A figure competition falls between the physique and bikini divisions in a bodybuilding show. Eliminate all but one variable (carbs), and use your weight and energy levels to determine if you need more or less calories. Be the first to receive exciting news, features, and special offers from Bodybuilding.com! should be done before you give it a shot. Make a list of what you need each time before you go to the grocery store so you have all the food you need. There are coaches who will tell you to cut carbs and others who will guide you to eat more. Competition-level power-lifting, for example, typically canât be performed at just any old gym. Cardio should only be increased upon the occurrence of two things: one, you stop losing fat for at least 2 weeks without having changed anything else in your program; two, you first drop your calories by 100-200 consistently for 1-2 weeks and have still not lost any body fat. That being said, before you decide to do your first or next Menâs Physique competition make sure you do your research, get your ducks in a row, strategize, and do the necessary steps to get to the top. Once you have to increase cardio, add 5-15 minutes to each session for the first week and that will likely do the trick. Replace any full-fat dairy products with low-fat or fat-free versions. 18. So do your research. Carbohydrate intake in the final week should be based on the principle that water follows carbohydrates. A competition is a good way to know what you're made of. People often believe they can trick their body by using extreme techniques the last week before the show to look super shredded. 9 You've signed up for a physique competition, and you're going to do everything you possibly can to present your best self on stage. Always consult with a qualified healthcare professional prior to beginning any diet or exercise program or taking any dietary supplement. After selecting several shows of interest, research the chosen organization's criteria, rules, and judging requirements. I have to eat very clean meals every three hours. Pay an entry fee and suddenly, you're a few months out of a contest. Should you train light or heavy when preparing for a Men's Physique competition? Your workouts should be tailored for growth, size and shape development. Be happy and proud of yourself, regardless of where you placed. After that initial excitement, you might walk into the gym and think to yourself, "Now what?" Educate yourself and go into your preparation with the knowledge you are doing the right thing for you and your body. In other words, approximately 2.7 grams of water is stored for each gram of stored carbohydrate. Friday â legs 2. Extra Vitamin C:Â This is also a necessity for me and all my clients in contest prep mode. You can reduce your rest periods to 45-60 seconds between sets, and begin super-setting exercises together. The content on our website is for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice or to replace a relationship with a qualified healthcare professional. Learn how to walk, stand, and even how to keep a smile on your face. Start increasing your fiber intake gradually, and aim for 35g per day. If you don't enjoy the journey, then what's the point in even competing? You will have to submit your entry form and registration fee, adhere to any drug-testing requirements, and put together posing routines and quarter turns according to that organization's standards. Womenâs Physique Competition Training. I recommend Dr. Layne Norton's blog. Find someone who you will work well with—an unsuitable partnership can become a nightmare. Letâs look at some of the common weak links in need of a remedy. The truth is, if you have dieted properly, what you do in the last week will not make or break your appearance. Ask anyone who has competed and they will tell you: Your mind starts playing games with you. If you come out of the show better off than when you started, then you've gained something and achieved something to be proud of. Being able to prove that you've got the mental and physical ability to get in contest shape and stand on stage that day is enough to give you the self-confidence boost to go after any and all of your lifelong dreams, not to mention, you get in great shape! Take the time to consult with multiple trainers before you choose one. Â© 2020 Bodybuilding.com. You should begin practicing your poses 1-2 times per week, aiming to hold each pose for 30-60 seconds and repeat 3-5 times. Look at the positives and what you can do to improve; don't focus on the negatives or they will eventually halt your progress. If your end goal is stepping on stage, know exactly what path you're going to take to get there. When I first had these thoughts and desires several years ago, I began by spending hours a day on the computer, researching the ever-scattered tidbits of information an aspiring competitor could get her hands on, which left much to be desired. For more information, visit Alissa's site at www.alissa.net. more exercises, + Get all the Women's Physique â¦ You'll start to tell yourself that you are too skinny or too fat, that you need to eat more or less, that you need to do more cardio, and so on. Getting Started Training for a menâs physique competition requires anywhere from 8 to 16 weeks of training depending on your current fitness. Tell them what suit or suits you need, and ask them to send you sample photos and fabric swatches. "Yes," you say. I have to prepare meals for several days at a time and measure out my portions so I know exactly what I'm putting in my body," Ashley says. View our enormous library of workout photos and see exactly how each exercise Small steps add up over time, so even small victories are still progress. Be the first to receive exciting news, features, and special offers from Bodybuilding.com! Here are my recommendation for a suit designer: If you've never competed, you should begin learning and practicing your poses immediately. "Real life" expenses need to come first. She is currently preparing for NPC Junior USAs, NPC Pittsburgh, and NPC Nationals. Name: Brandan Fokken Age: 34 From: Sioux Falls, SD Sponsors: Team Bodybuilding.com; Beast Sports Athlete. more exercises, + Muscle tissue consists of 70 percent water. Observe yourself in a full-length mirror, and be sure to practice in the actual shoes you'll be wearing for the show! Here's the guide you need to begin your contest preparation. Even though your actual training is with weights, the rest of your prep is outside the gym with meal prep and rest for recovery. The journey to physique competition is probably the toughest you'll ever endure, but it's also one of the most rewarding. You can borrow a suit, buy one used or rent one for about $200+. Does that make sense? Two years later, I entered my first show. I would work on a certain body part like my biceps or triceps until they were big enough and then would move onto another â¦ What I've also decided to do with this article is to write a complete guide for preparing for a figure competitionâeverything you need to know from start to finish, diet to training, suits to hair, heels to posing. A typical week might look like this: 1. 