What really goes into a bikini competition prep that works

What (really) goes into a Bikini Competition Prep that works

If you are considering a bikini competition and not really sure what goes into preparing for a show we are about to go over that here in this blog.

Of course you probably know there is a lot of working out and dieting involved, but there is also a lot more that you may have not considered in this process.

A Bikini Competition Prep also involves posing routines, suits, and a whole new mindset before and after the competition.

Keep reading to get the full scoop to decide whether a Bikini Competition Prep is right for you.

Recommended Reading: The Complete Guide to Setting Realistic Goals for your First Competition

What really goes into a bikini competition prep that works



What (really) goes into a Bikini Competition Prep that works

  1. What about Cardio? How Much and What Kind of Exercise Should I be Doing?
  2. What is the role of your nutrition?
  3. How soon to start practicing a posing routine? And what is it?
  4. Competition Suits seem expensive... What should I look for in one?
  5. What kind of mindset makes a competitor successful for a competition?


What about Cardio? How Much and What Kind of Exercise Should I be Doing?

The goal with your training

Bodybuilding Competitors usually stick to the hypertrophy style of workouts. Helping to strength and build muscle in the areas they are working. 

You have to spend time building before cutting down for stage, so it's important to make this your main focus at the beginning. 

The goal is to build as much as you can in the areas you need for your division and federation for what the judges are looking for. 

Workout Splits for Bikini Competitor

I've seen a lot of different splits over the years for bikini competitors. Some more extreme than others, but a common theme is usually happening between all of them.

Body part focused days as this is also going back to the hypertrophy training.

Having days dedicated to specific body parts or muscle groups for the day can help to make sure you are progressive overloading those muscles to in turn shape and grow them. 

However, you don't need to be working out for hours every single day because rest is still part of the process.

On average, it should be 5 training days, with 2 days of rest. About 1 hour of working out each day you are working out. 


How much Cardio should I be doing?

This is one of the most common questions we get asking in our First Time Competitors group...

The answer is usually pretty simple and that is as minimal as possible at the beginning. 

Your cardio for a Bikini Competition Prep will increase as you get closer to your show date, but you want to maintain as much muscle as possible during the process. 

Doing too much cardio can result in losing some muscle mass too. 



What is the role of your nutrition?

Bikini Prep Diets don't have to be restrictive

If you find that you are feeling starved just to lose weight, you need to work on your metabolism. 

Going through a Bikini Prep is not going to automatically make you solve all of your problems with losing weight and is not a weight loss competition.

I say this because many want to jump right in and think cutting calories right out of the gate is the way to go when it's actually the opposite. 

Many clients we work with to help increase overall metabolism so they have more wiggle room to work with when cutting down and so you can keep your sanity in the process. 

If you increase your metabolism, you increase the amount of calories you can eat every day.

Do you have to eat chicken and broccoli every day?

Actually, no! We never recommend eating the same thing every day for months on end. 

It will eventually lead to burnout, and we like to also help to make lifestyle long-term habits so even when you are done competing at a show, you can work your way back to enjoying extra things in your nutrition without it completely derailing all of your hard work.

Changing things up helps you to stay more on track with your nutrition which in turns means more consistency in your results.


At the end of the day your nutrition is fuel

I will say this until the day I die probably.... your nutrition is fuel! 

As mentioned with increasing your metabolism, this also means more energy for you to get through your day and the workouts. 

So we want to keep your energy levels as high as possible through everything which means better workouts, sleep, and hormones happy!

Get more access to helpful tools and tricks by joining our Top Knot Strong Community!

How soon to start practicing a posing routine? And what is it?


Posing is harder than it looks

Whenever we start a posing session with someone for the first time or a client tries posing, they can not believe how much harder it is than the competitors make it seem.

However, that's the point! There is a lot of twisting and flexing certain muscles for different divisions to showcase your best features for what the judges are looking for.

