Hello friends! I know it’s been several months since my last update. I’ve had to take a step back from the blogging to focus on writing some other things (*cough cough my thesis cough cough*). During all this time away, I have also reevaluated my lifting lifestyle.
Some of you already know my long-time teammate and love is an amateur strongman competitor who eats like a heathen 9-times a day which is vastly different compared to my dainty, carefully measured out meals 6-times a day. He knows how much I enjoy lifting heavy and how difficult it was for me to watch my strength decline during my dieting, so after nagging me for several weeks I decided to compete in a powerlifting meet… A little less than a week away. Now, don’t panic! I’ve been training for about 5 weeks for this meet with guidance from him and his coach. I may not have the experience and long-term training on my side, but I am tiny and I am mighty and I am filled with carbs (or I will be in a few days)!
Just a beautiful lifting face don’t you think?
As for my current stats, I pulled 285 on deadlift two weeks ago, haven’t touched 135 on bench since the beginning of the year, and hit a beautiful and easy 200 on squat two weeks ago. Bench has always been a struggle for me because I don’t like to ask for a spot and I’m still getting my back cramping under control. I’m incredibly happy with my deadlift work as of late- I hit 275 for a double last week (which according to John is “NUTS!”). I will be competing in the 60-kg weight class at the USPA Queens of the Iron meet in ATX. I’ll be getting to compete against many strong women from around the state, and maybe I’ll make a few strong friends while I’m there!
I’m super excited that I’ll also get to meet up with my bff while we are in town! She runs the blog The Graduated Equestrian. Check her out if you’re a horse junkie like us!
As for bodybuilding… Don’t fret. I plan to start dieting again right after the meet this weekend. That will put me about 20 weeks out from the Lee Labrada Classic. With some recent life events that have put a significant dent in my already sad bank account balance, I’ve decided to aim to compete in only one competition this year. I’ve made decent gains in my muscle density in my back and delts, but I have a lot of work to do in order to lean out my midsection and lower body and balance out my upper body.
I’ll definitely be needing some input on what suit to get! Don’t forget to follow me and my adventures on Instagram (@csh9593)! Sorry my IG handle isn’t something @insertsassyname_fit related (lol).
Just food for thought: At my last competition, I noticed a ton of women wearing crop tops that said “bikini season”…. Isn’t it ALWAYS bikini season for competitors? (LOL)
Anywhosit, sorry it’s been so long since I’ve checked in! My research at school keeps me running around along with work and training and to add even more stress I adopted a stray cat I found about a month ago. He’s about 14 weeks old now and is growing like a weed despite having a coccidia infection. I’ve named him Twister because I found him in some twister wreckage on the side of the road in Navasota on my way to Houston to visit John. He’s black with a little sliver of white on his chest and on his belly and likes when I meal prep because I share my chicken with him tehehe.
Enough about my cat, I know you’re here to read about how the Branch Warren Classic went two weeks ago. After switching to figure about 6-8 weeks out from that show, I expected it to go much worse than it did, simply because I had been preparing the wrong muscle groups for most of the time. My time lifting went from mostly hamstrings and glutes to lats and delts. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE training back, but it was rough trying to make the growth changes in my back and delts that I needed to make without the diet to build them in such a short period of time. I knew I wasn’t going to make it on stage in the perfect condition that I wanted to be in but that sure-as-hell didn’t mean I wasn’t gonna try like hell to make it happen. So, if you’re ever in a similar situation for one reason or another, NEVER EVER tell yourself, “Well, I won’t be perfect anyways so I can go easier on myself”. No, don’t do that to yourself. You pull yourself together and say, “I’m going to push myself harder than I’ve ever pushed at the gym and I’m going to hate myself for it for the next (insert number here) weeks, but I know getting on that stage I will look and feel better about my body knowing how hard I pushed with absolutely zero regrets about my effort. I will go on stage KNOWING that no matter what placement I got, I ate perfect and I lifted heavier and more than I ever did before to get where I needed to be, regardless of whether or not I came up short”. The shorter version: Bust your ass so when you get on stage you have ZERO regrets.
