to Figure by Traci Saba
you work out?” That was my favorite question a few years back when I
used to power lift. Now, it’s “What do you eat?” It may not sound like
to much to you, but to me, it was the beginning of my new life in Figure.
I started lifting in September of 1995. I remember the exact day and
what movements I did first.. biceps of course. (I may be a girl, but
BIG guns are important to me too!) It was of vital importance because
I was Anorexic and weighed 87 pounds at 5’6..YUCK!
I needed to improve everything and muscle gain for women is very hard
done naturally. The challenge was on. It took several years to notice
huge gains that I was VERY proud of. I became strong for my size and
even gave men a run for their money. To tell you the truth, I became
obsessed as most lifters do, with size and strength, forgetting I am
In 1998 I began power lifting in the 132 weight class winning Oklahoma
State Championship and Best Female Bench of the Year Award. I found
the purpose of life. (Big jump from weighing a puny 87 pounds!) In 1999
I moved to Nebraska. Hey! Don't knock it! It was a BLAST!! I started
lifting at a gym called Big Iron, training with power lifting greats
such as Beca Swanson and Rick Hussy. WOW! I never thought a sport could
be so consuming and addictive, but it was. In 1999 I won the Nebraska
State Championship and Best Lifter Award for bench and dead lift.
Training was four days per week, three to four hours per day. In 2000
I qualified for Nationals with a 405 dead lift and a 198 bench press
In 2001 I won the National gold medal with a 215 bench press and Best
Lifter Award and went on to win a World gold medal with a 232 bench
the same year, all in the 148 weight class. Off season I weighed 153-57.
This is an example of my “On” diet.
MEAL 1: 4oz. Steak and 1 cup berries or melon
MEAL 2: 4oz chicken and ½ cup rice or oatmeal
MEAL3: 4oz chicken 1cup fruit and 2cups spinach
MEAL4: 4oz steak and 1cup fruit
MEAL5: 4oz chicken and 2cups mushrooms or spinach
MEAL6: 4oz chicken and 2cups vegetables (varies often)
Sometimes during a lifting session I would eat a meal
replacement bar or drink a protein shake by Designer Whey in addition
to the above.
Here is an incredible workout for those who would like
to gain size and strength. This is the work out I primarily used to
gain quality lean mass.
Do this in intervals of 10-12 weeks progressing last 3 sets weekly.
Never drop set with weight. Then for 8-10 weeks do a different type
of training with lighter weights to let your joints rest.
DAY 1: Flat bench 4-5 sets 10,8,6,6,5
Close grip (flat bench) 4x10
Decline bench with 3 second pause off the bottom 3x10
Incline flies 3x15
Triceps push down 4x15, 10,10,10
Triceps scull crushers 4x10
DAY 2: Dead lifts 5x 10, 8, 6,5,5
Wide lat pull down 4x10
Pull over 4x10
Seated row 4x10
Bar bell bicep curl 4x10
Alternating bicep curl 5x10
DAY 3: Squat 5x 10, 8, 6, 5,5
Lying leg curls 5x10
Leg extensions 4x20
Straight leg dead lift 4x10
Standing calf raises 6x 20, 10,8,20,15,30,6 (change weight according
to rep range! This ones cool!)
DAY 4: Olympic shoulder press 5x10, 8, 6, 5,5
Dumb bell shoulder press 4x10
Front raises 3x10
Side raises 3x10
If you can make it through this work out and come Thursday
you are not about to die…YOUR NOT GOING HEAVY ENOUGH!! Day 5-6 cardio
that was my life for three years. I loved every minute of it until I
moved to Northern California. I did not have a training partner and
stopped lifting heavy. I began to lose size and strength. I lost 10
pounds of muscle in a few months and it was VERY depressing.
Around August 2003 I met Ed Corny and James Mendoza. I started lifting
heavy once more with the support of my new friends. My life changed
even more November of that year when I opened my first personal training
studio for women only called Slender Xpress in Oakdale and Modesto,
Ca. We are group personal training studios and don't charge extra for
it. All the programs we make for our clients are progressive and are
changed every 6 weeks. The results are awesome, just like with my own
training, I practice what I preach. Once again, I got off track and
lost more size and strength. At this point, I knew God had a new journey
in store for me, Figure.
