Weight Training during Comp Prep

Weight Training during Comp Prep

There is a mis-conception that weight training needs to be different during contest preparation compared to the off season. The notion that you can carve in extra detail through higher reps or super-sets is incorrect. Basically the type of training that built your muscle mass in the first place is going to be the training required to build, or at least maintain the muscle you already have. If you start throwing in all higher rep/lighter weight training are you really going to be surprised when you start shedding hard earned muscle. Some higher reps or drop sets/giant sets should be in your off season training anyway.

In the final few weeks when calories are lower it is normal to expect a decrease in strength. However, until then the goal is to lift relatively heavy weight with good form. Here is a sample back and biceps routine I will be performing for the next 4-6 weeks.

 Back and Biceps

Body-Part Exercise Sets & Reps Rest
Warm-up Light Lat Pull Downs 3 x 20 reps 1 min
Back Lat pull downs 4 x 4   reps 2 min
Barbell Rows 4 x 8   reps 1 min
T-Bar rows 4 x 12 reps 30-40 sec
Seated pulley rows 4 x 20 reps 20 sec
Dumbbell  Shrugs 4 x 12 reps 30-40 sec
Warm-up Light Barbell curls 2 x 20 reps 1 min
Biceps Barbell curls 3 x 4   reps 2 min
Incline Dumbbell curls 3 x 8   reps 1 min
Rope Hammer Curls 3 x 12 reps 30-40 sec
Preacher curls 3 x 20 reps 20 sec
Forearms Dumbbell wrist curls 3 x 12 reps 30-40 sec

Key Points:

  • Training weights and volume don’t change from off season
  • Diet, cardio and fat-burners will take care of cuts
  • This routine has a variety of rep ranges to cover all the fast twitch muscle fibre types
  • After 4-6 weeks my body will adapt to this style of training and we will change it up
  • Rest between sets is less for higher rep ranges. Basically powerlifting style to start, then hypertrophy and finishing up with some lactic acid/pumping style sets. Has worked well for me in the past and I enjoy the variety within the one workout.
  • Enjoy your workout, we are fortunate in Australia to have access to great gym equipment and to be surrounded by like-minded fitness enthusiasts. J Take your training seriously, not yourself. You can still be hard-core and give contest preparation everything you have, just do it with a smile on your face.


If you prefer a more tailored exercise program to suite your own goals click on the link below.

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