Kathryn Fauver trains with Online Fitness Coach Julie Lohre

Kathryn Fauver

Bikini Exercises That Took Me from a First Time Competitor to a Natural Bikini Pro!

Bikini Exercises for Bikini Body
The road from being a first time competitor to becoming a natural bikini pro is a tough one!  It takes a ton of hard work and dedication balancing the right bikini exercises with proper nutrition and diet.  When Kathryn Fauver, an Emergency Room RN from Ohio, set her sights on her first bikini competition, she knew it would be a challenge, but in the end she not only became a Bikini Pro, but also the cover model of the FITBODY 360 Magazine.  Check out her journey and the bikini exercises that helped make this goal a reality!

Tell Us About Your Journey From a First Time Competitor To a Natural Bikini Pro & The Bikini Exercises That Helped Get You There!

Bikini Exercises with Bikini Pro
Bikini Pro Exercises

Hi!  I am Kathryn Fauver.  Looking back to my childhood, I was never very active when it came to sports and hobbies. I remember dabbling in dance, gymnastics, track, cheerleading, but nothing stuck. Having a mother that worked full-time, went to school, and had three children to raise (with one being a Juvenile Diabetic), there wasn’t always time for the healthiest at-home prepared meals. I used my drive and ambition towards other things like school, work, and career goals, never making time for my physical health.

I remember being twenty-two years old and realizing that living healthy through exercise and diet is a lifestyle. I realized that if I didn’t start forming good habits to facilitate that lifestyle change it would become more and more difficult as time went on.

When I was twenty three, I was asked by a good friend to train for a half-marathon. By this time I had began to take the right steps with incorporating exercise in my life through joining a gym, taking classes, etc., but had never taken on a commitment to train for something before. I had a lot of self-doubt and never thought I would be able to accomplish running 13.1 miles. Even though I was hesitant to commit, I decided to take the plunge and see what I was capable of. That summer I faithfully trained for my first race and completed it the following October. That’s all it took. I became hooked to this new “lifestyle”. The feeling that I would get from accomplishing goals that I had made for myself with training runs and races was pretty amazing.

Within a year of my first half marathon, I completed several other long-distance races including my first full-marathon. I began paying more attention to what I was eating, and started to inspire family and friends around me with my healthier choices.

It was around this time that I began seeing pictures from a high-school friend’s bikini competitions. I thought to myself “I would love to look like that”. The pictures sparked my interest to do further investigating of the sport and learn what it was all about along with the bikini exercises I would need to do. I knew I was far from where I needed to be to step on stage, but I also knew that I wanted to compete so bad that I couldn’t let that stop me. Thankfully I worked up the courage to contact Fitness Pro and Bikini Contest Prep coach, Julie Lohre which ended up being the first step to an amazing journey.

I began training with Julie Lohre in October.  At first, I was not sure which division would be best for me, Figure or Bikini.  After running through a few of the poses for both figure and bikini, we decided that bikini would be the best fit for me.  Julie had my new nutrition and training programs to me in no time, and I was ready to roll.

"Being physically fit and healthy has helped to me to set good examples for those around me and has allowed me to help inspire and push others to have the motivation to work hard and never give up on their goals." 
Kathryn Fauver - Natural Bikini Pro
Bikini Exercises from Natural Pro

Tell Us About Your Bikini Transformation!

When I first contacted Julie Lohre I was around 21-22% body fat! In the first 4 months of working in Julie' FITBODY 360 Contest Prep Training, I was able to cut the number in half  and achieve an 11% bodyfat.

What’s been pretty awesome is being able to stay within 5 pounds of my stage weight even in the off season, using the tools that Julie has given me!  

It has been relatively easy for me to eat healthy because I really enjoy the food that I am eating. I always love getting my nutrition plans from Julie Lohre because I can look forward to her incorporating favorites/foods that she knows that I love!

What Helped You The Most On Your Way To Becoming a Bikini Pro?

Preparing all of my meals ahead of time is key when in Bikini contest prep, but I’ve also found that it really helps me stay off track and help my with my goals during off-season as well. Preparing meals and eating health has become more of a lifestyle change instead of just a “diet” for a contest. I usually designate a day each week to prepare all of my meat, etc. Being an ER nurse, my schedule is always hectic and I’m often very busy while at work. Having all of my meals prepared and packed ahead of time allows me to stay on track throughout the day.

"After a year and a half of consistent hard work, I am so excited to earn my IFPA Pro Card in Bikini as a natural bikini competitor!" 
Kathryn Fauver - Natural Bikini Pro

How Was Your Experience Working With Julie Lohre As Your Bikini Competition Coach?

