- Main GoalLose Fat
- Workout TypeSplit
- Training LevelIntermediate
- Program Duration12 weeks
- Days Per Week5
- Time Per Workout30-90 minutes
- Equipment RequiredBarbell, Cables, Dumbbells, EZ Bar, Machines
- Target Gender Female
- Recommended Supps
- Workout PDF Download Workout
This program can be used as a competition prep program, or for anyone looking to get in shape. I started this when I was 12 weeks out from NPC nationals.
I am running the same program exactly as is until I am 6 weeks out, then at 6 weeks I will change about 50 percent of the rep ranges over to 4 sets of 12.
On the fifth training day, I use it as an auto regulation day. I go into the gym and just train whatever I feel like, no set reps/sets. Some weeks I may start with squats or deadlifts for my compound movement, or I will start with clean and overhead press, and go from there. I even like experimenting with different machines or movements. I train about 45 minutes- 1 hour on this day.
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Day 1: Shoulders
|1. Arnold Press||5||8|
|2. Smith Machine Shoulder Press||5||8|
|3. Strict Overhead Press||5||8, 5, 3, 5, Failure|
|4. Single Arm Lateral Machine Raise||5||8|
|5. Partial Lateral Raise||3||Failure|
On the first exercise, Arnold press, I use a standard 40 second rest time between sets.
On the Smith machine loading shoulder press, your rest time is the time it takes to load another 10 on each side. This is more like a giant set of 40 on shoulder press, yet you have about a 10-15 second rest between each set.
On the strict barbell press, I load the bar at 55 percent of my one rep max, and perform 8 reps. On the second set I add a 10 to each side and perform 5 reps. On the third set, I add 5 lbs to each side and perform 3 reps. The fourth set I reduce the weight by 10 pounds total and perform 5 reps. On the fifth set I strip the bar down to my 55 percent of my one rep max (this exercise starting weight) and go until failure.
The rest time between each set is about 1-2 minutes. Between the 3rd, 4th, and 5th set I might even take 3 minutes between sets.
On the single arm lateral machine raise this is a continuous alternating lateral raise until you complete a total of 80 reps (40 on each side).
Day 2: Back
|1. Lat Pull Down||5||8|
|2. Hammer Strength High Row Machine||5||8|
|3. Underhand Barbell Row||5||8|
|4. Rear Delt Fly Machine||5||8|
|5. Lying Dumbbell Pullover||2||50|
Standard 40-60 seconds rest between all sets.
Day 3: Legs
|1. Box Squats||3||12|
|3. Reverse Hack Squat||3||12|
|4a. Goblet Squat||5||8|
|4b. Squat Jumps||5||8|
|5. Glute Bridges||2||Failure|
Focus on clenching your glutes at the top of each movement, other than the squat jumps of course. I suggest a 2-3 minute rest between sets on squats and deadlifts.
Day 4: Arms
|1. EZ Bar Curls||5||8|
|2. Alternating Dumbbell Curls||5||8|
|3. Straight Bar Tricep Pressdown||5||8|
|4. Tricep Cable Overhead Extension||5||8|
|5a. Rope Tricep Pressdown||3||8|
|5b. 5 Second Isometric Bicep Contractions||3||8|
I suggest a 40 second rest between sets except on last exercise which is meant to completely exhaust the muscle, no rest. For bicep contractions, I typically use a resistance band and hold the biceps in a completely contracted position for 5 seconds.
Day 5: Autoregulation
As mentioned, on day 5 I just go to the gym and freestyle. This is a good opportunity to add in some chest exercises based on your individual needs/goals, or you can focus on other lagging muscle groups. Just be sure to get in there and put in the work!
If you have any questions about this day or the rest of the workout, please ask!
Are the exercises to be done as complete all 5 sets and move on or do 1, 2 , and 3 and start back at the top?? Thank you!!!
Perform all five sets, then move on to the next exercise.
Just starting this program and have a question. Shoulder day sounds like you complete all sets per exercise before moving to the next. For the other days, are they mean to be done almost like a circuit but with rest (apart from where there are super sets, then no rest)? Or are those days also meant to be completed by doing all sets per exercise before moving to next exercise? Thank you!
Actually, the other exercises on the other days are to be performed as standard sets as well. If you take it on, we wish you best of luck, Tanya. Let us know how you do.
Sorry. I just reread and understand the “alternate” under “rest.”
“I am running the same program exactly as is until I am 6 weeks out, then at 6 weeks I will change about 50 percent of the rep ranges over to 4 sets of 12.”
Can you tell me what exercises are those specifically?
It doesn’t seem like it but does the “a” and “b” specify a superset?
Under “rest” what does “alternate” mean?
Sorry for all the questions. I just want to make sure I am doing everything right.
Hope to hear from you soon.
Hello, Steffanie. Thanks for reading M&S!
You get to pick the exercises you want to change the sets to. The goal is for you to determine which movements are best for you.
A & B does specify a superset. You're correct.
I saw your other comment about rest and alternate.
Hope this helps!
Thank you for the workout. What meal plan should we follow?
