Let me start by telling you a little about myself. I’m 38 years old, married with three boys. I have two jobs (Administrative Assistant for a local restaurant, and Certified Personal Trainer at Gold’s). I also am a business owner of a local motel. How can I do all of this and still get ready for a show? You have to be dedicated, motivated, organized and self-disciplined. If you have these qualities and the will to succeed, God will give you the strength to be your best.
Lose body fat and gain lean muscle
In this article I want to give you the complete plan that I followed to prepare for my first figure show. I’ll cover these areas:
Nutrition and supplements
Training and cardio
Presentation and mental aspects
I was an athlete growing up. I was a sprinter in track and softball player, too. I earned a scholarship to a local university for high jump, but was involved in a serious car accident before I even started and lost my scholarship as I result of a severe neck injury that required years of physical therapy.
The next big step in my life was marrying and starting a family. This came with some challenges, too. Our first child, Austin had some severe health issues which required numerous hospital visits. Kolton, our second child was healthy, but our third son suffered a prenatal stroke and has had a lot of health concerns as well.
Well, I’m not writing this so that you can feel sorry for me. I just wanted to show you that if I can do it, you can too. Now, I’m going to go right into what I did to get ready for my first competition. Even as I was going through all my trials and tribulations I had it in the back of my mind that maybe someday I would like to compete in a show. After having children and watching my age creep up into the mid 30’s, I didn’t know whether it was a realistic goal or not, but I thought it was time to give it a shot.
I joined the gym and started training. It was good to feel like an athlete again. After a few months, like everyone, I was anxious for faster results. I wanted to lean out and attain that athlete’s body once again. Chris Reynolds, a good friend said I should try adding some supplements and he highly recommended Beverly International to me. He was such a believer in Beverly that it was contagious. I got psyched up and couldn’t wait to try them. The first two supplements I bought were Ultimate Muscle Protein and the Super Pak. I loved the results I got. I could really tell a difference in my energy level and I was finally starting to see some good muscle tone.
I contacted Beverly and asked what supplements would be best to achieve these goals. They suggested Glutamine Select, Muscle Provider, Ultra 40, and Lean Out. I added those supplements to my UMP and Super Pak. The results were great – I was getting more muscular, leaner and reducing my body fat at the same time.
Now, I told myself that at age 38 I wanted to be in the best shape of my life. Competing in a figure show was becoming my personal dream. My training intensified during the year leading up to my 38th birthday. I put another full year of hard training, dieting, and supplements in. Then. it was time, I competed in my first Figure show, the NPC Natural Mid States Muscle Classic in November of 2007. I placed 2n.d in the 35 and older division and 2nd in the Open. What a wonderful experience!
Well, now the competition bug had b.itten me. I competed the next month in the NPC Chicago Ironman. I won the overall 35 and older category and was 2nd in the Open.
My Step by Step Contest Prep
The first thing I did once I decided to compete was fill out the application and sign up. Don’t overlook this step. Many times there are deadlines and if you miss it you won’t be allowed to compete. Another reason I signed up early was it gave me the motivation to train even harder and diet even more strictly. I started my final Figure Preparation at 16 weeks out using the Pre Contest Figure Workshop Manual. This manual is fantastic. It provided me with a specific plan to follow both for diet and exercise. There are plans for "maximum fat loss", or what I needed, "plans to increase your muscularity."
8 weeks out from the show I started working with @ChaundraT Chaundra Tangi, an IFBB Figure Pro. She suggested that with my high metabolism I should add still a little more food to my diet.
My most effective lose body fat;
gain lean muscle mass
Plan is as follows:
Meal 1: 7:00 – First thing I would have 1 ½ scoops of Muscle Provider (Chocolate). My favorite way to make this was to use my Magic Bullet mixer. I would add a ½ cup water, ½ cup chopped ice cubes, then 1 ½ scoops of Muscle Provider. I turn on the mixer and within 30 seconds I have a great thick chocolate shake. It is just great.
