Katie Chung Hua's late father was a hardcore bodybuilder, and he passed on that love of heavy metal to his daughter, her 5-foot-1 frame notwithstanding. True, she has done circuit training in the past, and it did produce results. But at the moment, she wants to gain to gain a little size—particularly in her legs—so she's keeping it old school, with a classic bodybuilding regimen.
Don't worry, this training style won't smooth out sexy curves; it will only sharpen them. "Women can move and sweat all day but the only thing that will lead to defined hamstrings and glutes is getting stronger at some basic movements," says certified strength-and-conditioning specialist Jimmy Smith. "I'm not talking about being bulky, but rather toned and firm."
There's a valuable lesson here: Change your approach to training every few months. Once your body grows weary of your workouts, it'll stop offering the reward of improvement. "You need to mix it up," Katie says. "You need to keep your body guessing, or it just adapts to those exercises. Your body is amazing and it adapts quickly and you need to keep it guessing," she says. "That way the muscle can be stimulated to rebuild, only bigger and stronger."
So how much weight should you lift in the gym? Katie lets her rep goal dictate her poundage. "If I go above my rep goal, I know I need to increase my weight," she says. "If I can't hit my rep goal, I go lighter next time."
Even someone with an amazing body like Katie's has areas they need to improve, just like the rest of us. For Katie, one of her weak points is flexibility training. "I can't stress enough how important flexibility training is," she says. "Unfortunately, it's never been my strong suit, and it's led to some injuries." To remedy the situation, she's begun foam rolling after every workout, getting an occasional massage, and experimenting with yoga.
One of the biggest gym challenges for someone like Katie is the interruptions engendered by her bikini body. If you see her grinding out a tough set, and you're tempted to bug her, think twice. "For me it's not a time to socialize, it's not a time to make friends," says Katie. "I'm focused and intense, and I don't talk to anybody. I don't think I am the nicest person in the gym.
Katie's Workout Regimen
This is the day when Katie would be most likely to do yoga for flexibility.