Can you believe it?! You are just 4 weeks out form your figure contest. If you are seeing a little bit of fat here and there and don’t feel as tight as you should be, you might be getting a little nervous at this point.
In all honestly, you really only have 3 weeks left to diet down that last bit of body fat because the final week is peak week and all peak week is designed to do is to dial you in. You are not, I repeat ARE NOT, going to build any muscle or lose any fat the final 7 days, but you can drop a good 4-6 pounds of water weight on the scale if you apply the proper tactics.
It’s NOT About Being Ready 4 Weeks Out; It’s About Being Ready On Contest Day!
Concerns The Final Month (Pay Special Attention)
Most women I talk to prepping for a show that are a month out feel a little panicked, like they won’t be ready. This is normal. You don’t want to be ready a month out from your show. You want to be ready on your contest day!
Okay, if your figure competition is 30 days, you have a little time, but not much! This means you can do some tweaks, but big changes and overhauls to your diet, weight training program, or cardio can lead to disastrous results. Tweaking is the key, not changing things. Got it? GREAT!
Here Are Some Of The Most Popular Concerns I Hear From Figure Competitors When They Are 4 Weeks Out.
- I’m not lean enough
- My glutes are soft
- My legs aren’t hard enough
- My lower belly has a pooch
- My body fat is ____
Do any of the above sound familiar? Hummm??
If you can identify with at least one of the above statements, then you don’t have any big problems. Usually these are minor and just some dietary, cardio, training, or supplemental tweaks is all you need. Tweaks, not changes. What’s the difference? A tweak is a small adjustment. A change is making something completely different.
Julie Lohre stresses the adjustments necessary a month out, “Change your training and nutrition plans to accommodate the changes that have occurred in your physique. Are you on track? How close are you to your goal contest physique?”
These before and after transformation photos were taken at 4 weeks apart. The first pic was taken a month before her figure competition and the second photo was taken on contest day.
I’m Not Lean Enough (Of Course Not, Not Yet)
The most common boo-who I hear from figure athletes is they are not lean enough when their show is a month away. Sure, 30 days isn’t a huge hunk of time, but it’s more than enough time to harden up if you’ve done your homework and stuck to your diet, training, and cardio program.
Ideally, you can lose a few more pounds of body fat in the next 3 weeks, and then another 4-6 pounds of water peak week. So if you look at it through a positive light, you can lose about another 9-10 pounds by show time. Ain’t that something?
My Glutes Are Soft (Tricky One, But Not A Complete Loss)
The soft glutes issue can be a tricky one at this stage in the game. Most women aren’t going to have cut and striated glutes. If you do, hats off to you! That’s awesome. That means you did your off-season training well and built strong and well-developed glutes.
If you are on the flipside and are a little concerned about a soft booty on stage there are a few things you can do. The diet is a big part; you might tweak it and lower the carbs some. Drinking a LOT of water also helps to flush fat, yes fat, out of your body. Walking lunges are a gift from then gods.
You’d be shocked at what doing a lot of walking lunges will do for the glutes. Kick up the cardio and change it up. Get on the stepmill for more glutes activation and don’t forget the elliptical for leaning the lower body.
My Legs Aren’t Hard Enough (Shredded Quads Are Built Through A Process)
Legs not being lean enough is also a HUGE concern, along with glutes issues, when it comes to competing in a figure competition. Of course you want well-built and finely sculpted legs on stage. Who doesn’t? It’s easy to get the upper body lean and cut, but the female leg area can be somewhat of a task for many ladies.
However, it’s not too late in the game to get your legs leaner. You will just have to put your focus on your leg training and use a variety of leg training exercises and tactics. Go crazy intensity and train insane. Toss in an array of reps and sets and make use of all the training principles to light your leg training on fire.
You can actually shape those puppies up in the next 4 weeks. No problem! Oh, and there’s another little trick you can implement the day before and the day of your show to get those legs looking nice and ripped. However, that’s my highly-guarded secret I whisper in my clients’ ears during peak week.
My Lower Belly Has A Pooch (Welcome Estrogen)
This is a common issue I her with figure competitors, the lower belly pooch, or lower ab fat. We have trouble with this area because we are female and our bodies are designed to hold more body fat than our counter partner, the male. We hold fat easier, we store it faster, and it’s harder to get off. What a rip, right? But, all is not lost.
There are several tactics you can employ, such as lowering calories and tightening up the macros, adding running HIIT to your cardio, and perhaps in a fasted state, also doing weighted crunches or cable crunches. I have another little secret that really drives that pooch away and makes it disappear, but I save that for my clients when they need it. 🙂 Sorry.
My Body Fat is ____ (Fill In The Blank)
For some reason figure competitors are fixated on some magical body fat percentage. Yes, of course you need a low body fat to compete in figure, but there is no magical number that will make you look better or make you win. A good body fat for one figure athlete will be different for the next.
I had one lady competing and her body fat read 9.5%, which is quite low for a figure competition. In addition, she was “ready” and I mean she was spot-on and sharp. But, she wasn’t happy because her body fat read 9.5%. Who cares what your body fat reading is as long as you are muscular and well-defined and are sporting the complete package.
It’s not like the judges are secretly testing your body fat and judging you on that. Go by the mirror and photos of yourself, not just your stats.
Okay, that’s the down and dirty and raw truth about being 4 weeks out from your figure contest. Just know it’s enough time to tweak things do your body makes some outstanding changes in that short amount of time.
Now… Do You Want The REAL Figure Contest Secrets (Peak Week Data)
If you want the tired-and-true information on how to prep for your figure competition in 12 weeks, (and some of those secrets I don’t give away in articles) and I mean the total walk-through process all the way to peak week and how to properly lower sodium safely, I strongly urge you to check out my best selling eBook, Figure Competition Secrets.
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Karen Sessions – Figure Coach
(Article, 4 Weeks Out From Figure Contest, Written by Karen Sessions)