You will never be successful in a Figure Competition… Unless you read this!

Welcome Future Figure Competition Champ!

Terry Stokes - Figure Coach

Terry Stokes – Figure Coach

You’re here to learn how to win your figure competition, right? One thing about me is that I don’t follow the crowd and really don’t care much what people think. When I first started training figure competitors I was shocked at the mistakes and misdirection of many trainers and their clients. I saw techniques and practices that I knew back in high school would not work.

I saw competitors compete for years and not get ANY better… some actually looked worse from one show to the next. I still see the same things going on today… and if you are not training and eating properly then you will struggle to make any progress. Do not get yourself confused with the genetically gifted competitors who can train incorrectly, stay up all night, eat poorly… but they are always lean and improve each show – most likely that ain’t you! You most likely have to work hard… real hard for everything you get. Therefore you can’t do things that stop you from making progress, if you do any of
the following …STOP IMMEDIATELY:

figure competition diet

figure competition diet

If there was an easy way to diet for a show, trust me, I would have found it by now. Too many competitors think that dieting is going to be a lot easier than it really is. They look for the diet with the most food (or the trainer who promises fruit, bread and lots of other carbs throughout the precontest diet). Until you’ve followed a competition diet, you can’t really appreciate how hard it is. Once again, you can’t follow genetically gifted competitors and expect to get the same results. They can eat more calories than most everyone else an still get lean. How many competitors do I know who’ve gotten higher calorie diets from top level competitors who have more muscle, faster metabolism etc… what happens is that they often end up following diets that have too many calories for the average competitor who doesn’t have genetic gifts. They go into shows bragging: “ I got a diet from ___ ______ “ – but when they get onstage they are 8-10 lbs overweight!

P.S: Click Here for 31 Proven Figure Competition Diets specially designed by me and PROVEN in the field by my many Figure Champions!

Are you making this Figure Competition mistake?

I remember one such competitor last year. She had gotten a diet from someone who was way more advanced, much more muscle mass, faster metabolism etc. Anyway, as I was watching her compete, I was thinking to myself: “WTF happened to her?” and right at that moment the show’s promoter walked up to me and asked: “Wtf happened to her?” …it was classic! I don’t care who you get a diet from or how many competitions they’ve won… if the calorie content is too high you will not get lean enough to compete for any of the top spots.
If you think you are going to get lean following a 1500 calorie diet the entire time when preparing for a show then you need a reality check… cause it probably won’t happen. This is why I developed by figure competition diet program. It’s designed to take the guess work out of dieting for a show. If you follow the program you will not go into a show 10lbs overweight, waterlogged or bloated. The goal of my diets are to get you ready for a show… that’s it. You won’t be eating a bunch of bread, fruit, yogurt or all the other stuff that would make the diet more appealing.. like I said my goal is to help you reach your goal. So don’t look for the easy way out. Dieting is tough and you have to make sacrifices… this is
why so few women actually make it onstage… and it’s what separates you from those sitting in the audience.

Click Here for 31 Proven Figure Competition Diets specially designed by me and PROVEN in the field by my many Figure Champions!


Figure Competition tip #2 –  Cardio in the off-season:

Click here to download Figure Competition Cardio Workout Routines

Stokes Figure Competition Cardio

Stokes Figure Competition Cardio

If your goal is to build muscle in the off-season WHY WHY WHY would you do cardio in the off-season??? Now… if cardio is meant to burn calories/body fat (in essence, make you a smaller person) – WHY would you perform cardio when you want to gain muscle (get bigger). How is it possible for the same form of exercise to accomplish two completely opposite goals?

The fact is that cardio burns calories and should be used for that purpose only. Why then, do competitors

perform cardio in the off-season even-though they should be focusing on
building muscle?

There are a few reasons but the #1 reason is because figure competitors are afraid to gain too much weight in the off-season, so they decide to keep up the cardio. The reality is that you must gain a little fat when building muscle just to insure that you are getting enough calories to gain muscle. If you try to build muscle with a weight training workout in the

morning followed by cardio in the evening then it’s like playing tug-of-war with yourself, trying to run up an ice covered hill … you get the point! Get over the fact that you will gain some extra fat… and if you find yourself gaining too much weight then show some discipline and push away from the table – but you must make a clear delineation between off season and precontest training programs.

a) Precontest: Everything geared toward fat loss and muscle preservation, which means cardio is a large part of it, along with fast paced, high intensity fat loss workouts. Combined with strict dieting you can’t go wrong.

b) Off-season: Heavier lifting, longer rest between sets and more isolation exercises (ex, concentration curls, tricep pushdowns etc…). Plenty of rest …which means no cardio! As hard as it is for women to gain muscle, doing cardio would pretty much negate any gain from your building workouts because the energy and resources you deplete during your cardio workout can’t be used for building muscle… and you only have a limited amount of energy/resources each day.