I know a lot of that is easier said than done, believe me I’ve been there, I still have lots of regrets fresh in my mind from even my first show prep, but I know I went on stage for my first figure show looking and feeling better than I did for my first bikini competition. Baby steps are better than no steps at all at this point. I’ll take whatever progress I can get.
We really didn’t change much diet-wise between the peak weeks for bikini versus figure: Similar water manipulation and honing in on the diet. Same tanning preparation (buffing and pH balancing leading up to it), but we did four layers instead of three for figure (being darker can’t hurt me but being too light CAN). When in doubt, just go darker. I loved the way things changed slightly leading up the the BWC, and I’m pretty proud of my results. I came in third at my first figure show!… out of three (LOL). I was the tallest of the girls in my class, surprisingly, but considering my circumstances I’m happy with the end result. We have since tweaked my posing and I’ve made slight gains in the size of my lats, but I feel like my delts will ALWAYS be lacking… For now.
My favorite picture
Obsessed with my left calf muscle in this picture
For the Labrada this weekend, we aren’t changing much either. Different method of carb loading SLIGHTLY, but that’s it for the most part. Straight forward, I know, nothing thrilling.
THIS IS A NO NO!!! I forgot to move my hair in my back pose which really hurt me
I wasn’t flexing hard enough here, and my arms/shoulders are terribly uneven
So, what will I do after all this? Well, I hope to end my first season on a good note tomorrow night so I can push through the next 8-9 months with a smile on my face. I’m going to use that time to make massive growth gains in my delts and lats mostly, put some muscle mass back over my rib cage (I look really bony compared to some other competitors in my opinion), grow my triceps and biceps a heck of a lot more (I still have chicken arms), and for the love of God get some freaking abs (LOL)!
Now, I get to spend the rest of my Friday sitting on the couch stressing about my competitors’ meeting in Stafford tonight and waiting for my parents to arrive (don’t worry they’re actually not here to see me compete).
Holy cow! I know it’s been a while since I’ve been able to sit down and catch everybody up on my progress, what’s going on, how my diet is going, etc. Summer classes and my research project on top of my employment schedule keep me pretty much living out of my car on a daily basis; in other words, when I leave my house in the morning every single thing I need for the entire day (food, wardrobe changes, etc.) comes with me.
So, what’s the title about, right? Well… A few weeks ago, my trainers and I decided that rather than continue with the intention of competing in bikini at my next two shows I should give competing in figure a shot. My body seems to have a natural tendency to WANT to keep packing on muscle while still losing fat (no matter how slow). Also, My quads are just too big to allow me to be competitive in bikini, unfortunately. I have a lot of retraining to do, especially on my lats and delts. For those of you who may not know what the difference between these two divisions, here’s a break down:
Ashley Kaltwasser is the #1 bikini competitor in the nation, if not the world.
Ashley Kaltwasser is the woman to beat in bikini. Bikini is said to be won “from the waist down”. She’s the top of the top. In bikini, the judges are concerned with leanness without seeing striations in the muscles, defined ham-gluts tie-ins, and a feminine package to boot.
Nicole Wilkins is the woman to beat in figure. While to me these women look vastly different from one another, they both look incredibly similar in the off season. In figure, the judges are concerned with the width of your “lat spread” and the size of your delts, specifically desiring “cap delts”. Some striation is acceptable, but not necessary.
See? Very similar side by side!
Currently, my training consists of three day cycles:
Day 1: Lats/back, delts with cardio and abs
Day 2: Triceps, a tiny bit of biceps, delts with cardio and abs
Day 3: Leeeeeeeegs, cardio +/- abs
I’ve been working on doing 3 x 10 x 10 work outs, three lifts per muscle group doing 10 sets of 10 reps each lift with 30 seconds of rest between sets. With lat pull downs, my lats are usually on fiyah by the time I’m done! I’m doing everything I can to get my lats and delts to REALLY grow in these next few weeks. My new leg work out is a little different. Remember how I was doing 8 giant sets of walking lunges for 1 minute, 15 reps SLDL, and 8 slow negative leg curls topped off with 5×20 leg extensions? NOW, its:
30 leg extensions
30 step ups per leg alternating
20 leg curls
… For 45 minutes. And yes, I still do 45 minutes on the stair stepper beforehand.
