Competing in a fitness competition is not cheap.
Contrary to popular opinion, fitness competitions are a sport (have you seen the training that goes into one?). But it’s a little more expensive than training for a marathon, for example (but honestly that’s not as cheap as you think either, especially if you travel!).
Knowing this, I thought it’d be fun to keep track and show you exactly how much it cost me to compete in my very first bikini competition. Here is a complete guide if you’re ready to get started!
So without further ado, here’s the breakdown:
I’ve divided training into three distinct categories which are, by far, the most expensive part of competing.
Personal training – $3,000
I hired Cindy in May of 2017 to help me get in shape to compete. We’ve trained on average three times per week, with breaks for holidays, vacations (we spent 6 weeks in Texas this winter), etc. Training has been fun, pushed me outside of my comfort zone and taught me a ton about fitness, nutrition and what works for my body.
Gym membership – $700
I pay $40/m for my Snap Fitness membership and opted for a YMCA membership during April/May due to their pool and childcare amenities. Turns out I didn’t really need the Y in hindsight, but at least the kiddos got some extra pool time!
Posing – $100
This covered two, one hour sessions with Heather from Get Fit, Go Figure. 100% worth it and I’d encourage you to check out her website!
The only thing I’d change is not joining the YMCA, since in hindsight it wasn’t necessary and I didn’t use it as much as I thought I would. I joined after I sprained my ankle, thinking that swimming and biking could be useful options, but I recovered much faster than I thought I would.
I would totally do training and posing again in a heartbeat! It might seem expensive at face value, but Cindy was there with me EVERY step of the way – from creating my workouts and nutrition plans, to physically training me, to encouraging me in texts, bootcamp (on Saturdays) and more. She’s a true gem and worth more than what I paid her!!
While these numbers might seem a little high when you add them up, when I look back, each of these things was necessary and worth the expense
Lean Out Metabolism Support
This is available on Amazon and $125 over the course of my training isn’t too bad. This supplement is designed to improve the efficiency of your metabolism.
Also designed to boost metabolism. WebMD says that 7-Keto-Dhea might help to increase weight loss. It’s a little on the expensive side ($180 over the course of my training) but when every little bit counts, it’s was worth a try.
I didn’t keep receipts, but I imagine that I went through one tub per month on average throughout the last year. The total cost was around $250.
Pre-workout supplements were a lot cheaper on eBay! I used both pill and powder form and lumped BCAA into this category as well. The total cost was right around $150 over the course of my training.
Costume and Accessories
I think this category is pretty decent. I could have spent more (my suit was on the very low end of options, but I liked that it wasn’t bedazzled) and I had most of the jewelry part down.
In hindsight, I didn’t need my own shoes and if I were more confident, I could apply my own tan (not likely!), do my own makeup (more likely if I can figure out lashes) and hair (Cindy could have done this for me). All-in-all, I’m happy with what was spent here.
Bikini – $230
I only had to pay $200 for my suit, because I attended Perfect Fit Gear’s annual open house and received a $50 credit by putting $100 down in December 2017. There were two fitting fees ($20 for the first and $10 for the final) that brought my grand total up to $230.
Heels – $30
I bought my first pair of heels from a competition Facebook group that exists for the sole purpose of buying/selling competition suits and accessories. I didn’t end up wearing them for the show (they were only 3 inches) and borrowed some 6-inch ones from a friend instead. The 3-inch heels were great to practice on as I built up my balance though!
Hair/Makeup – $215
I bought some awesome (and SUPER cheap!) hair extensions from eBay for $65 and used the competition hair & makeup people, which cost a cool $150 — phew!
Spray Tan – $110
My oh my what a process! But the gals at Wicked Tan do an amazing job and using the host tanner is definitely the way to go!
Jewelry – $28
I had bracelets, didn’t need a necklace and my wedding ring as accessories already, so I just ponied up a few bucks for some costume jewelry earrings from the same place that made my suit. My daughter will inherit them for dress up and is very excited about them. 🙂
This part could only be cheaper if I picked a show within driving distance and only registered for one category. So it is what it is. 😉
Hotel – $127
We stayed at one of the host hotels, which was a budget-friendly Days Inn. Nothing special, but had exactly what we needed to get by.
Competition registration – $150
I registered for both the Bikini Beginner and Open categories in The Diva Classic to get more experience for my first show on the off-chance I want to do it again. Anyone that wanted to come to cheer me on (my husband, mom, SIL, Cindy, etc.) each had to pay $50 to watch. Luckily kids 6 and under are free, otherwise they would have probably stayed home!
Lie detector – $50
The lie detector test was mandatory to ensure participants haven’t taken steroids basically. Not super fun to do, nor spend your money on. 😉
Carb Manager app
Cost is $39.99/year. I started with their free app and then decided the premium features were worth it, so I upgraded. I would have just subscribed for three months (~$15 or $5/month), but won a free entry to a show in October, so I thought why not just go annual?
Omron Fat Loss Monitor
At $33.88, this one represented pretty good value. It’s currently selling for around $30 on Amazon. I use this weekly to assess my body fat percentage and love it! We also measure with calipers (I don’t own any currently) every few weeks at the gym and the results have been pretty close, making me trust the output from my Omron.
I had a decent digital scale from my days working at Jenny Craig. I’d recommend you grab a basic digital scale that does what’s needed without too many fancy extras.
Instax camera and film
I didn’t have to buy the camera because it was a Christmas gift from my mom but I did buy a bulk pack of film. 100% NOT NECESSARY, but a fun way to track your progress nonetheless!
All in, I spent right around $5500 to compete. Definitely not cheap however there are also areas where I could have trimmed costs if required.
Some of these purchases could also technically be one-time costs or at the very least, spread out over multiple competitions. Could you choose to compete on a slimmer budget? Absolutely!