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April 24, 2014

Things to Consider before deciding to Compete

Thinking about competing in a Bikini Competition?

Well take your time && give it some serious thought before you come to a conclusion.

Competing takes Commitment.

So here is what you shoulder consider…

#1 SOCIAL LIFE  Competing means you will be dedicating about 12 weeks of your life to a strict diet, training, and lifestyle schedule.  This essentially means that if you go out to a restaurant or a bar, you’ll have to have the will power to say “no” to unhealthy treats and calorie-filled beverages.

#2 TIME  Competing means you will be spending more time in the gym, more time prepping your meals, and more time practicing your posing. This means that you will have less free time to hangout & relax.

#3 MONEY Competing means you will be spending more money than usual.  Paying for your supplements, gym membership, bikini, heels, jewelry, tanning, contest registration, photography, hair, makeup etc.  So make sure you have at least $600 saved up. This is doing things cheaply and on your own. If you hire a coach your cost will be double or even triple that. Unless of course you work with us. Our goal from day one has been to keep things affordable. So our 12 week 1-on-1 nutrition and training program is just $24.99. Learn more HERE.

#4 MENTAL Competing means you will be dropping your body fat significantly. You’ll get down to about 10-12% body fat most likely. So you have to be prepared to gain that back.  Of course you’ll feel great being lean and competition ready! However, it is not realistic to maintain that. So you have to accept the fact that you will gain some body fat back once the show is over.  You can do Reverse Dieting to try and avoid a sudden weight gain. However, make sure you are mentally prepared to accept this and be happy with your post-competition body. I teach you the best ways to reverse diet in my 12 week program HERE.

#5 LOSING  Competing in bikini competitions, especially the NPC division, means you will be judged against tons of other girls. This sport is growing and growing. In my contest, there were 14 girls in my class.  Closer to 30 in other classes.  So it is not easy.  Yes, dream big. However set realistic goals for yourself.  Realize that you succeeded even if you don’t place because you achieved your best body possible.

#6 PRIVACY  Competing in a competition can be very public.  You’ll be on stage in an itty bitty swimsuit with bright lights shining on you. A large crowd will be watching you. Be ready to show your confidence because competing with stage fright is a recipe for disaster. Realize that many people will be watching you. So if you are afraid of that, maybe this sport isn’t for you.  In addition, lots of pictures are usually taken. If you sign the waiver to have your pictures taken professionally, they will be posted online (so the world could see them if wanted).  Therefore, don’t expect it to be a secret that you have competed.

#7 DRUGS  Competing in bodybuilding competitions is a very competitive sport. So many competitors are willing to do whatever it takes. This means that some people you compete against may or may not have an edge up on you due to steroid or other illegal supplements. So stay true to yourself and stay natural.

[responsive_video type=’youtube’ hide_related=’0′ hide_logo=’0′ hide_controls=’0′ hide_title=’0′ hide_fullscreen=’0′ autoplay=’0′]https://youtu.be/-IvzVAvO-kI[/responsive_video]

So are you ready?!? If so, make sure to checkout my Competition Prep page! Everything you need to know to compete.

[responsive_video type=’youtube’ hide_related=’0′ hide_logo=’0′ hide_controls=’0′ hide_title=’0′ hide_fullscreen=’0′ autoplay=’0′]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-IvzVAvO-kI[/responsive_video]

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  • Hey, loving your posts as i’m considering competing for the first time. One thing i keep getting asked when mentioning to friends that im considering is “who is your coach?” is a coach absolutely necessary?

    • Hey! No a coach is not necessary. I did it without one. However I am very knowledgeable on nutrition and training from my education and background. So if you are new to this world, you might want to use a coach the first time. It’s not easy writing your own diet plan and motivating yourself to workout almost every day. So up to you!

  • Hi im really wanted to get started on working out and my goal is to start competitions..only thing is I need a trainer and want one. I live in Texas close to Austin, do you have any competition friends that are trainers in that are?? I need help finding one!!

    • Hey Carla, I don’t have any friends there. But I just did a search online. Search for this girl and contact her to see if she does any training: Shelsea Montes.