Oh yea, did I mention I’m now less than four weeks out? FOUR WEEKS PEOPLE! GAH! And yes, my freezer is already full of ice cream for the food coma I will put myself in afterwards. This workout method transition has been challenging, but in a week I lost 2.4 lbs! I’m hoping to get down to 110 lbs by show day in 4 weeks, which means I have to lose about 8 lbs between now and then (2 lbs per week). I’m being good about drinking my distilled water, eating every 2-3 hours on the dot, getting my fasted cardio in in the morning no matter what, and doing my absolute best at avoiding temptation.
I’ll hopefully be getting my figure suit soon, and I should be working on my posing routine this coming weekend with my posing coach. She moved from bikini to figure, also, so I’m in good hands!
I’ve also started a new pre workout supplement. I WAS taking Noxipro, but I wanted to try a pre workout with little to no creatine to limit water retention. Now, I’m taking Nitraflex, a supplement made by German American Technologies. In comparison to Noxipro, I’d say it’s a mild stimulant. I was taking a scoop and a half of Noxipro (because 2 scoops gave me heart palpitations) and could get the pump and go-getter mentality I needed to conquer my work outs. Nitraflex specifically states not to exceed 1 scoop, and so far I have not and I don’t intend to after my experience with Nitraflex. If you’ve been taking C4 by Cellucor, I can promise you these supplements are far more potent than C4 so be cautious before testing your limits.
I’ve also started making a diet and exercise plan for my mom. She said she really wants to get healthier and fitter. She’s always been pretty good about her diet and exercise, but she’s never been a weight lifter (which I think would be a huge help for her). I’m hoping to get my dad into lifting, too.
In the meantime, I’m going to go find my motivation again to go do round 2 of cardio before/after I go feed research yearlings since I missed my AM fasted cardio due to my alarm not going off on time this morning (I seriously think I turned it off in the middle of the night).
Sorry it’s been so long since my last post! Finals week(s) had me running around like a chicken with my head cut off. I took those two weeks to really focus on finishing out school, and I had to sacrifice a lot of trips to the gym. Last weekend, I celebrated turning 23 with my boyfriend and his family in Houston. I pigged out on Friday night with Italian food and custard for my regularly scheduled cheat meal (with a few birthday cake Oreos the next day tehehehe- John is an enabler I swear!). I met with my trainer Sunday to kind of catch up and see where I’m at. So far, so good. We will begin making itty bitty tweaks next week with my diet, but nothing too major yet.
I’m 9 weeks out from The Branch Warren Classic and 11 weeks out from The Lee Labrada Classic, both in Houston! I haven’t really had a whole lot of continuous time to spend in the gym to work out as well as cram in posing practice, especially with my research project for my master’s thesis starting within the next few days (fingers crossed- paperwork is a pain). I’m cramming in workouts whenever I can to try to make up for the two weeks I was out of commission essentially. More stairs, more high rep low weight work, more more more.
With all the low weight high rep work I’m putting in, setting aside my ego has been hard. I hate lowering my weight because I never ever want to appear weak to others around me. I’ve worked too hard for the strength I’ve gotten to let it go to waste. But, to be a successful body builder, I know I have to think AND train like one. That means finding my weaknesses, knowing how to fix them, and implementing the necessary changes to do so. Simple enough, right?
I have new work outs I want to try, I just have to find the time and energy to try them (they’re usually leg work outs and let’s face it- after my trainer’s leg work out I almost never have energy to do anything after lol). I’ll share them and my thoughts on them as soon as I get a chance!
