Bodybuilding BY adam5701 When a bodybuilder, fitness, figure, or physique competitor begins to prepare for a contest there are so many different variables that go into how you are supposed to train. From personal experience, exercise order has not made a huge impact for the results I was striving to achieve. As long as I do not work the same muscle group within a 48-hour period (since that is the typical recovery time for your muscles to fully repair), I have achieved amazing results.
Here are a few other things I highly recommend doing, which if not done properly it almost makes it impossible to ucceed.
First hire a reputable coach, I initially made the mistake of taking a shortcut and hired someone because they were cheap which made me place dead last in my first competition. Since then I paid the money and hired someone who knew the ins and outs of competing and it has done wonders for me.
A coach’s Job is to typically plan out your diet, workout routine, supplementation, posing routine, and best of all it’s great to have someone else looking at you once or twice a week to see how you change and what else you need to improve on.
Yes, I could have done all this on my own but this outside eye makes a huge difference and trying to plan all this out while you’re brain dead from dieting can be difficult at times. Next thing is to plan out every little detail in your workout, diet, and sleep schedule for every hour each day.
Consistency is a big part of competing and if you are not consistent you will not see any of the results you desire. When attempting to gain muscle mass or density, most people automatically think they have to lift heavy in order to grow.
Personally I have found it much more useful o lift at a lower weight with a rep range from 8-20 depending on the exercise. I still see amazing results because each time I do this I make sure I fatigue the muscle and push it until failure. The way I achieve this is by making my rest time between sets and exercises no more than 60 seconds for a single workout, and up to 90 seconds for a drop set (which is starting off with a high weight for a low amount of reps and increasing the reps as you drop the weight, I typically drop the weight about 3-4 times).
There was also a study performed where “Regardless of the number of reps erformed, the subjects burned 52% more calories when they rested Just 30 seconds between sets as compared to three minutes or more. Working at 10 reps per set burned about 7% more calories than five-rep sets did” (Stoppani, Jim, Flex pg. 1). There are also other things I do in order to fatigue my muscle and cause growth, rather than Just focusing on rest time. As shown in my workout plan notes you will notice that my 1 5 to 20 repetition exercises are more towards the beginning of my workout.
I have it set up this way because I do not do conventional stretching before orking out since it essentially lowers the amount of weight or reps I can perform. Instead I do these warm up sets of 15 to 20, and this isn’t Just light easy rep weight, I make sure it’s enough to where once I get to those last two reps I feel as if my muscle will give out. This enables blood to flow into the muscles and essentially gets them “warmed up” and ready for the heavier tasks.
Another thing I love incorporating are three workouts of 1 or 2 muscle groups you are training, which I normally choose exercises that are opposite in movement), focus on the time and length of ontraction, and lastly a rest pause (which if I do not perform all 20 reps and only get to 13, I will rest for 20 seconds and complete the remaining 7). Training with these different intensities on random workouts makes a huge difference for strength and muscle gain. The main reason I have found this effective is because I am constantly tearing down my muscle fibers with a different method each workout.
Another big thing to think about when training for competitions, or even Just working out in general is to achieve the mind and body connection. My theory on this s that it’s impossible to workout the muscle you are targeting if you are unable to feel it. In other words an isometric contraction, because any type of “muscle growth and performance depend primarily on the neuromuscular system” (Yessis pg. 1). A good way to practice would be Just to attempt to flex each individual muscle, which at first is very difficult for someone who is Just starting out.
Also doing this between sets for 6-10 seconds can actually promote muscle growth and density. “Flexing the targeted muscle(s) between sets lets you know the feeling you want to duplicate during the set. With practice, this will strengthen your focus so you can better work that area” (Flex pg. 98). If you talk to almost any bodybuilder or physique athlete, they would be able to make almost any muscle they train contract on it’s own and will be the first to tell you it’s extremely difficult to hold.
