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  • Writer's pictureDiane Flores

The good, the bad and the smelly of competing

Since I’ve talked about opening up spots on my competition team again, I’ve been getting A LOT of questions. I’m hoping to shed some light on the experience so you can understand a little more what goes on.

These are of course, my opinions after doing 7 competitions and coaching teams of women over the past few years. The good, the bad and the smelly 🙂

Hope you enjoy…

Misconception #1

“The workouts for the bikini division are probably easier than the figure division.” (figure is a different division of a bodybuilding show which requires a more muscular and “shredded” look than bikini).

Truth: No, not really. The workouts are different, but no less challenging. When competing in figure, the goals are different, so the training is a little different. I’d say the biggest difference is the diet.

When I was training for figure, the main training focus was to grow my back muscles, hamstrings and quads (front thigh muscles) as well as grow the other important ones as well (shoulders, biceps and triceps).


In training for the bikini division, my specific goal was to balance

out my body in the areas that I was “lacking” or needed to work on to create more of an hourglass shape. Specifically the booty!

Training for a bikini contest is just as intense as it is for figure. It will be different for everyone, but you can expect to be in the gym 4-5 days per week.

The areas in which I personally had to focus on were different.

So when someone scoffs at you, if you are a bikini competitor, ask them to join you in a gym session and see if they can keep up.

Most of my programs for my bikini competitors involve hip thrusting, deadlifts, box squats, hack squats, leg press as well as upper body focused days that can include lat pull downs, bench press and an assortment of arm exercises as well.


Oh, and let’s not forget about the cardio. Dependent again on each individual woman, you can be doing anywhere from 2-5 days of cardio in addition to a weight lifting schedule.

Misconception #2

“Bikini is just a T&A show isn’t it? Are you twerking up there?” (this was an honest question asked by my old manicurist 🙂

Truth: No, it’s not a “T&A” show (to keep it PG, “T&A” stands for boobs & bootie for those wondering 🙂

You are wearing skimpy bikinis to show off as much as possible for the judges to make their decision as to who has presented the best physique in the line up.

And, to be quite honest, the bikini that I wore for figure was JUST as skimpy as my suit for the bikini division. You are required to do a series of poses  (facing judges and rear facing) so they can check out your symmetry and decide their winners.

Now, some girls get creative and add all sorts of things to their poses…winks, shoulder


shimmies, booty wiggles, blow kisses, waves, etc. In my opinion, and from what I’ve heard at the judges seminars, it’s tacky and annoying.

And, because I watch the judges like a hawk when I’m off on the side holding my poses, I can see the judges roll their eyes, get annoyed and they are “over it”. In my opinion, it’s those annoying gestures that give bikini a bad rap. My team keeps it classy.

When I work with my clients on posing, I look at their overall symmetry. With careful strategy, I can have you twist your hips a certain way, relax your shoulders and you’ve created an amazing pose that makes your body look spectacular.

This is probably one of the most underrated pieces of competition prep. Practice your walk and posing at home religiously so you can come out there with style and grace.

A killer genuine smile, seamless posing and unshakable confidence up there is all you need. The work in the gym is done. The dieting is done. Now it’s time to shine and have FUN!

Misconception #3: 

It must be so glamorous to get your hair, make-up, nails, sparkly bikini, jewelry, stilettos, tan, etc. etc…

Truth: So, you sign up for a bikini contest because you see how beautiful, in shape and gorgeous the bikini girls look on stage.

You think to yourself “I want to get all glammed up and shimmy around while everyone admires how I’ve transformed and look like a princess”. Think again. I’m all about enjoying the journey, buuttttt this is my not-so-favorite part. The stinky tan prep!

I take the week to get my body ready for the contest. At this point there is no time for crazy diet tricks or last minute exercises that are going to change what I’ve done (or haven’t done) in the months leading up to a show.

I stay calm, excited and really take this week to reflect on all of the hard work I’ve done leading up to the show. I don’t stress out. Stress is useless and counterproductive, especially during the days leading up to a show. It can leave you retaining water and you do NOT want that.


Typically in the last week you’ll start the beautification process. I’ll get my waxing, nails and toes done usually the Monday or Tuesday before the show. I will get a haircut and color probably the week before so I don’t have any funky hair dye residue around my hairline.

I also exfoliate my skin really well the entire week of the show with a scrub that doesn’t contain much oil. I don’t use ANY lotion that week so that my skin is dry and ready to absorb the wonderful spray tan solution (enter sarcasm here).

I will also usually start whitening my teeth at home 2 weeks before with Crest Whitestrips so that my smile glows from the stage behind my red lipstick and dark tan.

Anyhow, the tanning process is probably the part that is the most “un-sexy”. There is quite an extensive process to this and it’s worth noting that if you are going to skimp on budget anywhere, tanning is NOT the place to do it.