Lately, I’ve been trying to curb my urges to buy all the thermogenics and anti-catabolics and BCAAs and crazy fat burning supplements you can imagine because I just want to lose fat faster. I don’t want to go into my next show worried that I’ll still be “too soft”; I won’t do it. I refuse to feel unprepared next time. I know I’m just being hard on myself and even considering taking an insane number of supplements to see what works for me is costly, both physically and monetarily. My bank account just can’t handle that sort of irresponsible spending (I’m adulting so hard right now).
Let’s face the reality for a second: You’re scrolling through Instagram and you see all these women on all these different fitness inspiration pages that have huge glutes, tiny waists, and buff arms and, naturally, they’re holding some type of supplement (whey, thermogenic, whatever) that they absolutely SWEAR by, and your first thought is, “If I take whatever she’s taking, I’ll get a butt like hers!” Don’t be ashamed to admit it; it’s the first step to recovery. I still struggle with it, honestly.
You have to be completely real with yourself when it comes to supplements on every possible level, not just when it comes to advertisements. For example, I just restocked a lot of my supplements (L-carnitine, CLA, etc.) and when I told my boyfriend about it, he questioned whether or not I would stick to taking them because I have a bad habit of investing in these products and I can’t stick to the dosing regimens or I forget to take them a time or two and eventually stop taking them completely (basically I waste my money). But THIS time, I reassured him I would stick to taking them because I’m hellbent on seeing better changes. Now if only I could get my diet back under control… but that’s a post for another day.
My winnings from my supplement restocking adventure.
So, some basic guidelines to follow when considering repurchasing a supplement:
Did you see the changes/improvements that the product was designed for (fat loss, improved energy, growth, etc.)?
Did you change any part of your diet or exercise plan during the period of time you were taking the supplement?
If no, did you follow the dosage directions/label recommendations for that product and allow for enough time on that product (6-10 weeks) to make the changes?
If no, do not repurchase. If yes, give it another shot. If you STILL don’t see the changes after another 3-6 weeks, don’t waste anymore money on the product.
Random fact of the day: It takes three weeks to see changes in horses once they have begun a new supplement regimen. So, at least wait three weeks.
Some questions to think about when considering a NEW supplement:
What are you looking to get out of this product?
Is that the purpose the product is designed and labeled for?
Have you read the ingredients and done research any ingredient that you didn’t know the purpose of?
Where did you find this product? Was it recommended by a friend who used it for an extended period of time and had great results? Or did you see it advertised on some form of social media or in a health magazine?
If you plan to compete, are there any ingredients in this product that would show up on a drug screen that you should worry about?
Does the product require a “stack” (several products designed to work together for maximal effect), or is it sold individually with equally positive results?
Does the product have any reviews from other consumers?
How much money are you willing to set aside for this product for either one time or continued use?
These are questions I NORMALLY as myself before investing any of my money into a new (or old) supplement purchase. I emphasize “normally” because I recently made the mistake of purchasing a new supplement on a whim: Noxipro.
I entered a local supplement store here in CS to check them out and see if they had any C4 (my usual awesome pre-workout). They did, however the guys in the store recommended I try Noxipro if I was looking for something with a little more get-up-and-go (which I was). The price was comparable, and so was the ingredients list. Keep in mind supplements are not subject to FDA regulations (which is why so many people died from ephedrine OD several years ago before the FDA was pressured to ban the OTC sale of ephedrine) and they are not required to give specifics on their “mixtures”.
The first night I took it I felt like my heart was going to beat right out of my chest while I was on the stair stepper; I was so pumped and so motivated to get through my work out it was scary, but I never felt out of control. I took Noxipro again a few nights later, but I didn’t get the same high, which I figured meant my body had already developed an adaptation response. So, yesterday after work, I took two scoops- the maximum dose- and started on my leg work out, hitting stair stepper first. Still didn’t get the same high as the first night I took it, but things kept going downhill.
