Training Nutrition Figure Athletes

Tightening Shredding Pre-Contest Workout Diet

Ideal Figure athlete will have wide shoulders V Tapered shape

By: Julie Lohre, IFBB Fitness Pro
Magazine 16 #1

What is Figure?

The sport of Figure has taken off since its inception in the early 2000’s and has become an incredibly popular choice for women that want to take their bodies and training to the next level. In Figure, athletes are compared to one another and ranked according to their overall physique and presentation. Figure athletes wear a 2-piece bathing suit and heels for the competition and are compared through a series of quarter turns.

So, what makes a great Figure Competitor?

The ideal Figure athlete will have wide shoulders with well developed shoulder caps, a well-developed back along with a small waist which all together show what we like to call a V Tapered shape. We strive to be wider at the top, tight and narrow through the waist with lean and shapely legs.

There are some very specific attributes that the judges in Figure are looking for, first, a small degree of muscularity with separation but no visible striations. This means that a competitor should have a good – not excessive – amount of muscle and that she should not be so lean that you can see striations in the muscles. Overall size and leanness are the primary differences between Figure and Women’s Bodybuilding. For Bodybuilding, a woman would work hard to add as much size and thickness as possible. Figure is about a more balanced, compact physique.

Julie Kyla Leslie

The second judging criteria

Is overall muscle tone with shapely lines and overall firmness without excessive leanness. Finally, the judges will make a full general assessment which includes having a healthy, finished and polished appearance. The ideal figure competitor has the whole package – from head to toe, she is well put together. From diet to training, cardio to supplementation to the contest specific details, it takes a great deal of hard work and dedication to be competitive in Figure!

Over the last year, I have worked with many women as they prepare for Figure competitions. Kyla Johnson and Leslie Samples are two of those women that have gone from good to amazing, stage ready FitBodies.

Both women have incredible potential and have worked very hard to sculpt and tone their bodies. They each have added muscle and decreased body fat to achieve a fitness model body putting them at the top of any Figure show they enter.

For Kyla, it was important that she gain muscle to round out her naturally thin physique and give her more curves. While working with Kyla, she gained the muscle she needed to be competitive in Figure, while going from 23 percent body-fat to 11.5 percent body-fat in about 10 weeks. At the 2010 Kentucky Muscle, Kyla placed 3rd in a very competitive tall class!

Leslie came to me a few years ago after she gave birth to her son and wanted to get in great shape for a Figure competition. Since then, Leslie has transformed her physique replacing body-fat with several pounds of muscle. In her last contest prep, she lost over 5 percent body-fat or about 8 lbs of fat on her small frame which made a big difference! Leslie has progressed through several local/regional NPC shows and is making her way to the National stage. Look for Leslie to be trying her hand at Fitness in the 2011 season!

So what does it take to get a great Figure body? The answer is a plan that incorporates weight training, plyometrics, cardio, a great diet and the best supplements. Once you have a good amount of muscle, getting lean and tight will help you be competitive in Figure. My Tightening and Shredding Pre-Contest Workout is ideal for the woman that needs to lose body-fat while maintaining her lean mass. This is an excellent plan to help you come into your show at your personal best and can be followed at 4-6 weeks out from your show. This is an advanced workout plan intended for a healthy woman that is in excellent condition. I recommend having at least 6 months of consistent weight training experience before jumping in to this workout. Be sure to check with your doctor before performing this or any exercise program.

Kyla Johnson Leslie Fitbody figure competitors
With Kyla and Leslie, I structured their training, cardio, diet and supplement plans to work for their individual bodies.

Some indispensable do’s and don’ts:

  • Keep a workout journal. It can be a spiral notebook or as fancy as you like. Keep track of every training and cardio session, all of your meals and your supplements. Use the “star” method ∗ (asterisk) to track your progress with weights. Every time you use a heavier weight than before on a set, get more reps with a particular weight, or complete a series of sets in less time give yourself a star in your journal. My FitBody Workout Journal is a very detailed logbook that I have put together specifically for Competitors. Check it out at fitbody.com
  • Use proper form. If you have any questions on how this workout should be done, check out our behind the article video at fitbody.com
  • Make sure each exercise is working the correct area. Use a full range of motion on each exercise and choose, slow, concentrated reps over fast, half done reps.

