Amy Perrin, 6 Pack
Sponsored Athlete and subject of the very first story in our Transformations Series
, is a great role model for anyone striving to compete in a bikini fitness competition. From the first day she decided to get in shape she's been pushing forward, facing her fears of competing, and just being an all around badass. Amy has competed twice and taken first place in her class both times. Now, she's headed to a national competition in Vegas next year!
We sat down with Amy to discuss her best advice for how to train for your first bikini fitness competition, everything from how to best use your gym backpack to its fullest meal management capabilities to tips on the actual judging process, and much more. Check out part one below and make sure to come back for part two!
Inspiration and Support
Before you compete for a bikini competition, you have to get inspired. For Amy, she followed @gymgirljessie
(Jessie Deye) on Instagram, and was really inspired by her posts. "She was just amazing, because she talks about her first competition and her first year of competing. So when I saw this real girl with a real job, who wasn't a fitness model, I was inspired to compete," Amy said. Seeing that other regular people can do it shows you that you can too.
When Amy started going to the gym, she was only lifting 2Ã‚½-pound dumbbells because she was afraid of getting bulky. That wasn't going to work. She decided that to compete, she'd have to fall in love with the training itself. Her motto became: "I'm not going to train to compete, I'm going to compete because I train." After she started following that line of thought, she went to the gym not for a rock hard six-pack or dream body, but for the way it made her feel.
"I was going to the gym to help my mentality and anxiety levels. It made me feel good overall," Amy said. Once she quit thinking about the numbers and her physical appearance, results started to come. Amy's best piece of advice always come down to one simple idea: "Fall in love with the process."
External support is hugely important, but inwardly constantly pushing yourself is important as well, and the ability to overcome your mental barriers is a huge leap forward.
Not only should you make sure that you have a good relationship with yourself and your workouts, but you should also have a healthy relationship with your food before you decide to compete. "There's always an option instead of turning to fast food," Amy said, and when you can pack all your meals in a gym backpack, duffle bag, or briefcase, you have no excuse to waver. This kind of dietary support can be difficult to manage, especially for incredibly busy people, but with a 6 Pack Bag, anyone can do it.
"6 Pack Bags saved me while traveling."
Dealing with Nerves
When you're getting ready for your first bikini fitness competition, it's only natural to feel nervous. How you handle your nerves, however, is something you can
control. Amy's number one piece of advice: don't isolate yourself. You can tell when girls are really nervous because they're sitting all alone. So before you get out there on stage, find someone else to talk to! Be social with the other girls and make some friends. Between her first show and her second show, Amy experienced a huge difference. "I came out of my shell a little bit for the second show," she said. "I was socializing more, and just having fun and talking about life. It made things more fun and relaxed." Connect with people that are doing the show, make friendships, and simply socialize.
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During a bikini fitness competition, you should look judges in the eye. Don't look at their foreheads, or mouths, or the crowd behind them. Make direct eye contact with the judges and you already have an advantage in the competition. Amy says that looking at the judges really made the difference for her. It isn't over when you're not center stage, either. After a routine, while you wait off to the side, Amy advises to "stay, hold a pose, and look at all the judges in the eye." After your routine, you're still getting judged when standing off to the side. While you wait for the other girls to finish, you can make yourself stand out if you continue posing and, more importantly, switch it up. This will definitely give you an edge. "That's one of the reasons I got first place, because I held my pose and kept switching it up," Amy said.
Not only should you make eye contact, but you should carry yourself with confidence as well. That's what judges always look for: confidence. Amy says, "You have to own it. I knew it was about the presence, and that's why I had a lead over everyone else."
Although everyone will have their own experience competing, there are definitely a few things to keep in mind that will help you have the best competition of your life. Getting inspired, handling your anxiety, and understanding the judging are just some of the considerations Amy gave us some of her insights on. Check out part two
for Amy's thoughts on nutrition, diet, and where her gym backpack fits into the picture. Make sure to follow Amy on Instagram
to see her continuing progress and get inspired yourself!