Training for a Bikini Competition, the Healthy Way

Maryann Berry


San Diego, California, United States

Strength and Conditioning, Mobility & Recovery


In June of this year, I made a decision to compete in women’s bikini this fall.


The date of my competition is fast approaching, October 1st. For those women who are interested in competing in bikini but worried about injuring yourself during training, I will provide you with a quick rundown on how I am keeping my health a top priority in each component of my training plan.



A Philosophical Experiment

If you are not familiar with bikini competition, to give you an idea of my end goal, here is a picture of my friend Lindsay on competition day last year:


Linsday at her bikini competition


This is a big experiment for me. As a Posture Alignment Specialist, the challenge is to apply my training philosophies to achieving an aesthetic result without ending up burned out, in pain or injured from the high volume of training.


I will post again after my show to share the end result with you, and to recap what worked and what I would do differently next time.


How I Plan to Get There

Here is an overview of the components of my training plan, and the health-oriented strategy that I am taking for each component:



Simply put, my approach towards nutrition is to stay compliant and to listen to my body. I am working with a coach who has taken my fast metabolism and food preferences into account to create a customized meal plan.


That plan gets tweaked every week to gradually decrease my calories. When I feel depleted or low on energy, I check with my coach first, then eat what I feel my body needs at that time, within reason.



Each of my hour-long workouts consist of about 30 minutes of total body, functional, multiplanar movements to keep my body balanced and aligned. I finish each session with another 30 minutes of weight lifting.


I am doing five of these hour long sessions per week.




I began incorporating cardio sessions within the last month. Today these consist of high intensity interval training for 15 minutes. I keep these short and intense to prevent burnout.


In addition to these interval sessions, I am doing hour-long function runs three times per week. Check out my video on the function run to learn more.


Posture Alignment and Mobility

I run through a 15-minute customized sequence of posture exercises first thing each morning. These exercises are geared towards keeping my upper back, head and shoulders in the correct position.


These are the areas where I have the most dysfunction, so staying on top of my alignment has been a huge way to avoid injury and pain throughout my training.


I am excited to update you once my show is over with photos. I will also be able to tell you how these strategies worked for me when it came down to strutting my stuff on competition day!


Thinking of entering a competition yourself?

10 Things to Consider Before Your First Physique Competition

See more about: , , , , , , , ,
Breaking Muscle Newsletter

Breaking Muscle Newsletter

Get updates and special offers delivered directly to your inbox.