PDA

View Full Version : 6 Weeks Out Figure Comp - Advice Please!



lillellis
08-10-2012, 07:16 PM
Hello, everyone!

I'm new to the website and have found the forum very helpful. I'm currently six weeks out from my first-ever figure competition. I have high standards for myself and hope to qualify for the Fitness America weekend in Vegas. The qualifier is September 22.

Here's my concern: Am I too skinny/lean? I've been concentrating on building my skeletal muscle mass, as advised by the trainer I saw. This is where I get frustrated:
Body check - 11 weeks out: weight 49.2 kilos, body fat 16.1%, skeletal muscle mass 22.7 kg
9 weeks out: 47.4 kilos, body fat 12.5%, skeletal muscle mass 22.8 kg
7 weeks out (earlier this week): 46.9 kilos, 12.2%, skeletal muscle mass 22.7 kg

My goal was to lean out AND build muscle at the same time. I'm frustrated that my skeletal muscle mass isn't increasing. I may be plateauing due to the intense workout routine. Maybe I need more rest days...I am doing very little cardio to not lose too much. What am I doing wrong?!

Here is my workout routine:
- Free weight lifting, with high-intensity training/little to no rest/supersets in between: 2 hours/day, 6 days/week
- Heavy weight, three sets of 8-12 reps, increasing weight every set
M & TH: chest & triceps - Do burpees with pull-ups for warm up; bench, incline dumbbell chest press, diamond push-ups (active rest); overhead press, tricep dips, barbell tri extension, cable pulldown, more tricep dips on bench.
T & F: back & biceps - Burpees with weight for warmpup; deadlift row, chin-ups, upright row, front lat pulldown, row machine, reg pull-ups, dumbbell curls, double hammer curls, back curl-up with weight
W & Sa: legs & shoulders - Step-downs & jumprope for warm up; squats in squat rack (Smith machine), decline leg press, walking lunges with weights, leg extensions or legs curls (alternate on day of week), hip-ups with weight; military press (in front of & behind head), dumbbell shoulder press, arnold dumbbell press, front lat raise, side lat raise
ABS - every day: heavy weight, increasing every set: cable pulldown, leg raise with weight, decline bench with weight, side bend oblique with weight

There are a few areas I'm concerned are not developing properly: LEGS (I can't seem to get the ham/quad separation yet), BOOTY (is anything happening back there?), LATS (how do I make them "flare out"?)

Now for diet:
1700 calories per day (target weight 100 lbs * 17)
Protein 40%
Carbs 40%
Fat 20%

This is what I try to shoot for daily, although on leg day I try to consume more carbs.

Meal 1: 1/2 cup gluten-free quick cooking oats (pre-workout) + 1/2 banana (or another small serving fruit, i.e. 1 tbsp raisins)
Meal 2: MyoFusion protein shake + 1/2 banana (post-workout)
4 oz. chicken tenderloins + 1 small sweet potato + small serving veggies
Meal 3: 2-3 egg whites as needed for snack
Meal 4: 4 oz. chicken tenderloins + 1 small sweet potato (or small serving brown rice)
Meal 5: veggies (steamed broc****, cherry tomatoes + cucumber, steamed zucchini + tofu, etc.)
Meal 6: 4 oz. chicken tenderloins + 1 small sweet potato (or brown rice)
serving of veggies (with meal or later as "snack" if hungry)
(Meal 7): 2-3 more egg whites

Am I consuming enough calories? Some days I'll add a bit more fruit or powdered natural peanut butter to some meals, but this is basically it. Attached are some pics~ I only have six weeks to get in tip-top shape. From what I've read, I should be ready to step on stage by 3 weeks out, so that's my goal!
(I haven't perfected my poses yet, please understand in the pictures... ;)

kimm4
08-10-2012, 08:38 PM
There is no building muscle and leaning out at the same time when prepping for a show. In order to build a solid foundation you have to eat in a calorie surplus, be consistent with a heavy training program and do it for a long period of time. It takes months, years to build up quality muscle. Once you've built the foundation needed, then you diet down for the show. A solid weight training program does not consist of 6x a week for 2 hrs a day. That's not the proper way to train and it's completely insane!

You're lean in your shoulders/arms and midsection. But you're holding a bit more body fat in your back and your lower half. Getting separation in the quads and tightening up in the hamm/glute area comes down to lowering body fat even more and having enough overall muscle to support the look.

The judges want to see bigger/rounded delts and some nice size arms. They will be looking for a some decent back width, showing a nice v-taper. Legs showing quad separation and a tight hamms/glutes to match.

My honest opinion is you're lacking the overall muscle needed for the look of figure.

Do they have a bikini division? If so, I think that would be a better fit for you at this point.

Good luck to you!

lillellis
08-10-2012, 09:19 PM
Yes, there is a bikini division, which I've also registered to compete in. Doing well in the figure competition was my personal goal. I wanted to give myself a challenge. I'm competing overseas, so either way, it should be a good introduction.

