Category Archives: Figure Competition Tips

Overcoming challenges and obstacles!

by Contributing Author, NGA/IFPA figure pro and Figure/Bikini Coach Tiffany Benson

Tiffany BensonIn this life we all will face many obstacles and challenges. Many of us will become so soaked up in our obstacles that we will quit. I would like to encourage as many people as possible to not quit…rather to OVERCOME! That, right there…overcoming challenges, makes you a winner! If you take the journey to get to the stage, and actually get up on stage..that right there also makes you a winner. If you take the journey to aim to compete and break your leg a week before stage day…you still WON! You need to become a winner from within…it’s all about starting from the inside and working it outward to the outside of you…it all starts within.

Everything starts with a dream, a vision, and we execute that into a plan. Take your dream today, execute it into a plan, any kind of plan, and go after all you dream for. The hardest part really is starting out! What I love most about helping girls to get ready for a figure or bikini show is that most of the girls I work with think they will never be able to compete, for one reason or another…well, after baby #3 and a broken back and neck, I really thought I would never even work out again…but I overcame, and each of us has it in us to overcome all our challenges and obstacles. I encourage you today…to start living your dreams and bringing them to life! With much love and encouragement, Tiffany Benson 😉

Working around injury, in the sport of figure and bikini

by Contributing Author, NGA/IFPA figure pro and Figure/Bikini Coach Tiffany Benson

Tiffany BensonAS a veteran of the U.S. Army and having been involved in a near death vehicle accident 10 years ago, leaving me with a broken neck and back in multiple areas…I KNOW injury! So I have learned many things through my years of competing and training. Always always always listen to your body! Even if you have a log, or a plan that you are following on your way into the gym, listen to your body. Connect with your body. If your body says “ouch” then STOP immediately! If you need to skip certain moves or machines it is perfectly ok. I had to take many years off of certain things like the traditional squat and the traditional deadlift.

It’s ok…I worked my way slowly with baby stepping….back into these movements. The reason I am able to do them today, is because of my much needed time off, to recover from injury… Even when you are able to incorporate the exercises back into your routine, do not fear having a bad day and needing to skip when your body is telling you to please not do it. Injuries can be fixed through good stretching, rest, recovery, sound nutrition, physical therapy (which I am a huge believer in!) and just simply being smart enough to listen to yourself. Your body will speak to you. Listen to it!

Happy and healthy training ya’ll!

Much love, Tiffany

Did you give it your all?

by Contributing Author and Figure/Bikini Coach Tiffany Benson

Tiffany Benson Have you ever done something that had you walk away thinking and saying to yourself, “I really could have done better, or given more of me?” Yeah, me too…and I don’t like that feeling…So my first few figure competitions I gave it my all…I did the prep just right, ate the foods on target, did the cardio, and always placed in the top 5. But I could have practiced my posing more, I soon realized, and my t-walks… I always talked with the judges after all my figure competitions, to ask them what I can do better, and where I can improve on my overall physique and presentation.

I always took the feedback and ran back home with it. Well, in 2009…I did everything just right, no cheating on my diet, no slacking on my posing, and I went into the 2009 NGA Heart of America figure competition as an amateur, and came out as the newest NGA figure pro! What a great feeling! Knowing I gave it my all…my identical twin sister did NOT compete that competition and she was the one who awarded me on stage, so that was extra special too.

But the ultimate feeling of walking away knowing I did give the entire prep my all….is such a fantastic feeling! Now I get to joing the pro ranks and compete as an NGA figure pro and an IFPA pro. I think as a mommy of 3, I love to keep myself competing because it keeps me on my toes, and that goal, the journey and the end result, competing, is just an incredible accomplishment. You realize after the competition, that the stage time may be over with until your next competition, but wow! Look at the incredible transformation you have made! And that does not go away once you walk off the stage….now, many competitors do NOT stay competition lean all year round, that would not be healthy for your system and metabolism.

But once you have done it, and you did it all natural and with hard work, you know you are fully capable of doing it again and  it becomes quite an addiction. And at least it’s a healthy addiction! I will continue to compete figure so long as I can.

Happy training, and happy competing! Remember to give it your all!

