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As many of you know, I recently competed in my first Bikini Competition and currently prepping for my second show! I wanted to give you a behind the scenes of being a Bikini Competitor. I did a lot of research going into my first show and it was super helpful. I could write a book on this (future?), there is so much to talk about, but I will give a few pointers.

This blog is for all you first time competitors or those who just want to learn something new. I hope this helps!

First off, I competed in the bikini division in the National Physique Committee (NPC). There are different organizations, however, the NPC is one of the largest and most popular. Whatever organization you are planning to compete through it is important for you to do your homework! I cannot say this enough! Research, research, and research! Reach out to competitors, read their blogs, go to a competition, and chat with fitness professionals that have dedicated their time to the field.

Typically, we hear “I am going to get abs” and in theory, this is not the reality of the sport.

It is important to remember this is a sport and you will have to do things that you have never had to do. It will test you mentally, physically, and emotionally, which is why I think having a respectable coach and support system is crucial.

If you need a coach, Linked Fit is here for you, click here!

Alright, let’s discuss the process of competing! If you are looking to compete for the first time (through the NPC), you must first purchase your annual NPC card. This card registers you for the NPC organization and you will need to show proof of this card at your competition check-in. The annual fee is about $125 (subjective to change). In your first competition, you will start out as a amateur and compete at regional shows. At these regional shows, you may qualify for what is called a National Show.

The National Shows are where you will have the potential to turn pro!

Once you have registered for the organization, next you will need to determine what division you will be competing in. Women have a few divisions to pick from; physique, fitness, figure, and bikini. I chose to compete in bikini. Each category has different requirements, make sure you check out the rules for your organization.

Now that you have determined the organization and division, you can scoop out some competitions. I recommend doing a local show for your first competition. There is a lot that goes into competing and staying local can take a lot of stressors out of the equation. Next, how long will you need for preparation? A “typical” preparation may be somewhere between 12 to 16 weeks. This is a relative number, therefore, you may be on prep longer, depending on your baseline physique. My first competition was 9 weeks of preparation. I used this competition as a practice and planned to compete 6 weeks later. As everyone knows, life happens! Let’s be honest, competing is expensive if you are not sponsored. Unfortunately, I had to hold off on competing again until October 2018.

In my preparation, I managed all my nutrition while Coach Dane did my training programs. I did meet with a posing coach for a few weeks to nail down a routine. Proper nourishment and training are critical in developing a “Stage Ready Physique”. You will have to follow specific macronutrients, nutrient timing schedule, and train smart in the gym. It is not just “cardio”! Although, nutrition and training is critical, posing needs to be on point. You could have the best body on stage but if do not present it appropriately, it will not matter. Posing also gives you a chance to show off your personality, you do you!

Nutrition and training is critical, but posing needs to be on point!

Judges look for an overall package. Hair, makeup, tan, suit, jewelry, posing, and physique all play a role in the scoring. You can get your hair and makeup down by the sponsored company at the competition, but if you are looking to save a little money, do it yourself. I did my hair and makeup, I was happy with the way it turned out. Also, if you are doing your own hair and makeup be sure to practice a couple of times! You will be using foundations and colors that are much darker than your natural skin color so it's really helpful to practice!

The tan! Everyone loves to talk about the tan. Why are you so dark and orange? Why do you have to tan? There are a million questions people will ask you! The reason being is that those stage lights are so, so, so, so bright and it is easy to become washed out on stage. The point of competition is to show your physique, and frankly it is hard to do that when you look like a glowing star on stage. Also, the tan helps to define your muscles better, you will be able to see more definition with the tan. When it comes to show day, have the sponsored tanning company do your tan. They will do both coats of tan, glaze you down before you go on stage, and fix any mess ups.

Now… how about the suits! Those teeny tiny bedazzled suits! There are a million suit companies out there and generally, they are not cheap. Find a company within your budget but expect to pay $175 plus! The more bling the more money. Most companies allow you to custom select your color, design, and crystals, but a lot also have pre made suits at cheaper prices. I chose to go through Angel Competition Bikini. They have the best customer service and products! They kept me in the loop the entire time while they were making my suit! You will want to pick a color that will make your hair, eyes, and body standout! For my shoes and jewelry, I went through the Shoe Fairy which is another premier company.

Overall, I had a very smooth prep. Personally, I really struggled during the last week of my prep (peak week). I lowered my caloric intake and the last week of training got to me. Mentally, physically, and emotionally!. I kept my eye on the prize and said “I CAN DO THIS”. I loved every second of my preparation and I would do it all again.

You need to give it 100% of your efforts! It is not easy, but if you have a goal then you have to commit to the sport. Again, this is a sport, you will hear and see people doing extreme things to get the physiques they desire. Now, I am all for pushing your limits and truly testing you mind, body, and spirit but I am not about jeopardizing health. YOUR HEALTH COMES FIRST! If your health becomes compromised, then you need to take a step back.

A good coach can help you make a safe and effective training/nutrition program.

Whether you want to do