Fitness Focus – Pay to Play by Genieve Sanchez

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When it comes to the sport of fitness and bodybuilding the average competitor pays to play. This self investment of reaching their ultimate goals can be through the perspective of a hobby, a lifestyle, or a profession.   The fitness and bodybuilding sport arena requires not only discipline and time but money from its competitors.     During an athletes on and off-seasons, a range of expenses will occur, such as gym memberships, personal trainers, nutrition specialists, posing stage coaches, entry fees, competition suits, supplements, travel expenses and the list can go on an on.   Bottom-line, THIS SPORT IS EXPENSIVE!
I get asked often, what is the payback for being a fitness competitor?  Many assume that the purse must be significant to merit such demanding training and diet regimens.  Well I’d like to say that these fine tuned athletes are training for the millions but like many other comparative non-mainstream sports, the majority of money in the fitness and bodybuilding industry does not come from competition earnings alone, rather the competitions become a gateway to other lucrative avenues within the industry.
At the amateur level of fitness/bodybuilding shows, typically top winners are awarded trophies, titles and perhaps the opportunity to compete at a federation’s next show level.   At prestige professional shows, winners will be exposed to prominent supplement sponsorships, photographers, modeling agents and media publications.  It has been my experience that competitors will utilize the process of training for a competition to reach peak fitness levels that in return (if promoted correctly) attract photographers, modeling agencies, and companies looking to market the fitness lifestyle.
If a fitness athlete/competitor wants to launch their hobby into a career it takes self-promotion, networking and confidence to get there more times than not. This is where competition exposure can be a launching pad for an athlete to gain sponsorships, fitness modeling, industry promotional work, and even creative work such as writing andblogging.  Other interesting outcomes of competition can be entrepreneurship through fitness coaching, personal training, and other mentoring services.
For the rest of the athletes who truly perceive competitions as a hobby and set their single goal to reach top conditioned shape are equally successful in their own merit.  To see athletes of all ages have a passion for competition and a discipline for training and diet, is an inspiring story unto itself and that is as good as gold and highly respected in the industry.
Fitness has been an amazing journey for me and I speak of these opportunities in the industry from fortunate experience.  Several doors, both substantial and small, have opened-up to me from some connection made through competitions. Despite these opportunities coming my way, I have put in relentless effort of self marketing and promotion efforts to convince sponsors that I am worth investing in.  Some doors opened easier than others, but there is no doubt they all came from me mustering up the courage to train for my very first show.  I am gracious to say that decision to compete is why I am writing this column today and why I have been fortunate to get paid to play this past competitive season and I can only hope that it continues. There is opportunity out there and it comes down to being fit and focused every time no matter what your angle is in the industry!

Until next time…



   The Fitness NM & Musclemania Championships will be held on Saturday, May 12th at the Hard Rock Casino & Resort, Albuquerque.  The competition includes – Ms. Bikini NM, Model NM (Male & Female) Figure NM , Fitness (teen, men & women) & Musclemania.
Information and entry forms may be obtained by visiting the website.  Deadline for early bird entry is April 16th.

-Would you like to get started in Fitness Competitions?  Check out the Fitness Competition Secrets resource!