Anyone attending a physique contest of late undoubtedly will have noticed that the contest-ready female form now comes in more diverse body styles than a pre-bankruptcy GM assembly line.

Female bodybuilders welcomed their smaller, acrobatic fitness counterparts more than a decade ago, to be followed more recently by softer figure competitors; and now bikini bodies, with even less muscle, but, some would say, shapelier curves still.

In our eyes, it's all good. From bodybuilding to bikini, their gym efforts pay handsome and obvious rewards while haters pop bon bons from the vantage point of their sofa. But when it comes time to hit the beach for spring break, the figure and bikini bodies seem tailor-made for sand and surf.

The question is, which physique type should a fitness-inspired woman aspire to achieve with her workouts and dietary discipline: figure or bikini?

Regardless of your desired body style, we've got you covered. After the 2011 Figure International and Bikini International contests were over, we approached the two winners for their training, diet, and supplement programs. The following are what each had to share.

Nicole Nagrani: 2011 Bikini International Winner

At the tender age of 19, Nicole Nagrani isn't your normal girl next door. That is, unless the girl living next door to you has a stunning body with hairpin curves and carries a 4.0 in her second year of an exclusive accelerated pre-med program.

Nicole's parents have been taking her to the gym with them as far back as she can remember. She did her first physique at 14 (no, that's not a typo), winning both the overall teen figure and the short class open fitness.

She took a few years off from physique shows to compete in high school sports but resumed them in college. She quickly scored a pro card in bikini.

Nicole Nagrani

Now she's at the top of the sport having won the best-of-breed Bikini International title. She went for broke at this contest, training so hard and pushing herself through tough times because she didn't want to have regrets.

Her reward: first place and ink in the history books as the Arnold's first-ever bikini champion. 

Think you can keep up with her? She trains with weights five days a week and does cardio six times during that same span. Cardio sessions last from one to two hours a day, depending on how far out she is from a show.

Nicole Nagrani's Workout

  • Monday: Quads
  • Tuesday: Shoulders/Arms
  • Wednesday: Hamstrings
  • Thursday: Back
  • Friday: Legs (light)/Shoulders

Supplement Stack

Daily Meal Plan

Meal 1
Egg Whites
1 serving
Oatmeal
1 serving
Fruit
1/4 cup
Meal 2
Chicken (or other lean meat)
4 oz
Sweet Potato
4 oz
Vegetables
1 serving
Meal 3
Protein Powder (MET-Rx Vanilla Whey Protein)
1 serving
Rice Cake
1 serving
Meal 4
Chicken (or other lean meat)
1 serving
Spinach (salad)
1 serving
Salad Dressing (Balsamic)
1 tbsp
Meal 5
Chicken (or other lean meat)
4 oz.
Sweet Potato
4 oz.
Vegetables
1 serving
Meal 6
Chicken (or other lean meat)
4 oz.
Vegetables
1 serving

Nicole Wilkins: 2011 Figure International Winner

Back in 2002, Nicole was competing during the Arnold Classic weekend... as a gymnast. While there, she and her teammates went to the finals of the pro fitness contest. She was inspired by the muscle on display and knew she could do the routine portion.

Fast forward to 2003: Nicole entered her first competition. She continued to compete in both fitness and figure until 2009, when she won the Figure Olympia. This became the chosen path for the remainder of her career. She has since won two Figure Internationals so far.

No risk of her resting on her laurels, though. For the 2011 Figure International, Nicole claims to have been more focused and motivated than before, hell-bent on proving that her success was no fluke. Losing the 2010 Olympia by three points added fuel to the fire. 

Nicole Wilkins

So she ramped up the intensity of her cardio earlier in the process. She ate a ton of white fish. She rested more than she had in the past, receiving weekly massages during the last six weeks, really listened to her body. She came into the show very relaxed and calm, knowing that she put in everything she had.

The rest was up to the judges, who delivered their verdict: Nicole Wilkins is 2011's Ms. Figure International. Want to look like two-time Figure International winner, Nicole Wilkins? Read on!

