Brazilian-born Angelica Teixeira is an absolute force in the IFBB Pro League bikini division. Of her past 11 shows, she’s managed to win 10, including top honors at two Olympias and two Bikini Internationals. But major success doesn’t mean that the 34-year-old is content. 

“It is more motivating for me to defend the title than to take the title,” says Teixeira, who resides in New Jersey. “Some people get in their comfort zone, but for me, as soon as I step off the Olympia stage I am thinking about the next one. Being the face of the sport means everything to me. I don’t want to lose that.”

For the 2019 Bikini Olympia, Teixeira is making some changes to her training. After listening to the feedback of the judges, she has decided to add more size to her upper body. She is moving a bit more weight and doing less cardio. What won’t change, though, is her focus on her glutes—her premier body part and a bikini division must-have—and abs. “If it’s working, why change?” she asks.

Teixeira trains her glutes three times a week. The first day is all glutes, the second day is glutes and hamstrings, and the third day is just hamstrings, but her glutes receive a lot of collateral damage during that session. 

As a self-described “quad-dominant” athlete, she has come up with several dif­ferent techniques to keep the emphasis off her quadriceps and on her glutes. 

Angelica Teixeira

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“When I use too much weight, I feel it more on my quads than my glutes,” Teixeira says. “I use a weight that lets me feel the muscle burning.”

Another technique she uses on nearly every rep is the lost art of peak contraction—when you hold the muscle in a flexed position for two full seconds before slowly lowering the weight. You don’t see it in gyms too often because it takes patience and discipline, and it can be very painful. The muscle activation that is sparked by the increased time under tension can do amazing things to muscles, even when not lifting a heavy load.

For bikini athletes, achieving the right balance when training their abs can be a difficult proposition. Judges want to see mid­sections that are soft but athletic, feminine but with a bit of definition. Finding that sweet spot can feel like chasing a rainbow. Teixeira lets her diet do most of the work but incorporates high-volume body-weight abs training twice a week.  

“I don’t train my abs heavy or use weights. I only do body weight, and it is mostly crunches and leg raises,” she says. “Or I will switch in other exercises that hit the upper abs and lower abs.” 

Bikini competitors at the 2019 Olympia are going to have to compete not only with Teixeira’s world-class abs and glutes but also with her champion mindset. The Brazilian is a dogged competitor who feels that her mental game is even stronger than the package she brings to the stage.

“Winning the Olympia changed my life,” she says. “When I step off the stage and I feel the love and I hear the girls tell me I inspire them, I think,‘I can’t lose this!’ ” 

Keep reading to find out Teixeira’s favorite moves and three keys to eating like a Bikini Olympia champ.  

plate of chicken breast, broccoli and black eyed peas

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