The Bikini Body Reality: What it Really Takes to Look Perfect

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It’s beach season. Temperatures are warming up, and so are the desires to look better in a bikini.

If you’re in the small minority, the results of your hard work in the gym have paid off. You’ve crushed your resistance training, put in hours of cardio, and feel brave enough – and confident enough in your body – to wear a bikini.

But most women aren’t quite there yet. They’ve either fallen short of their goals, or have yet to find the motivation to start. Again. For the 20th time.

Related: The Real Bikini Leg Workout For Women

Many women find their motivation from images and connections on social media. They see the stunning pictures of top-level bikini competitors and believe anything is possible… If they only try hard enough.

Low body fat levels. A sculpted and “toned” physique. Curves on curves. Fit, fantastic, and sexy.

This is the body image being sold. This is the perfect body women want. Emphasis on PERFECT. But the question becomes: What does it really take to achieve this goddess-level bikini figure?

True confessions of a former bikini competitor | Marc Lobliner’s reaction to Fox News.

Fox News: “True Confessions of a Former Bikini Competitor”

Enter… reality.

Recently, Fox News rolled out an article that exposed the bikini reality. “True confessions of a former bikini competitor” tells the story of Molly Galbraith, a 31 year old seasoned figure competitor and certified strength and conditioning specialist. Molly is also the owner and co-founder of Girls Gone Strong.

How dedicated did Molly Galbraith have to be to build an amazing physique? Here are some highlights from the Fox News piece. Molly had to:

  • Restrict calories to 900 per day for the 16 weeks leading into a competition.
  • Limit food choices to a select few “safe foods.”
  • Spend two to three hours per day in the gym, split between two workouts.
  • Dehydrate herself for 24 hours prior to the competition.

So what can we learn from this? While achieving a near-perfect female beach body is possible, it’s not sustainable. No sane woman could hold this level of conditioning without risking health complications.

Beyond this, Molly also experienced “rebound” following her last competition in October of 2008.

“A few months later, my body was so exhausted that, at 24 years old, I could hardly get up off the couch to get a glass of water, My weight had climbed, I was exhausted, and I felt completely out of control of my body. I knew I had to quit competing so I could focus on getting healthy.”

Here are a few quotes from the Fox News piece that expand upon the dedication and deprivation required to look your absolute best on stage:

“Eating such a low number of calories a day, regardless if you’re getting adequate protein or not, will cause weight loss, muscle mass loss, and a likely drop in metabolic rate. That may explain why after her competition, Galbraith says she ate ‘all the things.’ Her body rebounded and she packed on 10 to 15 pounds in a couple of weeks.”

“How would you like to live on only five foods: tilapia, asparagus, egg whites, sweet potato, and oatmeal? That’s what coaches encouraged her to do. ‘[Coaches] want to control their client’s intake as much as possible,’ says Galbraith. As you can imagine, putting a moral label on your eats can lead to an effed up relationship with food. ‘I remember being done with competition and going grocery shopping. I was so confused about whether or not I could eat chicken with marinade.'”

“Galbraith was dangerously under-fueled. While Galbraith admits that sometimes she felt really good in the gym because of the excitement surrounding competition, she also recalls being very run down. ‘Six weeks before my first competition, I remember my limbs felt like they weighed a million pounds.'”

“24 hours before the competition, you stop drinking water. ‘It takes those hormones 12 to 24 hours to catch up and realize you’re not getting water. Your body continues to flush out,’ she says. ‘I lost almost 15 pounds overnight.'”

The Bikini Body Bottom Line

After reading Molly’s story you might feel discouraged. Please don’t be. The difference between looking amazing and looking perfect is a smaller gap than you think.

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A woman doesn’t need to go to extremes to lose weight, feel great, and look pretty darn good in a bikini. Here’s what I suggest:

  • Keep your calorie intake reasonable. Instead of starvation, focus on eating mostly clean, whole foods. Eat to satiety. For help setting up a slight caloric deficit, click here.
  • Don’t overkill the exercise. Fat loss is primarily a factor of diet. Resistance training burns little fat, unless it’s extreme. Use resistance training to build that toned, fit look. Use cardio for health, and to give your metabolism a slight push. Don’t use exercise as a miracle fat burning tool.
  • Amplifying your fat burning efforts with a quality pre-workout formula, yohimbine HCL taken prior to your workouts, and a fat burner. Over the long run these 3 products can help with energy and provide a slight thermogenic effect.
  • Be patient. Focus on selling out to a new lifestyle that is all about health and wellness, and not so much about looks, and looks alone. By eating right and exercising, you will slowly improve your body each day. And you’ll feel amazing too.
  • Learn to love yourself. You don’t need to be perfect to be perfect. Aim for progress, not perfection.
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Name: Steve Shaw

Bio: I don’t believe in magic training systems or rep ranges. My philosophy is simple: remain consistent, use the best possible exercises, focus upon progression and enter the gym looking to maximize each set. When you maximize each set, you maximize progress. Easy, obvious, insanely effective.