Competing costs some serious coin

Wait just a darn minute!

Don’t you just get in shape, throw on a bikini, and stand on a stage?

Bodybuilding is in the same category as weddings, funerals, and babies. They all seem pretty straight forward at first, and then all of the sudden, you ‘need‘ things you never knew existed.

One of the things I wish I had known before I started was how much it would cost, literally. As in dollars and cents. Yes it costs discipline, time, energy, and focus, but it costs quite a few hard earned loonies and twoonies as well!

There are a million and one things you can spend your money on. When I first started on this journey, I had not idea what were the MUSTS and what were the optionals.

Things to spend money on.


This is a must. You need a good coach that has trained many competitors successfully. Don’t train with someone who is ‘just getting into’ training competitors. Imagine you decide to completely redo your house; take it down to the foundation and start over. I have a sense you would do more than Google things and ask your buddy to help you out on the weekends.

You are the house, so hire an expert builder. Heck, just hire Joe. He’s the best.

Bikini and Shoes

You have a fabulous coach, your physique is awesome and you’re going to show off your hard work; but not ALL of it.

Enter the bedazzled bikini and stripper heels.

There are tons bikini of designers out there, in all price ranges. Set a price range that you can afford and do not budge. If you can afford and want to spend $5,000 on a bikini, go for it. If you can only afford $150 there are great options in that price range as well. Set your price and then set your expectations.

Another option is borrowing or renting a suit. It may seem odd,  but I promise you that come comp day you are not going to care. Spending a few minutes hand washing a suit that saves you hundreds of dollars suddenly seems like a great idea.

Shoes can also be bought second hand, borrowed, or bought at around $45 brand new. They shouldn’t be so bedazzled that they compete with your fabulous arse for attention!


If your tan is not spot on all your hard work may go unnoticed or diminished. Spend the money on preparing your skin as per your tanning instructions, this includes waxing, and pay for the professionals to do the heavy lifting. The show will most likely have a recommended studio to work with you the days leading up to the show. Call and check out pricing a couple months before and ask what you need to do to prepare your skin for the coats of fabulous oompah oomph-ness!


If there is a posing workshop or classes in your area, spend your time and money on the classes. Do your research to ensure that the instruction comes from someone who is well versed in the judging criteria for the federation you are competing in and start quarter turning. Posing makes or breaks a competitor. You will be standing on stage for anywhere from 10 to 45 minutes holding your poses.

And you’re supposed to smile the whole time.

Getting professional help in presentation is a must!

Some Supplements

Your fabulous coach is going to have recommendations for what you need for supplements. Do what they say and don’t worry about what your bodybuilding friends are or are not taking. Your diet may require you to take different supplements due to what you are or are not eating.

Nothing out performs hard work, a clean diet, discipline and time.

Not even the latest and greatest pre-workout drink.

How to save money on the ‘fun’ things.

  • Coolers.
    Some coolers can cost hundreds of dollars. While it is nice to have everything cool and compartmentalized, I am also find with an ice pack and a $12 insulated lunch bag. Besides, it is smaller too!
  • New clothes.
    Going to second hand stores, leggings, wraps, and skirts are going to be your best friend when it comes to stretching the life of your wardrobe. Buy one new piece as you need it and don’t get rid of clothes that are too big the month of your competition. When you un-diet yourself, you are going to want those clothes again.
  • Jewelry.
    Keep it simple. Earrings and a fabulous sparkly ring goes a long way. You want your jewelry to accent your beauty, not be the focal point. Shopping online is always a great option as there are fabulous deals to be had. Leverage discount websites, second hand stores, or your friends’ wardrobes!
  • Hair and makeup.
    Have a friend do it for you or go to a beauty school to get it done.
  • Travel.
    Choose a local show close to home.
  • ‘Fun Food’
    Sticking to simple foods like fruits, vegetables, and meat keeps your grocery bill low. Skip the low carb, high price grocery items.

How do you keep costs down while competing?