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My Fitness Program used for the European Championships

2008 MuscleMania Fitness Universe Italia Ms. Bikini

2008 MuscleMania Fitness Universe Italia Ms. Bikini

This is a blog dated from February 2008:

I am training for a fitness competition in April and a few people have asked, “How did you get those legs? arms? flat tummy?..” So here’s the details.

There are three components to my training: weights, cardio, and nutrition.

Weight training is the key to having curves and tone. All sets use heavy weights which increase after each set. The last set should be extremely difficult to complete and you may only be able to do 8 or 10 reps but you use mental power to do the last couple repetitions, don’t give up! For example, for the leg press I use the machine and set the initial weight as 140. Second set is 160. Third set is 160+10. Fourth set is 180.

Key thing to remember with weight training is that you must push yourself and to use weights that are heavy.

Cardio is key to burn fat. Everyday I do 1 – 1.5 hour of cardio, the ab workout, in addition to the scheduled weight training. Usually 30 -45 min bike in the morning and 30 – 45 min elliptical (moonwalk machine) in the evening. Wednesday and Saturday I try to do cardio as well but if I’m really tired then I take the day off. My goal is to get to very low body fat for my competition so my routine is a bit heavy for now. Off season I plan to 3-4 days of cardio of 30 min.

Nutrition is 80% of the hard work in my program. If there is a layer of fat on my abs, all the crunches in the world will not do any good so I am strict about my diet and afford one cheat meal a week (used to be cheat day) to keep my sanity. A cheat meal means I can eat anything I want and I save this as my “prize” for the tough week. I eat as close to “nature” as possible meaning that if the food has been processed or comes in a wrapper I do not eat it. Avoid processed foods. If it grows, flys, or swims then eat it.

Stage Ready Nutriton & Training by Brian Cannone

Basically I eat every 2-3 hours –

Breakfast: 1 cup Oatmeal or muesli. No sugar, only skim milk. I also try to eat 2 egg whites (hard boiled eggs with the yolk popped out) usually or maybe a few slices of smoked salmon or lean lunch meat (sliced ham) because the protein helps kill the hunger pains.

1st Snack: Fruit or veggie. Today I had a 1/2 raw yellow bell pepper. Usually I have a plain lowfat yogurt cup or cottage cheese too.

Lunch: rice or sweet potatoes/yams (although they are difficult to find at the grocery store). About 1 cup cooked max. I have 1-2 cups of veggies as well, the greener the better. Spinach, broccoli, brussels spouts, carrots, bell peppers, etc. Stay away from regular potatoes, full of starch. Farmers feed this to livestock to fatten them up. Meat is fish, or any lean meat, cutting off all the fat. For this week I cooked up some chicken breast, lean ground beef meatballs, and fish. The amount of meat if you eyeball it is about the size of your palm or a deck of cards. Maybe I’ll have a leafy salad with homemade vinaigrette (1 part balsamic vinegar, 1 part olive oil, salt, pepper, crushed garlic), nuts, dried berries or raisins, olives, cornichons. No cheese.

2nd Snack: Fruit and/or veggie. Today it will be a banana and apple. Sometimes I have a cup of soup.

3rd Snack (at home): Right before the gym I have to have some protein (canned tuna, raw sashimi salmon, chicken breast) just because I’m starving. Usually the size of the palm of my hand or a deck of cards.

Dinner: Same as lunch.

Some principles of my diet:

· I never drink soda or juice and avoid any additional sugar in my diet. Juice seems healthy but it’s healthy when it comes in the fruit with the fiber. When it is stripped from the fiber, it is just pure sugar.

· I stopped drinking alcohol for now.

· Drink alot of water, about 4 liters/day

· Eat unlimited vegetables.

· Take a multivitamin and glutamine supplement which helps my body recover from training very hard.

· Try to avoid eating meal replacements like protein shakes and protein bars. Instead eat real food which your body will process much easier/efficiently.

· I count calories and try to keep my diet around 1300 calories/day. Max is 1500, only special occasions. I’m 163cm and 1300/day is my resting metabolic rate according to my calculations.

· No cheese.

· No white bread. I may have one whole wheat pita on occasion.

· Brown rice, yams, Quinoa, Cracked wheat, occasional whole wheat pita, plain rice cakes etc are often my carbs.

· No chocolates, candies, or sweets exist in my house. If it’s there, i’ll devour it in a heart beat.

· No pasta.

· I bake all of my food rather than frying. You have to have some fat in your diet in order to survive so I try to get it from veggie sources like avocado (guacamole = avocado, minced onion, lemon juice, 1 clove garlic, salt/pepper), mixed nuts, 2 tsp olive oil max.

Actual Exercise

If you are unsure what the exercise means, you can usually Google the term.

DB = dumbbell

Monday – Quads/Calves:

* Machine Leg Press 4 sets x 12 reps
* DB Lunges 4 sets x 12 reps
* Machine Leg Extensions 4 sets x 12 reps
* DB Standing Calf Raises 3 sets x 15 reps

Tuesday – Back:

* Machine Lat Pulldown 4 sets x 12 reps
* DB Rows 4 sets x 12 reps
* Cable Straight Arm Pulldowns 4 sets x 12


FMI 728x90

Wednesday – Cardio Only or Rest

Thursday – Chest/Shoulders:

* Cable Crossovers 4 sets x 12 reps
* DB Flies and DB Press superset 4 sets x 12 reps
* DB Lateral Raises 4 sets x 12 reps
* DB Front Raises 4 sets x 12 reps

Friday – Triceps/Biceps:

* Cable Pushdowns 4 sets x 12 reps
* DB Kickbacks 4 sets x 12 reps
* Tricep Dips off a bench 4 sets x 12 reps
* DB Hammer Curls 4 sets x 12 reps
* Standing DB Curls 4 sets x 12 reps

Saturday – Cardio Only or Rest

Sunday – Hamstrings

* One Leg in Air Pelvic Pop 4 sets x 12 reps
* Cable Lying Leg Curls 4 sets x 12
* Barbell Stiff-leg Deadlifts 4 sets x 12

Abs Workout Everyday

* Bicycle crunches 4 sets x 20 reps
* 2 kg Medicine ball in between legs, lift up/down 4 sets x 20 reps
* 2kg Medicine ball shuffle around seated pike legs 4 sets x 20 reps
* Side bends or machine torso rotation 4 sets x 12-15 reps

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