Figure It Out: How To Successfully Prepare For A Figure Competition - Part 2.

The journey to physique competition is probably the toughest you'll ever endure, but it's also one of the most rewarding. A complete guide for preparing for a figure competition.
Welcome to Part 2 of my complete figure contest prep guide. Please read Part 1 before continuing on with this article.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

8 - 4 Weeks Out

At the 2-month point, you should be well on your way to honing that perfect figure physique. You shouldn't have more than 8 pounds of body fat to lose at this point.

If you have less, just stay on track and still keep your weekend cheat meal in. If you're right on track or a bit behind, you should definitely eliminate your cheat meals at this point.

Instead, you can opt for a higher calorie day by adding in some extra carbs, at a moderate level, as a "cheat." We'll discuss that in more detail under the "Diet" section of this article.

If you've done everything I suggested in Part 1, you've already been registered for your show, your suit maker is busy sewing and gluing, and your quarter turns are nearly perfect!

You should be keeping your training heavy and intense, and hitting your diet ratios nearly to perfection every day. It should be getting easier and becoming more of a habit at this point.


    Your diet should only be changing based on the quickness of your fat loss. If you started on time, you shouldn't be trying to lose more than about a pound per week.

    If you are on track or find that you are ready early, add in a little more food every few days to prevent further weight loss. If you are behind schedule, drop your carbs a little lower for 2-3 days and have a higher day once or twice per week.

    Remember to still stay consistent with everything. Change only one variable at a time so you know exactly what is going right (or wrong) and exactly what to change to progress further.

Training And Cardio

    Your training shouldn't be changing at all at this point. You may have lost a little strength and energy from lower calories and reduced body fat, but the changes should only be minor. Keep training hard and heavy as long as you can!

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    Your cardio should be steadily but slowly increasing in duration, only as needed! Do not increase your cardio for the sake of it. Only increase once you've plateaued for a week, dropped calories a bit, and you're still not losing body fat. Remember, if you increase too much too fast, you will risk overtraining and muscle loss. Cardio should be supplementary in your fat loss goals to diet and training, in that order.


    In addition to the supplements I suggested in Part 1, many competitors benefit from adding in a fat-burner between eight and four weeks out.

    Why not add it sooner? You can, but the body will build up a tolerance to most fat-burners, rendering them ineffective without going above and beyond the recommended dosage.

    In addition, you shouldn't need one prior to 8 weeks, as you are not yet holding an extremely low body fat level until after this point. In order to know exactly when to add in a fat-burner, listen to your body.

    When you notice a severe drop in energy, moodiness, and hunger, it's probably time to add one in. My recommendations include VPX Redline and SAN Tight.

    I suggest taking a dose upon waking and in the early afternoon. Be careful not to take it too late in the day, or it can interfere with sleep.

Posing Suits, Jewelry, Heels, Etc.

    You probably won't have your posing suits yet, but your designer should be well underway in making your suits. She may ask for updated measurements as your body fat drops, to make final adjustments for a proper fit.

    You should expect to receive your suit by 1-3 weeks before the show. Once you receive it, try it on to ensure a proper fit and practice your posing in the suit from now on.

    If you haven't purchased heels yet, begin by researching online stores to find a shoe that fits both your organization's requirements and that matches your suits. Most girls choose a clear shoe between 4"-5" in height, but this is not a requirement by most organizations.

    It's perfectly fine to choose black, silver, or gold. Just make sure the shoe's upper material is minimized as not to detract from your physique. I recommend a shoe with a 1/2" or less platform under the toe, and 4 - 4 1/2" heel height.

    This shoe gives your legs a long and lean look, with just enough height to pop the calf and lengthen the legs without causing difficulty walking.

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    A higher heel will not make you look taller or leaner in the legs. It will only cause you to look awkward, while a large platform can make your legs appear thicker. I also recommend a shoe with a padded suede sole, as this will be more comfortable and also prevent your foot from slipping in the shoe, which happens easily from oil and sweat.

    Once you've chosen your suits, buy jewelry to accompany each suit. Hopefully, you've picked a silver or gold theme, not both, so you can wear the same jewelry for each round.

    Don't buy or wear expensive jewelry, as it will get dirty, and possibly be lost or stolen. I suggest going to Claire's or Icing and picking a nice pair of dangle earrings (2-3" in length), and a bracelet.

    You should also order your tanning supplies around 4 weeks out. has a huge selection of items, and they arrive at your door within a few days.

    I've tried almost all the products available, and found the absolute best to be Olympic Tan. It's the easiest and fastest to apply, and requires minimum coats for a deep, dark color. It's convenient foam formula serves as both an excellent base tan and a bronzer, in one.

    One bottle is all you will need for one show. The best applicator I've used are the Jan Tana round sponges. They smooth the tanning agent on evenly and quickly, unlike paint brushes or using your hands with gloves alone. Figure girls don't need posing oil, so save your money on that.

Sample Workout Plan For Figure Contest Preparation

Day 1: Back, Abs; 30 minutes cardio following weights

One-Legged V Sit
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Day 2: Legs, Calves, 30 minutes cardio following weights

Day 3: Rest; 45 minutes cardio in the morning

Day 4: Chest, Biceps, Abs, 30 minutes cardio following weights

Day 5: Rest; 45 minutes cardio in the morning

Day 6: Shoulders, Triceps; 30 minutes cardio following weights

Day 7: Total Rest

Author Bio

Alissa Carpio is a 6-time champion in NPC Fitness & Figure contests. She just finished her spring season and won 1st Place at both NPC Junior USA's and the NPC Pittsburgh, and is currently preparing for NPC Nationals in November.

Alissa is also helping several athletes prepare for their first competition through her unique online contest prep services. She offers Fitness & Figure Competitor Workshops to girls in the Washington, DC area. For more information, visit Alissa's site at

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3