Whether you want to get in shape for summer or for stage, rock hard abs and tight glutes are at the top of every woman’s personal wish list. Last year, the National Physique Committee introduced a brand new womans division that is quickly becoming one of the hottest categories on the fitness scene. The Bikini Division is a fantastic mix of athletics and modeling, hard toned bodies with both a touch of muscle and a large dose of attitude.
Women that excel in Bikini, pay close attention to the details, work hard on both their training and diet and have the stage presence and confidence of an LA movie star. If you have dreamed of stepping on stage in the past, but lacked the muscularity to be successful in Figure, Bikini could be a great choice. I foresee Bikini becoming more and more popular in the coming years. And why not! We all want to look and feel great in a bathing suit.
Over the last year, I have worked with many women that are either preparing for Bikini shows or want to have that Bikini body look. Rachel Fazzalaro and Jill Taylor are two of those women that have gone from good to amazing, stage ready FitBodies. Both initially came to me with plans to compete in Figure, but after analyzing their physiques and talking at length about their goals, I recommended that the Bikini Division was a better match for them. Both women have incredible potential and have worked very hard to sculpt and tone their bodies. They each have a pleasing amount of muscle, but their overall genetic size and structure is a better match for Bikini. They also have a look that mixes girl next door with fitness model.
With Jill and Rachel, I structured their training, cardio, diet and supplement plans to work for their individual bodies. For Rachel, it was important that she gain muscle to round out her naturally thin physique and give her more curves. In 5 months of training, Rachel has transformed her body dropping her body fat from 23% to 14% (9% drop!), losing 10 lbs of fat while gaining 8 lbs of muscle. On her frame, this has made an incredible difference. Jill began her contest prep in a very good place. She has always trained and ate clean to start so I knew with some fine tuning of her already good habits, she could make the changes that would put her at the top of any Bikini class. In 3 months, Jill dropped from 16% bodyfat to 11% (a 5% drop!), losing 7 lbs of fat while gaining 4 lbs of muscle.
So what does it take to get a great Bikini body? The answer is a plan that incorporates weight training, plyometrics, body weight exercises, cardio, a great diet and the best supplements. I developed this TOTAL Bikini Competitors Program to take help you achieve your dream Bikini FitBody and help you make the leap to stage.
Here are the rules:
You have to put in the work. Very few women are genetically gifted enough to step on stage without working their tails off in the gym first. Resistance training is the most important activity for reshaping your body. Not only does it tone your body, it plays a very important role in promoting fat loss because of the metabolic properties of muscle tissue.
- Some indispensable do’s and don’ts:
- 1. Keep a workout journal. It can be a spiral notebook or as fancy as you like. Keep track of every training and cardio session, all of your meals and your supplements. Use the star method to track your progress with weights. Every time you use a heavier weight than before on a set, get more reps with a particular weight, or complete a series of sets in less time give yourself a star in your journal. My FitBody Workout Journal is a very detailed logbook that I have put together specifically for competitors.
- 2. Use proper form. If you have any questions on how this workout should be done, check out our behind the article at 5 pillars to my fitness lifestyle plan
- 3. Make sure each exercise is working the correct area. Use a full range of motion on each exercise and choose, slow, concentrated reps over fast, half done reps.
Where to begin:
You can’t move forward until you know where you are. I start every competitors program by asking for beginning measurements and photos that show her current conditioning. These do not have to be fancy, but you need to first know your strengths and weaknesses. Take photos in a bathing suit from the front and the back then examine the photos comparing yourself with top Bikini athletes. Do you need to gain muscle? Lose bodyfat? Tone your abs, glutes, arms? Are you starting in a good place and just need some polishing or will reaching your goals take more time and effort? Each woman needs a different amount of time to achieve her dream body. This will not happen over night for 95% of us. Be realistic, but also positive. While it may be hard to take photos and to objectively critique your physique, we all start somewhere and knowing where we are starting allows us to celebrate our coming successes.
Your weight training routine is structured as a three-day split routine where you will be training each muscle group once per week. You’ll alternate between a 45 minute weight training routine one day and a 30 minute cardio session the next. You can adjust the days as necessary but you must get in 3 resistance training and at least 3 cardio sessions per week.
