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Instagram Workouts from Bikini Competitors are a Waste of Your Time

Posted July 7, 2015 by

How many times have you browsed Instagram, Facebook, Women’s Health Magazine, or another website and seen the latest “bikini competitor leg/arm/shoulder/butt workout?”

Images of hard, lean bodies jump out at you from the screen—seemingly-impossible levels of muscle definition on perfectly proportioned bodies with just the right amount of sweat and goosebumps… before you know it you have goosebumps of your own just thinking about what it would be like to have that body for yourself.

At the beach… all eyes on you, super confident in that bikini. Walking into the gym… girls whispering to each other about how you must be a competitor, and coming up to ask you for exercise advice. Fitting into all the tiny little dresses that you want to wear to the club and having them fit your body like a glove. Heck, having ANY outfit you wear fitting perfectly.

Even reading this right now, I am willing to bet the hair is standing up on the back of your neck slightly—and that’s exactly the response that fitness marketers use to lure you in, because if you think a product is going to provide you with that body (and the lifestyle that you imagine comes with it), you’re going to buy the product at whatever asking price, no questions asked!

If the product or service you’re buying were to deliver on its promises, then there wouldn’t be a problem. The issue is that this tactic is used to sell the masses ineffective, rehashed training programs and services that do not meet the expectations you have when you buy it.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in the bikini competitor niche… where a popular fitness model/competitor in amazing, muscular shape will be featured in a “sample workout” of some sort, typically consisting of nothing but bodyweight and light dumbbell exercises. It’s implied that this is similar to—if not the exact—workout program that said athlete has used to create the body on display.

It’s a bunch of baloney. The secret to these athletes’ physiques doesn’t involve the handful of exercises being shown to you, if they even incorporate those exercises at all—many times they’re not even found in their training program whatsoever!

Don’t believe me? Well, very simply put, how many of these workout programs have you followed and ended up with the physique of your dreams? If you’re reading this article, then I am going to assume none. Zero. Zilch.

So why on Earth are you being fed this bs you ask?

It’s no secret the fitness competitor/bodybuilding world is very hush-hush, full of back room politics, lies about drug use, etc. Most major competition teams/coaches have very strict non-disclosure agreements in place that prohibit any of their athletes from sharing any of the “secrets” with the public. I know this because I have seen many of these agreements personally, having had clients come to our facility who had previously been a part of one of these types of teams.

These athletes’ coaches don’t want to share their proprietary training info or nutrition programming with anyone not paying them, so they lock it down. While I don’t agree with the idea of holding information hostage (to me, information should be free, which is why you can find nearly every aspect of how we coach somewhere on this blog or our other one), the bottom line is that the fact that stuff is not shared obviously means that whatever “sample workout” you’re being shown is, for lack of a better term, a load of shit.

Here’s a perfect example:

You can pretty much guarantee that the above circuit is not responsible for the elite physiques of the athletes demonstrating the exercises. In fact, it looks like many of the women have never done some of these exercises before since they appear to be unfamiliar with the movement form… what does this tell you?

Here’s three things to focus on if you DO want to get the type of results that you’re looking for:

Bikini Bombshell Secret #1: Progressively Maximize Lifting Volume

Let’s clarify something really quick. Being “toned” as a woman simply means you have low body fat and higher-than-average muscle mass. Most women ignore the second factor. If you just have low body fat without a solid amount of muscle mass, you’re going to look frail and emaciated. So our goal is two-fold: to stimulate muscle growth, and to shed body fat.

With few exceptions, these two goals are mutually exclusive—long story short, you can’t consistently gain muscle and lose fat at the same time. Your current body type will determine which goal is your primary focus when you first embark on this journey.

hot girl bench pressing heavy

When the goal is muscle gain—which it should be if you’re not already a lifelong athlete who is experienced with lifting—using the variables of lifting intensity (i.e. weight being used), repetitions and sets, your goal should be to increase your total lifting volume (sets x reps x intensity) over time.

