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Accomplish Off-Season gains while still in Contest Prep

Until recently, the thought of being in contest prep and off-season at the same time was just a pipe dream. By traditional standards, off-season and contest prep are two different animals. The goal of off-season is to regain lean muscle mass and increase your metabolic capacity as quick as you can while limiting unnecessary body-fat and eventually get to a point where we are no longer regaining lost muscle, we are adding more. This is the way it has “always Read More

How to Reverse Diet Correctly Post Contest Prep

Team USA Phys
Executing a Reverse Diet immediately after Contest Prep can go a long way to set your next Contest Prep under more favorable conditions.  Doing so you can increase your rate of muscle gain while keeping body fat accumulation down.  This can have a very positive effect on increasing your Metabolic Rate while decreasing the amount of time it will take to regain muscle loss due to prep. In addition, it can help restore hormone function much quicker, and decrease the Read More

Don’t Trust the Process — Learn it!

Not everyone wants you to have the tools to succeed. Keep that in mind when you’re being given advice and when you take advice. I am a member of multiple groups for bodybuilding competitors on Social Media and try to help as many people as I can. It doesn’t matter whether they are my clients or not, because I love the sport. This is why I created the group “Bikini, Wellness, Figure Competition Guidance” because I was banned from a Read More

Are you dropping calories too much or too fast during prep?

Recently, A member of our “Bikini, Wellness and Figure Guidence Facebook Group” made a comment about how much she (her coach) dropped calories in her last prep. To summarize, after the initial cut, each adjustment was two hundred calories! I’m glad she shared this because it inspired me to write this. I do not know for certain if it was meal plan based or macros. My guess is meal plans since this is a typical structure of meal plans during Read More

Weight Loss Plateaus and Stalls

How are you handling weight loss plateaus?When we diet down in contest prep, or any other diet really, we are going to run into weight loss stalls.  These stalls, or “Plateaus” are a normal part of the dieting process contributing to Metabolic Adaptation.Why does this occur?Well, there are many factors that can contribute to Metabolic Adaptation but the most common ones are weight loss itself, loss of lean muscle mass (the more muscle we have the more calories we need Read More

Today’s Bikini Competitor

USA Physique Bikini Athlete Valerie Ocano
THERE IS A DIFFERENCE IN THE JUDGING CRITERIA AND JUDGING TREND Looking to compete in the Bikini class in 2022? Let me shed some light on the physique of Today’s Bikini Competitor. If you think coming in soft without well developed muscle from lifting a lot of weight, but doing hours and hours of cardio and circuit training will put you in the top spot…think again. A few years ago, maybe. But not so much anymore. Before you blast me Read More

The Five Phases of Contest Prep

Preparing for a Bodybuilding Competition can be a daunting task. Unfortunately, too many competitors (and unfortunately, too many coaches) rely too heavily on the so called “standard” 12- and 16-week Contest Prep Plans. Doing so, you set yourself up with a race against the clock and have little to no room for error. (Pictured Above: USA Physique Athlete McKay George) There is no crystal ball that so many people think they have. What happens if you have an injury, get Read More

Are you paying attention to your Fiber?

PRO TIP: Pay attention to your fiber. When we conduct our consultations, it still amazes me that so many competitors have no idea how much fiber they are getting. Fiber plays an important role in your nutrition. Fiber’s effects on digestion and cholesterol are big, but fiber is also a decent thermogenic and helps with Satiety, which is defined as “the absence of hunger”…or feeling full. In addition, when athletes start to experience gastrointestinal (GI) distress, especially in the later Read More

What makes a chemical TOXIC?

If I told you that Vitamin D is more toxic than Nicotine, Ethanol, Trichloroethylene and Sucrose…you would probably think I am crazy.  But now that I have your attention, I will get back to that in a minute. Toxicity of Chemicals. First off, let me state we are specifically referring to “toxicity,” not things that can cause other health issues like cancer, diabetes, etc., though that is certainly the case for some. Did you know that rice contains arsenic?  That Read More

What are Judges looking for in a Wellness Competitor?

