Thanks to social media, competing and the fitness industry has just boomed! Instagram and Facebook in particular has just completely put bodybuilding and fitness modelling to an exponentially wider audience than what was ever possible before and as a result, more people want to be a part of it. All you need to do is open Instagram and you have instant access to countless images of lean, ripped tanned physiques. It is easy to see why people are enticed by the allure of bodybuilding. Everyone wants to be a part of the glamour and the perceived glory of being Insta-famous and being in top physical shape. Federations now see excess of 100 contestants per show, the majority of which being bikini girls who are new to the competition lifestyle. Realistically, anyone can compete if you pay a fee and it is open to everyone. But just because you CAN do it doesn’t necessarily mean you should. Being lean and ripped is just the tip of the iceberg, there is a whole other side to it that is not shown on Instagram. Competing for me, was a real eye opener and a fabulous experience but having experienced and endured competition prep for myself I can see how it would not be for everyone.
Here are my top 4 things that I have learned about competing:
A lot of people start competing because they think that having a fit body is the key to happiness. “If I can look this this, then I will be happy”. They see the Instagram pictures and the thousands of likes. But you know what? As a bodybuilder, you will NEVER be happy with the way you look. Bodybuilding is a self-development sport and constantly working on improving your physique. Every bodybuilder has dysmorphia to some degree. You will always want to be bigger, leaner, have bigger legs or better abs. Bodybuilding is about what you do daily, not just following a plan for 12 weeks. Once you step off the stage you need to think about how you can improve yourself, what you can do better next show, then train and diet according to your new goals. Your ability to live a ‘normal’ life will change, especially your attitude towards food. You will be that person at parties worrying about how many calories are in those snacks wanting to make an early exit because you don’t drink any more. You will always be thinking about training and making your life work around it. You will cease to exist as a regular gym noob who just goes to for general fitness and evolve into a gym rat.
I cannot stress the importance of finding a coach. It took me several attempts to finally find a coach who I could trust, and as a competitor, you will probably bounce through a few different coaches yourself as your goals change. And that is fine. But please for the love of god, please make sure you do your research and find a proper coach. They can be expensive but finding a coach who is compatible with you, gives a damn about you, is honest with you and is genuine is worth their weight in gold.
A coach who is experienced and knows their stuff could help take your body and potentially your bodybuilding career to the next level. On the flipside, having the wrong coach can do a lot of damage mentally and physically. It seems like anyone who does well in a competition starts charging people for meal plans and these people are a dime a dozen. Don’t fall into the trap of being prepped by someone who doesn’t know what they are doing. Anyone can provide a cookie cutter routine and rip you off so it is important to find a coach with a proven track record. Just because you have competed, it doesn’t make you a coach!
Your coach also needs to be contactable, supportive, honest and committed to you. It isn’t enough to type up a meal plan and leave you to your own devices. Your coach needs to be responsive to your feedback, your questions and adjust your plan as needed to ensure you are getting results.
Dieting and coaching aside, you also need to establish what federation and category you are going to be competing in. Each individual federation has different criteria that they want their athletes to meet. For example, a WBFF fitness competitor will looks different to an IFBB Fitness Competitor. It is important to identify what body type you have, work with it and use that to determine which federation and category works best with you. For example, if you naturally build muscle easily and have a great V-Shape, you may want to consider Figure, or if you have a more petite, slender frame then bikini may be for you. Don’t choose a division because you like the posing better because you will be wasting your time.
You also need to know the rules of each federation. It would be a huge shame to go through the process of comp prep and look absolutely amazing only to be marked down on the day due to wearing the incorrect bikini or the wrong shoes! Each federation will have the rules clearly stated on their website so make sure you are aware of what you are getting yourself into.
I have touched a lot on competition prep and what goes INTO a competition. It’s not just a physical feat but also psychological! Once the show is over, the journey continues. Comp Prep is intense and is so demanding of your time and energy that once it is all over, it is easy to feel lost in the weeks post show and it can be a bit depressing. For this reason, it is important to have your coach provide you with a reverse diet, and then touch base with you to discuss what is next and keep you focussed and motivated. Are you going to prep for another show? Are you going to take a bit of a break? How are you going to tackle the off season? It is important to have these goals in mind not only keep you ticking mentally, but also to keep you from blowing out. Gaining a little weight post-comp is quite normal because the deadline of your next competition date seems so far away, so you relax your attitude a bit towards food and start sneaking in a few treats in your trolley, and it’s totally cool because, gains. But if you start binging, hit the donuts and sit on your butt you will gain weight very quickly and potentially cause some metabolic issues which can take AGES to fix. So you need to always be mindful of what you are eating. The days of eating like a normal person are long gone.
