How to Prep for a Wellness Bodybuilding Competition (Or Any Division)

How to Prep for a Wellness Bodybuilding Competition (Or Any Division)

I'll be speaking mostly about the Wellness Division in this article, but know that you can apply this to the Bikini or Figure Divisions as well! 

Wellness is new and exciting for most girls here in the United States as we haven't had this option until almost two years ago. 

I have noticed that due to this, there is not a whole lot of information out there to cover this topic and what to do to step on stage with that physique. 

There will be more that I share on this, but for now, I want to cover the basics and how to start.

Recommended Reading: 10 Things You Should Know Before Your First Competition



We will be covering 3 different things here today:

  1. Understanding what the judges are looking for.
  2. The time frame it will take for you.
  3. Your posing routine and suit options. 

 How to prep for npc wellness bodybuilding competition


What they are looking for

Let's take a deeper look at the Wellness Division and what the judges are looking for from the NPC rules and regulations

This division is for females with athletic physique’s that showcase more body mass in the hips, glutes and thigh areas. The upper body is developed but not to the same degree as the lower body.

Looking for conditioning similar to Bikini Athletes, with a little more muscle and little body fat with some muscle separation, but no striations. 

Basically, you are looking at sitting between what a Bikini Competitor would like like and a Figure Competitor.

View the rules and regulations in more detail straight from the NPC website.


Looking for a show near you 

When looking for a show near you, the easiest way is to simply Google it. There are different federations within Bodybuilding, so you would need to first do some research as to the best Federation for you. 

Look at their past Athletes who have competed, their rules and regulations, etc. 

Then Google that federations shows for the year in the state or country you are in. For example: 'NPC Wellness Competitions in Florida' 

Then take a look at the dates available for the year to get an idea of how much time you would have and if that would be achievable for you. 

I'll cover a little later in this article how to determine your time frame that you will need. 


Past Winners


This is Isabelle Nunes and she was the overall winner for NPC North American Championships in Wellness.

As you can tell she has more developed shoulders, quads, hamstrings and glutes - but is still lean. 

You can find more Athletes here to get more of an idea of what the Judges are looking for and what you would need to work towards.  

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What the judges are looking for in a Wellness Bodybuilding Competition, How long it will take to prep for a show, Your posing suit and routine

Time Frame

Building a good foundation

Obviously, your time frame is going to depend on several different factors. 

How much body fat you currently have, if you already are working out consistently, have a good relationship with food, and how your body responds to your current routine. 

You have to start with a good foundation first before deciding to jump in and prep for a show. 

If you are someone who struggles to lose weight or has health concerns that makes it harder then you are going to need to give yourself adequate time to prepare and condition your body. 

Ideally, you should only be 15-20 pounds away from the body fat percentage for show day. Meaning that if you lost 15-20 pounds you would be at a low enough body fat percentage for the judges to see what they are looking for in Wellness Competitors. 


Cutting Body Fat

You need to have the lean muscle built prior to cutting body fat. 

When cutting, the goal is to keep as much of that muscle you have built while losing body fat in the process. 

This is going to come from your workouts and nutrition combined that will need to work together with macros, calories, reps, sets, and exercises used. 

Ideally, this is going to be about 1-2 pounds lost per week.


Don't rush it!

I can not say this enough....

You don't want to rush this process because it can effect your health in ways that you wouldn't want. 

I know from personal experience and the experience from other Athlete's who tried to rush things - ruin their metabolism, experienced hormonal imbalances, and more. 

Slower is better! Also means that you don't have to cut your calories drastically.

The stage will always be there when you are ready, so take your time as your overall health is always more important.

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Your Suit & Routine

Posing routine outline

With your routine you will have your front pose, quarter turn to the right for a side pose, and another quarter turn to the right for the back pose, then lastly one more turn to come back to the front to face the judges. 

No arms and wrists bent upwards or out to the side. 

Focus on smiling the whole time and looking at the judges for the front and side poses. 


Adding your own personality to it

This is your time to shine! You've worked so hard for this.

When practicing your routine after you get the basics down, you will want to add your own flare as this will make you stand out from the rest of the girls you are up against. 

Little shoulder pops up and down, a wink, moving the hair, etc. Something small but noticeable. Same with your suit that can be just as unique as you! 

Remember your routine will only be 10-15 seconds long, so it needs to be something quick during pose transitions. 


Wellness bikini suit cut

 It is very similar to the bikini two piece as they are not connected together like the figure suits are. 

The suit bottom must be V-Shaped in the front and all material with no connectors. No thongs or T-back suits allowed. 


When you know what the judges are looking for, what time frame you are looking at and the routine you will be practicing again and again - everything else become that much easier.

Grab our Bikini Competition Prep Guide for Beginners to get access a comprehensive 48-page guide is filled with everything you need to kick-start your bikini competition prep. From exercises to nutrition advice, this guide is the perfect starting point for your bodybuilding journey. Learn how to start prepping today to a look and perform your best on the stage.

✔ 48 page instant download guide

✔ First month workout plan

✔ Bikini competitor meal plan

✔ Posing routine & stage presentation tips

✔ Checklist & prep timeline

✔ Suit selection & stage styling

✔ Competition Day Logistics

✔ Show Day packing checklist

✔ Ways to save money

✔ Incudes tips to accelerate your results


Ready to Prep for your First Competition? We can help! 

The Top Knot Strong Tribe is here just for that. 

We will help you prepare for your first competition through workouts, nutrition, posing, and accountability to ensure that you will be ready for your first show. 

Answering all of your questions along the way and making changes as needed through our coaching with a low cost monthly membership for access. 

Includes special discounts on your suits, jewelry, and everything else you will need when it comes to show day. 

 Schedule your free 15 minute consultation with Top Knot Strong

Set up your free 15 minute consultation with the button below to see we can help, what time frame you will be looking at, and for more information. 

Schedule Appointment


I think I can do this and win!
Could you help me?

Monica T McDonnell

Need diet plan and workout programs

Isabelle Poueriet

Are the age categories


Hi came across this page. Interested in competing but would like to get an opinion on a realistic time frame!! Thank you so much


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