I ran into Ed one fine Sunday morning in June 2004. He had been trying
to convince me to try body building for months but that just never appealed
to me. On this day he told me about a show coming in July called the
Central Valley and I should try a fairly new sport called “Figure”.
I did. I love it! I took third at that show and didn't even care! I
had so much fun and the training was NOTHING! Just a lot more cardio
and reps then before. At the competition all I had to do was go on stage
and pose! No pulling hundreds of pounds off the ground or pushing it
off your chest! I even got to hire some one to do my hair and make-up,
and oh! I had finger nails. Even AFTER the show! I never wore make-up
or had my hair nice before. It didn't matter on the plat form, but now
Work-outs for figure are moderate weights with higher reps. This work
out is for toning, firming and bringing body fat down.
DAY 1: 30 minutes of cardio
Bicep curls 3x15
Bar bell bicep curls 3x12
Close grip lat pull down 4x15
T-bar row 4x12
DAY 2: 30 minutes cardio
Lunges 3x15 each leg
Leg extensions 3x20
Leg press 4x30
Calf raise 4x20
DAY 3: 30 minute cardio
Straight legged dead lifts 4x15
Seated leg curls 4x15
Lying leg curls 4x 20, 15, 20, 15
DAY 4: dumb bell shoulder press 4x15
Side raise super set with front raise 4x10 each
Upright rows 4x12
Triceps push downs 4x20
Over head triceps with rope 4x15
30 minutes cardio
Day 5: 30 minutes cardio x2
Day 6: Hammer incline press 4x20
Flat flies 3x15
Incline press 3x12
30 minute cardio
To answer the question “What do you eat?” I will tell you.
MEAL 1: oatmeal and steak
MEAL 2: oatmeal and chicken
MEAL 3: oatmeal and chicken
MEAL 4: oatmeal and chicken
MEAL5: Fish and vegetables
MEAL6: Fish and vegetables
Boring, but it works.
treat me differently now. When I was strength training no one would
talk to me much. I got a lot of strange looks and felt uncomfortable
in public with out fellow lifters. Walking was odd because my quads
and back were large and I could never find clothes to fit so I wore
work out clothes only. Now, people think I am a stupid fitness model,
not knowing I created and own a corporation, wrote a nutrition book,
certify trainers, give seminars and teach health classes on top of competing!
Only people who walk in my foot steps, my family and close friends will
ever know how hard I work to be me. I will never let my coach , the
members and staff of Slender Xpress, my family or myself down. I truly
believe any one who works as hard as they can, even if they don't bring
home hardware is still a winner. I have been very blessed this far in
my new journey winning the San Francisco and the Sacramento shows in
2004. 2005 will be another challenging year competing for a Pro-card.
I am different now. Sometimes I feel great about the changes, some times
I want to jump on a plane for Nebraska and see my team. Pull and press
hundreds pounds once again. Then I step back and see all the great things
I have accomplished daily by inspiring other people at Slender Xpress
and others I meet along the way, on their journeys of weight loss, rehabilitation
or eating healthy. But most importantly, I can fit into cute out fits,
and get dolled up daily! It’s great! I feel like a woman, acceptable,
sexy, beautiful, and confident in life. I am happy being a “Figure Chick”.
Contact Slender Xpress @ 1866-mini me 9
“What's the difference between Power lifting and Figure?” EVERYTHING!!!
About the Author...
Traci owns her Slender Xpress her
own weight loss business in Modesto, CA. Traci an ex-powerlifter
has jumped to the figure scene just recently and has placed very
well and local and regional shows. Traci will competing this year
at National level and with her muscularity from powerlifting she
will surely make a statement in this industry.
If you are looking for a great place
to train some of the photos taken on this article were taken in
Campbell, CA at the Right Stuff Health Club and Gym.