Three 1st Place Figure Wins in One Season

By: Leslie Draper
Magazine 14 #2

Tunnel vision is a term I use daily in my profession as an optometrist. Professionally speaking, tunnel vision is a condition when only those objects directly in line with the eyes can be seen. The Encarta Dictionary defines tunnel vision as "a limited viewpoint".

My ability to stay focused on my goal and not let daily struggles hinder my diet and training plans in large part determines my success. It takes this dedication to succeed in the competitive world of Bodybuilding and Figure.

How Did I Do It? Tunnel Vision

I began competing in Figure in 2007 at the age of 33. I’ve been active in the gym since I was a teenager and dreamed of competing sometime in the future. In high school I was a cheerleader and also entered local road races. However, once I made the commitment to become an Optometric Physician, my dream of competing was temporarily placed on hold. I continued to run and lift 3-4 days a week; throughout my many years of college. I’m glad I did; for it definitely helped me maintain my shape and weight during those late night coffee drinking, pizza eating, sugar-fueled study sessions.

Leslie Draper db leg squat
I have found that my success in preparing for competition all boils down to this one concept, “tunnel vision”.

When I finally completed my schooling and residency, I set my sights once again on competing. The first year was trial and error. I placed in 2 out of the 3 competitions I entered. But, I knew I could do better. I was still experimenting, trying to find what worked for me in terms of diet and training.

Then I was introduced to beverly international

My first purchase was Ultimate Muscle Protein (UMP) Cookies & Créme and I was HOOKED. There was no stopping me from that point on. Since then I have tried and LOVE all the UMP flavors. There is no protein powder that is so versatile and tasty. With the protein powders, I can make many good treats on & off-season. I make protein pancakes, protein bars, protein frozen bars, cookies, pudding, and Beverly goo-Yum. I look forward to coming up with new recipes that allow me to incorporate them into a healthy lifestyle.

(Three, Tres) 1st Place Wins

Contest Wins
2008 NPC (TN) Knoxville Expo First Figure short class
2008 INBF (GA) Southern Natural 1st Figure short & 1st
Women's Bodybuilding
Yes, two First Place Figure class wins and one First Place Women’s Bodybuilding win and how you ask?
The most important key is being completely prepared with my diet.

The first thing I do whenever I have a question/ concern about diet / training / suits / tanning / supplements and more I go to their forum and check in on the discussion board

Jason from Natty Nutrition has posted quite a few times on the board so I contacted him twelve weeks out for some diet help. The main thing with any diet is to follow the plan just as it’s mapped out. Remember, "tunnel vision" is the key. Once you have your plan don’t even think about changing it. Eat the foods, take the supplements and you will get much better results than if you constantly agonize over it, wondering "should I change this, or what about that?"

Here is my average pre-contest meal plan
Meal 1: Egg whites/egg yolk and oatmeal – I often make this meal into pancakes or "oatmeal crisp"
Meal 2: Turkey and white potato, large salad
Meal 3: Chocolate Muscle Provider and oatmeal – I combine them to make a protein bar or chocolate oatmeal
Meal 4: Turkey and sweet potato, green veggies
Meal 5: Top round and white potato
Meal 6: Chocolate Muscle Provider/oatmeal again! You can make a great brownie for a bedtime treat – I doubt if I could diet without this for my chocolate fix. You can also use UMP chocolate for a delicious treat as well.

The portions are adjusted based on training days and non-training days. On training days, I increase my carbohydrate portions to get maximum results from my workouts. As my contest approaches I alter the meal 6 amounts of Muscle Provider and oatmeal to maintain lean body mass while continuing to decrease my body-fat.

Here are the other supplements I depend upon
Glutamine Select plus BCAAs is a workout staple. I use it with UMP and Muscle Proivder year round.
During contest prep I take Muscle Synergy,
GH Factor,
7-Keto and Density daily.
Muscle Synergy and Density were new for me this season, and I could really tell a difference in my workouts.
Leslie Draper bicep curls
“Be Prepared” is not only the Boy Scouts motto but also one of mine right up there with “Tunnel Vision”

Plan & Prepare

I prepare all my food meals for the week on Sunday; pack them in individual containers, label and freeze. I take my meals everywhere I go – just in case. I always have a loaded cooler and a gallon of water in my car. You never know when you may be stuck in traffic, at work, or at a friends’ house – be prepared! If I’m prepared I don’t get off schedule and my day goes much smoother.

Training and Cardio

My typical weight training schedule is 2on/1off; 2on/2off:
Monday – Chest/Triceps/Abs
Tuesday – Quads/Hamstrings/Shoulders
Wednesday – Abs
Thursday – Back/Biceps
Friday – Shoulders/Calves/Abs
Saturday/Sunday – off
I write out my workout plan weekly and carry it with me to the gym. A bit OCD, but it works for me!
A challenging area for me to develop has been my shoulders, so..
I train them twice/week as follows:
Lateral raises – 4 sets of 9 reps with 20 pounds
Modified Cleans – 4 sets of 9 reps with 50-60 pound bar
Front raise – 4 sets of 9 reps holding a 25-35 pound plate
Lying Laterals – 4 sets of 9 reps with 15 pounds

In general I like to lift heavy for each muscle group. However, I do throw in a lighter weight/higher rep workout occasionally if I’m feeling sluggish. I vary my routine as to the specific exercises performed every 3-4 weeks to continually challenge my muscles with a new stimulus.

I begin 2 a day cardio sessions six weeks out from the contest. I perform low intensity cardio (usually walking or biking around my neighborhood) every morning at six for 45 minutes. Then in the evening I perform another 20 minutes of either low intensity, or 3 days/week HIIT sessions after my weight session – usually sprinting or biking, but I also incorporate the step mill, elliptical or recumbent bike on occasion.


Items you need for stage

  • Dark tan-I’ve found I could have always added one more coat.
  • Eyelashes-don’t wait until last minute to apply, it can be frustrating.
  • Makeup-use natural colors to complement your features.
  • Shoes-wear them weeks before the contest.
  • Perfectly Practiced Posing – for figure and bodybuilding I posed several times daily for 5 weeks before show time. This is huge! Pose, pose, and pose!

Things I wish I had back stage

Safety pins, extra earrings (mine broke last contest), extra lashes, sponge/tanner for touchups (you may not be allowed to do this backstage, but you can always do it in your room or even outside the contest venue).

Right now, I am taking a short break to spend more time with my family. My plans are to compete at least once each year for the next few years. This way I will always maintain my competitive edge. And besides, I love the challenge. If my work schedule will allow it, I would like to compete in the Northern KY next and meet the Beverly crew.