What exactly is a bikini body? Just bringing up the term might lead to multiple opinions and discussions, but when I am talking about a bikini body, I will specifically talk about a Bikini fitness Body as required in the (amateur) bodybuilding categories. Bikini fitness is not a super muscular category where women look “like a man” as many people describe it. Yes, there are categories for way more muscular women, but since those did not align with my personal this will not be the focus of my writing. I will share my experiences preparing for Bikini Fitness and Model Fitness competition.
I worked in an office, where I was surrounded almost everyday by chocolates, donuts, chips, and all kinds of food you can imagine. Was it easy? To be honest this part was actually way easier than I thought. First because I really like to eat healthy, I just had a really strict diet at the time.
The annoying part was people knowing I was preparing to compete and still offering me food all times, which made me angry sometimes but at the same time gave me strength to continue and prove myself I can do whatever I propose myself to do. What else is important in building your dream body? Look through the different categories and find out!
On the far left, that's me.
Aloha spotters ! =) In 2016 I was already living in Mallorca, a lot was happening in my life at the time and I decided I needed something new and challenging in my life, so I decided I wanted to lift weights seriously with a professional to guide me achieving my goals, my body goals. It all started in May the same year when I met my incredible coach, who became a very important person in my life. During my first week of working out with him, he told me he would take me to compete at the Spanish Amateur Bodybuilding National Championship on November 2016. My first thought? “This guy has no fucking clue what he is saying”. He was a competitive bodybuilder, who competed in more than 80 shows, which is quite impressive.
Most girls interested in fitness will come across Michelle Lewin and might start dreaming about those legs and abs. I was not an exception. Listening to all of my coach stories about competition, I started to want that experience for myself and I committed myself to do it. My coach planned all my workouts and my diet during my whole preparation to compete on November 5th 2016, which meant a 6 months preparation.
It takes a really serious commitment and a lot of sacrifice to do it. I must say this is not a sport for everybody. If you are thinking about competing in any category I advise you to do some research first, and ask yourself if you are really ready to such a big commitment.
I worked my ass off during those 6 months. My job at the time was not very helpful to my preparation as I was working from 12h till 20h, so I couldn’t work out at night as it would be very late for me. Basically, my daily routine was literally waking up at 5am every single day, having my first meal before doing 1 hour cardio (I never did cardio or any exercise without at least one meal), lifting, and going for cardio again. After this, I was going to work till 20h. After work I was going home for dinner, and prepare my meals for the next day. During the week I was very short on time, considering I was going to work by bus which took me about almost 2 hours a day on trips. To save time I was running the house also most of my groceries during the weekend. Mostly on Sundays I prepared at least lunchboxes for 2 or 3 full days, which means 6 meals per day.
If you read till here, you probably be thinking I was insane right? Well, I was completely committed to this, and I wanted to do my best. It was for sure not easy, and I’m not complaining as I would do it all over again. No regrets. This was basically how things worked for me and I’m not saying this is the best way to do it as everyone is different. In my case based on my circumstances this was how I manage to do things, and actually it worked for me.
There were days I felt more tired, others highly motivated, sometimes (no actually a lot of times) feeling hungry and still following my diet. Talking about it of course all my meals were weighed precisely and I didn’t skip or failed a single meal. Here, your mind plays a huge role. . So basically what you have just read here, was a bit of how I entered the world of Fitness and bodybuilding competitions. If you are interested about competitions, dieting, recipes or information about this subject in general you can check it in Fitness category on the main page of the blog.
Unbelievable. I wish I could live that moment again and all those feelings on that special day. You literally work your ass of during months for only 5 minutes on the stage, where you have to show yourself to the max. You have to enjoy and the live that moment because you work hard for that and hell yes you deserve it. On my first competition I was weirdly calm to be honest, happy but calm. My mom and brother went from Portugal to Valencia to support me, so I was extremely happy to see them. In addition, I had no clue about what I was doing there… everyone seemed to know what to do, when to eat, how to apply make-up, tanning and I felt so lost! Still my coach had explained to me how a competition goes, and even though he couldn’t be present on that day, he was available for me the whole day , keeping me calm.
So, the morning before the show all competitors should be present at the assigned place for being weighted, divided by categories, and basically having everything in order. After this we have our time to get ready, meaning starting make up and hair for girls, re-touching the tanning, practising poses one last time, eating, and relaxing while waiting for the moment to go on stage. On my first competition I was there to enjoy, I had prepare myself for 6 months and for such a short time I was super happy with my evolution, and no one could take that away from me. My mom was with me the whole time on the backstage… even more nervous than I was, making sure I was pretty and telling me how brave I was and how proud she was ( that's what moms do right ?) My brother? He was not really into this, but I remember him saying "you are so skinny since last time, and girl you gained muscles" which coming from him it was actually cool to hear.
