You've had this idea that you want to compete but are unsure of where to start.
There is a whole bunch of info out there and it can become confusing after awhile. So I am going to go over the basics of where to get started as a bikini competitor and what it takes.
Look where you currently are...
Unfortunately, me and other coaches see this quite often. Someone will come in with the desire to compete, but wants to rush the process and automatically step on the stage in 12 weeks.
The problem with this many times is that you will not be ready in those 12 weeks and need to allow yourself more time to get there. You can not rush this if you want to do it in a healthier manner.
Rushing the process can mean ruining your metabolism later on among other things too. The stage will always be there when you are truly ready.
Two things to consider:
- Are you already living a healthy lifestyle right now? You are working out regularly each week and eating clean whole foods 80% of the time.
- Have you been lifting for at least 1 year?
If you answered no to either of those... you are going to need to focus on those areas first. However, that doesn't mean you can't start training and eating like a competitor to work on building and creating the physique needed. You will just need to give yourself more than 12 weeks to get there.
Which brings me to my next point.
Federations & Divisions
You will need to pick out what federation and division that you will want to be competing for. Each one will vary slightly. Some are drug tested and some are not. While some require a different level of leanness and conditioning too.
My recommendation is to do your research. Read the guidelines for each federation. See what you like about them and what you don't. Look at different videos of competitions on YouTube and look at their websites to see what past winners look like too.
Even find a local show near you and go experience it in person. By then you will have a pretty good idea what you want and what they would be looking from you when you are ready to compete.
Your workouts will need to be tailored to your goals, needs, and abilities. As a competitor however, your training will be different from that of the average gym goer.
Most training plans are going to be 5-6 days a week of workouts and about an hour longer or more.
Workouts will be primarily weight lifting with minimal cardio especially at the beginning until you would be closer to your show date. Then cardio might be increased slightly.
This will also need to be tailored to your goals, needs, and abilities.
A typical nutrition plan for a competitor is higher in protein, and moderate carbs and healthy fats. Of course some prefer to eat more of a keto lifestyle and low-carb depending on any health conditions or needs.
All of this would need to be discussed with your coach and they will be able to calculate everything for you and make adjustments as needed. At the end of the day 80% of your results with come from what you eat and how much you eat.
As mentioned before, an average prep will be 12 to 16 weeks long.
Most people need to only lose 15-20 pounds during a prep right before their show date. This is where you would be cutting and dialing your nutrition in more than you normally would.
The goal would be to lower your body fat percentage while also maintaining and keeping as much muscle as possible through the process.
Having a coach can greatly help! They will be able to keep you accountable, answer your questions, make a custom plan, and take all of the guesswork out of your prep and getting ready for the stage. Which means that it is that much stress free!
You don't just want any coach though, you will need to find someone who is qualified and someone that you really can connect with during the process.
Posing can be a workout in itself, but you will need to start learning and practicing ASAP!
If you are not someone who normally wears heels, you may want to start just practicing walking in heels as much as you can now even if it is just around the house. This way you start to feel more comfortable in them.
You will need to learn a front pose, side pose, and back pose for bikini competitors. There are plenty of tutorials on YouTube, but remember you need to do poses that bring out your best features while also showcasing what you will be judged on.
There is no rush to the stage. Learn what you need. Be patient and trust the process. Most of all enjoy! This journey is not the easiest, but can be the most rewarding!
If you are ready to dive in and get started towards becoming a competitor yourself, we have lots of tools for you in getting ready! Of course you can always join our First Time Competitor group to help answer more of your questions. Top Knot Strong also put together a Free 7 day Bikini Body Plan just for you to see what it is like to train like a competitor too!
If you are thinking about prepping for a competition and want to see what it is like to, download my Free 7 Day Bikini Body Plan below!