Candice John’s Final Stop on The Road to the Arnold

Candice John checks in to give us a look at what it’s like to be hours away from a competition. This isn’t just any competition though, this is THE ARNOLD. She shares some tips for new competitors and what to do and not to do before a show.


The 2013 Figure International is here!

With mere days to the 2013 Figure International, I am totally psyched. I feel great as my contest prep has been on point. My trainer does not believe in doing anything drastic in the final week, so we just stick with what works… keeping things balanced and monitoring my daily progress. I do not do any crazy carb depleting or Rocky-style training to kill me in the last days to a show. The diet, workouts and posing have been grueling from the start, so I don’t really have to increase the intensity in the end. I can feel the adrenalin pumping through me. I’m in “GO” mode all day long. It’s sometimes hard to sleep because I’m always mentally updating my checklist, sometimes jumping up in the middle of the night to pack another item in my luggage.

This week is also about beauty. My skin, hair, nails and toes must be looking their best. If I’m going to present myself in a two-piece suit to thousands of people, I should be looking good from head to toe, right? I always tell myself before a competition, NEVER try someone, something or somewhere new. No new hairstylists, beauticians, hair salons, spas, etc. I try to stick to who and what I know. I’ve been competing for some time now and I know this rule better than anyone. Now it got interesting for me this week since I had to break the rule because a curve ball was thrown at me. My trusted esthetician, unbeknownst to me, decided to move to a different state, so my thinking was, ok, keep calm and just google a trusted spa. I decided my risk would be lower if I go to a fancy schmancy spa at a five star hotel. What could go wrong? They should have the best estheticians and facial products, right? Well, the facial was absolute crap and I was left wondering, how can I ask for my money back with interest. I am certain that I could have gone to CVS or Walgreens, get a good facial cleanser, toner and moisturizer, and I would have been able to do a better job. It would have cost so much less!

A very important lesson to all new competitors is, do your research. Never get caught off guard. One has to be prepared for anything at this time, so I asked questions from past Figure International competitors about their experiences, especially with regards to the weather, and I used this information to compile a list of things that I would need. I have my fluffy bath robe, snuggie, fleece socks, and portable heater for backstage. Not to mention my hot water bottle, ear muffs, and body lotion to prevent my skin from becoming too dry. I continue to look at the weather in Columbus, Ohio every day on, hoping and praying that I’m not going to see temperatures in the single digits (yes, I look at the celcius forecast).

Even though I make an exhaustive list of the things that I would need, I still have to keep in mind the weight of my luggage. So the night before I leave for a show, there is usually a battle between the number of items on that list and number of pounds on my digital luggage scale. For my trip to Columbus, I ended up with two suitcases instead of the one I initially intended. I think it is because I packed different types of clothing. The first being my, “for sure” clothes…that’s clothes I’m definitely going to wear. The second being my “anything can happen” clothes, which includes clothes and items for unplanned photo-shoots to snow-storm attire…you name it, I’ve packed it.

Though this is my first Figure International appearance, I feel ready physically, mentally, and emotionally. I’m also humbled by being selected to compete at the Arnold Sports Festival 25th Anniversary and super excited to be part of this unbelievably momentous occasion. I’m packed and on my way. I Hope to see you guys in Columbus. I’ll have that Caribbean sun shining through to me, so come by say hi and feel Trini’s warmth.

Candice “Trini” John

Disclaimer: Reader discretion advised, please consult your physician before beginning any exercise or diet program.