Speaking of weight gain, the other thing that I learned coming out of a competition is that YOU WILL FEEL FAT. Yep. This part was true for me. Even though I didn’t blow out, I still have some vascularity and a bit of ab definition, I feel like a blimp! Even though I know that is is not healthy or realistic to be comp lean all year round, once you are in that peak physical condition and knowing the hard work that went into getting you to that state, it is difficult to let it go and watch your delt separation slowly disappear. I was itching to keep myself as lean as possible. Although I love having a bit more flexibility in my diet, it is a double-edged sword because I feel guilty afterwards, not to mention the feeling of being ‘fat’ and bloated! I am constantly at war with my thoughts, flipping between: ‘It’s okay, you’re making gains! You need them to get stronger and bigger.’ and ‘Should have calmed down on that bowl of ice-cream you had, better do some cardio’.
If you have struggled with an eating disorder or anxiety in the past I would 100 percent recommend that you seriously consider whether competing is for you because I felt as a previous anorexic/bulimic that the same self-sabotaging mental patterns were beginning to re-emerge. Luckily I could snap myself out of it pretty quickly but it does re-enforce the importance of finding the right coach because you need someone who is going to keep you accountable and help to pull your head in after the show and not just before!
The harsh reality is that losing or not placing is going to happen for the vast majority of competitors, at least not for a few shows. Winning your first show is rare, it does happen for a few freaks of nature, but walking away without placing for most first timers is going to be a given. It is important to know that comp prep each time is a fine-tuning process. For most, it takes a few shows to get experience under your belt, fine tune your training approach and work on your stage presence. It is good to have a healthy, winning and competitive attitude and I believe that you do have to go into a show with a competitive spirit wanting to win-- but you need to be realistic. You are not going to win every show. You might compete in a couple of shows and do well in one show and then not place in the next. You just have to take it in your stride and use the feedback constructively. That is just how the cookie crumbles. Going into a show with the expectation of winning and having high expectations on yourself can be devastating when you don’t get the results you wanted.
When competed, I knew I wasn’t going to win BUT I knew that this was just my starting point. I was happy to just be there, in my mind that was already a huge achievement. I worked extremely hard to get there and I competed against the best of the best. I competed purely for me and I knew before I even stepped foot on stage what I needed to work on. Now that I feel like I have some experience behind me I am motivated to do better next time. I trained for SEVEN years before I even set foot on a stage so having a plastic trophy to me was not the most important thing. Don’t get me wrong, it would have been amazing to win but I know that competing is a journey and it is about improving and getting better every show and working on my weaknesses. I didn’t blame my coach, I didn’t blame the judges. I took it in my stride to improve and reflect so next time I compete, I nail it!
5)Instagram is NOT real
Lastly, I feel this important to touch on—Instagram is NOT real. The photos of fitness models all tanned and ripped in a tiny bikini shows 1% of what goes into a competition. That photo was taken when the model was stage lean, with a thick layer of dark tan and loads of make-up, and then the images are photoshopped or heavily filtered. What you see is essentially the ‘highlight reel’. Fitness models don’t share images of themselves with no make-up doing regular things because let’s be honest, those photos don’t get likes!
There are only an extremely small handful of fitness and bikini models who can quit their day job to focus on fitness modelling full time. The rest are just normal people just like us who work regular jobs and compete as a full-time hobby. Competing is very expensive with little to no return on your investment so most fitness models can’t afford to drop their day job until they reach ‘Lauren Simpson’ levels of Insta-fame. They don’t walk around ripped 365 days a year with a face full of make- up and they look very different in real life compared to stage day.
Instagram also takes up a LOT of time! Coming up with nice images and interesting content to keep people interested and stand out from the rest of the crowd is time consuming. Do you have the time to take multiple photos of yourself and your supplement stack, as well as make sure your make up/hair/shadowing/angle is on point? I personally prefer to take less glamourous shots…I am a firm believer in being realistic and relatable. I can’t identify with the typical Instagram fitness model and I feel so silly uploading pictures of my butt cheeks in Calvin Klein pulled up to my belly button. It’s just not my style.
That was quite a yarn! To sum up, competing and prep requires making it your lifestyle which requires full time dieting and training consistently and committing yourself physically, mentally and financially. Goodbye expendable income and goodbye social life! Is it worth putting yourself, friends and family through all of that just to achieve your 15 minutes of fame? Ask yourself-- Do you want to compete because you genuinely love the lifestyle and constantly improving yourself? Do you want to compete to tick something off a bucket list? To achieve a certain status? What is your WHY! If you do truly love bodybuilding and you think about it everyday, then ignore the naysayers and go for gold. But if it’s just something you wouldn’t mind doing because your friend did it and it seems fun, then maybe have a re-think and consider another outlet for your fitness like a 12 Week challenge. At the end of the day, you need to LOVE it!
