It’s hard to tell if you are on track or not! Or if you are even tracking the right things to ensure you reach your show goals.
This is why I created a training program specifically for newbies to help them learn the right system of preparing for a competition and tracking their progress. You need to be able to understand what should be happening at each phase of your program.
So, let’s talk about tracking. You will get real frustrated if the only way you judged your progress was with the scale. That thing is not your friend, right? lol But it is part of the total weekly assessment you need to do in order to reach the stage.
Here are a few signs that indicate you are making progress:
1. Your measurements are changing. You should begin your training with an initial assessment. Here you would take down a few numbers to help you keep good track of your program. Start with these basic measurements.
-Shoulders (both arms down at your side, at the widest point from shoulder to shoulder)
-Chest (lift up your arms, wrap the tape measure around your chest, just above the nipple, and then lower your arms)
-Bicep (either left or right, but be consistent)
-Waist (at the belly button for consistency)
-Hips (measure the widest part of your hips)
-Thigh (left or right, but pick the same spot on your thigh each week)
I would also document your weight and body fat. Get a good digital scale and weigh in the morning at the same time (before food). You can use a caliper or hand held fat analyzer for consistency and convenience. To get the most accurate numbers, I’d recommend an Inbody or Bodpod test.
If the scale is going up – 2 things could be happening:
a) You could be adding more muscle and dropping body fat. Taking your body fat will help you confirm this. Generally you want to increase muscle mass and reduce overall body fat in the right areas to be competitive on stage.
b) You could be gaining more fat or your body is reacting to an upcoming cycle or other hormonal imbalance. Keep a good record of when your cycle begins and the weight before to understand how much you gain during this time. If the gain persists and your measurements are not improving otherwise, you may want to visit your healthcare professional to ensure there is nothing going on internally that could be causing the gain. Certain medications can have side effects that cause weight gain, so check anything you are taking to get more insight.
Hey, if you are not adhering to the diet, the training, or supplementation consistently–that is probably the culprit. Get back on track!
2. You look different. On stage, its about how you look. The judges are not going to ask you how much you weigh or how hard you trained. Its the final package you present visually that will decide your placing. I would suggest you take photos the first week and continue throughout your prep. Also, have a qualified coach or fitness professional help you access the visual & physiological changes to ensure you are improving weekly for the most part. Some weeks you may take a step back in the numbers but that is just the body trying to reset. Just don’t let weeks go by and you are not able to see progress.
3. You are getting stronger. If you are lifting heavier and adding more load/challenge to your workouts without injury, that is an indication your body has started reacting favorably to your program. You should be keeping a workout journal to help you remember the exercises and weights used each workout.
There are some milestones you need to achieve and they should be happening during weeks 8, 4 and 1. With the right program or coach, every week you should be looking and feeling more like a figure girl!
Contact me here if you need help creating a custom program to the stage.