All of this while doing a routine in front of judges on a stage and within a certain time frame too.


Start now rather than later

So, we recommend everyone to start ASAP!

It's not going to feel natural at first and there is a lot to learn when it comes to posing.

Such as what angles and poses work best for your body, what the judges will be looking for, and the changes you might have to make as you lean down for a show.

Getting a head start will make it that much easier to perfect over time!

Don't make the mistake of working so hard on your training and nutrition that you neglect how to show off the hard work on stage.


What makes the perfect posing routine?

A perfect posing routine for a Bikini Competition entails it looking effortless, doing mandatory poses for your division, and sharing your personality style to the judges from head to toe to stand out from your competition. 

Being confident in your whole routine, regardless if you have any mess ups are really key. However, the more you practice and get out of your comfort zone with this, the better you will be!


@topknotstrong Just some of what we have made this year ✂️ #sewingtiktok #competitionsuits #bikinicompetitionsuit ♬ original sound - Sarah | Prep Coach

Competition Suits seem expensive... What should I look for in one?

Bodybuilding Competitions are similar to Pageants

When stepping on stage it is the whole package that the judges are looking at from head to toe.

While we talked about training, nutrition, and posing - there is also your competition suit which is in my opinion, the most exciting part for most competitors.

This is why I say it is like a pageant for those into fitness.


Competition Suits are hard to mass produce

A Competition Suit is not cheap and it's not intended to be as there is a lot that goes into making one.

Many suit designers can spend 12+ hours on one suit and make it completely custom to your measurements and body for your division. I would know because we make them here at Top Knot Strong.

It would be hard to mass produce while also keeping quality, and also so you are not just like the next person standing on stage in your same division. 

After the amount of time you spend on everything else, the last thing a competitor would want is to wear the same exact suit as someone else on the same stage...


Picking and designing your competition suit

Your competition suit should be one that you feel most confident in.

The color should complement your skin tone, since you will also have a dark competition tan under bright lights on stage.

The cut should accentuate your body and sit in all of the right places while also being within guidelines for the federation you are competing in.

The design should showcase a little of your personality and be something that you love and adore to stand out on stage.


What kind of mindset makes a competitor successful for a competition?

Understanding that competing is all about discipline

If you want to take your discipline to the next level with fitness and nutrition, bodybuilding is for you. 

You will have to be disciplined to show up on the days that you least feel like, challenge yourself by sticking to a plan from the time you decide you want to do this, and also probably change some habits. 

If you can be disciplined, you will be successful with competing in bodybuilding. 

Just know that if you are not right now with certain things, it's okay! Many competitors have had to work on discipline and you can too if you have the desire and determination to. 


It takes longer than 16 weeks from start to finish

This is a big one... because the internet makes it seem like if you decided to compete right now, it would only take 16 weeks. 

However, that's because many competitors worked hard prior to going into a prep and usually at least 6 months or more before deciding to. It's just when they post about it, they say they are 16 weeks out. 

This is the time they have finally decided to push for a show date and start cutting down, this is not the time they spent building before hand. 


It is not a one size fits all kind of thing

I could give the same plan to two different people and their outcomes will be different. 

Why? Because we are not all built the same...

Even if your body was at the same starting point of someone else - your mindset will be different, how your body responds to the training and nutrition will be different, and your level of discipline will be different too. 

These are all factors that plays into reaching your health and fitness goals regardless is you are competing or not.

So while it may look easy for someone else, doing their same plan will not get you the same results. 

We went over A LOT right here in this blog and understand that there is more that goes into a bikini competition prep.

Everything should be unique and custom to you. From training, nutrition, posing and even your suit!

This is why we created Top Knot Strong in the first place so you can get that kind of experience without all of the overwhelm and second guessing if the work you put in is leading you to success.

We work with our clients on every part of the process from beginning, to stage, and even after.

Bikini Competition Prep Coach Sarah - Top Knot Strong
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