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What Is The Best Workout For Fitness Contest Prep?

Fitness competitors do not only have to worry about training in the gym or posing prep, they also have to prepare/choreograph a fitness routine ... Here is the best workout, descriptions of moves, posing and much more for fitness athletes!

By: Workout Of The Week


TOPIC: What Is The Best Workout For Fitness Contest Prep?

The Question:

For some it is the middle of the bulking season, but for others, the competition season is just around the corner. Fitness competitors do not only have to worry about training in the gym or posing prep, they also have to prepare/choreograph a fitness routine for whatever contest they decide to enter.

What is the best workout for a fitness athlete preparing for a competition?

How long does it take to prepare a routine for an upcoming show?

Does the music have any affect on what the judging outcome will be?

How do you break up training time, posing practice and routine practice?

Bonus Question: Women sometimes have a more difficult time getting the fat off for shows. What are some ways they can do this without jeopardizing their health?

Show off your knowledge to the world!

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For some it is the middle of the bulking season, but for others, the competition season is just around the corner. Fitness competitors do not only have to worry about training in the gym or posing prep, they also have to prepare/choreograph a fitness routine for whatever contest they decide to enter.


Introduction
Fitness Rules, & Guidelines

Physique Guidelines:

  • Small degree of muscularity with separation, and no visible striations
  • Overall muscle tone with shapely lines, and overall firmness with no excessive leanness
  • Full general assessment
  • Healthy appearance
  • Face
  • Makeup
  • Skin tone
  • No excessive overall muscularity

Routine Guidelines:

  1. Strength
    • Number of strength moves
    • Degree of difficulty in executing movements
    • Creativity in performing strength moves
  2. Flexibility
    • Number of Flexibility moves
    • Degree of difficulty in executing movements
    • Creativity in performing flexibility moves
  3. Tempo of Routine
    • Presentation
    • Showmanship

Pre-Judging Round 1 - Two Piece Swimsuit:

    Contestants are brought out in their two piece swimsuits with heels. The head judge directs quarter turns, where each competitor's physique is assessed according to the degree of athleticism, proportion and skin tone. The judges score the degree of athleticism according the degree of firmness, symmetry, proportion and the overall physical appearance, including complexion, poise and overall presentation.

2-Piece
Click Image To Enlarge.
Pre-Judging Round 1.

Pre-Judging Round 2 - Fitness Routine:

    Each competitor gets the opportunity to perform a maximum 2-minute routine, where judges look for style, personality, athletic coordination, strength moves, endurance, apparel and overall performance. Routines should include aerobics, dance, gymnastics or other demonstrations of athletic talent, although there are no required movements.

fitness
Click Image To Enlarge.
Pre-Judging Round 2.

    There are six mandatory fitness moves, three strength and three flexibility, that each competitor is required to perform during their routine, and they are as follows:

One Arm Push-Up
Straddle Hold
Leg Extension Hold
Full Split-Front
High Kick
Full Split-Side

RELATED ARTICLE
NPC Fitness Rules And Mandatory Moves! NPC Fitness Rules And Mandatory Moves!
In answer to the questions probably asked the most - the NPC women's fitness rules and scoring procedures and how one can qualify to be an IFBB professional fitness competitor? What moves are required?
[ Click here to learn more. ]

Pre-Judging Round 3 - Final Assessment - One Piece Swimsuit:

    The top 15 contestants are brought back out in 2 lines in their 1-piece swimsuits with heels. This is where judges ask for certain contestants to be placed next to other contestants, in order to make comparisons.

    Then quarter turns are directed so the judges can make any final comparisons they wish. Swimsuits are required to have a solid front, and with a closed abdominal area.

One Piece
Click Image To Enlarge.
Pre-Judging Round 3.

Evening Performance:

    Contestants are introduced at the evening event in their 2-piece swimsuits and heels, with the top 5 from all 3 height classes performing their fitness routine. Then the top 5 contestants in each height class are awarded trophies, medals or other similar awards in their one piece swimsuits with heels.


