The Elite Physique

Are You Figure Competition Ready?

Step-by-Step on How to Be Figure Competition Ready

Do you think you can ever be figure competition ready?  You just might be surprised.  In the last decade women competing in fitness on stage has grown leaps and bounds. I’m sure you’ve seen the amazing before and after transformations, and you would like to take part as well. So the question is not so much if you want to compete; the question is, are figure competition ready?  So, you have the desire and the dedication to train hard in the gym. You need to make sure your diet is in check and test the waters to see if you can maintain a strict Figure prep diet.

figure competition ready

If you can implement and manage the above then let’s take it a step further and really get to the nuts and bolts of it.

Now, I can tell you get a body assessment and attend a show, but that’s pretty vague information and it won’t get you anywhere except a seat in the audience. If you want to get in shape and be a lean-mean figure machine like my many of my clients, here are a few things you need to take into account:

  • Have you been training long enough?
  • What is your body fat percentage?
  • Can you maintain a strict eating format?
  • Are you able to resist temptation?
  • Will you put forth the required time for training?
  • Is it possible for you manage the stress of contest prep?
  • Do you need a coach or can you prep yourself??

This is just a short list of what contest prep involves.   Let’s dig a little deeper into a few of these just to see if you fit the bill.

Your Figure Training Program for Best Results

There’s more to competing in a than just getting in a figure posing suit, walking across stage and hitting a few poses.  While many people may argue the fact, Figure Competitors need muscle to get on stage and compete because they are judged muscularity and separation as well as symmetry and proportion.

So, how to you active those judging requirements?  Well, you need some good hardcore weight training under your belt.  All too often women become too eager to compete and get on stage too soon.  This leaves them lacking the necessary muscle to place well.  They end up placing low and after the fact, realize they need a good solid muscle base to compete.

Your body needs a good solid muscle base to start with, before you being your contest prep dieting phase.  Starting a hardcore, strict prep diet before building a strong muscle base will leave you weak, flat, and depleted.  Figure is incorporated into a bodybuilding contest for a reason.  The ladies need muscle in Figure.

Don’t run with the group saying “there is no off-season.” How do you expect to have muscle if you don’t give your body a fighting chance to build it? Please, PLEASE do yourself a favor and download the FREE eBook from the link above.

What Your Body Fat Percentage Should Be

To be figure competition ready you also need a low body fat percentage. This is how the actual muscle separation is visible. So, if you are 20% body fat or more you are going to need some good solid prep time. Most women can safely compete around 10% body fat or less.

You can start losing fat by lowering your calories, but not excessively. In addition, lower your calories gradually so your body retains the muscle. You need to keep as much muscle on your frame as possible because it is metabolically active, allowing you to burn extra calories while at rest. Hey, that’s not a bad deal!

While the scale is a very useful tool for managing your weight loss, BE CAREFUL and don’t become a prisoner of the scale. It can happen VERY easily. I see this ALL the time. Competitors begin to notice on the number on the scale, becoming obsessed, and fail to see the changes in their physique. They stress out because the number on the scale is not moving as fast as they expect it.

Build Muscle and Lose Fat?

WHY!?   Here’s why… You CAN build muscle and lose fat at the same time. Yes, it’s not a myth it is actual and factual information. Muscle and fat are two completely separate tissues and one can grow in size while the other reduces in size. We see it all the time in the general population it’s just in the reverse fashion of gain fat and lose muscle.

So, if you gain 2 pounds of muscle and lose 2 pounds of fat the scale is not going to move, just as the person eating at McDonald’s three times a day loses 2 pounds of muscle and gains 2 pounds of fat. The scale didn’t move, but that doesn’t mean their body is not changing.

Use the scale as a tool and don’t let it control you.

Your Figure Prep Diet to Prompt Fat Loss

Your fat loss will come with a structured eating protocol. To be figure competition ready you need to feed your body foods it can use to build muscle, provide energy for training, and burn fat. Yes, you can create meals that do all three. You will find such balanced meals are very filling and sometimes you may not even be able to finish a good quality balanced meal and still be full for a few hours.

A High-Quality Figure Diet Can Look Like:


Veggie omelet with diced peppers and 2% cheese

1 cup of fruit on the side

Vitamin/Mineral supplement


Protein shake made with real fruit blended until creamy


Grilled Chicken Stuffed Spud – Baked potato stuffed with diced grilled chicken breast, 2% cheese, low-fat sour cream, green onions, seasoning of your choice


Low-sugar protein bar or Cookie


Nutty Grilled Chicken Salad – Diced chicken added to Italian salad mix topped with walnuts and drizzled with balsamic vinegar


Low-carb protein shake mixed in water or 2% milk

How to Handle Cheating to be Figure Competition Ready

Resisting temptation… How to manage temptation, still have a life and even win your figure contest.

It will happen, you will cheat. Whether this cheat is scheduled or unscheduled will make the fat loss difference. Did you know that you CAN cheat on your diet and still have fat loss results in the same week? Yes, it’s all in the technique.

I’m not going to elaborate on this one because people see the phrase “it’s okay to cheat” and totally take it out of context.

Here’s the deal. To be figure competition ready you can have a scheduled cheat meal once a week. This scheduled cheat throws a monkey wrench in the works and takes your body off-guard. Since you’ve been strict dieting, your body perceives this cheat as a surplus of calories coming in and it releases fat to be burned. Ahhhh…. Eating junk food and losing weight. Oh the freedom.

BUT… I must caution you. This cheat HAS to be scheduled and it HAS to be managed for it to work. Extending this indulgence far beyond what it’s meant for can cause disastrous effects.

Do You Need a Figure Coach to Be Figure Competition Ready?

If you are new to competing all this may seem a bit overwhelming. This brings us down to the question if you can prep yourself or if you need a Figure Coach. There are many first-time figure competitors who take the reins, take charge and prep themselves. Many do quite well, but I find they get to peak week and get a little confused, and rightly so. Peak week is a totally different ball game. Most of the typical prep rules are out the window and you kind of goes against the grain the final week.

So, this is where a Figure Coach can be helpful. A good trainer can oversee your diet, training and cardio, make suggestions and tweaks to have you figure competition ready for your big day.

Simple Steps to Get Figure Competition Ready…red arrow pointing down

Now that you have a basic rundown of what it takes to be figure competition ready, weigh your options and decide if you can put forth the time and effort to prep and compete.  Remember, you need to build a good and solid muscle base to diet on and be relentless on eating high-quality foods.

If you are still lost and confused, no worries…  Just get in on my FREE Contest Prep Crash Course so you can build muscle and lose fat the right way.  See below for instant access…


Wait, Don't Leave Without This

Now that you have a bit of information, take the next step and get all the real information on how to lose fat, build muscle, and prep for a contest.  Get my FREE Contest Prep Crash Course.  Click the link below for Immediate Access...

FREE Contest Prep Crash Course

Karen Sessions NSCA-CPT

Wait, Don't Leave Without This

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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