How much does competing actually cost? Let’s talk money

The “full” break down of The Cost of Competing💰

Below is a list of things you will need to take into consideration if you’re thinking about competing. All things that are RED are “optional” or things you’re able to do on your own with minimal cost. All BLUE things you WILL NEED. I also tagged where you can get things for the best quality/price. (Each site is tagged the first time it is mentioned, just click the link to be sent there!)

🔹NPC Card $125 (good for the calendar year. So if you have a 2018 November show & want to do a 2019 March show you will have to buy a new card for 2019)

🔹Suit $90-900 depending on how blingy it is- RavishSands has amazing quality stock/custom suits. (Code CARAFIT to save money). They also have a trade in option, and on a budget bling pricing! You can also buy used from friends or poshmark, just make sure your sizing is correct if buying used.

🔹Heels $20-120 depends on how bedazzled- The Shoe Fairy (code CARA for 10% off) or you can also find your basic pair of clear heels on Amazon as well.

🔺Jewelry $10-60- Amazon/Ravishsands/The Shoe Fairy (my codes are good for jewelry as well)

🔺Nails $5-35- Yourself/CVS/professional

🔺Lashes $6-150- Walmart falsies/ professional lash extensions @lalalashetc if you’re in OH/KY

🔺Makeup $25-150- Yourself/CVS/Professional (you WILL have to buy darker foundation)

🔺Hair $0-150- Self/extensions/professional

🔺Brazilian wax $50-100- if you’re doing this please use a professional & do it a week before. Or you can just shave, but also do this about 2 days before.

🔹Tan $30-150- Glow pro self tanner (code CARA)/  tanning co. the show provides (Pro Tan or LiquidSunRayz usually)

🔺Robe $25-65 – for walking around in between (can totally wear sweats if you want) AVOID PINKS AND REDS! This color will alter the color of your tan sometimes! – Amazon/ Victoria’s Secret

🔺Posing lessons $30-100/session/class – I always go to my girl Elle Chapleau @Elle_bfitbody (

🔺Prep coach $60-600/month- I highly recommend utilizing a coach rather than prepping yourself, especially if it’s your first show. Dieting, and then PREP dieting ARE NOT THE SAME and you’ll need a lot more structure- I work with Adam Atkinson (  or @SeeYouLaterLeaner on IG. Tell him I sent you!)

🔹Entry fees $100-600- 1 entry could be $100, but if you do 2 divisions, or both Novice & Open, you’re paying the entry price for each. Also, national level show entries are around $200 each. Plus multiple shows a season.

🔺Tickets for family $20-45 for prejudging $20-60 for finals/per ticket.

🔺Photographer $50-250- There will normally be a photographer provided by the show, but sometimes you have to pay for those photos. @npcnewsonlineofficialpage posts for free.

🔹Hotel $80-600- (if you’re traveling for your show) Depends on how many days you stay, how nice the hotel/Airbnb is, & if you’re at the host hotel they normally have a special rate for competitors.

🔹Travel $20-600+ – gas/flights

🔹Groceries $50-200 every couple weeks

🔺Meal prep company $100-180/week (7-14 meals + snacks/week) + shipping  – Bite Meals usually has great deals, and keep an eye out for Custom Built Nutrition when it launches! They design your meals to fit your specific macros and work with you like a coach would! (I’m super excited for this!)

🔺Supplements $50-300/month depending on what you take, how much, etc. – Code CARA gets you 30% off

🔹Gym membership $10-60/month unless you have a home gym. 


So to break it down a little further, if you do the absolute bare minimum in preparation for your show in terms of: getting the cheapest of everything, doing most things yourself with things you already have, doing a local show where you do not have to stay in a hotel, not doing any of the optional things, you have a home gym, and you don’t pay for your own groceries…You’re looking at spending about $450-500 for one show.

Competing is expensive y’all! But 100% doable if you budget, have a job or two (duh), are passionate about this sport, and genuinely know that it’s all worth it.

This is also not taking into account if you are a sponsored athlete for a company that helps with these kinds of expenses. Most companies that aid in this, take care of the cost of your NPC card ($125), Entry fees ($100 per entry), and sometimes the tanning fees ($150). Each sponsor is different, and may offer different opportunities for their athletes, such as travel expenses, as well as compensation for a top placing in a national show. It’s all individual to your contractual agreements.

Hopefully this shed some light on the expenses portion of the bodybuilding world! Let me know if you have any questions, or if I forgot something! Thanks for reading!

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