T Nation

precontest seperation

I have competed in 3 bodybuilding show’s before and am going to do the cbbf canadian natural july 5th I am a junior compititor and have always done everything on my own, reading books and searching good referenced articles like t-mag and others.
here is my problem…If i keep squating to close to the show, my quads are not striated and well seperated and if I do isolated movements without squats my legs seem to apear smaller.
but my question is not what I should do, only because you don’t know my training routine and what execise works for me.
I am asking someone to explain to me how and why different execises affect muscle sepperation?

I suppose you also increase the reps as the show gets closer also. I highly suggest you to keep on squatting. There is no such thing as isolated movements. And still train heavy 6-8 reps. getting seperation and striations in the Quads has to do with your dieting. Not what type of exercise you do.

I’ve seen several competitiors comment that they do no leg work for up to several weeks before a competition because they take longer to heal and will actually look better after the break. Ron Harris is one proponent of this theory. He posts here occasionally.

Your lack of separation could be improved by fascial stretching. Particularly between sets. The diet is also crucial as well. Your choice of exercise will not improve separation. Some people think that leg extensions improve the separation of the knee extensors, particularly right above the knee. Not true.

I, too, am a drug-free competitor. The week of a contest, I rely more on posing than I do training. Hit leg shots - lots of 'em. I have already begun posing sessions (contest April 5). What I will do too, is if I’m working chest, I’ll hit chest shots in between sets (for example). This really helps make you look harder.

If you think about it, it's true. After a contest, it is not uncommon for many competitors to notice how much better they look. And all you do really, throughout the day of a contest is pose. And pose alot!

I wouldn't necessarily increase your reps. I haven't in a loooong time, even for legs - and my separation is just fine. Maintain your heavy training. As someone else suggested, try stretching. I think that's a good one to do. And do the posing! Hope this helps!