This is an article I wrote for www.bodybuilding.com but I wanted you guys to see it first.

In 2020 the NPC and IFBB are rolling out the new Wellness Division, a very different look to what we have been used to seeing onstage.

With regards to training, I feel there are two approaches

  1. Those who already blessed with a thick and shapely lower body
  2. Those who will have to do it the hard way 🙂

Whether you are thinking of getting onstage, or if you just want to build up that behind, I think you will love these workouts!

There are 12 workouts and I have tried a few of them – boy was I sore.

Enjoy x

Get ready as the NPC and IFBB Professional League add Women’s Wellness as their newest division in 2020.

Exhale a sign of relief and inhale a breath of determination as this new competition category embraces the most female of physical attributes while opening the flood gates on what will be a very competitive stage.

Do not be fooled into thinking this will be an ‘easier’ way to get on stage, and don’t listen to the naysayers who will tell you that this will bring the quality of competition down. Although we don’t have a precedent to refer to in the NPC or the IFBB, you can take a look at the gals in the recent Wellness Fitness competitions to see what we have to look forward to.

The incredible Nikoletta Sularz, who won the 2019 European Wellness Fitness


Lisa Meiswinkel who won the overall at the 2019 Nordic Cup & Jan Tana Classic

These ladies will give you an idea of how this category is going to explode onto stages around the world.  Whereas, bikini, figure (even physique) started off somewhat tame and then, overtime, they grew into themselves and bodies morphed into what we see today. Do not expect the Wellness ladies to be so timid – this category has been primed for a long time, and there are women who have been standing in the wings, chomping on the bit, lunging every gym floor, just waiting for this opportunity, and 2020 they get turned loose.

So, what exactly does “Wellness” look like?

Going straight to the powers that be, the NPC states

  • Wellness is for females with athletic physiques that showcase more body mass in the hips, glutes and thighs.  The upper body should be developed, but not to the same degree as the lower body.
  • Conditioning should be on par with Bikini, but with slightly more muscle.
  • They want to see a little body fat with slight separation of the muscles, but no striations please.
  • Abs – should be as the Bikini division.
  • Shoulders – a little more muscle than Bikini, but less than figure.
  • Quads – athletic with slight separation, no striations (you have been warned). Thighs should not be as lean as in Figure or Physique.
  • Glutes – Full and round with slight separation between the hamstrings and the glutes. No striations (thrice warned). Glutes should be bigger than bikini, but not as lean or defined as the Figure or Physique competitors.

If you (or anyone) thinks that it’s going to be easy to train for this category, then let me repeat one part of the criteria – “Separation between the hamstrings and the glutes” – ladies, right there is a whole can of hard work!

It is fabulous that at long last a full and powerful lower body is being celebrated in todays fashion, training and competition. This lower body mass is a lot more realistic for the majority of women, but it does tend to cover and hide any detail of the upper hamstring and its connection with the glutes.

Couple this with the fact that female fat stores in the lower body are notoriously difficult to reduce, and now you’ve just dictated a huge work load and extreme work ethic to the ladies of this division.

Genetically you either have the ladies blessed with thick legs or the ladies blessed with lean legs – without a lot of work, rarely the two shall meet.

The 3 main challenges I see are;

  1. The ladies who will have to build a great deal of muscle on their lower body.
  2. These same ladies will have to diet down for the shows without losing any of their gains. This is not as easy as it might seem and the industry gnarly diets with hours of daily cardio might not be the best approach.
  3. The ladies who have the mass already will have to etch detail into their behinds. There are many theories as to why lower body fat does not respond the same way as upper body fat does. It might be the dominant Alpha 2 receptors, or it might be the fat pattern dictated by Lipoprotein Lipase (an enzyme which plays a role in body shape and fat patterning) Whatever the reason, hip and thigh fat is well known to be stubborn.

As in every division, the whole show may be won or lost when the competitor turns around.


If you are thinking about christening this new category then its as good a time as ever to compare the judging criteria with what you have to offer. This is undoubtedly a category that will be split into the genetically blessed and those less blessed, but conditioning is rarely genetic and hard work often wins out.

