I have always enjoyed sports and fitness related activities, but I could never get my body to look the way I thought it should. Photos in fitness magazines and posted on social media made me think that anything less than the ”perfect body“ was unacceptable. This idea of a “perfect body” made me feel that my body wasn’t good enough no matter how hard I worked at it. Believe me, I felt like giving up a number of times, but I am not a quitter. However, I did realize that maybe I needed some outside help from someone who knew exactly what they were doing when it came to training and nutrition. That’s when I turned to IFBB Figure Pro, Iryna McCraw. Iryna saw I was losing hope and immediately took me under her wing. She taught me three valuable lessons right away.
Lesson 1: I was eating just 800 calories a day then going out and running until I burned that many calories or more. Iryna said that I would never be able to build shapely muscle without a better nutrition plan and more sensible cardio schedule.
Lesson 2: Supplements are important, very important. Iyna introduced me to Beverly International products and I absolutely love them! They’ve become a very important facet of my physique transformation plan and have helped me get to where I am today.
Lesson 3: however, was the most important: Iryna taught me that no one is perfect, and no one is the same. She taught me to love MY body and not compare myself to others. Since then, I have focused on ME and not only have I transformed physically, but mentally as well.
Referring back to Lesson 1, you can work out all day every day, but unless you eat clean and fill your body with the nutrients it needs, you will never reach your full potential. After trying different meal plans and monitoring how my body reacts to different foods, I found that cycling carbs works best for me. There are many ways to cycle carbs, but my favorite is to follow a low-carb plan for 4 days and then a carb loading plan for 3 days.
Here’s an example:
Low-Carb Days (1st four days):
Meal 1: 5 egg whites, ½ cup spinach
Meal 2: 4 oz. chicken, ½ cup vegetables
Meal 3: 4 oz. cod, salad with ½ avocado
Meal 4: (pre-workout) 4 oz. chicken, ½ cup vegetables
Meal 5: (post-workout) 1 scoop UMP chocolate protein shake, 1 apple
Meal 6: 4 oz. Tilapia, ½ cup asparagus
Carb-loading Days (3 days in a row):
Meal 1: 5 egg whites, ½ cup oatmeal
Meal 2: 4 oz. chicken, ½ cup white rice, ½ cup asparagus
Meal 3: 4 oz. cod, 1 cup white rice
Meal 4: (pre-workout) 4 oz. chicken, ½ cup white rice
My training schedule doesn’t change much whether I’m prepping for a competition or working out off-season. I train my favorite body parts, shoulders and legs, twice a week with back, chest, and arms getting one session each. My training split goes as follows:
I have a love/hate relationship with cardio. I love the results, but hate the cardio. When I’m preparing for a competition, I do cardio fasted 5-6 mornings a week for 30-45 minutes. During my off-season I cut the cardio down to 3 sessions a week post workout for 25-30 minutes. My favorite cardio workouts are walking on an incline, sprints, and the stair stepper.
In closing, there is no such thing as a “perfect body”. Although I am happy and confident in the changes I have made, my transformation is not over. I still strive every day to be better than I was yesterday and to push my body to its limit.