bikini competition training

Top 8 Exercises for Building a Booty

For bikini competitors, having a butt is a requirement. If you weren’t genetically blessed with a booty at birth, these are the best exercises I have found to help bolster your backside. Click on the name of the exercise for instructions.

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1. Squats – Squats are the classic but builder. If you have been intimidated by the squat rack, its time to get over it and go squat!

2. Stiff Leg Deadlifts – Deadlifts Help strengthen hamstrings and the stiff leg version is particularly effective at hitting that spot where the glutes and hamstrings meet.

3. Hip Thrusts – Admittedly this exercise can feel silly, but trust me this is an awesome workout for your glutes.

4. Lunges – One bikini judge told me the best way to build a great butt is to do lunges, loading up the bar as heavy as you can and stepping out as far as you can. What can I say, he was right!

5. Single Leg Hack Squats – I found this exercise quite by accident but it is very effective. I always feel it the next day, and sometimes a few days after.

6. Kick Backs – This is a great exercise for really targeting glut muscles and lifting your back side.

7. Glute Bridge – Glute bridges are a great way to work the glutes in hip extension. Even using just body weight, single leg glute bridges are a killer.

8. Hip Abduction– This helps strengthen the outer thigh and glute area which helps create the desired roundness to glutes.

What are your favorite glute exercises?

How to Get Rid of Stubborn Fat — No Gimmicks!

Hey guys!

Do you have stubborn fat? You know what I am talking about– your body just favors one place to store fat over another place. For women its usually but and thighs for guys its usually the gut.

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One roadblock I had been coming up against is losing the fat right around my belly button. I am thin– 120lb and 5’7″– and I stay around that weight even when I am not competing but the fat right at my belly button does not want to go anywhere!

I started noticing this after I had my son, I know that it is not just loose skin. At first I thought it was due to a hormonal change, and some people said that when they stopped breast feeding they lost weight in there belly, but unfortunately for me this did not happen.

If you are a competitor, you know that a small waist is one of the key points that they look for and my body was just not cooperating.

So you know what I did, I decreased my calories a little bit and increased my cardio a little bit and my waist has come down an inch!

I believe that our body stores fat in preferred zones for many reasons including genetics and hormones. Although it may be the last fat to come off, it will come off if you continue dieting and exercising properly. While that body part may never look as good as someone who is more genetically gifted in that area, trust that by continuing to lose weight that fat will come off. Losing weight is a game of calories in vs. calories out.

I have heard several different theories on how to spot reduce, but I do not believe anything has ever been clinically proven to reduce fat in a targeted region.

That’s the beauty of body building– you can’t choose where you burn fat but you can choose wear you build muscle, its all about building muscle to create the illusion of  the figure you want and then losing the fat to reveal that frame.

Although it can be hard to trust the process and you may feel like you will never lose that last little bit of stubborn fat. I promise that it will come off if you stick with you diet and track your progress. Hope that helps!

Where do you store fat? Do you believe you can spot reduce?

 

Reflection

Hey guys! I have not posted in a while. I had planned on doing two competitions in the past few weeks but I ended up just doing one. I placed disappointingly at a local show and decided that it was not worth the extra expense to do the national show I had planned on doing if I didn’t think I had a chance at winning.

The good news is that I definitely see improvement since last year.

Front pose east coast 2014

2014 Front

Back pose east coast 2014

2014 Back

val npc nationals front pose

2013 Front

Looking good from behind ;)

2013 Back

Check out the huge difference in my rear view!

The bad news is my feed back– I need to work on my conditioning!

I really want to be honest with you all. I have been competing under the premise that you can be healthy and still win, but now I am not so sure.

I have been healthy so far in my preps– eating whole foods, watching my calories and macros without cutting them to extremes, doing reasonable albeit challenging workouts (no two a day cardio).

Maybe that is not enough to win. Maybe you have to cut calories to extremes and workout like crazy and maybe even take banned substances. I have made huge gains this year but is it enough? Will it ever be enough? Can I go pro without sacrificing everything else in my life?

