I Want to Turn Pro!

When working with clients one of the most important things to know is what do you want to achieve?

What are your goals?

“I want to earn my Pro card and compete in the Olympia.”

Many of our customers and followers are fans of the body sculpting and physique sports of NPC/IFBB Bikini and Figure competition.


IFBB Pro and Team VIP Coach, Missy Schwimer, has experienced both the Arnold and Olympia stage.

After all, we have coached from day 1, the only athlete to be a champion in both the IFBB Arnold Classic and the Olympia, and now 3-peat at the Olympia Bikini title holder.

I myself set a goal to turn pro and I earned my IFBB Pro card in Fitness back in 2004.

I’ve been around the sport for a while, as well as, coaching people meet their goals.

So here’s the first thing I recommend when someone tells me they want to turn “pro”.

First, forget about turning Pro.

Now, I don’t mean abandon your goal.

Let’s focus on some short term goals first-that lead to long-term goals, such as turning Pro.

In this sport, we need to first look at getting onstage. Getting on stage for the first time is actually the start of the journey to achieving a goal such as turning Pro.

Veronica & Saranya enjoying their first competition experience

Veronica & Saranya enjoying their first competition experience

To increase the success with our customers, in preparing for a show or competition and balancing “life”, we start by only focusing on the aspects of weight training, cardio, and nutrition first. If you try to jump in head first with the other show preparations, most will become overwhelmed, stressed, and it will take the “fun” out of it.

After all, shouldn’t your journey to the stage and turning Pro be- FUN ?!?!

Weights, cardio, nutrition, posing, suit color, tanning, hair, make-up – specific show week training, nutrition- travel to the show- There are a lot of details & technical aspects of programming just to get ready for your first show of the season.


Gina won back to back shows in her bikini debut and placed 4th at her first national show

We require a minimum 12 weeks in the competition prep programming (Platinum) to be prepared and go through the process of getting on stage.

Your first show of the season will not be your best show. We recommend 3 shows in a season or 1-2 month period to get out the kinks (you will be nervous) and dial in your physique.

It’s called periodization – you can’t be at your best all the time, so we periodize your training & nutrition to “peak” at a certain time.

Your first time onstage-will be a learning experience. Plan to make mistakes and learn for the next shows. You should view your first show as a “warm up” and if you place- that is a bonus. If you place in the top five at your first show-that is AWESOME!

Zdravka with parents

Zdravka, pictured with her parents, cleaned up at her very first show and six, 1st place finishes and 3 Overall titles.

(We have had several girls win their first show under our guidance.)

Remember, there could be 20 girls in your class and everyone wants to do well. You are all goal- getters, but there is only one first place.

After you compete in your first show, you can focus on details & fine tuning to place 1st and win Overalls on the local level.

It can take some time to achieve that goal of placing first – even on the local level. Sometimes your body just isn’t where it needs to be and other times you need to get more experience on stage. Poise and presentation can make the difference in a first or fifth place finish. It’s not always about who has the best “bikini body”.

Once you are doing well and winning on the local level-then you can look at participating in shows on the national level.

*The national judges recommend you place first in your class and win overalls, before going to national shows.


Ashley Kaltwasser

Just because someone is “nationally qualified” and placed in the top five at their show-does not mean they are ready to go to the national stage.

When you go to the national level-you need to think that you’re almost starting all over again and just being on stage is a win. It’s a totally different ball game 🙂

It can take some time to place in the top five on the national level.

For example, our client, 3x Olympia Champ Ashley Kaltwasser, won the Overall at the Arnold amateur, but it took her 3 more National shows before turning Pro. She didn’t even place in the top 5 in the 2 national shows following the Arnold Amateur Overall title.

At the national qualifiers-you would need to win your class or place second to earn a pro card. Each national show is different and you can view the requirements at www.npcnewsonline.com

It can be a process.

Some people can turn pro super fast in a year or 2.

Others it could take 3-5 years.

Some girls have been competing over 12 years and have not turned pro despite constantly competing on the national level.

It can require time – lots of time – so you have to love it 🙂

If the experience feels like a chore, why do it?

As far as picking shows- as long as they are NPC & fit your work schedule – travel etc – go for it! We help our customers plan out their show schedule. In order to earn IFBB Pro status, – make sure you are competing in NPC shows. That is the track to IFBB Pros.

That’s a brief outline on the process of earning your IFBB Pro card, but here’s the thing…

In my years of coaching and running businesses, you learn a thing or two about setting goals and what it takes to achieve them.
** If you focus on just the goal of turning pro and not the small steps it takes to achieve that goal – it will limit your growth in the sport.

When a person obsesses over the big goal and doesn’t fine tune or achieve the small goals, a few things happen.

One, they stress themselves out about it and it invades their mind 24/7. Stress is a matter of life, but it is also a matter of “fat” too. Obsessing and stressing over achieving Pro status certainly won’t get you there any faster. In my experience, it’ll even keep you from making your mark on the local or national stage.

Two, it’s no longer fun. Everyday feels like a chore and training is a drag. You got into this sport because you love your body and you want to fine tune it right? You love to weight train and do cardio activities, but now you hate it. If that’s the case, you need to re-evaluate and take a break from competing all together.

Three, if you haven’t even competed in your first show or you’ve only even done a few and you have your sights set on turning pro and you make that well known…. Well, in my opinion you might not be realistic.

Like I said in the beginning, there are a lot of small steps that need to be accomplished before feeling that a big goal is within your near future.

Confidence is within, even when nobody is looking.

If you want to make $1 Million dollars you can’t just think big – there are a lot of small steps to achieve the end result. The same to be said in this scenario of turning pro. Just because you want it soo soo bad, doesn’t mean “wishing” is going to make it happen. That’s up to you.

You have to trust the process.

I’m a believer you can make big things happen, but you have to be both PATIENT and WORK!

Talk to you soon – love to hear from you 🙂

~ Summer Montabone, CSCS
IFBB Fitness Pro (retired)
Founder Team VIP Online

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