Halfway into my weight training, I noticed going from walking lunges over to deadlift and then hamstring curls I would arrive at my next station out of breath and heaving (at one point I threw up a little). I’d feel fine during my lifting, but I’d feel like death between. I just told myself it was because I was pushing so hard lifting that I wasn’t really noticing how hard I was working. Then, I arrived at leg extensions. When I sat down and began lifting I noticed my heart felt like it was… fluttering. I tried to ignore it, but it couldn’t. I finished out my sets and walked away feeling scared, so I called John in a mild panic. I explained to him everything that was going on and we both came to the conclusion that I was having heart palpitations. He proceeded to do some research while I calmed down and found that Noxipro is notorious for causing heart palpitations in people susceptible to cardiac and blood pressure related problems (I’m borderline hypotensive). I went to the locker room feeling a little dizzy and then spent 10 minutes hovering over a sink wretching, and I spent another 20 minutes lying on the floor in front of my locker with a towel over my eyes catching my breath and trying to get my heart rate to go down. Eventually, I made it home, but I learned my lesson the heard way. ALWAYS do research on the product FIRST and NEVER take two scoops of Noxipro.
Questions about supplements or diets? Ask away! I’d love to help!
I know a lot of my friends and family know the results of my first competition, but I wanted to share it on here like I promised, despite my embarrassment.
Unfortunately, I came dead last in my class out of 9 girls. I’m incredibly disappointed in the result because I feel that I brought a damn good package to the stage, but I’m sure every competitor felt that way.
This sport isn’t about who is sexiest. It is about working your ever living ass off day in and day out at the gym to show your best body and your best self. Keeping it classy is an important part of this sport. You can call me a poor sport all you like; I hate losing. Everyone hates losing, but I don’t mind losing to someone that I know deserves it.
I’m still waiting to get my judges’ score cards back from the show promoter after multiple attempts to contact them as well as the NPC Texas VP.
As for my pictures, it took some harassing of Muscular Development Magazine on my part to finally get my pictures up online. The other photographer at the show won’t answer me as far as whether or not he got pictures of me on stage. This whole after-show process has been nothing short of frustrating.
My trainer and I already have the next show in the works. He wants me competing in the Warren Branch Classic and the Lee Labrada Classic two weeks apart in July. I’m scheduled to work both weekends, but I’m trying to get everything worked out well in advance so I can compete. He has me on a new work out plan with more stair stepper and a ton more ab work, which I’ll be sharing with you later this week. He and I will be discussing our plans to change my physique leading up to my show(s) in July later on this week, as well.
In other more important news, John has picked his first strongman competition! June 4th is the date, and I’m super excited to get to be his cheerleader at his first competition! I’m so proud of all he has accomplished this past year, and I’m ready to see him kick some ass!
Yes, another post! Same day, too! But this is vital information! I promise!
While at the CLC, a friend of mine also competing ran into a few mishaps, but luckily I was prepared enough for our entire division… Seriously. I had SEASONED competitors coming to me asking for hairspray. Hairspray is vital, y’all!
So, I present to you, my OFFICIAL competition pack list!
Make up supplies
Facial oil blotting papers
Extra nail glue
Big hair clips
Posing oil/glaze (Pam cooking spray also works)
Dark sheets for your hotel
Bath towels for your hotel
Scrubs for after tanning
Shower cap for tanning
Stand up mirror
Solo cups with bottom cut out for peeing without messing up your tan
Baby powder to soak up sweat
Fluffy applicator brush for baby powder
Dryer sheets for deodorant
Mini mouth wash
Laundry stain remover stick
Pillow/cushion to sit on
Plastic food utensils
P.S.- DO NOT WEAR RED AFTER GETTING TANNED! The dye in red clothing will make you change color!!!!
P.P.S.- Bring zipper locks for your luggage bag, and use a luggage bag that rolls! Lifting anything and putting anything on your shoulders will ruin your tan!
