Figure prep on a budget. How much does it cost to compete? No doubt, contest prep takes time and money. The price to be fit and glamorous on stage can be somewhat expensive. When you have to pay for food, a trainer, gym membership, tanning, posing suit and heels, jewelry, registration fees, travel, accommodations, etc., well let’s face it, the financial attachment can be quite overwhelming if not downright scary.
Even so, I’ll show you some ways to approach figure prep on a budget so you don’t have to take out a loan on making your dream a reality.
Figure Prep on a Budget… You CAN Cut Your Cost in HALF!
Let’s Create a Budget Plan
I know more work… but this work will pay off big time! We need to sit down and make a list of all the projected expenses and a list of what you actually spent. But, you will be surprised at how you can save money by doing a lot of things yourself.
The registration fee can vary from one organization to the next. The cost of fees can vary from $40 – $150 or more! I’d recommend getting this cost out of the way as soon as possible so you don’t have it hanging over your head. If you wait and register after the deadline you’ll incur some late fees and drive the cost up another $25-$50 bucks!
As an added note, each division you compete in will cost you a separate registration fee. You can limit money spent by choosing one category and competing in it only.
Another advantage to early registration is that it will secure your personal spot mentally. I mean, if you pay for it ahead of time you’ll do what it takes to achieve your goal and make it to the stage.
Save up to $50 by registering early
Food and Figure Prep
Gotta eat if you want to build muscle and lose fat. That’s a given. So we need to keep you on a tight food budget and avoid overspending.
If you want figure prep on a budge, look for sales. Use price and ad matching when you can and if you can find coupons for natural foods, more power to you, use them. Buy in bulk when you can. This can save you a hunk of money in the long run. Just portion out the food and freeze it for when you are ready to prepare it. Warehouse shopping at places like Sam’s Club can save you a lot of cash in the long run. Frozen veggies are fine to eat and you can purchase huge bags of them cheaper than buying several small bags at your local grocery store.
Some markets spray their vegetables with a fine mist. Alert! Before bagging that damp veggie, shake off that excess water. The extra water on the vegetables can add up to an ounce or more to the weight, and you are the one paying for it.
Save an estimated $100+ in 12 weeks using sales and coupons
Gym Membership on a Budget
Will you have a gym membership? You don’t HAVE to, but if you do you need to figure it into your figure prep budget. Gym memberships can range from a mere $20 – $100+ a month depending on where you live and your gym choice.
You can save $240 – $1200 a year by training at home. Many figure competitors train at home if they don’t have the time to drive to a gym, can’t afford one, or the nearest gym is just too darn far. Michelle Tyra trained in her basement, lost 31 pounds and competed in her first contest.
Save an estimated $60 – $300 in 12 weeks by training at home
Learn All You Can
Do you know enough about the contest diet and figure training to prep yourself? If you are not confident in your abilities it would be a good idea to get some quality information on it. The are several Figure Competition eBooks on the market, those on Amazon.com for a buck or two and I’ve seen some ridiculously priced. Written information shouldn’t be the cost of your car note. If you are on a budget, it would be a good idea to save that extra money and put it toward your posing suit.
A good option would be Figure Competition Secrets. It’s over 200 pages of REAL information on everything from how to start your prep to the minute you step on stage. For $47 you will have your own how-to-guide to prep yourself.
Save an estimated $250 for 12 weeks of figure competition prep
Personal Trainer and Figure Prep on a Budget
Can you have a personal trainer if your figure prep on a budget is tight? As you are noticing, the cost to compete is on a sliding scale. When it comes to Figure Coaches their prices can vary greatly, and this alone can be the deal breaker in contest prep, as many are overpriced. Online Coaching Programs can vary from $265 to $1400 for just 12 weeks. Personal Training doesn’t have to leave you in poverty and charging insane amounts is just price gouging.
If you choose Online Personal Training, research various trainers and then narrow it down to your top three. List pros and cons of each and continue to tweak your choices until you declare the winner. It is well within reason to request references if you are still unsure.
Be sure to study before and after photos based on actual starting and finishing of the program. You want to see real transformation pics for proof, not just the after photo with the trophy. You need to see the journey.
Be sure to view their disclaimers for any hidden traps!
Save an estimated $1135 in 12 weeks by simple research
Tanning and Skin Dyes
Ah yes, the almighty competition tan. Nothing looks better under those bright stage lights than a deep and rich tan. But, let’s face it, tanning cost money. You can pay anywhere from $20 – $100 a month to get the color you need for stage.
The price variations depend on the level bed you choose. The short-timed bed such as the 5 minute and 10 minute beds are a bit more pricy because they are in such high demand. People don’t want to waste time tanning so they will pay more to save time. There are also mid-priced beds where you can tan you in 15 minutes, some 20. The most cost efficient bed is the 20-30 minute bed. Timing and price will vary depending on the area.
