Figure & Bikini Competition Checklist Countdown

Figure, Fitness & Bikini Competition Checklist

Bikini Competition Must Know Secrets!

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Congratulations on deciding to compete in bikini, fitness or figure! This competition checklist will take you step by step through what to do as you prepare for your figure or bikini competition. It takes hard work and dedication to be successful, but the sense of accomplishment you feel when you walk on stage will make it all worth it. Here is my competition checklist that should get you started on your path to a show.

Competition Checklist: 16 Weeks Out from your Show or Earlier

Take a good look at yourself in the mirror to determine if you will be able to confidently walk on stage in 4 months.  Since it can be difficult to look objectively at yourself, this is when most women sign up for my Online Figure and Bikini Training Program.

It will be helpful to have your body fat % taken along with measurements and starting photos so that you can track your progress throughout your contest prep.

  • Set realistic long and short term goals concerning your health and fitness as well as your competition plans.
  • Determine your strengths and weaknesses and build your training and nutrition plans accordingly. You may need to gain muscle, lose fat or both. Nutrition will be THE most important factor in your success on stage. Training (both weight training and cardio) will be essential, but secondary. In order to be a top competitor you must have a good nutrition plan.
  • Decide which organization you would like to compete in. Check with your organization for rules and regulations.  I recommend starting with these although there are several other reputable organization:
  • If you are competing in Fitness, find out the requirements for your routine and work on those skills if you have not mastered them.
  • Attend a local or regional show to get a better idea of how your posing should look and how a show is run.
  • Search the internet for contest photos of women that are professionals in your organization and examine their posing. Chose several photos that you feel best show each pose correctly and print those out to be used as your ‘standard’. If possible, attend a professional show and get that experience first hand.
  • Talk with other competitors in your area and setup a group of women that can offer support and possibly that would like to train for a show together.
Bikini Competition Checklist

Competition Checklist: 12 Weeks Out from your Show

  • Change your training and nutrition plans to accommodate the changes that have occurred in your physique. Are you on track?
  • Order your competition suits, competition heels and routine outfits (for fitness)
  • For Fitness, begin working on routine music and choreography while refining the required skills.
  • Update your body fat %, measurements and photos to track your progress.
  • Begin a structured program to practice your poses. Practice the mandatory poses 10 – 20 minutes two days per week in front of a mirror. Hold each pose for 10 seconds. Remember to start each pose from the feet up – make sure to keep your legs flexed.
  • Front stance 
  • Quarter turn to the right 
  • Quarter turn to the rear 
  • Quarter turn to the right

** Spend most of your time practicing on your front facing pose. This is where the judging starts and first impressions are very important.

** Start each pose from your feet up to make certain your legs are flexed.

Competition Checklist: 8 Weeks Out from your Show

  • Change your training and nutrition plans to accommodate the changes that have occurred in your physique. Are you on track? How close are you to your goal contest physique?
  • Narrow in on a quality used suit at an amazing price at Suit Trade or check with your suit maker and let them know your contest dates.
  • For Fitness, practice your routines so that you can confidently perform them in front of an audience. Continue to work on specific skills that are challenging for you.
  • Update your body fat %, measurements and photos to track your progress.
  • Take photos of yourself in each mandatory pose and compare them to the ‘standard’ photos you chose earlier. Note areas that need improving.
  • As part of your training program, end each weight lifting session with 10 minutes of posing (assuming that you are lifting 4 times per week). 5 sets of each mandatory pose held for 15 seconds will not only help with your posing, but will give you an isometric workout that improves your overall muscle definition. Continue to pose in front of a mirror at this point.
  • Begin working on your presentation poses and relaxed poses.
  • Review your posing guide/video during this time and video your practices for critic. This is when my Ultimate Posing & Contest Day Guide for Bikini or my Ultimate Posing and Contest Day Guide for Figure will be critical.
  • Send in your show registration and be sure that you are a member of the organization you plan to compete in. If not, contact your organization to become a member.

"Don’t forget to practice walking in your competition heels, even just around your home. 4-5 inch heels can take some getting used to! I vividly remember vacuuming in my heels just to get more comfortable before my first competition." IFBB Pro Julie Lohre

Competition Checklist: 4 Weeks Out from your Show

  • Change your training and nutrition plans to accommodate the changes that have occurred in your physique. Are you on track? How close are you to your goal contest physique?
  • Determine a plan for your final week before the contest.
  • Check with your suit maker to confirm your contest dates and suit delivery.
  • For Fitness, practice your routine in full costume as needed so that you can confidently perform them in front of an audience. Continue to work on specific skills that are challenging for you. Be careful during this time as you are more prone to injuries when dieted down and tired from your overall prep.
  • Update your body fat %, measurements and photos to track your progress.
  • Now that you are feeling confident in your posing, it is time to work yourself away from the mirror. During your posing practice stand as you normally would in front of a mirror. Close your eyes and hit your front pose. Once you feel you have the pose correct, open your eyes and see how close you have come. Do this for each pose.
  • Have a mock competition or dress rehearsal with other local competitors to gain confidence and become accustom to posing in front of others. If that is not possible, gather your family or friends and practice in front of them. 
  • Revisit your initial photos and see the progress you have made. If necessary, modify your posing to adjust to the changes you have made in your physique. You want to accent your strengths and minimize your weaknesses.
  • Pose, Pose, Pose! Posing is the most neglected area of pre-contest preparation. How ironic! Physique Competitions are posing! In 10 years of competing, no figure judge has ever asked what my bodyfat percentage is or me how much I can lift.
  • Determine what you would like to use for makeup on show day and for tanning. I highly recommend having both professionally done by  GLOSSA MAKEUP & Jan Tana
Figure Competition Checklist

Competition Checklist: 1 Week Out from your Show

  • Follow your modified final week weight training and cardio so that you come into your show fully recovered from any training and in peak physical condition.  Do not do anything drastic during this week!  A good competition coach will NOT compromise your health with crazy final week directions!
  • Follow your final week nutrition plan so that you lose extra water and show as much muscle definition as possible.
  • Exfoliate your skin in preparation for your tan. Check out my contest tanning information in the contest prep area of this site.
  • Pack everything you will need for the show along with a cooler for food on the day of your show.
  • Contact the show promoter to double check meeting times and locations so that you are prepared!
  • Show up to check-in and the competitors meeting early and prepared.
  • Walk on stage confident that you have done everything possible to get into the best shape of your life.
  • Have your Free Fitness Photo Shoot and enjoy the experience!

Need some help through this process to figure or bikini stage?

Bikini Competition Coach