NPC Bikini Contest Prep | 10 Weeks Out

Thanks so much for your encouraging comments and for following along on my fitness journey!  I’ve been emailing with many of you who are sharing your own fitness journeys and have other questions.  You can also leave a comment – I read every one!  If you’re just getting caught up, I’m preparing for my second NPC bikini fitness competition on July 11, 2015.  I competed in my first contest last July and I decided to do another one because I was doing most of the exercise anyway and already eating similarly to the bikini prep plan.  It’s the best way I know to get in shape in a relatively short period of time, especially since summer is almost here!

But, “most of the exercise” and “eating similarly” are not the same thing as actually doing the work all the way when you’re training for a bikini contest.  I have learned in the past couple of weeks that unless you are 100% focused and dedicated, you are not going to see the results you want.

Last Wednesday (just after 10 weeks out), my trainer measured me at 25% body fat. That’s bad because I went up 2% since he measured me last two weeks ago.  I knew I hadn’t been strictly sticking to the meal plan/workouts (with being out of town, and then my Grandma being in town for a week) and it showed.  For a contest like this, the goal is to get down to around 10%.

NPC Bikini Contest Prep - 10 Weeks Out Recap

So, to get serious, we analyzed my food portions and cut from 6 oz to 5 oz of carbs on meals 2, 3, and 4.  Cutting too drastically and I’d have nowhere to cut in the later on.  I’m also going to up my cardio 5 minutes, from 40 to 45 minutes 6 days a week.  Not that I had even been doing a whole 40 minutes 6 days a week yet. 🙁

I also realized I made a mistake in calculating my calories in my meal plan – it should be about 1500 calories, not 1900.  I made the error by inputting the wrong amount of potatoes in MyFitnessPal, so it calculated the calories too high.  

This type of sport is not for the faint of heart and make no bones about it- it IS althletuc training and conditioning similar to any other sport. You will definitely feel that when you are working out so hard each day. 
My workouts are done first thing in the morning and then are done for the day.  It’s hardest to get started on the bikini prep for the first few weeks, but once you start to see the results of your effort and hard work, then the motivation really sets in and you see the fruits of your labor.  After that, sticking with it for the remaining weeks is not as hard as it was in the beginning.

I’m still in that “hard beginning part” and am a little freaked out because I only have 9 weeks now to get it done.  I have to remember to trust the process because I know from experience that it works.  This prep is also difficult because the first time, I was much more excited about doing it- thinking about it a bunch, but this time, having done it before, there’s not as big a fanfare as I made it out to be last time.  Now, it’s just about doing the work, day in and day out, and keeping on with the rest of my life.  It’s more like just a part of how I live right now.

Here’s my 10 Weeks Out picture, snapped on Sunday, May 3, 2015: 
NPC Bikini Contest Prep - 10 Weeks Out Recap

NPC Bikini Contest Prep - 10 Weeks Out Recap

sports bra | Elastika Dri-fit tank (super lightweight and great for sweaty workouts) (similar to this twist back tank) | dri-fit capri pants 
One thing I will mention regarding body fat measurements is that even my trainer said that he’s surprised how high my body fat read last week.  He always cautions me not to get hung up on the number and compliments me saying I look athletic, better than the numbers say.  I’ll go back to the In-Body Analyzer Body Fat test in a few more weeks to see how that one measures too.  It’s a good reminder to just keep my head down and work, not focusing too much on the body fat measurement, except as one tool to use on this journey.  

Again this week, I trained with my trainer twice and he wrote out my 3rd and 4th workout since he was out of town.  He is a champion in the sport of bodybuilding (although he’s super humble about it) and is a judge at NPC contests, so he often travels during show season.  The high body fat measurement scared me straight and I did get 5 days of cardio in (but I’m supposed to do 6).  For me, I’ll be happy with 5 days of 45 minutes.  Six days is just so freaking hard from a time standpoint alone.  My days have to be pretty structured to get all these workouts in.  I’ll do a post about my schedule if you want to see.  Let me know!

