Megan Graham explains some realities of bikini competitions, from winning, costs, dedication required, how long it takes to prep, effects on your social life, and how to do it all healthily.
“My name is Megan Graham and I am a WBFF bikini pro. I want to make a video today about things that you might want to consider before you do a bikini competition.
First of all, so many people ask me what exactly is a bikini competition. I usually talk about it as a fitness competition. I feel like when I say bikini competition people imagine more of a Hawaiian Tropical pageant.
Fitness competitions are a little bit different, there are different categories in a fitness competition. There is fitness category, there's modeling category and the bikini category.
Bikini categories are often the least muscular that you have to be in order to be in a fitness competition. When I describe it to people, I usually say that most of the girls look like a cross between the cover of shape magazine and the cover of oxygen magazine. They're not super muscular but it's pretty clear that they work out.
If you want to be a fitness model it doesn't hurt to do fitness competitions as it definitely gets you into the right mindset. It helps you get into super shape, you're eating the right things and you're working hard.
I personally don't think that you're going to be discovered when you're on stage. Everybody thinks that this is the way to go about to being discovered as a fitness model but I think that going through modeling agencies and submitting your photos is often a better way to be discovered.
I often get asked, ‘What do you win?’ I think people imagine that you're win over $30,000 or there's a huge cash prize. For some competitions when you get your Pro status and when you're further up along the competing ladder, you could win more money but as an amateur you're not winning money. You're usually competing for your Pro status.
I think if you do a competition for money you're going to be really disappointed but there is a payoff for doing a competition. The payoff for me is that I need a goal to drive me in my fitness. I need something that makes me want to be better and having a show date motivates me.
When I was in my 20s, I always wanted to be in the best shape so I could get a ton of dates. I know it sounds really vain but it's true you want to look your best for dating and meeting new people.
The older I got, it was harder to be motivated by that reason alone. I needed something else that would keep me on track because at the end of the day it's really hard to stay in your best shape at all times.
So just know that you won't necessarily be winning a ton of money but you will get great motivation.
Something to keep in mind is that entering a fitness competition costs a lot of money. You will have to pay the entry fees, you might pay for transportation, for hotel, tanning and bikinis.
The bikinis are beautiful but they have tons of crystals on them and the more crystals you have on your bikini, the more you're going to pay for it.
When you do a competition, you think that you're going to wear your competition bikini again but you'll probably want another bikini for your next show.
You will also have to pay to get your hair and makeup done. You’ll be paying for a personal trainer and/or a coach that's going to help you with your nutrition and workouts.
Your food is going to be more expensive because you're consuming more protein.
You will also need to buy jewelry that you wear on stage and it's completely different than anything I think most of us are wearing in our daily lives.
I know that for me I'm not usually wearing stretchy rhinestone bracelet or earrings that are so big, so you may not use these jewelry again. All of this costs a lot of money, it also takes a lot of time.
If you really want to prepare, you have to prep your meals, you need to log what you're eating, you need to make sure that you're not skipping your workouts and you're giving it your all during your workouts.
The thing that a lot of people forget about is that you actually have to practice to be onstage. I know that for my first show, I really kind of winged it and I thought that I would just be myself. If you walk out like you usually do to drop off the mail at the post office, people are going to be bored out of their minds.
What you think looks silly or exaggerated when you are practicing usually tends to look great on stage. You have to have a lot of energy and you have to get so comfortable striking your poses and doing what you need to do that, by the time you get on stage it all looks fun, effortless and natural. You have to be so comfortable that you could do it in your sleep.