Fitness & Figure Competion Prep Part 2
In this article I’ll pick up where I left off in Part I, covering the last five of the ten principles for women who want to get figure competitor-level buff.
Hopefully by this point you have put the first five principles to work in your own training, and have felt and seen a difference.
Jelena follows these ten principles, and so should you!
6. The Progressive Overload Principle
“To look like a fox, you have to sweat like a pig.”
Now that you’ve decided on a plan and have been continually following it, what would happen if you do the same workouts over and over for a year?
How long will it take before you stop progressing? This is why loads must increase to allow for continued physiological changes.
After every workout, your body should recover and be stronger for the next workout. You should never lift the same loads twice.
If you’re recovering properly, every single workout you should be able to lift more weight, even if it’s a half a pound.
I hear this all the time: “That’s too much weight! I don’t want to get big and bulky.” Hopefully if you are on this site you are over this and aren’t worried about getting big and bulky.
A good example of how big and bulky you won’t get is a client of ours, who just lost 40 pounds by progressively increasing her weights every week.
Just pause for a second and think about this: she got smallerby getting stronger every week. She went from incline pressing the 15 pound dumbbells to lifting the 40 pound dumbbells, and she got smaller!
In fact, the only way to make any figure progress is to progressively increase your weights. If you’re not getting stronger, you’re not making any progress.
The only thing to be aware of with this is that you don’t increase every single exercise in one workout. Each increase will affect the exercises that follow in the workout.
At most, increase 1 to 3 exercises, and the next time you do the program, pick a different 3 exercises to increase.
Push your body and challenge yourself every single workout to get better.
7. The Variety Principle
“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.” -Maya Angelou
Shock your body! Get out of your comfort zone! Change things up!
Besides changing the loads, you must also change the stimulus to keep progressing and to avoid boredom and fitness competition over-training.
As I mentioned earlier, you want to completely change your program every 4-6 weeks. You have to do what your body is not used to, in order to get it to change.
Your body adapts to the rep range first so this is the most important aspect to change frequently.
We change our programs every 4 weeks. Our clients never get bored and they never stop changing. Just when their body is getting used to the workout, we change it up.
Check out one of our clients who went from flab to abs by using a program that changed every 4 weeks.
8. The Discipline Principle
“The people who excel are the ones who produce results, not excuses.”
Discipline takes consistency one step further. It’s not enough to show up every day and never miss a workout.
You also need to have the discipline to do what you’re supposed to do once you get there.
How many times have you gone in to the gym and talked yourself out of doing that last set, or decided you didn’t want to increase your weights today, or just didn’t feel up to doing the cardio you had planned for the end of your workout?
Have the discipline to do everything you are supposed to do, even if you don’t feel like doing it. This, along with being consistent, will lead to increased figure competition results.
This is where having a training partner or a coach can really step up your results. Peer pressure can be a blessing.
A good coach can apply just the right kind of pressure.
I think this is one of our secrets at our gym: everyone works out in small groups.
All of our training sessions are semiprivate, so our clients work out with at least one or two other people. Having a peer group along with their coach, they tend to work harder and feed off of each other’s energy. Nobody wants to let the group down.
If you have a hard time being disciplined once you get to the gym, find a good training partner to train with: someone who will push you to do those last few reps, or to stick to the program and not bail out early.
9. The Proper Nutrition Principle
“Nothing tastes as good as lean and sexy feels.”
You must follow a proper nutrition program to get the most out of your training.
If you do not have the right kind or enough “fuel in the tank” you will not get everything you can out of your training, nor will you have the building blocks to recover from your workouts.
When you are putting the physical demands of training on your body and asking it to recover and repair itself you have to give it what it needs.
The top five keys to proper nutrition:
1. Eat breakfast followed by a meal every 3-4 hours. You must keep fuel coming in all day to keep your blood sugar stable.
2. Eat high quality protein with each meal. At least three of the meals should include a complete protein such as eggs, chicken, fish, turkey, or steak.
3. Eat a fruit and/or vegetable with each meal.
4. Drink at least one-half ounce of water for every pound of your body weight, every day. In other words, if you weigh 120 pounds, then you should drink 60 ounces a day.
5. Always drink a workout shake either during your workout or within 10 minutes of finishing your workout. Biotest Surge is my favorite and is what our clients use.
The ultimate post-workout drink. Nuff said.
10. The Recovery and Restoration Principle
“You don’t get results from training; you get results from recovering from your training.”
You must get enough rest and recovery in order for your body to respond to the stimulus of training.
Allow at least 24 hours between workouts and give yourself at least one day completely off every week to give your body a full day of rest.
Usually 3-4 days a week of weight training is the most your body can handle and still recover.
Although, we have seen clients get amazing results in 2 days a week. Just remember that more is not always better. You have to take your lifestyle and how much recovery you will be getting in to account.
If you are a new mom who isn’t sure you’ll get to sleep through the night most nights of the week, planning on 2-3 days will be plenty for your body to try to recover from. Again, remember the principle of individualization. A hard workout won’t do you any good if you don’t recover from it.
Now Go Train!
These are the ten figure competition principles we use in our gym to get our female clients buff and seeing results.
After reading this you should be questioning your own fitness competition program and how you can improve on it, and achieve even better competition results then you have.