Bikini Competition on a Budget
Updated: Oct 22, 2020
4 weeks out
The Ronnie Coleman Classic is on November 14. That's 4 weeks out from today. I hit a new low weight of 135. That's 18 lbs less. I started at 153, but I still need to drop at least 5 lbs. I have one month. Y'all need to cross your fingers, please.
How I compete without breaking my account
Competing is an expensive hobby. So expensive, I thought for years that I couldn't afford it. Some bikini competitors bragged on their YouTube channels about their super expensive bikinis, high heels and jewelry. I was thinking: this is never going to be an affordable hobby for me. WRONG! Here are some tips to save money while prepping for stepping on stage. This doesn't include show day costs such as the NPC card, registration, diet, etc. Those are costs that you can't get away from.
Coaching: this is perhaps one of the things that will drive the competition costs up. A good coach might charge around 150-300 monthly. I researched many coaches and found some good ones and some great ones. However, I was familiar with tracking my macros and have a pretty solid and consistent gym routine so I decided to coach myself. I DO NOT recommend this for everybody. It requires staying objective through times when you are extremely hungry and tired. This is very difficult to achieve. I still have my struggles with remaining objective sometimes.
Gym: I have a membership for a 24 Hour Fitness. I purchased a 2-year membership at Costco. For $399! That's about $17/month. Way less than your membership at a gym like LifeTime Fitness, which is over $100.
Shoes: there are companies that designed heels for bikini competitors. I love them, don;t get me wrong. But the price is way more than I was willing to pay. These high heels are priced around $50-$100+ I ordered mine from Amazon for about $30.
Jewelry: Went to Charmin Charlies and couldn't find anything competition worthy. Browsed several websites that sell competition jewelry, but it was also way more than what I wanted to pay for it. Amazon to the rescue again! The bracelet is beautiful, shiny and NOT expensive. Only $8.99. The earrings are exactly what I wanted for my first competition. Rhinestone but nothing extremely heavy that it would hurt and wouldn't feel comfortable. I paid $10.99.
Bikini: this what you have all been waiting for. If you google anything about bikini competition, you'll see how the competitors estimate that they spend anything from $300-$500 for their bikinis. Forgive me if I sound like a broken record but that was way more than what I wanted to pay for it. It took me a few months to find a bikini that I loved, until I discovered Angel Competitions Bikinis. I absolutely loved their bikinis, their customer service, how organized their website was, etc. But I still didn't want to pay $300 for a bikini. So I patiently waited until Black Friday, where they have great discounts. Their ship tomorrow suits are suits that are not custom-made, but they are very true to size. If you are on a budget but have an idea of what your bikini size will be on show day (very different from the day you start your diet where you are a few lbs heavier), then go with a pre-made bikini. Some of these are on sale right now, so that makes this option even more attractive. Here's my receipt for my first bikini, after applying the Black Friday discount code. You won't believe your eyes. And no. I'm not a sponsored athlete by ACB. I just love their high-quality bikinis.
Tanning: Black Friday again to the rescue. Be patient and wait until BF if you want to save money. The thought of getting up at 3am to be on time for a spray tanning appointment gave me a migraine. That's why I purchased ProTan DIY kit. Originally priced at $100, I bought it at 50% off on Black Friday. As it is, it is a very good choice because spray tanning can cost about $150. Those were $50 well spent since I can use the kit at least twice. Do you need it before BF? OK, then use a discount code. My favorite ProTan athlete is Nathalie Matthews (@fitveganchef on IG). Check her discount code and her tutorial to use this DIY Kit.
Hair and Makeup: competition makeup can cost up to $300. That's why I asked my awesome favorite HMU (that's you Mio) to teach me about competition makeup. This isn't regular date-night makeup. You need a somewhat exaggerated look if you want the makeup to be visible under those stage lights. I was ready to do my own makeup, but Mio was able to be with me during show day. If you are competing at the Ronnie Coleman Classic and are looking for a makeup artist, DM Mio so you can discuss your options.
Nails: of course you need a mani and pedi a few days before competing. Everything about your looks counts. If your hair, makeup, tanning and even your nails are not on point, don't expect to win the overall. I usually spend $80-$100 every time I go to ger my mani and pedi done. But this time, I bought this DIY dip powder kit for around $32. I did it myself. I saved some money. I had some fun!
As you may have noticed, I saved a lot of money and I still had the amazing experience of competing as a bikini athlete. Don't be discouraged if you want to compete but are on a budget. I did it and so can you! At the end of these blog series, I will include a more detailed list of costs that will include everything including show-day costs such as meals, tickets, NPC card...everything! I want you to have a clear picture of what competing is like.
Remember, great experiences such as fitness competitions shouldn't cost a fortune.