So, if you need to catch some artificial rays and need to budget, go for the 30 minute bed and you can spend those extra minutes relaxing and meditating.
In addition to the traditional tanning you will need to take it one step further and get even darker with the help of skin dye. Many shows offer spray tanning services backstage for a cost, about $75 – $150.
You can also do-it-yourself with a bottle skin dyes such as ProTan and Jan Tana. A bottle will only cost about $15 – $30. While some may propose that these self tanners are messy and they stain, it can be true. Just be careful. I used them both of them for years and never had any problems. Simply apply them to dampened skin with latex gloves and both products go on smoothly and evenly. Wear old clothes and use old bedding, and might cover your car seats, and you’re all set.
Save an estimated $60 – $300 in 12 weeks by choosing the long-duration bed.
Save an estimated $135 on skin dye self tanning
Figure prep on a budget and supplements? Not a problem. Chances are you will supplement to prep for your show. That’s a given. But supplementing doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Believe it or not, you can save a hunk of change with a few minor tweaks.
First, assess what kind of supplements you need. Figure Competition Secrets lists all the best fat burning supplements you need for your 12 week prep. In all, you don’t need a LOT of supplements. Really, if you can keep your vitamins and minerals high during the high-stress prep period, you will be way ahead of the game.
Some coaches suggest a whole host of specific supplements from their affiliated partner. Providing links to supplements at Amazon.com and other similar sites can set you up for failure. My friend purchased a whey protein powder I recommend from Amazon.com and it was 9 months expired. An expired product over 3 months has lost its potency.
It’s a good idea to purchase from Bodybuilding.com. For one, they are dirt cheap, and two, they deliver! Through my research, I find bb.com is about 40% cheaper than their competitors. They have most products and they are a very trusting company.
The average supplement stack cost can be about $500 for the duration of the prep. Using FSC you can cut your supplement bill down to just $50 a month when choosing the right supplements.
Save an estimated $350 in 12 weeks with laser targeted supplement selection
Posing Suit and Shoes
It’s time to size up, not just your physique but your budget when it comes to your figure posing suit and heels. Yes, these little guys can get quite pricy. You need a custom-made suit that is made to fit your physique type. Some suits are modest that keeps the eye from zoning in on trouble areas, and other suits are more outgoing, really drawing the attention to all the curves of the physique.
Figure posing suits prices can vary from $300 – $1,200. While all the glitz is dazzling on a suit and really looks good, keep in mind that you will be judged on your physique too, so don’t put ALL your emphasis on the suit because the more you bling, the more their cash registers dings.
While NEW custom-fitted suits can run from $600 – $1,200, you’re not $@#& out of luck. It’s not uncommon for competitors to purchased used suits from other competitors selling. Find used competition suits on clearance from designers and even eBay. You can usually find a great used suit for $125 – $400. Bedazzle the suit yourself for just pennies.
As for your posing heels, look to shell out about $40 – $100. You can find some good deals on eBay that run for about $40, and sometimes less.
Save an estimated $1135 on a competition suit and heels
Getting professional stage makeup is optional. Many competitions will have a professional makeup artist backstage if you feel you want to go this route. It can cost $75 – $150 for services.
You can sidestep this extra fee simply by applying your makeup yourself. You can go to any high-end department store and get your makeup done with one of their high-quality products. They can show you the MAC brand and show you how to put it on so you can do-it-yourself on contest day, saving you a lot of cash.
For $75 you can purchase MAC foundation and powder and just apply the rest of your makeup really heavy. But keep an eye on the mailbox. Department stores are always sending out coupons. It could be the perfect time to cash them in and save money.
Check out Jelena Abbou. She has been one of my long-term e-clients and she’s the new MAC Girl!
Save an estimated $75 on makeup services
Many times there will be a professional photographer backstage for a quick photo shoot. To pose and shoot is free, but if you want to order the professional pictures it can cost $50 – $100.
You can escape much cheaper by having your own camera or phone camera handy for pics. No, they won’t be professional, but they capture the moment and your success.
Save an estimated $100 by having family and friends take pics
Figure Prep on a Budget… How to Start
The above are just a few tips on figure prep on a budget. It can be done. You can compete without breaking the bank.
One way to get started is to get my FREE Contest Prep Crash Course. It’s what the top placing competitors are using. Get instant access by clicking the link below.
Karen Sessions NSCA-CPT
Thanks for reading over my article! I hope you found the information helpful. If you have any questions you can contact me directly using the “Contact Link” at the top of the page. I answer all emails.
If you did like this article then you should sign-up for my FREE Contest Prep Crash Course. These lessons provide science-based information on fat loss, muscle gain, and contest prep. Get the facts and you get the results.