My First NPC Bikini Competition: Indiana Muscle

Hi everyone! 

It has now been 2 weeks since my first bikini competition. I have another one this coming Saturday (April 8th), as well as one the following Saturday (April 15th) and that will conclude my competition season. I will transition into reverse dieting (slowing adding calories back in and decreasing cardio) until I get to a maintenance weight again. I've really enjoyed prep and obviously being lean is cool, but I'm really looking forward to a period of growth and a really good improvement season (and food!).

I want to blog about each of my competitions individually and have been holding off on writing this one until I got more stage pics. However, I don't have the stage pictures yet, and my next competition is coming up quick so I figured I'd better get to it! I'm just going to write about the entire experience: the flow of the day, the things I liked, the things I didn't like, the organization of the show, etc. 

My day started off Friday morning getting all packed up to leave Greencastle and drive 2 1/2 hours to the Indiana Muscle which was being held at the Old National Events Plaza in Evansville, IN. First I packed up my suit, heels, and jewelry (all the things that would be the absolute worst to forget). Then I prepped and packed up all my meals for Friday evening and all day Saturday and got the rest of my things together.

I got to the hotel around 5:00pm and checked in and then it was off to my tanning appointment at 5:20pm. Throughout the entire weekend, the tanning portion was one of my least favorite parts. After you get tanned you have to stand in front of the fan for about 15 minutes to dry - it was miserable and cold, I felt sticky all weekend, I didn't sleep well because I was worried about sweating, and you constantly need to get touched up or glazed every time before going on stage. The tanning station was set up in "pods" with no door on the front, and all of the pods were set up in a horseshoe shape. You would get in a pod - NAKED - and potentially be staring at a girl across from you - also naked - while you both just stood there for 15 minutes waiting to dry. Hands down, my least favorite part of the weekend. 

After I was sort of dry, I headed off to athlete check ins at 6:00pm. All that happens there is they confirm you have registered, you show your NPC card showing you are eligible to compete, and they measure your height for the bikini division. Instead of weight classes, bikini is divided by height. 
Class A: Up to and including 5’2”
Class B: Over 5’2” and up to and including 5’4”
Class C: Over 5’4” and up to and including 5’6”
Class D: Over 5’6”
I'm 5'4", so I would be in Bikini Class B with 13 other girls in Novice and 10 other girls in Open. 

After check ins I headed back to my hotel room and ate my last meal of the day (cream of rice and wine, it was heavenly after not having carbs for several days) and went to bed at 8pm. I woke up at 2:40am.. yes, that's right...2:40am because my makeup appointment was at 2:50 in the freaking morning. ABSURD. Anyway, once I got my makeup done, it was almost 4am and I couldn't sleep, so I curled my hair. By the time that was done, I ate my breakfast, took some a.m. pics to send to my coach, drank a little coffee and watched some HGTV. 

Then we had to be at the venue by 8:30am for the mandatory competitor meeting, where basically they tell you everything you should've read in your registration. To be honest the whole day is a lot of "hurry up and wait". Prejudging started at 10am. Prejudging is where everyone in your class goes on stage in front of the panel of judges and the judges ask you to transition back and forth between your front pose and back pose. They might call you by number and have you switch places with another competitor. This is basically where they are lining you up to see where you will place, so you usually have a good idea when you get off stage whether you will place or not (even though you don't officially find out till the evening). You want to be moved to the center - the center is the best placing and then it goes out from there. Novice bikini was second on the agenda so we were up pretty quick, around 10:20am. I did not get first callouts, so I knew right away that I didn't place and to be honest, I let that effect my whole day a little bit. However, I did place first in second callouts (8th overall, pretty middle of the pack) so that's why I'm in the middle of the next set of photos

 1st in second callouts, or 8th out of 14 

1st in second callouts, or 8th out of 14 

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After prejudging is done it's a lot of hanging out backstage with the other competitors. I met some awesome people which was one of my favorite parts of the weekend! 

Once everyone is done with prejudging there is a a break until 5pm when the night show starts. I was a little bummed out because I knew I didn't place so I wasn't very excited for the night show. I just wanted to go eat lol. In hindsight I should've been a better sport about it, because the night show is when you get to go on stage individually and show off all your hard work to your friends and family. It's also when you get your stage shots! However, I was in a sour mood. As much as you enter a bodybuilding competition knowing you are LITERALLY getting judged on your physique, it still stings to basically be told "not good enough" after putting in weeks and weeks of hard work. On top of that, the bikini division is tough because it's extremely subjective. You might go to one show and a girl with a "harder look" (extremely shredded, visible abs) might win, whereas another show might go for a softer, more feminine look. You have no way of knowing. Regardless, I'm happy with the package that I brought for my first ever show and I now know where I can improve!

After the night show is over you have an opportunity to talk with the judges to get their feedback on what you could've done better. My feedback was: a few posing tweaks, leaner legs, more upper body muscle, and a darker tan. The tan thing annoyed me because I got tanned by the recommended vendor for the show. I refuse to go to a tanning bed to get a deeper tan, so however the spray tan takes to my body will have to do. I won't be able to put on much upper body muscle before my next shows (that's feedback for an improvement season) but I did up my cardio for the next two shows to try to lean out my legs a bit more. 

After THAT - it was time to go out to eat with Cam! We enjoyed some amazing thin crust pizza at a local hotspot called Turoni's and I had the most epic dessert (a chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream and 2 warm chocolate chip walnut cookies, one on each side!). The whole day seemed like an absolute rollercoaster, but after being up since 2:40am, I was exhausted and all I wanted was some downtime.

Now I'm entering another peak week and it's off to Wisconsin on Friday for the Fox Cities Showdown in Oshkosh on Saturday. Stay tuned!