Dee Black xx
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Your brief size is determined by your hip measurement. Your hip measurement is to be taken on your HIGH HIP which is on your underwear line--NOT around your glutes or widest part. Take a tape measure and measure the full circumference of your hips
We want you to look and feel your absolute best on stage so please make sure you check your measurements properly. Remember to order with your stage weight in mind.
This sizing chart applies to ALL of our bikini brief and figure suit styles.
Your crotch measurement is an optional measurement you can offer when placing your order. Our pattern will fit the vast majority of sizes but you may feel free to add this measurement in your order notes if you have a c-section scar you wish to hide or if you want your bottoms to sit higher or lower than usual.
To find your crotch measurement, take your tape measure to your back and hold the end of it at the top of your underwear. Pass the tape though your legs and take note of the measurement of where you would like your suit to sit at the front. Somewhere between 35-50cm is considered normal. Please contact us if you have any troubles.
We offer 3 different brief styles, Standard, Euro and Figure suit.
Standard style briefs is our original and most popular cut. These bottoms are suitable for All bikini and fitness federations. They sit around the hips and have a butterfly shaped scrunch bottom to accentuate the glues.
The Euro Cut briefs have a V shape with a scoop front and butterfly scrunch bottoms. It is designed to sit high over the hips to give a flattering look to your midsection and create the illusion of elongated legs and smaller waist.These briefs are best suited to European competitors and federations like IFBB. Lots of ICN girls also love this look. We have noticed this style is becoming more popular with all federations.
Our figure suits come with a high V-Shape front and back. The briefs and are designed to sit high on the hips. The straps are adjustable and criss-cross on the back, which clips onto the top.They come in all our different cuts. Pro, Brazilian, Extra Cheeky and Cheeky and DO NOT have a scrunch bottom unless requested otherwise. Model wear Size 6, Brazilian Cut.
You can choose Standard Moulded, Sweetheart Moulded or Slider style tops. We do not offer Bombshell Diva cups with figure suits due to poor bust support and possible gaping from the chest.
Each of our 3 brief styles come in 4 cuts. From smallest to largest they are Pro, Brazilian, Extra Cheeky and Cheeky.
Pro Cut: If you have great glutes and want to show them off. then the 'Pro' cut is perfect for you.
Brazilian: Our most popular cut is our ‘Brazilian’ it is a great all rounder and is suitable for most federation.
Extra Cheeky: For federations that require 1/3 coverage we recommend the ‘Extra Cheeky’ cut.
Cheeky: For federations that require 50% coverage the ‘Cheeky’ cut is your best option.
We have 3 different top style to choose form. Sweetheart moulded, Slider, Bombshell diva.
Our most popular cup is the 'Sweetheart' Moulded top. These scooped bra tops have a layer of padding sewn in to help enhance and shape the bust. This style is a great all-rounder and suits competitors with natural or enhanced breasts. This top style has been popular with girls with smaller busts as it adds fullness and cleavage whilst adding curves to your look. The shape of the cup also hugs the chest, preventing gaping and provides plenty of support. For natural competitors who want to control excess skin from breastfeeding or a huge weight loss, the sweetheart cups are great as they can help stop any ‘spillage’. The shape also helps to add an extra cleavage boost, especially when extra padding is added. For competitors with implants this style is great as it moulds to in implant perfectly and sits nicely under the bust to hide any scaring from surgery.
Model wears DD Slim Coverage.
Our Slider style top is a traditional triangle bikini, they are designed to slide along a draw string. This allows for more flexibility in the size and coverage of the top. This style is suited to competitors with implants. For our smaller busted girls, this top is not the most flattering because it is not padded or moulded. Slider bikini tops come with a thin layer of padding to avoid ‘high beams’.
Model wear DD Slim Coverage
Our newest design the 'Bombshell Diva' top has one continuous underwire which peaks in the centre. This style is suited to WBFF, IFBB and other fashion focused federations. It is a deep plunging bra that creates the perfect cleavage. It is best suited to most girls with implants or a large natural bust. We do not recommend these cups if you are smaller than a natural B cup.
Model wear DD Size.
Our Latest Bikini cup the 'Diva Sweetheart' is designed to give you the European body building competition look. It looks great with natural or implant busts, it comes with inbuilt push up. If you are wanting the extreme cleavage look, we recommend sizing up and adding extra padding to your order.