Wednesday, February 25, 2015

52 days out...

As promised from my last blog post, here is an in depth look in my daily schedule. Each day varies just slightly because I have a different class schedule and training times but the structure is the same.


5:18AM---> Wake-up
  • Drink Pre-Workout
  • Get ready for the gym 
6:00-7:15AM---> Lifting*/Gym Time (Favorite Part of the Day!)
  • The school gym opens at 6:00am, which for many college students is way early! However I'm a morning person and it's my favorite time to go because there are usually only around 10 people there. In the afternoon there is way more crowding and more waiting around. 
  • After my workout I always drink a protein shake. I'm currently using IsoTech 100% Whey in Vanilla Milkshake, the taste is delicious! 
  • *For now I lift in the mornings but as my competition grows closer and I up my cardio, I will start doing cardio in the mornings and lift later in the day. 
7:30-8:45---> Breakfast and Getting Ready
  • My breakfast everyday consists of oats, peanut butter, and egg whites. I love to add fruit into my oats and have been on a blueberry kick lately, they are also low on the GI (glycemic index) as compared to other fruits. 
  • During this time I also shower and make myself look presentable for class. I think it is always important to show up to class in something other than ratty sweatpants and an old t-shirt but rather something that shows I am completely there and ready to learn, not ready to watch 8 hours of T.V. on the couch. 
9:00-10:00---> Class
  • Thinking about food/working out/competition 60% of the time. Thinking about class the other 40%. 
10:15---> Meal Time
  • When I first started eating 6 meals per day, I couldn't quite get over the fact that I was going to be eating chicken and asparagus at 10 in the morning. Now I view it as an early lunch and don't think anything of it! 
  • My second meal of the day usually consists of protein (chicken/ground turkey), carbs (brown rice or sweet potato), veggies (asparagus/cauliflower/kale/broccoli), and a healthy fat (avocado). 
10:30-1:00---> Homework and Research
  • I like to dedicate the middle of my days between classes to get caught up on homework and to complete my assigned homework for the day or for the next day. This makes my nights way less hectic and allow me to fill my time with focus on schoolwork. 
  • Research can include anything that interests me in regards to health, fitness, and nutrition. It seems like everyday I learn something new and I love learning more about the industry. 
1:00---> Another Meal 
  • Oh yay! Food again! This meal I like to place a big emphasis on veggies because I sometimes have trouble actually eating all of hmy veggies throughout the day. 
  • This meal consists of protein (chicken/tuna), carbs (rice cake/brown rice/black beans), veggies (salad of some type), and a healthy fat (olive oil, hardboiled egg with yolk). 
3:15---> Quick Snack
  • This one is all about getting more protein. It consists of either a protein shake or a Quest bar. The Quest Bar only if I have them or if I am craving chocolate/ something sweet. 
  • This one is great before class since it is so quick and I can take it with me if I am running late. 
3:30-4:45---> Class 
  • I love to be engaged in class but of course you can't control when your mind starts drifting to other things such as lifting and of course food. 
5:00---> Dinner
  • This meal consists of protein and lots and lots of veggies. On nights when I have a large chunk of time I will make Mahi Mahi (I use it in place of Tilapia) in the oven. 
  • Most often I will enjoy Chicken and lately I have been loving artichokes or cooked spinach. 
6:00-7:00---> Team Posing Practice
  • "Practice makes perfect!" For most competitors, posing is an after thought that they decide to start working on with one or two weeks left before the show. These are the competitors that end up looking awkward and confused on stage.
  • Each day I like to spend at least 15 minutes holding my poses and making sure they look natural and become second nature to me, this way when I am up on stage I am going to be presenting myself in the most confident way possible.
  • We have now transitioned into practicing posing in our bikini's for team practice. 
7:15-7:45---> Cardio Session
  • Since it is hard for me to squeeze in my cardio session in the mornings, it is just easier to come at night. However, it always makes me wish I had time in the mornings because talk about an overcrowded gym at night time! 
  • I like to do HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) cardio because you are able to do more work in shorter periods of time while at the same time maintaining more lean mass than steady state cardio. Example: On elliptical 30 seconds (max effort) at 15 resistance and 10 ramp. 1 minute 30 seconds (recovery) at 7 resistance and 10 ramp. 
  • I always make sure to stretch and potentially foam roll at the end of cardio sessions in order to speed recovery and help my muscles cool down. 
8:00---> Final Meal
  • This is just a small meal and includes either egg whites or a protein shake. It ensures that I am not going to bed hungry and gives my body enough protein for the day. 
9:30---> Bed Time
  • Rest is the most important factor in the recovery process. Making sure that I am getting enough sleep ensures that my muscles are taking full advantage of this rest period. 
  • Getting enough sleep also ensures I am a productive member of society the next day and I'm not walking around like a zombie.
  • Finally, I know that when I get enough sleep I am going to be ready to get out of bed the next morning and be ready to crush my next workout! I am already a morning person but having enough sleep and feeling rested makes me even more excited to get out of bed and ready to start my day.
I love having a routine and being able to structure my prep around my class schedule works great for me. In my next post I want to talk about the challenges that come with prepping for a competition.  


Monday, February 9, 2015

68 days out...

Well as I embark on my fitness journey and prepare for my first ever figure competition, I figure the best way for me to stick with my routine is to give you an in-depth look into the life of a figure competitor and the amount of time and dedication I am putting into getting ready and preparing for the transformation of a life time.

First things first, let's get the some of the most common misconceptions out of the way:

"Oh you're doing a bodybuilding competition, wow you must workout so much!"

Actually the workouts are the easiest part, that's 1 or 1.5 hours out of your day. Yes I'm training hard during that time and giving my all but that's not the biggest factor. It's the nutrition and the meal plan that what consumes your life the other 23 hours in the day. You have to make sure that everything you're putting into your body is going to help you to reach your goals not hinder you. My meal plan right now involves 5-6 small meals per day. Most of that involving a lean protein (chicken, tuna, shrimp), a veggie, and a complex carbohydrate (brown rice, sweet potato), and the occasional healthy fat (peanut butter, avocado, olive oil). There is a lot of planning and prep work that goes into making sure I have meals ready to go at all times and am not going to be deterred into choosing an unhealthy/convenient option.

"But lifting makes women huge, like gross, look like a man huge." 

If you have ever said this please kindly just give yourself a punch in the face. While women do have small, trace amounts of testosterone in their body, they do not even have a fifth that allows men to create the bulky muscles you often see. But what about those women who do have huge muscles? These women have gotten this way unnaturally (steroid use). There is no scientific way for a women to get that massive without an unnatural assist. Lifting is one of the best things women can do to lean down because the more lean mass you have the better your body works to burn fat and remember even though muscle may weigh more than takes up a lot less room in your body!

"So do you just walk up on stage and flex in front of judges?"

The amount of time that goes into stage presence is huge. Not only does posing practice start occurring at least 15 weeks in advance of a show, it involves way more than just doing a bicep flex and smiling. For women's figure (my category) it involves four different judging poses (front, side, back, other side) and a model pose. Not only are these are very hard to learn, you want to make sure you have practiced them until they become second nature to get into them in an instant. Even though someone may have a better physique than you, if they can't present that physique in a way that is confident you are going to place higher.

I am so excited about the journey that I am going to go through in preparation to my show and can't wait to see the transformation my body is going to go through.

Next, I will give you all a look inside the day of college student going through a competition prep. And let me tell you, the word free time isn't in my vocabulary!