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2 Different Approaches For Stage Looks In Figure Competition!

There is much confusion about what judges are looking for in NPC Figure Competitions. Here is my contest prep information for two different shows including meal plans, training, and what happened as a result of these plans. Read on for more...

By: Rebecca Slatt

There is much confusion about what judges are looking for in NPC Figure Competitions.

Consequently, I came into two different shows, with two completely different looks. In 2006, I began my year with similar mentality as the previous competition season in 2005. I wanted to have feminine and muscular symmetry, but with better conditioning and a much better v-taper than I had in 2005.


Contest Prep Emerald Cup

Since I had wanted to add size to my legs and glutes on the off-season, I hadn't followed a typical off-season competitor's diet. Let's just say that I had a lot of body fat to lose when I started dieting for this show.

In 2006, I was blessed to be sponsored by Gold's Gym Treasure Valley, and nutritionist fees were waived for me to compete as a Gold's member. I figured I may as well see if there would be any difference, since it was free!

I worked with Keith Gmirkin under Dr. Joe. I started dieting at 139 lbs. and by the Emerald Cup, I stepped on stage around 123 lbs. I made sure to be ready on April 8 for the Treasure Valley Classic in Boise, ID (2 weeks prior to the Emerald Cup); and use that show as a practice-run for the Cup.

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Menus & Diet:

    Right before competing in the Cup, my diet was 1,600 calories daily on average and lower carbohydrate range 150-175 daily. My only carbohydrate-sources were yams.

    VPX

    For carbohydrates, I only ate yams (1 oz=8 grams carbs), because I do not drop my water before a show to dehydrate myself. What I do, is I change my carbohydrate source 2 days prior to the competition, from yams to red potatoes and brown rice, which utilizes more of my subcutaneous fluids to metabolize the carbohydrates, which leaves me a little drier. Also, for protein I would eat top sirloin steak or flank steak, VPX zero carb protein, and chicken on occasion.

    Macronutrient Ratios:

      In explanation of my menus, here are my sample ratios of protein, carbohydrates, and fats:

      Menu - 4 Weeks Out:

      • 200 grams protein
      • 177 carbs
      • 31 grams fat

      Menu - 3 Weeks Out:

      • 175 grams protein
      • 150 grams carbs
      • 37 grams fat

      Menu - 2 Weeks Out:

      • 150 grams protein
      • 143 grams carbs
      • 29 grams fat

    Menus & Workouts, 1 Week Prior:

      Friday & Saturday - 7 & 6 Days Before:

      • 150 grams protein
      • 175 grams carbs
      • 30 grams fat
      • (60 minutes cardio-easy to moderate intensity)

      Sunday - 6 Days Out:

      • 125 grams protein
      • 160 grams carbs
      • 20 grams fat
      • (legs-80 % intensity and 20 minutes cardio)

      Monday - 4 Days Out:

      • 125 grams protein
      • 160 grams carbs
      • 20 grams fat
      • (back and biceps-80 % intensity and 20 minutes cardio)

      Tuesday - 3 Days Out

      • 125 grams protein
      • 150 grams carbs
      • 25 grams fat

      Wednesday - 2 Days Out:
      Remember, I switch to brown rice and red potatoes for carbs on this day!

      • 150 grams protein
      • 125 grams carbs
      • 25 grams fat
      • (chest, delts, triceps 80 % intensity and 15 minutes cardio)

      Thursday - 1 Day Out:

      • 150 grams protein
      • 150 grams carbs
      • 25 grams fat
      • (whole body circuit training for blood flow)

      Contest Day (This Is A Little Different):

      • Upon waking, I complete 20 minutes very light cardio (walking on treadmill or bike)

      • Meal 1: 4 oz steak and 4 oz yam, following with some bungee resistance exercises to force glucose into the muscle tissues.
      • Meal 2 (2 hrs later): 1/2 protein bar and 1/2 banana
      • Meal 3: 2 oz steak and 2 oz yam
      • Meal 4: this should be 1 hour before pre-judging: sushi and soy sauce
      • 30 Minutes Before Pre-Judging: 1 rice cake and peanut butter and jam
      • After Pre-Judging: I switch from steak to chicken with yam every 2-3 hrs.

Workouts:

    All the way up to the competitions, I completed regular weight training

    10-15 repetition range and 10-15 sets per body part. I lifted 5 days per week; however, I was in the gym 6 days each week. My training split typically was:

    *2 weeks prior to the show I cut down to one day of leg training for recovery.

After The Emerald Cup:

    After winning my height class and the overall championship at the Treasure Valley Classic on April 8th, and then winning my height class at the Emerald Cup, I placed 2nd in the overall competition to Sonia Adcock. Winning the overall at the Cup was my goal; however, I had to be happy with winning my height class at such a huge competition with high caliber athletes.

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    I had to wonder what Sonia had that I did not. Well, it is like comparing apples to oranges so I didn't really fuss over it. I met with the judges and they had recommended for me to go to the Jr. USA in South Carolina in just one more week.

