T Nation

Question for Physique Competitors, Not 'Hard' Enough?


#1


I've been competing for around 3 years and while I feel like I've made considerable progress, I'm not coming in "hard" enough at my shows. I'm attaching two photos from my most recent show. Any seasoned competitors or trainers/coaches out there have any helpful input? I'm kinda at a loss for my legs. I train them hard as hell. I go heavy, lots of supersets. I'm about to start some plyos in hopes of leaning them out.


#2

Hi There,

Sorry to barge in on the figure athletes page, but your post caught my eye. First of all, you look very good and with some adjustments you should be able to do very well.

How much cardio are you doing? And what kind ?(before a show and off season)

How many times a week do you train legs and what does the training look like?

What was your diet like before this show? supplements?

If I have some more info I can tell you where I think the problem is.

Amit


#3

Thanks Amit! Usually my cardio consists of 5 days per week @ 30 mins during off season - usually high incline walk on the treadmill. During prep I will gradually increase up to 45 min fasted and another 40 - 45 min later in the day. I usually stick to the incline walk (I have a treadmill at home) but if I’m at the gym I might use the elliptical. I usually train legs once a week. Leg training is usually high volume (20 - 25 reps) hack squats, leg press, stiff leg deadlifts, step-ups, sumo squats, extensions, and ham curls.

My legs are my strongest bodypart so even with higher volume I can still do fairly heavy weight. My diet is kind of all over the place. My husband and I both compete and we don’t use a coach or trainer so it’s guesswork. I try to cycle my carbs somewhat, my breakfast is usually egg whites and oats and the rest of my food is some combination of chicken/fish/beef with rice/sweet potato or green beans/broccoli/asparagus/brussel sprouts. I usually have 6 meals, 2 of those being low carb protein shakes. Then one is breakfast, and 3 meat based meals.

For supplements, I always take l-carnitine, a fat burner, an estro blocker at around 1 month out, pre workout, bcaas, and some type of muscle hardening agent. I’ve never used creatine - in the off season or contest, but am considering it this off season as I need a bit more size on my shoulders and back (so I’ve been told).


#4

Ok, let me preface by saying I typed this into fast reply and didn’t see it update so forgive my newbiness if two answers appear! As for cardio, in the off season I try to do 5 days a week @ 30 mins (usually fasted), incline treadmill walk. In contest I bump it up gradually to 45 mins and then increase the days until I’m doing two a days (45 fasted and another 40 - 45 in the afternoon). I train legs once a week and it’s usually high volume in prep, 20 - 25 reps. Hack squats, leg press, stiff deadlifts, sumo squats, step-ups, extensions, and leg curls. I am usually able to still go fairly heavy even with high volume. I also work in some single leg work.

My diet is usually 6 meals per day, around 200 - 230 g protein. I cycle my carbs on a 4 day cycle. I have two low carb protein shakes per day and the other 4 meals have some combination of egg whites, oats, chicken/beef/fish, sweet potatoes/rice, green beans/asparagus/broccoli. As far as supplements, I took l-carnitine, a fat burner, pre-workout, BCAA’s, a muscle hardener, and an estrogen blocker (for the last 4 weeks). Thanks Amit!


#5

How long have you been doing your current leg routine? While many people switch too often, if you’ve been on the same routine for quite a while switching to something radically different can help jumpstart your gains. If you’re in the 20-25 rep range now (I’m assuming that’s total, not per set) then try switching to a 10x10 volume or 5x3 strength routine for a while.


#6

Steel I usually do 4 sets of 20 - 25, 5 if I don’t feel fatigued enough. I have just started a new routine that has me doing a variety of rep ranges…10 sets of 3 on leg press, 5 x 6, 6 x 5, 3 x 10…on different exercises. I’m going to give it 4 - 6 weeks and see how I fare. I’m not in prep for anything at the moment, I won’t be competing until April 2015. So I figure now is the time to experiment?? I hope so! :slight_smile:
I did do Wendler’s 5-3-1 many moons ago, but I worry about deadlifts…as you can see from the photo I have a thick-ish torso (when I first started lifting, I only did compound moves for strength)…


#7

[quote]jinneybeth wrote:
Thanks Amit! Usually my cardio consists of 5 days per week @ 30 mins during off season - usually high incline walk on the treadmill. During prep I will gradually increase up to 45 min fasted and another 40 - 45 min later in the day. I usually stick to the incline walk (I have a treadmill at home) but if I’m at the gym I might use the elliptical. I usually train legs once a week. Leg training is usually high volume (20 - 25 reps) hack squats, leg press, stiff leg deadlifts, step-ups, sumo squats, extensions, and ham curls.

My legs are my strongest bodypart so even with higher volume I can still do fairly heavy weight. My diet is kind of all over the place. My husband and I both compete and we don’t use a coach or trainer so it’s guesswork. I try to cycle my carbs somewhat, my breakfast is usually egg whites and oats and the rest of my food is some combination of chicken/fish/beef with rice/sweet potato or green beans/broccoli/asparagus/brussel sprouts. I usually have 6 meals, 2 of those being low carb protein shakes. Then one is breakfast, and 3 meat based meals.

For supplements, I always take l-carnitine, a fat burner, an estro blocker at around 1 month out, pre workout, bcaas, and some type of muscle hardening agent. I’ve never used creatine - in the off season or contest, but am considering it this off season as I need a bit more size on my shoulders and back (so I’ve been told). [/quote]

I would probably train legs at least twice a week, something like every3rd or 4th day would work. Don’t look at it on a weekly basis, but rather go by training cycles. I would suggest playing around with different rep ranges and intensity techniques… Just doing straight sets isn’t going to cut it. Intensity techniques are key for getting the detail and hardness you need.

Here is a great program of mine that would work good for your goals as a physique athlete. Instead of doing it exactly as written, do a leg day every 3rd or 4th day.

As for supplements. I would highly recommend Indigo-3G and Carbolin-19 for off season and diet. Your body will absorb nutrients more effectively and fat storage will be minimized significantly especially in the off season.