Julie Lohre is a wonderful bikini coach. She is always so encouraging and motivating. Working with Julie Lohre has made my experience for preparing for my bikini competition so fun.  She always puts my long term health first.  I am very thankful that I’ve gotten to work with her!   Through out my bikini prep, Julie changes my training and nutrition frequently on how I am progressing with my goals.  She kept close track of my progress with our check ins and always took my feedback into account.  I felt like she really listened to me and whether I was preparing for a show or not, I knew Julie would steer me in the right direction both with bikini exercises and nutrition specific for my goals.

I learned in my very first show how important presentation is while on stage. When I was first learning to pose, I was not very confident in myself and could feel myself being uptight. I continually watched videos of other competitors posing to help me get ideas for how to display that confidence and present the physique that I had worked so hard for! Julie would give me detailed feedback on my posing which really helped highlight my physique in a good light.

Now when I go on stage, I have the biggest smile on my face. I cannot wait to show the judges how the bikini exercises and all of my hard work have paid off. I didn’t realize how important presentation was, until my first show. After working hard for weeks and weeks, this is your time to really show what you have accomplished. From your tan and suit- to hair and make-up, it’s not something to take lightly. I began looking at suits a few months before my first show, and practiced hair and make-up several times before the big day. The day of the show you don’t want to be stressed trying to figure out how your hair will look best, etc. You want to have all of that lined up so that on show day, you can kick back and relax with everything ready to go!

Best Bikini Exercises

Bikini Exercises | Favorite Exercises for a Bikini Body

"My favorite body parts to train are glutes, abs, and shoulders.  I have worked incredibly hard to build roundness in my glutes! Most recently been incorporating cardio in-between supersets during my workouts, which I really like. I still love to run, so I chose sprint intervals if I am trying to get in a higher intensity cardio workout. I also run for longer periods for more moderate intensity."

Kathryn Fauver - Natural Bikini Pro

As Kathryn found out, getting started in bikini competitions requires not just determination, but a targeted approach to fitness that hones in on sculpting the perfect blend of muscle tone and definition. For many women aspiring to step onto the stage, finding the right balance between building strength and achieving that coveted aesthetic can be a journey filled with trial and error. This is where I step in.  As an IFBB Pro and Bikini Competition Coach, I have 20 years experience guiding women through the right bikini exercises whether they want to get on stage, or simply look like a fitness model.

Below, I will be focusing on some of my personal favorite exercises designed specifically to tighten and define those key areas: legs, shoulders (or delts), and abs. These are the pillars that not only support a powerful physique but also highlight the elegance and poise needed to shine in a bikini competition.

These bikini exercises are tailored to push you towards your goals. I understand the unique demands of bikini competitions and how every detail counts on stage. That's why I have selected exercises that not only target muscle growth and definition but also ensure balance and symmetry—crucial elements in the judges' eyes.

Bikini Exercises | Lift Off Lunge

Bikini Exercise Lift Off Lunge
Bikini Exercise Lift Off Lunge 1
Bikini Exercise Lift Off Lunge

The Lift Off Lunge stands out as one of my fav bikini exercise for women that want to sculpt a bikini competition-worthy physique, particularly because of its ability to target and tone the lower body—glutes, hamstrings, and quads—while simultaneously engaging the core, shaping the delts, and improving balance. This multifaceted exercise not only helps in building lean muscle mass but also enhances posture and stability, which are crucial for presenting oneself on the bikini competition stage. As a dynamic bikini exercise, it elevates the heart rate, contributing to fat loss, which is essential for accentuating muscle definition. Few bikini exercises pack as much bang for your buck as the lift off lunge.  This holistic approach ensures that every stride taken on stage is a showcase of strength, poise, and the hard work put in behind the scenes.

Performing the Lift Off Lunge begins with standing tall, feet shoulder-width apart. Take a step back with one foot, lowering into a reverse lunge until both knees form 90-degree angles. Bring your arms to a goal post position, holding a dumbbell in each.  The front thigh should be parallel to the ground, with the back knee hovering just above.

Engage your core and push through the heel of your front foot, bringing your back leg forward and up as you return to standing, lifting the knee towards your chest and pressing the dumbbells straight overhead. For added challenge and to maximize stability and core engagement, add a brief pause at the top with the knee raised before stepping back into the lunge position.

Repeat this movement for a set number of repetitions before switching legs. This bikini exercise truly engages the whole body.

