main responsibilities.
Nutrition and diet. It’s been said that nutrition is “what we need” and diet is “how we get it”. The objective, to be sure, is to make sure your diet and your nutrition are aligned properly. This is a very critical role of the prep coach, who will always have a scientific and legitimate knowledge of both entities. No doubt you’ve seen umpteen methods of so-called dieting in order to lose weight and body fat, while preserving your hard-earned muscles. But make no mistake: you can’t believe everything you read or hear. Prep coaches will account for every calorie you consume and direct your meals based on your fitness goals.
Many athletes adhere to a strict diet reluctantly because they must miss out on many of their favourite foods. Prep coaches, however, are able to make sure your diet is not bland or full of arduous sacrifices. Some prep coaches espouse the notion of IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros), based on the idea that a calorie is a calorie, and a gram of each macronutrient (protein, carbs, fat, water) is equivalent to another gram of the same macro. In this way, you may find yourself with room to accommodate your favourite foods – or at the very least have delicious alternatives at your disposal. The overall point is that you yourself do not have to have the expert knowledge of a prep coach, nor do you have to go through meal preparation yourself. After all, the fact remains that training in the gym represents only about one-third of your body composition when you get up on stage. Nutrition and diet hold a much bigger importance.
NO COACH? NO PROBLEM!
For those who find the cost of a prep coach prohibitive, UFE offers an incredible alternative with our Championship Contest Prep Programs. All packages include 20 weeks of nutrition and training design by Pro athletes and are available for the low cost of only $127 CAD. Those who purchase any of the programs also get access to a private Facebook group where they can interact with our PRO Champions themselves!
The series of Championship Contest Prep Programs offered by include:
Championship WOMEN’S FITNESS PREP with UFE Pro Alexandra Xavier
Championship MEN’s BODYBUILDING PREP with UFE Pro Bill Cairns
Championship CLASSIC PHYSIQUE PREP with UFE Pro Mike James
Championship FITNESS MODEL PREP with UFE Pro Kelly Good
Championship GLAMOUR PREP with UFE Pro Stacy Miller
Championship MEN’S PHYSIQUE PREP with UFE Pro Michael Gilmurray
Psychological support. Any aspiring fitness athlete should be aware that there’s a substantial mental requirement in training for competition. Discipline, sacrifice, consistency (and constant adjusting) are all difficult endeavors – especially if you have to undertake them yourself. However, a third function of prep coaches is to see you through the emotions of it all. Coaches will quickly assess your emotional constitution and sensitivities, then work with you to overcome any mental roadblocks you may encounter. When training becomes tedious, your coach will find a way to make it fun. When your gains temporarily plateau, your coach will assure you that it’s a small part of the process, and also make appropriate tweaks to your training or nutrition to keep the gains coming. And if you simply feel a sense of exhaustion or that the level of fitness required by a competition is out of your reach, your prep coach will infuse positive reinforcement to keep you motivated. Truly everyone is different in their own individual character traits, but even people with great mental fortitude can be vulnerable to psychological weakness. Once again, you’ll never have to face it alone with your prep coach. They truly are experts at converting challenges and obstacles into accomplishments and achievements.
This an area of personal development that truly makes you feel as if you’re part of a team. Whereas other fitness competition associations hold events that can be cut-throat, tense and fragmented, UFE provides a sense of togetherness and community like no other. While you’ll always be focused on your own progress, you’ll quickly discover that your fellow athletes are not simply hard and fast competitors, but they are rather your teammates and essentially collaborators in fitness. In fact, many long-standing close friendships have been forged in training for competitions.
The advantages of the UFE community are numerous. You can further your education on both the training and nutrition elements of fitness when you’re surrounded by like-minded people sharing the common goal of competing. Often, without expecting it, you’ll discover some tricks of the trade or learn little secrets from others that might help put a spark into your gains. Furthermore, it’s a great benefit psychologically when you train in a group or team setting, because whenever you feel rundown or mentally exhausted, someone is always there to pick you up.
UFE is proud to present throughout the competition calendar a full slate of contest prep workshops offered in Canada, The United States, the United Kingdom and India. These are an opportunity for you to learn more about all elements of contest preparation in a fun, exhilarating and interactive setting with your peers along with elite coaches and trainers. Many of the top name UFE Pros will also be on hand to guide you with their wisdom. These workshops are very affordable (for most of them, can you say free?) and all-encompassing. Have questions on posing or tanning? You’ve come to the right place. Need advice on your hair and makeup? Look no further than a UFE workshop. Want to learn more specific details on judging criteria? Once again, you’ll find it all at a workshop.
At press time, there are 10 UFE workshops slated for the remainder of the year (five in Canada, two in The United States and three in The United Kingdom). This schedule is subject to change, in that more workshops may also be added to the calendar. The next workshop in each of the three regions are as follows:
Cobourg, Ontario – Sunday, April 7, 2019
TYPE: Contest Prep Workshop
LOCATION: Cobourg Community Centre
ADDRESS: 750 D’Arcy Street, Cobourg, ON
TIME: 12pm – 3pm
TO REGISTER: Email info@UFEshows.com to reserve a spot
Pontiac, Michigan – Sunday, April 7, 2019
TYPE: Contest Prep Workshop
LOCATION: Anytime Fitness
ADDRESS: 149 N Perry Street, Pontiac, MI
TIME: 9am – 12pm
TO REGISTER: Email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a spot
London, England – Saturday, April 13, 2019
TYPE: Contest Prep Workshop
LOCATION: Nuffield Health London City, 4 Cousin Lane, London, England
TIME: 11am – 2pm
TO REGISTER: Email info@UFEshows.com to reserve a spot
In addition to the numerous on-stage competitions run worldwide by UFE, you also have the opportunity to participate in transformation challenges. These are organized competitions which measure the contrast in body composition you achieve over 90 days. If you ever feel like a diet or substantial weight loss program is a lonely endeavor, fear not – transformation challenges inherently keep you motivated. Plus the private Facebook group for Challengers will keep you connected to your fellow Challengers along with expert coaches and trainers who specialize in body makeovers. Like everything else associated with a UFE competition, you’ll always be part of a team.
With no word of exaggeration, the opportunities to build upon a transformation are truly limitless. Some cynics might think that a challenge like this entails crash diets and radical weight loss until the contest concludes – inevitably the individual subsequently gains all the weight back. Stop right there. That is outmoded thinking and quite simply a misconception. Just ask all the many UFE athletes who first began their competition career by participating in a transformation challenge and then leveraged their extraordinary results to springboard their way onto the stage.
Currently, UFE offers many UFE 90 Day Challenges throughout 2019, taking place in several different locations. There’s bound to be a convenient opportunity for you to take part. More information on the UFE 90 Day Challenge can be found at https://www.ufe90daychallenge.com/events.
Finally, in addition to the expansive support system above, consider also that as a well-established fitness organization, UFE can further optimize your competition experience with resource personnel. These include make-up artists, posing coaches and advertisers who are always on the lookout for the next hot model to represent their products or services. Naturally, you’ll find representatives from sports supplements companies in attendance at UFE competitions, scouting athletes as they grace the stage in order to find that special someone to appear alongside their protein powders, vitamins or fat burners, for example.
As you can see, UFE provides all competitors with a veritable legion of individuals who are ready, willing and capable of partnering up with you to make a formidable team. Truly, at UFE, you’ll never walk alone.
Timothy Rigby, M.A., NCSA-CPT is a freelance writer and one of Canada’s most published fitness writers.