- Weight training routine
- Day 1: Shoulders / Biceps / Triceps
- Day 2: Cardio (Treadmill Intervals)
- Day 3: Quadriceps / Glutes / Hamstrings / Calves
- Day 4: Cardio (Stationary Bike Intervals)
- Day 5: Back / Chest / Abdominals
- Day 6: Cardio (Stair Climber or Elliptical)
Perform all exercises as a circuit, resting 1-2 mins between each circuit. Keep up a good pace during your workout. Perform a set, stretch the target muscle group, and then go right to your next set: lift – stretch – lift – stretch. This should be a fast pace, high intensity workout that challenges your muscles and your cardio vascular system.
In order to become your best *you*, you’ll have to train beyond your comfort zone. Once you become accustomed to the prescribed exercises, you’ll pick a weight that is heavy enough so that the last few repetitions are very difficult (nearly impossible) to finish. This is how you will get the fullest benefit in both tone and fat loss from your training. With a little experimentation you’ll soon have a good idea of exactly how much weight you need to use for each exercise.
Once you achieve "baseline" weights for your workouts keep progressing in one or more of the following areas each time you workout:
• Amount of resistance or weight used for a particular set.
• Number of reps performed with a particular weight.
• Reduce the amount of rest time between circuits.
• Train harder go for the burn.
BIKINI ATHLETE TRAINING – PROGRAM
DAY ONE: SHOULDERS, BICEPS, TRICEPS
Do one set of an exercise, stretch, then move immediately to the next exercise. Complete one set of each exercise in the Circuit before resting 1-2 mins and then repeating. Repeat the Circuit 2-3 times before moving to the next Circuit. To ensure proper performance of each exercise be sure to view the workout video on my website, www.julielohre.com. You’ll see Rachel and Jill as they go through this exact workout.
|DB Shoulder Press||10 reps|
|DB Curls standing on BOSU||10|
|DB Triceps Extension||10|
|DB Delt Skier Kickbacks||10|
|Cardio:||mins (1 min of moderate pace, followed by 3 intervals – 45 seconds hard/high intensity then 15 seconds recovery|
|Plate Front Raise||15 reps|
|One Arm Cable Curl||8 per arm (you can use bands if training at home)|
|Cardio||4 mins (1 min of moderate pace, followed by 3 intervals – 45 seconds hard/high intensity then 15 seconds recovery)|
|Plate Front Raise||15 reps|
|Stand Alone Exercise:||3 sets x 10 reps|
DAY TWO: 30 MINUTES CARDIO (TREADMILL) + 200 Crunches throughout the day broken down into sets as you would like.
DAY THREE: QUADRICEPS, GLUTES, HAMSTRINGS, CALVES
Same procedure as Day One. Repeat each Circuit 2-3 times.
|Excersie||(x ) Reps/Set|
|Quick Leg Press||20|
|Stiff-Legged Deadlift on BOSU||10 (squeeze glutes hard at top of each rep)|
|Cardio:||4 minutes of alternating jumping jacks for 30 seconds and pushups for 30 seconds|
|Lying Leg Curl||10 reps|
|Abductor/Adductor Machine||10 each|
|Cardio:||4 minutes of alternating Bench Rebound for 30 seconds and lying leg raises for 30|
DAY FOUR: 30 MINUTES CARDIO (STATIONARY BIKE) HILL OR INERVAL PROGRAM
DAY FIVE: BACK, CHEST, ABDOMINALS
|Excersie||(x ) Reps/Set|
|Incline Bench Press||10 reps|
|Bent Row (BB, DB, or Cable)||10|
|Cable Crossover Pulses||20|
|Oblique Medicine Ball Crunchesl||20|
|Cardio:||mins (1 min of moderate pace, followed by 3 intervals – 45 seconds hard/high intensity then 15 seconds recovery)|
|Excersie||(x ) Reps/Set|
|Pushups (with feet elevated if possible)||10|
|Curl Grip Pulldown||10|
|Up down plan holds||30 seconds|
|Cardio:||25 Medicine Ball Rebounds, 25 Lateral Skis, 25 Squat Thrusts|
DAY SIX: 30 MINUTES CARDIO (STAIR MASTER OR ELLIPTICAL) HILL OR INTERVAL PROGRAM
DAY SEVEN: REST
Many Bikini athletes take one or more cardio classes during the week in addition to, or in place of their scheduled cardio days.
