You see your body making changes and you say to yourself (and only to yourself until you investigate it a little more), ‘I think I wanna do a competition’. So you get on the internet and Google everything under the sun about figure/bikini competitions. You look for motivating photos of Pros and/or Fitness Models, capturing their photos and making them your background photo on your computer. Or you print pictures of amazing physiques and tape them to your fridge to deter you from eating that pint of ice cream sitting in the freezer. Dam you ice cream!!!!
And so weeks have gone by and you finally threw out the ice cream and really made a decision to go for it, to get on stage. Why the hell not? You’ve worked hard and you want to show the world what hard work looks like. Once the decision is made to compete, you have a choice to do it all on your own or seek out professional assistance to make the transition from the gym to the stage easier. Of course, hiring a group of professionals cost money and you don’t realize how much everything costs until you are in the middle of your show prep and by then, you don’t wanna jump ship because that would be quitting and you’re not a quitter!
Competing in any sport is expensive and this sport is no different. I decided to put a list together and this is not all inclusive but it will give you an idea of what to expect.
Certified Professional Trainer – budget:$50-100/hr It’s always a plus when the trainer has worked with competitors in the past. They know what areas of your physique will need work based on what you’re body looks like and what category you’re competing in. You may not push yourself as hard as a trainer would so hiring a trainer is always a benefit. Some trainers are also certified to do nutrition so you get more bang for your buck when you find one that can manage both aspects of your training. Your eating becomes 90% of the results you want in order to get on that stage. Some trainers offer 30 minute sessions as well and that will cut the cost of your expense, always good to ask during the consultation. If you are serious about competing, start researching trainers in your area and meet with them for a consultation to see if they are a good fit for you and what you’re trying to do. If this is your first show, it’s always a good idea to start training at least 12-16 wks out from a show.
Nutritionist – budget: $1000-1200 (based on a 3 month period) I never had to hire a Nutritionist only because my trainer is qualified to do weight management but I did reach out to one particular Nutritionist that was known for working with natural athletes. He was not cheap but his rate included contest prep (this means his nutritional plans would take me all the way to the day of the show). Remember, ninety percent of your results comes from what you’re eating and how much you’re eating. If you are highly motivated to get to the gym and know what you’re doing, then this might be the route you should take. It’s best to give the nutritionist and/or trainer more than 6 wks to prep you for a show. Your food plan should individualized for you versus a generic menu that’s given to all their competitive clients.
Posing Coach – budget: $50-100/session, session times vary with coaches and are usually 30 min, 45 min, or an hour depending on the coach you work with. The posing coach pulls it all together in terms of your total presentation package. She will assist you on shoes, suits, hair, makeup, tanning, jewelry, and of course the posing. Recommendations on presentation (shoes, suits, hair, makeup, etc) will be made to you based on your budget. The posing is another beast all together and a good posing coach will teach you basic and advanced poses for the stage, your stage walk, and your transitions so you will look polished and professional on and off the stage. Best time to start working with a posing coach is 8-10 wks out from the show. Think of her as your event planner and stylist all in one. She will make sure you are prepped 100%.
Figure/Bikini Suits – budget: $150-1000 Now this is where it gets expensive. It used to be bikini suits were less expensive than figure suits but it seems the bikini suits are getting more and more expensive. I have found the simple suits look the best on stage and if you can find a local designer in your city, this is an added plus. The more ‘bling’ you have on your suit, the more it will cost. At the end of the day, it’s not the suit that will get you noticed, it’s your physique. I could go on and on about the do’s and don’t’s of suit choices but that will have to be saved for another blog, don’t want to get off this subject of ‘budgeting’!
Theme wear/Sports wear – budget: yikes, now this really varies because it depends on how elaborate your costume will be. Some organizations have a theme wear/sports wear round to see how your physique looks wearing a different style of clothing. Check with local seamstresses to get a quote on how much your outfit will cost. Custom made theme wear can range $150-300, store bought costumes can range from $50-150. Although purchasing your theme wear is a great money saver but you run the risk of having another competitor wear the same outfit.
Shoes – budget: $45-100 Typically, your competition shoe will cost around $45 and can be purchased at any local lingerie shop or online. The difference between the $45 and $100 shoe is where it was made, your pricier show will be made in the USA. You can even rent shoes which normally cost $5-10/rental.
Food – budget: $100-150/week This will vary with each person but think about it…you’re probably saving money from NOT EATING OUT FOR AT LEAST 16 WEEKS.
Supplements – budget: $100-200/month This varies with each person and each program should be tailored but this is based on general health, muscle recovery, and fat burner supplements.
Entry fee & membership fee – budget: $100-200/show Every organization will have a yearly membership fee and separate entry fee. If you compete in two different categories, you pay an additional entry fee for each category.
Spray tan – budget: $20-30 do-it-yourself product, $80-150 professional spray tan at the venue Most shows have an official spray tan company that will spray tan your body and will be back stage assisting you with glazing and tacking your suit so it does not ride up the butt. These professional services tend to be on the pricier side and typically give you 2-3 coats. But if you’re on a budget and have someone else that can apply your competition spray tan, you can purchase your spray tan in a bottle and apply it yourself.
Hair & Makeup – budget: $150-200 Every show has an official hair and makeup team to service the athletes but it’s not uncommon to have a friend help you morning of the show, just be sure they are capable of stage hair and makeup.
Photoshoot – budget: $500-1000 Some athletes like to capture photos while they are in the best shape of their life so every show will have an official photographer that does shoots the weekend of the show.
Photoshoot outfits – budget: varies on your taste You really need 3-4 outfits for a shoot: a bikini, workout wear, classy/sexy dress. These are a great start if you’ve never done a shoot before.
Hotel – budget: $85-130 per night
Then there are little things like: waxing, manicures, pedicures, and facials to think about when budgeting for a show. So that’s about it, I hope I didn’t miss anything and if I did, please feel free to comment so everyone can benefit from this post!