If you continue to train your muscles with these ‘so-tension types of exercises you essentially get them accustomed to being in that position which is crucial for stage presence. If you do not practice this before going onto a stage, you tend to be more susceptible to cramps or it’s difficult o hold the pose for minutes and points will be deducted from shaking or relaxing on the pose. When training or developing a program, each muscle group needs to be trained for this sport. For me personally I have a few weak areas, which is why my individual workout I train deltoids twice a week and only incline chest workouts on there respected day.
Also notice the time spread between the deltoid workouts, it’s Monday and Friday so I am staying within that time frame for optimal muscle repair. The reason I have so much attention on these two muscle groups are because Judges in hysique competition love the big rounded shoulder look, and a full chest. I have a disadvantage in these areas mainly because I am still only 21 so I don’t have fully matured muscles yet, and many other competitors are 24 and above. The only way I compensate for this lack of size is to focus on them more than everyone else.
Also for the deltoids I have a day that is more heavy, but still at that 12 rep range and another that goes up to 20 reps known as my day’. I find it great to have two different variations for optimal muscle growth, especially since it is a small muscle group and s extremely easy to over stress with too much weight in turn causing injury (which I had when I first began lifting at 18). When training this muscle group I focus on the contraction, as well as the time it takes me to fully go through the concentric and eccentric motion.
This method insures for me ensures optimal stress without the risk The sport of fitness competing is always plagued for injury, and there will always be that risk. Basically every muscle you train will be susceptible to injury, and there is no way to get around it. However, there are ways to significantly minimize the risks. Workout form has to be at the top of this list hands down, I see many people training and sometimes I cringe Just watching them because it looks as if they will snap their back or tear a muscle.
Always make sure to have great form and control with each exercise, and this in my opinion should be applied to any workout you do not Just resistance training. Second thing would have to be the amount of weight you choose to use. I see so many individuals, guys in particular try to do so much damn weight in order to impress that pretty girl, and in turn end up getting hurt and making a fool ut of themselves. Always keep in mind everyone has to start somewhere, and remember no girl is going to care how much weight you can bench.
Also perform exercises that are plausible and not these ridiculous crossflt types of movement exercises. I am sorry, but I am not a firm believer in picking up 2001b from the ground and lifting it over your head. That to me is an instant sign for so many different injuries, and not to mention the trainers instructing you allow you to do it with the most horrendous form. Make sure to stretch before working out with warm up sets to et the blood flow throughout the muscle, and after working out with conventional stretches to increase flexibility.
Lastly, mind your peers when training because you in fact can injure someone else. I had an incident with a New Years resolution individual that was doing 801b with dumbbell press, and he decides it is too heavy and Just throws them on the ground and it almost bounced onto my foot, which most likely would have broken it. Now with all that being said there are some “freak accidents” I have seen people with perfect form and mediocre weight have one of heir muscles Just tear, and it is one of the most painful things to witness.
I personally had an incident when I was doing incline dumbbell press with 1001b, I performed the exercise without any issues. However when I set the weights down on my knees to put them down, my wrist Just snapped and made this loud popping noise and it hurt terribly. I have no idea what happened and Just took a break for a few weeks because it was painful to grip anything, and it slowly went away for the most part. Since then I use wrist straps and weight belts to help stabilize those parts of my body, which I have found to help.
The goal with this program is not only strength gains, but to basically look the best you can physically. It is not all about size, you want to find a nice balance between size, lean muscle mass, and proportionality for your specific division. The program I have set up is the one I currently use for my offseason training (typically the time when there are no shows for 4-6 months). This specific one is to help me gain size, while retaining majority of my lean muscle mass and density so when I have to prepare for a show I will be able to do so with an 8 week program.
While prepping for show a lot of my training changes, and I add a few plyometric workouts in as well as interval cardiovascular training 4-6 days a week depending how far out I am from competing. Any type of cardiovascular training I typically do fasted in the morning, difference personally. There are millions of different workouts for different individuals, this specific one I wouldn’t say should be used by every competitor since I conformed it to address my weaknesses. For a basic individual who is intermediately experienced with training, and is trying to look great however this would be a great tarting point.