At 7:30 – 7 egg whites, 3 oz. chicken, and ½ cup oatmeal
Meal 2: 11:00 – 7 oz. chicken, ½ cup brown rice, & ¾ cup veggie
Meal 3: 12:30 – 7 oz. chicken, ½ cup rice
Meal 4: 2:30 p.m. – 4 oz. chicken or 1 scoop Muscle Provider and a small apple
Meal 5: 4:30 p.m. – 7 oz. chicken, ½ cup brown rice, 1/3 cup veggie
Meal 6: 5 oz. steak, 1 cup veggie
Meal 7: 1 scoop Muscle Provider: 30 min. before bed
Training focused and driven
I do cardio on the treadmill at 6:00 am before getting my kids up and ready for school. I do 50 minutes every morning, then at 3 weeks out I switch to 40 minutes twice a day. Some days I can’t get my last cardio session in until 10:00 pm or later, but I always make sure that I get it in.
I base my weight training around my family, personal training clients and the two Boot Camp classes I teach. Time is limited so I just try to fit it in wherever I can. But, I always fit it in somehow. It’s my favorite part of the day. I love it. I train with my headphones on so I have minimal interruptions and I stay focused and driven. During strength training I always have my shaker with my two scoops of Glutamine Select and I drink that while I train.
I used this split from 12 weeks out until close to my show
Sets x Reps
Step ups on bench
3x15 each leg
Stiff Legged Deadlift
50 each leg
6 sets of 25
Tuesday: Back, Delts, Biceps
Sets x Reps
One Arm DB Row
Seated Cable Row
DB Lateral Raise
Wednesday: Chest, Triceps
Sets x Reps
Incline DB Press
Flat Dumbbell Press
Lying Tricep Extension
» Start super-sets with legs
Sets x Reps
Wide Leg Press
3x6-8 (super-set with next exercise)
3x12 (super-set with next exercise)
Calf Raises & Toe Raises
6 sets of 15 reps
* Walking Lunges with weights just walked down long hallway and back twice per set
Friday: Delts, Back, Biceps & Triceps
Sets x Reps
Shoulder Press w/Dumbbells
3x6-10 (super-set with next exercise
3x8-12 (super-set with next)
Bent over Laterals
3x10-12 (super-set with next)
Seated Cable Row
Barbell or EZ curl
3x6-10 (super-set with next)
Dips or Triceps Dips
8 sets of 25
Here are some tips and things I did as far as presentation.
1.Hair – I get fresh highlights in my hair before the show, but I don’t get a do – I just straighten it and I’m good to go.
2.Nails – I get a manicure and pedicure.
3.Shoes – I ordered my shoes online. They were simple, but elegant, with a few small rhinestones on them. I wore 5" heels. One thing you don’t want is a high platform in the front of your shoe.
4.Suit – keeping it secure is sometimes an issue. I glue the bottom of my suit down at the show with craft tack glue. It works great. It does not move. You can buy it in the craft section at your local store.
5.Tanning is a must under those bright stage lights. Judges at both shows complemented me on my tan. I use Dy-O-Derm. It is actually a stain you paint on your skin with a craft brush. It gives you a deep dark tan. Then the day of the show all you have to do is put on Nivea lotion and you’re set. It is great for when you are on stage under those bright lights. I got it at my local pharmacy but you might have to look online for it.
6.Posing – I practiced posing three nights during the week with my husband acting as judge. As the show approached, Chaundra was a wonderful help in correcting my poses, etc. The day before the show I posed at the gym – over and over – until I felt comfortable and confident
7.Photos – I recommend that you have someone take photos each week so you can see your improvements. What you will accomplish is amazing and you don’t realize how much you are changing but the pictures tell it all.
8.Mental aspects – I think self-discipline is the most important aspect in achieving your goals. You have to have the self-discipline to stick to your diet and not miss training or cardio sessions. I loved the discipline of the eating schedule and training schedule, but it was hard some days to get it all in. But, somehow, I always did.
I wrote this article to inspire woman and mothers of all ages. I am proof that if you put your mind to it, you can do it. Age is just a number. If you have the drive and determination and give it 100% you will be a winner just by getting up on stage. You’ll know you are the best you can be (and maybe, ever been) on that. Yes, it takes a lot of discipline and hard work, but "being the best you can be" is the best present that anyone can give themselves. Your body is an investment and taking care of yourself is the best investment that you can make.