As a wife and a mother of two boys (Chase who will be 9 in July and Keenan, 6), my life revolves around my family. Working full time for the Kentucky Legislature, maintaining our household, attending school functions and kids’ sporting events, I have almost no time for myself. I’m lucky enough to be able to go to the gym on my lunch hour from work just to have some Jen-time.
I knew what I wanted to look like, but I didn’t know where to start. I trained every day, doing cardio or some type of aerobics and didn’t resemble anything close to the women in the magazines.
One day, I decided to start lifting some weights in addition to my cardio. It wasn’t long before I at least started noticing little changes. I liked what I saw and wanted more. So I got up my nerve and asked two of the biggest guys in the gym if I could work out with them. They took me under their wings and taught me the exercises necessary to start putting some muscle on my skinny, aerobic body.
Soon, I was thinking about competition. One of my new workout friends told me that I needed Beverly International supplements if I wanted to be the best I could be. I called Beverly and before I knew it I was attending their pre-contest workshop in December of 2005. I was on my way to being a real bodybuilder. During these workshops, they monitored my body composition, adjusted my nutrition accordingly, taught me how to pose, and helped with my training and cardio. Oh, yeah, they also answered tons of my questions and even told me where to get a posing suit and exactly what to expect at the show. Beverly supported me through the entire process. They are not only my supplement company, but great friends whom I can count on for advice. I can honestly say that I would have been lost without their expertise.
Training Support Group:
A few of my friends joined the bodybuilding and figure band wagon the same time as I did, so we developed our own little support group. If I’m having a bad diet day, and craving a cheeseburger or tempted to dig into that jar of honey roasted peanuts (peanuts are high in protein, right?) I call one of my group. I’ll get so much grief that the temporary food pleasure is no longer worth it. Hey, I asked my husband Gerald to join my group. His job would be to tell me if I’m losing fat fast enough or not. He wisely turned down the job. I guess he was afraid I’d go into a carb-depleted rage if he gave me the wrong answer. However, I definitely give my husband kudos for his steady support. No matter what my mood, (and believe me, the last few weeks before a show... even if you think you are not moody... trust me, you’re moody!) he was always supportive.
A typical day begins at 5 in the morning. I ride the exercise bike for 30 minutes and follow it with 20 minutes of yoga. I then get myself ready for work and my two boys ready for school. (That can be a little bit of cardio in itself.) As the competition gets closer, my cardio becomes much more intense. At six weeks out it’s stair master in the gym, sprint drills outside, and once or twice a week stadium steps. My stadium sessions are 30-45 minutes of one minute intervals, running as fast as I can for a minute then walking for a minute. At four weeks out, my husband takes the boys to school so that I can get in some extra cardio before work. I continue to get my weight training session in during my lunch break at work. I am blessed with a very accepting boss (who happens to be a yogi) and co-worker who understand my obsession with training and exercise.
Time management is essential when preparing for a contest. You have to plan ahead. You’ve got to have every meal and supplement prepared in advance. It is way too easy to cheat when you are away from home if you are not prepared. What if a ballgame goes long? Do you just get a hot dog? Heck no! I always have a package of tuna and/or protein and a shaker everywhere I go. That makes it impossible for me to justify cheating.
Diet consists of six meals:
Before I began competing, I wouldn’t think of eating a sweet potato or fish, much less anything green. Yuck! Now, I love asparagus and I eat tilapia several times a day prior to a show. My typical day consists of six meals. Breakfast is normally a pack of tuna and one-half cup oatmeal. My lunch is tilapia, a small sweet potato and eight stalks of asparagus. For dinner it’s usually tilapia again with eight more asparagus stalks, but once or twice a week I’ll have lean beef instead with my asparagus. I have a Beverly Muscle Provider or Ultimate Muscle Protein shake three times a day between my food meals, mid morning, mid afternoon, and mid evening. My favorite contest diet meal though is my twice a week Beverly carb-up meal. I mix together a banana, sweet potato, and oatmeal, and bake it in the oven.
