Today’s Bikini Competitor needs to lift heavy.
Looking to compete in the Bikini class in 2019? Let me shed some light on the physique of Today’s Bikini Competitor. If you think coming in soft, without well developed muscle from lifting a lot of weight, yet doing hours and hours of cardio and circuit training will put you in the top spot…think again. A few years ago, maybe. But not so much anymore.
Before you blast me and remind me of what the Judging Criteria is for Bikini, let me remind you…I am an NPC Regional Judge and I keep up with the local trends, as well as trends in each district, national level and pro. And let me tell you, the trends are very different at each level. Rarely will you find that written “criteria” followed. For one, the criteria is subjective. Two, judges see things different and have different perspectives.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying soft won’t win. You will find a few shows here and there that place the more “soft” competitor at the top…but that’s usually only when today’s bikini competitor doesn’t show up.
Sorry if that gives some of you butt hurt or it pisses a few coaches off, but this is an industry where truth and reality is required to get to the next level. Hold that back and you will have even more butt hurt when an underdeveloped/unconditioned competitor expects to win, but gets placed in 3rd call-outs. So save the sugar coating for the drama folks or sports where everyone gets a Participation Trophy.
Let me be the first to tell you, there is a distinct difference between the judging criteria and judging trends. Right now and going into next year, the trend is muscle, little hardness, shoulders and arms (especially triceps) that have a good amount of “distinction” between the shoulders and triceps. Vita Shtevnin display this ideal physique above. Hell, many overall winners have even shown a bit of striations in their shoulders. Just 2 years ago, they would have been marked down. Not any more.
Of course, well conditioned with solid glutes and hamstring are still staples for Bikini, as has been the case for awhile, but a little harder now with tie-in’s that slightly show have been scoring better.
Think a “relaxed” figure competitor from 3-4 years ago without striations (maybe a little) or flexing…that’s pretty close to where it is now.
The Bikini Division has finally evolved
Take a step back and look from the outside for a minute. The reality is, Bikini is a part of bodybuilding. We’re not judging models or beauty pageant contestants.
So, how do you get to the current standard and standout among your fellow competitors?
You have to lift, HEAVY…PERIOD!
When I say lift heavy, I mean it. You have to start building your base up. You have to have body curves, and some muscular curves too. You need to hit your shoulders (arms too) just as hard as you hit your glutes. As glutes are the standard from the back, shoulders are becoming the standard from the front.
Light weight, high reps, lots of cardio and circuit style training is now a thing of the past. Get over it. Those who follow this style of training will most likely continue to fall down further and further in the standings.
Don’t get me wrong…cardio and circuit training has its place. But it would be a mistake to make them the foundation of your training program. They are tools…nothing more.
I recommend lots of big compound movements like squats, deadlifts, barbell Hip Raises, Shoulder press, and throw in a lot of lateral raises too. I recommending building basing your workout program on science backed Daily Undulating Periodization (DUP) methodology.
If you think squats and deadlifts make a thicker and blocky waist, think again? That’s rubbish!!! There is absolutely zero scientific evidence that suggest such a thing. That’s just bro-science coming from people who have little to no knowledge of recent scientific research regarding bodybuilding. But, need visual proof? Go look at many of the top figure athletes (they need to maintain tiny waist too) these days…many are powerlifters in the offseason…just saying!
Need proof? Go look at my old Team Norton teammate Katie Anne Rutherford. Competitive Powerlifter in the Offseason and the 2018 Worlds Overall Figure Winner. Sure, her waist might be slightly thicker in the offseason when she is powerlifting. However, come contest prep and time to hit the stage…tiny waist.
Or, how about a little closer to home. My client and multiple time NQ Bikini Competitor Jessica Roy (aslo pictured at the top of this page) She is about to make her IFBB Pro Card run this season, yet I built her Workout Program with a lot of heavy Squats, Deadlifts and Hip Raises. Got a problem with her waist or frame?
The point I’m trying to make here is that you have to work hard, lift HEAVY and have the mindset of a bodybuilder to take it to the next level as today’s Bikini Competitor. If not, those who do will keep raising the bar out of your reach.
Lift hard. Lift Heavy. Lift Often.