What would you suggest for leaning out lower body? The machines where I live don't incline, and I'd like to tone my lower body without losing much more in my upper. Thanks for your input! Much appreciated. :D

Kiwi10
08-11-2012, 01:56 AM
But I don't think you will be able to lean down your legs anymore without losing more upper body. The only way you will be able to achieve that is by building (bulking) more muscle in your upper body, so that by the next time you diet down, there is more size in your upper body and you can go lower on your legs.
I have never competed, but just by going by the photos people post on here, you are too 'small' at this stage. I think your arms etc would Almost look scrawny compared to other figure competitors.
I agree that bikini this time, and do a big long bulk after that to build up for your figure goal :)
But importantly - I think you look fantastic and have obviously put some work in. Well done and enjoy the rest of your prep :)

elainedeluca
08-11-2012, 05:46 AM
As the others have said, your upper body is very lean, I would say almost too lean for figure and definitely too lean for bikini. Not sure what org you're competing under; I'm going by NPC standards. Generally speaking though, for figure, you should have well-defined shoulders, with your caps somewhat extending beyond the rest of your arm when in a front relaxed pose. And some degree of leg separation, but not too hard. You need a little more balance between your upper and lower body. Right now, you look a little imbalanced

I have no doubt that you'll be able to achieve your goals of competing, but I do think you need a little more size, which means bulk, and shoot for another comp towards the end of the year or next spring.

drarmament
08-11-2012, 07:49 AM
I think you need to work your legs and glutes, do some compounds, mix with iso, I would take kimm, advice SRS.

DaniGrrl
08-11-2012, 02:44 PM
I agree with everyone else - you definitely aren't ready for figure. Don't get me wrong - you have an amazing body and I think in another year or so after a nice bulk, you could be ready and do well. I think you need more work on your shoulders and back. Good luck - you'll get there!

kimm4
08-11-2012, 03:22 PM
As the others have said, your upper body is very lean, I would say almost too lean for figure and definitely too lean for bikini. Not sure what org you're competing under; I'm going by NPC standards. Generally speaking though, for figure, you should have well-defined shoulders, with your caps somewhat extending beyond the rest of your arm when in a front relaxed pose. And some degree of leg separation, but not too hard. You need a little more balance between your upper and lower body. Right now, you look a little imbalanced

I have no doubt that you'll be able to achieve your goals of competing, but I do think you need a little more size, which means bulk, and shoot for another comp towards the end of the year or next spring.

I def agree when it comes to the NPC standards...they like a softer look. But to be honest, most of the natty orgs focus more on leaness/level of conditioning (in my area, the leanest girls are taking the top spots in both bikini and figure...but it varies, depends on the day, the judges, it's a crap shoot/coin toss.) With that being said, I think she'd be ok.

Relate
08-11-2012, 03:48 PM
I don't think your legs are quite up to par with the rest of your body (in terms of leanness). Hit them 2/3 times a week until your show and you might be able to turn things around.

lillellis
08-11-2012, 08:39 PM
Thanks, all, for your input. It's been very helpful!

Relate et. al, what exercises do recommend at this point for leaning out my legs? I'm lifting concentrating on legs/glutes two days per week. I love Insanity/HIIT training but am worries it might torch too many calories. Thanks in advance!~

kimm4
08-11-2012, 09:11 PM
Thanks, all, for your input. It's been very helpful!

Relate et. al, what exercises do recommend at this point for leaning out my legs? I'm lifting concentrating on legs/glutes two days per week. I love Insanity/HIIT training but am worries it might torch too many calories. Thanks in advance!~

Leaning out legs really comes down to your diet and lowering body fat.

Here's some exercises if you want to switch things up a bit.


Front squats
Pistol squats
Heavy smith lunges
RDL's
Goodmornings
Glute/hamm raises
Single leg work on the leg press or leg extension for something different.

I would nix the Insanity at this point. It's too taxing, your lifts and recovery will suffer. You could do some plyo work, or some sprints, both good options.

drarmament
08-11-2012, 09:12 PM
leaning out legs really comes down to your diet and lowering body fat.

Here's some exercises if you want to switch things up a bit.


Front squats
pistol squats
heavy smith lunges
rdl's
goodmornings
glute/hamm raises
single leg work on the leg press or leg extension for something different.

I would nix the insanity at this point. It's too taxing, your lifts and recovery will suffer. You could do some plyo work, or some sprints, both good options.


this^^^^^^^^^^

lillellis
08-12-2012, 05:03 AM
Many thanks, kimm4! I'll start incorporating those exercises this week.

What would you suggest in terms of diet? I've been following a plan recommended by a male bodybuilder, but he did not specify the ratio of carbs/proteins/fats to shoot for. I basically adjusted it to what I've read online, but of course there are varying theories. I started out following 65% carbs, 35% protein, 10% fat, although I'm not sure if those numbers are appropriate. I am trying to hit a ratio of 40/40/20, but I am having a hard time balancing carbs and protein. I eat a lot of veggies throughout the day, which are counting as carbs. I can show you my logs from the last week if that is helpful... I'm using fitday.com.