If you’ve been busting your humps in the gym for months on end you are doing yourself a disservice to get on stage with a crappy tan job. You want to be DARK. Like you just stepped out of some sort of freak show tan experiment. Ok, well maybe not that bad, but you should be looking like the color of those bronze trophies or pretty damn close.


I get a head start on my tan by visiting the tanning booth about a month before the show. I know, I know, it’s terrible. I am SO against sitting in the sun without SPF or logging hours in a tanning bed, but I only do this for a short period of time, promise. This gives me a good tan “base”.

The week of the show I always visit my fave spray tan salon here in town, Aqua Bliss. They know exactly the formula I need so I usually see them on Thursday for a full body spray.

After this is when the funk begins and makes the process not so sexy. Before you get a spray tan, you don’t wear ANY deodorant.

There is some chemical reaction that will turn your armpits HULK green if you wear deodorant for your spray tan. So basically, from Thursday until Saturday night I don’t wear any and, let’s just say, I smell funky.

You have to sleep in your spray tan stickiness and try not to smudge yourself on anything.


I will take a light rinse WITHOUT SOAP in the shower to get that first layer off (the shower will look like a murder scene if your not careful). NOTE: Don’t try to be all sneaky and soap up your pits because even the soap causes a reaction with the tan and you’ll get the green pits…I did it and it’s not pretty.

Then comes Friday, on this day you will head to the host hotel for the event and, if you are smart, you will have also booked tanning for your bikini contest through the venue for the show. Take my advice, you should invest in the $100+ it costs for this service.

I used to have one of my gal pals stay up and paint me with a sponge brush the night before the show and it would take a couple hours. Not fun when you are tired, hungry and, well…naked in front of your friend. Not to mention it has to be perfect and it’s challenging to apply that stuff evenly with a sponge brush in every nook and cranny.

At the venue for the bikini show you will typically you spray tan in a room full of other naked girls (awkward the first time, but you get over it). They lacquer you up Friday night and you have to sleep in that layer of tan again. You have to bring dark sheets and pillowcase with you to the hotel so that you do not stain their sheets with your new orange glow that will transfer to anything it touches.

When you get spray tan you need to wear loose fitting clothing. So from Thursday till Saturday I’m walking around in baggy pants, long sleeved t-shirt and no bra smellin’ like an onion.


Then comes Saturday, the day you’ve been waiting for!!!

You wake up early (still no deodorant) and start hair, make up and try not to smudge your tan. All while attempting to not leave an orange ring around the hotel bathrooms toilet seat. Good times.

At this point, you know your friends and family still love you if they are in the same room as you putting up with your B.O. and spray tan fumes 🙂 Either that, or they are trapped with you until it’s all over!

You will then get a touch up tan again the day of the show.

There is typically an athletes meeting the night before or day of the show. This is where you will find out your number, what order you will go in and get to meet some amazing women who you will hang out with backstage.

You’ll get yourself put together, bikini on (glued in place with suit glue) and shoes on. Then the waiting begins! You’ll be backstage with a bunch of other women. Some new, some veterans and definitely amazing people of all ages, shapes and sizes. That’s the great part of competing. You can be any age, weight or height.

Bodybuilding shows are LONG. There is a morning part of the process called “pre-


judging”. This can be anywhere from 4-5 hours. This is where you will do your routine, judges will do comparisons and you’ll get a mini break till the night show.

This part of the show is when most of the decision is made for those who walk away with a trophy. Hence why you’ve got to be on you A-game for posing!

*Tip- If you have family come to pre-judging, have them yell out your number (not your name) for support! Judges will have you on a roster by number. When your family calls it out, they will have to naturally take notice of your number! 🙂

Typically we go out and get lunch as a team so I can give you feedback on your posing, how you did and we can all chat about the experience. You also want to be careful with your lunch choices! You have to go back on stage in the evening and don’t want to overdo it. Usually you want to omit any dairy, onions  or drink too much water at this point to prevent bloating.

After lunch you may have a moment to get in a quick nap before heading back to the venue for the night show. You’ll touch up your hair and make-up as well as tan touch ups if needed.


Once you are back at the venue, this part of the day moves a bit quicker. You get to perform your routine once again and this is when trophies are handed out. Regardless of the outcome, you need to be proud!

You are the 1% of the population who embodies the dedication, strength and drive to get on stage. Yes! This is true.

Your first year of competing should be one spent enjoying the journey and transformation that you make. It shouldn’t be concerned with your placing just yet.

Build that solid foundation. Find out what your weaknesses are and work on them. With time, consistency and patience you will find a completely new lifestyle and confidence you did not know existed!

How do you know what you can become if you don’t try? I encourage you to take the plunge if this has been on your bucket list. It can be overwhelming thinking about how far you have to go, but the time will pass anyway. Enjoy that journey!

Even if you have no desire to step on stage, I can give you the same tools to achieve that body. 

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