Written by our Friends at Angel Competition Bikinis!
1. Hire a competition coach!
If you are thinking about getting on that stage and competing, this is the perfect first step. A competition coach will help you know what and when to eat, which workouts will get you in tip top shape, and anything else to help set you up for success. For your first ever competition, hiring a coach will provide you with guidance and help you reach your full potential.
We work with a number of coaches who KNOW what they are doing! They will help you throughout the whole prep process and get you on that stage looking and feeling your best! You can find our favorite coaches HERE.
2. Start posing ASAP!
Your posing can make or break your package on stage, so you should start practicing as soon as you’ve made the decision to compete. Hiring a separate posing coach may be a good idea. But even prior to that, a great resource to look at is YouTube. There is amazing, FREE posing content that will be very helpful.
Pro tip: take a video yourself practicing your posing routine. That way you will be able to re-watch yourself and critique. This will help you adjust your technique and keep getting better. It can also help you see how far you’ve progressed. Practice, Practice, PRACTICE!
3. Know the Cost
One of the things that many athletes forget when it comes to the decision to compete is the cost of competing. While this is a very glamorous and hard-core sport, there are a lot of costs associated with it.
- Competition Coach
- Competition coaches can run $1000+ for a 12 week program
- Posing Coach
- $60-$100 per 1 hour session
- Personal Trainer
- $50+ per hour
- Practice suits
- ACBikinis Posing Practice Suits start at $130
- Competition Suit
- A basic ACBikinis start at $145 and the average ACBikini price is $350+
- Competition Tan
- ProTan show day tan can run $50+
- Competition Heels
- Competition shoes from The Shoe Fairy starting at $50
- Professional Hair and Makeup
- These services can run $50+ for each
- Travel + Hotel
- Food + Supplements
- NPC Card
- Show Registration
- Can be $100+ for each class
4. Reverse Dieting is IMPORTANT
Reverse dieting is extremely important to maintain your health after the show. We all know that you can’t stop thinking about your post-show treats and that you’ve been dreaming about donuts, pizza and ice cream. We’ve all been there, but there is a right way, and a wrong way. Of course, you should let yourself have your post-show meal and treats, but you should not throw away all of your hard work and begin consuming everything in sight. That would not be good for your health.
After you have had your treats and delicious post-show meal, try to get back on track by Monday. It is important to try and maintain your pre-show diet and very slowly and gradually begin to up your calorie intake while maintaining your workouts. Your body needs time to readjust. You can begin to lessen your cardio and begin to increase your weight training. All of this needs to be over a matter of weeks, not days. This is a slow process and needs to be taken just as seriously as your prep.
5. Know the Different Classes and Divisions
If you are competing in the NPC there are a few different divisions to choose from. All of the different division information is directly from NPCNewsOnline.com.
- For the bikini division, they are looking for a foundation of muscle that gives shape to the female body. They are looking for a slight roundness in the delts, a conditioned core, and full round glutes with a slight separation between the hamstring and glute area. The overall package is balanced and symmetrical.
- This division is for females with athletic physiques 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.They are looking for conditioning almost on par with Bikini athletes, but the athletes will have slightly more muscle. They want to see a little body fat with slight separation but no striations.
- Figure athletes should display an overall balance of muscular development which includes rounded delts, sweep to the quads, back depth, and width – emphasis is on balance and symmetry. A small amount of muscle separation, a “v” taper, and tight glutes with separation between the hamstring and glute area.
- Physique athletes should display more muscular density than seen in figure, clear muscle separation – small amount of striations is acceptable, emphasis is on muscular development with full muscle bellies, muscular development should be balanced between upper and lower body.
When it comes to classes, they will vary show to show. Depending on the size of the show, there may be more classes. Women’s division classes are broken up by height, age, novice, and open. All of the descriptions of the classes are from CenterPodium.com.
- True Novice – Open to competitors who have never competed. Not offered at all shows.
- Novice – Competitors who have not won any class including novice, open, masters, etc OR have placed top 10 at a pro qualifier
- Master’s – Age classes excluding teens, typically 35 years old or older. This will vary and you may see 35+, 40+, 45+. 50+, 60+, etc.
- Teen – Class for teenagers. Minimum age is 18 years old and will also always include up to 19 years old.
- Hero – Military, Police, Fire, Rescue. Not offered at all shows.
- Open – An “open” class is open to all ages and levels. These are the main classes. Open classes will be divided by height or weight depending on the class.
Here is the nitty gritty when it comes to your competition tan. Your show day tan is one of the final things to finish off your amazing package. Don't hide your hard work with a bad or off-colored tan! Getting your tan done by the show provider is the best way to ensure that your tan won’t clash with the lighting or your suit. If you do your own tan, make sure that you practice a few times before your actual show so that you can see how it will turn out.
7. Make sure you’re in the right mindset
It is important to have the right mindset going into prep and your competition. It is important to always know WHY you are doing this. Keeping your why at the forefront of your mind will help you get through the tough times. Prepping for a competition is not a great idea if you have concerns about body image and are not in a great relationship with your body prior to your show prep.
Something you don’t really hear about when it comes to competing is the sacrifices you will have to make in order to get to the stage. You will have to sacrifice going to parties and hanging out with your friends. You will have to sacrifice spending time with your family and spend more time going to the gym in order to get your second round of cardio in. You will have to sacrifice yummy foods and commit to a very strict diet. But this is not forever. You are committing to the stage for 4-20+ weeks depending on how long you prep. Health and fitness and committing to the stage is a lifestyle change. Don’t forget why you started.
8. Don’t do it for the stage
Don’t do it because you want to win a trophy and a title. Don’t do it to impress other people and only because you want their approval. Do it for yourself. Do it so you can say that you committed yourself and struggled and succeeded. You won the second you step on that stage. You applied yourself and no matter what place, you are a winner because you got up on that stage and did your best. It’s not about the end goal, it’s about the whole process and journey you have fought your way through. You did it.
9. Trust the process
The process of getting ready for the stage can be daunting. There are so many factors to consider and so many things to think about. It will be hard, probably the hardest thing you’ve ever done. But at the end of your first prep journey, when you get on that stage, it will all be worth it. There will be times when you feel defeated, you may have hit a plateau, you are probably STARVING, but you’ve got this. You need to trust the process. It’s a privilege to be able to compete and if it was easy, everyone would do it. Things may take a little longer than you thought or you would like, but you have to remember how far you’ve come and trust the process.
Pro tip: Take TONS of progress photos. Photos are the absolute best way to track your overall progress. Once a week is a good amount that will show minute changes in your body.
Pro tip 2: Always take your photos in the same suit. Angel Competition Bikinis has designed the perfect Posing Practice Suit to track your progress. They provide consistency so you can really see the small changes over time. Check out all of the adorable patterns HERE.
10. Don’t forget to have fun!
Make friends, get into the best shape of your life, and learn some amazing new skills that will last a lifetime, like determination, dedication and discipline. These are some of the things that competing can do for you. Your hard work is done, you’ve been all made up and now it’s time to step on stage. This is the time to have fun! Don’t forget your posing, but show off your amazing self.