First in my Figure class

Overall winner Hoosier Muscle Classic Indiana

Advice to future competitors balance in your diet and life

By: Brenda Smith
Magazine 9 #1

Could I make my dreams of competing come true? This was the question I found myself asking over and over. For years I dreamed of competing in a bodybuilding competition,but thought I was too old and would never be able to get into competition shape. I would look at bodybuilding, fitness and figure women in magazines and wish that I could look like them.Finally I decided that I had to try. Now,at 34 years old, I am totally committed to a healthy,fitness lifestyle.

Making a Dream Come True Taking it to the Next Level

I have always been active and worked out but,two years ago,when I met my trainer, who also happens to be my husband, Kurt, a bodybuilder, personal trainer and computer programmer, I became serious about taking my training and fitness to a new level. Kurt began watching my workouts and noticed that I needed some guidance if I was ever to reach my goal of competing.I knew nothing about proper form,technique or how to build muscle. When he offered to actually train me, I jumped at the chance.

I felt such accomplishment in transforming my average size 10 body into a lean, size 6 figure contest winner.

Your body is like a machine. You must fuel it with quality nutrition and supplements in order for it to run efficiently. Kurt started me in the right direction, putting me on a training program where I would train each body part one to two times per week. I went from mediocre training three days a week to intense,focused training four to six days a week.I would finish my week with one entire day of nothing but rest,relaxation and recovery time. Every few months Kurt would change my workouts to provide new stimulus to my muscles and generate new motivation mentally. I learned that you must maintain high intensity levels with your training in order to incite new muscle growth.I also learned that you must be patient, as it takes time to develop good, quality muscle tone.

After Standing on stage, a dream come true! Hoosier Muscle Classic Indiana.
Brenda Smith winning contest trophy

In terms of nutrition, I became more cautious about what I was eating and how often. Instead of three meals containing what I thought was clean food; I began eating five to six smaller meals containing quality protein, green vegetables, slow burning carbohydrates and essential fats. I learned that your body is like a machine and you have to be very aware of what you’re fueling it with, if you want it to run efficiently.

The change in my nutrition and training made a major difference in my appearance, my self-confidence and, an added bonus; it helped tremendously in my work as a dental assistant. My posture improved drastically helping me avoid straining my back, neck and wrists while working on patients. I used to receive chiropractic treatments on a regular basis for neck, shoulder and back problems. I still love getting adjustments, but I don’t require them as often now that I have changed my lifestyle.

Now… I was ready to compete, or so I thought. With ten weeks to prepare, I decided I would enter a women’s bodybuilding competition. I started a restricted calorie/restricted carbohydrate diet, with my only supplement being a (low quality) protein shake.With six weeks still remaining in my contest prep, I was losing body fat, but at the same time, I was sacrificing a significant amount of the muscle mass that I worked so hard to develop. Feeling discouraged and frustrated, I decided that I wouldn’t compete after all. I quickly realized that if I really wanted to compete as a bodybuilder that I would have to figure out how to maintain muscle mass and lose body fat at the same time.

Rachel taught me how to use proper nutrition and supplementation to literally starve my fat and feed my muscles.There really are no quick fixes or short cuts when trying to gain lean muscle and lose body fat!
Brenda and Rachel back-stage of contest
Be patient! Developing quality lean muscle takes time.

Four months later, I read an article about Rachel Johnson in Beverly International’s Body Muscle Journal. I read the story again and again. I was so inspired. I decided to follow through on what I’d started before. As soon as I set my goal to compete, good fortune smiled on me. I learned Rachel was based at Executive Edge Fitness in Indianapolis, not far from where I live. I contacted her the next day.

My first consultation with Rachel was very informative and professional. She performed a detailed body fat analysis and developed a Beverly concept diet consisting of high protein, moderate carbohydrates and low fat.Along with the new diet, I immediately started taking Beverly Ultra 40, Muscularity, Lean Out, and Muscle Provider. Rachel explained that this was the missing element in my previous attempt at contest prep.Yes, I had to reduce calorie and carb intake, but doing this without proper supplementation would just starve my body. The supplements fed my muscles and encouraged my body to drop fat. I decided try the figure category, at the NPC Northern Kentucky in 12 weeks and the Hoosier Muscle Classic a week later.I left our meeting with a new outlook and understanding on competing, supplements, diet, and training.

As a newcomer to the world of supplementation, the thought of taking all of those pills was very overwhelming. In the beginning, I would often forget to take them. To help myself get into a routine, I started making myself take my supplements before I would allow myself to eat my meals.Now there was no way I would forget to take them.

