Top 4 Bikini Body Building Mistakes - Coach Mark Carroll

Top 4 Bikini Body Building Mistakes

Sep 8, 2022
Mark Carroll

To build your best bikini body, whether to get on stage or just to train and look like a bikini pro, you need to do a lot of things well to be at your best. 

It’s hard. It’s consistency. It’s smart training and thought-out nutrition. A big factor however, when it comes to building your bikini body is not making key mistakes where you become your own worst enemy when your goal is amazing results. 

Here are 4 common mistakes I see all the time with bikini bodybuilding. 

Mistakes that can simply be corrected to have you back on track to take your physique to the next level. 

Mistake #1 – Calories not matching your goal 

Let’s start with the importance of calories as this is so commonly the limiting factor for women gaining the muscle they truly desire. Over and over, I see women and men desperate to add muscle to their physiques. They want bigger glutes, arms, quads etc. They get into the gym each week and train the house down. But, they never support their muscle-building aspirations by optimising the appropriate calories for their goal. 

To build serious muscle mass, you need to be in a calorie surplus. This sounds simple, right?

However, this will coincide inevitably with putting some body fat on. Muscle mass gained in a surplus is not in isolation. It will most likely be associated with some fat mass gained. It is what it is. The issue I see so often with training women is that this body fat gain, leads them to run from time in a surplus. 

Spending months in a calorie surplus sounds fun when you are dieting on low calories until you begin to spend a few weeks in the surplus and start to feel not as lean. Too often people then do exactly the opposite of their goal of adding muscle mass. They jump out of the calorie surplus and back into a deficit out of fear of gaining more fat. 

Their big goal of muscle building quickly derails at the nearest sight of some body fat gain. This is the problem! Muscle building is a slow process. To optimise muscle building we want to be in a calorie surplus. A big part of this is going to be your mindset. Try not to focus so much on not being super lean and more on the fact you are working on a long-term goal, adding muscle. 

I see it over and over again. Women and men with great physiques, who never improve long term. Because they run from a surplus. With my bikini body clients, I teach them to think long-term! Focus on the big picture goal of more muscle. Imagine how much it will pay off in the long run when you diet back down and have a much bigger and rounder set of glutes. Think long-term! 

Mistake #2 – Too much booty band work 

I have helped build some world-class physiques for bikini competitions…literally world champions. I can tell you that it was from lifting barbells, dumbbells and cable exercises. Not band work. A band can be fun for a variation or some burnout booty band circuits to end your workout. That’s fine! But, the issue is when I see women doing a band around their knees on EVERY exercise. 

This is not helpful and makes glute training worse as the band is taking away from your main goal of loading your glutes through the normal movement you are training. For example, putting a band around your knees on an RDL negatively impacts the RDL and is not a positive add-on. Use bands, yes, but use them sporadically and definitely not on every exercise! 

Mistake #3 – Not following a training program 

Do you just walk into the gym with no plan and hope for the best? Let’s be honest, it’s what most people do! Let’s get away from this if your goal is to build your best bikini body possible. A large majority of my clients have worked with me back to back for 1-4 years. Every 4 weeks roughly, they receive a new training program from me. Every session they walk into the gym and have a clear, detailed training program to follow. 

When I create programs like the Building the Bikini Body Series, every exercise, rep and set is carefully and strategically chosen. Everything is there for a reason. We need to choose exercises that match our goals! However, you also need to have structure to your workouts and repetition. You will not achieve your great bikini body without a plan of attack. It comes from small improvements week to week. Adding a little bit of weight to the bar session after session for long-term big wins. Follow a program and it makes a world of difference! 

Mistake #4 – Endless cardio in a fat loss phase 

Something I see all the time is someone who lifts in the gym for months and months. They eventually get stronger and add more muscle while having their calories up. They do the big lifts and train with purpose in their lifting sessions. But then, they want to lose body fat. Which is fine! The mistake they then make is ditching all the weights and swapping it out with cardio session after cardio session. 

Then as they get leaner and leaner they notice that newly added muscle mass begins to decrease. There is weight being lost here, however, they are also losing muscle mass, not just fat mass. What is the best way to train for fat loss? The same way you train when aiming to build muscle mass…lifting! The way you train in a surplus should be the way you train in a calorie deficit. 

The key change going from a muscle-building surplus phase to a fat-loss phase should primarily be centered around nutrition. Create a calorie deficit and lift with purpose!

Use a calorie deficit to drive fat loss. Use resistance training in that deficit to maintain muscle mass. Don’t lose months and months of hard work by getting away from the exercises and rep ranges that built your muscle when in a calorie deficit. 

So there you go! 4 key mistakes I see when building a bikini body. 

I have trained some of the best bodies in the world. It is awesome that so many women see those physiques as aspirational. But, to achieve your epic results limit these mistakes! These mistakes can be what holds you back from hitting your big goals.

Want to build your bikini body? Learn from me and use my exact methods in my Building The Bikini Body Series

Coach Mark Carroll