I SURE HOPE SO!

I am going to keep trying. I have been a little stricter with my diet and kicked up the intensity on my workouts and I am seeing results. I have a competition planned for August 16th so I will see how my new strategy works.

I love this sport because of the challenge to improve yourself and your body. I am constantly motivated to learn more about diet and exercise. Until I lose that love I will keep going and keep trying to prove that a healthy-looking body should be a healthy body.

What are your thoughts? Do you compete? Do you think competing requires extremes?

PS I’ll post a competition re-cap soon!

XOXO

FitVal

My workouts lately

So in my last post I let you know what I do to work out on vacation. In this post I will let you in on what I have been doing to stay in shape during my normal week. Right now I am in the “off season” and I really haven’t planned my 2014 competition season yet. I am just focusing on building muscle– especially glutes and shoulders– while toning down my waist.

During my competition prep I found that a traditional body building routine really worked well for my body. It also just so happens that I really enjoy that style of training. I try to go as heavy as possible maintaining good form and have broken it into an upper body/ lower body split, with one day thrown in to focus on glutes. I designed this program for myself but I am looking forward to meeting with my trainer in two weeks and finding out how she thinks I am progressing and how she will change my routine.

M,W,F

  • Bicep Curls- 3 x 10
  • Shoulder Press- 3 x 10
  • Tricep extensions- 3 x 10 on each side
  • Front/Lateral raise superset- 3 x 8
  • Lat Pull Downs- 3 x 8-10
  • Cable Row- 3 x 8-10
  • Incline Chest Press- 3 x 10

T, Th (Lower Body)

  • Squats 3 x 10 with 1 warm-up set
  • Deadlifts 3 x 10 with 1 warm-up set
  • Leg Press 3 x 10 with 1 warm-up set
  • Leg Curl 3 x 10
  • Leg Extensions 3 x 10
  • Calve Raises 4 x 10

Sat (Glute Focus)

  • Squats 3 x 10 with 1 warm-up set
  • Hip Thrusts (with loaded bar bell) 4 x 10
  • Smith Machine Lunges 3 x 10 on each leg
  • Pull Through Squats 4 x 10
  • Butt Machine 4 x 10 on each leg

I do mix things up weekly and sometimes change the weight and reps/sets depending on how I am feeling but this is really the bones of my program. What kind of work-out routine are you doing lately? Do you find a traditional body building plan works for you or do you do something else?

Exercising through the FLU

Hi guys! I am officially less than a week out from my national competition!

I haven’t written in a while because I have been sick. It started Tuesday after teaching classes. I started feeling VERY tired and sore all over, I thought it might be overtraining, but just didn’t feel right. Something was telling me it was the flu… I asked my husband if he thought I had a fever, too lazy to find a thermometer I decided to use his touch for the judgement, and he confirmed it for me. Basically I spent the rest of the day in bed.

I asked my coach if she thought I should still try to go to the gym and she recommended that I stay home. 2 days and a lot of dayquil later, I felt pretty much back to normal, but a LOT weaker in my workouts. It was really disheartening since my competition is so close, I want to put my best effort forward, but I got knocked on my butt by the flu.

That got me thinking, what really happens when you are sick? are you catabolic (breaking down muscle) How many calories do you need? more or less than a normal rest day? can/should you work out?

The normal advice I hear on working out while sick is that if your symptoms are above your neck, you can work out if you feel like. This has held pretty true for me. When it comes to head colds with a stuffy nose and sore throat, working out usually makes me feel a little better. But if I am feeling sick to my stomach, dizzy or have a fever, working out (yes I have tried it before) usually just results in me ending up as a pale sweaty mess almost ready to pass out.

I also found this article that explains “if you have the flu, your body is already fighting a catabolic state caused by the Influenza virus. In this case, weight training would only add more catabolism, which in turn would negatively affect the efficacy of the immune system against the virus, causing you to get sicker.” Makes sense, right?

But the only scientific article I found was on subject who had been infected with a cold and they found that exercise made no difference on symptoms.