The Specifics

My Tightening and Shredding Pre Contest Workout is a 4-day per week workout plan that targets the trouble spots for most Figure Competitors – Abs & Glutes! This is a fast paced, high intensity workout that will have you burning tons of calories while you are building muscle. Since you are going to be moving fast, it is critical that you pay close attention to form throughout this workout. I would also encourage you to wear a heart rate monitor and keep your heart rate at 75-85% of your Max Heart Rate throughout this training program.

The most important thing is that you stay safe throughout the workout. If there are any exercises that you cannot do at your gym or do not feel right for your body, feel free to exclude them or to substitute a different exercise. And feel free to start by modifying the weights or reps until you feel comfortable completing the whole workout.

Go to fitbody.com to view videos of Julie, Leslie & Kyla as they illustrate proper performance of each exercise.

The Workout

› Day 1
Glutes/Hamstring/Abs
Perform the following supersets by completing one set of each exercise then rest 30 seconds. Do 4 sets of each Superset.
Superset 1
Hack Squat (10 reps)Bench Glutes Raises (15 reps)
Superset 2
Ball Curl Ins or Pike ups (10 reps)
Ball Crunches (10 reps)
Superset 3
Low Cable Kickbacks (15 reps)
Weighted Bench Squats (20 reps)
Superset 4
Weighted Single Leg Lunge off the Bench (10 on each leg)
Lying Leg Raise (10 reps)
› Day 2
Delts & Biceps – Go heavy for these exercises – 4 straight sets of 8-10 reps for each exercise
Seated Overhead Press
DB Curl Standing on a BOSU
  **10 mins of high intensity cardio intervals
Hammer Curl with a lunge forward
Bent Over Rear Delt Raises
Alternating Front Raises "L"
lateral Raise Pulses
**10 mins of high intensity cardio intervals
› Day 3
Plyometrics & Kettlebells
Perform the following supersets by completing one set of each exercise then rest 30 seconds. Do 4 sets of each Superset.
Superset 1
Squat Jumps (10 reps)
Kettle Bell Swing Through’s (10 reps)
Superset 2
2 arm KB Press from Floor
**Can be done with dumbbells
Superset 3
Burpees (15 reps)
Floor Crunch Burnouts (20 reps)
Single Exercise:
X Out Pushups (15 reps)
› Day 4
Back/Triceps & Legs
Perform the following circuits by completing one set of each exercise then rest 30 seconds. Do 4 sets of each Superset.
Circuit 1
Lat Pull down Pulses
Bent Over Barbell Rows (20 reps)
Close grip bench press (10 reps)
Close hand pushups (10 reps)
  **10 mins of high intensity cardio intervals
Circuit 2 (Smith Area)
Plie Squats (20 reps)
Weighted Calf Raises (20 reps)
Stationary Lunge Pulses (20 reps)
Straight Arm DB Pullovers (10 reps)
  **10 mins of high intensity cardio intervals

Cardio

Begin with 4 cardio sessions per week, 30 mins per session. Keep all of your sessions high intensity and focus on burning calories. If you have more fat to lose, increase the amount of cardio you are doing. If you have less fat to lose, you can decrease the amount of cardio.

Figure Pre Contest Nutrition Plan

Goal:
Focus on bodyfat loss while maintaining muscle mass to come into a Figure show as lean and tight as possible.
Essential Supplements:
Ultimate Muscle Protein (UMP)
Density
Lean Out
Stack:
7 Keto Musclean
Quadracarn

Meals

Meal #1
Protein Pancakes/Waffles – 2 scoops of UMP mixed with 4 egg whites and a little water to make a batter – more for pancakes and less for waffles. Cook like a pancake on a skillet with Pam or in a waffles iron for waffles. Top with sugar free (Splenda) syrup and spray butter.
Meal #2
3 oz. lean protein (lean beef, chicken, turkey, tuna)
2 cups of veggies
Meal #3
5 oz. lean protein

Workout

Kettle Bell Swing Through’s (10 reps)
Superset 2
Bench Rebounds
2 arm KB Press from Floor
**Can be done with dumbbells
Superset 3
Burpees (15 reps)
Floor Crunch Burnouts (20 reps)
Single Exercise:
X Out Pushups (15 reps)
› Day 4
Back/Triceps & Legs
Perform the following circuits by completing one set of each exercise then rest 30 seconds. Do 4 sets of each Superset.
Circuit 1
Lat Pull down Pulses
Bent Over Barbell Rows (20 reps)
Close grip bench press (10 reps)
Close hand pushups (10 reps)
  **10 mins of high intensity cardio intervals
Circuit 2 (Smith Area)
Plie Squats (20 reps)
Weighted Calf Raises (20 reps)
Stationary Lunge Pulses (20 reps)
Straight Arm DB Pullovers (10 reps)
  **10 mins of high intensity cardio intervals

Cardio

Begin with 4 cardio sessions per week, 30 mins per session. Keep all of your sessions high intensity and focus on burning calories. If you have more fat to lose, increase the amount of cardio you are doing. If you have less fat to lose, you can decrease the amount of cardio.

