Cost of Competing - Fitness Athlete
Updated: Mar 13, 2019
Congratulations! You are about to embark on a hard-working journey that takes dedication, self discipline, and a lot of focus! In the famous words of Coach Nanci, "Competition Conditioning is a beast of its own!" You'll need a great training and nutrition program. Select the competition that you will work towards, and think about what music you'd like to use. But there is so much more associated with the road to becoming a professional fitness athlete - Find out what else you NEED to know!
First, training for a competition is not only extremely taxing on your body, but also on your social life! During competition season, you'll average from 3 to 4 hours in the gym per day. This may seem like a lot, but you will need it. Between the weight training, cardio sessions, routine training, flexibility training and component training, you will be hard pressed to spend less time than that per day in the gym if your goal is to do well in your show.
Aside from the time factor, you will also be adhering to a strict meal plan for several months. Hopefully you have very understanding friends who will support you in your endeavors to build your best physique, but at times you may need to separate yourself from them and not include yourself in their activities. This can be a lonely proposition, but well worth it when you walk away pleased with your performance at your show or better yet, with a trophy! Now let's talk a about the monetary expenses of fitness competing:
Gym Membership Unless you have a home gym or have free access to a recreational center with the necessary workout equipment, you will need to check out your local gym and sign up for a membership. Depending on the gym you join and type of membership you choose, the cost per month can range from as low as $20 per month to $100+ per month.
Workout Wear Most gyms have fairly flexible requirements on the type of clothes members can wear; recommend wearing whatever you are most comfortable in.
Personal Trainer If you are new to training or unsure of which method to use, you may decide to enlist the help of a competition trainer to help you learn the most effective ways to achieve your specific goals. This expense ranges from reasonable to very expensive depending on the trainer or coach you choose.
Choreographer or Gymnastics Coach Unless you feel comfortable choreographing your own routine, you will need to hire a choreographer to help you incorporate dance moves, gymnastics and the mandatory strength moves into an entertaining, crowd-pleasing routine. Generally choreographers and gymnastics coaches charge per hour and the range is quite broad depending on their background and experience.
DJ It is HIGHLY recommended that you have your routine spliced by a professional DJ. The last thing you want to do is have choppy music distract the judges from your awesome routine and hard-earned physique. Again, there is typically a charge per hour rate for this service dependent on the background and experience of the DJ.
Supplements Unless you don't have a problem with eating canned tuna or chicken breasts multiple times throughout the day, EVERY day, you will probably want to invest in high quality supplements.
Contest Suits/Shoes After all of your hard work training for months on end, you will want to be sure that you have chosen the right fitness and physique suits for your big show. You will want to have these custom made to your specifications by a professional. For women, you will also need clear high heel shoes for your physique rounds and dance sneakers or tennis shoes for your fitness round. You can also usually find these online at exotic shoe websites if you do a search for "clear high heels." Depending on where you purchase them, you can pay anywhere from $50 on up for your heels.
Contest Entry Fees For each show you enter, you will be required to pay the entry fee and to have a current National Physique Committee (NPC). Entry fees are typically around $40-50 and annual membership in the NPC is currently $60.
Contest Travel Unless your contest is local and you are able to drive to it the morning of the pre-judging, then you will have to consider travel expenses including airfare and hotel. These, of course are dependent on the location and length of your show and the type of accommodation you require.