- Jill Taylor At A Glance
- Age: 28
- Occupation: Development Associate, United Way of Greater Cincinnati (full-time);
- Academic Affairs, Communication & Recruitment Coordinator, Ohio State University, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine (part-time)
- Family: Husband, Chris Sanders Taylor, two cats/ furry children – Ping & Pong
- Current Residence: Cincinnati, OH
- Height: 5’8"
- Contest Weight: 133 (I think this is where I was when I last weighed in?)
- How did you decide to compete in Bikini? I was looking for a way to re-motivate myself in my fitness and nutrition, as well as personally a way to push myself beyond my normal routine. I considered training for some sort of competition, but wasn’t sure what. After some searching online, I came across Julie Lohre’s website. Initially I contacted Julie thinking about training for a figure competition; however, after speaking with Julie about my person goals, I learned about the Bikini division, which seemed to be a good balance for me. It was a way to challenge myself as an athlete, as well as push me outside of my comfort zone and allow for expansion and expression of my personality as well.
- Favorite Fitness Meal: Lean hamburger with fat free cheese and sweet potato chips sprinkled with cinnamon. I’ve also discovered great low carb/high fiber wraps (Ole/5g carbs/wrap) that I can enjoy with grilled chicken or lean sirloin with sauted mushrooms, onions and light Laughing Cow cheese!
- Favorite Supplement: Beverly International UMP (Ultimate Muscle Protein Cookies & Créme)!
- Most Inspiring Book: Eat, Pray, Love Elizabeth Gilbert; Most Entertaining Janet Evanovich Stephanie Plum series! Hobbies or interests outside of fitness: I love being outdoors, so hiking and visiting parks is an ideal day for me! Being with family and friends, watching movies and laughing!
Words to live by: To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not, rich; to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart; to study hard; to think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common--this is my symphony. ˜ William Henry Channing
- Rachel Fazzalaro At A Glance
- Age: 27
- Occupation: Project Manager – Convergys
- Family: My sweet husband, two dogs Oliver and Sprocket and a crazy cat Milo Current Residence: Bellevue, KY
- Height: 5’4"
- Weight: Off Season – 115; Contest – 110
- How did you decide to compete in Bikini?: I started working out just to feel and look better for myself. Once I learned about Bikini I loved the idea of competition and seemed to have a knack for the posing. It became my new motivation in the gym!
- What is your favorite part of being a Bikini Competitor? I love walking on stage each time to show the progress I’ve made. Those few minutes in the spot light make all of the early mornings in the gym and meals packed each day worth it! Even bigger than being on stage though, many people in my life have become more interested in their own health and fitness after learning about what I do each day and watching my progress over time. To me the most rewarding part is knowing I’ve inspired someone else to take control of their health just by setting an example.
- Favorite Fitness Meal: UMP Banana Split – Toast one piece of Ezekiel bread. Spread 1 tbsp of peanut butter on the Ezekiel bread (I like crunchy). Place banana slices on top of the peanut butter. Top it off with one scoop of vanilla UMP mixed with just enough water to make a pudding consistency! Yummy!!! I love having this for breakfast!!
- Favorite Supplements: I can’t live without my UMP!!! Chocolate, Vanilla, Cookies and Créme – It all tastes amazing!!! I eat UMP pudding nearly every day and I never get tired of it. In fact, I always look forward to it! What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before? I haven’t tried a Beverly product yet that I don’t love! Along with UMP I always use Lean Out and GH Factor pre contest to speed up fat loss. GlutamineSelect is also a must have!
- In your CD player: Louis Prima
- Most Inspiring Book: I recently read "The China Study" by T. Colin Campbell. Very eye opening book about diet and health. Hobby or interests outside of fitness: I enjoy learning about nutrition, growing my own veggies and herbs and tending to my orchids and other plants. I also love cooking with my husband. We always have so much fun creating new recipes. Most of them are good... others – not so much. It is always fun though.
Words to live by: "Well behaved women rarely make history." ˜ Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
Women’s Physique and My Return to Competition
I keep consistent is hitting every body part once per week and then recapping upper body and lower body.
Advice to the First Time Figure Competitor
A typical week looked like during a muscle gaining/lose fat phase.