  • Hi Stephanie,

    thanks for a great blog. I must admit this entry has somewhat scared me a little. I am new to this world but have set a goal to do a Bikini comp in a years time (however I’m currently at about 43% bf). Mainly as a way to stay focused I’m currently seeking a Bikini coach, but #4 and #6 are worrying as I’m worried yoyo-ing is unhealthy and takes its tole on the body. Also i am a very private person…I don’t want this to be the Devil that’s stopping me from following my goal so any words of encouragement would be greatly appreciated!

    Also, I must admit that after watching some Bikini shows online, some of the poses (especially the glute poses) seem overtly sexual and I don’t know if i’d feel totally comfortable doing this. I feel it conflicts with my morals but, again, i still really wanna do the competitions…I totally respect u and the other women that do this, so please can u explain this aspect to me and are there any ways to get around this issues? And how you yourself as a spiritual women reconcile this aspect of the comps.

    Lastly, as i embark on this journey I currently am happy with my medium sized breasts. Is there any way to keep the same cup size and still lower your body fat and lean out? I really don’t wanna end up with pecks, lol!!!

    Thanks again for such a helpful blog!!!

    • Hey Amy! Yes, I understand why that can worry you. So you have to educate yourself on how to properly reverse diet after the show. You have to accept that it is not healthy to stay at a very low body fat. So for me, I competed around 12-14% probably, and when I am not competing I try to maintain at 6 lbs over that. So search my blog for “reverse dieting” to read about how to slowly add back in calories and carbs after your show so that you don’t gain too much weight back. As long as you know how to do this, then there should be no fear about the diet. Yo-yo dieting is taking things to extremes. This is a slow progression from let’s say for example 1200 calories, back up to the 1800 someone may maintain their weight at.

      The back pose can be a bit sexy, yes. I worried about this at first. I too am a spiritual person and did not want to be too revealing. But you must realize that this is a sport. The art of sculpting your body. So in order to show the glute-hamstring tie-in, leaning forward is the best position to show those muscles. You do not have to lean forward if you’re not comfortable with it. I only leaned a little bit.

      Another option is to keep your legs crossed in the back pose. Cross at the ankles instead of having the legs wide apart. Then tilt your pelvis anteriorly slightly. This may be more comfortable for you.

      It all comes down to viewing it as a sport instead of a show about who is the hottest. The judges want to see your muscle balance and the personality you display. They are not looking at you in a sexual way. Think about the male bodybuilders. They are on stage in underwear!!! The reason is to display their musculature better. Their quads, hamstrings, glutes, etc.

      Lastly, your breasts will probably lean out a bit as your overall body fat decreases. Nothing you can about that. Just make sure to workout your chest once a week to develop some muscle there. Then when you pick a suit, make sure you buy one that has great push-up padding. Suits You Swimwear offers this option.

      Hope that helps girl 🙂

  • Yes. Thanks Stephanie, that helps a lot. I feel a lot more comfortable about the posing now! But if you could also give some advice on how I can retain some level of privacy (as I mentioned I’m a very private person when it comes to broadcasting pics, vids etc)…You mentioned signing waivers, is this always an option? Pls elaborate.


    • Amy, if you don’t want pictures posted of you, then don’t sign-up for them at the show. If you sign up and pay for them, they will get displayed online to the public. SO instead, just have friends or family take pictures. Wont be as good of quality though.

  • Hi Stephanie,

    I was wondering is it possible to train yourself for a competition? If so, how would you go about it?

    • Ericana, for sure! That’s what I did! I am putting together a great 12 week prep program right now so keep an eye out for it 🙂

  • Hi Stephanie. I came out of a period in my life where I disrespected my body and I did 2 hours of cardio while eating one meal of around 700 calories a day. No weight training. This was from January until mid June. I am 5’6 and at that time I weighed 110 lbs, but i was still flabby and lacked muscle tone. Now I am 122 lbs and I am 21-23% body fat. I stopped almost all steady state cardio as well. I am wondering, if I start a muscle building plan and actively exercising 4-5 days a week, along with proper nutrition ( I had a trainer write me a plan of about 1450 calories a day with 40/40/20 p/c/f ratio).

