My journey to the world stage is something I get asked about daily, so just over a month post show I thought I would share a little bit about my experience and answer some of the questions you had.
- How long did it take you to prep for the show.
This is a great question and it is important to understand that every body has a different competition journey and starting point. For myself, I begin prepping strictly 12 weeks out. In saying this, I always believe in starting prep with a “good base”, this is so important for people to understand. To most people, I eat and train like a “competitor” all year round, with a few extra splurges. This is because for me, this way of eating and training is a lifestyle; I live it, breathe it and enjoy it. I was relatively lean and had built muscle to a point where I was happy, so my only goal was to utilize those 12 weeks to strip away the additional weight I was holding.
- What changes for you when you’re prepping?
Honestly, not a whole lot. Like I said above, this is my life style. Yes I’ll get a little bit stricter; cutting out the few extra treats here and there and add in some extra cardio but that it really. It’s all about the base you start with. I didn’t ridiculously cut calories, I still had a cheat meal most weeks, I didn’t cut carbs or fat and I didn’t do anything extreme. It is very close to my normal lifestyle just a little bit “tidier”.
- Does it get hard and how do you stay motivated?
Competing is not for the faint hearted, that’s for sure. Competing requires a lot of sacrifice and is seen as a very lonely “sport”. For me one of the hardest parts with prepping is that I feel like I am inconveniencing others most of the time; for example, I can only eat certain foods so going to family for dinner becomes harder or I can only meet friends at specific restaurants where I am comfortable with the menu, I can only train at certain times and they are specific splits – you loose a lot of spontaneity with prep.
Then obviously there are the two main complaints that every competitor normally has; you get tired and hungry. I run my own company which is extremely time demanding, on top of that I travel a lot for work- almost every week, which makes diet and prep very hard, and when I am away I generally have photo shoots which are more taxing on the body than one would think, so yeah at the end of the day the last thing I want to do is train and this comes back to mindset; just knowing that there is an end point coming and being able to push through.
Which leads me to motivation. Yes, there were times, especially towards the end of this prep where I felt like I literally had nothing left; I had a lot of personal things going on, plus being energy deprived and depleted BUT I had worked so hard, I wasn’t about to give up.
It comes back to my WHY’s and WHAT’s; “why did I start”, “why am I doing this”, “what do I want to achieve”, “what am I willing to sacrifice”, “what or who do I want to become at the end of this experience”.
These are important questions that I suggest everyone take the time to look at in their personal fitness and health journeys.
Whenever I wanted to quit I refer to my WHAT AND WHY and I push through.
My motivation specifically for this competition was myself. I had one person to beat on the world stage and that person was ME. I didn’t look at any one else, I didn’t focus on them; the focus was solely and completely on bringing MY best package, and being the best version of my self yet!
This is another important factor that I want to mention, the focus needs to always be on YOU. When you place purpose outside of your self and give power to exterior motives they loose authority and thus you’re more likely to give up. YOU need to be the motivation; you need to do it for you, because at the end of the day, you are the only person who matters.
- You wanted to beat yourself, what did that take?
In order to beat the previous package I bought to stage, I was required to build more muscle and come in slightly tighter. So that is what I did. It took me a year to gain muscle that I was happy with. For this to happen I slowly needed to increase my calories so that I was in a caloric surplus, or in a“ bulking ”stage, and change my style of training – lifting a bit heavier and focusing on specific muscle groups. Once my base was built and I was happy with the muscle that I had gained, the work required was to cut or “shred”. To come out of my “bulking stage” and reduce my body fat to a point where I was stage ready, I was required to drop my calories slightly bit by bit to enter a deficit again, and my training changed back to weighted hiit style work outs. HIIT effectively burns fat whilst preserving muscle, which is why I advocate it so much through out my coaching programs.
- What is the best advice you can give to people who want to compete or are competing?
This is a great question. I have three top tips.
- You have to be willing to be selfish. This is probably the most selfish “sport” around. You have to be willing to put your self first one hundred precent. You are your only priority at this point. You need to put sleep first, your diet first, and your training first, everything else becomes a luxury. When you are expelling so much energy with training, diet, work, etc you unfortunately have very little energy to give to other people or activities. This is something that really should be considered prior to competition… does your lifestyle afford you these sacrifices?
- Have a support system – “the people you surround your self will either build you or break you; they are your foundation, so chose wisely”. I am so truly blessed to have the support system that I do. For one, I had my sister Emma compete too, so we were in prep together. Having someone going through the same ups and downs as you do really helps. Having each other to lean on and use for motivation when we are tired and hungry was incredible.
On top of that I had my BBR team and best friends, Tenna and Maxinne, as well as my amazing family who do nothing but encourage us and are there to offer love and support on a daily basis, especially on our worst days. Having them join in on the cardio sessions that I didn’t want to do, or telling me not to eat that cake (haha), really helps.
Speaking of support, a special mention should go out here to my prep coach, Nate from Domin8 and my stagecoach Toby Harrsion. I would not be where I am today with out these special humans backing me.
It is SO important to have positive people in your life that genuinely want to see you succeed. If you have people in your life that aren’t supportive or who are putting you in tempting situations all the time makes comp so much harder and you will more likely give up if you are being sabotaged all the time.
- And lastly, have your base set – refer to questions 1 and 2. It makes the whole prep process so much easier; your calories stay higher and you don’t have to do as much cardio.
- What is your favorite part about competing?
I honestly LOVE a challenge and that is why I enjoy competing so much. It requires you to work harder than you’ve ever worked and requires you to look better than you’ve ever looked and I thrive off these sort of challenges.
Truthfully, I love watching my body change and I love being that lean. To me personally, I find it exciting seeing what the body can achieve, which is exactly why I choose to work and play in this industry. The body is incredible and I get great pleasure out of understanding what training and nutrient manipulation works best for my body. I also love the inner-strength that I find during those 12 weeks of prep.
Then of course I LOVE the WBFF federation and beauty of it; there’s nothing like it. I am so blessed that I get to compete and stand on stage with some of the most beautiful girls in the world and many of my closet friends. To me being surrounded by such amazing, motivated and talented people is such an honor, winning is honestly just a bonus. The energy in that room is what makes it all worth it.
I need to make a special mention here to Paul and Allison Dillett, the president and CEO’s of the WBFF. They created such an incredible federation that is second to none and I am beyond honored and grateful to represent the WBFF as World Champion.
I hope you enjoyed this blog and gained some insight in to my experience.
If you are considering competition and require coaching please don’t hesitate to email firstname.lastname@example.org, I would love nothing more than to help you with your goals.