This weekend was a whirlwind of emotions for everyone involved. Before I get too far intoTHAT, I’ll rewind to Thursday, and get you all caught up.
Thursday: Two Days Out
Two days out
Two days out
Two days out- Pardon the mess on my counter. I had all my stuff laid out to pack for my trip.
Two days out
As soon as I was out of class, I hauled butt home to begin shaving and using my Hair Away by Muscle Up. Knowing I had tested the product on myself before with no signs of an allergic reaction, I thought I was safe. However, knowing what I know now thanks to pharmacology, it takes TWO exposures to an allergen for your body to have a reaction to it. I applied the cream to my entire body beginning with my legs and working my way up. By the time I had covered everything from my feet to my neck I knew the ten minute time limit was up so I began wiping away the salve from the bottom up as I had applied it. By the time I made it to my chest and arms, my neck began burning. BAD. I quickly wiped away what I could on my neck and rinsed any residue from my neck, but the burning sensation progressively got worse. I got out of the shower to discover that my neck and chest were red, puffy, and tender to the touch. I was nearly in tears with the pain of the burn, and I was terrified that I wouldn’t be able to go to my tanning appointment later that night if the swelling didn’t go down soon. To top it all off, I had a pharmacology exam in less than two hours and I was in a panic to get the pain to subside before my exam. I quickly took some Zyrtec (I didn’t have any Benadryl available- I don’t have allergies to anything else).
I made it to my exam, finished it two hours later, and picked up some Benadryl on the way home. Once home, I took two Benadryl and packed my belongings into my car to make the drive to Katy. I arrived around 10 pm at my tanning pro’s house, and she was already aware of my neck situation. We were able to complete the first layer of my spray tan, including my face, in under 30 minutes. Check out Brittnay’s Bronze Beauties on Instagram and Facebook if you need a tanner in Houston!
All day from start to finish, I had a total of half a gallon of distilled water to drink, and I ate 2 oz of chicken with 1/3 cup white and 1/3 cup brown rice ever 2-3 hours. John had to go pick up a diuretic for me at a supplement store in Katy per my trainer’s request; even with the water withdrawal I seemed to still be holding on to a substantial amount of water. I was warned that I would pee like crazy on this particular diuretic… Nope. No more than normal actually. So, I’m not sure if the “water” I was retaining was really just fat, or if I needed a larger dose of diuretic. Either way, I have some tweaks to make in my pre-competition plan.
Tips for Tanning That No One Told Me:
Yes, you have to be completely naked for this process, so make sure you’re comfortable with the pro you’re working with. Some women get tanned by male tanners, but I’m more comfortable working with female professionals.
DO NOT WEAR UNDERWEAR OR A BRA UNTIL AFTER COMPETITION ONCE YOU’VE BEEN TANNED, EVEN IF IT’S ONLY THE FIRST LAYER! I thought I was safe to wear a bra for a brief period after my skin had soaked up all the tan 24-48 hours later… I was wrong.
I recommend wearing tie-waist (not elastic) scrub pants (they are lint free and loose) and a button up shirt after tanning. Definitely use a button up shirt later when you get your hair and make up done on competition day.
Whatever you do, don’t burn trying to get your base tan! Spread it out over a long period of time (about 1-2 months) once every 5-7 days for no more than 15 minutes at a time. Be sure to get EVERY INCH of your body with tanning lotion. The parts of me that burned are the spots I missed with lotion.
Get your nails done before your tan. It’s easier to wipe the tan off your nails after they’re done than to keep polish on once you’ve tanned.
Friday : One Day Out
John had to lay on the ground to take the pictures for Keith so that they were from the judges’ perspective.