This can be accomplished by:

  • increasing the number of sets for which you are performing an unchanging number of reps with an unchanging amount of weight
  • increasing the number of reps you are performing with an unchanging amount of weight across an unchanging number of sets
  • increasing the amount of weight you are lifting for an unchanging number of reps across an unchanging number of sets
  • a combination of two or more of the above

Increased volume correlates with increased muscle mass, so the higher you push the volume (within your ability level, of course), the more corresponding definition you can carve into your physique. Obviously, your body will adapt as you go and you’ll be able to continue to bump the volume up over time.

When the goal is fat loss, volume needs to be controlled because your recovery ability decreases, but you should still aim to keep the volume as high as you can handle (listen to your body and adjust accordingly).

Bikini Bombshell Secret #2: Focus on Basic Compound Exercises

Performing curtsy lunges on a Bosu ball isn’t going to allow you to use enough weight to stimulate any sort of muscle growth. Sure, it looks fancy and might raise your heart rate, but that’s not what results in positive changes to your body composition when building a defined bikini physique is the goal.

The most important thing for you to focus on is hitting target muscles as hard as you safely can. The best way to do that? Heavy, basic, compound exercises. Old school, proven, and effective.

hot girl doing a barbell back squat with heavy weight

Moves like barbell back squats, barbell hip thrusts, dumbbell military press, variations of the barbell bench press and pull-ups will hit multiple muscle groups and allow you to move much higher amounts of weight than circus-act exercises.

These moves should make up the foundation of your training program, and other, smaller movements can be added as accessory lifts to provide additional volume for specific muscles, to help further groove movement patterns, or even as a form of conditioning if going for high reps (we do this with our FitCAMP program).

Bikini Bombshell Secret #3: Body Fat is Lost in the Kitchen, NOT on the Treadmill

If I were to poll 20 people and ask them the number one factor in fat loss, at least 90% would say “cardio” without even thinking about it. Maybe one would say “nutrition,” and then you always have that one person that says something weird like “hot pink party pants.”

All jokes aside, the vast majority of people believe that hopping on a cardio machine and plodding along for a great enough amount of time will result in the body they want. This is why gyms stock up on hundreds of these machines and most of their floor space is dedicated to cardio. But… how many people do you see on cardio machines that never seem to get to their goal? I would argue most!

Fat loss is a byproduct of being in an optimized calorie deficit for an extended period of time–that is, eating less than you burn. Sure, cardio can help the “burn” side of things, but unless you’re controlling the calories going into your body, you’re just going to be running in place (haha, like on a treadmill… get it? Sigh, nevermind).

TGTN Bikini Competitors

But, it doesn’t end at calories… you also need to manage what those calories are made of in terms of protein, carbs and fat (the macronutrients). Calorie deficit by itself simply results in general weight loss, but the macronutrient breakdown of those calories is what determines what sort of weight we’re talking about here–muscle or body fat.

The same is true of gaining muscle; unless if you eat a greater amount of calories than you burn, you won’t gain any weight, and unless you optimize the macronutrient breakdown of that caloric surplus, you will probably just pack on a bunch of body fat with limited muscle growth.

As we discussed above, a “toned” physique is one with ample muscle mass and low body fat, so nutrition is going to play a key roll in both of those elements. Many times women simply try to starve themselves into shape and this doesn’t work. Calories need to be carefully balanced–you have to eat enough that you support your muscle growth/retention and have enough energy to have productive workouts, but (at least when the goal is fat loss), eat at enough of a deficit to spurn fat loss.

I know this might sound a bit overwhelming, but this is something we teach every day to our athletes because it’s so important for results. If you dedicate a couple of hours per week to researching macronutrients and calorie deficits you can teach yourself proper nutrition in a few months’ time.

Need professional assistance with implementing the methods above? Come give our Transformation Training program a try for a whole week! Click Here

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