Lift Like A Man — Look Like A Bikini Competitor

Lift Like A Man — Look Like A Bikini Competitor // With Two First-Place Wins and a Pro Card Under Her Belt, When Joy Musgrove Talks Training, We Listen.

By Joy Musgrove, NGA Bikini Pro

As a bikini competitor, I have to keep my physique from looking too lean. In this division, curves and muscle tone are rewarded. A striated, super lean physique in the bikini world means point deductions. My body is naturally lean so I'm careful with the amount of cardio that I do in season, which for me personally, means NO CARDIO. It's ok ladies, calm yourselves! With a daily clean diet and heavy lifting 6 days a week, you can get into the best shape of your life without hours of cardio. And frankly, I have no choice. Out of necessity, I train like a man but look like a woman.

Four hours. That’s the number of cardio I did from August 2012 to November 2012…TOTAL. So on random days when I just couldn't help myself (because I do love a good spin class!) I'd throw in a TapOut or Insanity DVD or I'd do TABATA sprints on the treadmill for a few rounds.

Because I had no gym membership, I learned to utilize what I had, where I had to and I modified a lot!  Who knew a coffee table was the perfect step up height, a leg extension machine made for an awesome butt blaster and a door frame could be used for just about anything…My home gym is small….but it’s taken me to the stage numerous times and got me a pro card, so I’m thankful for those heavy weights I have there.

My training splits look like this:

Tuesday-Chest and Tricep
Wednesday-Back and Bicep
Thursday-Glutes, Calves and Abs
Saturday-Back, Bicep and Abs

For bikini, I have to pay extra attention to my shoulders and glutes/legs, so I hit these twice a week, typically Mondays and Fridays. I also tend to do all my splits as supersets and I love a good drop set/tri-set! I don't rest, constantly moving from one lift to the next. I always perform to failure. This gives me the cardiovascular conditioning that I need without actually doing cardio. It makes lifting more challenging as well. I keep only a 60 second rest time in between sets.

I keep my exercises as old school as they come! I'm not reinventing the wheel. A squat, in my opinion, is the best exercise for your legs and glutes and good ol' Jane Fonda floor work is, again in my opinion, the best work for your bum! My exercises may remain the same but my weight/reps never do. The heavier, the better!

Example Leg/Glute workout:

Warmup: 1 min each
Body weight squats
Butt kicks
Half jump squats

4 straight sets, 8-12 reps, Drop set (DS) on 4th set.
1. Barbell Squats 80lbs/ DS 75, 65 to failure.
2. Leg Extensions 100lbs/DS 90, 80, 65 to failure. SUPERSET-
Leg Curls 55lbs/ DS 55, 45 to failure.
3. Romanian Deadlifts 100lbs/ DS 80, 60 to failure.
4. Weighted Side Lunges 30 lbs- SUPERSETTED WITH- 3 sets of 15
Weighted Plié Squats 30 lbs
5. Calf raises 4 sets of 30lb dumbells

*Floor Work-ankle weights, on all 4's
2 sets of 25 each
6. Donkey Kicks
Fire Hydrant Lifts (like a dog 🙂
Straight Leg Lifts
7. Using a Pilates ring (flexible plastic circle;)
Sitting on the floor, feet flat, place in between inner thighs and perform pulse squeezes for 45 seconds with 1 minute of rest, 3 sets.

SHOULDER TRAINING: 8-10 reps/4 sets

1. 45 lb. Olympic barbell overhead press SUPERSET
2. 45 lb. Olympic barbell upright rows
3. 10 lb. DB incline lateral raises SUPERSET
4. 15 lb. DB front raises
5. 25 lb. DB Arnold presses SUPERSET
6. Resistance band side lateral delt flys (when pulling something away from my body in this fashion, I keep the weight lighter. One, I want to keep the work out of my traps and on my shoulders and two, I have to watch my neck…a tweaked neck kills)

Please note: I train at home without a spotter. I have to keep my weight in a range where I know I can complete my sets, still to failure, but safely! At a gym in a squat rack with a spotter present, I suggest squatting heavier while still keeping good form 🙂

I'll keep track of my weight used and increase the weight each session. I try not to stay at the same weight for longer than 3 weeks. If this means I increase to 6 sets and only do 4 reps, than so be it. But for me, I want to struggle with my last 2-3 reps. If I don't struggle, than it’s not heavy enough.

My workouts don't last much longer than an hour. The notion of having to lift for hours is nonsense and frankly, as a stay at home mother of two, I just don't have the time! The bottom line is that almost any training method will work, provided you do it with intensity! And please ladies, the notion of looking like a man because you lift is just silly. We simply don't produce the testosterone needed in our bodies to walk out of the gym looking like a bodybuilder! I have to work hard for my gains and I love my muscle! I'm stronger than I have ever been in my life. I'm able to lift more, my frame has shape and I'm healthy and fit! I love it and I wouldn't train any other way.

I’m a bikini competitor. I train hard, I train heavy, I grunt a little and sweat a lot 😉

My competition standings for 2012:

1st place Novice Bikini and 4th place Open- OCB Atlantic Super Show, May 5, 2012 Richmond VA

2nd place Open Bikini- OCB Presidential Cup, August 11, 2012 Laurel MD

1st place Open Bikini/Pro card won- NGA Mt. Rogers Mid Atlantic, November 17, 2012 Woodbridge VA

I plan to do four or five shows in 2013. I'm shooting for my first pro win and a pro card in another federation. STAY STRONG!