Fitness News

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Bikini Bodybuilding

By 25th February 2015 4 Comments

Michelle Lewin, Paige Hathaway, Nathalia Melo, Chady Dunmore, Amanda Latona – you may not recognise the names, but you would definitely recognise their pictures. Shared across social media as the ultimate ‘Monday Motivation’ and ‘Woman Crush Wednesday’, these five women not only have sensational and shareable photos in common, they’re also all bikini bodybuilding competitors.

Bikini is a fairly recent addition to the world of bodybuilding, but over the past five years it has grown to be one of the most popular categories for both competitors and audiences alike. With a whopping 23 bikini athletes qualified to step on the Olympia stage last year, this fitness trend doesn’t look like it’ll be slowing down anytime soon.

As we prepare for this year’s bikini competition season, take at our 10 things that you need to know about this fit and fashionable bodybuilding division.


Established in 2010

Bodybuilding has been around for many years, but the International Federation of Bodybuilding (IFBB) only recognised bikini as an official division at the 2010 Olympia.

Sonia Gonzales took the first ever bikini gold thanks to her impressive figure, defined derrière and glowing stage presence. 2010 was also the year that Trey Songz and Nicki Minaj released ‘Bottoms Up’. Coincidence? I think not…


Different Strokes for Different Folks

There are hundreds of bodybuilding federations and they all have different judging criteria. In the UK Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation (UKBFF), their criteria for the bikini category is an almost athletic look.

However, the World Beauty, Fitness and Fashion Inc (WBFF) has a beauty pageant like criteria, with a bikini and an evening gown round.


Fitness for Everyone

The reason for the bikini boom can be put down to the natural, healthy and attainable look of competitors.

Unlike the women’s physique category, which requires large, lean muscle mass, bikini competitors are expected to have a little muscularity and plenty of curves. For many women, this look is realistic, achievable and most importantly, it’s attractive!


She Got a Big Booty!

The aim for many bodybuilders is to drop their bodyfat as low as possible. However the classic bikini shape is more of a curvy hourglass, with strong glute development and a small waist.

The key to great glutes? Many bikini girls insist on blasting their booty three times a week with squats, lunges, glute bridges, deadlifts and kickbacks. We recommend checking out Michelle Lewin’s Instagram and Facebook if you’re looking for tips!



Hard Day’s Night

A lot of people say that training for bikini is not as difficult as training for a physique or figure competition, but that isn’t necessarily true.

Bikini competitors don’t need to be able to overhead press 100kg, but they definitely need to lift weights five times a week, do lots of cardio, manage their diet well and get as lean as possible. All these combined makes a champion!bb6

Fail to Prepare, Prepare to Fail

Show preparation is a significant part of the bikini lifestyle – and it is big business. Competitors need to learn stage presence, how to pose and even how to move their hair in the right way!

Because of this, show prep coaches are in high demand, as are posing classes and presentation workshops.


Peanut Butter is a Girl’s Best Friend

The nutritional side for a bikini show is just as important as the training. While many athletes avoid fats, a typical bikini diet features a sizeable amount of good fats from avocados and almonds and that holy grail of monounsaturates: peanut butter. In fact, a serving of peanut butter has 49 mg of bone-building magnesium and 208 mg of muscle-friendly potassium.


Bling Bling!

These aren’t just any standard bikinis, these are the most dazzling bikinis you’ve ever seen! Costing up to a whopping £3000, competition bikinis are custom-made and can make-or-break a competitor on stage.

In fact, all federations have a sub-section of scoring based on how well the bikini complements the athlete’s skin tone and overall look. This adding more pressure to the contestants.



Hair, Nails and a Nice Coat of Creosote

Bikini competitors are supposed to look like fitness models, so perfect hair, manicured nails and a good tan are absolutely key. But what is the right colour of tan? Dark. Wood stain dark.

The reason for this is because stage lighting is aggressively bright, which can leave competitors looking washed-out and flat if they are too pale.



Carb Your Enthusiasm

It’s competition day! You’ve been dieting for months. Your sweet potato intake is at the bare minimum. But before you step on stage, what do you do?

Eat dark chocolate! Yep, you heard us right! The purpose of this carb-up is to provide bikini competitors with a quick boost of glycogen that helps to fill-out the muscles and make the body pop. Every cloud has a silver lining!



Fitspiration is the buzzword across social media right now and bikini bombshells like Mel Haywood and Ashley Kaltwasser embody the term perfectly. Whether you’re looking to join their bootylicious ranks or simply use them as motivation to get to the gym on a cold winters morning, there’s one thing for sure – with such incredible popularity, bikini bodybuilding isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Article by Carly Drew

Join the discussion 4 Comments

  • Omi Baker says:

    Although to take exercises, taking nutritious food is also helpful to gain a fit & fine body. Your personal fitness trainer & health consultant’s advice is also helpful to take. Besides this one site can also be helpful –

    One of my friend used the body buildo and he gained enormous results.

  • Leisha Mulvey says:

    Love this Blog ! I’m doing my first Bikini comp this year and am also part of a scientific research paper on the changes that occur during competition prep. All documented on my blog

    • OmarStartup Active says:

      Hey Leisha, Glad you enjoy the blog 🙂

      Just had a look at yours and it looks great! Will make sure I keep an eye on your progress and we all at Startup Active wish you the best of luck in your first comp – go out there and smash it! 🙂