Straight From the Judge’s Mouth: An Inside Scoop From a Bikini Judge

Being a bikini competitor, it's hard to set yourself apart without an edge. Well, look no further. We have the secret! We sat down with one of the most sought-after judges/posing coaches in the Midwest.


Rebecca Woody has been an NPC judge for 7 years & NANBF judge for over 20 years along with other federations off and on throughout her tenure in this industry. She has won 22 best poser awards, has been a national level competitor since 1990 and has placed every time she appeared on stage.


Read what she has to say about the industry and what to know before you compete.


1. Why do you think the bikini division has boomed in the recent years?


First, all sports are about genetics. Judges are looking for an athletic physique.  Some women actually prefer not to have as much muscle as a bodybuilder, physique or figure woman, and so they compete in bikini. There are other women who start out in bikini and move on into figure because over the months or year they develop the muscularity to compete in those classes. It's a good starting base for many female athletes, and that is why it has grown.


2. A lot of the judging is subjective, but is there a baseline of qualifications you look for?


Symmetry, what we call X factor - shoulders round and slightly capped but not striated as in figure. A V- tappered back to small waist; legs need to be toned but no need to have striated quads, high round firm glutes, hamstrings visible from sides when doing a quarter turn and rear relaxed pose.  Mid section and abs visible and tight.


3. What aspect of judging bikini competitions can be the most difficult for you?


The stance, it's difficult to see symmetry straight on unless you have a trained eye for it. Bikini stances all vary with each person --allowing quarter turns as the NANBF will be doing for the first time this year will tremendously help the judge and competitors.


4. How important is it to learn how to pose?


You lift weights as hard as any bodybuilder, diet and pose of course it's important to be able to showcase ones physique. Judged many a great physique but they are clueless on how to display their physique. Practice-practice!


5. What's one piece of advice you would give to a girl who is contemplating doing a show?


Depending up how driven you are, getting a good trainer is a plus, as I stated if you're accountable to yourself, that's awesome, but if you need someone to be accountable to, then hire a coach/trainer.  Get a knowledgeable trainer with a nutrition background or proven successful clients. Spend time on a reputable poser!


6. Do you take social media presence, the coach they prepped with, or their gym into consideration when placing competitors?


Heck! I have no idea who that competitor works with or where - certainly doesn't matter to me because it's always about what that person brings to the contest that day.

Thank you, Rebecca!

Take these tips and remember the biggest point, you worked so hard, you have to know how to present your package on stage. Good luck!