I am 6 months out from my first figure competition, and I just purchased a contest prep plan from a well-known online trainer.
I received my plan on Wednesday night (he designed it without knowing my body fat%, measurements, or seeing pictures...he just had my height/weight) and was disappointed to say the least. I already posted in the Nutrition forum about my issues with the diet (along w/ more background info about him & his experience), so I'll just add a link.
Training-wise, I'm concerned because he prescribed 60 minutes of low-intensity cardio 7 days/week and a 3 day lifting split that consists of circuits using high-reps. In his website's forum, one of his clients pointed out that low reps/high weight better stimulate fast-twitch muscle fibers, and here's how he responded (I want to hear what you all think about his reasoning):
"Actually, what you have believed is very common culture. However, not true 100% of the time. Actually, not at all really. While you need to train heavy with lower reps (anything below 8) for part of the year, most of your size comes from really stimulating the hell out of those fibers. In order to get the growth adaptation you have to understand that nature makes bigger muscles for one purpose, to do more work. In this case, more work means more reps, more volume of training. But you still need to push the envelope of load too, so using the heaviest wt possible is important. In general, much of a bodybuilders year should be spent around the 12-15 rep range. This will provide the most stimulus and break down fibers more for growth. Remember, you just have to tell your body to adapt in the way you want it to. As long as your diet is right, you will grow, or get stronger or whatever you are stimulating it to do.
Side note; strength is not an adaptation that requires your body to make bigger muscles. So the misconception that you have to train heavy to get bigger is not really totally true. You do need to do some strength training in your year but it isn't a bodybuilder's focus."
I honestly don't know enough to know whether or not what he's saying is correct. Please give me your thoughts.
Another concern is the use of non-optimal exercises, including such gems as tricep kickbacks, abductor/adductor machines, and walking lunges.