Try This Competition Workout Plan for Your Show
Your competition workout plan is a very important factor in your contest prep. It’s important to have the right training split that allows for muscle growth and recovery. When you combine the right type of training with cardio and dieting, your results will be nothing short of jaw-dropping. Now, let’s cover some important factors to get you stage-ready.
Phase 1 – First 3 Weeks
Typically, phase 1 is from the 12-week mark, counting down. So, weeks 12, 11, and 10 will fall under this category. During this phase your diet should have some decent calories, but not in excess. Your cardio should be on the light side, perhaps 3 days of cardio for 20 minutes and increase it to 25 minutes in weeks 11 and 12. As for training, it should be close to what you were doing off-season. A good training split to follow is a 2 day on, 1 day off.
Example of 2 on, 1 off Training
Monday – Legs / Calves
Tuesday – Shoulders/ Traps / Abs
Wednesday – Rest and Recover
Thursday – Back / Triceps / Calves
Friday – Chest / Biceps / Abs
Saturday – Rest and Recover
Sunday – Legs / Calves
This type of split allows for complete muscle stimulation without over-training. You must have recovery time if you want to take your physique to the next level. Yes, even in contest prep mode, your training needs recovery days. No recovery, no muscle growth.
During this phase in your competition workout plan you need to keep your weight training as heavy as possible. Shoot for 3 exercises per body part using reps in the 8-10 rep range. You still have the power and strength to do this since your prep diet just started. By this time your strength could be tapped just a little. If you need to, at this point you can lower your poundage. But only do so if you cannot complete 10 reps with good
Phase 2 – Second 3 Weeks
Weeks 9, 8, and 7 (counting down) will fall under this category. During this phase of prep your calories are lowered some and there may have been a tweak in your macronutrients. At this point, increase your cardio some by adding a day, making cardio 4 days a week. Weeks 8 and 7 you can add in fasted cardio if you haven’t yet. Your training can remain on the same training split of 2 on/1 off. form. Shoot for about 10 reps on all your sets. If you can do more than 10 reps the weight is too light and if you cannot quite get 10 reps, the poundage is too heavy.
Phase 3 – Third 3 Weeks
This phase will include weeks 6, 5, and 4 (counting down). Yes, contest day is getting close. In phase 3 your calories are going to lower slightly and even adjustments to macronutrients. Cardio can be tweaked once again. You can do 4-5 days of cardio in the 30-45-minute range. Fasted cardio at this point is a plus, and even adding in High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) for a portion of your cardio.
Training can remain on the same split. Keep with about 3 or so exercises per body part and reps can be in the 10-12 rep range until failure. Your strength will be dropping some at this point and it’s important to lower the poundage and increase the reps some to avoid injury in this delicate state your body is transitioning to.
Phase 4 – Fourth 3 Weeks
During phase 4 you’ll really see changes in your physique. This phase includes weeks 3, 2, and 1 (peak week). During this phase your diet will be super strict. There is absolutely no room for dieting mistakes. This means, DO NOT CHEAT! You can amp-up your cardio in weeks 3 and 2. Keep your training as heavy as you can stand for 12-15 reps. Your body is in a vulnerable state, so no extremely heavy lifting. What I mean is, if you can only lift a weight for 8 reps to failure, that’s too heavy.
Peak Week is part of this phase. Peak week is the last week before your contest. This week will be opposite of everything you’ve been doing during prep. Your peak week will start the Sunday before your contest. This is when you start priming your body for your big day. This will involve de-carbing and carbing-up. Macronutrients will vary greatly in this phase. Cardio should be avoided this final week. Your body needs to rest to allow for the diet to do its job. Train only Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. Keep your training very light. It’s going to be a glycogen depletion workout. Therefore, choose 2 exercises per body part and do 40 reps with light weight. Your workout these 3 days should only take about 15-20 minutes. It’s just a pumping workout, quick and easy.
Phase 5 – Doing it Right
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