T Nation

Bodybuilding and Bikini Division Survey


Hey everyone. A short background on myself- I love lifting and am pretty obsessed with building up my glutes and quads.

Now, I understand that the bikini division is usually won or lost based on the condition/size of the glutes. I also realize that it can be lost if the quads are too big.

Now, I've never personally seen any literal 'rules' for this division, and I know that you never know what to expect, since judges aren't following a 'set' list of rules. Each of them have a bit of a different idea as to what they consider the 'winners physique' to look like, and I think that really sucks. (Please correct me if I'm getting any of this wrong!)

I personally think that big quads (not like, super cut, striated quads) help in attaining more of an 'hourglass' figure, from front as well as the side view.

I've been considering competing in a local show, nothing big. But have there ever been any girls with sorta large quads who have won? I know kaltwasser doesn't, really, and melo got docked a few years back for being 'too bulky,' so. Idk.

Okay so as far as the photos, I drew up a little something to help myself get a better idea of what I would potentially look like if I'm standing next to other women on stage. I tried to make the upper bodies and hips the same, all I did was change the size of the quads (legs).

Going by FIRST glance, which figure did you find more feminine and appealing?

Of course, for me, it's the larger-legged ladies.

Input!? :slightly_smiling: Thanks guys.


I’m not judging by the drawings you made. I looked at the photos you have uploaded in the past. So two caveats, 1) I have no idea how you body would look onstage when you are next to other competitors. Many people look very good standing on their own. 2) It is also difficult to tell how you would look in competition shape, since figure competitors look very different on competition day than they do on other days. That being said, I think what you have for quads and glutes are long femurs and long glutes. I would consider this to be an advantage. Especially if you are able to build up your glutes to fill out your frame. It may in fact require no more filling out, but that is hard to say when you are not competition lean. My view is that you have an natural hourglass figure, and that is an advantage Re: more feminine and appealing.


One thing I should add, which often goes unnoticed is how well the shoulder and back development of figure competitors is. That may be an area you would like to improve.


I don’t compete, but I worked with a female coach who has been very successful in both figure and bikini.

Cut to the chase and talk to an experienced coach who can see your proportions, preferably in real life.

As tuttle said, width to the lats and capped delts is one of the things that separates the bikini from figure class. Women sometimes win the bikini class with almost no visible lat width. Honestly, the lines between these divisions can be blurry.

I like quads with a pronounced curve to the lateralis, but not so much that it looks out of balance to the rest of the leg. I have naturally large calves so I can maybe “carry” more quad, but I’m also really petite and a leaner leg gives me the illusion of more height. Everybody has some genetic quirks or limitations. Your quads may be your last fat stand (mine are). As you lean out you may look more proportionate or be less developed than you think.

If you aren’t competing, then train to please yourself. “Your life is your show.” - I like that a lot. Good luck!


I don’t think you can say any show is won or lost based on one bodypart, even in bikini divisions. Sure, the glutes and hams are huge in determining the difference between a girl who just looks good and one who trains and has actually sculpted something to be considered in a competitive arena, but they’re not the end all.

Quads too big? Competitors only have to worry if their own quads are too big in relation to their own other bodyparts, because then it can just look odd. This is why you sometimes have bigger girls winning, and sometimes have smaller girls winning. It’s the overall package and presentation, not any form of measurement that affects the judging.

And as Tuttle mentioned, Delts, Back, and yes tone in your arms play a role as well. I work with several NPC bikini competitors, and so I go to the local shows, and while it used to be the girls with a slight line down their abs and a plump rear who were winning, these days, the girls actually come in “condition.” They sport actual muscle and tone, so the days of “I look hot in a bikini, I’m gonna go win a trophy” are kind of gone for the most part.