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Pros and Cons of doing a Bikini Competition

Bodybuilding and Bikini competitions have become extremely popular over the last few years. You probably know someone thats done a bikini competition or seen photos of beautiful ladies in sparkly bikinis on Instagram or Facebook.

I recently just competed in my 3rd bikini competition, aka: show and wanted to give you an overall idea of the pros and cons of competing. There’s so much that goes into a prep; physically, mentally and finically, much more than I think the average person knows from viewing their documented journey on Instagram.

First, What is a Bikini Competition?

Think of it as a mixture between bodybuilding and a beauty pageant. Some will argue that its bodybuilding, some stress it’s fitness modeling.  Ultimately it depends on the federation that you compete in and what they look for. Most will judge you physically based on the proportion of your body, muscle tone, and beauty aspects such as tan, suit and hair.

Preparation for a competition takes anywhere between 8-16+ weeks, which includes a specific workout and nutrition plan. Competitors refer to this time as “prep.”

Winners typically win a trophy, Instagram boasting rights, or they might pick up a clothing or supplement sponsor. Only the Pros, the best of the best, win money, and overall, its not much.

Just like with any sport or show, Bodybuilding/Bikini competitions have their Pros and Cons.
If you’re thinking of competing, here’s my own personal list of the pros and cons
1. You will be hungry – a lot. After you finish a meal, you might already feel hungry for your next meal!
2. There’s No Balance: Everything you eat and drink must be measured and calculated for the duration of your prep.
3. Your social life goes to sh*t. Drinking is off limits and going out to eat is challenging because everything must be weighed and measured. Plus, you don’t know what they are cooking your food with.
4. Time Commitment: Most of your day will be spent either at the gym (around 2+ hours per day) or in the kitchen cooking, packing and prepping food.
5. You have to be ok with knowing it’s a subjective sport. For example, the 1st person to cross the finish line in track, wins. In the sport of bodybuilding, there’s no black or white, just a lot of grey. Example: one judge told my husband he needs to work on his back, the other judge, on the same panel, said his back was perfect, that he needed to bring up his shoulders. The reality is, who I think looks good and who you thinks look good are typically two different people.
6. It can be damaging to your physical health. Staying at a very low body fat for too long is unnatural and can unlock a chain of health problems. Often times, women lose their periods or their hair starts thinning.
7. Body Dysmorphia: after getting so lean, gaining even a little bit of weight back makes many feel fat.
8. It’s expensive. Just to give you an idea, heres a breakdown:
– Coaching: for 12 weeks its around $1,000 +
– Bikini: The average bikini is around $450, and some are up to $2,000
– Tan: $100 +
– Hair & Makeup: $300 + (if you can do your own hair and makeup, you can save money, but remember, it is stage makeup, which for some is hard to do).
– Supplements: $100 + per month
– NPC Card: $135 (only if you are doing NPC)
– Entry Fee: $175 per class – thats what the cost is at Muscle Contest shows here in Southern California
– Posing: $40+ per session (I think beginners need a minimum of 3 posing sessions)
1. It gives you something to train for. Having a goal to work towards, keeps your head in the game and motivated
2. You will get super lean (nice arms, abs and legs)
3. You will learn a lot about diet, exercise and your body.
4. It will boost your confidence
5. You will push out of your comfort zone, mentally and physically. As the saying goes, “To be outstanding, get comfortable with being uncomfortable.”
6. You learn discipline and structure
7. You will learn what your strength and weaknesses are, and you will indefinitely continue to work on them.
8. You will develop knowledge that can easily be transferred to a lifelong healthy life.
9. You will meet new friends
10. You will feel accomplished

If you are currently prepping for a show, here are some tips

1. Don’t Quit. When it starts getting tough and you want to quit, remember why you started.

2. Don’t overdo the Instagram stalking. Comparing yourself to other girls will make you crazy. Someone who is 8 weeks out might already have abs, and your abs might not make an appearance until 2 weeks out. Remember, clothing, lighting, and the perfect angle can make anyone look amazing!

3. Get rid of all the treats in the house. Its just too tempting. Save it for after your show.

4.  Start posing asap. Posing is critical, and its a lot harder than it looks. Everyone on stage has beautiful bodies. The way the judges separate them is by how they pose/present themselves.

5. Never underestimate the power of water. When you are hungry but your next meal isn’t for another couple hours, drink a big bottle or water or water with some BCAA’s. Most days that would hold me over until my next meal.

6.  99.9% of the time it’s mental. Do you really need an extra ‘refeed’ or did you just see a burger on TV and your mind is taking over?

7.  Make sure you have a good coach. I can’t stress this enough, and if there’s one area to not cost-cut then it’s this one. If you’ve done your research online you’ll hear many horror stories of people hiring a ‘reputable’ coach, only to be put on super low calorie diets and messing up their metabolism by completely burning them out. It’s not necessary, especially for the bikini division. You need to be able to trust them with your body. Check out their credentials and get some referrals.  You don’t want to play roulette with your health for the sake of a plastic troph

If you’re thinking of competing in a bikini competition, or have you competed before, check my 12 week Bikini Contest Prep Package. You will receive workouts and a meal that that is customized for you, along with 3 posing sessions (in-person or Skype).

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