Make the most of your workout!
For me, the workouts were the easiest part of training for a competition. Most people who go into fitness competitions are already gym rats like me. So training is something we already do. I was actually surprised that I didn’t have to modify my training all that much. I am someone who’s put a solid hour or more in at the gym for the past several years, so for me there were some tweaks into what I was doing at the gym, but not the volume of training. I quite honestly enjoyed the tweaks and playing with how different exercises could manipulate my body – this is the part I was, and remain today, the most fascinated about going into the competition.
Here was my typical workout split:
Monday – Shoulders + Cardio*
Tuesday – Plyometrics or Hot Yoga
Wednesday – Biceps & Triceps + Cardio*
Thursday – Back & Chest + Cardio*
Friday – OFF
Saturday – Legs + Cardio*
Sunday – Hot Yoga
*Cardio was always high intensity intervals, and started with 20-30 min (weeks 8-10 out), moving to 30-40 min (weeks 4-8 out) then in the final four weeks splitting cardio to do 20-30 min two times per day; usually one of the two workouts involved some form of plyometrics.
I also learned something about ‘periodization training’ – which really just means progressive changes, or cycles. You can see what I did with Cardio above, gradually ramping up. So with weights, conversely I ended up starting with long weight sessions, then tapering off as my cardio increased. All in all I spent about 60-75 minutes per day working out. Much less than I originally thought.
Here is an example of my periodization training
Weeks 8-10 out: 45-50 min Weights (3-4 sets of 5-6 exercises) + 20-25 min HIIT cardio
Weeks 4-8 out: 35-40 min Weights (2-3 sets of 5-6 exercises) + 30-35 min HIIT cardio
Weeks 1-4 out: Workout 1: 20 min Weights + 20-30 min cardio | Workout 2: 30 min plyometrics / HIIT
Final Week: No Weights, Only light cardio or plyometrics at 30-40 min/day
Workout Success Factors: