This week I had to get a physical and I ended up talking to the nurse about my upcoming bikini preparation. Turns out, her husband is a figure/bodybuilidng/prep coach. She had a lot of great insight!
I spoke to my friend and client Kati about the prep and posing at Barry’s this week. She told me that I should follow Heidi Powell on Instagram because she has been prepping for a bikini contest too!
I am talking about it a lot more often now.
It’s not something I am whispering to close friends anymore, it’s a thing. It’s a commitment. And it’s hard work.
You never know totally what it takes until you are in it.
What’s cool though, is that there’s no more beating around the bush. There’s no more “I want to get a little leaner” or “I want to lose five pounds” because really, what is five pounds?
Once you commit, you are locked in and progress is a sweet side effect. There’s no hoping and wishing with half-hearted effort. It’s full on effort with guaranteed results. You just have to keep pushing.
I can tell you that from 16-weeks out until now (12-weeks out) I have been the happiest I have probably ever been with my body. Seriously. I feel great. My clothes fit. I have only felt seriously hungry on three days.
I am at my ideal body situation. It’s crazy to think I have to get leaner than this. You can see my 12-week photos at the end of the article.
What has made me the most happy the past four weeks has been my training. I feel strong. I love feeling strong!
I love that what I love to do (lifting heavy) makes me look the way I want to look.
It’s all coming together:
Strategic program + calculated nutrition + time = leaner, stronger body.
The only part that stinks about this process is the “calculated nutrition” aspect.
I am a grazer. I like to eat often and eat as I wish. Being in this prep means that I can’t just come back from training and stuff my face with whatever sounds good.
I have to always stay a little hungry…
…or at least I try to stay a little hungry.
Lifting heavy makes the staying hungry part difficult because lifting makes me more hungry in general.
There are mornings when I come back to my apartment after teaching two classes and training and I find myself pretty much eating my breakfast AND lunch all at once.
That makes for a long midday/afternoon, let me tell you.
That has been a common theme: eating the most calories in the morning.
I am sandwiching my meals around my crazy mornings and eating the majority of all of my calories for the entire day between 3:45 a.m. and 9 a.m. I listed my schedule below so you can see why this gets hard at times.
My Monday through Friday daily schedule (most days):
3:45 a.m. wake up (eat first thing most mornings) 100-330 calories
5:00 a.m. teach a 50 minute Barry’s class
6:00 a.m. Train myself and eat (sometimes I eat before, sometimes after) 130-200 calories if I eat
7:00 or 8:00 a.m. Teach Cyc for 45 minutes
9:00 a.m. make a protein shake, shower, emails and nap. 250-300 calories when I am moderate.
12:00 eat, 300 calories
5:30 eat, 200-300 calories
**The calculated nutrition becomes a challenge on nights I teach classes, because I need more calories to be coaching for two hours.
The good news is that I have been tracking what I am eating (every single calorie, if you’re on my newsletter you’ve seen it) and have been committed since 16-weeks out; I am in the swing of it and each day I learn from my mistakes.
Sprite Zero is my best friend most nights. It fills me up with bubbles when I shouldn’t be snacking.
I recently added BCAAs back into my regime. They are so damn tasty!
I feel like my strength may shift soon, or sooner than I planned at least. I have been planning to test my 1 rep maxes on October 1st since I cannot compete in the powerlifting meet I have been training for, due to it being sold out.
To not let my efforts go to waste I am going to test my maxes but I fear they won’t be where I want them to be.
If I wasn’t teaching so many spin classes I have a feeling October 1st would be perfect timing to test my 1RMs and hit some PRs. However, all of the hours coaching are making me feel more exhausted than usual.
I have less time to recover enough to able to deadlift 225 pounds or more for reps. We shall see what happens in time!
In a perfect world I would hit 250 at BW of 110.
Teaching 12 classes a week also throws in a curve ball with nutrition. It makes this process challenging because I don’t know how exactly to set up the deficit. The normal deficit I would calculate based on height and weight and timelines is too severe based on my activity level. I learn how to adapt it every day.
Heaviest lifts (not necessarily 1RMs):
Deadlift: 2×3 reps at 225#
Bench: 3×3 at 95, 1 RM 110
Squat: 175 for 8, only 4 reps in 13-weeks out
January 2015 physique measurements:
Weight: 123 * waist: 28 in * thighs: 19.5 in * neck 10.5 in
16-weeks out physique measurements:
Weight: 117 * waist: 26 in *thighs: 18.75 in * neck: 10.25 in *butt (for bikini company): 32 inches
Current 12-Weeks out physique measurements:
Weight: 114 * waist: 25 inches * thighs: 18 in* neck: 10 in * butt: 31.5 in
***Unfortunately I never wrote down hips in January so I have no baseline to refer to
Lowest bodyweight: so far has been 114.0 and after a spin class, 113.6.
Average Calorie intake: between 1300 and 1400 per day
***to see my exact macros every two weeks sign up for the #Daretomove Motivator and you will get them in your inbox.
Because I started to work on leaning out as far back as January with a starting weight of about 123, this process has been a nice and slow progression.
What I am eating:
Honestly I am not stressing carbs, fats, and perfect nutrients each day. I am eating whatever tastes good and gets me to feel full on less calories. I make sure that throughout one week I consume the following at least once:
-rice or potato
Things I eat daily (most days):
-Tripact protein powder
What I eat when I go to restaurants:
-rice-free sushi (unless I lifted in which case I get a salmon roll)
-vodka water or a martini
-protein of some sort
Day when I add in alcohol:
-I omit the apple and 1/2 banana from my day and try my best to eliminate the quest bar. Then I stick to Tripact mixed with PB2 as a snack instead.
How I am training:
Currently lifting heavy four days per week.
Physique goals: build the booty and biceps
Monday- bench and back
Tuesday- rest/ Cyc class
Wednesday- lighter load of back squat variation, front squats, bicep work
Thursday- rest/ Cyc
Friday- Heavy back squat and hip thrusts
12 random thoughts/comments/questions/concerns:
1. I suck at posing. Seriously. I need to practice every day.
2. I love how I currently look. Will I feel weird about myself when I am leaner?
3. The reverse diet will probably be more difficult than the diet leading up to the competition.
4. At what point should I start to watch carb intake?
5. At what point will my lifts suffer?
6. Will my sleep be affected?
7. Will I ever resort to that typical “bodybuilding diet?”
8. How hard will the last four weeks be?
9. Will my suit end up being too loose on competition day?
10. What is normal for 12-weeks out?
11. I think my target weight for “stage weight” will most likely be 109.
12. I have never weighed 109… okay, maybe in fourth grade! (I was husky).
How I practice posing:
Currently I watch YouTube videos and then mimic them. You know, just like I used to try and learn N’Sync and Britney Spears dances from videos– that’s how I am doing posing.
There are a lot of helpful tutorials online and you can even watch footage from actual competitions and see various competitors go through their actual competition routines.
I am going to start practicing more than once per week this week. My shoes just came in the mail, it’s time.
These are screen shots from posing practice. These are natural lighting at dusk after eating dinner:
Here are photos taken in the morning light with a brightening filter:
I am excited to have a goal to work toward. I like having a timeline!
This experience is more about learning for me than winning a trophy. A lot of my clients have goals of leaning out and it’s really neat to be able to eat, sleep and breath it with them.
The mindset is a HUGE element to this process and each week I write to my newsletter about mindset work. We talk about how to get stronger mentally and how a strong mental attitude can bode well for any goals you have set in life.
I plan to work on manipulating carbs when the contest date approaches. For now I am just doing my best to eat the amount of calories planned per day, keep protein intake high and rest as much as possible.
Overall I need the most work on my glutes and my posing.
I am seriously pumped about this competition. Each day I get more pumped. It’s been a neat experience so far and I hope doing this helps me help more people down the road.
If you have any questions about lifting, nutrition, prep etc. please feel free to reach out! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I will do my next update at 8-weeks out!