1. What You Must Have
2. Beauty Essentials
3. Hotel/Backstage Necessities
4. "Pump-Up" Needs
5. Common Questions and Answers
Show day can be very stressful! I remember borrowing everything from other girls backstage because I was not nearly as prepared as I thought I would have been. I put together this checklist to ensure that each and every new (or old) bikini competitor isn't left running around last minute and finding herself without the essentials. Also included are price averages, discount codes, and website links to find the things you need...
1.) What you MUST have:
Bikinis can range anywhere from $90-$800 depending on the amount of sparkle and bling you want it to have! These suits will show skin, but don't be too promiscuous...try to avoid getting the MICRO cut! Go for the Pro Cut or Brazilian Cut. Pro cut looks the best!
Color: This is very important! Don't just pick your favorite color. Try to choose a color that will compliment your hair color and the tan!
The typical stage heel is clear and 4"-5" inches tall. Prices range from $30-$120.
I never go too crazy with my jewelry and can always find something that matches my suit perfectly at places like these!
The sponsored tanning company varies depending on your show/location. Check with the promoter or official show website for more information on where to book your tan! (NOTE: 1st timers...get your tan done by the company! I do NOT recommend doing the entire tan on your own...it's worth the money, trust me!!)
- Each tanning package averages anywhere from $90-$150. Book ahead EARLY because time slots fill up fast! I suggest scheduling yours AFTER check-ins to avoid messing up the tan
- You will receive 2-3 coats the night before your show and a possible touch-up the morning of.
- My favorite tanning brands are: Pro Tan and Liquid Sun Rayz
- To get a great base tan throughout your prep to see your SHREDZ early on or for backstage tan touch ups, try out, PRO TAN Sunny Days
- This card gives you the “OK" approval to participate in any NPC competition in the U.S. and is REQUIRED! The card is good for the year it is purchased in
- The card price for 2018 is $125
- You can purchase this card ONLINE. Search “2018 NPC CARD” on google.
Your Competition Number
You will be given a number to wear on stage at check-in's. You CANNOT lose/forget this. If you don't have your number, then you won't be able to compete! This is worn on the left hip and must be visible at all times on stage for the judges and photographer to see.
2.) Beauty Essentials:
- It is your OWN call on if you want to get your makeup done by a professional, friend, or on your own.
- What judges prefer: Classic, professional style makeup with NO crazy colored eye shadow/lip colors. Have your face a shade or two lighter than your spray tan.
- Recommended Makeup Artist: @glamgirl_carolyn
- Glitter is ALWAYS okay to use to add some extra sparkle and shine.
Get in contact with local makeup artists/friends if you don't want to do it on your own (NOTE: you will need to get your makeup done EARLY, so make sure they are available around 6-7am)
- Similar to makeup, you can choose to get it done or do it yourself.
- What judges prefer: Hair down (straight or curled).
- If hair is short, you can consider getting hair extensions (not necessary, though).
Get in contact with local hair artists/friends if you don't want to do it on your own (NOTE: you will need to get your hair done EARLY, as well, so make sure they are available around 6-7am)
Extra Beauty Items:
Be sure to bring the extra items below to be fully prepared to fix and touch-up little necessities on the go!
- Bobby pins
- Backup Makeup
- Hair Brush
- Curling Iron/Flat Iron
- Eyelash Glue
- Body Spray (You CAN'T use deodorant with the spray tan...it will turn GREEN...so rely on body mist to cover up any stench you might have- trust me, you're nervous and WILL sweat/stink).
3.) Backstage “PUMP UP" Musts:
Many coaches request that their competitors have certain foods backstage with them before going on. This creates a fuller look when done at the right time with the right resistance movements
Common Foods I use (but go off of what coach says):
- Rice Cakes with Peanut Butter
- Beef Jerky
- Fortifx Bars (my GO-TO pre-stage snack! DISCOUNT CODE: BAFX )
Extra Body Glaze/Pam
(The show's tanning company usually has their employees glazing everyone with oil...literally just cooking Pam... but it's nice to have some extra just in case!)
4.) Great Hotel/Backstage Necessities
- A bag with wheels (You won't mess up your tan using this!)
- Robe (I prefer shorter silk robes!)
- Dixie Cups (These can be used as funnels when using the restroom and will prevent streaking in your tan...no one wants a splotchy crotch!)
- A backup bikini (not needed, but great in case you have a wardrobe malfunction!)
- Drivers License/ID
- Your Show Day Meals
- Printed Out List of Show Order (You don't want to miss your moment to shine and not be ready backstage!)
- Extra Cash (A lot of shows have expos and items for purchase)
- Phone/Camera Charger
- Loose Fitting Clothes for before/after show (dark colors preferred to avoid discoloration of your spray tan)
- Dark Colored Sheets/Pillowcases (Some hotels charge extra for ruined bedsheets, so bring your own)
- Full Body Mirror (A dorm room style mirror would be perfect)
5.) Common Questions and Answers
Q: What poses do I do on stage and how long do I have?
