Impact your life
Throughout the years of competing my life has been impacted in so many positive ways. You will be able to develop a deeper sense of strong will, determination, and self love.
You can positively effect your health. During this journey, you will learn all about nutrition and how to properly feed your body to reach your goals. You will develop a sense of what foods work with your body and what foods do not. You will create the habit of working out and eating nutritious meals on both prep and the offseason. ***Disclaimer: The last few weeks of your preparation will be an extreme and the low body fat percentage is not something you would want to maintain year round***
You will join a community of other individuals that are striving for constant self improvement. You will find yourself surrounded by others who are going through the same exact journey.
Obtaining a purpose
Bikini competitions can help you set a goal and stay accountable.
Getting to the next level
You may have done a bunch of sports in high school and want to try something new that will keep you challenged
OR, like myself, you may think that you have reached your fitness goals and want to take on a new challenge
The beauty of competing is that It does not matter how much you improve, there will always be changes that you need to make and room for improvement. Moreover, this sport will always keep you challenged and motivated
Look at the associations that you may want to enter:
There are many organizations to choose from. I personally believe that the NPC/IFBB are one of the best because they hold the most prestige. It is a bit more challenging to obtain professional status, but that means that as an athlete you will be taken more seriously.
Hire a trainer/coach (especially if it is your first show)
I, to this date, have a coach! I started with a coach and I am still with a coach. All/most athletes in any sport have one! Basketball, football, gymnastics, etc.
Reasons to hire a coach:
Coaches are important because they will guide you through your training, cardio, posing, nutrition, suit selection, show selection, and more.
They are there to make your life easier and get you ready to get on stage.
Allow you to keep your goals in line without having to second guess what the next step you should be taking. It takes a lot of the pressure off of you, so you can just focus on your workouts and let your coach handle making changes. "Just trust the process!"
I have seen many individuals who decide not to get coaching or hire the wrong coach and go on extreme plans where they completely mess up their metabolisms and gain a lot of weight after a show because they do not know how to reverse diet properly.
So make a list of what you want in a coach and find a coach with experience and that fits your needs
Select a show
Your preparation for a show should be around 8-16 weeks. The goal is to maintain muscle, and not try to lose fat too quickly.
The length of your prep depends on the individuals level
This depends on your fitness level, you may need more or even do an offseason to grow some extra muscle mass or trim down on extra body fat. It all depends on the individual and their goals.
How the NPC works (tiers). The NPC holds local shows all over the county almost every weekend of the year. Some of these shows are large enough to be National Qualifiers. If you earn a top placing at one of these shows, you will be qualified to do a National Show. Certain qualifiers can qualify you for all national shows, while others are more specific. national shows hold the opportunity to earn procard. Again, each show differs on how many procards are offered. Once you turn pro, you can only participate in pro shows. Pro shows are free to participate, and even pay out prize money in the top 3-5 spots depending on the show. The Olympia is Endgame. It is the biggest show of the year, comes with a huge prize, prestige, opportunities, and a lifetime of bragging rights.
National show (opportunity to earn pro card)
Pro show (Qualify for the Olympia)
Olympia (super bowl of bikini)
There are many ways that you can go about starting a prep and there is really no right or wrong answer. This is my take on the best way to do so. First thing is first, you should get a coach. A coach will guide you on the best way to workout and what your caloric intake should be leading to a show. The goal will be to lean you out while maintaining your muscle mass. If you are an individual that wants to compete but never played around in the weight room or don’t have much muscle. I would suggest to start off with an “improvement season”, at this time if you have a good amount of body weight to loose, you will loose it slowly while adding on muscle. This improvement season should last until you reach a low enough weight to effectively start a prep. If you are an individual that is already pretty lean but don’t have much muscle or experience weight training, adding on muscle for a couple of months would be ideal.
