Originally published on mensphysique.com on Monday, 07 May 2012
So you competed in a national qualifier and got your qualification…fantastic! But now you may be wondering how to prepare for a national level show, what to pack, and generally what to expect at the national level. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen competitors who are newbies to the national circuit and have that deer in headlights look. They are completely stunned by the magnitude of a national show and intimidated by all the other nationally-qualified athletes who, for the most part, look amazing. Quite frequently these new competitors have no idea what to pack for a show outside of their local region and end up scurrying all over the place trying to procure the items they neglected to pack.
In light of this, here is a list of essential items to pack for a national level NPC/IFBB show, along with explanations. If you go to a national show fully prepared, you won’t have to deal with the stress of having forgotten something.
Board shorts (at LEAST two pairs, in case something happens to your main pair)
Dark towel (you don’t want to get tanning solution on the hotel towels because the hotel will charge you to replace them!)
Dark t-shirts (these make great pillowcases at the hotel)
Umbrella (you never know if it might rain)
Driver’s license or other ID
Cash for incidentals, cab fare
Basic toiletry items (toothbrush and toothpaste, moisturizer, hair gel, deodorant, razor)
A good skin scrub – sugar scrubs are much gentler on the skin than salt scrubs. Make sure the container is leak-proof and place in a Ziploc bag for extra security. If this is being packed in a carry-on bag, make sure the container is 3 ounces or less.
Touch up foundation or bronzer for your face to match up with airbrush color on body
Baggy pants with NO elastic at waistband
Loose brushed cotton or flannel button-down long-sleeved shirt
Socks (your tanned feet will stain the sheets!)
Enough changes of casual clothes for the time that you will be at location
Nice outfit in case you feel inclined to go out to celebrate after finals
Diuretic (if your coach advises it)
Food – make sure to pack extra food. You can freeze your food then pop it in the microwave as you need it.
Moist wipes – travel pack size
If you map out your packing strategy you should be able to remember to pack all the essentials.