• Claire Trojkovic - Week 2

Dear Muscle Diary,

Let’s take off from last week where I discussed my program three months out from my upcoming competition at the INBA World & European Championships in Greece. This entry will entail my program two months out from my competition and then next week’s entry will detail my current routine (the get LEAN routine).

Not long now until I step out on stage at the INBA Championships in Greece! I am feeling pretty excited but also nervous, as I don’t know what to expect or what the judges will be looking for. I feel I have now bulked on enough muscle mass, so it’s time to shred. The picture below is what I look like now.

It’s hard to know how lean to go. After a bit of research I found that the Sports Model Division criteria states that girls should have a “low degree of muscle separation”. So even though I love being lean, I think I will have to retain a more ‘bikini’ body for this competition and federation. You never really know what the judges are looking for on the day, so I will take a more relaxed approach and just have fun and enjoy the experience. I’ll still focus on my weaknesses (glutes and hamstrings) and try to bring my best physique to the stage, but at the same time savour the journey.

Here are INBA’s full criteria for my division. The judges will be looking for a combination of these objectives;

Muscle Tone & Definition
Overall Muscle tone with a low degree of muscle separation. The judges are not looking for muscle mass or "ripped to the bone," extreme striations or the vascularity of a bodybuilder or a figure competitor. They are looking for shapely and toned figure that is highly photogenic and marketable.

Symmetry & Proportion
Overall structural harmony of the model's figure relative to the shape and size of various body parts and proportional balance of opposite body parts. The upper and lower extremities should flow aesthetically when viewed from all sides creating a balanced and symmetrical appearance.

Overall cosmetic appearance, photogenic, skin tone and sex appeal.

Poise and General Impression 
Overall grooming, personality, self assurance, composure and carriage.

So two months out from my competition I mixed my program with exercises from both my bulk and lean workouts. I did this because I didn’t want to lose too much muscle mass, as when leaning down you tend to lose muscle from cardio exercises. Did you know that bodybuilders are at their weakest when they are on stage? This is because we lose muscle when we try to get ripped.

Training Program Example

Note: The number of reps represents the intensity of your workout and the type of growth that will be achieved. be achieved.

For your reference:

3-8 reps, heavy load for muscle mass

8-12 reps, medium load for muscle maintain

14+ reps, light load for lean muscle

Before exercising make sure you warm up by performing dynamic stretching as well as taking the joints through the range of motion they would experience when performing the exercise with a very light weight (so as 15 repetitions would seem easy).

Note: Dynamic stretching involves moving parts of your body while gradually increasing reach, speed of movement, or both. It does not involve stopping and holding the stretched position. For example making circles with your arms or swinging your legs.


Cycle class

- 45 minute high intensity cycle class


Upper body workout (rep range between 8-10, 3 sets)

- Bench press

- Barbell bicep curls

- Shoulder side raises

- Tricep pushdowns

- Seated rows

- Pushups

- Chin ups

- Seated shoulder press

- Tricep dips

- Lat pull downs


Glutes and hamstrings HIIT (whole day dedicated to my weakness. 3 sets, 10-13 reps)

- Stiff leg deadlifts with toes raised on plate

- Sumo squats

- Hamstring curls

- Leg press, 10 reps each stance: Feet shoulder width, sumo stance, feet together low, feet together high.

- Cable kickbacks

- Lunges, 10 on each leg

- Weighted step ups on box

- Stability ball butt bridges, back on the ground feet on the ball

- Stability ball butt bridges, back on the ball feet on the ground


Active recovery

45 minute brisk walk


Lower body workout (3 sets, 10-13 reps)

- Squats (narrow stance)

- Squats (wide stance)

- Dead lifts

- Leg press

- Calf raises till exhaustion

- Leg extensions

- Bulgarian split squats

- 5 min stepper.


Upper Body HIIT (Superset each two exercises 3 times. Rep range between 15-17 with 20 seconds rest between exercises)

- Squat into overhead dumbbell shoulder press combined, shoulder raises with plate

- Clean and press, kettle bell throws

- Bar Bell Rows, incline push-ups

- 4 Boxing with dumbbells, medicine ball squat throws on wall

Note: High Intensity Interval Training: where reps are around 15+ with around 20-30 seconds rest between exercises.



Make sure to cool down with static stretching focusing on the muscle group just worked.

Note: Static stretching is when you hold and stretch a muscle. This includes touching your toes and holding for 10 seconds (hamstring stretch) or bringing your arm across your chest while pulling in with your other arm (shoulder stretch).

Diet and Supplements

I keep my carb intake fairly high so to maintain my muscle mass. I also continue to take supplements to support my body during this high intensity exercise period. Supplements are essential to immune function, brain power, muscle growth and joint health. They should never replace food but used in conjunction with a healthy diet. Here is what I take and why.

These contain a variety of essential vitamins that we don’t generally get enough of in our diets. Taken in the morning.

Low carb whey protein:
Protein is the building block of all muscles. I choose whey protein because it absorbs into the body the fastest and low carb because I don’t need to put on weight. Always take after a workout.

Glutamine minimizes the breakdown of muscles during training and improves protein metabolism. Taken before bed.

There are so many benefits from taking a supergreen the most important being it alkalizes the body which supports the immune system, helps the body absorb food nutrients better, increases energy levels, levels your mood etc. These greens contain unique phytonutrients and deliver extra beneficial nutrients not usually available in the average diet. Taken in the morning.

Fish oil:
Fish oil is an essential fatty acid, which improves brain function, hair, skin and most importantly join health. Taken with breakfast.

Magnesium/calcium complex:
Magnesium and calcium are two of the most important minerals for the body especially for those who don’t eat much dairy products. Its benefits include improving bone strength and density, muscle recovery, relief of aches, pain and cramps, improving joint mobility and cell health. Taken before bed.

Make sure to take supplements with a well balance diet for the best result.

Here is an example of my diet two months out from my competition.

Meal 1: Egg white omelette + one slice of either Ezekiel 4:9 bread or wholegrain bread
Meal 2: Rice cakes X 5 with tuna/natural peanut butter/almond butter/avocado etc
Meal 3: 150g of beef, sweet potato and broccoli
Meal 4: Small salad with smoked salmon
Meal 5: Protein shake (after training), handful of nuts
Meal 6: 200g chicken and veggies or salad

You may think this diet is pretty boring or repetitive but I’m just giving an example of when and how much carbs, protein, fats and greens you should be eating throughout the day. There are so many yummy clean recipes out there to try. I post them on my facebook all the time. One example is using almond meal or hazelnut meal to coat schnitzel instead of bread crumbs. Also remember never have carbs after about 5pm as the body does not need the energy at night time.

NEXT week I will be discussing my GET LEAN routine. Getting lean is the most important part of the journey as you want to look toned on stage but not as lean as a figure or physique athlete. So stay tuned for next week’s diary entry. Also make sure to ask any questions you may have below. As a sneak peek next week I will also be discussing all things stage bikinis!

xx Claire