Triathlete vs. Figure Competitor
Prior to becoming a figure competitor, I was an amateur triathlete. I trained hard in the three disciplines of swimming, biking and running. I lifted weights three times a week to improve strength. I considered myself to be in relatively good physical condition. Little did I know that figure bodybuilding required a very different type of training and nutrition plan. After suffering multiple running injuries to my lower body, this also presented an additional challenge to developing my legs in proportion to the rest of my body.
Endurance athletes require a vastly different nutritional plan requiring not only proteins but also a higher volume of carbs in order to sustain long cycle rides and miles of running. Whereas bodybuilding requires less carbs and more protein. Both are still an essential part of the nutrition plan but their levels of consumption vary. In 2004, I lost 40 pounds in three months with Weight Watchers. I learned the value of portion control and the impact healthy food choices had on my body.
I train hard and stick to my nutritional plan year round. I am not a 16 week dieter. It is not a diet for me, it is a lifestyle. This does present challenges at times but given my age and busy life, this is what works best for me. I am generally within 5-8 pounds of my competition weight on a daily basis. My reward for my discipline is not having to do double cardio sessions or starving myself to shed body fat when I am prepping for a show. I need to preserve as much muscle mass as possible and excessive cardio can burn all my hard work away in a flash.
My trainer has played an integral part in the transformation of my physique. My trainer is my boyfriend. He is an ISSA certified trainer and his a passion for his 'hobby'. He conducts extensive research on innovative training techniques and nutrition. He is invested in me and pushes me to reach my goals. He develops workouts which challenge and push me to levels I didn't know I was capable of reaching. Workouts which are not always traditional weight room sets and reps or cardio performed on machines. As my body changes, so do my workouts!
I am very fortunate to have him as a coach and a trainer. He stays on the cutting edge of nutrition, supplements and muscle gaining techniques. Plus I have the added benefit that he knows me, my body and the demands on me as a single working mom who competes!
In June 2009, I decided to prepare for my first figure competition. I weighed approximately 140 pounds and was at about 16-18% body fat. I trained hard for 16 weeks and weighed 128 pounds and was 7% body fat when I hit the stage.
My Triathlete body... My Figure body...
140 lbs. /16-18 % body fat
It's not a diet, it's a Lifestyle!
This was the beginning of my journey into Figure Competitions. It has been a great journey thus far but has come with it's own challenges, disappointments and rewards. But that's what makes it all worth it - the things I have discovered about myself and just how much I can accomplish and how much more I am capable of achieving.