Hi, Zoe. Sign up for the Fat Loss course that is suggested in the article to get more information about nutrition for a program like this.
Along with the workout plan, what diet plan should I follow? Do you have an article on diet to compliment this workout plan?
Check out the following articles. :) Let us know if you have any more questions. Happy to help!
Expert Fat Loss Guide: Learn To Lose Fat With Diet & Training
Shredded! A Complete Guide To Getting to 10% Body Fat
Once you nail the nutrition piece, we have a few different diet guides you might want to check out:
https://www.muscleandstrength.com/diet-plans. This will help you determine the type of diet you will want to follow based on your lifestyle preferences.
Hi there posting here again, I need some advice! I'm not officially entered into any Bikini competition yet, but I am trying to reduce about 10 pounds on my own and start prepping before i hire a coach. My question is: I'm doing a split that goes such as: Shoulders, glutes, back/biceps, shoulders, glutes, and back - now every time i hit the gym i find myself doing a variation of different exercises for that group of muscles and it's never entirely consistent because there is so much variety i love to do for shoulders and glutes. I basically do a light weight high rep and then a heavy weight light rep variation through out the week but i freestyle on the exercises with keeping some basic/classic movements in there. As long as i'm targeting the intended muscle group is it ok that i'm doing variation every week or do i have to stick to the exact exercises to see best results?
What's your diet?
I just started this workout. It’s a 5 day schedule. Are the 6th and 7th day rest days or do you just start over at day 1? Thank you
Hey Ang - yes, day 6 and 7 are rest days.
Trying to find some base content here as something to start following before i pay a coach to start competing, but i see there is no chest movements here. Don't Bikini competitors need to work chest too? Any feedback helps. Thanks for sharing this.
Hey yasmine - while working chest is important for a balanced physique, it is not typically an area of focus for bikini. Day 5 of this program is left open for you to do what you want. You can add in chest exercises there.
What does failure mean? (I’m sorry if I sound real dumb)
Hey Angela - failure means you physically can't complete another rep.
As many as you can do until you can no longer do anymore reps . Officially it gave you sets but until failure for reps .
When and how often should I be doing cardio? Thanks!
Hey Brandi - low intensity cardio can be done daily. The amount and duration of cardio that you do will depend on your goals.
Does anyone know if the glute bridges are repetitions or holds?
The glute bridges are done as repetitions to failure. I recommend a 1 sec. hold at the top of each rep.
Just started this program and I LOVE it. Have a pretty good home gym - having to sub a few exercises for anything requiring the Smith machine but it’s all good!
What fat burner do you reccomend? I use bcaas, is fat burner different?
What about chest?
HI - thank you for the 13 week bikini program by Traisha Martin- I am having trouble finding weeks 2-13 - I can download only week 1..can you please help??
You perform the same listed workouts on this page and on the PDF for 12 weeks. While other fitness platforms have popularized the need to change your workouts weekly, this isn't the case. Keeping the workouts similar allows you to better track your workouts so you know when you're capable of progressing in the amount of weight you use.
Hope this helps!
How do figure out what my daily calorie intake should be on a 12 week prep for a competition
Bulk. Weight in pounds x 17
Cut. Weight in pounds x 11
I've been using this workout but can't see any significant results - what could I be doing wrong? (for reference: I go to the gym three times a week and alternate the arm/back/shoulder exercises each week but do the legs and abs exercise every week)
How does your diet and sleep look? Are you feeling stressed about something in your life?
There are a number of factors that can prohibit progress. Make sure you're getting 7-9 hours of undisturbed sleep, eating accordingly to your goals (not undereating, not overeating), and managing stress as best you can.
If you're only making it to the gym 3xs per week, a full body program may be better suited for your goals: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/8-week-full-body-womens-worko...
Hope this helps!
On the top of the page it says the main goal is to lose fat. I want to build muscle/ strength. Is this program wrong for me if i want to gain weight and muscle?
Absolutely. Whether you build muscle or burn fat will be more dependent on the amount of calories you eat while working out. To build muscle you'll want to be in a calorie surplus.
Find your calorie needs here: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/tools/bmr-calculator
Then add 250 calories to that number to create the slight calorie surplus needed to build lean muscle.
Hope this helps!
What about abs and cardio?
Abs are targeted indirectly through a number of these movements. However, if you feel like you need additional isolation work, you're more than welcome to add it in where you see fit.
As for cardio, I recommend performing some form of low intensity cardio every day. The duration and type of cardio will depend on your personal ability and preference.
Hope this helps!
What's the best diet to do while doing this workout?
Depends on your goal.
Start here: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/tools/bmr-calculator
If your goal is to build lean muscle add 250 calories to that number. If your goal is to maximize fat loss, subtract 250 calories.
Then figure out your macros - this article is helpful for that: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/how-to-calculate-perfect-macros
Then, aim to hit those numbers through healthy food sources: fruits & veggies, whole grains and oats, lean proteins, healthy fats, and low-fat dairy.
Hope this helps!
Do you include any HIIT or cardio in your prep? And do you rest on the 6th day?
I would like to know this as well.