    I really want to build up my muscle. The trainer is saying on this plan I will lose about 1 lb a week and not lose too much muscle since the rate of loss will be slower. Is it reasonable to consider a competition in May if I keep up this schedule? Will my muscle definition be enough ?

    • Hey Jules! I am so glad you realized how bad being a cardio bunny was. I used to do that too! So it is great to hear that you are on the right track. So to give you an idea, I started at 23% body fat in August and got to 12% by April for my show. I did not have much muscle mass when I started. So I was able to build some. When I competed I did not place well. Because I did not have much muscle mass yet. If I were to compete now, I’d do much better because I have spent over a year focusing on lifting heavy and building lots more muscle in my back and legs. So competing in May for you is definitely realistic. I say go for it! Then learn from your successes and mistakes. And make positive changes before you compete again. It will be a good experience for you to compete. And then become even more motivated to be build muscle and do better the next show.

  • Thank you for the reply! For lifting, when you first started, did you do a five day split? Or upper lower? example: monday upper body, tuesday lower, wednesday off thursday upper, friday lower and sat-sun off? I want to build my legs/hams and glutes but i’m not sure how many days to focus on them .

    • Hey Jules! I am always changing my lifting plans. I usually do 6 day splits. But it is good to change up your routine every 4 weeks or so to keep your body guessing. So try both of those ways maybe! And for the glutes and hamstrings that you want to focus on, make sure you fit those groups in at least 2-3x/week.

  • Help!
    First of all I’m so thankful I found your site. I feel like you’re the older sister I always wanted! I’m 22 years old, have a health background as well, and just applied for physical therapy school! It’s been a DREAM of mine to do a a handful of NPC Bikini competitions in my lifetime, a dream that always seemed so far away.
    Even though I’ve always had an interest in this area, it took a long time to do something about it with INTENTION. Recently I’ve been tracking my macros and following programs on bodybuilding.com. In 4 months I’ve dropped around 13 pounds, which is nice but not the results I’m aiming for. Could you offer me some advice? I always hear not to drop under 1200cals a day but at 5ft tall, isn’t that even a bit high for me? I want to stay true and natural in this process but like you mentioned earlier, so many girls do things the cheat way. Is that my only option to see ideal results?!

    • Hey Jaymee, glad you like the site! You shoulder definitely try competing, at least once. 13 lbs is a great accomplishment! GOod job!

      For calories, I completely agree. No matter your heigh, NEVER go below 1200. In fact, you want your calories to be as high as possible without putting on weight. So please don’t go below that.

      Instead, try changing up your workouts. Stop steady state cardio and instead do HIIT 2-3 days a week. Make sure you’re drinking a gallon of water a day.

      When traveling, pack as many meals as possible if it is a road trip. That’s why a good cooler and lunch box are helpful. If you are flying, it is harder. SO You’d have to grocery shop and cook as much as possible. Get a hotel that has a kitchen in your room. Then your workouts you may have to modify depending on what the gym has. So you have to be creative and possibly do more bodyweight exercises.

  • Also, how do you stay on track when you travel?? Is it possible to stay on your diet and workout plan without being home/close to home all the time?

  • Hi Stephanie,
    I am so thankful I found your site! I’m 17 and thinking of competing in my first competition this November (super nervous already!). I’ve always gone to the gym and participate in group classes, but do not have a set schedule yet for a 6-day split. Could you give me an example of what you use for your 6-day split? And also, do you do the same exercises week after week with higher weight and reps or switch it up? Thank you so much for your time!

    • Hey Kaitlin! Exciting news! So for a workout plan idea, please checkout my free 4 week Guns and Buns program. That gives you an intro to everything you need to know to get started on a healthy lifestyle and gym workout plan. Then once you get used to that, checkout my 12 week program to use before your show. It is way more intense and detailed. In general, it is best to keep the body guessing. Always trying new ways to hit the same muscle groups. Different set types. Different order of exercises. Different muscle group pairings each day. 🙂

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