Figure Pre Contest Nutrition Plan

Goal:
Focus on bodyfat loss while maintaining muscle mass to come into a Figure show as lean and tight as possible.
Supplements: Essential
Ultimate Muscle Protein (UMP)
Lean Out

Meals

Meal #1
Protein Pancakes/Waffles – 2 scoops of UMP mixed with 4 egg whites and a little water to make a batter – more for pancakes and less for waffles. Cook like a pancake on a skillet with Pam or in a waffles iron for waffles. Top with sugar free (Splenda) syrup and spray butter.
Meal #2
3 oz. lean protein (lean beef, chicken, turkey, tuna)
2 cups of veggies
Meal #3
5 oz. lean protein
large salad with 2 tbsp oil & vinegar dressing
Meal #4
2 scoops Ultimate Muscle Protein mixed with water for a shake
Meal #5
5 oz. lean protein
2 cups vegetables
Twice a week (Monday & Thursday)
Substitute the following for your fifth meal at the end of the day:
1 cup oatmeal or 1 cup cooked rice
& 6 oz. sweet potato
& 4 oz. banana
& 1 cup vegetables
& 1 tablespoon butter
You can make: Carb-up bread
Mix together the oatmeal and banana with cinnamon, a pinch of baking powder and Splenda to make carb-up bread/muffins. Bake at 375 ° for about 20 mins. Top with butter

The Athletes at a Glance

Kyla Johnson
Occupation: Real Estate Professional
Birthplace: Cincinnati, OH
Current Residence: Jamestown, OH
Years Training: I have been weight training for 3 years
Height: 5′7″
Off Season Weight: 138
Contest Weight: 130
How did you decide to compete in Figure?
I loved seeing the discipline that other figure competitors had at my gym. I decided to make it a goal.
What is your favorite part of being a Figure Competitor?
I love being in the gym and working toward an end goal. I love setting benchmarks and breaking my own records.
What has been your experience being a part of Julie’s FitBody Team Program?
I loved being a part of Julie’s FitBody team. Not only do you get personalized advice and tips, but also you get the "team" experience. As a team we talk about food and weight training and inspire one another to go further and dig deeper.
In your CD player: Chris Tomlin
Most Inspiring Book: Me: Stories of My Life by Katharine Hepburn
Hobby or interests outside of Fitness: I play competitive indoor and beach volleyball. In addition, I love reading, baking, scrapbooking/stamping, and dancing.
Words to Live by: Go hard or go home!
Leslie Samples
Occupation: Personal Trainer
Family: Married to Scott Samples and have a 3-year-old son Jamesyn!
Birthplace: Carbondale IL
Current Residence: West Frankfort, IL
Years Training: Hard Core about 6 years but I’ve always been active played sports and danced for 10 years.
Height: 5′3″
Off-season weight: about 120
Contest weight: about 113
How did you decide to compete in Figure?
I decided to compete when I saw a beautiful lady on the cover of Oxygen. I saw how strong she looked and it made me curious. I had never heard of competing until I researched and learned that most cover women were figure or fitness competitors and I was hooked!
What has been your experience being a part of Julie’s FitBody Team Program?
Being a part of Julie’s Fitbody Team Program has been the greatest support system. It is really great to be around the same like-minded women who love fitness or who are just beginning their fitness journey. Sometimes it’s easy to get discouraged or down, but when you have people to bring you back up it helps keep you on track. I love Julie! She helps keep all of us on our toes!
In my CD player: Michael Jackson: This is It, Toby Mac, Casting Crowns, and My Christmas Choir CD!
Most Inspiring Book: The Bible!
Hobby or Interests outside of Fitness: I Love singing in the choir and spending time with my family.
Words to Live By: I can do All Things Through Christ that Strengthens Me!

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