About the Author:

I am an all-natural professional NGA figure athlete and professional IFPA figure athlete, a mommy of 3, a wife to my best friend Christopher, all-natural figure/bikini coach, Certified NOMA makeup artist, and a veteran of the U.S. Army.


The sport of Figure!

by Contributing Author and Figure/Bikini Coach Tiffany Benson

Tiffany BensonThe sport of figure for me has been something I started back in 2007 as a means and a goal to lose the baby weight after my 3rd baby was born and I stopped nursing. Most of my friends and co-competitors have similar stories…it all started with a goal. Which brings me to the whole journey to the stage….My opinion and outlook is “if you make it to competition day, you have already won the show!” Getting on stage is about way more that a trophy of a few, or even a pro card…it is within you that you have completed the journey and you have overcome all of your obstacles and fears. Becoming a figure athlete is about instilling within yourself…your mind, body and spirit that you are DISCIPLINED enough to make the decision to do this and disciplined enough to follow through with the lifestyle, sacrifice, routine, mental and physical stresses/pleasures (as there are both) and the pure determination. One must be focused, able to plan, and carry out that plan to succeed.

Off season is always more relaxed and not having to do the amount of cardio you did during your prep…it is a time to build the muscle you will showcase during your next on-season/competition season time. It is a time to eat and refuel your metabolism after all the dieting during your prep…it is a bit of a reward, as I see it…for completing the previous contest prep phase. Off season always helps me to appreciate the on-season/dieting phase more than I realized during the actual phases of it….I am usually pretty excited to get back into contest prep mode after a few months of off-season…

If you are one who has always thought about competing figure or bikini or bodybuilding…instead of just wondering “if you could do it,” I say “believe in yourself and go for it!” There would not be any of us athletes out here if we did not just go for it….everyone has to start somewhere…and quite frankly, the hardest part is starting out! Anyone who has a dream or vision of becoming a competitor has the will to do it…the drive. If you can dream it, you can achieve it. It all starts with a dream. Becoming a figure athlete is all in all transforming into your best athlete, your best you…that you can become!

About the Author:

I am an all-natural professional NGA figure athlete and professional IFPA figure athlete, a mommy of 3, a wife to my best friend Christopher, all-natural figure/bikini coach, Certified NOMA makeup artist, and a veteran of the U.S. Army.


Can you dramatically change your body a few days before Show Day?

Every competitor wants to know if they can cheat and pull off a trick a few days before the show day so that they are figure ready. They ask me about carb loading and overladin with water. For what ever the reason, specially new competitors, think that carb loading is some technique that’s going to make then incredible on the day of the show. Well I want to tell you from years of experience that carb loading has such a minute impact on your physique that it’s not even worth messing with. So many competitors think that if they somehow play around with their carbs or water that somehow they are going to transform from Wednesday to show day on Saturday. It’s not going to happen. I’ve never seen it happen.

The body just does NOT respond that quickly to anything. If you think that some system is going to transform you from NOT being ready to being figure ready in a couple of days, you’re fooling yourself. I always say to my girls “If you’re not ready the last week before the show, there’s nothing you can do to get ready for the show PERIOD.” But you know what? You CAN mess yourself up though with all that water! All that water will make you look soft. And all that hard work you put in will go down the tubes. THAT I can promise you!

The key is to train hard. From the beginning of the contest prep all the way up to the show day. The name of the game is “consistency”. That is the trick. Hard Work. You get ready by following a proper diet FAITHFULLY. There’s nothing you can do to change your body for the better in just 3 – 4 days. Get that through your head right now. The only exception is if a competitor needs to lose 1 – 2 before the show and has a week or so to do it. At that time 1 – 2 lbs is big. But in order to lose those 2 lbs it’ll take you at LEAST a week or HARD HARD training and strict dieting.

Under no circumstances should you think that you can dramatically change your physique a few days before the competition and go from a 3rd place finish to a first. It’s not going to happen. I’ve seen competitors totally mess themselves up with too much water, carbs and totally blowing any chances of being placed AT ALL. Don’t be that person. Don’t play games with your body chemistry.

My rules for a wining body on Show Day are:

1) Trian Hard! ( Click Here to let me train you )
2) Strict Diet! (Click here to download my 31 figure prep diets )
3) Consistency!

Now go do it!