    Sonia Adcock Rebecca Slatt
    Click Image To Enlarge.
    Sonia Adcock & Rebecca Slatt.

    Well of course I went (a judge told me to go)! Once I was there, the extra week of dieting (longest week of my life) had shredded me and I was called out too hard and muscular. The judges seemed to be looking for something new, not the mini-bodybuilder look as they had preferred in the past.

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    As if figure isn't confusing enough! I was a little stressed after all of this, and unclear of my future in the sport. I didn't know how to bring myself into the summer shows, NY at the Team U, or Vegas at the USA where I had competed in the past.

    This decision ended up being made for me when a family emergency kept me from training, dieting, and competing for an entire month. I figured I was done for the year; however, I was reminded of the North American in Cleveland, OH in September.

    It took all of my energy to get my butt back in the gym and start the serious training again, after NOTHING for over 4 weeks, but I focused and was able to get in gear.


Contest Prep North American

I had to re-evaluate my training and diet for this show, since I did not have much body fat to lose. I did however, have muscle I needed to gain back and I had a long ways to go with conditioning. I also wanted to present a little different package to the judges at this show.

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I didn't want to be as blocky of a competitor. I wanted to be long and lean, very conditioned. At Jr. USA's the judges had told me that I appeared "way too hard." Even though it was only one week after the Emerald cup, that is all it took for me to drop another percent and a half of body fat and I was hard as a rock - too hard!

The way for me to accomplish the appropriate physique for figure was to first gain back my muscle, then increase workout intensity to increase my level of conditioning. Once I began the contest dieting at about 12 weeks out, I began to drop body fat really fast!

I had only taken about 4 weeks off, so really, I probably started dieting too soon. I had to raise my calories, carbohydrates, and fats a lot to stabilize my losses.

Also, it was easier to train more and at a higher intensity because of the calorie levels but at the same time, I was just in this maintenance stage where the progress which was being made was so minimal that I could hardly notice.

Class C
Click Image To Enlarge.
At The 2006 North American.

This is what would make it difficult to stick to the menus and training regimen. I was beginning to think that maybe it is easier to stick to the plan when you have a lot of fat left to lose, since you know there is no margin for error! This time, I was ready for stage at 4 weeks out!

After assessing photos in my suits between 3 and 4 weeks out from the show, we noticed I was still top-heavy. I decided to quit all shoulder pressing exercises. I did bungee circuits for shoulder training from here on out, and reps were between 20-30.

Bungee Training Bungee Training
Click Image To Enlarge.
Rebecca Bungee Training.

Also, I decided to refrain from doing pull-ups because they are such a mass-building exercise. I spontaneously changed all of my upper body workouts to circuits of 20-30 repetitions.

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Menus & Diet:

    We weren't concerned with drying out because the judges had been selecting softer looking athletes at the big shows to earn their pro-cards. Since I was so lean, we didn't bother drying out too much, so there is a little more variety to these menus than the ones prior-to the Emerald Cup.

    Sample Menus:

      Here are some sample menus:

      4 through 2 weeks out, I followed the same meal plan:

      Meal 1:

      • 6 oz yam
      • 2 eggs and 6 egg whites

      Meal 2:

      Meal 3:

      Meal 4:

      • 1 scoop VPX Zero Carb Protein
      • 1 serving cream of rice
      • 1 tsp. flax oil

      Meal 5:

      • 3 oz yam
      • 4 oz steak
      • 1 cup broccoli
      • 1 tsp. flax oil

    1 Week Prior-To The North American:

    Thursday & Friday:

    • 200 grams protein
    • 175 grams carbs
    • 50 grams fat
    • (45 min cardio)

    Saturday:

    • 125 protein
    • 300 carbs
    • 45 fat
    • (30 min. AM cardio and leg training 80 % intensity)

    Sunday:

    • 125 protein
    • 250 carbs
    • 45 fat
    • (30 min. AM cardio and back/biceps training 80% intensity)

    Monday:

    • 150 protein
    • 200 carbs
    • 50 fat
    • (30 min AM cardio and chest/delt/triceps training 80 % intensity)

    Tuesday:

    • 150 protein
    • 200 carbs
    • 50 fat
    • (whole body and abs circuit training)

    Wednesday: Remember, I switch to brown rice and red potatoes for carbs on this day!

    • 150 protein
    • 200 carbs
    • 50 grams fat
    • (whole body and abs)

    Thursday:

    • 175 protein
    • 250 carbs
    • 50 fat
    • (light circuit-training and 20 minutes very light cardio)

    Friday: Day 1 Of Contest!

    • Approx. 50 protein
    • 225 carbs
    • 50 fat
    • PLUS the sushi and soy sauce 1 hour prior and rice cakes 30 minutes prior to stage
    • (light circuit-training and 10-15 minutes very light cardio)

    Saturday: DAY 2 OF CONTEST!

    • Same as Friday

    It was easier to train more and at a higher intensity because of the calorie levels but at the same time, I was just in this maintenance stage where the progress which was being made was so minimal that I could hardly notice.

    Rebecca
    Click Image To Enlarge.
    Rebecca At The 2006 North American.