Head on, looking at horizontal widths, we are looking for;

  • Shoulder to Waist ratio
  • Hip to Waist ratio

In every category longer clavicles paired with a small waist is a visual advantage. There’s not much you can do about growing inches of bone to your clavicle, and in other categories this one physical issue can seal your competitive fate. In Wellness however, a narrow clavicle won’t end your career, but it might necessitate more medial delt work to make that shoulder to waist ratio appear more than it actually is.

If the waist isn’t as teeny as you might like, the good news it that this can be somewhat of an illusion. Posing is a ridiculously powerful way to narrow a waistline, and so too is training to bring detail to the external obliques. Our eyes happily land on detail, and an etched oblique line that runs right down into those bikini bottoms makes the waist appear no wider than the medial insertions of the muscle itself.

The rectus abdominis and its ‘6 pack’ has an almost horizonal line to its detail, however the diagonal line of the oblique alludes to a narrow, conditioned and very sexy torso. The bikini girls have paved the way to prove this point.

An extreme hip to waist ratio will be celebrated in Wellness. The narrow, boyish bottoms that work so well for figure and physique will not be rewarded here. Ladies with the wider hips, you have found your home. Full glutes that fill out that wider pelvic frame will be an obvious advantage, especially when paired with a ‘Betty Boop’ type waistline.

Another important proportion to consider is the upper to lower body lengths. In this lower body dominant category long legs with solid mass are key. Although short legs can appear thicker, when they are showcased with a long torso, the look doesn’t always work. Again, if this is a concern, the right suit, the right shoes and the right posing can make all the difference.

If you are not blessed with wide hips and thick thighs but you feel that Wellness is your future, then just get ready for some big, basic leg workouts, by the looks of the girls working out nowadays, not many are scared of leg day, indeed most seem to live for it!


Because the emphasis of this class is most certainly on the lower body, this article is going to focus on the legs, hips and thighs. That is not to say that upper body training is not required, as mentioned, if your proportions are not ideal then shoulder workouts will be routine. From the rear, prominent rear delts and visible erectors at the lower back will give you a visual taper.

When the eyes land on the widest part of the shoulder, then the narrowest part of the torso, then the width on the hips and glutes, it is a pleasing, complete look. This sort of patterning is not about size, it is more about completeness, a flow. In bodybuilding some men are cursed with poor calf development and when assessing the physique as whole, it is not the lacking of that one body part, it is more that the look is unbalanced, less complete.

Wellness is not about a muscular upper body, but for lines to flow, it must be complete.

Although chest, back and biceps will not play a huge role in this division, shoulders (front, medial and rear), abdominals and a little tricep, certainly will.


Rather than divide workouts by level of experience, these workouts are distinguished by those with the genetic attributes and those without.

  • Ladies that already have size and shape in the lower body
  • Ladies that are narrower with less size in the lower body


Ladies who already have the size need to concentrate more on density and conditioning. Athletic moves, plyometrics, even track work may serve these women well.

The hamstring/glute tie in will be a priority, and that may take hill sprints, more step ups, lunges, dead lifts, kettle bells, good mornings and single leg work.


Ladies, you get to experience it all! But if your legs are leaner, the prized insertions may come easier to you and it will be the mass that you chase. Squats, double leg press (as opposed to single leg press), smith lunges (allows for more weight to be used), reverse and forward facing hack squats, deadlifts for weight, they will all be in your repertoire.


Although it’s tempting to hit legs every day of the week, progress also requires rest and adequate recovery. These lower body splits are for both types of ladies (mass and those seeking mass)


Workout #1        Hamstrings & Glutes

Workout #2        Quads

Workout #3        Glutes

Workout #4        Upper body


Workout #1        Quads & Glutes

Workout #2        Hamstrings

Workout #3        Glutes

Workout #4        Upper body Alternate between Split A & B every week or every two weeks

** You can workout more than 4 days per week, you simply stick with the order of the workouts

The following workouts are divided;

  • Ladies with mass workout splits A & B
  • Ladies seeking mass workout splits A & B