Those training days with my trainer are KILLER because we do our weight workout for nearly an hour, then I go straight to my 45 minutes of cardio.  When I do cardio after weight-training, I get on the treadmill and put it at the highest incline (for the treadmills they have) 15, then alternate walking at 2.5 – 3.0.  Or I might ramp it down to incline 8 and bump the speed to 4.0.  To lower my heart rate, I’ll bring it down to incline 5, slower pace.

On days I only do cardio, I go to another gym closer to my house, and get on the bike.  I put it on “quick start” at 7 and then make sure to keep my heart rate in the 70-75% range using my Polar heart rate monitor.

Monday:  Train Chest & Arms + Cardio (40 minutes on bike)

Tuesday:  Cardio (35 minutes sprints outside- 3 miles)

Wednesday:  Train Legs + Cardio (45 minutes on treadmill) – measured 25% body fat (calipers) yikes! 

Thursday:   Train Back + Cardio (45 minutes on treadmill)

Friday:  0

Saturday: Train Chest & Arms + 10 minutes cardio on bike (just a warm up before training)

Sunday:   Cardio (45 minutes on bike)

Total calories burned Week 10 = 2160 (according to my heart rate monitor)

It’s crazy how little calories I actually burn during a workout (which is why it’s so much better to not eat too much in the first place).  I keep track of calories burned with my Polar heart rate monitor.  Of course, calories burned depends on your body size.  My husband, for example, will burn over double what I do during the same workout.

On training + cardio days, I might burn 550 calories.   On cardio alone days, I only burn about 300.

I’ve started prepping several meals in advance and putting them into plastic containers I found at my grocery store so all I have to do is pop them in the microwave for about 1 1/2 minutes when I’m ready to eat.  I’m eating 5 meals a day, so these are Meals 2, 3, and 4.  I will show you how I prep my meals for the week tomorrow!
Each one contains: 5 oz. lean protein (pictured here is chicken and turkey/beef meatballs); 5 oz potato (combo of sweet potato and white) just because I like that mix; and 1 cup veggies (green beans are my fave).

I measure the protein and potatoes exactly with my food scale.  I put my frozen veggies in there and they are cooked through once thawed in fridge and microwaved.  I’ll add a little ketchup to the meatballs and sometimes a tiny bit of salt to the veggies- but not always, just if I want it.  Salt is okay at this point, closer to the competition date, we’ll cut it out. 

NPC Bikini Contest Prep - 10 Weeks Out Recap - Meal Prep
NPC Bikini Contest Prep - 10 Weeks Out Recap - Meal Prep
Since I was scared straight after getting my body fat results, I ate really clean this week. With one exception.  My son’s preschool class honored the mothers on Friday with the cutest presentation and homemade cookies they prepared the day before.  I was not about to turn down a cookie made with love by my son and he was so proud to serve it to me! 
Then, to show the parents some of what the kids have been learning this year, they took turns showing some of what they’ve been up to lately. I beamed with pride when my son was called to the front of the class first . . .  There was a big audience of moms watching, and he did so good, even though I could tell he was nervous. #heartmelting! 

Because I like to post in real time, here’s a peek at 9 Weeks Out, picture taken on Sunday, May 10, 2015.  I had to scroll through all the pics to find ones that looked like an improvement and I’m doing the ‘bikini’ stance, which is meant to make your waist look smaller since you’re standing twisted and to the side.  You’d be surprised how much effort it takes to suck in and stand this way for longer than a few seconds!

NPC Bikini Contest Prep - 9 Weeks Out Recap
sports bra (similar) | shorts (similar)

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Now 9 weeks left, 63 days, just over 2 months. I can do it, right?! You can too! Even if you’re not competing in a contest, you can still make significant improvements to your health and shape in 2 months! 
I’m so excited to have two friends competing in this same contest (July 11, 2015) with me this year.  One woman is another mom from my son’s school (she’s kicking butt, already down to 16% body fat! and this will be her first contest).  She’s training online with my trainer and he’s giving her workout plans to do in her home garage gym and also guiding her on her meal plan.  Her husband is doing the plan too and has lost 10 pounds! 
Another new friend followed my first contest prep then started training with my trainer and placed Top 5 at her first contest last year.  This will be her second contest and we often see each other at the gym since we train around the same time with our trainer.  She is adorable and has a small child also.  The three of us are planning to do our posing classes together this time.  
It is more fun to have a friend compete with you.  Along the way, you can encourage each other, share tips, and just talk in general to someone else who gets it.  
If you missed some of my bikini prep posts, you can get caught up here:
Come back tomorrow for my Quick & Healthy Meal Prep for the Week! 
And, I got my FITNESS tab added and will be updating it regularly as I add new fitness related posts. 
keep in touch! 

