Thursday, January 19, 2017

What Does It Cost to Compete?

by Kris Pitcher

The physique competition industry is thriving. With the addition of new divisions there is an access point to almost anyone who's even a little bit fit. Lots of people are interested in hitting the stage and here are some considerations to make before you decide this sport is for you.

There is a cost associated with this hobby. My husband and I share some pretty expensive, scuba diving, motorcycling, skiing (although this one has fallen by the wayside). Other people like to golf, or quilt, or scrapbook. All of those things cost money. So does competing.

What can you plan on? You can plan on spending 16, or more, weeks getting ready. Your expenses might include:

  • Gym membership
  • Food - although I hope you were planning to eat anyway
  • Supplements - some you need, some you don't
  • Membership in your organization - NPC $125/annually
  • Contest registration - $75-$100
  • Shoes - ladies, $40
  • Suit - guys are looking at $60+, and ladies...$150+ (up to as much as you want to spend)
  • Accessories - $40+
  • Tanning - competition tanning $100
  • Hair/Makeup - $100-$150
  • Travel/hotel/gas - if your show is more than 45 minutes from home, you may want to get a room
Now, we're looking at about $600 plus food, and your gym membership. Here's the piece people miss. Professional guidance - a prep coach. This costs money as well. I have a coach. My coach has a coach. And his coach...has a coach.

Hiring a coach all depends on the experience you want to have. That's up to you. You can piece information together on your own, the good, the bad, and the ugly. I don't clean my own teeth, cut/color my own hair, or conduct my own medical exams. I hire professionals for those things.

Here's what we don't spend money on: I don't get my nails done, we don't buy coffee out, we rarely go out to the movies, we eat at home and pack all our meals, I color my hair right before my show (not every 6 weeks), we don't have $600 phones, we don't have cable TV, we don't buy alcohol, I don't buy new clothes every month/week, and we don't live above our means. Why? We do those things so we can concentrate on competing at a high level.

Competing is not for everyone. It's especially not when you can't afford to. Sometimes we need to save for our dreams, sacrifice for them, or give other things up. It's all dependent on our priorities.

There is no right or wrong. Just, "what do you want?" My sense is people rush into thinking they want to compete without really looking at the cost. No hobby should make you go broke, jeopardize your rent, or make your kids go without.

Timing in life is important. If now is not the time, work toward it. Knowing the costs associated with your dreams helps you map out your plan. And that's the cost to compete!

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