What are the costs associated in competing in a figure contest?
In my experience, there are two costs associated with competing in a figure contest – obvious costs and hidden costs. I think when you first get started you think, all I will need is posing suits and entrance fees. I think that most women, me included, do not realize the large amount of money that can go into prepping for a figure show.
First and foremost, do you know enough about diet and training to do this yourself? If not, you are going to have to hire someone to prep you for your show. Dieting and training for a figure competition is much different than just losing weight. Having a ‘coach’ guide you through this process can be crucial in dialing in your physique. This can be an expense that you may need to consider.
Another obvious cost is your competition suits. Now this number can vary greatly depending on what federation you are competing in as well as how elaborately your suits are decorated. There are also strategies that you can use to lower this cost – for example, by buying used suits or unstoned suits that you stone yourself. These suits can run any were from roughly $150 to upwards of $4000 a suit. The range is very large.
Unquestionably you will need tanning supplies. Some competitors will go to a tanning bed, which is one cost, but even doing that you will still need a tanner on top to make you dark enough for the stage. These tanners take several coats and can run you $30 a bottle. You could also hire someone to do a spray tan at the show and this can cost roughly $150.
Other obvious costs that you will have to take into consideration are your gym fees, entrance fees and possible travel fees to get to the location of the show. These are all things that seem small, but will quickly add up.
Here are a few things that may not come to mind when you begin thinking of competing. In some federations, NPC for example, you need to be a member. A membership fee is something that you will have to renew each year. Stage make-up is another cost that you may not have considered that adds up very quickly. Competition shoes, getting your nails manicured, buying your costume jewelry, possibly posing practice with a coach, getting your hair done, and of course nutrition. Nutrition includes things like vitamins, protein powders, the higher costs of clean foods and any other supplements that are recommended to you.
So, turns out it’s a little more than suits and entry fees.