Tip: The Bikini Division – A Rant

There are more bikini competitors at bodybuilding shows than there are bodybuilders. Is that a good or a bad thing?

There is no other competitive division that attracts more contestants than bikini. At any given show, the number of bikini competitors outnumber any other division 25 to one. The reason is because, compared to the other divisions, bikini is a cake walk.

While the idea that weight training, cardio, diet and even some PEDs represent the required path to the stage, the reality is that many bikini girls look like they prepped for their show on cocaine and plastic surgery.

And these days, a girl blessed with good genetics working the beer tub at your basic pool bar can likely promote herself proudly on social media as an NPC bikini competitor and pretty much never see the inside of a gym. At least that's how it looks. And this is usually an insult to legitimate competitors in other divisions who actually have an exponentially tougher road to the stage ahead of them.

Here's What Happens

A girl with a decent body starts weight training for the first time in her life. Six weeks later her coach, boyfriend, husband, or friend starts blowing sunshine up her ass and encourages her to compete. While not even Gene Roddenberry could have imagined anything farther away from the Olympia ideal, the encouragement sounds as flattering as it does enticing and she decides to go for it.

This ultimately stacks the division with a ton of girls who have no business being on stage. (But drop one of them a line on Facebook for meal plans!) Of course they look tan, toned, and pretty. They glitter and sparkle and the camera flashes go off when she turns around and bends over and pushes her vagina out to the third row. Then Facebook and Instagram get plastered with sexy pics and before you know it, a slew of other girls who have no business on stage, and even less shame, end up prepping for a show because they want to be like them too.

Ultimately, we have a snowball effect that has the bikini divisions stacked to the rafters. Sadly, less than a handful have the requisite physique that will put them in the top 10 of a pro show. This does nothing but clog up the pace of the show, frustrate the expediters back stage, aggravate the real competitors, give the judges eye strain, and bore the audience.

For the sake of everyone involved, if you don't have winning potential – as defined by the ideal, not the coach making money off your effort – stay off the stage! There are plenty of pool bars in Florida where you can strut your stuff in a wet tee shirt for free. Competition is for athletes.

John Romano is a longtime industry insider and performance-enhancement specialist. He authored several bodybuilding and fitness books and appeared on HBO, ESPN, ABC's 20/20, and numerous radio talk shows. He is also featured in the acclaimed documentary Bigger Stronger Faster. Romano resides in Guadalajara, Mexico where he owns and operates a Gold’s Gym.