Training for the fitness / figure athlete

Primary goal:

First stage prep for future figure or fitness competition

1. Your weight training goal is to improve your muscularity, muscle tone, and separation while developing an athletic looking physique.
2. In order to achieve your training goal and be the best "you", you must show progress in one or more of the following areas each time you workout:
  • Amount of resistance or weight used for a particular set.
  • Number of reps performed with a particular weight.
  • Reduce the amount of rest time between sets.
  • Train harder – go for the burn.
  • Increase the sets.
  • Train more often.
3. Some indispensable do’s and don’ts:
Keep a workout journal. It can be a spiral notebook or as fancy as you like. Keep track of every training session. Use the star method ★ to track your progress. Every time you use a heavier weight than before on a set, get more reps with a particular weight, or complete a series of sets in less time give yourself a star in your journal.
You can download our recommended journal format Training Diary.
  • Use proper form.
  • Make sure each exercise is working the correct area. Use a full range of motion on every exercise to develop muscularity and separation.
4. Train with weights at least 5 times per week Monday through Friday. You can adjust the days as necessary but really try to get in 5 training sessions per week. We’ll be focusing on the parts that are especially important for Figure Competition legs, back, shoulders, and arms (and of course abs and glutes).
  • Day 1: Legs (quad emphasis)
  • Day 2: Back / Delts / Biceps
  • Day 3: Chest / Triceps
  • Day 4: Legs (glute/hamstring emphasis)
  • Day 5: Back / Delts / Arms
In this program you’ll use the most effective progression scheme, the Double Progressive System. After a warm-up, use the same weight for all sets. Start at the low end of the suggested rep range. Gradually increase the repetitions, usually adding one rep each week until you reach the top number of suggested reps for each set of a particular exercise. Then add weight and start over at the lower end of the rep scheme.

Use AS MUCH WEIGHT AS YOU CAN WITH PERFECT FORM for the target amount of reps. If you can do more reps than the target, add weight. If you can’t get at least the lower recommend amount of reps, then lighten the weight slightly. Go pretty quick between sets. You should not rest more than 90 seconds between sets. Your cardio should follow your weight training except for a 5-10 minute warm-up. The best times to do your cardio are in the mornings, after your weight training or in the evening before bed.

BONUS EXERCISES: it is very beneficial for the FIGURE COMPETITOR to perform push-ups and chins as often as possible. It can be as part of your cardio or at the end of your workout. To progress – just try to go for a greater cumulative number each week. If you do ten pushups each workout of week one, that’s 50 cumulative reps; next week – beat that total.

Figure Athlete Training – Program

Monday: Legs
Leg Press 3 x 10-15 reps
Squats 3 x 8-12 reps
Hack Squat Machine 3 x 10-15 reps
*do the Hack Squats as One and One Half Reps. This means go all the way down below parallel with your quads, then come half way up, then all the way back down, and then all the way up. This equals 1 repetition.
Stiff-Legged Deadlift 3 x 12 reps
Leg Extensions 3 x 12 reps
Abs 8 sets of 25-50 (use any variety of exercises you want)
Tuesday: Back, Delts, Biceps (LIGHT DAY)
One Arm DB Row 3 x 8-10 reps
Pulldowns 3 x 8-12 reps
Seated Cable Row 3 x 8-12 reps (or do any seated machine row)
DB Lateral Raise 3 x 10 reps each way (bent-over lateral, side lateral, front raise)
Cable Curl 3 x 8-12 reps
Incline DB Curl 3 x 8-10 reps
Calf Raises 6-8 sets of 15 reps on any combination of machines
Wednesday: Chest, Triceps
Incline DB Press 4 x 6-10 reps
Flat Dumbbell Press 4 x 8-12 reps
Pec Deck 3 x 8-12 reps
Tricep Pushdowns 4 x 8-12 reps
Lying Tricep Ext 4 x 10-12 reps
Abs 6 sets of 15-25 reps
Thursday: Legs (GLUTE EMPHASIS)
Romanian Dead Lift 3 x 10-15 (superset with next exercise)
Wide Leg Press 3 x 10-15
Leg Curl 3 x 6-8 (superset with next exercise)
Walking Lunge 3 x 12-15 steps with each foot
Leg Extension 3 x 12 (superset with next exercise)
Smith Machine Squat 3 x 12 non-lock
Calf Raises 6-8 sets of 15 reps on any combination of machines
Friday: Delts, Back, Biceps, Triceps
Shoulder Press 3 x 6-10 (superset with next exercise)
Lat Pulldowns 3 x 8-12 reps
Upright Row 3 x 8-10 (superset with next exercise)
Straight-Arm Pulldowns 3 x 10-12 reps
Bent Over Laterals 3 x 10-12 (superset with next exercise)
Seated Cable Row 3 x 8-12 reps
Barbell or EZ Curl 3 x 6-10 reps (superset with next exercise)
Close Grip Bench Press 3 x 6-10 reps
Concentration Curl 2 x 10-12 reps
Dips or Triceps Dips 2 x 10-15 reps
Abs 8 sets of 25-50 (use any variety of machines or exercises you want)
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Bev-Solutions 6 training profiles
1. Periodization
2. Hardgainer
3. No Nonsense Basic Bodybuilding Training
4. Pre Contest Training
5. Training for the Figure Athlete
6. Training for the Bikini Athlete

Training Diary PDF download