Do you think you can ever be figure competition ready? You just might be surprised. In the last decade women competing in fitness on stage has grown leaps and bounds. I’m sure you’ve seen the amazing before and after transformations, and you would like to take part as well. So the question is not so much if you want to compete; the question is, are figure competition ready?
So, you have the desire and the dedication to train hard in the gym. You need to make sure your diet is in check and test the waters to see if you can maintain a strict Figure prep diet.
Now, I can tell you get a body assessment and attend a show, but that’s pretty vague information and it won’t get you anywhere except a seat in the audience. If you want to get in shape and be a lean-mean figure machine like my many clients, here are a few things you need to take into account:
- Have you been training long enough?
- What is your body fat percentage?
- Can you maintain a strict eating format?
- Can you resist temptation?
- Can you put forth the required time for training?
- Can you manage the stress of contest prep?
- Can you prep yourself or do you need a coach?
This is just a short list of what contest prep involves. Let’s dig a little deeper into a few of these just to see if you fit the bill.
Your Figure Training Program for Best Results
There’s more to competing in figure than just getting in a figure posing suit, walking across stage and hitting a few poses. While many may argue the fact, Figure Competitors need muscle to get on stage and compete because they are judged muscularity and separation as well as symmetry and proportion.
How to you active the judging requirements? You need some good hardcore weight training under your belt. All too often women become too eager to compete and get on stage too soon. This leaves them lacking the necessary muscle to place well. They end up placing low and realize they need a good solid muscle base to compete.
Don’t run with the group saying “there is no off-season.” How do you expect to have muscle if you don’t give your body a fighting chance to build it? Please, PLEASE do yourself a favor and download the FREE eBook from the link above.
What Your Body Fat Percentage Should Be
To be figure competition ready you also need a low body fat percentage. This is how the actual muscle separation is visible. So, if you are 20% body fat or more you are going to need some good solid prep time. Most women can safely compete around 10% body fat or less.
You can start losing fat by lowering your calories, but not excessively. You need to lower your calories gradually so your body retains the muscle. You need to keep as much muscle on your frame as possible because it is metabolically active, allowing you to burn extra calories while at rest. Hey, that’s not a bad deal!
While the scale is a very useful tool for managing your weight loss, BE CAREFUL and don’t become a prisoner of the scale. It can happen VERY easily. I see this ALL the time. Competitors begin to notice on the number on the scale, becoming obsessed, and fail to see the changes in their physique. They stress out because the number on the scale is not moving as fast as they expect it.
WHY!? Here’s why… You CAN build muscle and lose fat at the same time. Yes, it’s not a myth it is actual and factual information. Muscle and fat are two completely separate tissues and one can grow in size while the other reduces in size. We see it all the time in the general population it’s just in the reverse fashion of gain fat and lose muscle.
So, if you gain 2 pounds of muscle and lose 2 pounds of fat the scale is not going to move, just as the person eating at McDonalds three times a day loses 2 pounds of muscle and gains 2 pounds of fat. The scale didn’t move, but that doesn’t mean their body is not changing.
Use the scale as a tool and don’t let it control you.
Your Figure Prep Diet to Prompt Fat Loss
Your fat loss will come with a structured eating protocol. To be figure competition ready you need to feed your body foods it can use to build muscle, provide energy for training, and burn fat. Yes, you can create meals that do all three. You will find such balanced meals are very filling and sometimes you may not even be able to finish a good quality balanced meal and still be full for a few hours.
A high-quality Figure Diet can look like:
Veggie omelet with diced peppers and 2% cheese
1 cup of fruit on the side
Protein shake made with real fruit blended until creamy
Nutty Grilled Chicken Salad – Diced chicken added to Italian salad mix topped with walnuts and drizzled with balsamic vinegar
Low-carb protein shake mixed in water or 2% milk
This is a basic outline of what a competition diet can look like. If you would like more specific meal plans for select body weights, check out my eBook, Figure Competition Diets and Recipes.
How to Handle Cheating to be Figure Competition Ready
Resisting temptation… How to manage temptation, still have a life and even win your figure contest.
It will happen, you will cheat. Whether this cheat is scheduled or unscheduled will make the fat loss difference. Did you know that you CAN cheat on your diet and still have fat loss results in the same week? Yes, it’s all in the technique.
I’m not going to elaborate on this one because people see the phrase “it’s okay to cheat” and totally take it out of context.
Here’s the deal. To be figure competition ready you can have a scheduled cheat meal once a week. This scheduled cheat throws a monkey wrench in the works and takes your body off-guard. Since you’ve been strict dieting, your body perceives this cheat as a surplus of calories coming in and it releases fat to be burned. Ahhhh…. Eating junk food and losing weight. Oh the freedom.
BUT… I must caution you. This cheat HAS to be scheduled and it HAS to be managed for it to work. Extending this indulgence far beyond what it’s meant for can cause disastrous effects.
Do You Need a Figure Coach to Be Figure Competition Ready?
If you are new to competing all this may seem a bit overwhelming. This brings us down to the question if you can prep yourself or if you need a Figure Coach. There are many first-time figure competitors who take the reins, take charge and prep themselves. Many do quite well, but I find they get to peak week and get a little confused, and rightly so. Peak week is a totally different ball game. Most of the typical prep rules are out the window and you kind of goes against the grain the final week.
So, this is where a Figure Coach can be helpful. A good trainer can oversee your diet, training and cardio, make suggestions and tweaks to have you figure competition ready for your big day.
Simple Steps to Get Started…
Now that you have a basic rundown of what it takes to be figure competition ready, weigh your options and decide if you can put forth the time and effort to prep and compete.
Remember, you need to build a good and solid muscle base to diet on and be relentless on eating high-quality foods.
If you are still lost and confused, no worries… I took the time to write The Contest Prep Blueprint to get you stage ready. Figure Competition Secrets is by far the BEST and most accurate prep information you can find anywhere. My guide will take you by the hand and walk you through each phase, step-by-step.
It’s easy to read and understand and absolutely PERFECT for the newbie.
Karen Sessions – Figure Coach
Thanks for reading over my article! I hope you found the information helpful. If you have any questions you can contact me directly using the “Contact Link” at the top of the page. I answer all emails.
If you did like this article then you should sign-up for my FREE Contest Prep Insider Lessons. These lessons provide science-based information on fat loss, muscle gain, and contest prep. Get the facts and you get the results.