Figure Competition tip #3Lifting like a bodybuilder while trying to lose fat for competition:

Figure Competition Membership

Figure Competition Training

Ok… regular weight lifting does not burn enough calories to be performed while getting ready for a competition. Now, if you are done for the day with your cardio and high intensity resistance training (using weights and bodyweight exercises in non-stop circuit fashion to burn fat) – THEN you can lift weights as much as you like the rest of the day. What I see is would-be competitors performing set after set of bicep curls, bench presses etc… and then getting on the treadmill for cardio. Regular weight lifting does not burn enough calories! That’s why bodybuilders can gain muscle from regular weight training – therefore you can surmise that regular weight training will do little to help you lose body fat for a competition. I’ve seem many women follow this type of training and come
into shows way off their mark…. 12 weeks (or longer) down the drain!

If you want to lose body fat then you need to train just for that purpose. Just because some big male bodybuilder can get lean following such a program does not mean this will work for most women… I’ve seen it fail more times than I can count. Leave weight training for off-season muscle building… you are not going to build muscle while losing body fat for a competition so get that idea out of your head.

Try my program by Clicking Here – it’s designed for women and it comes with a 60 day money back guarantee because I have so much confidence in how good it works! Good luck!

Now go WIN that Figure Competition!

Keep On Keeping On!

by Contributing Author, NGA/IFPA figure pro and Figure/Bikini Coach Tiffany Benson

Tiffany BensonSometimes it is difficult to keep on; keeping on. A figure athlete should strive to find that perfect place of constantly wanting to improve her athleticism and drive. Our journey does not stop once we step off stage….I, personally have been known to come off stage and gain 10 lbs. While gaining some healthy weight is healthy after competition….my “off stage weight” was not all healthy!

There’s an importance In “balance” and in “reverse dieting!” Figure competing is not for everyone. A lot of people will go on to compete and earn a pro card, to never compete the pro level. They perhaps made their “contest prep” way too difficult, un-enjoyable and unattainable. I like to treat myself as an “on season” athlete all year long. That’s not how I always viewed it though. I have been competing for over 10 years , but this balance I have today took a very long time to achieve. This is why I love helping women learn how to look like an athlete and feel like an athlete whether they compete or not….its very important to aim for “lifestyle” changing training and eating. Continual improvement and enjoying the process is key! Keep it healthy and happy everyone!



Overcoming challenges and obstacles!

by Contributing Author, NGA/IFPA figure pro and Figure/Bikini Coach Tiffany Benson

Tiffany BensonIn this life we all will face many obstacles and challenges. Many of us will become so soaked up in our obstacles that we will quit. I would like to encourage as many people as possible to not quit…rather to OVERCOME! That, right there…overcoming challenges, makes you a winner! If you take the journey to get to the stage, and actually get up on stage..that right there also makes you a winner. If you take the journey to aim to compete and break your leg a week before stage day…you still WON! You need to become a winner from within…it’s all about starting from the inside and working it outward to the outside of you…it all starts within.

Everything starts with a dream, a vision, and we execute that into a plan. Take your dream today, execute it into a plan, any kind of plan, and go after all you dream for. The hardest part really is starting out! What I love most about helping girls to get ready for a figure or bikini show is that most of the girls I work with think they will never be able to compete, for one reason or another…well, after baby #3 and a broken back and neck, I really thought I would never even work out again…but I overcame, and each of us has it in us to overcome all our challenges and obstacles. I encourage you today…to start living your dreams and bringing them to life! With much love and encouragement, Tiffany Benson 😉

Working around injury, in the sport of figure and bikini

by Contributing Author, NGA/IFPA figure pro and Figure/Bikini Coach Tiffany Benson

Tiffany BensonAS a veteran of the U.S. Army and having been involved in a near death vehicle accident 10 years ago, leaving me with a broken neck and back in multiple areas…I KNOW injury! So I have learned many things through my years of competing and training. Always always always listen to your body! Even if you have a log, or a plan that you are following on your way into the gym, listen to your body. Connect with your body. If your body says “ouch” then STOP immediately! If you need to skip certain moves or machines it is perfectly ok. I had to take many years off of certain things like the traditional squat and the traditional deadlift.

