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Let me preface my comment with the words "I definitely don't know it all". There might be a host of other people who can give you some great input. Here's what I do know: The guidelines for how a competitor should look varies from competition to competition. Bikini is a bit more lenient and may be easier to arrive at the desired result. Figure is more strict, and once again, the look they are looking for varies. From what I understand, figure is toned and muscular, but with little to no muscle striations being visible. I have never competed in bikini or figure, but I did compete in the bodybuilding category. I am 5' and in the offseason I weigh around 120-125. When I compete, I am around 110-114. Every person is different. Some people like to stay within 10 lbs of their comp weight because they have difficulty "leaning out". Some people can take it off effortlessly. It can depend on how well you follow your meal plan and how well your body responds and if you have the right meal plan for the best results. There are so many factors involved, but it is definitely doable when you have a good plan in place. Most competitors use the "60 days out" mark to start really monitoring their carbs. Once again, it all depends on the individual. Being vegan, the carbs never really go superlow, simply because we depend on the complex carbs in our specialized diet. I'm excited that you are considering competition. It is a journey that teaches us so much about ourselves. I hope this information helps!!
P.S. Bodybuilding.com is a good source of information too!
The mighty oak was once a little nut that stood its ground.
I am a vegan who has decided she'd like to compete in either figure or bikini (not sure which one, not sure how I look super lean).
The aspects of contest prep that mystify me are the differences between off-season and contest-prep lifestyles.
For example, how far out before a show does one need to start watching their carbs? I've heard a bit about carb cycling, when does that start? What is the lifestyle like when you are officially "prepping for a contest"?
Also, for say someone 5 foot 2, how much would someone need to weigh (ballpark of course) who competes need to be off-season, so that she could lean out for a competition? How many pounds difference would there be?
I guess I am looking for a general overview of the competitors lifestyle. I understand that it might be different between figure and bikini, but if anyone has competed and would like to share their ideas, please let me know.
I have tried to find a general overview elsewhere (Spark, the internet) without success, so anything you know is helpful.