What exactly does it take to compete in fitness, figure and bikini competitions? A little know-how, a dollop of desire and lots of planning! Download the workouts and nutrition schedules of three pro athletes – one from each of the aforementioned divisions – for an inside glimpse of what it takes to be one of the elite in the world of fitness.
Note: Oxygen does not recommend or endorse any of these workout and meal plans; they are simply a representation of how a competitor may train or eat when preparing for a show.
Fitness: Adela Garcia
Five-time Fitness Olympia Champion
Four-time Fitness International Champion
Though tiny in stature, Adela Garcia is one of the biggest names in fitness. Surprisingly, she does not have any previous gymnastics or dance training, but has still managed to win more than a dozen pro titles and is currently the 2011 Fitness Olympia Champion. Her success is a true testament to the fact that anyone can succeed in fitness.
ADELA’S PRE-CONTEST WORKOUTS
Adela begins this workout schedule 10 weeks prior to a competition. As she prepares to take the stage, Adela does cardio for 45 to 60 minutes twice daily, and 45 to 60 minutes five days a week during her off season. In addition, every day after her morning cardio, Adela spends 20 to 30 minutes stretching.
Adela says: “I don’t specifically train chest anymore, but it gets plenty of work with my routine, the plyometrics and the total-body workout I do on Fridays.”
Adela’s Routine Practice and Other Training
Adela says: “The endurance drills are sprints with things like high-kicks, pop squats, tuck jumps, toe touches and anything else I can think of. I put on my routine music and continue drilling until the song is done. It’s way harder than it sounds!”
ADELA’S PRE-CONTEST NUTRITION
Adela says: “I have a very high level of activity, so if my body is telling me it’s hungry, then I have something else to eat, like another grapefruit or a protein shake. I leave two-and-a-half-hour intervals between my meals.” She also takes the following daily supplements: fish oil, vitamin C, multivitamin, glutamine (four times daily) and BCAAs (twice daily).
2009 Figure Olympia Champion
2010 Figure Olympia runner-up
2010 and 2011 Arnold Figure International Champion
A former gymnast, Nicole Wilkins has competed in both pro fitness and pro figure events. Her perfect balance of symmetry, muscularity and definition helped her easily cross over between sports and garnered her success in both arenas.
NICOLE’S PRE-CONTEST WORKOUTS
Body Parts Trained
Yoga (A.M.), CrossFit (P.M.)
Nicole starts these workouts 12 to 14 weeks before a contest. During her off season, she does cardio for 45 minutes six days a week, then increases it to one and a half hours daily closer to contest time. She trains her abs two to three times a week.
Nicole says: “It’s important to change up your workout quite often to prevent hitting a plateau. This workout is an example of what a week might look like for me – the body parts don’t usually change, but the exercises do each day. And I love CrossFit! I just started it, so it’s still quite new to me. So far, I like the intensity of it, the feeling of my heart beating out of my chest. It’s challenging and it’s competitive. I like that!”
NICOLE’S PRE-CONTEST NUTRITION
Nicole says: “I pretty much eat the same way all year round. I am a creature of habit and I like consistency and structure. I generally eat my meals every two to three hours. During contest time, I measure everything out, whereas in the off season I kind of eyeball it. And of course I have a few cheat meals here and there!” She also takes the following MET-Rx supplements daily: omega fatty acids, glucosamine, multivitamin, vitamin C, BCAAs and L-glutamine.
Jessica Putnam is a former IFBB figure-turned-bikini pro. With her curvier, shapelier physique and a less grueling schedule of training and dieting, Jessica is finding great success in bikini competitions.
JESSICA’S PRE-CONTEST WORKOUT
Jessica says: “With bikini, I am going for an overall ‘toned’ look and don’t use specific body-part lifting splits anymore, since I already have enough muscle development. I do, however, train glutes twice a week because it’s a weak part for me and I want to bring it up! I do a day of heavy weights on my first leg day and plyometrics on the next.” She usually starts these workouts 12 to 16 weeks before a contest. “I like to take my time!” she says.
JESSICA’S PRE-CONTEST NUTRITION
Jessica says: “Since I switched from figure to bikini, my diet is very similar year-round. Since I don't have to worry about putting on muscle in the off season, I don’t bulk up and get to stay tiny and tight all the time!” She also supplements with the following Optimum Nutrition products: glutamine powder three times daily, vitamin C, B-complex and a multivitamin. On top of that, she will take three scoops of Optimum Nutrition Essential Amino Energy a half hour prior to training, as well as fat-burners during her contest prep.
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