My Journey

Women’s Physique Competitor

from competitive boxer

By: Rebecca Powell, 2015 Natural Ohio Masters Women’s Physique overall champion
Magazine 20 #4

I have always been an avid fitness enthusiast. I was raised in a very active household and physical activity has always been a part of my life. In the “80’s it was aerobics and later, Tae Bo. But, deep down I always wanted to be like one of the fit girls on the magazine covers. Although I tried to stay active as I raised a family, I really couldn’t dedicate any significant time to fitness until my sons grew older. In 2012 I began taking cardio boxing classes at a local gym and fell in love with it. After a year of boxing for fun and fitness, I decided to take it to the next level and began training to box competitively. My first tournament was at the 2014 Arnold Classic. I came in second. What an amazing experience! Following that tournament I continued to train and looked forward to my next fight.

Then, in the fall of 2014, my oldest son, Christian competed in a bodybuilding competition. It was the Natural Ohio, hosted by Dave Lieberman. My husband and I made the trip to cheer him on. We really enjoyed the show and were proud and thrilled when Christian placed first in several classes. Another highlight of the show was the Women’s Physique competition. I was completely taken aback and in awe of those women. I loved their combination of femininity and muscle without the glitz and glam of those in the Figure or Bikini divisions. Right then and there I knew that I wanted to compete in Women’s Physique. I nudged my husband and said, “I can do that.. I know I can do that!”

And so my “physique” journey began. Being an “all in or all out” girl, I knew I needed help if I was going to successfully make the switch from boxer to physique competitor. Training and diet changes would be a necessity. Instead of emphasizing quickness and conditioning alone, I needed to eat and train for muscle growth and development while minimizing bodyfat. Luckily, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to work with some amazing coaches. Coach Rob Quimby, former bodybuilding champion and owner of Fitness Lifestyle Personal Training, along with Coach Tina Triguero, IFBB Pro and owner of Tfit Training, gave me all of the tools that I needed to succeed.

Rebecca Powell shadow boxing

20 percent body-fat to 7.7 percent

Nutrition Supplement Plan

Starting with a body fat percentage of about 20 percent, I had my work cut out for me. I began my overall nutrition and training prep about 20 weeks out from my contest. At 12 weeks out, I really tightened things up.

Here is the nutrition and supplement program that I used to drop my bodyfat to 7.7 percent while maintaining all my muscle.
Meal #1
2 eggs+ 6 egg whites
1 cup broccoli
½ cup oatmeal
½ grapefruit
Meal #2
Strawberry UMP shake
Meal #3
6 oz. chicken
1 cup asparagus
4 oz. sweet potato
Meal #4
Strawberry UMP shake
Meal #5
6 oz. Tilapia
1 cup broccoli

I am a busy girl so I like to keep things simple. I do all of my meal planning and prep for the week on Sunday afternoons. It takes about 3 hours but saves me loads of time during the week and it keeps me on track. I cook 10 skinless chicken breasts at a time in the crock pot with salt and pepper, Flavor God seasoning, and 2 low sodium chicken bouillon cubes. I bake tilapia with lemon juice and a little pepper. I pre-cut all of my veggies, separate them into servings and I place them all into disposable steamer bags for easy storage and cooking. Meals #2 and #4 are UMP Strawberry shakes. I prepare them the night before by adding 2 scoops to a shaker bottle with about 10 oz. water. I then put it in the freezer overnight. I take the frozen shake with me to work and by the time I’m ready to drink it, it’s a slushy! I LOVE it.

Rebecca displays confidence during her routine
Rebecca’s posing routine during 2015 Natural Ohio Masters Physique

Supplements Primary Goal:

Gain/maintain muscle mass while losing fat

During my meal planning sessions, I also prepare my supplements in daily dosages and store them in a pill organizer to expedite things during the week. Beverly products were instrumental to my success. When boxing I had used various supplements, but my contest prep trainer said that Beverly was the best and helped me design a supplement plan to gain lean muscle mass while losing fat. I noticed a huge difference in my ability to gain muscle and lose fat.

