I’ve always been very active, I was a competitive gymnast for 13 years, cross country runner, cheerleader and track and field athlete, I’ve competed in countless 5 and 10k’s, half marathons, triathlons, duathlons, you name it. However, none of these competitions came even close to the amount of time, dedication and commitment that went into training for my first figure competition. It was truly a life changing experience.
I was introduced to figure by my sister, Holly, who has been an active competitor on and off for years. She told me she was going to start training again, and after giving it a little thought, I told her I wanted to give it a try. One week into the diet I was already frustrated. That’s when my Brian Strock came into the picture. Brian met me every Saturday morning at 4:30 am measure my body comp, tweak my diet and get in a training session. From that day on he has been there for me every step of the way.
My first competition was a big disappointment to me. I managed to place 4th (out of 5) in Novice and 3rd (out of 5) in Open. Holly absolutely rocked that competition, winning the entire show, 1st overall. I was proud of her, but knew I still had a long way to go.
My second competition, however, came with a pleasant surprise. I was entered in both novice and open in the women’s figure division. During our group meeting before the show we were informed two competitors had dropped out of the open bikini division and were there any figure competitions who would volunteer to cross over. Wendi, my posing coach, and Brian had a pow-wow and encouraged me to give it a shot. With much hesitation and a lot of apprehension, I agreed. If anything, I thought to myself, it would give me more stage experience. I remember turning to them very nervous about having to learn bikini poses and T-walks in 5 minutes and said jokingly “remember, both of your names are behind this face, if I make a fool of myself it looks like you guys are coming down with me.” Results that day blew me out of the water. I placed 2nd in Figure novice, 3rd in Figure open and 1st place in my first Bikini competition! Not only did I win, but I qualified for my first pro card. Holly, once again stole the show placing 1st overall in Figure and earning her pro card as well. It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life, sharing the stage with my big sister and holding our hands high, now both professional athletes.
Here’s the diet plan Brian designed for me.
Meal 1: 3 egg whites and 1 whole egg, ½ grapefruit
Meal 2: 4 oz. chicken with 1 cup green beans
Meal 3: large salad with 5 oz. chicken or tuna, ½ tbsp flax oil and ½ tbsp apple cider vinegar
Meal 4: 4 egg whites, 1 whole egg with omelet veggies or replace with one scoop UMP protein powders
Meal 5: 4 oz. chicken with ½ cup spinach
* Every 3rd day Brian told me to eat the following in place of one regular meal: 1 cup rice, 4 oz. sweet potato, 1 small banana, 1 cup veggies with 2 tsp oil, butter or margarine 1 gallon of Water per day.
I took CLA, 7-Keto MuscLean and Lean Out with my 1st, 3rd and 5th meal. It really helped enhance the effects of my diet and lean me out to my desired BMI. I had one scoop of Glutamine Select during training. UMP was a great addition to my diet, I would replace one of my meals with a scoop of UMP which was always my favorite meal of the day. UMP Graham Cracker is by far the best tasting protein powder I’ve come across, perfect as a shake and even better mixed as pudding when I was really struggling with my sweet tooth to keep me on track.
Workout 3 days in a row, rest one day and repeat:
Back, Biceps and Shoulders:
Underhand Barbell Row 4x12
Seated Cable Row 4x12
Wide Grip Lat Pull Down 4x12
Weighted Back Extensions 3x25
Barbell Curl 4x12
Alternating DB Curl 4x12
Side Lateral Raises 4x10
Shoulder Press Machine 4x10
Chest and Triceps:
Incline DB Bench Press 3x15
Regular Pushup 4x15
Tricep Pushup 4x15
Flat DB Fly 4x12
Tricep Dips 4x12
Skull Crushers 3x12
Reverse Grip Press Downs 3x15
Legs, Glutes and Hamstrings:
Wide Stance Barbell Squat 3x12
Smith Stationary Split Lunges 3x12
Standing Calf Raises 3x25
Leg Press 3x10 (wide stance) 3x10 (narrow stance)
Up and Overs 3x15
Squat Jumps Seated Adduction 3x12
Seated Abduction 3x12
Abs (each workout day):
Russian Twists 4x30
Reverse Crunch 3x20
Hanging Straight Leg Raise 3x15
Straight Leg Crunch 3x20
I started off my contest training doing 30 minutes, 6 days a week. At 6 weeks out, after speaking with Brian, we increased it to 40 minutes, 6 days a week. I do a mix of treadmill running, elliptical and cycling.
Best tip was given to me by my posing coach, Wendi Eldred, “create a solid weekly practice regimen.” I practice posing 6 days a week – 3 days after my workout for 10-15 minutes in order to practice when my muscles are tired, and 3 days a week when my muscles are fresh where I can really focus on form and presentation.
By the end of my competitive season, I’d gone from 123 lbs down to 110 lbs; I went from 23% body fat down to 9% and managed to take 4inches off my waist. I also gained 1.5 inches on both my biceps and my shoulders.