Once you reach the point of starting a prep, you will choose a show that is about 8-20 weeks out depending on your physique. For the next couple of weeks your goal will be to drop enough body fat until you reach a low enough body fat percentage to show off all of your muscles. Training, cardio, and nutrition will depend on your body and metabolism and they will be slowly modified to reach the goal date without loosing much muscle and in a healthy matter.
Throughout the course of your prep you will be expected to workout and do cardio 5-6 times per week. You are looking at spending 1.5-3 hours at the gym each day depending on where you are in the process.
During the time you are on prep you should practice your posing routine a couple times a week if not everyday. Posing is very important and can make or break on show date.
Posing allows you to showcase your hard work and if not executed correctly, you can easily go from first place to last. I have seen it many many times where girls with AMAZING physiques don't take the time to practice and learn what poses works best for them and then not end up doing as well as they should. Posing is like your first impression with the judges. You want to catch their attention to avoid being overlooked. Displaying your personality is also very important, let the judges know who you are with your precence.
This is your time to shine! You have come all this way to show off your hard work and hours spent to be where you are at.
During the morning of the show, you will need to get up early to do your hair, make-up, and get ready to head to the venue. For make-up and hair, unless you are a queen at make up I would make sure you get it done professionally. Stage make up it is completely different than make up done on a regular basis. It is more exaggerated. To this date, I still hire a professional to do my stage make up.
Before Prejudging, you will pump-up back stage and make sure that you are all ready to go.
You will be set in a class depending on your height. Each height will have anywhere from 1-60 girls depending on a show. At a local level you can expect the max to be no larger than 30 girls.
Individual Routine: You will walk alone on stage and perform your individual routine. You will begin by walking from the entrance of the stage to the middle of the stage where you will find an "X" on the floor. Once you reach the center, you will stop and begin your routine by hitting the front pose, then transitioning to the back, and then turn to the front again. Once you land back on your front pose, you will wave the judges good bye by raising your arm and exiting the stage. Your routine should be about 10-15 seconds max. At the national level, you only have 8 seconds.
Group comparison: in this section you would be brought out with 5-10 other girls to be compared as a group. The head judge will guide your routine. They will direct you to do your front pose and back pose. The judges will take this section to compare all the competitors with one another. Once they have gathered their scores, they will ask the competitors to stand on the side of the stage.
Call-outs: Once all of the competitors are on the side of the stage, they will begin to call out numbers. For each call out they will call from 5-8 girls. The sooner you get called out the higher your placing. During a call-out, the judges will begin to move competitors around to determine their placing. The closer to the middle, the higher your placing. Center stage is usually 1st place. Once the judges do all of the call-outs, the competitors will be directed off the stage and that will conclude prejudging.
This is your chance to have fun and enjoy the show. No judging will be done during this time unless you get first place and will be judged again
You want your suit to be blingy. The more rhinestones the better. You want your suit color to also match you with your skin and hair color. Get an opinion from a coach or a suit maker to best fit YOU! The last thing you want to do is spend hundreds of dollars on a suit that won’t look good on you on stage.
My Top Bikini shops:
Angel Competition Suits (disclaimer, I am sponsored, but they really treat me and my athletes well!) P.S. They are super cute. (Use my actual link for a discount!)
T Tart suits (tell them Steph sent you for a good deal)
*** I am very picky when it comes to competition suits. If you know of a big/famous brand, and they are not listed above, I have my reasons. Trust me on this!
Use this service if you are of darker skin; Hispanic or african american
If you have really fair skin the tan won’t stick to you too well and it will not get you as dark
Self tanner (eh!)
I dont really ever recommend doing your own tanning, but if you were to do it I recommend Jan Tana or Pro Tan
Start exfoliating and moisturizing a week prior to the event. I highly recommend Neutrogena's Body Scrub. This product is one of the cheapest and it works wonders. Any moisturizer will do the trick and make sure to use it until 2 days before the tanning. I have noticed that if you dont moisturize, the tan will be spotty and you will get really itchy and uncomfortable after the show.
