Placed close first runner-up in Open Figure Class A
You could say that I was not the most athletic kid growing up and definitely not the first to be picked in gym class. I do remember dabbling in dance, gymnastics, track, cheerleading, but nothing stuck. To be honest, I had little interest in sports or fitness activities at all while growing up. My main focus was on academics and as time rolled along; my career became my number one priority. Exercise and proper nutrition continued to take a back seat in my life; in fact, I was making no attempt to live an even remotely active lifestyle.
Finally, in my early 20’s the light bulb came on. I realized that living healthy through exercise and diet plan is a lifestyle, and I needed to make some changes in my priorities. If I didn’t start forming some healthy lifestyle habits soon, it would be more and more difficult as time went on.
I took the first step. I joined a gym and took some of the classes offered. But what really got me started on the road to fitness was when a friend asked me to train with her for a half-marathon.
I was now 23 and just the thought of committing to train for something made me scream inside. I had a lot of self-doubts. Could I ever be able to run 13.1 miles? Even though I was hesitant to commit, I decide to go all in and do it. That summer I faithfully trained and guess what? I DID IT! That’s all it took. I was hooked to my new
lifestyle. Crossing the finish line made me realize that when I dedicate myself to a goal, I am able to achieve it! It gave me a rush and made me hungry to set new goals.
Within a year of my first half-marathon, I completed several other long-distance races including my first full-marathon. I also had begun to pay more attention to what I was eating, and actually started inspiring family and friends around me with my healthier choices.
It was around this time that I began seeing pictures from a high-school friend’s bikini competitions. I thought to myself
I would love to look like that. The pictures sparked my interest to further investigate the sport and learn what it was all about. The more I learned, the more I wanted to give it a try. I knew my body was far from where it needed to be to step on stage, but I wanted to compete so badly that I just couldn’t let that stop me. Through my research into the sport I learned that Julie Lohre, an IFBB Fitness pro, was highly respected and recommended as a contest prep coach. Finally, I worked up the courage to contact her last October. This was the first step to an amazing journey.
I began training with Julie in October of 2013. Results came fast, and I was anxious to take it further. In January, 2014, I officially joined Julie’s Fitbody Contest Prep Team. The first order of business was to pick the best division for me, bikini or figure. Bikini was my first choice, but I wasn’t sure if that was the best division for my body type. After running through a few of the poses for both figure and bikini, Julie concurred. Bikini would be the best fit for me! Julie had my new nutrition and training programs to me in no time, and I was ready to roll.
- Here is what she recommended for me:
- Meal 1: Protein Pancakes (1 scoop Vanilla UMP, 4 egg whites, ½ cup oatmeal and ¼ cup blueberries); mix together and cook like a pancake
- Meal 2: Grapes and almonds
- Meal 3: 4 oz. lean beef hamburger on a high fiber English Muffin, Small sweet potato, 2 cups broccoli
- Meal 4: Low Carb Greek Yogurt and String Cheese
- Meal 5: Steak, Fajita veggies (peppers and onions), ½ avocado all on top of a Large mixed greens salad with olive oil and vinegar dressing
- Meal 6: 1 scoop UMP mixed into a pudding
Julie also was very scientific in prescribing a supplement regimen that would work for me. She wanted to make sure that I would add some shapely lean muscle to my runner’s frame, while reducing excess fat that I was carrying. Here is how I put her supplement recommendations into practice..
UMP – I usually take 1–2 scoops daily. I always incorporate UMP into my meals whether I am prepping for a show or not! I absolutely love having UMP as part of my meal plan because of how versatile it is! Vanilla UMP is great for protein pancakes and any kind of baking. I’ve used it to make muffins, protein fudge, brownies, Julie’s yummy chocolate chip cookies... the list goes on! I also have the other three flavors, which are: Cookies & Créme, Chocolate, and Rocky Road. Whether it’s grabbing a quick shake, or mixing them into a pudding, UMP always helps to curb my sweet tooth!
Fit Tabs – 2 in the am and 2 in the p.m., to help cover all of my bases with essential vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients.
Lean Out – 2 with each of my 5 meals per day– Other than UMP, Lean Out is one of my favorite supplements. It assists my body with using stored fat and turning it into energy. This helps me lose the body fat I need to while maintaining the lean muscle I’ve worked so hard to build!
Glutamine Select – 1 scoop during training mixed with 10–12 oz. of water. I get the BCAAs that I need to help preserve my muscle, and love how much it helps reduce post–workout soreness while aiding in recovery.
Preparing all of my meals ahead of time is key when in contest prep, but I’ve also found that it really helps me stay on track and with my off–season fitness goals as well. Preparing meals and eating healthy has become more of a lifestyle change instead of just a
diet for a contest. I usually designate one day each week to prepare all of my meat, etc. Being an ER nurse, my schedule is always hectic and I’m often very busy while at work. Having all of my meals prepared and packed ahead of time allows me to stay on track throughout the day.
My Training Program
Julie changes my training every four weeks or so depending on how I am progressing with my goals. My two favorite body parts to train are glutes and delts and I have worked incredibly hard to build some roundness into my glutes! I’ve most recently been incorporating cardio in–between supersets during my workouts, which I really like. I still love to run, so I chose sprint intervals if I am trying to get in a higher intensity cardio workout. I also do some longer runs at a moderate pace.
- A typical workout program for me looks like this:
- Day One – Quads/Back/Abs
- Leg press
- Walking Lunges
- Single Leg Split Squats
- T Bar Row
- Plank Position DB Rows
- Ball Crunches
- Ball Curl–ins
- Day Two – Delts/Triceps/Abs
- Lateral Raises
- Sumo Deadlift High Pulls
- Bent Over Rear Delt Raises
- 1/4 Lateral Raises
- Bench Dips with feet elevated
- Cable Pressdowns
- Hanging Leg Lifts
- Medicine Ball Obliques
- Day Three – Chest/Biceps
- Cable Crossovers
- DB Bicep Curls
- Cable Curls
- Upper Body Plyometrics
- Explosive Pushups
- Boxing– Alternating Hooks & Forward Jabs
- Day Four – Back/Glutes
- Superset #1
- Lat Pulldowns
- Barbell Deadlift
- Superset #2
- Straight Arm DB Pullovers
- Smith Squats, wide and deep
- Superset #3
- One Arm Cable Rows
- Hamstring Ball Curl–ins
- Superset #4
- Reverse Pec Deck
- Step Ups with a Kick Back
- Day Five – Delts/Abs
- DB Overhead Press on One Foot
- Full Range Lateral Raises
- Barbell Push Press
- Upright Rows
- Ab Circuit
Presentation concentrate on posingI didn’t realize how important presentation was, until my first show. After working hard for weeks and weeks, this is your time to really show what you have accomplished. From your tan and suit– to hair and make–up, it’s not something to take lightly.
You don’t want to be stressed the day of the show wondering if you chose the right suit or how your hair will look best, etc. With Julie’s guidance, I began looking at suits a few months before my first show, and practiced hair and make-up several times before the big day. I got to try them out at the Fitbody Team dress rehearsal a few weeks before the show. You definitely want to have all of that lined up so that on show day, you can kick back and relax with everything ready to go!
When I was first learning to pose, I lacked confidence and was very uptight. To overcome this, I continually watched videos of other competitors. This helped me get ideas, learn how to display confidence, and present the physique that I had worked so hard for! At our Fitbody Team meetings, we have posing sessions each time and concentrate specifically on posing, stage walks and presentation. Now when I go on stage, I have the biggest smile on my face and hold my head high. I cannot wait to show the judges how my hard work has paid off.