A: Posing is one of the BIGGEST things to master in order to catch the judges eyes...it can make or break you! I recommend that every competitor takes posing sessions months leading up to the show because it is harder than you think. That way you will feel SO comfortable in front of others and the judges when on stage and in those high heels, you'll be destined for a better placing! For posing help: contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for 1-on-1 30 minute sessions via skype! Many shows push posing clinics, but I honestly think you should save the money!! Stage presentation comes FIRST! You will have about 20 seconds to show what you got!
Q: Will I be ready in time?!
A: I hear this one far too many times, and heck, I catch myself asking myself the same exact question every show I do! But here is what I have learned in my 2 years competing...you HAVE to trust the process. Don't compare yourself to others on social media. Just have fun with it and do your best! In the end, the biggest thing is knowing that you did everything YOU could in order to get in better shape and step up on that stage....OWN IT!
Q: How long does it take to prep?
A: Everyone is different. Depending on how much your starting weight is, to if it's your first time prepping with your coach for the show, or maybe the intensity of your cut. Most preps last between 12-22 weeks long.
Q: What do the judges look for in the bikini category?
A: Judges will focus on a lean, toned bikini look. The areas focused on are the glutes, core, and shoulders (for the most part.) Bikini is big on having that OVERALL appearance, so they will also take into consideration the bikini, hair, makeup, and posing/walk.
Q: What should I expect on show day?
A: Show day can be crazzzzyyyy, but so much fun if you just go with it! Some shows can run on schedule while some can drag on! You're going to meet some pretty amazing women backstage, so make some memories that will last you a lifetime! Be sure to stay on top of the show schedule because it can get pretty hectic backstage and it is best to be prepared and not get too flustered! You will be back there with tan, sweaty, half naked women AND men! It's a culture shock, for sure! Regardless of how you do or the placing you got, you worked your butt off and will remember this day forever and that is all that matters!
Q: What is the best way to diet? Strict meal plan? Macros? Do I need to do a lot of cardio? Do I cut out water on show day?
A: There is a variety of ways to cut down in order to get lean for the stage! In my experience, I have tried both approaches. Although strict meal plans got me TINY, I found that flexible dieting and doing 3-4 15 minute HIIT cardio sessions was the best for me. Not only did it get me ripped for my shows, I was better off mentally after my show and didn't find myself binging on foods like the strict meal plan caused me to do. As far as water goes, do not fear it! You'll see many girls cut water out completely, but drinking water is essential to carry all those extra “pump-up carbs" to your muscles! Listen to your coach, but you shouldn't be cutting it out completely! For a coach that can get you there, contact Registered Dietitian and prep coach Dylan Bair at email@example.com
Q: How much muscle do I need to have for, bikini?
A: Even though the bikini look is an overall presentation and the desired “fit" look of most women, muscle is in fact very ESSENTIAL. I see many girls rush into shows and they look like twigs on stage. I recommend that if you want to compete, you should take the time to build some muscle before trying to cut down! The stage will always be there, so I think more people should consider putting on size first!
Q: How many shows should I do in a season?
A: This all depends on your financial situation (since these shows can be expensive!) and the amount of time you can handle dieting. This is what I do: I'll always do a warm-up show for a “practice run", followed by 1-3 more shows around the same time. I try not to let my season last more than 3 months long, but that is just a personal preference! I find myself worn out any longer than that!
Q: What shows are good ones to compete in?
A: For the most part, I will ALWAYS compete in the tested NPC competitions. This means that a majority of the competitors will be drug screened to ensure that no steroids/drugs were being used during prep and everything is truly natural. Not all shows require this, but some do!
A full list of upcoming shows can be found: http://npcnewsonline.com/
Q: What do I do AFTER my shows?
A: From past experience, I have come to realize the reverse dieting is VERY important. Competing will get your body to a very low body fat and it can be easy to fall into a steep slope of excessive weight gain if you are not careful following your show. Enjoy yourself for sure, BUT I think it is so important to reverse diet and increase your macros over time. This will guarantee that you will not put on a large amount of weight in a short amount of time. It's not easy to diet after your show, and “slip-ups" may happen, but if you slowly try to increase your macros, you'll be better off in the long run. I have seen many girls bodies and metabolisms get destroyed when eating everything in sight for weeks at a time. Enjoy yourself, but try to stick to a routine to strengthen your metabolism and health.
A note to take home: Your competition and prep should be enjoyable! Breathe…and HAVE FUN! You have worked your butt off for several weeks. Now it's time to show the judges what you got! Everyone is just as nervous as you are-trust me. If you happen to “mess up" on stage-it's not as noticeable as you think! Just keep that smile and pose away. Take pictures, meet new people, and enjoy YOUR day! I hope this guide helps each and every one of you be the best bikini competitor that you can be!
**For additional questions: email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I would LOVE to help you out!