*Note: I put off publishing this article for almost a year, because I didn’t want to sound like I was bashing bikini competitions. But similar to my article of Why I Stopped Eating Meat, people would ask me this question so often so I figured i’d put it down in word. Also, this blog is meant to be educational and straight-up, and I want YOU to have as much information as you can if deciding to enter a competition.
There was a time when I almost competed in a bikini competition.
You know. Bikinis. Stripper heels. Lots of sequins. Spray tans. Curled hair. Seriously, serious make up. Prancing around on stage. Pretty much the polar OPPOSITE of who I am.
I was so close to going through with it too. I was living in Vancouver, and it was 2014. Bikini competitions really had started to pick up in popularity around that time, and more and more people at my gym were telling me about them. Random strangers would approach me in the middle of a set, and ask if I was training for a bikini competition (to which I would glare at them, finish my set, take out my headphones and say “What are you asking me??!“)
Beats me why so many people were interested, but after being asked again and again, I slowly started to consider it. If you know me, you know I like to win.
No; I love to win.
And it would be easy! I was already fit, a pair of heels and a bikini were the only things I needed, right???
WRONG. So wrong. All sorts of wrong.
5 Reasons Why I Will Never Compete in a Bikini Competition
1. It Costs a LOT of Money ($1,000+)
I can’t remember exactly how much everything was going to cost, but this is approximately how much it broke down for me
- Clear stiletto heels: $100 (off Amazon)
- Competition Bikini: $100 (bought used from a friend)
- Posing clinic: $65
*Note: This is where I stopped paying once I realized it was going to be much, much more than that*
Let’s not also forget about:
- Membership fees of the association holding the event (~$200 for 1 year).
- Registration for the competition (~$150).
- Stage photography / back stage photos ($100-$200).
- Tanning (~$150)
- Make up (~$150)
- Hair (~$125)
- Jewelry (~$25)
- Mani/Pedi (~$80)
- Waxing ($80)
You think i’m finished here, but i’m not. There’s also the glue you need to keep your suit in place. All the protein and supplements that these body building companies push on you. If you’re not in the city that the competition is in, you have travel and hotel costs as well.
Sadly, lots of girls don’t know how to train for a bikini competition, so don’t forget about your training coach and your posing coach (EASILY, $500-$800 spent on coaches).
If you add that all up, it comes out to around $1,400. That doesn’t even include all the additional food/supplement intake, coaches, or travel costs. Like I said – it was way too much. I ended up selling the bikini and heels for less than I paid, and went to Cuba with Adam for half the cost.
2. Extreme Dieting Will Mess Up Your Metabolism
I don’t have too many friends that I know who have done body building competitions, but I’ve talked to a couple about it, and I also like to think I have a basic knowledge of nutrition and health. The lengths that some of these competitors will go to to lose any ounce of fat or undesirable body-weight is shocking. In the weeks leading up to a competition, their caloric intake goes way, way down. To a very unhealthy level.
For those few weeks, their body is essentially in starvation mode. I’ve seen competitors spend hours at the gym, sweating their hearts out, and hardly eat a thing afterwards. This ‘starvation mode’ means that your body is lowering its metabolic rate to burn calories slower, to make up for the deficit.
As soon as the competition is over, they bounce back with chocolate, chips, fries, burgers – basically anything they can get their beautifully manicured hands on. I’ve talked to and read from competitors that this ‘binge’ which is supposed to last one or two days, can last months and months. And since their metabolic rate has slowed down substantially, they are gaining weight much quicker than they are burning calories.
3. The Meal Plans are a Joke
Back in 2014 I googled some meal plans to get an idea of what other competitors were eating. On bodybuilding.com and muscleandfitness.com they even have a section of for meal plans for body building competitors.
Each one I found, looks VERY similar to this:
Breakfast: 2 egg whites, 1/3 cup oatmeal, 1/2 cup blueberries
Mid Morning Snack: 1 chicken breast, 1/2 sweet potato, 10 walnuts
Lunch: 1 more frigging chicken breast, 1/2 cup brown rice, 1 cup steamed broccoli
Afternoon Snack: 1 scoop whey protein, 1 tbsp peanut butter
Dinner: 1 piece tilapia, 2 cups salad, 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Ummmmm. Are u kitten me?
First off – who eats two pieces of chicken in one day. Secondly, who eats only 1 tablespoon of peanut butter. Thirdly, who wants to eat steamed broccoli with no cheese on it? Fourth, how are people getting away with charging for crap like this? ALSO – WHY WOULD ANYONE EAT A CHICKEN BREAST BETWEEN BREAKFAST AND LUNCH.
Oh my God. Enough said.
(p.s., I have a very, very good free 4-week meal plan that looks nothing like this. All you have to do is sign up)
Training for the Physique is Boring & Unfunctional
Similar to the meal plan, the training programs that I’ve clapped eyes on put me straight to sleep. And that’s coming from someone with insomnia!
In a bikini competition, the judges are judging you on your appearance. Your musculature, your glutes, waist, symmetry, etc. Because of this, the training needs to be very isolated and muscle specific to develop the ‘right’ physique. That means there are very few full body, compound movements, and instead many isolation exercises where only one single muscle group is trained.
When you train like that, the program becomes very structured, rigid, and uninspiring. Your days are given titles such as “leg/glute day, back & biceps, chest & shoulders, ab day” and so on. Both compound and isolation exercises are key to a strong workout routine, but when the latter starts to take over, it gets truly unexciting.
These training programs also LOVE high reps at low weights, which to me, is also super boring. 20-25 reps of bicep curls? I’d rather do 10 chin ups and get the same burn. I found an article written by a manager for MuscleContest which advocates the benefits of donkey kicks – when you do 4-6 sets of 100 of them. Yeah. I’m not doing 100 reps of anything. Instead i’m going to go home and enjoy my life.
It’s Demeaning, Subjective & Political
WOAH WOAH WOAH WOAHHH CHENG.
Well, I did say these are the 5 reasons why I wouldn’t compete in a bikini competition. Sorry if you find this offensive and cut throat.
I am very, VERY confident with my body and the way I look. And if I walked on stage in a bikini, after working my ass off to get ripped, lean, tanned, curled, sequined, posed and smiled my heart out, and didn’t even place in the top 3, I would be pretty upset. And pissed off.
Personally, I find it demeaning to let people judge your ass, legs, back, shoulders, face and stomach based on their subjective standards, and give you a rating on how well you compare to others. Not to mention that the reason a lot of girls decide to join bikini competitions for the first time is because they’ve lost some weight and want to stay motivated.
To stand on stage and be proud of everything you have accomplished, only to lose to the girl who’s got 5 years of experience under her sequined bikini can be a hard pill to swallow. And as competitive as I am, I wouldn’t take it easily.
And just like every other sport out there, politics are always involved. I don’t know too much about that aspect, but have heard things here and there. There’s no point in competing in a sport that may already have its outcome determined in advanced.
OBVIOUSLY, in the end, it’s always going to be your prerogative whether you want to take part in a bikini competition. I am so glad that I never went through with it, because I would have been so out of pocket, I may or may not have won (and walked away with nothing to show for it), my diet and metabolism would have taken a hit, and knowing me, I would have gotten fake tan all over my clothes and bed sheets.
Do what makes you happy. 3 weeks into my plan to compete, I was more stressed and anxious, than excited about the competition. That’s when I knew it was not for me. If you’re interested in another point of view, I thought this article was very well written and honest.