Muscle Sport Magazine

Some Pointers Regarding Figure Competition Prep

Some of the main things that the judges are looking for in the figure class are: round shoulders, defined abdominals, outer quad sweep and back width. These are areas that should be concentrated on, especially towards the end of contest prep.


Side lateral raises are a good movement for the delt roundness to come out. Be sure to always incorporate some type in your routine, albeit standing or seated, free weights or machines.

To obtain defined abs, it’s obviously diet and cardio that are the main components and should be utilized. But there is a simple strategy hiding right in front of you. When you first began weight training, the old school mantra of ‘light weight and high reps for cuts’ was part of the two-pronged plan (along with ‘heavy weight and low reps for bulk’). Although this is not an exact science, of course, it can be used to your advantage for your ab workout.


By making the resistance harder with even a very light weight, crunches, leg lifts, etc. are enhanced ten-fold. You should only use as much weight to allow for a high number of reps, 12-15 at the least per set. Here are a few exercises to try with this in mind:


  • Weighted Crunch Bench- many gyms have crunch benches that have a bar behind the head rest to allow for added plates. Even a 5-or-10 pound plate can be make a huge difference in your sets.
  • Hanging Leg Raises- the quintessential lower ab movement can be improved by holding a light dumbbell between your feet. Do a set of 12 and drop it and do 12 more with no added weight. Four sets of these and you’ll feel it immediately.
  • Weighted Rope Crunches- put the key on a moderate weight to start with and instead of holding the rope (or another cable handle, my favorite is a single handle) over your head and ears, hold it out and slightly over your forehead. Do a 45 degree angle rep and this method will work your entire abdominal wall top to bottom, especially when you are at the highest part of the rep. Concentrate on feeling the full wall work with each rep and be sure to maintain that 45 degree angle, which is key to doing this right.



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