As an up and coming NPC athlete looking toward an IFBB PRO card can be really inspiring as you prepare for local and regional competitions leading up to a PRO qualifier. After all, a lot of the world’s most successful IFBB Physique and Bikini competitors started out as local athletes just like you. And, if you put in the time and effort, you could be just like them one day.
Of course, graduating from local competitions, getting your pro card, and moving on to larger competitions isn’t quite as simple as it sounds. Fortunately, though, with the right help and coaching, along with a common sense approach you don’t have to spend years competing before you start winning and move up to IFBB competitions.
How You Get Your IFBB Pro Card
Before I move on to talk about the best tips you can follow to get your pro card and start competing in larger competitions, it’s important to have a good understanding of what a pro card is and how you can earn one.
The IFBB (International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness) is the international governing body for bodybuilding and NPC competitions.If you want to compete with elite competitors, you’ll want to compete in these federations.
For the sake of this conversation think of the NPC as the minor leagues and the IFBB as the Big Leagues.The goal for most NPC competitors is to one day move up or graduate from the minors to the bigs.
To do that, you have to earn your IFBB pro card at an NPC Pro qualifier. Once you have done this you are now a pro and no longer an amateur! When you win one of these competitions, you’ll have earned your pro card, and you’ll be invited to compete in a national championship.
Now that you know what it means to earn an IFBB pro card, let’s talk about how you can do it!
Compete in the Open Class
Some coaches will tell you that you should always compete in the Novice class for your first competition. There is just one problem with this competing in the novice class does not earn you a national qualification.
The only place you can earn your national qualification is in the open class. The novice class is basically designed to allow newer competitors to get their feet wet against other newer competitors. Go ahead and compete in the open class which will allow you to earn your national qualification and compete for that pro card.
Now, there is the option to compete in both the Novice and Open classes. You’d get two chances to go on stage and compete, which will give you more stage time and experience, but it will cost you more, too in terms of entry fees. If you’ve never competed before, and you aren’t working with an experienced NPC/IFBB stage presence coach, you might want to consider just entering as a Novice for your first competition and then getting a coach as you prep for your next one.
Honestly, though, in my experience, if you have the right coaching, and you’ve put in the prep work for the competition, there’s really no point in wasting your time and money competing only in the Novice class. Instead, go ahead and compete in Open as well, which will give you the opportunity to earn your pro card and move up to bigger competitions.The cost of another entry fee is nominal compared to the experience you will receive standing next to more seasoned athletes.
Develop a Winning Mindset
All too often, I hear really talented athletes say things, “Well, it’s just my first competition, so I’m not really expecting anything…” While that mindset will protect you from some disappointment if you don’t win, it’s not a great one for really going after your goals.
It’s okay if you feel this way right now, but if you go through your training and competition prep feeling like it doesn’t matter if you win or lose, you’re probably going to lose.
On the other hand, if you develop your confidence, learn about the ins and outs of NPC competition and really foster a winning mindset, you can do amazing things. After all, our athlete Christie Bailey won her IFBB pro card in her first pro qualifying competition.
When Christie started competition prep, she wasn’t completely sure of herself. Even though she’d gone through a really amazing fitness transformation, she still wasn’t sure about herself, or if she was really ready to compete at the level of some of the women, she looked up to for fitness inspiration.
So how did Christie do it? That brings us to our next tip for winning competitions and getting your pro card…
Find a Passionate NPC/IFBB Stage Presence Coach
You’ve put in a lot of work to get your body in the best shape of your life. However, if you don’t know what judges are looking for in winning competitors, you’ll be relying on luck to carry you through.
On the other hand, if you have the right stage presence coach, you’ll not only have the coaching to hit your required poses beautifully, but you’ll also have someone in your corner who can help build your confidence and encourage that winning mindset I just talked about.
This is where I come in to help athletes understand what they need to do to win and to give them a blueprint, proven tools, and confidence to achieve their goals. The athletes I coach get access to my knowledge and resources to be truly competitive, even if they’ve never stepped onto a stage before in their life.
But the biggest thing my athletes will receive from me is my commitment and passion to making sure they are ready to look their best on stage!
Don’t Buy an Off-the-Rack Competition Suit
Finally, you’ve probably heard the saying, “Dress for the job you want, not the one you have,” right? Well, the same goes for NPC competitions. If you want to be an IFBB pro competitor, you have to dress like one.
A custom competition suit will fit you perfectly and will add to the dazzle you bring to the stage as you show off all your hard work. That’s why I put so much effort into designing and creating the perfect suits for my athletes. This is the icing on the cake that could mean the difference between first and second place.
It’s true a couture competition suit will never win you a competition nor can it hide a poorly conditioned physique. But when everything is on point a perfectly fitted suit will give you the confidence of a winner and that in itself is worth the investment.
Give Yourself the Best Chance to Win
There are no guarantees in life – you could train hard, have your nutrition on point, and do everything you need to do to be a successful athlete, and you could still fail to be competitive enough to earn a pro card.
That said, athletes who are determined to win and who work with a quality stage presence coach are always more successful than those who don’t have a winning mindset and try to go into competitions on their own.
1 Show-13 Cuties-8 First Call-Outs-7 Trophies-2 PRO Cards!