NPC Bikini Competition; Steps to Take if You Want to Compete!

Many of you know I just competed in my third NPC Bikini Competition, the NPC Terminator on Saturday, July 14th, 2018 down in Tucson.
Never in my life would I have thought I would compete in a bikini competition, let alone 3! It has quickly turned into my passion, and motivates me beyond belief to do better and push myself harder than every before!! This prep I coached myself and learned a whole lot about what to do and not do while prepping for a show. I did not place unfortunately, but it just makes me want to be that much better the next time around! I’m going to focus on growing and enjoying life the next few months, and I’m planning on returning to the stage again some time early next year.
Since competing last November, I have had so many girls ask me about the steps it takes to start competing. I wanted to write this blog post to give you some sort of direction to go when considering competing for the first time! I was nice enough to find friends who competed that helped me learn all the steps to successfully begin a prep, so I just want to help anyone considering doing it.
Here are the things I recommend doing in order to compete in a bikini show.
It took me over a year to be mentally prepared to even begin thinking about competing in a bikini show. In 2016, I found myself on Instagram constantly comparing myself to bikini athletes, thinking “I could NEVER do this! I don’t look like them! I could never look like them/have abs like them/etc!”
One day, I finally realized how negative I was being about myself, so I shifted my mindset and started saying “Yes, I am going to do this!” I immediately unfollowed anyone who made me compare myself to them, or anyone that made me think down on myself. It wasn’t them at all, it was ME. I needed to stop looking at people who made me feel insecure about myself. I needed to stop comparing my body to theirs, and the best way I could find to do that was to stop looking at them. Once I did this, I stopped worrying about what other Instagram competitors looked like, and started focusing on my own body and own needs. For some reason, once my mind was less occupied with other people’s beauty, I was able to fully focus on reaching my body’s goals.
There are so many different bikini and bodybuilding federations out there; the OCB, NPC, IFBB, WFBB, and so on and so on. I started researching the different federations by watching Youtube videos about various types of shows.
OCB, for example, is a natural bodybuilding contest where athletes have to take drug tests to ensure they are not on steroids or other enhancing drugs. WFBB reminds me more of Victoria Secret fashion shows with extremely beautiful fitness women! 
NPC is the National Physique Committee for amateur athletes, and this organization is pretty well-known.
Once I did research on the various types of organizations, I decided on competing in NPC because I like the style of the shows, and they are pretty common in Arizona.
You have to find what style works best for you, and once you do that, then…
Find a show date that can work with you! If you are in pretty good shape, a show 12-15 weeks away might be the best choice.
If you have a bigger weight loss goal to achieve, then deciding on a show 6-12 months out might be a better choice.
Timing of a show also highly depends of the time in your life and how flexible you can be. If you know you’re going to be busy at work or travelling the world, then a competition is probably not a good idea. For me, I look at what I have planned those 12-16 weeks, and if I can manage a strict prep lifestyle without having to cheat, then I commit. Timing is everything, so make sure you’re completely able to submerge yourself into a prep lifestyle without being too stressed about other events coming up in your life.
Hiring a coach is super important, especially if it’s your first bikini prep. Even as a personal trainer, I wanted to hire a coach for my first prep because I was not familiar with the style of training or nutrition requirements that these types of shows require.
You can find a coach by searching the internet, on Instagram, or by asking other competitors who coaches them. For me, I asked my friend Ariel who she used and why she recommended him. She sent me his Instagram information, and I really loved his style of Online Coaching for my 13 week bikini prep.
It is important for you to decide whether or not you want an in-person or online coach, or someone who even does both! For me, I knew I wanted an online trainer because I am a personal trainer and can push myself in the gym, but I just wanted structured workouts/nutrition guidance. If you are new to the gym, it might be best for you to hire an in-person prep coach so they can guide you through the entire process in person.
Bikini competitions are all about the presentation! You have to buy or rent a sparkly suit, wear clear high heels, and purchase jewelry that accentuates everything.  Suits can be pretty pricey, usually $300-$900, but there are also resale sites like Poshmark that girls sell theirs on as a cheaper alternative. Heels you can get off amazon, these are the ones I have: heels
Jewelry I usually get at Charming Charlie and spent around $80. Again, you can always find cheaper or more expensive alternatives, it’s all about what fits into your competition budget.
6. PRACTICE POSING!!!!! Posing is so important in this sport, so much so that you can lose to somebody who has a worse physique than you do simply because their posing is way better.
7. UNDERSTAND IT’S A “SELFISH” SPORT. Competing can take a toll on relationships, as you can get selfish during the 12-16 week prep. Luckily for me, my husband understands and supports this lifestyle. My mindset shifts from worrying about what “we’re” going to eat, to only caring about what I can eat; basically he fends for himself during the prep days. Social events no longer are a priority, and you might tend to isolate yourself unintentionally. When you’re trying to become the best version of yourself, it becomes a priority to make sure you’re doing the best you can. In turn, this can come across as being selfish. The way I look at it though is this is only a temporary time in your life, so I embrace self-care and cherish the times I’m working on myself to this degree. It’s honestly a period in my life where I’ve learned to embrace and enjoy my own independence.
Once you’ve found a coach, registered for a show and set the date, and have decided on a Day 1 for prep to start, fully commit! Don’t go into it thinking it’s going to be easy. Don’t go into it thinking you can have “just one or two cheat days.” Go into it giving it your all and not wanting to ever cheat. Go into it with full intentions of being the best version of you there ever will be. Go into it with full dedication. I can’t say this enough. I’ve met girls who’ve started a prep and never made it to stage because on Day 1 they knew they weren’t ready to commit. It’s not worth your time if you secretly know you’re not ready to commit 100% to going through with prep.
These are just a few of my top tips for becoming a bikini competitor. There is much, much more to this, but I just wanted to give you an overview of what to expect and where to start. I hope this was helpful for those of you who are curious about competing. Please let me know if there are any more questions that you’d like answered! Thanks for reading and best of luck if you do decide to compete!!!

Welcome! I’m Jess Hutchens. This is my fitness, nutrition, and mindset blog where you will find tips for lifelong wellness success!



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