New monthly feature: Behind the Bikini by Dana Carmont.

Hi everyone and welcome to my monthly column Behind The Bikini by Dana Carmont Bikinis.
My name is Dana Carmont and I am a former Body reshaping coach, Figure & Bikini Competitor and currently still designing bikinis for competitors globally after 22 years in the industry.
I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to work with Kevin Grech from here in Malta! Each month I will be writing or you tubing information & interviews about Behind The Bikini – from bikini model Interviews, bikinis, tans, posing, what’s hot & what’s not in the competition circuit and so much more!
This month’s topic is Get Comp Ready!

1. The question you need to ask your self is – do you have the BUG & MOTIVATION to compete?
The bug to compete is something you cannot shake off! This bug is deep within you, where you know you are ready to take on the challenge, to get comp ready and you visually see yourself rocking the stage in the best condition in your life in a bikini!

2. Once the bug is set within you and the motivation kicks in hard, You have to take the next steps of knowing that in 12 weeks you body transformation and comp prep life, is about to get hard and change your lifestyle!.

3. Taking the next steps to knowing your lifestyle is about to change gets a little hard, but once you get use to the comp prep, it does get easier as you know what to expect. But for first timers this is the make or break stage of your bodybuilding/ Bikini model career.

4. The First Steps to competing

A) If this is your first competition, it’s important to find out what federation you would like to compete in. There are many federations globally so see what appeals to you.
B) Once you choose a federation and then choose a division best suited to your body type, find out what the fees are for membership and how much to compete in your division.
C) Find out when the next competition is on, so you give yourself enough comp prep time of 12 weeks to get comp ready!
D) Once you are set with your preferred federation, division and date this is where you comp prep kicks in.

5. You now have 12 weeks till you ROCK the stage, this is where the check list is vital, so you can make sure you are Comp Ready!

6. One of the most important keys to getting comp ready, is knowing how to train properly and eat a healthy well balanced eating plan. I suggest you do your homework and embrace in a good coach to guide you. One thing I learnt about getting comp ready , over 20 years ago I didn’t have internet, Face book or Instagram to find out information , I had over several hard core body builders at City Gym, Sydney Australia telling me what to do. So my eating plan was all over shop with so much personal information ……but until I learnt about my body myself, after a few competitions is when I knew what worked for me. The moral to the story is , keep to one coach to stay focused, to many cooks spoil the broth!

7. Food prep is also very important. It can also get very expensive, as your buying good quality food to make gains, but you will also be cutting out luxury items that you would normally eat or drink , so it weighs up in the end. Eating 5-6 meals a day helps speeds the metabolism, burns fat and builds muscle. It’s important to keep feeding you body with nutritious food, so making your own food every day packed in lunch boxes to take on your journey makes Food prep easy.

8. Once you have your training under way, Food prep covered now it’s time to think of the other side of the picture, the A-E of stage presence!

9. A. Stage shoes – are an important part of you stage presence. If you can’t walk properly in your shoes you may as well say good bye to your stage presence! I advise checking what style and height shoes are best suited for the federation you are competing in and buying your heels 8-10 weeks out, so you get to know each other and wear them every day to break them in!
B. Posing – If you can’t walk in your heels or grace the stage with confidence, then don’t bother trying to rock the stage. Posing practice is very important if you want to be noticed. I can remember clearly, when I was judging a competition in Australia, I was so excited when I saw this amazing competitor. She had the entire package, once she did her t-walk I was so disappointed, as the only thing that let her down was her posing, as her confidence failed her. So after a quite word to her, after the competition, she invested in posing classes and picked up her game. She became one of the most high ranked bikini models in Australia. Stage Confidence Is Vital!
C. Bikinis – Choosing your bikini is another big part of your presentation on stage. Bikinis are important for a number of things, the right color to match with your complexion, so it doesn’t wash you away on stage under the bright lights, the style and cut of your bikini can benefit changing your body shape on stage as choosing the right bikini will give you the illusion you need to change your body shape on stage such as longer legs, longer torso etc. I also advise to check the rules and regulations of your bikini for the federation and division your in. It’s like choosing your wedding dress, although with a lot less fabric!
D. Tanning – Tanning reflects your body definition on stage. Having the medium /golden tan is the perfect look for leanness and definition for the bright stage lights, so you don’t looked washed away. There is a lot of preparation before tanning, to have the perfect tan applied, such a exfoliation daily to get rid of dead skin cells, prior to your spray tan. I would recommend a dry tan which is a spray tan – its dries quickly and applies evenly and doesn’t stain your bikini. A wet tan such as creams take a lot longer to dry and can stain your bikini and also gets messy to apply.
E. Jewelry – keep jewelry simple and elegant such as , simple diamante earrings, Diamante wrist bands and rings

Once your 12 weeks have passed and you’re ready to rock the stage, remember to enjoy every moment. Being your first competition can be a little daunting, but remember there are other women in the same boat as you. Introduce yourself to as many other competitors as you can, so you can enjoy the day with other like minded woman and learn from your first time experience to build for your next. The more practice you gain the better your experiences become.
Looking forward to chatting next time.

Dana Carmont
Behind the Bikini
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