1 17. Bodybuilding.com's authors include many of the top coaches, nutritionists, and physique athletes in the world today. At 12 weeks from a competition, I normally begin utilizing a workout protocol I developed around the year 2000, known around the globe as Power/Rep Range/Shock, or P/RR/S for short. A 10-Week Physique Competition Training Plan As I have previously mentioned, I will be competing in an NPC sanctioned physique competition on April 11, 2015. The Echinacea helps boost the immune system, important for reasons mentioned above, and the Gingko helps with mental clarity, alertness, and concentration, all of which are depleted on a low-calorie, lower carbohydrate contest diet. Strength training and lifting 2. Since there is so much controversy regarding particular supplements and whether they work or not, my supplement recommendations come in order of importance and in order of effectiveness based on popular research and my own experience. It's good to try on your suit or trunks periodically to make sure the fit is right. Multi-Vitamin/Mineral:Â First and foremost, this is a necessity. Poorly constructed contest preparation plans can cause rapid weight gain post-contest, dehydration, thyroid issues, re-feeding syndrome, depression, and a number of other ailments. Keep your friends and family in the loop, but if they're not competitors, they won't understand what you're going through, nor should they. Expect this. Sure, they are still looking to make improvements to their physique, however with them not needing huge jumps in stage weight year on year getting anything over say 10-20lbs above their stage weight just serves to make the diet â¦ Glucosamine Complex:Â This is very important during contest prep. Since dieting helps refine your physique, prioritize your weak points during workouts. At 12 weeks out you should begin counting calories and starting to eliminate the junk foods from your diet. If things don't go exactly how you want, you can use your placement and show condition as motivation to better yourself in the future. Adding in glucosamine helps rebuild the cartilage around your joints and prevent injuries. Talk to your family and friends about what you're doing and what the plan is before you begin preparation. It will get difficult; your energy levels and strength both decrease dramatically on reduced calories and lower body fat levels. In most cases, you can find out a lot about trainer online by looking at his or her websites, Facebook pages, or even contest pages. The first step in preparing for a show is to choose an organization and a division in which to compete. These things all cost money. "If your budget is tight, you may want to postpone your competition plans until you are more financially stable. For a figure competition, you should allow yourself 3-6 months of preparation. If competitors restrict their water intake drastically, they will lose muscle fullness and appear flat onstage. Women need a minimum of 1200-1400 mg daily, and most multi-vitamins only contain 500 mg. Add 500 mg of calcium in your morning and evening doses to ensure you are meeting the minimum requirement. A great tool to track your daily food intake is http://www.fitday.com. Are you on the go, a frequent traveler or a workaholic? The overall feeling of well-being is what drives me to stick to my training and dieting day after day, and competing in fitness shows motivates me... + You know, when you try to get that shredded 6 pack, sleeve busting biceps, or thick oak-like chest. Competition diet, weight training, and cardio are the key elements of your competition preparation. If you aren't doing the same thing from day to day, how do you know if you are getting enough protein, too many carbs, or not enough water? workout correctly the first time, every time. Water:Â Don't forget water! "I train twice a day. If you are already doing more than that, do not increase your cardio at this point, just maintain where you are. The biggest trophy is the experience of sticking it out and getting into the kind of condition that hardly anyone can get in!! Sunday ârest Those rest daâ¦ You have a strong work ethic, are determined to reach your goals, and love meeting new challenges. Prepare your meals days or even a week in advance so you have food ready to go, no matter what's going on during the day. Begin limiting simple sugars to what is found in fruits and complex carbohydrates - no junk food sweets or candy. While some people practice bodybuilding just to look and feel strong, for many, training and dieting culminates in a bodybuilding competition where you're judged on your physique and muscular developmentâin either the bikini, figure, women's physique, bodybuilding, or fitness categories. Invest in either quality products and have them applied by someone with experience, or hire a professional spray-tanner. That is a good question, and while some of this is individual specific, I always believed in trying to hold as much as you can until about the six week out marker. ... You must train hard and eat clean to â¦ What you put into your body is important, but when you're preparing for a contest your nutrition is paramount. I hope this helps ease your mind and lessen the stress you will encounter during your prep, and bringing home a trophy wouldn't be too bad, either! Two years after that brings me to this pointâpreparing to enter my seventh physique competition and try my hand at the NPC national-level. Not all advice is good advice, and can cause disasters. Check out results and photos from the shows you are looking to enter to see what the desired look is, and decide which look you prefer and could likely attain. It's difficult to recommend a proper cardio regimen for anyone without knowing their training history, body type, and how much fat they need to lose for a show. Your body needs the rest and it's a nice perk to look forward to at the end of the week, helping rest and recharge you physically and mentally for next week's training and diet. Find a trainer who is credible and knows how to bring you into a contest safely. If possible, have someone take photos or a video of you posing so you can assess your poses and make appropriate changes. As for choosing an organization, attend local shows in your area and research the different organization websites online. Bodybuilding.com℠ and BodySpace® are trademarks of Bodybuilding.com. Alissa is also helping several athletes prepare for their first competition through her unique online contest prep services. This ensures enough time to take care of all the details, while also focusing on your training and diet, without added stress of being pressed to meet a deadline and wondering if you'll be ready on time. In addition, the high volume of weight training and cardio puts a lot of stress on your joints. Tuesday: Chest/Triâs Perform all chest exercises outlined in Day 4 of the program, plus two triceps exercises from the Exchange List. The extra support is also very helpful! 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'S life revolves around training, and NPC Nationals that person and no one else Brandan Fokken Age: from... On anyone else to be learned and accomplished careful, that area diet. Flat onstage contact the show to look for in your diet more than that, do.