USA Physique
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The Impact of Body Fat on Anabolism: Exploring the Optimal Body Fat Percentage for Men and Women

Introduction Anabolism, the process of building and repairing tissues in the body, plays a crucial role in promoting muscle growth, strength development, and overall physical performance. While factors such as nutrition, exercise, and hormones significantly influence anabolism, emerging research suggests that body fat percentage can also have a notable impact on this process. In this article, we delve into the relationship between body fat and anabolism, exploring whether a specific body fat percentage exists that is optimal for anabolic processes, Read More

Bodybuilding Terminology: A glossary of terms

Bodybuilding Terminology - A Glossary of Terms
Using and understanding bodybuilding terminology is essential for effective communication in the sport. Bodybuilding has its own language, and using the right terminology can help you connect with others who share your passion. (we will continue to update) Here are a few reasons why. Proper form and technique: Bodybuilding terminology often refers to specific exercises, techniques, and form cues. Knowing these terms will help competitors perform exercises correctly and reduce the risk of injury. For example, knowing the term “squat Read More

Understanding the Science: Mechanisms of Muscle Hypertrophy and Workout Optimization

mechanisms of muscle hypertrophy
Not getting the results you want? Claim Your FREE Copy of The 5 Biggest Myths in Health and Fitness today!  Muscle hypertrophy is a process of muscle growth that occurs when the body is subjected to repeated bouts of resistance training. It is a complex process that involves a variety of physiological mechanisms, such as protein synthesis, muscle fiber recruitment, muscle damage, hormone regulation, metabolic stress, and muscle tension. By understanding the science behind muscle hypertrophy you can optimize your Read More

Metabolic Factor Explained

The Metabolic Factor is a simple calculation and rating scale we use to determine if a client is metabolically ready for prep. Itโ€™s remarkably simple and everyone can use it. Maintenance Calories divided by weight. If you are in a surplus or deficit, you will need to use your โ€œcalculatedโ€ maintenance. Background Iโ€™m a data junkie. For the previous 20 years prior to becoming a coach, I was an eagle-eyed analyst for the DoD, CDC and Department of Veterans Affairs Read More

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Peak Week, your last chance to put all the pieces together to deliver your best physical possible once you hit the stage. It can make or break even the best competitor. Nail your peak, and you will be walking off the stage with your head held high. However, even the slightest miscalculation can leave you disappointed and take a physique destined for First Place, thrown into a Second Call-Out placement. Before you read any further, you need to understand what Read More

Understanding Peak Week – The Three Criteria

Peak Week, โ€œThe final week leading up to a bodybuilding contest and the sole purpose is to โ€œfine-tuneโ€ the athleteโ€™s physique for the grand reveal on the stage.โ€ Although there is no specific definition of Peak Week, this statement summarizes it best. The three criteria that must be met prior to Peak Week for a bodybuilder to optimize his or her peak are: being stage lean, knowing and stabilizing macronutrients, knowing and stabilizing sodium and water intake. If any one Read More

Are You Doing the Wrong Show?

Is there even such a thing as a show being the wrong show for you?  Can the show you select before starting prep end up also being the first ingredient in your recipe for disaster on show day?  Positively, yes maโ€™am, the show that you pick can be the difference between feeling like a rising star or falling flat on your face. You know youโ€™ve either heard of, used, purchased, sold, or at least seen a โ€œprepโ€ plan where the 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! Iโ€™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

Accomplish Off-Season gains while still in Contest Prep

Up until recently, the idea of simultaneously being in contest prep and off-season seemed like a far-fetched fantasy. Typically, off-season and contest prep are viewed as two distinct phases. During the off-season, the objective is to swiftly rebuild lean muscle mass and enhance metabolic capacity while minimizing excess body fat. Eventually, the goal is to surpass previous levels of muscle mass and continue building even more. This is the way it has โ€œalways been done.โ€ However, that is no longer 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

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 โ€œPlateausโ€ 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 โ€œstandardโ€ 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. Fiberโ€™s effects on digestion and cholesterol are big, but fiber is also a decent thermogenic and helps with Satiety, which is defined as โ€œthe absence of hungerโ€โ€ฆor feeling full. In addition, when athletes start to experience gastrointestinal (GI) distress, especially in the later Read More

Don’t Trust the Process — Learn it!

Not everyone wants you to have the tools to succeed. Keep that in mind when youโ€™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

What makes a chemical TOXIC?

If I told you that Vitamin D is more toxic than Nicotine, Ethanol, Trichloroethylene and Sucroseโ€ฆyou would probably think I am crazy.ย  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 โ€œtoxicity,โ€ 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.ย  We consider ourselves โ€œcardio minimalistsโ€, 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.ย However, cardio is not your friend when it comes to building an โ€œoptimal physique”.ย 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 โ€œoffseasonโ€ isnโ€™t it? A: If you want just to compete in a bodybuilding competition and do pretty good, noโ€ฆyou 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