Competing on a bodybuilding stage for the first time can be nerve-wrecking, but it doesn’t have to be as intense as you may think. There are ways to prepare for that experience so you can put your best foot forward when you make your competitive debut.

IFBB Pro League Women’s Chairperson and Head Judge Sandy WIlliamson was a special guest on a recent episode of Prime Time Muscle with hosts Tim Wilkins, Terrick El Guindy, and Chris Cormier. Wilkins spoke about the seminars that Williamson has put on for future competitors, and Williamson shared other ways that they can get ready to compete for the first time.

“Go to your local shows. Go see regional shows. It will give you an idea of the process,” said Williamson. “Anything that you can do ahead of time to relieve some of that anxiety and stress when you first walk in, you should.”

Williamson also referenced the seminars that she and others in the NPC have put together for current and future competitors. A wealth of knowledge can be obtained in those events, and she said you should get to the nearest one in your area sooner rather than later.

“Almost every place in our country, every state does seminars and workshops. Go hit some of them up. Get some feedback and tips from the pros and officials in your area.”

Williamson also wants athletes to feel comfortable once they hit the stage, and that means knowing what poses to hit, and just as important, how to hit those poses.

“Presentation has become such a big deal. It’s become so much more important now than it was 15 or 20 years ago. I think it’s because the number of athletes and the quality of athletes has increased.”

If you’re new to Prime Time Muscle, this is a great first episode to watch, especially if you’re a newcomer to bodybuilding. You can see this and all episodes of Prime Time Muscle every week on the Muscle & Fitness + app as well as on the Muscle & Fitness YouTube channel.