WORKOUT 1 Hamstrings & Glutes

  Set #1 Set #2 Set #3 Set #4 optional
Seated Reverse Hamstring Curls 20 15 12 30  
Good Mornings          
Travelling forward Lunge 40 total 30 total 24 total 20 total  
Lying Hamstring Curl 20 12 10 10 30
Side Lunges 12 ea side 12 12 12  
Dumbbell Deadlifts 12 10 8 6-8 6-8
Banded Side Walk 30 total 30 30 30  
Hamstrings on Stability Ball 20 20 15 15  
Weighted Step Ups 15 ea leg 15 12 12 BW  20 *

* BW Body Weight


  Set #1 Set #2 Set #3 Set #4 optional
Seated Hip Abduction 25 15 15 15 25
Barbell reverse lunge (foot raised 2”) 15 each leg 12 10 10 10
Traveling Crab Lunge (stay low) 30 total 30 24 24 20
Standing Band glute kickbacks 15 each 15 15 15  
Hip Thrusters on bench 30 15 15 15 30
Banded lateral/side Walk 15 each 15 15 15  
Machine loaded Butt Blaster 20 12 10 10 20
Single Dead Lifts with dumbbell 10-12 10-12 10-12 10-12  


  Set #1 Set #2 Set #3 Set #4 optional
Single Leg Press 15 each leg 12 10 10 20
Box Jumps 12-15 12-15 12-15 12-15  
Free bar or Smith Squats 15 10 8 10 20
Plyo Split Squats 20 total 20 20 20 20
Reverse Hack Squats 20 12 10 10 20
Body Weight Bulgarian Squats 12 each leg 12 10 10  
Thigh Extension 20 20 20 20  
Sissy or Pile Squats (body weight) 20 20 20 20  

SPLIT B WORKOUT #1 Quads & Glutes

  Set #1 Set #2 Set #3 Set #4 optional
Reverse (wide) then Forward 20 15 12 10 20
Facing (feet straight) Hack Squats 15 12 10 8 15
Standing/wall banded glute kicks 20 each leg 20 20 20 20
Smith Reverse Lunges  30 total 20 16 20 30
Goblet Squats  (if leaning forward too much, raise heels slightly) 15 15 15 15  
Leg Press (both legs for reps) 25 15 10 8-10 25
Pistol Squats or assisted single squat TF TF TF TF TF **
Single leg horizontal leg sled 12 each leg 12 10 10 20
Traveling/Walking lunges 30 steps 30 steps 20 steps 20 steps 40 BW *

** TF Too Failure (bodyweight)

*BW Body Weight

SPLIT B WORKOUT #2 Hamstrings

  Set #1 Set #2 Set #3 Set #4 optional
Single Stiff Legged Dead Lift 10-12 10-12 10-12 10-12  
Hamstring Curls on Stability Ball 20 20 15 15  
Single Leg Lying Leg Curl 8-10 8-10 8-10 20 20
Good Mornings 121 12 12 12 12
Romanian Dead Lifts 10-12 8-10 6-8 6-8 6-8


  Set #1 Set #2 Set #3 Set #4 optional
Bulgarian Squats w/barbell 15 each 15 15 15 20 BW
Marching Hip Lift (floor) 40 total 40 40 40  
Machine loaded Butt Blaster 20 each leg 151 12 12 20
Low ¾ Squats BW or barbell 30 30 30 30  
Body weight Diagonal Squat 12 each leg 12 12 12  
Alternate Reverse Smith Lunge* 40 total 30 20 16 40
Rear Foot Elevated Deadlift 12 each 12 12 12  

*Alternate one leg and then the other


SPLIT A WORKOUT #1  Hamstrings & Glutes

  Set #1 Set #2 Set #3 Set #4 optional
Lying Curls legs wide then close 20 + 12 12 + 8 12 + 8 12 + 8  
Traveling Lunges 40 total 30 24 20 40
Barbell Deadlifts 10-12 8-10 6-8 6-8 6-8
Clamshells w/band 25 25 25 252 25
Seated Reverse Leg Curl Pause set ** 15 12 10 10 25
Step up with Reverse Lunge 12 each leg 10 10 12 20 BW
Single Leg Deadlifts 8-10 8-10 8-10 8-10  

** complete set and pause at the top of the exercise, count to 10, try for 3-6 more reps


  Set #1 Set #2 Set #3 Set #4 optional
Thigh Extensions 15 12 12 12  
Hip Adductors 20 15 15 15  
(these will prime you for squats)          
Barbell Squats 12 10-12 8-10 6-8 6-8
Step Ups 12 each leg 10 8 8 12
Leg Press (both legs) 15 10-12 8-10 6-8 6-8 + drop
Banded air squats 20 20 20 20  
Hack Squats forward facing, wide 15 12 8 10 15
Front Squats w/dumbbell for reps 12 10 6 8 12


  Set #1 Set #2 Set #3 Set #4 optional
Smith Lunges Reverse 2 at a time** 30 total 24 16 16 24
Clamshells w/band 20 20 20 20 20
Single Horizontal Sled ¾ reps 15 12 12 12 20
Ankle Jumping Jacks w/band 20 20 20 20  
Bulgarian Squats 12 each leg 10 8 8 12
Hip Bridge Pulses w/band 15-20 15-20 15-20 15-20  

** 2 at a time. 2 reps on the right leg, then change legs legs. Alternate between legs every 2 reps

SPLIT B WORKOUT #1   Quads & Glutes

  Set #1 Set #2 Set #3 Set #4 optional
Hack Squat Reverse (wide) and 15 12 8 8 15
Then facing front (feet straight) 10 8 6 6 10
Body weight traveling lunges 20 total 20 total 20 total 20 total 20 total
Box Squats (free or smith) 12 8 6 10 10
Banded walk          
Leg Press (both legs) 12 8-10 6-8 6-8 20
Hip Bridge Pulses w/band 20 20 20 20  
Thigh Extension – feet flexed, then pointed 12+8 10+6 10+6 12+8 15+10
Kettle Bell Swings 15 12 12 15 25

SPLIT B WORKOUT #2  Hamstrings

  Set #1 Set #2 Set #3 Set #4 optional
Seated Reverse Hamstring Curl 15 15 20 15 15
Single Stiff Legged Deadlift 12 12 8 8 6-8
Lying Hamstring Curl w/drop set 12+6 10+5 8+4 8+4 12+6
On every set          
Good Mornings 12 12 12 12 12
Barbell Deadlifts (Romanian) 8 6-8 6-8 8-10 8
Stability Ball Hamstring Single Curls 12 each leg 12 12 12  


  Set #1 Set #2 Set #3 Set #4 optional
Single Leg Press or Sled 12 each leg 8-10 8-10 1-12 20
Double Tap Traveling Lunge ** 20 total 20 20 20 40 BW
Step ups with Reverse Lunge 12 each leg 12 10 8 8
Banded Fire Hydrants + banded 15 15 15 15  
Glute Donkey Kicks 12 each 12 12 12  
Reverse Lunge (front foot raised 2”) barbell 12 each leg 10 8 8 12
Barbell Hip Thrusts (bands optional) 12-15 12-15 12-15 12-15 12-15

** Double Tap Traveling Lunge – Step forward and lunge, repeat that lunge (do not move feet) and then continue. Basically two lunges per step


Well, this was a nice surprise to find in my FB feed this morning. Joanne Lee Personal Trainer of the Month by bodybuilding.com

On closer inspection, I see that it includes an interview I did 10 years ago 🙂 I discuss two of my favorite clients – Monica Brant and Shawn Wayans – both of which I had to train to be in bikinis (White Chicks the Movie) 🙂

Here’s the link https://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/personaltrainer_joanne_lee.htm?fbclid=IwAR231Ci81fh-jGOe77sdUrYZQTAb294ZZAf5VWW-ZZWVyuzvIJEzZhIe__E

ARM WORKOUTS FOR WOMEN – bodybuilding.com

Arm Workouts for Women: 3 Workouts to Build Size and Strength

The direct link at www.bodybuilding.com https://www.bodybuilding.com/content/arms-workout-for-women-a-girls-guide-to-guns.html

If you want to really rock that tank top at the gym or go sleeveless during summer, then girls gotta do curls, too. Learn all about arm training and try three full workouts to sculpt your arms!

Arm Workouts for Women: 3 Workouts to Build Size and Strength
Joanne Lee Cornish

Joanne Lee CornishFebruary 19, 2019 •  7 min read

Arm day is constantly dubbed every guy’s favorite day in the gym, second only to training chest. What’s interesting is that for however many guys overtrain their arms, it seems just as many women undertrain theirs. And this is unfortunate. Instagram might convince you to emphasize training only your lower body and abs, but overall muscle development shouldn’t be neglected if you want that complete fit look.

Take a look at your favorite female physique competitor, or even some actresses with athletic builds (think Brooke Ence in Wonder Woman or Gina Carano in Deadpool). You probably admire their arms just as much as their legs and abs. In our enthusiasm to build arms like female action movie stars, we’ve got three different arm workouts for you to implement into your training. But first, let’s get familiar with the anatomy and function of our upper extremities.

Arm Yourself With Education


The biceps brachii and the brachialis make up the pull and curl portion of the upper arm. The name comes from the Latin “biceps” meaning “two heads” and “brachii” meaning “of the arm.”

The two heads are generally known as the long and short heads of the biceps. Although they connect at different parts in the shoulder, they do share a common insertion point on the elbow tendon.

Anatomy of Your Biceps

The biceps brachii has two functions. The first is to flex the elbow. As you bring the wrist closer to your face (like when you pop that biceps pose) you’re flexing the elbow. The second is rotation of the forearm. Forearm supination is when you’re checking the time on your watch—any rotation of the forearm requires the biceps brachii.

The brachialis is seldom seen, so it’s often the forgotten part of the pulling group. The brachialis sits deep between the triceps and the biceps and is mainly activated with shoulder flexion, in isometric movements, or when a biceps movement is paused during activation. When developed, the brachialis can push the triceps and biceps apart, making the arm look bigger. As it pushes the biceps higher it can add to the peak of the muscle.


If biceps pull and curl, then their opposing muscles push and extend. And that brings us to the triceps. Triceps brachii translates to “three heads of the arm.”

Arm Training For Women

The three heads of the triceps are the long head, the lateral head, and the medial (deep) head. As females age, we tend to hold more body fat in this area, making triceps development more of a priority as the years pass. The long head of the triceps sits right in that troublesome posterior part of the upper arm. So, while the guys might focus on the horseshoe shape and thickness that develops the lateral head, women may want to prioritize long head exercises.

In doing this, it’s important to remember that shoulder extension is ideal for long head activation. This means any exercise where the arm goes behind the body, such as in a triceps kick-back or a single-arm cable push-down. It also means keeping your form as perfect as possible on any overhead extension or dip.

Notes For Beginners

Muscles contain high amounts of oxygenated blood; cut into a muscle and it’s red, fleshy tissue. Tendons and ligaments are pale and tough and don’t have the same sort of blood supply. Muscle can adapt well to the first few months or even years of training, whereas connective tissue can take a lot longer.

The muscles of the arms complement and assist all the other muscles of the upper body. In doing so, they can be unintentionally overtrained. As a rule, for the first year of serious lifting, it may be wise to partner arm exercises with a larger muscle group. The textbook workouts include biceps with back in the same session (“pulling” muscles), and triceps with shoulders, chest, or both (“pushing” muscles). These routines are etched in stone because they work for growth and allow strength gains without overdoing it.

Arm Training For Women

If you have under two years of training, keep it strict and simple. Training arms need never be boring as we can incorporate bars, cables, dumbbells, different body angles, and different hand positions. What all these variables have in common is elbow bend, and incorrect form, overuse, or both can end up leading to a very frustrating elbow injury. Such injuries are notorious for taking a long time to heal and are the common curse of the newbie lifter.

Training Tips

Think through your wrist. Be it a biceps or a triceps movement, the position of your wrist will dictate how much strain you are putting through the complementary muscles of the forearms. If your wrist looks like it’s cocked to sniff perfume, then you are truly setting yourself up for an elbow strain. Advanced trainers cringe when they see this on a barbell curl, skullcrusher, or triceps push-down. Keep the weight on the heal of your hand (not in your fingers) and keep the wrist neutral (straight) or ever so slightly flexed.

Stay where you start. We’ve all seen the videos of someone performing a standing curl where their back flexes more than their biceps, or the push-down that is doing more for the anterior deltoid than it is for triceps. A good reminder to avoid these things is to “stay where you start.” You may be seated or standing, but wherever your upper body is at the beginning, keep it right there. Don’t tilt, sway, roll your shoulders, or lean back. Lock your shoulders down away from your ears and concentrate on the position of your elbows and the movement of your wrists.Beginner’s WorkoutUse this workout following training a larger muscle group, like deadlifts and back training, or squats and chest. Rest for 60 seconds between sets.Print1Barbell Curl4 sets, 12, 10, 8, 8 reps

2Two-Arm Dumbbell Preacher Curl4 sets, 12, 10, 8, 8 reps

3Lying Triceps Press4 sets, 15, 12, 10, 6 reps

4Standing Dumbbell Triceps ExtensionCable or dumbbell4 sets, 12, 10, 8, 8 reps

5Tricep Dumbbell KickbackDumbbell or cable4 sets, 12, 12, 10, 10 reps (per arm)

The Fast-Paced Arm WorkoutKeep this workout fast-paced! Rest only between each triset or superset for 60 seconds.Print1TrisetLying Triceps PressUsing EZ-Bar4 sets, 15, 10, 8, 8 reps

Cable Rope Overhead Triceps Extension4 sets, 12, 12, 10, 10 reps

Barbell Curl4 sets, 8-10 reps (each with a rest-pause, then 4-5 extra reps at the end)

2TrisetPreacher Curl4 sets, 12, 10, 8, 6 reps

Cross Body Hammer CurlAlternating4 sets, 10 reps

Triceps Pushdown4 sets, 15, 12, 12, 10 reps (each with a rest-pause, then continue to failure)

3SupersetStanding Biceps Cable Curl4 sets, 12, 12, 10, 10 reps

Tricep Dumbbell Kickback4 sets, 12, 12, 10, 10 reps

The Advanced Lifter’s Arm WorkoutThis one is all about volume! Because of the continual repetition of either the curling movement or extension movement, this workout is for lifters with at least a few years of experience in the gym (the intensity of this comes with the risk of repetitive strain injuries for those new to lifting).Print1Circuit 1Repeat this circuit 4 times with no rest in between. Rest 1 min. before the next circuit.Incline Dumbbell Curl4 sets, 15, 12, 10, 8 reps

Drag CurlPerform with EZ-Bar4 sets, 15, 12, 10, 8 reps

Hammer CurlsPerform seated4 sets, 10, 10, 8, 8 reps

One Arm Dumbbell Preacher Curl4 sets, 10, 8, 6, 6 reps

2Circuit 2Repeat this circuit 4 times with no rest in between. Rest 1 min. before the next circuit.Standing Overhead Barbell Triceps ExtensionPerform with EZ-Bar4 sets, 15, 12, 10, 10 reps

Lying Triceps PressPerform with EZ-Bar4 sets, 15, 12, 10, 10 reps

Dips – Triceps Version4 sets, 12 reps

Tricep Dumbbell Kickback4 sets, 12 reps

3SupersetRepeat this superset 3 times with no rest in between.Barbell CurlPerform 7 reps at the bottom half of the movement, 7 reps at the top half of the movement, and 7 reps through the full range of motion. Keep constant resistance throughout.3 sets, 21 reps

Triceps PushdownPerform 7 reps at the bottom half of the movement, 7 reps at the top half of the movement, and 7 reps through the full range of motion. Keep constant resistance throughout.3 sets, 21 reps

Once you’ve completed the arm workouts in this article, it’s time to graduate to All Access. 30 Days To Your Best Arms with Julian Smith is a great next step on the road to amazing arms!


Joanne Lee Cornish

Joanne Lee Cornish

Joanne Lee Cornish is a British, European, and World Bodybuilding champion. A former IFBB pro, she competed in the Ms. Olympia twice before retiring to concentrate on her personal training…

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