These gorgeous bikini athletes made their amateur stage debuts in 2016 and all got their Pro cards straight away. Impressive, right?! The girls opened up about things they wish they knew before competing, and I couldn’t agree more with every point they make.
HENRIETTA SKUPEKOVA - MP Pro (1st Place Bikini Short)
I had no idea before my first competition how much is it all going to cost me. If you want to do it properly, then you need to be ready to invest. Posing course and posing classes, proper and gorgeous bikini, hair and make-up on the day, a spray tan...Of course there is an option to get away with it by “cheaper” options but if you want to do it properly, get ready to invest. I knew I wanted to do everything to the highest standard I could, and I have never regretted a penny I spent on competition because eventually it is all worth it
Training without energy.
That was one of the strangest experience for me. I heard that is hard to train without carbs or with low carbs etc. But I have never done it before (as there was no reason) and no one got me ready for that strange feeling. It was very unique and ‘nothing like’ feeling when you want to train but you just can’t. It made me cry few times haha.
It’s not ONLY about the body.
I wish I knew the competitions are not all about “the best body wins” more like about the whole package. Your body, your stage presence, your personality...If I was looking at it from the beginning like that it would save me being too hard on myself and getting upset every time someone doing the same competition looked better than me. You can be the best looking on the stage, but that does not necessarily mean you will win :) So just relax and do the best you can do, you never know what judges will be looking for on the day.
GINA DAVIES - MP Pro (1st Place Bikini Short & Overall)
Nobody prepares you for the emotional rollercoaster you’re about to go on. I’d go from being the happiest person in the world and feeling really motivated, then I’d be crying for no reason at all, one minute I’d love my body and then the next I would be in complete self-doubt. The whole process is so much harder physically, mentally and emotionally than I’ve ever imagined, but I have learnt a lot about myself
You underestimate how rewarding it is to get on stage. We put so much work in for months and give up a lot to focus on the end goal. It’s not until I got on stage that I realised all the reasons why I was doing it and it made me so proud looking at what I’d achieved. With it being my first competition my goal was only to ever get on stage so to win overall bikini and my Pro card was beyond anything I’d imagined.
The best part of the whole journey is the amount of amazing people I have met on the way, which is something I hadn’t even considered before. I have met so many like-minded people and have come away with genuine friends for life.
ZEVILE RICKEVICIUTE - MP Pro & Pure Elite Pro (1st Place Bikini Short)
I wish I could have known that all the hard work that I’ve gone through with training and dieting towards my first competition prep will end in just few moments after stepping on stage. I wish that it lasted longer, but the feeling you get after stepping on stage for the few short minutes, makes you forget about the struggles leading towards the show day. I can honestly say that I’ve enjoyed every second being on stage! For me, it was like a dream came true!
The other thing that was quite surprising for me, that everybody backstage was very friendly. I would have never imagined that all the girls (and guys too haha) can be so positive and friendly towards each other. In a back of my head I had this image, that, well it’s a competition and everybody wants to win so people will probably be rude and nasty to each other, but it was quite the opposite. Loved all the compliments and support from people that I didn’t even know.
I never thought that it could be so addictive. At first I thought, well I’ll just step on stage and see how it’s like. But the minute I was on it, I knew straight away that I will be wanting more, as I got that butterfly feeling in my stomach. The kind of feeling when you first fall in love. Truly, it is an amazing experience to step on stage, especially when it’s something that you’ve being dreaming about for a long time. I just can't wait to step on stage again and then it will be another journey, for making me better than I was yesterday. This is the second best thing that ever happened to me after my daughter’s birth.
KATT SNELSON - PCA (1st Place Bikini Trained)
- How much I'd learn about nutrition and the body.
Before prepping I had a vague idea about calorie intake and the need for carbs/protein/fat, but I had no idea about macro content in specific food and how much of what I should be having at any given time. I now know 'my numbers' like the back of my hand and how to hit them appropriately. This information has been priceless in regards to helping my own clients hit their own goals. I also have become very aware of which foods my body responds best to - this will be individual to everyone, so pay attention to how you feel, and your body looks after certain foods! Having a coach that is happy to explain things and educate you as much as possible is key. Never settle for a diet of chicken/rice/broccoli for 12+ weeks straight! Ask questions and use prep as an education.
My prep journey this year was so much more than just getting to the stage - although that was obviously the main goal at the start! I didn't realise how much I would learn in regards to practicing patience, learning to fully trust the process and seeing something through to the end. Delayed gratification is something I'd never really managed in the past... we live in a world where everything is instant now, thanks to the abundance of technology we possess, and the way media misleads us into thinking there is literally a quick fix for everything... When in reality that's not the case, and is probably why a lot of people give up on their goals far too soon. This year I've achieved goals like never before in my life. I was always the one who got a prize for 'taking part'. To get my head down and work for a solid 9 months and then to actually WIN something for the first time EVER, has shown me that ANYTHING is possible, and this has pushed me so much harder to want to achieve even more.
The people I'd meet.
This is probably the main thing I wish I'd known before starting my prep journey, and why I would encourage people thinking about competing to just take the leap and DO IT! No matter where you place in your competition the amount of support you will receive from fellow competitors is truly heartwarming. When I started prep I was so worried about rivalry between competitors - this couldn't be further from the truth. I've met some truly beautiful souls on this journey - some of which I would now call very close friends. I feel very lucky to be part of a little community full of love and support. I have such a love/hate for social media - on one hand I feel it can be very misleading, and have quite a negative impact in a lot of ways - but on the other - the amount of support, and all the kind people I've come into contact with, purely through Instagram and Facebook, for me, the positives definitely outweigh the negatives. As someone who is probably the most socially awkward person going, being in situations where I've had to be confident and hold my own, speak to strangers and not be afraid to just be myself, has been the biggest game changer.
Prep is probably one of the hardest things to put yourself through, both physically and mentally... But the rewards for this hard work and dedication will always be 100% worth it!