Thank you all again~

elainedeluca
08-12-2012, 10:38 AM
Many thanks, kimm4! I'll start incorporating those exercises this week.

What would you suggest in terms of diet? I've been following a plan recommended by a male bodybuilder, but he did not specify the ratio of carbs/proteins/fats to shoot for. I basically adjusted it to what I've read online, but of course there are varying theories. I started out following 65% carbs, 35% protein, 10% fat, although I'm not sure if those numbers are appropriate. I am trying to hit a ratio of 40/40/20, but I am having a hard time balancing carbs and protein. I eat a lot of veggies throughout the day, which are counting as carbs. I can show you my logs from the last week if that is helpful... I'm using fitday.com.

Thank you all again~

Some will argue that you just need to focus on maintaining a caloric deficit as you go through your prep. Each person responds to macro ratios differently. My advice to you, as far as leaning out your legs, would be to keep your carbs relatively low (like a 50/30 split between protein/carbs). I hope this guy that gave you this "diet" is not your prep coach whom you are paying. Because he really gave you no info.

As far as leg training, lots and lots of lunges. Plyometrics may help with your conditioning. And vary your squat/leg press positions to hit all parts of your legs.

lillellis
08-14-2012, 05:55 PM
Some will argue that you just need to focus on maintaining a caloric deficit as you go through your prep. Each person responds to macro ratios differently. My advice to you, as far as leaning out your legs, would be to keep your carbs relatively low (like a 50/30 split between protein/carbs). I hope this guy that gave you this "diet" is not your prep coach whom you are paying. Because he really gave you no info.

As far as leg training, lots and lots of lunges. Plyometrics may help with your conditioning. And vary your squat/leg press positions to hit all parts of your legs.

Thanks, Elaine!

I've upped my protein intake the last couple of days and feel good. I'm planning on doing high(er) carb days twice/week, the same days I train legs and shoulders. Does that seem like a good strategy? The guy I met with I had a "free consultation" with. Based on the little bit of unspecific information he gave me, I didn't hire him but may reach out to him just to see if I'm on track physically.

Elaine and kimm4, thanks for the advice about legs. Did some plyo last night and getting ready to try kimm4's intense exercises here in about an hour! Thanks for your help. The resources and theories about figure/bikini comps where I live are a bit mixed and *possibly* incorrect. I'll let you know how it goes! Last week was the roughest point mentally so far, but you've all helped me through it. Now I'm back to it, baby! And planning on building more muscle for the next competition...

elainedeluca
08-15-2012, 11:59 AM
Thanks, Elaine!

I've upped my protein intake the last couple of days and feel good. I'm planning on doing high(er) carb days twice/week, the same days I train legs and shoulders. Does that seem like a good strategy? The guy I met with I had a "free consultation" with. Based on the little bit of unspecific information he gave me, I didn't hire him but may reach out to him just to see if I'm on track physically.

Elaine and kimm4, thanks for the advice about legs. Did some plyo last night and getting ready to try kimm4's intense exercises here in about an hour! Thanks for your help. The resources and theories about figure/bikini comps where I live are a bit mixed and *possibly* incorrect. I'll let you know how it goes! Last week was the roughest point mentally so far, but you've all helped me through it. Now I'm back to it, baby! And planning on building more muscle for the next competition...

See how your body responds to carb cycling, as long as you hit your target calories, and change it up if necessary. I keep things pretty consistent when I'm prepping, but like I said, different people respond to different things.

Lots and lots of water...and although I don't know anything about this guy at the gym, my instincts would tell me to stay away. If you want to work with someone, seek out a coach that has demonstrated experience and knowledge about contest prepping and the industry.

Do you know which org you want to compete under?

lillellis
08-17-2012, 05:53 PM
See how your body responds to carb cycling, as long as you hit your target calories, and change it up if necessary. I keep things pretty consistent when I'm prepping, but like I said, different people respond to different things.

Lots and lots of water...and although I don't know anything about this guy at the gym, my instincts would tell me to stay away. If you want to work with someone, seek out a coach that has demonstrated experience and knowledge about contest prepping and the industry.

Do you know which org you want to compete under?

Hi, Elaine!

First week of carb cycling plus mixing up my exercises (including incorporating those kimm4 suggested) helped me a lot this week. I think my body was just plateauing...

I'll be competing next month in South Korea in "Fitness Korea". The top five finalists in each category qualify for Fitness America in November. I'm not sure which organization that is through...

I've made a long-term goal to properly compete in an NPC figure competition next year. As everyone has pointed out, I was too lean to begin with and need to build more muscle.

If I qualify for Fitness America next month, I'd be thrilled! If not, it's been a great learning experience that will help me next year.