Entered a figure competition and was hooked! After that, I wanted to take my training and dieting to the limit and try bodybuilding.
Competing has always been in my nature; however, bodybuilding was not on my list until 2 and half years ago. After having my son, I was unhappy with how skinny and unshapely my physique appeared; and running and playing rugby was no longer giving me the satisfaction I desired from a sport. I began lifting and was skeptical at first of the changes my body could make after having a child.
One year later, I entered a figure competition and was hooked! After that, I wanted to take my training and dieting to the limit and try bodybuilding. I began my contest prep 12 weeks out for the 2010 NPC Northern and with the help of my amazing coach, Daniel Rocha, proper supplements from Beverly International, and extreme dedication, I came in very confident and placed 2nd in my middle weight class.
Even though I was a runner since 5th grade, I do not enjoy cardio any longer. I now realize the results you can get from doing little to no cardio if you follow a strict contest diet. Instead, I chose to do supersets and posing in between for my conditioning. Throughout my prep, I kept my reps in the 12 to 15 range and focused on squeezing the muscles really hard. My favorite workout was always my leg day.
At 6 weeks out, my leg workout looked like this:
Leg Extensions 8 x 12-15 reps (drop set the last 3 sets)
Leg Curl 8 x 12-15 reps (drop set the last 3 sets)
Abductors (bent at the waist) 8 x 20-25 reps (squeeze glutes very hard)
Calves 4 x 15-20 reps
I did only leg extensions and curls to aid in the muscle separation since I already had enough mass in my legs. Also, the abductors really helped bring my glutes in tight and round. (This is always a trouble spot for female competitors, so I highly recommend doing abductors)
Upon rising: 1 serving UMP then wait ½ hour until meal 1
Meal 1: 2 oz. chicken, 3 egg whites, 1 slice toast, 1/3 cup oats
Meal 2: 4 oz. tuna, ½ cup rice, and apple
Meal 3: 4 oz. turkey, 1 cup brown rice
Meal 4: 4 oz. turkey, 3 oz. yam
Meal 5: 5 oz. tilapia, green salad, green beans
Meal 6: 4 egg whites
Post training: 1 serving UMP then wait ½ hr until next meal
Posing is the key to winning any show. You can come in with the hardest, leanest body and if you are lacking in the posing, you will be scored lower. I began my posing practice 12 weeks out a couple of days per week for 45-60 minutes. At 6 weeks out, instead of resting between sets, I would do posing to help with my conditioning. I did not want to step on stage and be shaking or not able to hold a pose long enough. Toward the end, I was able to hold all of my poses for at least 60 seconds without cramping up. When I stepped on stage, the posing was easy, and I never broke a sweat.
In addition, taking progress pictures weekly and having my workout partner critique my poses were very helpful. On the day of the show, I had a notebook with instructions of everything written that I should follow leading up to and throughout the competition. I did not want to feel lost, so my little notebook kept me focused. Keeping my feet up backstage proved to be one of the most important things I did all day. This allowed me to have maximum separation in my legs, since the blood was not pooled in them.
The 2010 Northern Ky show proved to be the best NPC show in the nation. I am proud to have been a part of such an amazing event. Thanks to all the amazing staff and especially Beverly for offering amazing products that deliver results every time. For those of you wanting to compete for the first time, I would definitely recommend this show as a beginner. You will not be let down!
» Shala Singer Complete Beginner to Figure champ in 6 months