Your Fit Figure: Here’s How to Guide Training Nutrition key to the competitive look

 

Specific recommendations for the woman who wishes to compete (or just look like she could compete) in a figure or fitness contest. The main source of misinformation stems from the bodybuilder mentality of all or nothing.

We get questions daily at Beverly Nutrition. This article is a complete plan to get the aspiring figure competitor in the best shape of her life. 4 Month Figure Makeover developing a V-shape, recipes and food prep. Shape Your Fit Figure Workout ideal workout to achieve a shapely, fit, lean physique.

Training

In general the primary source of information for the figure girl is the gym guru or a bodybuilder boyfriend. Probably the biggest error we see is that women who are trying to buff their physique are concerned about overtraining. They are under the mistaken impression that since the other “serious” guys in the gym train each body-part just once a week that they should also follow this method for best results. Not true! A woman who is trying to get the lean, muscular look of a fitness/figure competitor should train each muscle group two times per week.

The other major area of training foolishness is proper intensity. Finding the correct training intensity is relatively easy, to start use the heaviest workout poundages that allow you to complete the stated rep range in good form. If you are to do three sets of 10-15 reps, that means use a weight heavy enough that you can do no more than 15 reps on your first set and can do at least ten reps on the third set. Add weight whenever you can do the top number of reps in the range for all sets, in good form. It’s really that simple. You should rest sixty to ninety seconds between sets. Here is an ideal workout to achieve a hard, lean physique.

Fitness Figure competitor sample workout

Monday-Thursday
Exercise Sets Reps
Crunches 3 20-30
Twisting Crunches * *
On Cable Machine 3 20-30
DB Row 3 8-10
Pull-downs 3 10-12
Pullover 3 10-12
DB Shrug 3 10-15
Hyper-extension 3 10-15
Incline DB Curl 3 10-12
Concentration Curl 3 10-12
Calf Raise 4 10-15
Calf Press 4 15-20
Tuesday-Friday
Exercise Sets Reps
Crunches 3 20-30
Leg Raises 3 20-30
Twisting Crunches * *
On Cable Machine 3 20-30
Incline DB Press 4 8-10
Flat Flyes 4 10-12
Pec Deck 4 10-12
Shoulder Press 4 8-10
Side Laterals 3 10-12
DB Shoulder Press 3 10-12
Triceps Extension 10-12
Triceps Pushdown 3 10-12
Wednesday-Saturday
Exercise Sets Reps
Crunches 3 20-30
Leg Raises 3 20-30
Twisting Crunches * *
On Cable Machine 3 20-30
Squat 4 10-15
Leg Press 3 10-15
Leg Extension 4 10-15
Seated Calf Raise 4 10-15
Standing Calf Raise 4 15-20

Cardio relative body-fat composition

The amount of cardio you will do will be determined by your relative body composition.

The closer you are to your ideal condition, the less cardio you’ll need to do. Too much cardio can eat away hard earned lean muscle, prevent catabolism with less cardio more recovery.

Here is a 12-week program for the aspiring figure contest competitor starting in the 16-20% body-fat range. If you are closer to contest condition do less, if you are at a higher body fat percentage starting out follow this program for an additional time period.

Monday-Wednesday-Friday: 30-45 minutes at moderate intensity. Use the cardio equipment of your choice or just go outside and walk for the required time. (Start at thirty minutes and add five every other week until you reach forty-five minutes. Then stay at that level.)

Tuesday: 15-30 minutes high intensity intervals. Start with three minutes at an easy pace. Now you are ready for your first sixty-second work interval. Increase the elevation or resistance setting and go hard for sixty seconds. Ease the tension back for a sixty second “rest interval” then perform another ”hard“ interval. Perform five work intervals the first week followed by a two minute cool down. Each week add another interval until you reach twelve. At that point add five seconds to each work interval and reduce the “rest” interval by five seconds for each of the next four week leading to your contest.

Thursday: 15-20 minutes. On Thursday we are going to measure progress by seeing how many calories we can burn during a session. First, choose a piece of equipment that gives you a “calories expended” readout. The first week go at a slightly higher than comfortable pace for fifteen minutes and record the calories expended. Each week you will try to increase the calories expended while keeping the time constant. When you cannot increase your intensity further go up to sixteen minutes to get the additional caloric expenditure you are after, etc.

Nutrition

Nutrition is the key factor in acquiring the competitive “look”. There are as many theories about dieting as there are training. We at Beverly are in a good position to make recommendations since we work with both bodybuilding and fitness/figure competitors on a daily basis. Almost every one of them wants to lose fat while attaining a nice, pleasing muscular physique. We find that diet high in protein, with some healthy carbohydrates and void of simple sugar works best. Here is the diet we recommend for the typical beginning competitor who wishes to harden up her physique by reducing body-fat and gradually adding lean muscle tissue.

Diet recommend for beginning competitor
Meal #1
1 whole egg + 3 egg whites or 1 scoop Ultra Size or Ultimate Muscle Protein or 3 oz. lean beef or chicken breast & ½-cup oatmeal before cooking (Many combine the ingredients above into a pancake recipe.
Meal #2
Protein Drink: 2 Scoops Ultra Size or Ultimate Muscle Protein as a shake or with less water as a pudding. Or whole food option: 5 oz chicken or turkey breast, 5 strawberries or 1 peach
Meal #3
5 oz. chicken (before cooking) or 6.5 oz. can of tuna in water 4 oz. sweet potato or ½ cup cooked brown rice 1-cup vegetables (broccoli, etc.) or salad with 2 tbsp low cal dressing
Meal #4(Post Workout)
2 Scoops Muscle Provider and 14 oz. water
Meal #5
6 oz. lean beef, chicken, turkey, or fish 2 cups green vegetables or salad

To give your diet variety we have included a list of substitutions you can make for the foods above. (See below.) You may substitute foods on your prescribed diet with another food from the same category below. For example, if your diet calls for broccoli, you can substitute with any non-starchy vegetable such as tomato or another from the list below.

Permissible Clean Food List
Protein

  • Beef: Beef tenderloin, Filet Mignon, Sirloin, Flank Steak, Round Steak, Top Round, Roast Beef, Ground Round, Ground Sirloin. Ground Beef (93% Fat Free or leaner)
  • Poultry: Chicken breast (no skin) Canned Chicken Breast (Swanson’s), Turkey Breast, Turkey Breast Cutlets, Ground Turkey Breast (95% Fat Free or Leaner), Canned Turkey Breast, Deli Turkey Breast.
  • Fish: Just about all kinds, the best are: Tuna (canned in water or fresh), Cod, Flounder, Halibut, Haddock, Orange Roughy, Salmon (canned in water or fresh, but limit to twice weekly), Red Snapper, Perch, Pollock, Scallops, Shrimp, Whitefish and Swordfish.
Complex Starchy Carbohydrates
Oatmeal, Cream of Rice, Puffed Rice, Rice Cakes, Cooked Rice (brown or white), Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Beans (white, pinto, kidney or black), Lima Beans, Corn, Peas.
Fibrous Vegetables
Asparagus, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Cucumbers, Green Beans, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Spinach, Tomato, Water Chestnuts, Zucchini.
Fruit
Apple, Blueberries, Cantaloupe, Grapefruit, Kiwi, Nectarine, Peach.

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