Here’s the program I used to lose more than 12 percent of my bodyfat in 20 weeks while securing all of my muscle.
UMP (Chocolate and Strawberry) Strawberry is my favorite… a treat that tastes like cake batter!
Ultra 40 (3 with each meal)
Mass Aminos (3 with each meal)… switched to Muscle Mass around 8 weeks out (3 with each meal and 10-15 total taken before, during and after training)
Lean Out (2 upon rising and 2 with each meal)
7-Keto MuscLean (3 upon rising and 3 mid-afternoon) Joint Care (3 capsules twice daily) I swear by this supplement. I have bad tennis elbow and as long as I keep this on board I am in good shape.
EFA Gold (3 softgels twice daily)
Glutamine Select (2 scoops while training and 1-2 scoops throughout the day to curb hunger)
Kudos to Beverly and excellent customer service! The online ordering page is fantastic and repeat user friendly. My order is always spot-on and arrives at my doorstep within a day or two at the most!

Weight Training

I work a sedentary job from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily, and then go right to the gym where I meet my husband. We train together for 1.5 – 2 hours, six days a week. We work with one of my coaches, Rob Quimby, on two of those days.

Rob and I focused on leaning out my legs while also improving shoulder and chest mass. Although I have a decent amount of muscle in my legs, I tend to carry some excess baggage there too. I trained them twice a week in completely different ways to lean them out and expose those detailed lines. My favorite leg exercises are squats alternating with 150# sled pushes.

Here are the basic parameters for my training:

  • Trained each body part twice weekly
  • Focused on weight for reps [12-15 reps per set →
    4-5 sets each exercise →
    Increased weight with each set →
    Enough weight that the final few reps of the final set are very challenging and near failure]
  • Use a lot of supersets
Monday: Legs (My favorite)
  1. Deep heavy Barbell Squats superset with 30 yard 150 pound Sled Pushes
  2. Leg Extensions and Sissy Squats superset with 20-yard steep Hill Runs
  3. Heavy barbell Walking Lunges superset with 40-yard Sprints
  4. Weighted Jump Squats
Tuesday: Chest/Back
Chest
  1. Dips superset with Incline Dumbbell Press
  2. Flat Dumbbell Press superset with Chest Flyes
  3. Barbell Bench Press
  4. Incline Barbell Bench Press
  5. Dumbbell Pullovers superset with Push-ups
Back
  1. Heavy Deadlifts superset with Seated Cable Rows
  2. Chin-ups superset with One Arm Dumbbell Rows
  3. Wide Grip Pulldowns superset with Bent-over Barbell Rows
  4. Inverted Chin-ups using the TRX suspension trainer
Wednesday: Shoulders/Biceps/Triceps
Shoulders
  1. Seated Arnold Press superset with Behind the Head Pulldowns
  2. Standing Dumbbell Press superset with Side Lateral Raises
  3. Barbell Press in front of head and behind
  4. Bent Over Rear Delt Raises superset with Barbell Upright Rows
  5. Shrugs superset with Cable Face Pulls
Biceps/Triceps
  1. Close Grip Pullover & Press superset with weighted Bench Dips
  2. Skull Crushers superset with Tricep Pushdowns
  3. Overhead Tricep Extensions using the rope/cable
  4. Barbell Curls superset with Reverse Curls
  5. Standing Dumbbell Curls superset with Hammer Curls
  6. Preacher Curls or Concentration Curls over a bench
Thursday: Chest/Back (repeat Tuesday workout)
Friday: Legs (Heavy)
  1. Heavy Squats
  2. Leg Press superset with Leg Curls
  3. Romanian Dead lifts superset with Swing Squat Machine
  4. Donkey Calf Raises superset with weighted Reverse Hyperextensions
Saturday: Shoulders/Biceps/Triceps (repeat Wednesday workout)

Cardio

20-30 minutes of fasted HIIT cardio first thing in the morning on the treadmill, 6-7 days per week-incline jog/sprint.

Evening cardio following weight training: 20-30 minutes on the stationary bike 5-6 evenings per week.


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