Bikini Exercises | Banded Squat Lateral Leg Lift

Bikini Exercise Banded Squat Lateral Leg Lift
Bikini Exercise Banded Squat Lateral Leg Lift 2
Bikini Exercise Banded Squat Lateral Leg Lift

The Banded Squat Lateral Leg Lift is a dynamic exercise that serves as a powerhouse movement for those sculpting their bodies for bikini competitions. By integrating the classic squat with a lateral leg lift, this exercise targets a wide array of muscle groups, including the glutes, quads, and abductors, while also calling upon the core for stabilization. What sets this bikini exercise apart, especially for aspiring bikini competitors, is its efficiency in sculpting the lower body, offering a toned and balanced appearance. The addition of the resistance band not only intensifies the workout, ensuring those muscles are under constant tension but also promotes muscle strength and endurance—key components for achieving that standout bikini body. The lateral leg lift adds an essential lateral movement, which helps in sculpting the outer thighs and glutes, areas that greatly enhance the aesthetics of a bikini competitor's physique.

To perform the Banded Squat Lateral Leg Lift, begin by placing a resistance band around your ankles. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, ensuring the band is tight enough to provide resistance even in this starting position. Lower into a squat, keeping your back straight and chest up, as if sitting back into a chair. Ensure your knees do not go over your toes and your thighs are parallel to the ground. As you stand up from the squat, shift your weight slightly to one leg and lift the other leg out to the side, keeping it straight. This lateral leg lift should challenge your balance and the resistance offered by the band. Return the lifted leg to the starting position and squat again before repeating the leg lift on the opposite side. This combination not only maximizes the engagement of the lower body muscles but also enhances core stability and balance, making it an invaluable addition to the training regimen of anyone preparing for the bikini competition stage.

Bikini Exercises | Side Step Squat

Bikini Exercise Side Step Squat
Bikini Exercise Side Step Squat

The Side Step Squat is a bikini exercise that I include frequently for women trying to sculpt a competition-ready bikini body. This movement uniquely combines the traditional squat with a lateral stepping motion, effectively targeting the glutes, quads, and inner and outer thighs. What makes the Side Step Squat particularly beneficial for bikini competitors is its focus on enhancing lateral movement and stability, which contributes to a more comprehensive lower body workout. This bikini exercise not only promotes muscle symmetry and balance—a critical aspect in the aesthetics of a bikini competitor's physique—but also boosts agility and functional strength, essential for performing a variety of activities both on and off the stage.

To execute the Side Step Squat, start by standing with your feet together and a resistance band placed around your ankles. if you're looking to increase the challenge, you can also hold a dumbbell in each hand. Begin the movement lowering into a squat position.  While holding that squat, step your right foot out to the side then bring the left to meet it moving yourself across the floor. You can either take several steps in one direction before turning around, or you can alternate stepping right, then left depending on the space you have available.

This bikini exercise not only works the primary muscle groups of the lower body but also engages the core throughout the movement, providing a well-rounded workout.

Bikini Exercises | Curtsey Squat Oblique Crunch

Curtsey Squat Oblique Crunch Bikini Exercise
Curtsey Squat Oblique Crunch Bikini Exercise

The Curtsey Squat Oblique Crunch is a compelling and multifaceted exercise tailored for those carving out their path to a bikini competition. This distinctive movement blends the lower body engagement of a curtsey squat with the core activation of an oblique crunch, making it a good choice for women looking to balance their physique. Its real charm lies in the dual focus: targeting the glutes, quads, and inner thighs through the squat, while simultaneously chiseling the oblique muscles with the crunch. I like that this bikini exercise not only aids in crafting a toned, balanced lower body but also emphasizes the waistline, creating that coveted hourglass figure that shines on the bikini stage. The integration of balance and flexibility required for this exercise also enhances overall body control and posture, vital for presenting oneself with confidence and grace during competition.

To perform the Curtsey Squat Oblique Crunch, begin by standing with your feet hip-width apart. Move one foot behind you diagonally, as if performing a curtsey, and lower into a squat, keeping your front knee aligned with your toes to protect the joints. As you rise from the squat, shift your weight to the standing leg and bring the rear knee up to perform an oblique crunch, aiming to meet your elbow and knee or perform a side crunch motion targeting the obliques. This motion should be fluid, engaging the core to maintain balance and stability. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side, ensuring that each movement is deliberate to maximize muscle engagement and effectiveness. Incorporating the Curtsey Squat Oblique Crunch into a bikini competitor’s regimen promises not just aesthetic benefits but also functional improvements, setting the stage for a strong, poised, and competition-ready physique.