Training legs twice each week:
I train six days per week. Day 1 is chest, Day 2 is back, I train legs twice each week on Day 3 and 6, shoulders and traps on Day 4, and Day 5 is arms and forearms. On leg days, I try to do quads in the morning and hamstrings at lunch. (But, if my husband can’t take the kids to school, I just work both quads and hams at lunch.) I work calves twice a week and abs I don’t work enough. I try to get them in as much as possible, but I really need to concentrate on this area more next time. They never come in as defined as I want them to.
Competing is one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done in my life (next to parenting). Along with a lot of hard work, it takes so much discipline and willpower. Then, after you compete you have to face the disappointment of not doing as well as you would have liked. You’ve got to remember that every one else in contention has worked as hard as you have and only one can win. Don’t question yourself and wonder was it all worth it. Of course it was worth it. You’re in the best shape of your life, aren’t you? Hey, you just got on stage in front of hundreds of people in less material than your Victoria’s Secret undies. Now how many can do that? Be proud of what you just accomplished, then figure out what you need to improve on for your next show. Develop a new plan, train hard, work with your diet and supplement program, and see how much you can improve for your next show.
3 sets of incline bench – 10, 8, 6 reps (going heavier with each set)
2 sets of dumbbell incline – 10, 8, 6
2 sets of dumbbell flies – 10, 10
2 sets of incline push–ups (feet up on a bench)
2 sets of pec deck – 10, 8
3 sets of wide–grip pull ups – 10, 8, 8
2–3 sets deadlift – 10, 8, 6
3 sets of T–bar – 10, 8, 6
2 sets of bent over rows – 10, 10
2 sets of wide grip lat pulls – 10, 10
Legs: I separate quads (a.m.) and hamstrings (p.m.) and work each part twice a week
6–8 sets of squats – 15, 12, 10, 10, 8, 8, 6, 6
6–8 sets of leg press – 15, 12, 10, 10, 8, 8, 6, 6
5–6 sets of leg extensions – 15, 12, 10, 10, 8
3 sets stepping up on a bench with dumbbells – 10, 10, 10
4 sets of lunges – 10, 10, 10, 10
3 sets lying leg curl – 15, 12, 10
3 sets of seated hamstring curl – 12, 10, 8
3 sets of stiff leg deadlift – 10, 8, 6
3 sets of leg press with my feet at very end of the sled – 25, 15, 15
3 sets of weighted front shrugs with barbell – 10, 8, 6 reps
2 sets of weighted shrugs (from behind) – 10, 10
3 sets of dumbbell shrugs – 10, 8, 6 reps
3 sets of military press – 10, 8, 6 reps
2 sets of front shoulder raises with dumbbells – 10, 8
3 sets of side shoulder raises with dumbbells – 10, 8, 8
2 sets of reverse pec deck – 10, 10
3 sets of dumbbell curls – 10, 10, 8
2 sets of seated concentrated curls – 10, 8
2 sets of 21′s with barbell: 7 reps to the mid section of body,
7 reps from shoulders down to the mid section of body, and
7 reps full range from top to bottom **these are killer
2 sets of incline curls with dumbbells – 10, 8
2 sets of skull crushers with dumbbells on incline bench – 10, 8
2 sets of reverse curls with cables – 10, 8
2–3 sets of push ups with index fingers and thumbs pressed together and
under the chest area – to failure
2 sets on the triceps push down machine – 10, 8
Meal 1: 5 oz tilapia, 1/2 cup oatmeal, ½ grapefruit
Meal 2: 2 scoops chocolate Muscle Provider (1 tbsp almond butter until 6 weeks out from
show, then I cut that out)
Meal 3: 5 oz. tuna or tilapia, 8 stalks of asparagus with 1 teaspoon Newman's Own Oil and
Vinegar dressing, 1 small sweet potato
Meal 4: same as meal 2
Meal 5: same as meal 3; twice a week I have an 8 oz steak or 4 oz lean beef burger instead of tilapia
Meal 6: 1–2 scoops Muscle Provider (I cut this out about 4 weeks out from a show)
On Sundays and Thursdays, I replace my final meal with a small sweet potato (5–6 oz), one banana, and 1 cup oatmeal with a teaspoon of Smart Balance butter. I mix it all together and bake it in the oven. I also eat 8 stalks of asparagus as a side.
