He’s trained thousands of competitors to take their A game to the stage for 25 years. Kim Oddo, owner and founder of Body by O, reveals his coaching secrets about prepping for the Arnold Classic. 


Building a winning physique takes constant refinement—and time: “I usually recommend a minimum of 12 weeks and a max of 15 weeks for prep. That allows them to come down nice and easy and to add lean muscle and reduce body fat slowly. After 15 weeks, they’ll tire out.” 


“To help develop fullness in the muscle bellies—which is what’s necessary to win—you need to address the full spectrum: nutrition, training development, cardio timing, supplementation,” Oddo says. Every couple of weeks, he recommends switching between steady- state cardio, HIIT workouts, plyo, elevation, and running to keep the body off guard. The same idea applies to weights: He has athletes switch between low reps, periodization, supersets, and circuits. 

Most Startling Tranformation During Arnold Prep 

IFBB bikini pro Narmin Assria. “She started at 5′ and 92 pounds. To compete at the top level, she’s really had to grow.” Justine Munro, who placed second at last year’s Arnold, was the opposite test for Oddo: “Munro was fuller, and we had to rein her down into the bikini category. 

Best Advice

“Make sure you have the time, few distractions, are in a good place mentally, and the timing also works for those around you. When you’re in a good place, your body can do amazing things.”