The Elite Physique

12 Week Contest Prep

12 Week Contest Prep Cycle

12 Week Contest Prep12 Week Contest Prep

The ideal 12 week contest prep cycle is designed so you can lose fat and keep muscle. This is  mastered through diet, cardio, and training.  Sounds easy.  However, you have to be strict and dedicated to all 3 in order to get the body transformation job done.  I’ll cover how to master each below.  Let’s go…

Contest Prep Diet Cycle

Your contest diet is the backbone of your fat loss success.  The right diet format will allow you to lose fat and keep muscle.  However, it can get more technical than that.  Implementing a cycle pattern will trick your body to release body fat, nearly on command.  It’s quite magical when you implement and watch the changes happen.

It’s best to start a contest prep diet in the 20% or less body fat percentage range.  If your body fat is higher, you should lose some fat first, before starting a prep plan.  Otherwise, you’ll lose a good bit of muscle during the prep process.

If you are in a good weight and body fat range you can start on a carb-cycling format.  It can look something like this:

  • Weeks #1 -#2 – carbs 200
  • Weeks #3 – #4 – carbs 150
  • Weeks #5 – #6 – carbs 100
  • Weeks #7 – #8 – carbs 75
  • Weeks #9 – #10 carbs 50
  • Weeks #11 – #12 carbs 25

This carb-cycling format slowly reduces carbs through the 12 week contest prep cycle.  So, rather than slicing carbs out of your diet you simply manipulate the process and reap the benefit.

Contest Prep Cardio

This contest prep cardio format works in conjunction with the carb-cycling format above.  Doing both in this manner burns the candle at both ends rather than eating up all your resources.  You want to cycle your cardio so you gradually build it over the course of 12 weeks.

  • Weeks #1 -#2 – 3 times a week for 20 minutes
  • Weeks #3 – #4 – 3 times a week for 25 minutes
  • Weeks #5 – #6 – 4 times a week for 25 minutes
  • Weeks #7 – #8 – 4 times a week for 30 minutes
  • Weeks #9 – #10 – 5 times a week for 30 minutes
  • Weeks #11 – #12 – 5 times a week for 40 minutes

Now, you will notice as you go through the process of diet and cardio, your carbs lower as your cardio increases.  This allows you to get the most out of each without crashing and burning.

Contest Prep Training

Your contest prep training should only change form your off-season as you get leaner and your strength is compromised.  Your off-season training is heavy training in the 8-10 rep range.  In your prep, there will be a point when your strength lessens.  When this happens, just lighten your poundage a tad and do perhaps 10-12 reps.  Only lighten weights when it’s necessary.

Most Importantly… red arrow pointing down

This is a rough outline of what a 12 week prep looks like if you are in the ideal body fat range.  If you need more guidance on how to diet, train, and do your contest prep, see my FREE Contest Prep Crash Course below…


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Now, join over 73,000 others who are getting lean and even competing.  Get my FREE Contest Prep Crash Course and challenge yourself.  Take your physique to the next level. Click the link below for instant access.

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Karen Sessions NSCA-CPT

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My name is Karen Sessions and I am a life-time natural female bodybuilder, multi-certified fitness instructor, author, specialist in performance nutrition, and a success coach. I've been in the fitness industry since 1988! I teach people Just Like You how to transform their bodies, get in shape, build muscle, lose fat and compete in Bodybuilding, Physique, and Figure Competitions. When you have the CORRECT information you can have total confidence and turn your dreams into reality... and I can help transform YOUR body. I have helped THOUSANDS of clients reach their goals and I can help you, too. Be sure to grab my free gift above so you can start moving toward your goal.

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