Figure competition workouts build a lean, fit and muscular feminine body, perfect for sexy posing suits, stunning heels, sparkles, etc. To achieve such muscle density and definition you have to implement some high-intensity figure competition workouts.
The Anatomy of a Figure-Ready Body is Composed of:
- Muscle density
- Muscle definition
These are just the baseline qualities you need. In addition to the physical aspect, to compete in a figure contest you also need posing skills and stage presentation along with the right skin color through tanning and skin dyes, hair and makeup done, posing suit, posing heels, etc.
What The Judges Are Looking For
To even get on stage you need to build a great physique. That is done through figure competition workouts. A proper workout stimulates all the targeted muscles with maximum intensity for the chosen body part.
As a figure competitor you will need to display a full chest with deep cleavage, wide shoulders with nice caps, well-built and defined arms, a wide back with a v-taper, balanced legs showing muscularity and separation, proportioned calves along with a small waist displaying well-defined abs.
Building A Figure Body
To be a competitor you need to build a strong and muscular body through weight training and high-quality nutrition. To get on stage and compete you need to sculpt the muscle you built through diet, cardio, and training.
Take the time, AT LEAST 8-12 months, to build a solid foundation to prep on. Otherwise, you’ll end up small and soft on contest day. Part of your prep homework is doing the work required months in advance, and that’s building the base. The building phase is known as the off-season.
I’ve coached THOUSANDS of women online over the past 15 years. I get a few who want to compete but have only been working out for about 6 months. One of my duties as a figure coach is to be honest, and let them know that they need more muscle-building time, and that they should wait until the next year, and let them know the reasons why. Nine out of ten will tell me they understand but want to do a figure contest in 3 months anyway.
Once they know the facts and have still decided to proceed, it’s my job to do the best with the hand I was dealt. While I can get them on stage and have them quite lean, they will e-mail me after the show telling me that yes, they should have waited and spent 8-12 months building muscle. Hey, no problem. It’s a learning process. At least you had the experience, you have knowledge under your belt to move forward and become better in your next show.
Figure Competition Workouts
The difference between off-season and pre-contest is, in the off-season you need to eat a little more of the same healthy diet so your body can actually build muscle. Also, you can eat a higher percentage of carbs to support heavy training. You can still do cardio in the off-season, but you just don’t need as much.
Basically, off-season provides an environment for muscle development, and pre-contest prep provides an environment for fat loss. Remember, the above is off-season training. Ideally, you want to shoot for 8-10 reps to failure to ensure you are targeting the growth fibers. Rest between sets should be about 2 minutes. This amount of time allows for optimal muscle recovery so you can put just as much anaerobic intensity into the next set.
I believe 5 days a week muscle-building in the off-season is pushing it, but if you eat enough and supplement with creatine and glutamine you should be fine.
To ensure satisfactory muscle development in the off-season it’s really good to keep a training log. Your goal is to make strength improvements every week. If you can do one more rep than the previous week, that’s improvement.
Rest and Recovery
Since your strength will drop some due to dieting and added cardio, it’s typical to increase reps in prep training. To increase the aerobic intensity of the workout drop your rest time between sets to 1 minute in the first phase and 30 seconds the second phase. Less rest time between sets doesn’t increase muscle development, but it does help with fat loss. Also, this is a great time to toss in some high-intensity training principles to further zone-in on your targeted fat loss goal.
It’s highly recommend that you supplement with BCAAs, Protein Powders, and Glutamine. Creatine is fine, but you need to be omit it close to contest time.
Ensure Continued Progress
Okay, that’s a rough rundown of how figure competition workouts can progress from off-season training to pre-contest training. The trick is to be consistent on your workouts and always try to progress it in some form in the off-season. When you get to the 12-14 contest prep stretch begin to crank-up the intensity by adding an extra day, extra sets or reps, or even an exercise or two here or there.
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Karen Sessions NSCA-CPT
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.
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