  What exactly are the judges looking for in an NPC and IFBB bodybuilding competition? If you have also found yourself wondering what judges are looking for, particularly from the new Wellness division, we’re here to help! Many competitors come to us and tell us that it is very hard to determine what the judges are looking for. One of the reasons is they see a competitor win a show who they feel is too hard. In other shows a Read More

What are Judges looking for in a Bikini Competitor?

What exactly are the judges looking for in an NPC and IFBB bodybuilding competition? If you have also found yourself wondering what judges are looking for, we’ve got that covered for you! Many competitors come to us and tell us that it is very hard to determine what the judges are looking for. One of the reasons is they see a competitor win a show who they feel is too hard. In other shows a competitor may win who seems Read More

The Cardio Minimalist

For those who compete in Bodybuilding, cardio is a big issue and philosophies are all over the place.  We consider ourselves “cardio minimalists”, with respect to offseason and contest prep. Cardio is fantastic for general health purposes and it does well for fat loss, and keeping fat gain in check when used responsibly. However, cardio is not your friend when it comes to building an “optimal physique”. Yet on the same token, it will eventually become a necessary evil when it comes Read More

Do I Really Need A Coach for a Bodybuilding Competition?

Q: Do I really need a coach for a bodybuilding competition? If so, when do I actually need one because that is a lot of money to spend in the “offseason” isn’t it? A: If you want just to compete in a bodybuilding competition and do pretty good, no…you do not need a coach. If you want to compete in a smaller federation where softer physiques are the norm and competition might not be as fierce, you may not need Read More

Why I call people out for giving bad advice

Why do I call out people for giving bad advice to competitors? Why don’t I just keep scrolling and mind my own business? Because I take this seriously. Coaching is my chosen profession and because there are no licensing regulations and literally ANYONE at any level can claim to be a prep coach and take money from unsuspecting competitors because we like to think that people wouldn’t charge for a service if they actually aren’t experts. But mostly because I’ve Read More

After your Bodybuilding show

You’ve just completed the final show of your season, you’ve been living on poverty carbs and fats for weeks on end…but what now? First, take what I am saying with a grain of salt, because a single post cannot cover it all. Though it is not overly complicated, there is no one size fits all…this is just the basics. Hopefully you or your coach put a plan together to get you started on the right path AND you were in Read More

Quality Matters – The USA Physique Coach

2019 Emerald Cup Bikini Overall Champion Jessica Roy - Team USA Physique
As I reflect back on this weekend’s Emerald Cup, I can’t help but focus on the most asked question, “How many competitors do you have here?” When we replied with “Just one” the excitement on people’s faces dulled slightly as they politely ended the conversation. This happens with fellow coaches, other competitors, and just your average spectators. Quantity is best, or is it? The assumption always seems to be that quantity is where it’s at. I get it. If I’m Read More

Online Coaching, Online Training

Online Coaching, Online Training
Online Training has taken the Prep Coach career to a new level. How it works differ from coach to coach. Many coaches only allow check-ins once a week, and may even ask you to hold all questions until then, and there are a few that allow for 24hr communication. Some will give you a workout program that is shared by others, and some will customize them for you. When you are looking for a coach, you should do your homework. Read More

The Effects of Water & Sodium Manipulation in Bodybuilding 2.0

WATER and SODIUM manipulation during Peak Week of your Contest Prep…why this common bro science protocol is a bad idea! Bro Science It’s Peak Week, and I think that we all can agree that we all have a common goal here. We need to load as much water into the muscle cells, keeping you fully hydrated, while limiting the water underneath the skin (subcutaneous layer). That’s all fine and dandy, but lets separate fact from fiction. Rather, “Science” from “Bro Read More

Peak Week Water and Sodium Manipulation

water and sodium manipulation
The stage is upon you as you begin your peak week water and sodium manipulation protocol in preparation of your next Bodybuilding Show. Stop me if you have heard this before… Trust the Process 2 weeks out from your bodybuilding show, your physique looks fantastic. Conditioning is on point, you’re dry and look like you belong on stage as peak week approaches. Doesn’t matter if you’re in a Bikini class or a bodybuilder…still applies. Around 7-14 days out the water Read More