NPC Bikini Vs. Wellness

NPC Bikini Vs. Wellness

Not really sure if you would be best suited for the Bikini or Wellness Division? You are in the right place. 

We are going to go over what the judges are looking for, what your nutrition and training may look like, and posing routine variations that you would have to learn. 

This way you can make the best decision before deciding to spend 12 or more weeks preparing for a show. 

Recommended Reading: Must Haves for Show Day


Learn the Major Differences between Bikini and Wellness in NPC


What are the judges looking for?

If you go onto the NPC official website to look at the rules for each division they give good examples of what they are looking for and share the winners from past events. 


Bikini development can take anywhere from 6 months to 1 year to build up the muscle underneath. Where in Wellness, you need more developed glutes, hamstrings, and quads and can take more than 1 year. 

Biggest focus for Bikini:

  1.  A foundation of muscle which gives shape to the female body
  2. Full round glutes with a slight separation between the hamstring and glute area
  • Small amount of roundness in the delts
  1. Conditioned Core
  2. Overall look- hair, makeup, suit, and tan

Side and back pose npc bikini

Biggest focus for Wellness:

  1. The quads should display an athletic appearance with slight separation but no striations. Not as lean and defined as Figure and Women’s Physique.
  2. Abs as it currently is in Bikini.
  3. Shoulders slightly more developed than Bikini and a little less than Figure, but not as lean and with no striations. Not like Women’s Physique.
  4. Full round glutes with a slight separation between the hamstring and glute area but no striations, as is in place for the Bikini Division. Glutes will be bigger than current Bikini competitors. They will not be as lean and defined as Figure and Women’s Physique.

Front pose NPC Wellness



 The conditioning for both are going to be very similar in terms of leaning down during a prep for your show. 

Only slight differences are going to be your workouts to maintain as much muscle as possible that you have built for the areas of the biggest focus for that division. 



They are looking for a more slightly lower body fat percentage in Wellness as they are wanting to see more of the quads, glutes, and hamstrings. 

However they don't measure this or even weigh you when checking in for your show. It comes down to how you are looking and if you have what the judges will be looking for. 

If you need some guidelines to go off of as a goal in mind for your show, Bikini will be looking around 15-18% body fat on show day and Wellness will be looking around 12-15% body fat. 



Competition Prep


 Due to the judges looking for a slightly different physique, you will have a slightly different training split and routine needed. 

Example Bikini Training Split:

  • Monday- Booty
  • Tuesday- Upper Body
  • Wednesday- Legs
  • Thursday- Rest
  • Friday- Legs
  • Saturday- Full Body & Cardio
  • Sunday- Rest

Example Wellness Training Split

  • Monday- Booty
  • Tuesday- Upper Body
  • Wednesday- Legs
  • Thursday- Rest
  • Friday- Legs & Cardio
  • Saturday- Upper Body
  • Sunday- Rest



What you eat is going to be very much the same when in prep. Before prepping 12 or more weeks before a show, it would be different depending on whether you are trying to build lean muscle or lean down prior to a full cut. 

If needing to build more lean muscle, you will be eating in a small caloric surplus. 

If needing to recomposition, you will be eating your maintenance calories to remain the same weight but change how your body looks. 

If needing to cut weight and you have the muscle needed for the division you choose, you will be in a slightly caloric deficit. 


Body Response

Other things to consider are your bodies response to your training and nutrition plans. 

If you have health conditions, hormone imbalances, genetics, medications, injuries, etc... you may need more time to prep for a show and that's okay! The stage will always be there. 

Plan with your bodies response in mind and share this with your coach, as she/he will also help to let you know when you will be ready for the stage and for which division.



Posing Routines

NPC Bikini


NPC Wellness


Best Practices

 Regardless of which division, you want to practice being fluid with your movemenshowcasecase your best package, and remember to have fun! 

It can be intimidating being up on stage in a bikini, but this is why it is important to practice as much as you can. 

Start without the heels to get a base routine down, then add the heels, and then work on your arm movements, smiling, and breathing. 


At the end of the day it comes down to what you want to compete in. Training and nutrition, along with your posing routine can all be changed and learned no matter which Bodybuilding Division that you choose. 

Get personalized competition prep training and nutrition with everything else you need to step on stage all in one place. 

Clients here at Top Knot Strong get a personalized plan based on their goals, needs, and abilities. Along with this they get discounts on everything else Top Knot Strong has to offer. 

The best way to see if we are the right fit for you is to schedule a free 15 minute consultation today! 


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