Bikini Exercises | Banded Glute Kickback

Bikini Exercise Glute Kickback
Bikini Exercise Glute Kickback 2

The Glute Kickback is a bikini exercise that is all about isolating and strengthen the gluteal muscles, which contributes to a lifted, firm, and sculpted rear view crucial for competition aesthetics.  Good for anyone focused on sculpting a bikini competition-worthy physique, particularly because of its targeted impact on the glutes—the centerpiece of a well-rounded bikini body. Beyond its aesthetic benefits, the Glute Kickback also enhances posterior chain strength, which is fundamental for improving overall athletic performance, posture, and reducing the risk of injury. Its straightforward execution allows for various modifications and intensities, making it a versatile addition to any training program, from beginners to seasoned competitors.

To perform the Standing Glute Kickback effectively, begin standing with your feet next to one another and hips slightly rolled under or tucked.  Bring one foot back to a point behind the other.  Utilizing the glute muscles to lift the back foot up slowly as you engage your core to stabilize your torso throughout the movement.  Do not allow your upper body to lean forward and stop elevating your leg when you feel the upper body tilting.  This controlled movement maximizes muscle engagement and allows for a focus on form and precision, which is vital for achieving the best results.

Bikini Exercises | Hill Sprints & Interval Cardio

Cardio for Bikini Exercise

While strength training is really important, I would be remiss if I did not address the role of cardio as part of your bikini exercise program.  Cardiovascular exercises, particularly hill sprints and interval training, are really importance for women aiming to achieve the fitness model look, especially when preparing for bikini competitions. These high-intensity workouts are unmatched in their ability to sculpt a lean, defined physique, largely due to their profound impact on fat loss and muscle definition. Hill sprints, with their natural resistance and incline, challenge the body in a way that not only boosts overall stamina and endurance but also targets the lower body muscles—glutes, quads, and hamstrings—intensifying their sculpting effects. Interval training, on the other hand, capitalizes on periods of intense effort followed by brief recovery, a cycle that has been shown to significantly increase metabolic rate and, consequently, fat burning, long after the workout is completed.

The beauty of incorporating cardio like hill sprints and interval training into a fitness regimen lies in their efficiency; they yield remarkable results in both physique aesthetics and cardiovascular health within a relatively short time frame. These workouts encourage the body to burn fat while preserving muscle mass, leading to that coveted lean and toned appearance that is essential for a fitness model look. Moreover, the versatility of interval training allows for a variety of exercises to be included, making it adaptable to individual preferences and goals. While I do not want to over do cardio and burn muscle, regularly engaging in these cardiovascular exercises not only aids in achieving the fitness model silhouette but also enhances functional fitness, enabling women to perform better, whether on the competition stage or in daily activities. For aspiring fitness models and bikini competitors, hill sprints and interval training are not just a strategy for physical preparation; they are a cornerstone for building the endurance, strength, and resilience needed to excel and captivate.

Kathryn's Insights... 112 lbs versus 125 lbs
Don't Be Afraid To See The Scale Go Up!

Muscle Weights More Than Fat

"Before anyone has a mini heart-attack judging this picture- just hold on a minute and read what I have to say. There are too many women and men out there who have put themselves through the same mental crap that I have over body image not to share this...⁠

I did the same exact thing before I took the time to seek guidance and education about exercise and nutrition. There are over 4 years between these two photos, and the only thing I'd want from the left is my tan... ⁠

It took me that long to change more than just aesthetics. It took me that long to stop trying to half-ass my way to getting to a healthier lifestyle. It took me being blunt with myself and not allowing any excuses when I knew I knew better. ⁠

I think most women want to look in a mirror and feel confident and sexy- which are not only portrayed in physical attributes by the way. More than me liking how I look right now, I love how I feel. I like how much stronger I am now in multiple aspects of the word. My discipline, dedication, determination, physical strength, will-power, and knowledge. I'm still working everyday to finding a balance between my love for chocolate and pizza and having abs. Both aren't realistic all of the time. It's a lifestyle. Cliche statement I know. But it is. It's one I've grown to love. And honestly one of the biggest benefits has been to help guide others when they need help, because everyone deserves to feel their best! ⁠

People always say "I can't" do this or that.. YES you can. You actually truly 100% can. I place a lot of emphasis on fitness NOT because it is more important than anything else in your life. It's not. But when you are physically healthy and happy- it transcends into all aspects of your life - and I believe - helps you cope through the day to day crap much easier. Just some food for thought 😉

Are you ready to take your fitness to a whole new level like Kathryn Fauver did?

Results speak for themselves…

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