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  1. May 12, 2015 / 2:13 pm

    Looking great, Megan! I've been a reader for years… and after recently deciding I needed a new fitness challenge, I jumped on board with you and began competition prep! I am a far ways out – about 22 weeks. Today is actually my first "official" day on my nutritional and training program and I am amazed by your dedication – I don't have children and can't imagine how you get it all done! Keep sharing your progress and any tips you may have – I love reading it all!! Thanks for keeping me motivated 🙂

    • May 18, 2015 / 1:48 pm

      Yay Jennifer! So excited for you! Just stick with it even if you're not seeing results at first. I promise, within a few weeks you WILL start seeing the positive changes and all your hard work will be worth it! Please keep me posted! You can do it!!

  2. May 12, 2015 / 3:53 pm

    Your blog is my new FAVORITE! I'm finding all these posts SO inspiring! You look amazing and it's so helpful to see how you got there, little by little. Thank you for being so real (ie, admitting your body fat increase – just goes to show even the BEST have setbacks, but they don't have to define you). Could you share your strength training workouts? I would love to strength train on my own, but if I did, I'd be doing the same exercises over and over. I'd love to get some ideas on what specific exercises you do and in what order for each strength day. Thanks!

    • May 18, 2015 / 1:49 pm

      Thank you! Little changed over time add up to big results. I've posted some of my strength training over on Honey We're Healthy- just check the fitness tab at the top. 🙂

  3. May 12, 2015 / 6:55 pm

    Thank you for sharing as always! The hilight of my day is reading your blog while my baby naps. I have one quick question…when you do your treadmill workout, are you walking on the incline at 3.0 miles an hr or are you eventually running and increasing speed but keeping the incline?
    I am trying to change up my workouts and thought I'd follow along with you. I have my masters in exercise physiology so I know the science behind it all but I'm all about changing up things so my body will not get used to what I'm doing.
    Again, thanks for sharing and you look FABULOUS!!! GO GIRL!!!

  4. May 12, 2015 / 8:41 pm

    First things first, you look incredible! If you have 9 weeks to go I have no doubt that you will be killer on stage! I cannot thank you enough for sharing your journey with us, I've looked for other blogs in the past that feature bikini comp preps and yours, honestly is the best I've seen.

    To your question, YES! I'd personally love to know your schedule. I am far from ever considering competing but I am following on the journey with you. Again, thank you for this blog! I really do get so much from it and I use it as a reference all the time.

    P.S. Your son is adorable.

  5. May 13, 2015 / 1:55 am

    So impressed, Megan! I did back-to-back workouts (an hour of combined cardio and strength then and hour of weights) a couple months ago and I fell asleep in my car later that afternoon. Not while driving, don't worry 🙂 I've been sticking to single workouts since then. Though I'm sure as you build it gets a little less exhausting! No doubt you will do great!!

  6. Dream Mom
    May 12, 2015 / 9:45 pm

    Good luck, Megan!

  7. May 13, 2015 / 9:06 pm

    You're looking fantastic! I would love to see a post about your routine…who knows, that might help me balance and find time in my busy schedule for workouts and eating clean too!

    xoxo, SS

    The Southern Stylista

  8. April Bryan
    May 14, 2015 / 3:52 pm

    I would love to see your schedule. I'm trying to get my head wrapped around actually starting!!! Its stressing me out, but I'm ready to get started.

  9. May 15, 2015 / 12:34 am

    You are amazing! I'm so impressed and inspired by your dedication. That is hard work! Keep it up, you got this!

  10. Elizabeth puccio
    January 23, 2020 / 12:37 pm

    Hi Megan! Is it possible you share your trainer email I would like to ask him to help me lose weight! You look fabulous. Thank you

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