Shave no later than 8 hours prior to the first coat of tan. Make sure you shave from head to toe.
Don’t use any scented moisturizers, soaps, perfumes, or deodorants before getting spray tanned. Deodorant will turn green on your skin (yikes!). Make sure to really scrub well with the exfoliator.
Wear dark loose-sleeved clothing after you get your tan.
Bling Competition Jewelry (use code: STEPHBLING for savings)
I use all of my jewelry from this company. They have a wide selection, the quality is optimal, and their prices are great.
I prefer the strapped heels but it all comes down to personal preference
NPC Card: $125 yearly to compete in the NPC
Registration fee: $75-$300 per show
Bikini: $250 - 1000
Hair & Makeup: $100 - 250
Tan: $100 - 150
Jewelry: $25 - 100
Food cost: $150 per week
Supplementation: $50-100 per month
Coaching: $400 - 1200 for the prep
Travel expenses - Flights/Hotels/Rental Car - depending on where you travel & if you have sponsorships
use code 'stephsequeirafit' for savings at blackstonelabs.com
You want to make sure you choose a show that meets your budget and that it is appropriate for where you are on your journey. For your first show I always recommend to do a non-qualifer show to get your feet wet. Your coach should guide you on shows that will also look for your body type. There are certain regions and areas that prefer more muscular physiques over softer. So determine the type of physique that you have and choose shows that are right for you.
Judges will judge you on:
Balance and shape- You want your physique to be proportionate
Overall appearance which includes complexion, skin tone, and overall presentation
here are many ways to go about obtaining your professional status. Here are a few things that helped me along the way:
njoy the process
Take your offseason seriously
Don't be afraid to go heavy
Dont' get discouraged
Allow each loss to be a learning step
Find outside motivation and be your own motivatio
This is probably the most important topic of them all! Ladies, after weeks or even months of hours of cardio, number of pounds lifted, and hitting your macros on point, you will build a master piece. Now why would you want to ruin that? I have seen it countless of times, individuals being focused during their whole prep, then step off stage, and BOOM! next thing you know they are 20 lbs up in weight within a week. It is is so easy to gain it all back in a matter of days if you are not careful. Competitors make the mistake of eating anything they want, stop working out, and stop doing cardio thinking that they would be ok. Then the unfortunate truth hits and everything they have worked for is gone. I think the biggest issue with individuals revolves around food. Some individuals cannot find that self control that they once had when they were on prep. It becomes easier and easier to say "it's ok, only a little bit won't hurt" or "it's ok if I have it because I didn't have it all prep". This mentality can absolutely hurt you because you will begin to say it to any opportunity that you have of consuming any type of food and it will become more and more difficult to find that self control again. It is extremely unhealthy for the body to rebound and you can damage your body, health, metabolism, and hormones. Scary? you betcha!
Mistakes to avoid:
Increasing calories too fast from maintanance and going back to eating like you were before the show.
Introducing unhealthy foods to your diet too quick
Not doing cardio
Removing too much cardio too fast
Not setting up a goal for your reverse diet
Over eating at every meal
Going crazy after a show and eating everything in your way
What you should do:
Slowly increase your calories from maintance
Enjoy treats here and there but eat mainly whole foods
Slowly decrease your cardio
Keep taking your supplements
Keep weightlifting or do any other physical activity based on your goals
Create goals and a plan for your offseason to avoid competition blues
Realize that food is not going anywhere. The last time I checked Papa Johns is still delivering pizza and Dunkin Donuts was still selling donuts. Because you haven't had the foods in a while does not mean they have disappeared. Don't deprive yourself, but be cautious and make smart decisions
To close off, just remember that you are only given one body and reverse dieting can be just as enjoyable and fun if you create a good plan for it. This sport is a lifestyle, so make sure you do everything you can to improve on it each and every day.