I was selected for the Miss Model category instead of Miss Bikini, which became the category I kept for my next competitions. Backstage, while waiting, athletes start getting ready as their time to go on stage approaches. Warming up to make the muscles pop up, loading up our bodies with food (sugar, carbs.. yes you read it right), last details. Here, this is an important step because by not loading correctly your body you can screw up the work of months within 2 seconds, right before your time to shine. It is really important for you to know your body and how it reacts to food, what works best for you and what doesn’t.
The moment they called my category I went through a rollercoaster of feelings from nervous, to happy, passing by “ holy f$#5 I hope I don’t fall with these heels!”. My number was 33, and as soon as I heard my number followed by my name a huge smile came through, and I felt extremely happy and excited to be there. I guess my thought was “ I worked so hard for this, I feel pretty, I deserve it, I'm gonna enjoy it!”. In addition to this I could hear a crazy Portuguese mom screaming the lungs out of her chest “ you are beautiful, my pretty little girl! Show off your work !” I was there on stage, in front of I don’t know how many people, with strong lights on my face from the stage, fighting with my heels watching my mom crossing the safety barrier and coming at the border of the stage… screaming, taking pictures and supporting me. Oh man, at that moment I didn’t know if I should smile and pose, or be concerned about her getting kicked out of the building. Luckily she was't.. maybe the security guards were afraid of a crazy mom, who knows?
I placed second, which was a good surprise for me. Placing second on my first competition in a National championship was awesome. I immediately called my coach of course. It’s something I cannot describe, as I think you have to live the moment to understand it. With this result I placed for the Miss and Mister Universe in Colchester-London 2 weeks later.
Thinking about competing for the first time? There are a few essential things you need to consider before your competition day. Assuming you have been doing all your homework correctly talking about your workouts and dieting, you can’t forget about all the details for the big day.
The sooner you start thinking about all the small but important details, the better because it will avoid you having last-minute stress. Remember, stress leads to cortisol and we do not want that! On the specific case of a bikini fitness competitor you need to take care about these things:
- There are a few offers on the market, so you will have to choose the one you think will be best for you. If you are preparing to compete, probably your coach competed or is preparing other athletes, so you can always ask for advice on tanning and if possible someone can let you try some lotion on your skin to check how the colour looks on you and also if you have any reactions. In all my competitions I used ProTan , because it’s the one I liked the most, both on smell and colour. (I tried other brands way before my competition so I could have an idea). You can see the pictures how it looks on my skin. Pretty good I would say.
Gloss / shining
On the big day, right before going on stage you will need gloss on your whole body. Cheap version of gloss is Vaseline, and it works just fine. You will need this to help moisturizing the tanning, and also to give you that shiny look.
Girls, you better start practising walking on 12cm heels. You will have to check the requirements of the federation you are going to compete for. Usually 12cm heels with no platform are universal. Some federations allow platform and some others don’t. My advice is to choose the ones without platform, because in case you want to compete in other federations you don’t need to buy new shoes. They can be of any color, but usually almost every competitor uses the transparent ones. If you want to have an idea check out Mussa shoes for example.
- The centre of everything! Take your time choosing the right bikini and color for you. Bikinis are expensive, so you should definitely take your time to decide on the colour, shape and decoration you want. Don't forget that you will be incredible tanned on competition day, so the bikini colour plays a big role. Also remember, on stage there will be plenty of lights on you and a sparkling bikini calls for attention.
- Yes, shiny jewlery to match your bikini. Earrings, rings, bracelets, hair accessories… it all plays a big role as well. Make sure your jewelry matches your bikini style.
Hair, Make up and Nails:
- Try different hairstyles until you find the one you like and feel more confident with. If you have your bikini colour already decided, its easier to play with make up. Google around for ideas, and try them so you can chose the one that suits you the most. Nails, same thing. Remember that everything has to match, it is whole package. On bikini category beauty plays a huge role, apart from the body. You should without a doubt take your time to have this figured out in time, don’t let it to wait to the last minute, otherwise you will probably feel stressed about it.
Robe / towel / flip flops
- While waiting on the backstage to go on stage, remember it’s not convenient to be dressed as you can screw your tan. It is convenient to have a robe to wear in case you don’t wanna walk around in your bikini, or you feel cold, etc. This one is optional of course. Talking about towels, its handy to have a small one with you because you will probably lay down on the floor resting while waiting for your moment. Flip flops are a must as you don’t want to walk around all day with your heels on.
Weights / elastic band
- While waiting on the backstage you have to warm up and pop up your muscles, so you will need either free weights or elastic bands . Think about this item as well when planning your competition day.
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