Bikini Contest Prep without a Coach
When I did my bikini competition prep in 2013 I prepped for it without a coach. Yes I, Steph Dorworth, a bikini contest prep coach, did not use a coach myself. The main reason was because I was doing it more for the fun experience. It gave me something to work toward and kept me strict and motivated to improve my physique. My goal was not to place- my goal was simply to have the guts to get up on stage in an itty, bitty bikini.
Today I want to share with you how you can do your bikini contest prep without a coach.
Let me start by sharing my own personal experience.
Since I did my bikini contest prep without a coach, I relied heavily on the internet. Almost every night I was google searching things like:
- bikini competition prep workouts
- bikini competition prep meal plans
- bikini competition prep supplements
- bikini competition prep spray tans
- bikini competition prep peak week
Back in 2013 there were less online resources about competing than there are now and the “Bikini Competition Prep Guide” hadn’t been born yet (wink wink). I had difficulty finding clear answers to my questions because there seemed to be two mentalities to bikini contest prep: old school and new.
The old school mentalities involved things like this:
- Eat only chicken, asparagus, protein shakes, and nuts every day.
- Workout everyday and do over an hour of cardio every time.
- Buy lots of supplements to help with fat loss.
At the time, those were the standards most bikini competitors used during their contest prep; Naive me followed those instructions. I said to myself, “why do I need a coach when I can just follow this meal plan this bikini pro posted?”
On any given day I was eating my five boring meals per day and starving a half hour after eating. Every waking moment, I was dreaming about donuts, chocolate, and burgers. My stomach was like a non-stop growling noise machine. And I was on edge. Oh boyyyy, if anyone rubbed me the wrong way they were gonna get it!
My old school bikini competition prep meal plan looked something like this:
- Egg whites and veggies
- Grilled chicken, veggies, almonds
- Grilled chicken, veggies, almonds
- Protein shake, rice cake
- Grilled chicken, veggies, peanut butter
I went to the gym 5-6 days a week and spent 1.5-2 hours there, with a focus on cardio. To be honest, I had written myself great workouts! I had a good split that worked each muscle group at least twice a week and I had a good variety of equipment used. But due to my diet, I was drained and struggled to find the energy within to give it 100% during my training. I had to rely on pre-workout supplements to give me a boost.
The problem with my training program though was that I wasn’t aware of the power of compound exercises. I had never done heavy barbell squats, barbell deadlifts, or barbell bench press. Most importantly (and my biggest downfall) was I had never done a hip thrust in my life! Hip thrusts are everything when it comes to training for a bikini competition. Literally, everything. They will reshape your backside and bless you with a bootylicious, head-turning booty. Without those compound exercises and hip thrusts in my bikini competition prep training program, I was a twig. Yes, I was lean and looked good for the average female. But I had nowhere near enough muscle mass on my body to look athletic.
My old school bikini competition prep training plan looked something like this:
- Workout 5-6 days a week
- Strength train 1-2hr/day
- Steady state, low intensity cardio 30-60min or HIIT 10-15min 2-3x/week
All-in-all, as a 26 year old who completed a bikini competition prep without a coach, I did my absolute best with the information i had. I achieved my goal of getting on stage in that eensy weensy bikini and showing my best package. However, I did not place and I know without a doubt that if I knew what I know now about competing I would have done much better.
What I learned from doing a bikini contest prep without a coach are a few things:
- Don’t believe everything you read on the internet
- What worked for one woman may not work for you and probably won’t.
- We are all unique individuals and our diet and training programs should be treated accordingly
- Strength training should be prioritized over steady state cardio
- Compound exercises should be utilized frequently in your training program to improve muscle mass and give you more curves- especially in the booty
- Starving yourself and avoiding carbs is detrimental to your body, your metabolism, your mood, and the effectiveness of your workouts
- Being hangry all the time is not good for your work life, your school life, or your home life. This is a bikini competition, not your life calling!
If you are someone who wants to try and do a bikini competition prep without a coach, it is possible. I did it on my own and so have many other women. You may not have as great of results compared to if you hired an experienced and knowledgeable coach, but it is possible.
If you want to try and do your own contest prep without a coach, here are some tips for you to follow for the best outcomes:
- Do your research. Read my entire Bikini Competition Prep Guide, watch all the YouTube videos I link to, and find other reliable and trustworthy sites. [download the bikini competition prep guide in ebook format with the bonus freebies HERE]
- Don’t copy and paste someone else’s plan. Develop your own customized nutrition plan and customized training plan based on the research you do.
- Avoid the old school methods of prep and instead follow new standards that are more research-based. See below.
- Your bikini competition prep training program should include 3-6 (I prefer to prescribe 4-5) workouts per week with a focus on booty, shoulders, and hamstrings. Your strength training workouts should be from 45-60 minutes long with a focus on compound exercises. If you do cardio, it could be high intensity interval training (HIIT) which is typically 5-15 minutes total and involves alternating 100% high intensity sprints with low intensity walking or low-intensity (like walking, biking).
- Your bikini competition prep nutrition program or diet should be 100% customized for you: your height, your weight, your body fat percentage, your activity level, your metabolic history, eating disorder history, and foods you enjoy. Your diet does not have to be miserable and you can eat foods you enjoy thanks to flexible dieting. (Learn more here)
- You do not have to buy supplements if your diet (macros/micros) is appropriate for your body. Supplements should only be supplemental if you are missing something in your diet or. There is no need to spend hundreds of dollars a month on magic pills and drinks. The only supplements I recommend to my online coaching clients are protein powder (if you like it and need help reaching your protein macros), multivitamin, Calcium, and creatine.
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Let’s Wrap Up
Yes, you can do a bikini competition prep without a coach. Yes, it will require a lot of extra time for researching, calculating, and planning. Yes, you can succeed on stage. But it will require a lot of additional time.
I am not going to lie and say it was easy. It was not easy doing a competition prep on my own without a coach. It was a large investment of my time and there were many moments when I wished I could just ask someone for the right answer instead of relying on the internet and common misconceptions.
Ultimately, I learned a lot from doing a prep on my own. However, if you were to ask me now, I’d say invest in the coach. A coach who is knowledgeable, experienced with bikini competitors, and is reputable is going to save you so a lot of time and stress. They’ll do all the behind-the-scenes work and then you just have to follow the plan to a “t”.
For info on my online coaching, be sure to checkout www.BeautifultotheCore.com/Coaching