My first bikini competition was in September of 2011. I placed 6th (and was not where I wanted to be condition-wise). On the drive home I thought seriously about what I wanted to get out of these competitions and where I wanted to go with it. I could do one of two things; give up or learn from it and get better for the next one. I decided to get better and contacted Julie Lohre for help and advice. I am so glad I did! My improvement has been spectacular. I placed 4th in my class at my next contest, the NPC Northern Kentucky and won first in my class at the NPC Derby Festival, both national qualifiers.
In this article I hope I can help you a little in the same way that Julie helped me. I’m going to concentrate on just what I did – diet, training, cardio and presentation tips that helped me improve so much in such a short period of time.
Diet & Nutrition
Most important is diet. That’s what Julie had me focus on from day 1, and I attribute at least 80% of my improvement to my new diet and supplement routine.
- I saw results almost immediately when I started Julie’s recommended diet and supplement plan listed below:
- Meal #1: four egg whites, one whole egg scrambled with 3oz. lean protein, ½ cup oatmeal
- Meal #2: 2 scoop Beverly International UMP shake
- Meal #3: 5 oz. lean protein, ½ cup brown rice, 2 cups vegetables
- Meal #4: 1-2 scoops of UMP (sometimes with ¼ cup almonds for healthy fats)
- Meal #5: 5 oz. lean protein, 2 cups vegetables
- Meal #6: UMP pudding (made with UMP and sugar free pudding mix or sugar free cool whip and berries)
I did have one problem at the start though. I work long hours at the hospital and being a critical care nurse doesn’t allow much time for food breaks. Julie suggested I try UMP.
I was a little hesitant. I had tried many, many different protein shakes and powders and could never find one that I could tolerate. They either tasted awful, were too chalky, or the nutritional contents were not within my nutritional constraints. But, after trying UMP vanilla my problem was solved. Now I can quickly get an UMP shake in between meals at work. Made life on the go a bit easier, and my diet more effective and tastier too!
Oh, by the way, I quickly ordered the cookies and cream and chocolate flavors for more variety.
I always designate one day to prepare my food meals for the week. At first it seemed like a lot of work but as I developed a routine it became easy.The big advantages are (1) there is no guess work, (2) the meals are already prepared in advance, I just have to grab and go, and (3) there is little room for slip ups.
I take 3 EFA gold every morning with meal #1 and a multi vitamin like Fit Tabs to cover all the bases; I think it helped keep my hair and nails looking good, too. I take Lean Out before each meal: Helps with fat metabolism and regulates my cravings for sweets!
2 scoops of UMP for meals 2 and 4 (did I mention it»s the BEST protein powder out there!) Before training I take Glutamine Select BCAAs, to help with my endurance and reduce soreness after workouts.
Training & Cardio
- Monday: Chest, Biceps, Abs
- Chest: (elevated pushups, flat bench press, flyes, incline bench press, cable cross over);
- Biceps: (reverse grip pull-ups, curls, hammer curls). You can choose 3 of the chest exercises and superset them with each of the three bicep exercises (for example do one set of elevated pushups and immediately follow with one set of reverse grip pull-ups). I do 4 sets of 12 reps on each exercise.
- Abs (weighted floor crunch, oblique crunch) go for the burn!
- Biceps (reverse grip pull-ups, curls, hammer curls). You can choose 3of the chest exercises and superset them with each of the three bicep exercises (for example do one set of elevated pushups and immediately follow with one set of reverse grip pull-ups). I do 4 sets of 12 reps on each exercise.
Abs (weighted floor crunch, oblique crunch) go for the burn!
- Tuesday: Legs
Two circuits 30 reps each exercise (15 on each leg for single leg exercises)
- Circuit one: Plie squats, jumping switch lunges, DB side squats (side to side, deadlift) Circuit two: Walking lunges, shoulder width squats, floor glute pulses, single leg split squat
- Wednesday: Shoulders and Triceps
- Shoulders (full range lateral raises, reverse pec dec, front raises, shoulder press, Arnold press, shrugs)
- Triceps (triceps dips, triceps kickbacks, close hand pushups, overhead triceps extension) 4 sets of 12 reps each
- Thursday: Rest
- Friday: Plyometrics supersets:
Kettlebell swings 20,18,16,14 reps with push-ups 20,18,16,14
- Bench rebounds 20,20,20,20 with pulsing floor glute raises 20,20,20,20
- Lunge with front kick 10,10,10,10 with frog squat jumps 10,10,10,10
- Repeat all of the above three times!
- Ab circuit: 15 reps per exercise ball pike ups, hand to ball passes, leg raises/leg lifts
Presentation in competing
Presentation is a HUGE part of competing. Don’t take it lightly. I start my suit selection 2-3 months before a show. I look for a suit which complements my structure as well as my hair, eye, and skin coloring. I schedule my spray tan appointment and make-up at least a month out.
Posing was one of my biggest challenges. Whether on stage or just practicing in front of a few people, I would get so nervous that I’d start shaking uncontrollably. Working with Julie and continually practicing in front of friends/family/and fellow gym goers, I finally started feeling more comfortable. I found that listening to music before going on stage also helps me relax.
Now that I’ve let those worries go, I am able to enjoy the moment and give my best presentation. When you prepare yourself completely physically and mentally, being on stage and hearing everyone cheer can be almost addicting. Remember, all the hard work is done, now is YOUR time to shine! It’s totally worth all the blood, sweat and tears!
Carido plyometrics & Stairmaster
My favorite types of cardio are plyometrics and the Stairmaster machine! I typically do four thirty minute cardio sessions a week along with one high intensity session, i.e. a soccer game or spin class. A good playlist is my best tip for helping you through your cardio sessions. Without music, cardio can be quite dull and daunting.
- Lauren Boehmer at a Glance
- Age: 27
- Occupation:Registered Nurse – Critical Care
- Family: An American Bulldog name Lexi
- Current Residence:Cincinnati, Ohio
- Years of Training: 7
- Height: 5′4″
- On your IPod:
- Most Inspiring Book: The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck and Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman
- Favorite Hobby or Interest Outside of Bodybuilding:
Spending time with family and friends, boating, soccer, swimming and anything outdoors!
- Words to live by:
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined. ˜Henry David Thoreau; Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.˜Helen Keller
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