Bodybuilding, Fitness, Fitness Competition

8 Tips on how to be Savvy while Competing as a Bodybuilder.

After some serious thinking, you’ve finally decided that you’d like to take part in a bodybuilding competition! You’ve never really enquired much money really goes into doing a bodybuilding show. However, you do know your resources are limited,  I mean, unless you either a) follow a competitor on social media, or b) have a friend that competes or c) knows someone that knows someone that does …chances are slim to known that you actually know the process. All we see from the outside looking in is the end result,  a beautifully toned and tanned body with sparkly jewels on show day. But as most of us know, that ain’t it…there’s so much more to this sport than meets the eye.  This competing shit is hard and it costs money and a good amount of it I might add. So,  if your show budget is not planned right you can put yourself in serious debt.

There are many ways to go about budgeting for a competition. The key is to still have everything you want and need, without completely breaking your pockets but still achieving optimal results.  If you’re in a bad financial place to begin with we’d strongly advise to not compete until you can get a better hold of your finances.

So, After doing research you’ve realized this comes at an expense and although you can afford it you’ve still opted to do it in a way that would be as cost efficient as possible. There are many ways to compete and save money, but the most inexpensive ways are not always the most convenient ways.We’d advise putting money aside weekly in a fund until you reach a financial goal, doing  this can take the strain off.  Putting money away weekly for your competition fund is more of a psychological thing.  Even though you will be spending the same amount of money, putting money away weekly will help to lessen the blow. So based on experience and a little research, here are 8 ways you can help to keep costs down on your journey and still achieve the results you’re striving for. These are just examples and every tip may not be ideal for every person. 

  • Join a food club. Depending on where you live in the country there are several wholesale food clubs avail for retail consumers. Bj’s, Sam’s Club and  and Costco are a few that’re nationally known.   You can pay a yearly fee tor a membership hat can save you  literally hundreds when buying prep food and other everyday essentials. Buying certain products in bulk will save you big money in the long run. If you’d rather not buy membership right away you can ask for a guest pass to try out the club first o you can ask around in your friend/family, you never know who may have a membership that you can use just to see whether or notes a good for you. sites like Groupon also offer discounts on memberships, you can check the has any ongoing promotions.
  • Meal prepless prep- Put your skills as a Chef to use and cook your own meal prep food!  stop making excuses!!!!! Do you really need pay someone else to cook chicken and rice for you?!!  Being able to have meal prep mailed to your doorstep is a luxury and many people just can’t afford it. If you’re super busy and decide that you have no time to cook you can do something like order only your proteins and make your carbs to save money. To most of us…time is money so it’s worth it to pay a premium if it saves you time. However if you have all the time in the world  and money is tight it’s a no brainer…just cook your own meal prep food.


  • Rent/borrow/buy a Suit – Having a Competition Suit that fits you like a glove is such a crucial aspect of competing.  Depending on your division having a custom made competition  suit can be a very hefty investment. There are many ways you can save in this area, One way to save on this expense is you can locate the suit designer of choice and ask them if they offer suit rentals. This can be a very cost efficient alternative to buying a custom suit however the risk with this is the suit you rent may not fit you perfectly and your body may not be represented as it should be. Option 2 would be to buy 1 quality suit and use it all season long,  you can do this by purchasing using a payment plan. There are a few companies such as Sunset Swimwear or Ravish Sands  that do this using Afterpay, Affirm or Sezzle… they break the payments into 4 equal payments over a period of time. There is 0 interest or any crazy sign up fees.  If this option doesn’t work because you’re just that seriously financially strapped  you can then maybe borrow a suit from a friend. However, if things are this  bad, then you might want to reconsider getting on stage in the first place. 


  • Online Posing Coach- There are some categories you can get over by not hiring a professional, but this area is not one of them.  Having a posing coach is crucial to your success as a fitness competitor and I can’t stress this enough! In a perfect world we are all perfection but we all know this is not the case. Posing is an art that masters the art of illusion. We all have certain areas of our body that we may have to develop more or are even some are over developed. That’s when posing expertise comes into play. A Great posing coach can work with you on finding different poses to either hide certain features that may not be desirable and bring out the ones that are.  That’s why posing is not a 1 size fits all service. And please, don’t try to save money by copying  someone else’s routine. The reason why this wont work because their flaws may not be the same as yours, so the routine is different and is tailored for them, not you. Hire the best of the best in this area, one way you can save is to opt for online sessions to save time & traveling costs  or inquire about posing packages. Buying posing in a package will help to minimize costs as  packages are usually discounted. Some great companies are Chula Fitness posing and Pros like Jennifer Ronzitti, Vania Auguste  and Jasmine Gonzales offer these services.                                                                                                                                             Vania  Auguste - IFBB Olympia 2021 - #1
  • Share Lodging- Why not make it a slumber party! One of the best perks of competing is the ability to travel and see many parts of the country or even the world. However, this comes at a cost…room & board is something that is usually not covered unless you have a sponsor, and not all sponsors cover these expenses. One way to cut this cost significantly is to have a roommate or two, splitting hotel fees can help everyone involved and it’s kind of cool to have someone with you that’s competing also, they can be your competition companion for the weekend. Also look into Airbnb’s you can get a whole house sometimes for even cheaper than just a single hotel room .


  • Drive and Make it a road trip!  Round up the troops and drive to your destination instead of flying. There are many benefits to driving instead of flying to a show. When you fly, it can be expensive and it’s always advised to arrive at your destination at least a couple days before showtime to make sure you don’t retain water. If you’re driving a long distance it’s also advised to pull over every so often and get out of the car and walk around a little bit so you don’t hold water. Driving can be fun and cost efficient but before you make the decision be sure to have a clear financial plan as to how much each option will cost and then go from there. There are times when flying may be a better option. Just do your research and see which option works best for you.


  • DIY Self Tanning– Not Only for the Pros!! The biggest misconception among non bodybuilders is that dark skinned people don’t have to apply tan!!! And the lie detector has determined that’s a lie. Whether you’re red, orange or green, everyone MUST apply competition color to their skin. There are a couple of ways you can go about this, you can get sprayed by the tanning company at your show which is usually pricey or you can order a self tanning kit from Protan and DIY. Doing your own tan can be time consuming and difficult but if you know what you’re doing you can achieve optimal results for a lot less. There are steps to tanning which will be discussed in another post but the skin must be prepared prior to applying color or the competition color may not take to your skin. A Tanning practice round is highly recommended if you plan on tanning yourself. Practice always makes perfect.


  • Hair & Makeup- always be unique, but please ladies, now’s not the time to experiment.  If you were horrible at doing hair and makeup prior then this is not the time to try out your skills. There are some of us that are slightly gifted and can probably do their own hair and makeup. AGAIN this is not advice telling you to do your own but if you simply can’t afford to pay someone you can learn to with practice.  do it yourself. Stage makeup is not like everyday makeup because it’s very dramatic.I’ve seen some competitors do it themselves and  look amazing  but i’ve also seen some that tried and not so much. We can’t tell you what to do but you put a lot of effort into getting ready for your show so why blow it all because your hair and makeup were not up to par. This is advice for those that clearly understand  the ins and outs of makeup and hair.                                                                       Best Black Hairstylists to Follow on Social Media | POPSUGAR Beauty

There are so many ways to go about being a savvy competitor and  this is just 8 reasons that we ‘ve come up with.


How do you save money competing? We’d. love to hear from you!  Leave a message in the comments below!

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