Competing in sports half of my life

always a top performer

By: Christie Toland
Magazine 16 #4

Why would any 14 year old girl want to be a gym rat? Well, for me it was stay at home and work on my home work or go to the gym with my mom. I chose to go to the gym.

The first couple of weeks I had "fun" on the stair stepper and other cardio equipment while my mom worked out. But, soon I was experimenting with the weight machines, barbells and dumbbells. My mom’s trainer noticed and asked if I’d like to sign on for some training sessions. I said, FOR SURE! To trade for the training sessions my dad, who ran an auto shop, would fix his cars.

As I matured the one constant in my life was lifting and healthy eating. I graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha with a degree in Health Education and Nutrition and I’ve spent the last 13 years working in the health food industry.

Anyone who has remained in the iron game that long has at least wondered at some time or another if they have what it takes to compete. I came close several times, but something would come up to postpone actually entering a competition. I was getting discouraged, but prayed long and hard and decided to give it one more try. I recommitted myself and focused on my diet and workout goals and contacted Todd Mills, the manager of Better Bodies, as a resource.

I met up with Todd every two weeks for the next 16 weeks to make sure that I was on target for my goals and would be ready to compete. At about 9 weeks out from my competition Todd suggested that I start carbohydrate cycling to help increase my fat loss. This took me right up to my first competition and I finally made it by the grace of God!

Christie Toland hand on hips pose

Carb Cycle Diet

Low Carb Days – 3 days in a row:

Meal 1: Post AM cardio and pre gym. 1 cup egg whites, ½ cup-1 cup vegetables, 1 tbsp almond butter or nut butter and coffee with a bit of cream

Meal 2: Post workout. 1 ½ scoops UMP and 2 cups cooked vegetables

Meal 3: 4 oz. cooked chicken and 12 almonds

Meal 4: Large salad and 4 oz. cooked turkey breast

Meals 5: 1 cup egg whites, 2 cups cooked vegetables and 4 EFA Gold

One day High Carbs:

Meal 1: Post AM cardio and pre-gym. ½ cup uncooked oats, 1 cup egg whites (made into protein pancakes), sugar free syrup and coffee with a bit of cream

Meal 2: Post Workout. 1 ½ scoops UMP, ½ cup uncooked oats and 1 tbsp almond butter

Meal 3: 4 oz. cooked chicken and large salad

Meal 4: 4 oz. chicken, 4 oz. sweet potato, 1 cup vegetables and 4 EFA gold

Meal 5: 1 cup egg whites and 1 ½ cups vegetables

I cooked and packaged up about ten meals at a time. I agree with the opinion that "preparation is key!" If I didn’t prepare properly I was super vulnerable to eating yummy and nutritious, but not contest food working at Whole Foods Market.

Supplement Schedule (low and high carb days alike)

7-Keto Musclean: 3 capsules in am pre cardio, 3 prior to meal #3

Lean Out: 2 capsules in the morning before cardio, 1 after the next two meals

UMP: 1 ½ scoops post workout and an additional serving on some days

Glutamine Select: 1 scoop prior to workout and 1 scoop post workout

EFA Gold: At least 4 every day, later in the evening and sometimes a few more capsules if joints hurt

Cardio Schedule

I started 16 weeks out with 20 minutes, 3 or 4 times a week. At 7 weeks out I upped it to 30 minutes every day before my first meal. I increased it to 40 minutes for the last 4 weeks. I quit doing cardio 3 days before my show to allow for full recovery before my contest. Sometimes I would go for an additional walk in the PM if I had enough energy.

I always tried to do the stair stepper for half of my cardio because it got my heart rate up the best without putting too much stress on my knee. The key for me was to do it right away in the morning on an empty stomach. Although I have to admit it was not easy when my stomach was screaming for food! I often had a cup of coffee before, as well as Glutamine Select.

I started 16 weeks out with 20 minutes, 3 or 4 times a week. At 7 weeks out I upped it to 30 minutes every day before my first meal. I increased it to 40 minutes for the last 4 weeks. I quit doing cardio 3 days before my show to allow for full recovery before my contest. Sometimes I would go for an additional walk in the PM if I had enough energy.

I always tried to do the stair stepper for half of my cardio because it got my heart rate up the best without putting too much stress on my knee. The key for me was to do it right away in the morning on an empty stomach. Although I have to admit it was not easy when my stomach was screaming for food! I often had a cup of coffee before, as well as Glutamine Select.

Training Schedule

I usually lift 5 or 6 times a week depending on my work schedule. I’d normally train Legs, Back, Chest, Arms and Shoulders one day each and abs and calves 2-3 times a week. I usually kept reps low at 8 to 10, but occasionally I throw in supersets or randomly change to high reps or a burnout set. It all depends on my energy level.

Presentation Tips

Don’t wait until the last minute to start posing or practicing your routine! Seriously, I didn’t conclude my routine until about 8 days out from my contest. I can’t even begin to tell you the amount of stress it caused me.

I ordered one bottle of Pro Tan and had my mom paint me three days before the contest. We quickly figured out that wasn’t going to be enough. Luckily I was able to sign up for a professional spray tan at the competition. I got 2 coats Friday night and let them dry well before going bed and got a touch up before prejudging and another one before the night show.

The whole contest prep was kind of fun in a weird way. I learned a lot about my body and how the tiniest changes can affect how you look when you are that lean. The preparation pretty much consumed my life during the final few weeks, but it was something that I had always dreamed about. In my first show I was able to win first place in the novice division of the North American Natural Bodybuilding Federation KC Classic!

Christie Toland read to ride her horse

When I look back at it, was it how I thought it was going to be? Nope, but is it ever? Would I do it again? Absolutely! If only my body would heal already!

Christie Toland at a Glance
Age: 28
Occupation or Education: Whole Foods Market / Degree in Health Education and Nutrition
Family: Father, Dan; mother, Becky; older brother, Brad; a spirited horse named "Rooster" and a cute, yellow lab "Isabel" Current Residence: Omaha, NE

Years training: 14
Height: 5′ 2″
Off Season Weight: 122 pounds; Contest Weight: 112 pounds

Favorite Bodybuilding Meal: UMP cookies and cream shake or UMP with oatmeal
Favorite supplements: 7-Keto, Lean Out, EFA Gold, UMP, Glutamine Select and UMP is my favorite protein because it is thicker than most protein powders, which allow it to be very versatile especially on such a limited diet. What would you recommend to someone who has never used Beverly supplements before? I dare you to try a UMP shake. I was also highly impressed when I called Beverly and actually got a person to talk to. I didn’t have to keep pushing zero to wade through computer screenings...this is my type of company!

In your CD player: Modern country, rock and Christian music
Most Inspiring Book: the Bible
Hobby or interests outside bodybuilding: Bible study, playing outside, riding horse, cooking and backpacking