I love questions! A few came through following publication of my email addy in the last Oxygen magazine but not as many as I'd hoped! I certainly don't pretend to be an expert and have all the answers but I know how helpful asking questions was when I first got started and I always feel very humbled when someone is motivated enough to want my opinion.
This one's very general but I thought I'd share:
My name is Sarah* and I'm 23 years old. I've been doing some bodyscuplting training, it must be about 6 weeks since i started, and i'm not getting as much defination as I thought I would have by now. I play alot of sport, so that is my cardio work. I have just started weight training 3 days a week, as I have sport the other days and Saturday as is my rest day and I play sport on Sundays.
I would just like to know how you go about training and diet?
Thanks very much for your email. So you say that you have been training with weights three times per week for about six weeks now? I think that’s a good place to start and over time you may want to increase this to four sessions per week to pay more attention to each muscle group. I currently do a four day weights split and would increase this to five days when preparing for a competition.
How much definition you can see depends both on how much muscle you have and your body fat percentage. If you started a diet to lean down, over time you would see more lines and definition coming though and separation between the muscle groups. It sounds like you are doing plenty of cardio, so perhaps turning your attention to your diet and making sure its mostly clean, unprocessed foods would certainly help you drop some excess body fat and make you feel more confident about the progress you are making with your training.
Try not to be too impatient though, unfortunately us girls are significantly disadvantaged as compared to men in the hormone department to grow big muscles or lean down.
Really enjoy your training, lift as heavy as you can with good form, train all muscle groups and be really consistent. When you see any woman with noticeable muscle definition you can be sure she has worked long and hard for it (or has incredible genetics… bitch! Haha).
Is it your goal to compete in a bodysculpting competition? Its not for anyone to say how long someone should train for before they do this because everyone is different and makes progress at different paces. I can only use myself as an example, I had been consistently training with weights for about three years before I started my competition preparation (diet) to compete in bodysculpting. I believe this gave me a good foundation and enough definition to compete successfully in the novice category however, I would I need quite a bit more muscular size in order to be competitive in higher categories. When it comes to natural competitions, the women in their 40's look the best because they have been training for so long and have the muscle thickness and maturity that only comes with time. While conditioning is very important to your success, novice competitors run the risk of dieting down to waif like proportions! The key there is to find the balance that looks right on you. Judging in Figure (bodysculpting) can be very subjective and depends on a person's overall look.
*Name changed for privacy
So have you all had a good look at the results and pics from the 2010 Arnold Classic? I agree with Ali's commentary which you can read at http://mesocorp.blogspot.com/2010/03/direction-of-figure.html You have to laugh at the paint edits too.
That's why my picture is of second place winner Erin Stern I know everyone has a different opinion about what a figure competitor should look like nowadays - for me, this girl doesn't have a great degree of muscle size but I like her shape, conditioning is great (see the lines in the quads) and I like her overall look - its always going to come back to this!!
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