As I sit here writing this article, I am looking at Cory Everson’s picture and my goal is still to look like her. Hopefully in the future that will be a possible dream, but in the meantime, I plan to compete in a local show or two, and then compete in the Arnold Amateur and Northern Kentucky Bodybuilding shows in March of 2008.
My trials and tribulations: Although my husband has been very supportive in taking care of the boys while I get extra training in and he listens to me talk about body building ALL the time, he doesn’t want me to go overboard in the muscle department. My first show was difficult because without realizing it, I pretty much let it consume my life.
I still took care of the family, work, and all else, but all I could focus on was the competition. I worked so hard because I wanted to do well. I was so tired by the end of the night that I didn’t spend a lot of time with my husband so I had unintentionally put some distance between us. He was very patient and understanding. At my show, when I came off of the stage, he gave me a big hug and told me how proud he was of me for going after my dream and for doing well. My boys were so excited. That made it worthwhile. So, my advice to working mom’s – be prepared for a difficult journey. Be the best YOU can be and do what you can in the time that you have. It is easy to become so involved that you forget what is most important in life – your family. You can still do it. You just have to want it bad enough and be able to juggle a very hectic lifestyle. In the end, it is SO worth the extra effort.
I would like to thank my hubby Gerald and my kids (Chase and Keenan) for putting up with me and having to smell fish cooking every morning and every night, my training partners Mike and Joel for giving me that extra push, Jim and Marko (the owners of the Capital Fitness Gym in Frankfort) for all of their support, Cody for always asking how I feel, Lynn for telling me how much fat I still have to lose, my big brother Bill and his girlfriend Shelina for coming to every show, my boss Kim and co–worker Matt, all of my friends and family for their support, Roger and Sandy from Beverly. Without Roger and Sandy, I never would have made it to the show. Their knowledge and expertise and great tasting protein allowed me to accomplish my goal and have fun while doing it.
Personal Profile: Jennifer Wilson
Occupation: Legislative Assistant; Legislative Research Commission
Family: Married – 9 years, two boys, Keenan – 6 and Chase – 9
Current Residence: Lawrenceburg, KY
Where do you train: Capital Fitness, Frankfort, KY
Years Training: 5 years; 2 years competitively
Off Season Weight: 134
Contest Weight: 118
Favorite Cheat Food: Beverly International’s goo – Muscle Provider, honey, Kroger natural crunchy peanut butter, vanilla yogurt raisins, honey roasted peanuts; 2nd choice: a Longhorn cheeseburger with mayo
Favorite Bodybuilding Meal: Believe it or not – Beverly’s famous carb-up meal; sweet potato, banana, oatmeal with a tsp of Smart Balance butter; 2nd choice: steak and sweet potato
Most Inspiring Bodybuilders: Arnold Schwarzenegger and Cory Everson
In your CD player: Oldies hip-hop
Favorite Book: The Notebook – a true romance novel
Other Interests: I enjoy being with my family. Although my two boys fight non-stop (that drives me crazy), I enjoy taking them bike riding, hiking, and swimming. I love riding motorcycles with my husband. I got my motorcycle license last year, but haven’t purchased a bike yet, so as of right now, I still ride with my husband and that’s great, too.
Words to live by: Life flies by. Seems like yesterday I became a Mom when it was actually 8 years ago. You can’t gain those years back so enjoy them while they are here. Make tons of friends in life, enjoy them. Be kind to everyone and laugh every day. Also, if you are dealing with Beverly, listen to what Roger tells you and don’t ask him stupid questions. Ha-ha-ha!