Every competitor wants to know if they can cheat and pull off a trick a few days before the show day so that they are figure ready. They ask me about carb loading and overladin with water. For what ever the reason, specially new competitors, think that carb loading is some technique that’s going to make then incredible on the day of the show. Well I want to tell you from years of experience that carb loading has such a minute impact on your physique that it’s not even worth messing with. So many competitors think that if they somehow play around with their carbs or water that somehow they are going to transform from Wednesday to show day on Saturday. It’s not going to happen. I’ve never seen it happen.
The body just does NOT respond that quickly to anything. If you think that some system is going to transform you from NOT being ready to being figure ready in a couple of days, you’re fooling yourself. I always say to my girls “If you’re not ready the last week before the show, there’s nothing you can do to get ready for the show PERIOD.” But you know what? You CAN mess yourself up though with all that water! All that water will make you look soft. And all that hard work you put in will go down the tubes. THAT I can promise you!
The key is to train hard. From the beginning of the contest prep all the way up to the show day. The name of the game is “consistency”. That is the trick. Hard Work. You get ready by following a proper diet FAITHFULLY. There’s nothing you can do to change your body for the better in just 3 – 4 days. Get that through your head right now. The only exception is if a competitor needs to lose 1 – 2 before the show and has a week or so to do it. At that time 1 – 2 lbs is big. But in order to lose those 2 lbs it’ll take you at LEAST a week or HARD HARD training and strict dieting.
Under no circumstances should you think that you can dramatically change your physique a few days before the competition and go from a 3rd place finish to a first. It’s not going to happen. I’ve seen competitors totally mess themselves up with too much water, carbs and totally blowing any chances of being placed AT ALL. Don’t be that person. Don’t play games with your body chemistry.
Now that you have made the decision to compete, it is time to define your training. I will say first and foremost, I am not talking about the weights in your calloused hands, I am speaking of your diet. Unless you are born with junkfood defying genetics, this journey is mostly about what you put in your belly. For those who already eat what they consider to be marginally healthy, this will still be a bit difficult at first. Protein, you will grow to have a love/hate relationship with it. It needs to be the start and the end to your day!Now, I personally do not supplement. That is your choice if you do. I have found over the last 2 years that my belly is not fond of the chemical makeup. I am natural all the way. Now, you can say that this may hold me back from certain opportunities, but I am fine with that. Based upon what I eat, I do not yo-yo throughout the year. Give or take 5lbs, that is where I stay all year long. It is both healthier for your body in general and a lot less stressful on the mind. The mind controls how much cortisol, a very nasty fat inducing chemical, is produced. Best to keep both the mind and body satisfied.
For starting your day, steel cut oats and egg whites. Yup. I realize it does not sound very appetizing. How good does a perfect stomach sound though? Pretty good, I bet. Spice them up with vanilla bean, nutmeg, or cinnamon. Once you form the habit,. you realize your body begins to crave the fuel. That’s right, fuel. Disconnect the mindset that food is feelings. Food won’t make your boyfriend behave, your kids listen to you, or your boss get any less demanding. Food will, however, drive the muscles to rest, shred, rebuild, and grow. Food will give you proper sleep, mood stability, and overall better stamina. Fuel up ladies. Your several meals during the course of your day should include 4-5oz servings of chicken or fish, sweet potatoes, quinoa, and brown rice. I must stress that they do not have to be plain. No dressings or the like, but you may spice them up to your heart’s content. Cook the quinoa in a bit of olive oil or turn those sweet potatoes into fires with some cracked black pepper and bake them in the oven. This does not have to be punishment for your taste buds. You do, however, have to change the way you think about food!
As for fluids, water and green tea. However you need to take it in, do it! Gallon jugs? Fine. Thermos full of tea for when you feel the afternoon munchies coming? Absolutely. “Whatever it takes!” is a mindset you need to have. Just make sure your “whatever” is good for you! You cannot crash diet for this goal. Not only will you not look good on stage, you will feel terrible as well. Put good into you,. greatness will come out!
Later on, I will get into meal timing for those who work long hours. That can be a battle in itself. In the meantime, send your thoughts my way! I am always happy to spread the wealth!
So, you happen to be sitting around one day after your workout and you notice you feel like you haven’t done enough. You feel like you have more to give to your self-image (and your abs). You just don’t quite feel like you have reached your destination yet. Sound familiar? You are not alone! I cannot stress that enough! You begin to poke around magazines, the web, whatever the sources may be and find something that intrigues you…doing a figure show. Hmmm…you wonder and shrug it off…”Nah, I could never do that!”. Oh, my lovely athletes, you are so wrong!
Before you dive in headfirst and put yourself into an absolute panic, this is a process. It takes time and the most amount of dedication you have ever put into yourself. Another big one to remember, this is one of the most selfish things you will ever do. I say this in a kind and positive context. Words to live by: “In order to be truly selfless, you must be selfish first”. You can’t take care of everyone else unless that same effort is put into yourself.
Typically, if you are already a fit woman, you need roughly 10-12 weeks to prep. For some of you out there, you may require more or less. Age, activity level, work schedules, and current diet all come into play here. If you, for example, only have 5-10lbs of fat to get rid of and just need some overall definition, 8 weeks can do it if you are devoted to your cause. On the other hand, if you lead a very busy life and don’t want to send yourself into an exhausted, over-trained state, give yourself room!! There is no shame in taking a bit longer to get where YOU need to be. This is about you and no one else. On that note, I will also mention, do not do a competition for someone else. It’s all about you!!!
Before the barrage of information out there gets the better of your wits, try to remember it is fairly simple. You change your diet to whole foods, no processed allowed, eliminate dairy and sugar (yes, even from fruits), and stick to 1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight. As for training, that part can be fun, you have to constantly keep your body guessing. Let me tell you, this ensures you will never be bored, sore, yes, but it is so worth it the moment you get up on stage.
First thing’s first, plan your food! Cook only once or twice a week to ensure your course is not derailed by the lack of prepared food! Next, plan your workout schedule, engraved into your mirror every morning if you must. Bad days that do not go as planned will happen once in awhile, do not let that change your goals! Plan as much as humanly possible. The body you have always desired is 80% made in the kitchen!!!!
Stayed tuned for next week when I will bring you a few fast and hard workouts from my own regimen guaranteed to save some of your valued precious time. For now, I will leave you all with this, change to eating at least 5 times daily. Small meals and small snacks every few hours. Do not wait until you are roaring hungry, it is self-sabotage! Almonds, chicken, quinoa, spinach, eggs, and sweet potatoes must become your new best friends. Don’t despair, in the future I will have great ways to spice up all these foods! Until next time,…NEVER GIVE UP!!
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
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!
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.
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
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 #3 – Lifting like a bodybuilder while trying to lose fat for competition:
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!