I was amazed at the taste of Muscle Provider. The chocolate flavor is my favorite. I loved to mix up the taste easily by adding flavors like banana or coconut extract, Splenda or Crystal Light. Positive results came fast. My energy levels were higher, my fat loss was steadily increasing and I was maintaining my lean muscle mass.What a relief! I now understand how critical it is to take quality nutritional supplements along with proper training and diet to make your body work properly and efficiently. There really are no short cuts. Everything must work together.

Finally competition day arrived.With a total of 45 Figure competitors in the Northern Kentucky Championships I realized that the competition was going to be very tough. Just standing onstage was already dream come true. I had a blast.I placed Second in the tall division. The following weekend, I competed in the figure division at the Hoosier Muscle Classic in Terre Haute, Indiana. There, I finished First in my class and won the overall! I have truly enjoyed every minute of my contest experience and I am looking forward to competing again this fall.

Advice to future competitors

  1. Find a sense of balance in your diet and your life.Don’t stress out over the little things.
  2. Educate yourself.The more knowledge you have, the more prepared you will be.
  3. When preparing for competitions, don’t listen to everything that people tell you.Seek out someone with experience and knowledge and trust them.
  4. Most importantly, stay focused on what you want because you’re the one who does the work and you should not be doing it for anyone else.
  5. In your off-season diet make the majority of your meals clean, but allow yourself to be more flexible and less regimented.When you crave something bad, give yourself a small treat so that you don’t feel so deprived all of the time – enjoy life!
Brend on stage during line up

Pre-Competition Training Cardio Schedule

Since, like many women, my glutes and legs are my biggest trouble area. I train legs twice a week, One day was reserved for hard, heavy legs, using moderate to high weights, a lot of sets, 10-12 reps and about 60 seconds rest between sets. Another day I trained with lighter weights, more reps and only 30-45 seconds rest between sets. Doing a lot of lunges and deep squats helped me make major improvements.

Some of my favorite exercises are: squats, leg extensions, dead lifts, the butt blaster, seated calf raise, donkey kicks, lunges, standing calf raise, v-squats and leg press.I always warm up for 5-10 minutes prior to my leg training and stretch well between each set.

Monday: 
AM:30 minutes cardio on stationary bike
PM:15 minute warm-up on stationary bike
Train – Heavy Legs &Calves
Tuesday: 
AM:30 minutes cardio on stationary bike
PM:15 minute warm-up on stationary bike
Train – Chest and Abs
Wednesday: 
AM:30 minutes cardio on stationary bike
PM:15 minute warm-up on stationary bike
Train –Back
25 minutes cardio on treadmill
25 minutes cardio on stepper
Thursday: 
AM:30 minutes cardio on stationary bike
Train – OFF
Friday: 
AM:30 minutes cardio on stationary bike
PM:15 minute warm-up on stationary bike
Train – Light Legs &Calves
Saturday: 
AM:15 minute warm-up on stationary bike
Train –Biceps and Abs
25 minutes cardio on treadmill
25 minutes cardio on elliptical
Sunday: 
AM:15 minute warm-up on stationary bike
Train –Shoulders and Triceps
25 minutes cardio on treadmill
25 minutes cardio on stepper
Brenda’s Nutrition Supplement Plan 4 Weeks Out:
Meal #1
3 oz. turkey, chicken or 5 egg whites
4 egg whites (total of 9 if omitting meat)
4 strawberries or ½ cup omelet type veggies
Meal #2
4 oz. tuna or chicken
2 egg whites
1 tomato or ½ cup veggies
OR
Protein Drink: 2 scoops Muscle Provider, 1 tablespoon Flax Oil
Meal #3
6 oz. chicken, turkey, tuna or whitefish
1-cup non-starchy veggies
Meal #4
4 oz. tuna or chicken
2 egg whites
½ cup veggies
OR
Protein Drink: 2 scoops Muscle Provider
Meal #5
6 oz. chicken, turkey, tuna, whitefish, salmon (only 2 x per week)
OR
10 egg whites
1-cup veggies
Carb Meal: Wednesday &Saturday in place of the final meal:
1-cup oatmeal
6 oz. sweet potato
4 oz. banana
1-cup veggies
1 tablespoon butter

Related

› April DeLaPaz My KY Muscle Masters and Overall open figure diet and supplement plan

› Claudia Minadeo-Fox Getting healthy in Figure Competition, my mom telling me I was too thin