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Ladies Guide: Secrets You Should Know Before Training for Your First Bikini Competition

Thinking About Competing in a Bikini Competition? 

If you’ve been contemplating entering a bikini competition, remember that there is no time like the present! Once you have decided to compete in your first bikini competition, you probably have many questions.  Hopefully, this will answer some of the questions you may be having regarding bikini competitions and get you pumped to get started!   


What is a bikini competition?

Let’s make this clear.  A bikini competition at a bodybuilding show is not the same as a bikini competition at a bar.  At a bar, your outcome is determined by how riled you get the crowd to cheer for you.  A bikini competition at a bodybuilding show is more sophisticated, where your beauty and elegance are judged in different categories.  Your reward can be a variety of things, depending on the certain competition. Some awards can include earning a Pro Card, cash, or qualifying for that special show you had been dreaming about. The latter is more respectable as to preparation such as suit & jewelry selection, meal planning, and goal achievement.  A bikini competition requires dedication and capital.  It’s a competition that requires a budget which your coach can sit down with you and determine if this is the right time for you.   Also, take the time to research the different organizations you will compete in.  Make sure their philosophy/bylaws fit your values.  Do they have shows near you?  Do you have to travel?  These are important questions to ask yourself before selecting your first show.   If you are at loss, ask other competitors.  Athletes love to share their experiences, good or bad, with a newcomer.   It’s a part of the game.


How long does it take to train for one of these competitions?

It depends on your fitness level but 12 to 16 weeks is the average time it takes to prepare for a show.  Why so long?  It takes time to lose body fat and shape your body.  You didn’t gain weight overnight and you are certainly not going to lose it overnight either.  A pound to two pounds loss a week is normal and healthy, especially for a female.  Your first show is not going to be easy.  Why?  Because you are no longer able to grab a candy bar or snack that makes you automatically feel better, especially when you are about to cycle.  There are a lot of emotional changes that will take place during the 12 to 16 week period.  And this is NORMAL.  If you have a partner or loved one close to you, I suggest you speak to them and ask them to find a hobby to keep them busy.  Request for their support, understanding, and love.   


What workouts should you focus on and will they change when you get closer to the competition?

I would recommend hiring a trainer, a trainer that has “walked” the “talk”.  There is something to be said of a trainer that also competes.  He or she will not share a technique with you that has not worked on them.  That’s impossible and it’s wrong.  Interview your trainers.  They should have at least stepped on stage once or twice.  Ask them if their certification is current. 

At first, your workouts will seem difficult. This is because you are training on a restricted amount of carbs and fat.  Fasted cardio is not easy, especially 4 to 5 times a week.  As time progresses, your workouts should become easier.  Thirty-minute runs are replaced with thirty to twenty-minute walks.  All the hard work has been done, now it’s time to step on stage.


What diet should you aspire to and does it change when getting closer to the competition?

Nutrition is the key.  We both can be doing the same workout but eating differently.  The athlete eating the cleanest will outperform on stage every time.  Please do not take shortcuts.  Hire a nutritionist or a coach that has years of experience creating meal plans.  Your nutrition plan should be balanced.  No banned substances are needed.  Drink a minimum of 1 to 2 gallons of water per day and take your supplements. 

Normally, a nutrition plan will start higher in calories.  As the weeks progress, the calories will be reduced as well as your training.  A good coach will follow up with you weekly or daily about your condition.  This is not easy.


What are the judges looking for?

You are judged on physique (balance & condition), poised presentation (I or T walk), style and stage presence, suit selection, and overall appearance (hair, makeup, and tan).  Your body should be toned and tight. Remember this is a bodybuilding competition. Keyword – bodybuilding competition.  A bikini competitor has a mild definition and not a muscular separation. Their overall look should be attractive, vibrant, confident with sex appeal. 

How to get the best tan?

There are many techniques to getting the best tan.  One of them is to exfoliate.  And I don’t mean the night before the show, but weeks before getting your tan.  Your skin is the largest organ on your body.  It takes time to peel off the dead skin and have it show ready for a spray tan.  Remember, a show tan is a layer of lotion over your skin. It requires it to be prepped before administering.  Hire the tanning company on site and have them spray you.  You will be glad that you did.  Not only do they spray you, but they glue and glaze you too.  It’s very important your suit doesn’t move and the glaze needs to be just right. 


How to pick the right bikini?

Research competitors that have a similar shape and skin tone as you do.  Notice what colors and styles of suits they are selecting.  If you have access to a local suit designer, visit their shop and try different colors and cuts of suits. Ask for a pricing list.  Bring your coach or friend to act as a critique or a picture taker.  You are not obligated to decide at that moment.  Before you leave, please do ask the designer how long it will take to make your suit.  Keep this date in mind so when you are ready to place an order you are not panicking because you’ve asked the designer to do you a favor and rush making your suit. 

Remember, your suit should fit.  The top does not move nor does your bottom. 

If you have the opportunity to rent a suit, I would suggest it.  You are not locked down to a specific style suit or color. 


How should you pose?

Posing should start immediately after deciding to compete in your first bikini competition.  Learn to walk in those 5-inch heels with grace and poise.  The mistake made by most athletes is they limit themselves to one posing coach.  That is not a good idea.  Each posing coach has a different style and presentation.  Learn from a handful of posing coaches and decide what works best for you.  Posing is critical to placing first or placing last.  No shortcuts on posing.  Place the money aside and go to the posing class.


What not to forget (Like shoes, hair, makeup, and packing list)?

I suggest that you prepare a list early so you don’t leave any item behind:

  • Suit, shoes, jewelry, and hair clips.  These items travel with you.  They are not checked but in your suitcase that you are rolling and storing in the overhead bin on the plane or in your trunk.  
  • Food Trick:  Freeze your meals and pack them in your checked suitcase.  Just make sure beforehand the hotel provides a microwave to reheat your meals.
  • Bed Sheets and pillowcases.  FACT: The hotel will charge you if you stain their sheets.
  • Cover-ups for tanning (it opens in the front so you are not destroying your groomed hair as you take it off)
  • Slippers or sandals (quick & easy) 
  • Lip gloss container for lipstick
  • Tanning touchups – sponges, gloves, and solution
  • Glaze and glue
  • Dyna Bands for pumping up
  • Extra suit, shoes, and jewelry  
  • Pee cups
  • 1 pair of extra clothes
  • Sponge & dish soap 
  • Sheet for lying on the floor for tanning
  • Extra hand towels
  • Scissors, mirror, glue  

In conclusion,  I’m excited for you on deciding to compete in your first bikini competition.  This sport is not made for the average gal and you should feel proud of yourself for committing to train hard and to step on stage.  And don’t be shy. There are a handful of Bikini Facebook groups that you can join for extra support and cheer. Best of luck!  


Sincerely Tivisayb.

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