Nicole Wilkins' Workout

Day 1: Shoulders
1
Dumbbell Shoulder Press
3 sets, 10 reps
2
Standing Low-Pulley Deltoid Raise
3 sets, 10-15 reps
3
Upright Barbell Row
3 sets, 15 reps
4
Front Plate Raise
3 sets, 15 reps (35 lbs)
5
Seated Bent-Over Rear Delt Raise
3 sets, 10-15 reps
Day 2: Chest/Arms
1
Triset
Incline Dumbbell Press
3 sets, 15 reps
Dumbbell Bicep Curl
3 sets, 15 reps
Seated Bent-Over Two-Arm Dumbbell Triceps Extension
3 sets, 15 reps
2
Triset
Cable Crossover
3 sets, 15 reps
Standing Biceps Cable Curl
3 sets, 15 reps
Triceps Pushdown - Rope Attachment
3 sets, 15 reps
3
Triset
Pushups
3 sets, Failure
Machine Preacher Curls
3 sets, 15 reps
Bench Dips
3 sets, 15 reps
Day 3: Legs
1
Box Jump (Multiple Response)
3 sets, 1 min. (30 sec rest)
2
Dumbbell Step Ups
3 sets, 15 reps (holding 15 lb dumbbells)
3
Leg Press
3 sets, 15 reps per leg
4
Split Jump
3 sets, 20 reps (30 sec rest)
5
Leg Extensions
3 sets, 20 reps
6
Lying Leg Curls
3 sets, 15 reps
7
Stiff-Legged Barbell Deadlift
3 sets, 15 reps
Day 4: Back
1
Wide-Grip Pull-Up
3 sets, 10 reps
2
Seated Cable Rows
3 sets, 15 reps (close-grip)
3
Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown
3 sets, 15 reps
4
Bent Over Barbell Row
3 sets, 15 reps
5
Bent-Arm Barbell Pullover
3 sets, 15 reps
Day 5: Light Shoulder Circuit
1
Giant Set
Standing Military Press
4 sets, 20 reps
Upright Barbell Row
4 sets, 20 reps
Side Lateral Raise
4 sets, 20 reps
Reverse Flyes
4 sets, 20 reps
Days 6 and 7: Rest

Notes: Nicole incorporated Crossfit into her schedule one time per week and Sanga Vinyasa Yoga one or two times a week.

Pre-contest, cardio begins at 45 minutes, six days a week, and increases to 1½ hour seven days a week.

She does a lot of running and sprinting as well, particularly high-intensity interval training.

Daily Meal Plan

Meal 1
Oat Bran
1/2 cup
Egg Whites
4
Meal 2
Tuna (Ahi)
4 oz. seared
Almonds
15
Vegetables
1 cup
Meal 3
Chicken
5 oz.
Sweet Potato
4 oz.
Vegetables
1 cup
Meal 4
Tuna (Ahi)
5 oz.
Almonds
15
Vegetables
1 cup
Meal 5
Cod
5 oz.
Salad (with Balsamic vinegar)
1 large
Avocado
1 oz.
Meal 6
Egg Whites (or 1½ scoops MET-Rx Ultramyosyn Whey Protein Powder)
4

Note: As the show gets closer, fats and carbs begin to cycle and she adds in salmon and filet. Nicole generally keeps her carbs pretty low the entire prep.

She mixes up her vegetables among broccoli, green beans, peppers, onions, asparagus, cucumbers, etc.

Supplement Stack

Nicole Wilkins' Competition Resume

2011

  • IFBB Figure International | 1st place

2010

  • IFBB Figure Olympia | 2nd Place
  • IFBB Figure International | 1st Place

2009

  • IFBB Figure Olympia | 1st Place
  • IFBB New York Pro Figure | 1st Place
  • IFBB Europa Show of Champions Figure | 1st Place
  • IFBB New York Pro Fitness | 4th Place
  • IFBB Fitness International | 8th Place

2008

  • IFBB Figure Olympia | 9th Place
  • IFBB Pittsburgh Pro Figure | 2nd Place
  • IFBB New York Pro Fitness | 3rd Place
  • IFBB Figure International | 11th Place

2007

  • IFBB Santa Susanna Amateur World Championships | DNP (Class C) Figure
  • NPC Team Universe Fitness/Figure Nationals | 1st Place (Overall Fitness & Overall Figure Champion, Tall Class/Class E)*
    • Earned IFBB Pro cards

2006

  • NPC Junior Nationals Fitness | 2nd Place (Tall Class)
  • NPC Nationals | 5th Place (Fitness, Class C)
  • NPC Motor City Classic | 1st Place (Overall Fitness & Figure Champion)

2004

  • NPC Novice Michigan | 1st (Fitness) & 1st Place (Figure, Tall Class)
  • NPC Natural Ohio | 5th Place (Class C)
  • NPC Michigan Bodybuilding & Figure Championships | 5th Place (Figure, Tall Class)
  • NPC Jr. Nationals | DNP (Class C)

2003

  • 2003 NPC Western Michigan | 1st Place (Fitness)

About the Author

Matt Weik, CSCS

Matt Weik, CSCS

Matt graduated from Penn State with a degree in Kinesiology. He is a fitness expert, strength and conditioning specialist, and sports nutritionist.

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