Workout
What Is The Best Workout For A Fitness Athlete Preparing For A Competition?

Training Split:

  • Monday - Chest, Shoulders, Triceps
  • Tuesday - Cardio, Stretching, Routine Practice
  • Wednesday - Legs, Glutes
  • Thursday - Back, Biceps
  • Friday - Cardio, Stretching, Routine Practice
  • Saturday - Rest Day
  • Sunday - Rest Day

Monday - Chest, Shoulders, Triceps:

Body Part Exercise Sets* Reps
Upper Pecs Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 4 12-15
Pecs Flat Dumbbell Bench Press 4 12-15
Front, Middle Deltoids Dumbbell Shoulder Press 4 12-15
Rear Deltoid Reverse Fly Machine 4 12-15
Triceps Reverse Triceps Pushdowns 4 12-15
Triceps Seated Dumbbell Triceps Extensions 4 12-15

Tuesday - Cardio, Stretching, Routine Practice:

    Perform 60-90 minutes of cardio, stretch for 10-15 minutes and practice your fitness routine for 15-30 minutes.

Wednesday - Legs, Glutes:

Body Part Exercise Sets* Reps
Quadriceps Leg Extensions 4 12-15
Quadriceps Squats 4 12-15
Hamstrings Standing Leg Curls 4 12-15
Hamstrings Lying Leg Curls 4 12-15
Glutes One-Legged Cable Kickbacks 4 12-15
Gastrocnemius Standing Calf Raises 4 12-15

Thursday - Back, Biceps, Abs:

Body Part Exercise Sets* Reps
Lats Wide-Grip Lat Pulldowns 4 12-15
Lats Seated Cable Rows 4 12-15
Lower Back Hyperextensions** 4 15
Biceps Dumbbell Curls 4 12-15
Biceps Concentration Curls 4 12-15
Upper Abs Crunches** 3 25
Lower Abs Hanging Leg Raises** 3 25

Friday - Cardio, Stretching, Routine Practice:

    Perform 60-90 minutes of cardio, stretch for 10-15 minutes, and practice your fitness routine for 15-30 minutes.

Saturday - Rest Day

Sunday - Rest Day

    *1st set is a warm-up set
    ** There is no warm-up set for crunches, hanging leg raises and hyperextensions


Routine Preparation
How Long Does It Take To Prepare A Routine For An Upcoming Show?

It usually takes at least 8-12 weeks to prepare a routine for an upcoming show. It all depends on the kind of shape the contestant is in, and their routines' level of difficulty. Also, since the six mandatory moves required in each contestant's routine can take a while to master, I included instructions on the correct way to execute each move below.

One-Arm Push-Up:

  • Keep feet spread slightly farther than shoulder width, and make sure both knees are facing the floor throughout the movement.
  • Place hand outside and above the shoulder joint, with fingers facing slightly inward.
  • Place other arm tight against the side of the body, and the back of the thigh for balance and control.
  • Keep the entire body rigid and tensed.
  • Lower the body slowly until your shoulder is parallel with your elbow, while avoiding dropping the opposite shoulder. Keep both shoulders in a straight line, and parallel to the ground.
  • Explode back up in a controlled movement, and lock out the elbow at the top of the push-up.
  • Keep eyes and head facing forward throughout the entire movement, rather than facing the floor.

  • One-Arm Push-Up.

Straddle Hold:

  • Sit on the floor in a straddle position, and place both hands underneath the pelvis to begin the movement. Tense both legs and point the toes before driving up through the shoulders and arms, to lift the body off the floor.
  • Using your abs and hip flexors, curl your body so that your feet lift off the floor, until they are higher than your hips.
  • Keep head facing forward throughout the entire movement. Hold the press for at least five seconds before lowering back to the ground.

  • Straddle Hold.