    This is what would make it difficult to stick to the menus and training regimen. I was beginning to think that maybe it is easier to stick to the plan when you have a lot of fat left to lose, since you know there is no margin for error! This time, I was ready for stage at 4 weeks out!

Training Split:

Here is a sample training split 4 weeks out:

  • AM Cardio 30 minutes (Nordic track)/back, biceps and abdominal circuit
    PM Cardio 20 minutes (Stair stepper) AND 10-15 stadiums/lower body circuit

  • AM Cardio 30 minutes (Nordic-track)/chest, shoulder, and triceps bungee circuit Cardio 60 minutes easy (Elliptical/walk on treadmill)
    PM Cardio 20 minutes (Jog and jump-rope) Lower body circuit

  • AM Cardio (Elliptical) chest, shoulder, and triceps bungee circuit (the weight circuits would only take about 30 minutes each)

When I was 2 weeks out, I was dropping body fat like crazy! I had to bump up my fat grams to 55 - of course it was from flax oil so don't be too jealous of me! I also dropped my cardio to 15-25 minutes per day. I pulled out my old workout logs and menu plans, and figured out what differences I had made that were causing such a necessity for calories, fat, and carbohydrates.

To start, I was completing more circuit training workouts upper and lower body for a more conditioned look. I really wanted my legs to pop at this show, I think they were over trained earlier in April, and I wanted to NOT have that happen again, so my weights were significantly lighter and higher repetitions.

Also, I was no longer on my legs all night working, and was getting adequate sleep and recovery. I was doing stadium sprints up to 2 times each week - FAST: 10-15 sprints up the stadiums with walk back recovery in addition to 20 minutes lower intensity cardio for warm-up.


Click Image To Enlarge.
Stadium Runs.
Video: Windows Media (336 KB) MPEG (798 KB)

Also, for the first time in my life, I had finally been able to do cardio on an empty stomach in the morning because the gym was a lot closer to me than when I was in Boise. At least 2-4 of my cardio days were on an empty stomach in the morning. All of this affected the amount of calories necessary for my body to function at this level. Also, I had been dieting pretty much the entire year so far, so my metabolism already was blazing!

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Reflection On 2006

I experienced so much success this year - but of course I am hungry for more!

I came into 2006 more confident, and felt like I had done my homework. I had met with Tanji Johnson for a posing seminar in January, and I got help from a nutritionist. I still do not feel that I have perfected my menus and workout plans, because my legs just never showed up like I know they can. I did however end the year with two 1st place finishes and 1 overall championship and a 2nd place! I guess I should not complain.

Tanji
Click Image To Enlarge.
Tanji Johnson.

I met some very wonderful people during 2006 and want to thank them for making my show experiences very rewarding, memorable, fun and enjoyable.

You know who you are, but I want to thank Tanji, Terri, Catherine, Grace, and Keith.

Daily Word:

    I wanted to share with all of you one of the "daily word" emails that I received one day this year contest dieting. After all of the ups and downs we experience in life, sometimes this was all that would help me to get through my workouts, or stick to the diet so many weeks into it.

      God's love brings healing to my emotions. I release resentments. The past has taught me much, and I have been guided to where I am now so that I may continue to learn. Difficulties are transformed into accomplishments. My ability to love is constantly deepened.

      Knowing my oneness with God, I experience true healing.

        "Jesus said to him, 'Stand up, take your mat and walk.' At once the man was made well, and he took up his mat and began to walk." -John 5:8-9

    I want everyone to remember that no matter how you place in a show or sporting event, that your relationship with Jesus is what matters most. You can train and diet and put your money into your sport, hire the best nutritionist around and have the most beautiful suits around. But, if you don't have Christ in your life you have lost the most important thing of all, your soul.

Priorities In Life:

    After such a long year of training and dieting I know I have neglected my husband, family and friends. I apologize to each and every one of you and hope you are able to understand. It is time to refresh these relationships.

    Rebecca & Chris
    Click Image To Enlarge.
    Rebecca & Husband Chris.

    It is very easy for the life of a competitor to take over one's life, especially when a pro-card is at stake. This can easily force a competitor to burn out very fast. Be careful when you are training, dieting and competing that you are balancing your life's priorities with your shows and training.


Future Plans

I am unclear of my schedule for 2007. I am back in school right now working on another undergraduate degree, this time in Business. My goal is to enter graduate school with a specialized MBA in either Marketing Strategy Planning or Consulting and Planning. I want to focus my competitive energy toward school to be career-oriented.

Rebecca & Chris
Click Image To Enlarge.
Rebecca Slatt.

On the other hand, I will be using the time for muscle maturity and further development in my lower body primarily. I also want to experiment with diet manipulation and recovery, to find out specifically how long my lower body takes to recover from workouts and show the best definition. I do plan on competing again! Next time you see me I will be better than ever!

2 Different Approaches For Stage Looks In Figure Competition!
rslatt@rebeccaslatt.com

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Thanks for posting! My first competition is in June, and I'm SO excited/nervous! :)

Jan 27, 2014 1:13pm | report
 
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