Competing in the Arnold Amateur

Hi everyone!  I apologize I have been MIA from blogging for a while, I was preparing for the largest competition I have ever had the privilege in competing in.  The Arnold Classic, aka the Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic, is an annual international bodybuilding competition held in Columbus Ohio.  “The Arnold” includes the well known fitness expo that showcases all realms of exercise and fitness.   Every means of exercise you can think of can be found at this expo– even those that you would normally not think of!  Such as pole fitness, arm wrestling, jump rope, etc. My boyfriend competed at the Arnold last year for Olympic Weightlifting and really enjoyed the whole experience, so he decided he would compete again.  That was when I had this crazy idea to apply for a position in the Amateur Bikini competition.
In order to be chosen, you had to have won a top spot in a national qualifier event within the past year.  My first place at my last competition in St. Augustine Florida made me eligible. I received my confirmation letter for acceptance into the competition approximately four months until the competition date.  I knew I needed to come in at my very best, so unlike my previous competitions, I prepared and cut for a total of 12 weeks– about 1 month longer than my previous competitions!

For this competition, again unlike my previous competitions, I had assistance with my macros and caloric intake while cutting.  My coach and sponsor, Lindsay Westfall of All or Nothing Fitness did a great job helping me get to my final goal during my cut.  I wanted to remove some of the stress of changing macros/calories during the prep as well as incorporate someones professional opinion.  If you are looking for macro guidance.  If you are looking for macro guidance for any means, not just competition prep, check out her website at Continue reading

HIIT Workout Wednesday!

IMG_3760-0Wednesday–half way through your work week–you’re almost there!  What’s one way of helping you energize and push through your hump day?  A high intensity interval workout!  I always feel extremely energized and motivated after completing a good HIIT workout.  This week we will perform each exercise for a total of 1 minute, then rest for 30 seconds.  Move on to next exercise once finished with the rest, complete the cycle 1-3 times through!!  Rest for 1:30 between the three cycles if needed!!  Each cycle should take 9:00 minutes total with rest.

1:00 on, 0:30 rest

  • Tuck Jumps
  • Burpees
  • Goblet Squats (with med ball, dumbell, or kettlebell —weight as heavy or light as you wish)
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Lunges
  • Skaters

If this is too intense for you, feel free to scale down to a 1:1 rest,  either work 0:30 and rest 0:30 or work 1:00 and rest for 1:00.  That will allow yourself more recovery time.  Listen to your body, you know it best!  Hope you enjoy this one!  It is a burner.  Embrace the burn and sweat.  You’ll feel great after the suck!  Plus, HIIT workouts are great fat burners 🙂  Get After it!  Any workouts or questions that you have and would like me to post or include in future blog posts– please comment below!! I love the feedback! 🙂 


Show Day Reflections and Advice for First Time Bikini Competitors

Hey Everyone! The day I had been waiting for finally arrived and went by in a flash! It’s bittersweet feeling! I finally can be less meticulous about diet and training, but I definitely will secretly miss feeling this lean!  I had an amazing time my first competition!  I thought I would be more nervous or awkward, but the day went by so smooth!  All of the alcoholic drinks I turned down while out to dinner, all of the meal preps, all of the cookies refused at work—all worth it!  Be prepared, this is going to be a LONG post. I’m going to reflect on the entire process but add in advice for first timers.

This final week flew by.  I worked 5 of 6 nights, so it was a lot of work, little play.   Luckily I did not need to work out much this final week.   I worked out Sunday through Wednesday and took off completely Thursday, Friday, and Show Day (Saturday)   Nutrition stayed the same, except I tried limiting dairy products.  I didn’t really notice a huge difference, so I am unsure if this was truly necessary.  So, I’ll run you through my competition timeline so any first timers may gain a better idea of what to expect. Continue reading

Zucchini in Oatmeal (and 3 Weeks Out From Stepping On Stage!)

I can’t believe that another week has gone by! Only three weeks shy of my first bikini competition.  Progress pictures above. Reflections of this past week are:

1. I have been slacking in the posing practice part– I haven’t been wearing my heels around the house to “get comfortable” walking in them either.  That may bite me in the booty later.  Goal for the next three weeks is to step up my game and practice, practice, practice!

2. Picking up from last week, I tried to stay around the 1,850 calorie/day diet.   I just felt tired.  I took a nap EVERY day.  By Thursday, it was time to work night shift, and I was a SNAIL.  I was moving so sluggishly and falling asleep charting at the computer at 10 pm — only 3 hours into my 12 hour shift.   I ended up eating a sticky cinnamon bun topped with candied pecans that was part of a baked good gift basket a patients’ family had brought in.  It was the calories and carbohydrates my body needed— I felt rejuvenated and the rest of the shift was a breeze.  YES, if I had a healthier, competition prep friendly carbohydrate (like oatmeal) I would have eaten that, but I was stuck at work with just the protein high food I brought.

I’m telling this story because I am not trying to hide the fact that I am human. Continue reading

Entering a Bikini Competition and my New Goals

As some of my close friends already know, I have made the decision to enter into a National Physique Committee, or NPC, bikini competition.  I will be trading in the small heel on Reebok Lifters for clear 4.5 inch heels.  Being tall at 5’9″ I RARELY wear heels, so this will be interesting!  I want to share my reasons for entering and new goals I have set for myself for this decision. 
I am a competitive person at nature, so this is a new and exciting competition for me.  I have been very experimental with my diet lately with great results–and I want to put this to the test.   That being said, I am going against all other former and current bikini models’ advice and doing this SANS coach.
I want to be my own coach– I will admit, I have a couple great friends who have competed that are giving me good advice– but I am following my own nutrition and workout programming.  I want to keep this process and journey as stress free as possible.

I will not be making many changes to my workouts– I will continue to attend crossfit workouts regularly. In fact, one of my goals is to continue to compete in crossfit during prep, at least up until the last week or so.  I will just have to make a conscious effort to avoid scrapping my shins with the barbell or adding ugly bruises to my clavicles!

I will not let it take over my life or social life. I can still go out to dinner with my boyfriend or out for lunch with my friends — I will just be smart about my IMG_2532choices.  I will only drink water or soda water and make macro-friendly requests with leans meats with vegetables. It will not always be easy, but I will not be one to sit at home alone miserable munching on celery!

The only thing I am going to be totally restricting is alcohol. I will not restrict much from my diet– it is how I am dieting now, and I would say it’s working!  Closer to the show I will cut down on certain things such as sugars and dairy, but never restrict.

With my work schedule already out, I will not be able to compete until late August or early September– I have a couple shows in mind, but I have not officially signed up for any–weighing out the costs of each, but as of right now, beginning of September is my tentative “Peak week.”

I’m very nervous, but excited all at once. Yeah sure, I may have better luck if I followed a structured plan with a qualified coach with years of experience, but I wouldn’t enjoy the process as much– and what is the point if you’re not enjoying life?!

I hope that you will follow my progress through this new journey!  If you have any experience in competition, what are your thoughts or advice ?