Below are my explanation of terms. I use particular terminology when describing how to best improve your own physique and presentation for the stage for future shows. Below is a more extensive description of some of the terms you will see used in my reviews:
Improve on your Conditioning: Conditioning refers to being able to see the separation of muscle groups very clearly because the athlete has prepared his or her body in a very lean state. For men’s bodybuilder’s this can be as low as 2-4% body fat and the striations and vascularity are visible. When I give feedback to improve conditioning, I am referring to how you may need to try a different type of diet for next show to get to an even leaner place for stage where the muscles are popping out more and body fat is a little lower. This could also be achieved by staying 2-3 weeks longer on the same diet used for your show or finding a different diet or different approach to get leaner in your own physique and tighter on stage.
Bigger shoulder: In bikini competitors, I look for a swipe on the muscles to show each one and I call these peek-a-boo lines. So when I ask for bigger shoulder, I am looking for a bigger swipe on shoulder and I want that peek-a-boo lines for the bikini competitor. You need to be tight and muscular but you don’t have the deeper muscle lines like figure.
Holding water= Hydration is such a huge factor in training for a show and is particularly important just days before the show. The body needs enough water in its system so that the liver can metabolize stored body fat and allow the glycogen from carbs to be converted into the muscle. Competitors must consume adequate amounts of fluids particularly over a gallon or even 2 gallons because if water is restricted, the muscles actually lose their fullness. The body when dehydrated can’t burn the body fat for energy and so the excess water is stored under the skin which is what is referred to as “holding water”. It smooths out the appearance of the skin so that the athlete won’t be looking as hard. Restricting the water causes the body to hold it. If water is being flushed out of the system, the muscles shrink and lose that full look..And so to counter that, many athletes “carb up” with the belief that the muscle is being fed with glycogen to improve its shape and fullness and create better muscle separation. When the athlete tries to do this in a dehydrated state, the carbs get converted to glucose but the glucose is not able to enter into the muscle unless there is enough water for the chemical reactions to occur that allow the muscle to convert the glucose. So the glucose is converted to stored fat which is not the intention of the athlete. I know this is the opposite of what you are trying to do.
Often times, holding water happens with the gluts particularly. Many of athletes start to carb up too early and so the glute muscles begin to hold water. The muscles then don’t look as tight on stage as a result of some change happening in your diet and hydration.
Overall muscle size body = Your symmetry and muscle definition is great! But in your line-up with bigger guys in bodybuilding, I need more overall muscle size as you are stacked up with the other competitors so that next time you can place higher to be rewarded for your amazing body and hard work. I would recommend performing high load and low reps for a heavy off season regimen to build that muscle size. Whenever I refer to overall muscle size, I am recommending you to lift very heavy in your off season competition prep overall and to feed the muscle as well to gain muscle size for future shows.
Bigger particular muscle size = Keep up with those squats, deadlifts, and lunges if I am asking for more muscles in your legs like glutes and hamstrings. I would recommend performing high load and low reps for a heavy off season regimen to build that muscle size. I describe what needing bigger shoulder is in a different section. Mostly I ask for you to work on building a particular muscle because it helps give you better symmetry and more balanced look in whatever class you are competing. Each class for bodybuilding, physique, figure, and bikini, needs to have the muscle lines either “peeking” out like in bikini or very designated and deep like bodybuilders. So, each athletes’ feedback will be different for muscle size based on what class he or she is competing in and how his or her own body is built and presented on stage. The athletes goal should be to create that symmetry which I talk about below so I look for even, balanced physique.
Better symmetry= Symmetry in a physique means that the muscle mass is distributed evenly for a balanced look. Symmetry can be determined partially through genetics and is influenced by body type too. Knowing one’s body type and predisposition through genetics is part of learning how to improve your symmetry. The judges feedback to build more of a particular muscle group size is to help create more symmetry and balance in your look. For those with more of an endomorphic type (pear shape and larger waist) physique, diet, cutting weight to become leaner and particularly working on the abs will often be the focus. Ectomorphic types (small bones, long arms, and naturally leaner) typically need to really focus on arm size because it is a problematic area.They will also need to focus on overall weight gain. The ectomorph has a small bone structure which can enhance symmetry by creating an illusion of greater size. So genetics do play a factor so I can give feedback on how to help get better symmetry through gaining size in a certain muscle group, but genetics does have a role on inherently working to one athlete’s advantage over another based on body type. The mesomorph, narrow waisted/broad shouldered and muscular, is at the best advantage for their genetics predispose them to be leaner and most muscular naturally. To help you develop better symmetry, I look at your body type and identify the weak points and recommend which muscle groups to develop more fully for better symmetry.