Leg Extension Hold:

  • Sit on the floor with back straight, shoulders back and legs together straight out in front of you. Place both hands at your sides, between your hips and knees. Tense the legs and point the toes before driving up through the shoulders and arms to lift the body off the floor.
  • Using your abs and hip flexors, curl your body so that your feet lift off the floor, until they are higher than your hips.
  • Keep head facing forward throughout the movement, and hold the press for at least five seconds before lowering back to the ground.

  • Leg Extension Hold.

Full Split Side:

  • Both legs should be completely straight with pointed toes.
  • There should be no space between your body and the ground to receive complete credit for the move.
  • Back leg should be completely facing the floor, including the foot, with the knee locked out.
  • Abs should be kept in tight, with the chest and shoulders up and back, and maintaining good posture during the split.
  • Hands can be kept on hips, overhead or one hand on the ground for balance and one hand overhead.
  • Face the crowd and smile, while making the move look effortless.

  • Full Split Side.

Full Split Front:

  • Both legs should be kept completely straight with pointed toes.
  • There should be no space between your body and the ground to receive complete credit for the move.
  • Abs should be kept in tight, with the chest and shoulders up and back, and maintaining good posture during the split.
  • Hands can be kept on hips, overhead or one hand on the ground for balance and one hand overhead.
  • Face the crowd and smile, while making the move look effortless.

  • Full Split Front.

High Kick:

  • Placement of kick should be in front of the body, in line with the shoulder, and slightly outside of the hip joint, to allow maximum height during kick execution.
  • At the height of the kick, legs should be kept completely straight with locked knees and pointed toes, while the leg remaining on the ground should be kept as straight as possible or with a slight bend in the knee.
  • Upper body should be tensed, and remain mobile throughout kicks. Do not throw your body into the kick, however, bring your leg up to your body.
  • Height of kicks should be at least above the head, and execution should be rather quick and powerful, with snapping of the legs up and down in a swift motion.
  • Arms should remain at sides or on hips, and should not be forward.
  • Body should remain in approximately a single place.
  • Keep your head and body upright, smile and make the kicks look effortless.
  • Perform at least two kicks on each leg, either alternated or two left then two right, to show flexibility, and to get complete credit for the movement.

  • High Kick.

These instructions are modified versions of the instructions taken from the three articles below:


Music
Does The Music Have Any Affect On What The Judging Outcome Will Be?

The music has a major effect on what the judging outcome will be, and the contestant's routine should follow with the music. Just like in a bodybuilding posing routine, a fitness posing routine should not be repetitive.

THE FIT SHOW
Tornado Posing With Frank Roberson. Tornado Posing With Frank Roberson.
Date: 10/10/2006

Frank Roberson 'The Texas Tornado' & fiance Mary Alcorn go over the secrets of great posing, Tornado Style!' Everything you need to know, from mandatory poses to music selection, is right here!
Video Show 43


Scheduling
How Do You Break Up Training Time, Posing Practice, and Routine Practice?

As you saw in the workout above, each training day is composed of either weight training, or cardio, stretching, and routine practice. The reason I divided it into different days is to avoid overtraining, and repetitive workouts.


Bonus
Women Sometimes Have A More Difficult Time Getting The Fat Off For Shows. What Are Some Ways They Can Do This Without Jeopardizing Their Health?

The five guidelines below should be followed to decrease fat loss.

  • Begin cutting up 8-12 weeks before the contest
  • Hire a trainer with the capability of creating a pre-contest diet
  • Increase cardio
  • Limit junk food intake
  • Supplement with a fat loss product


Conclusion

I hope you've enjoyed reading this article, and good luck!

References:

  1. http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/npcfitness.htm
  2. http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/alissa1.htm
  3. http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/alissa2.htm
  4. http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/alissa4.htm
  5. http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/alissa30.htm


What Is The Best Workout For Fitness Contest Prep?

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