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How to Train for a Women's Body Sculpting Competition

By Heather Hitchcock

Training for a women's body sculpting competition -- whether it is a fitness, figure or bodybuilding competition -- is progressive and will take time to develop a well-sculpted, lean body. In body sculpting competitions, one of key things you are judged on is symmetry. It is essential to have well balanced upper and lower body muscle development. Because every person is different, it may help to have an experienced competitor take a look at you prior to competing, and let you know of any areas that may need to be built up.

Establish a regular weight training schedule. Train four or five days per week, and target one or two muscle groups a day, completing three to four sets per exercise for eight to 15 repetitions. Allow for one or two days of rest in your training schedule each week to prevent over-training and allow for muscle growth and repair.

Choose exercises that will not only help add mass and shape. Include in your routine basic exercises that allow for full range of motion and that help to build muscle mass, such as squats -- and one-legged squats -- lunges, chest presses and chin-ups. Split your ab work into three. Spend one day on crunches, the second on your obliques and the third on your lower abs. Having too much definition does not exist, so working on your abs is paramount.

Know your weak points. While it is necessary to train all areas of your body, some areas you may have to work harder at developing. Legs, buttocks and abs are often the hardest for women to develop. Because of this a figure model should focus primarily on the development of hamstrings, glutes, quads, abs and back. Although it is important to train and develop shoulders, chest and arms, once an acceptable level of development is reached you may not have to train them as often, according to Jimmy Smith, a human movement specialist who helps athletes and sports pros to train smarter. Underdeveloped muscle groups may have to be trained twice a week, whereas you can train strong areas just once a week to achieve the look you desire, according to "The Figure Book."

Perform cardio sessions based on your individual needs, depending on how much fat you have to lose. Individuals who have little fat to lose before the competition may only need to incorporate moderate-intensity exercise a month or two prior to competition. However, individuals with a great deal of fat to lose or are slow at losing fat mass, may have to perform cardio every day. High-Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT, is a short-duration cardio workout that is effective at elevating the metabolism and burning fat. Due to HIIT's high intensity, it should not be performed more than three days a week.

Tips

While training is important in body sculpting competitions, diet is perhaps more important to achieve the look you desire.

Warnings

Check with your health-care provider before beginning an exercise program for the first time or if you have been away from fitness programs for a while, or if you have any chronic health issues.

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