When a person who isn’t familiar with fitness hears the term “bikini prep,” they might think of bikini line waxing disasters, as reported by Good Housekeeping. Instead, terms like “contest prep” and “bikini prep” showing up on social media are likely more akin to the fitness competition season heating up. As described by Shape, in an article that shows one fitness competition competitor’s eating plan and workout routine in preparation for her fitness shows, it generally takes an already fit person about 12 weeks to prepare for a fitness competition.
Those fitness competitions — some big ones are from the NPC and IFBB — usually feature categories like bikini, figure, physique, and more categories that all feature a different look, some more muscular than the others. In order to cut the body fat levels and percentages down to numbers that allow for muscles to be displayed, the fitness show competitors begin their renewed eating plans approximately three months prior to the big event. For example, if a bikini competitor wants to win big at their local NPC fitness competition on April 2, 2016, she will likely begin cleaning up her diet and reducing sugar, cutting out alcohol, and stepping up her workout routines at the beginning of January.
— The Spiked Heel (@SpikedStilettos) January 11, 2016
As a result, the hashtag #contestprep has 684,473 posts on Instagram as of this writing. Beneath that hashtag, a variety of details about the contest prep process can be found, with posts created by fitness competitors that describe everything from their workout routines to their recipes for breakfast items like protein pancakes. For instance, one Instagram user “ifbbprokyfit” posted her recipe for chocolate pancakes — although some folks on stricter diets would replace the cocoa powder with chocolate protein powder.
Chocolate pancakes for breakfast, prep approved???????? Cocoa powder, egg whites, and Splenda! ☺️ If you have higher fats whole eggs are good, too!
Along with the “contest prep” hashtag, some social media users in the fitness industry get more specific with their labels, based on the categories in which they compete, and whether or not they are amateur bodybuilders or pros. The #contestprep2016 label shows folks getting ready for the 2016 fitness contest season, whilst tags like “#figureprep” and “#figure” feature women who compete in the category that generally features more muscles than the #bikiniprep women.
Another huge category in the same arena that may or may not feature those fitness folks training for competitions includes the #bodybuilding hashtag, which, at the current time, enjoys a whopping 29,165,037 posts. That’s nearly 30 million Instagram posts of folks showing off their muscles, workouts, or generally helping to inspire each other to stay fit.
It isn’t merely Americans who are totally into the fitness craze that leads them to the stages of fitness competitions, smiling under bright lights and experiencing the thrill of smoke machines and cheering crowds. There’s an Asian World Bodybuilding and Physique Sports Championship in Bangkok, Thailand, as well, which also features fitness competitors giving it their all as they are hopeful to be selected as winners in categories like the women’s Model Physique +165 centimeter category.
Also, in the Ukraine — as pictured in the top photo — women show off their hard-won muscles in the Kiev Open Bodybuilding and Fitness Competition. That competition took place on Saturday, October 10, 2015, in Kiev, even as folks in the U.S. were doing the same thing the same day in fitness contests in America.
— Muscle&Fitness Hers (@mandfhers) January 14, 2016
Another huge hashtag on Instagram is #mealprep — which contains 2,189,104 posts as of this writing. The “meal prep” hashtag represents the process that plenty of folks go through on a Sunday to prepare their meals for the week to come. On Instagram, user “samtowe” explains the process.
Happy Sunday#ig_fitness_freaks!! It’s#mealprepsunday for me and I’m cooking up a storm in the kitchen! I’m setting myself up for success and not leaving any room for excuses. Take some time out and plan your meals for the week. You will thank yourself later! If it’s important to you.
[Photo by AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky]