Winning Formula for a Muscular & Shredded Physique

NPC physique competitor and personal trainer Pierre Vuala tells us how he stays strong, shredded, and stage-ready.

Vuala by the Numbers

Age: 23

Height: 5'11"

Weight: 195 lbs (competiton)

Hometown: Miami, FL

Twitter: @PV_Gunz


Like everyone else, Pierre Vuala has a million reasons to skip the gym now and then. Unlike everyone else, he never uses them. The winner of’s 2013 FIT USA contest is an exercise physiology major at Florida International University. Despite the massive time drain of his studies, plus being a certified personal trainer, fitness model, and NPC men’s physique competitor, Vuala still manages to train six days every week.

“I have a bigger lower body, so when it comes to lifting for legs, I go for higher reps for getting hardness in my legs and striation,” Vuala says. “When it comes to upper body, like my back, shoulders, and upper chest, I go a lot heavier and lower in reps.” For cardio, Vuala does two days of sprints on an outdoor track and three days of fasted low-intensity cardio for 30–45 minutes on a treadmill or elliptical in the mornings. The former collegiate football player occasionally does CrossFit, boxes, and scales an indoor rock wall to keep things interesting and stay conditioned.

At 3% body fat, Vuala says his nutrition is critical to his physique. He consumes 1,500–2,000 calories daily in preparation for a contest and up to 3,000 calories daily during the off-season.

“When I train body parts I’m trying to gain size for, I incorporate meat like steak that day and have a higher intake of carbs,” Vuala says. “When it is a body part I’m not trying to add mass to, like my legs, I have a lower carb intake, and I try to stick to fish, lean turkey, and lean chicken.”

Egg whites, oatmeal, brown rice, broccoli, sweet/red potatoes, and asparagus (Vuala’s favorite pre-contest veggie because of its diuretic properties) round out his diet. Even when he wants to cheat, he keeps it healthy. Instead of caving and buying fast food, he’ll cook a burger at home.

Vuala’s mission is to make his clients (and his increasing fan base) realize his results are not unattainable and his message is relevant both in and out of the gym.

“You have to be persistent,” Vuala says, “because you don’t always get what you want the frst time you try it.”

Vuala's Pre-Competition Leg Workout

Exercise Sets Reps
Leg Extension 5 30, 20, 20 15, 15
Barbell Squat 3 15, 10, 10
Narrow Leg Press 3 20, 20, 20
Superset with    
Box Jump 3 10, 10, 10
Bugarian Barbell Squat 3 15, 10, 10
Superset with    
High Knee Toe Tap* 3 40, 40, 40
Single-leg Upright Hamstring Curl 3 15, 15, 15
Seated Calf Raise** 3 20, 20, 20

Performed once a week