Phase 2 Contest Training
As the contest approached I switched to a unique training program designed to hold my muscle development while the diet was kicking in harder.
In this phase I prioritized legs, back, and shoulders by training them twice per week. In this phase I warmed up, then did a series of supersets. Each exercise was performed for 3 sets of 5 reps with no rest between sets. Even though I was doing only 5 reps per set, believe me, go from one exercise to the next with no rest made this workout extremely challenging:
- Content Prep Workout
- Monday: Legs –Glutes–Calves
- Front Squats Super Set Good Mornings
- Sumo Squat Super Set Glute Ham Raises
- Step ups Super Set Cable Pull Thru’s
- 3-way Leg Press (no rest in b/w stances) 10 continuous reps regular, wide, then close stance
- *Calf circuit – repeat 3 times
- Calf raises 10 reps
- Calf squats 20 reps
- Calf jump ropes 30 reps
- Tuesday: Back-Shoulders-Triceps
- Wide Grip Chin-Ups Super Set "V" Bar Chin-Ups
- Bent-Over Row Super Set Corner Bar Row
- Upright Row Super Set Fatboy Pull-Ups (hanging horizontally
- underneath a racked bar with heels on the floor pulling yourself up to meet it)
- Barbell Shoulder Press
- Super Set Dumbbell Arnold Press
- Dumbbell Swings (with one heavy dumbbell in between legs swinging up parallel to the floor keeping arms straight-3 sets of as many as possible)
- Cable press downs (1 Giant Drop Set Non-Stop)
- Wednesday: Sled and Abs Sled dragging and Abs
- Ab circuit: 3 non-stop rounds
- Double crunch 15
- Side jackknives 10 each side
- Bicycles 25 min
- Thursday: Chest-Shoulders-Biceps:
Flat Bench Press Super Set Corner Bar Chest Busters Inclined Close-Grip Bench Press Super Set Dumbbell Neutral Grip (Palms In) Chest Presses
- DB Lateral Raises Super Set:
Delt Cable Pull Thru’s (with the bar between your legs extending out with your arms till parallel to the floor) Dumbbell Swings (with two heavy dumbbells at sides swinging up to shoulders curling with palms in-3 sets of as many as possible)
- Cable Bicep Curls (1 Giant Drop Set Non-Stop)
- Friday: Repeat Monday Workout
- Saturday: Repeat Tuesday Workout
- Sunday: REST
Although my weight training program was different than most figure workouts that I’ve seen, I did some pretty traditional cardio on the treadmill and stationary bike as the contest approached. I did low intensity (up to an hour) incline walking or resistance biking in the morning and a short, high intensity cardio session after my weight workout in the evening. In my evening session I jumped rope, used the stairmaster, pulled the power sled, or did a plyometric drill listed below.
As for plyos, I’d rotate the chosen drill from the list below avoiding interference with my weight training completing 12 sets of 7 good reps with 30-60 seconds rest between sets.
- Clap push ups
- Explosive pull ups
- Jump Squats
- Jump Deadlifts
- Explosive chin ups
- Explosive dips
One final note on training: Whether you try one of the workouts I’ve listed above, or one that you have read about in the No Nonsense Magazine (Training Diary PDF download), make everything measurable. Write down the exercises, sets, reps, and weights you are going to use before you go to the gym. That way there’s no guesswork when you get to the gym. You know exactly what you are going to do and you do it.
Where to Get the Stuff You Need to CompeteFirst, I recommend that you try to get your hands on the Beverly Workshop Manual. I attended the sessions in person and they were invaluable. In fact, the Beverly Workshop Manual has a Figure Competitor Checklist that tells you exactly what you need to compete. It’s on page 7 in the Figure Section of the manual.
I’d get a copy of Julie Lohre’s posing video. I practiced over and over with it.
Plan to have an excellent tan. Don’t wait until the last minute and hope. Experiment a head of time. I used Elite Tan for my tanning spray.
I picked up everything else I needed locally and used a number of things I already had. I got my jewelry from a local shop Bridal World, a hair clip from JC Penney salon, and used a pair of old pageant shoes and body glue.
Challenges and SolutionsMy first figure competition has been the biggest physical, mental, and spiritual challenge that I have ever faced. Very few people in my everyday life "got" what I was doing and even fewer could understand "why". But I leaned on that handful that did "get" it. I am forever grateful for those who realize what a huge personal achievement this was and for those who have served as a blueprint towards making it happen.
I found how truly powerful the mind is over the course of preparing for this contest. I made a special effort to avoid stress and see the absolute best in everything I faced. When you’re dieting down, you are so much more aware of your internal and external environment and how it is affected. I was continuously figuring out what was hindering and what was helping me to reach my goals as I ridded myself of any hindrances. With all disruptions ranging from a negative word or action towards me to a misbehaving student to getting the flu to insomnia, I had to immediately gain control of the situation and man up knowing that other girls in this competition were facing the same and greater obstructions and still training and dieting just as hard as or harder than me!