It’s ok…I worked my way slowly with baby stepping….back into these movements. The reason I am able to do them today, is because of my much needed time off, to recover from injury… Even when you are able to incorporate the exercises back into your routine, do not fear having a bad day and needing to skip when your body is telling you to please not do it. Injuries can be fixed through good stretching, rest, recovery, sound nutrition, physical therapy (which I am a huge believer in!) and just simply being smart enough to listen to yourself. Your body will speak to you. Listen to it!

Happy and healthy training ya’ll!

Much love, Tiffany

Getting started with Figure, Bodybuilding and/or Bikini Competitions

by Contributing Author and Figure/Bikini Coach Tiffany Benson

Tiffany Benson

Personally, I know plenty of women who “think” of how wonderful it would be to try a figure or bikini competition. After some more mature muscle is added to your frame, you may even decide to crossover and compete female bodybuilding. It is all very exciting…I, personally did compete in 2 bodybuilding competitions back when I was in the Army, when I was still on the smaller side. I, really enjoy the look of figure and prefer to carry the “off-season” weight that I carry, rather than the weight I would carry with even more muscle as a bodybuilder. First-thing’s-first is to find where you feel you would fit in best, and what seems more interesting to you. Female bodybuilders need to carry quite a bit of muscle, so would need to start lifting and work up to lifting heavy, and using the correct macronutrients and macro timing to add on muscle mass. Figure, needs quite a bit of muscle but is more about symmetry when you are on stage in front of the panel of judges. The “leaning out” phase is a bit different with figure vs’ bodybuilding, and during the “peaking week” which is the week leading up to your competition, a bodybuilder will do a little bit more drastic changes to come in with a bit more of a “drier” look than a figure girl. Now bikini, is not as muscular as figure, bikini is softer, and while diet is strict still, it is a bit more relaxed than figure or bodybuilding. The training is different too, as the looks are different. All 3 divisions take a lot of hard work, dedication and commitment to become a competitor.

     As a competition prep coach and a lifestyle coach, I get asked pretty often, “do you think I can do it?” And my answer for everyone is “yes!” AS a mother of 3, and one whom did NOT stay in great shape throughout any of my pregnancies, I know firsthand that anyone can work hard and produce incredible results. Yes, becoming a competitor is not easy, but it definitely is worth it and gives one a whole new found respect for the body and dedication it takes to transform, and rearrange your physique. The thing I like to tell most women is to train and diet and prep like you are going to compete. Either way, in the end you have won a competition. You have proven many things to yourself. Never doubt or short change yourself. Become an athlete within yourself first! And best of luck to you, as you will overcome many fears and obstacles. The saying “nothing tastes as good, as looking good feels,” is so true and right on. Impress your own self! You can do it…and I believe in you!

Much love, peace, happiness and health. Tiffany Benson~NGA and IFPA professional figure athlete, and mother of 3!

Worried about Metabolic Damage in Figure Competition? You need to read this.

Do figure competition diets destroy metabolism?

by Figure Diet Coach, Terry Stokes.

Metabolic Damage:

Sorry to disappoint anyone but…
I don’t believe in the ‘metabolic damage‘ that everyone is talking about.
These are my observations after years of training hundreds of figure competitors.

My observations are:

A) Competition training often involves many hours of training and calorie restriction in order to  lose enough body fat to compete.
B) The metabolism will slow down when calories are restricted during contest prep and will increase again as a person increases their body fat after a show.
1) Competitors who continue to exercises moderately and increase calories moderately after a competition are able to maintain their body fat levels within normal and acceptable range.
2) Competitors who stop exercising, stop cardio, eat excessive amounts of carbohydrates will UNDOUBTEDLY gain body fat. The initial weight gain is water (7-10 lbs in the first 2 days) from overeating carbohydrates (each carbohydrate molecule attracts 3-4 molecules of water!). Competitors who continue to eat excessively (especially carbohydrates will fill up their fat cells fast.
   – You combine that (excessive carb intake) , with no training, no cardio + a slow metabolism from dieting… you will gain body fat fast
You must give your metabolism a change to speed up again and you must take the focus of your diet off eating carbohydrates …and include more fats and protein in place of those carbs.

Therefore you must begin introducing calories slowly back into your diet. Go ahead and eat like a crazy person for a few days after the show… it is good for you. BUT, then you have to reign it in. Eating boxes of Captain Crunch, jars of peanut butter or a gallon of ice cream (I’ve heard many many true confessions about what happens in the weeks after a show) etc.. is not a metabolic problem.
I’ve had many competitors who once complained about metabolic damage… who later competed again and then realized that they were able to maintain an acceptable weight after competition by just using common sense.
I’ve spent years perfecting my Figure Prep Diets. If you are worried that your diet might lead you to metabolic damage then I urge you to consider reading about my Figure Prep Diets by Clicking Here.