I met with my trainer at 7:30 am for a little pre-show evaluation, including another InBody. In case I haven’t already told you before, the InBody is a total body evaluation of your body fat mass, body fat percentage, muscle mass, and muscle mass distribution. My first InBody on October 18, 2015 gave me the following statistics:
Basal metabolic rate: 1275 kcal
Weight: 115.9 lbs
Total body water: 67.7 lbs
Dry lean mass: 24.7 lbs
Body fat mass: 23.5 lbs
Lean body mass: 92.4 lbs
Skeletal muscle mass: 50.7 lbs
BMI: 20.9 kg/m2
Percent body fat: 20.3%
Right arm: 4.61 lbs/108.7%
Left arm: 4.50 lbs/106.3%
Trunk: 40.8 lbs/105.9%
Right leg: 13.05 lbs/97.4%
Left leg: 13.25 lbs/98.9%
My latest InBody gave me the following:
Basal metabolic rate: 1256 kcal
Weight: 115.5 lbs
Total body water: 66.1 lbs
Dry lean mass: 24.3 lbs
Body fat mass:25.1 lbs
Lean body mass: 90.4 lbs
Skeletal muscle mass: 49.6 lbs
Percent body fat: 21.6%
Right arm: 4.32 lbs/102.4%
Left arm: 4.37 lbs/103.8%
Trunk: 39.7 lbs/103.6%
Right leg: 12.77 lbs/95.6%
Left leg: 12.99 lbs/97.2%
So, what does this all mean? Well, pretty much only two values that declined were good, my weight and my total body water. The body part distribution (right arm, left arm, trunk, etc.) is represented as the mass of muscle on that body segment and the percentage of muscle compared to my ideal body weight. Surprisingly, my arms are on fleek, whereas my legs are as my trainer puts it “behind schedule”. We originally wanted my lean body mass up around 95 lbs and my body fat percentage close to 15%. Obviously, my body didn’t agree with plan according to the InBody assessment. We know I got leaner visually, but the InBody says otherwise. So, I’m having my trainer measure my body fat manually using calipers to confirm/deny the InBody’s results.
Other than the InBody on Friday, I posed and had pictures taken for my trainer to use for deciding on my meal plan for Saturday. I also had Friday off from working out which was my first day off in at least four weeks.
After meeting with my trainer, I went back to John’s for breakfast (chicken and rice) and a nap before I went back to my tanner’s house for the remaining two tan applications. John and I left Katy at 3 pm, and we made it to Waxahachie for check-ins between 6:30 and 7 pm. We didn’t have an athlete’s meeting, so John and I made it to Prosper (where my parents live and where we were staying) by 8:30 to be with my family.
Saturday: Competition Day
I was up at 5 am to have breakfast (chicken and rice) at 5:30 and get my make up done at 6. My mom’s friend is a wonderful make up artist! If anyone in the north Dallas area needs a reasonably priced and experienced make up artist for an event let me know and I can pass on her information!
Post-make up, pre-hair
It was so pretty curled I was tempted to leave it like this!
John and I arrived at the Waxahachie Civic Center by 8 am for check-ins and my number pick up. We found a hide out spot with a friend of mine who also competed in bikini for the next few hours. I straightened and styled my hair at the venue on the floor in the hall way. Vanity space in the green room/bathroom was limited, so I did what I could with what I had. Note to self: Clip in extensions are great, but hiding the clips in thin fine hair is a struggle. Keeping them in is even harder. I think I was the only competitor on stage in my class that chose to straighten my hair- my hair doesn’t hold curls very well. The novice bikini division was the second to last division to go on stage for pre-judging around 12 pm. I was in the shortest class (Class A) with ten girls total; our entire division consisted of 30 girls total with three height classes. When our division was called to the “pump up room” backstage, competitors lined up for their “glaze” (oil coat to make you shine on stage) but I brought my own to save time. The competition did not provide weights or resistance bands for competitors to use, so I’m glad I brought my own. I practiced posing for a while before even going into the pump up room, so I didn’t practice right before going on stage. Most of the girls in my class (and the division) were cross competing in the open bikini division as well as novice for the experience. This was the first show for a lot of competitors, so we were all nervous and exhausted.
We filed on stage individually and had about 10-20 seconds to make it through our posing routines. Then, the first 4-5 of us were set up for comparisons and filed off to the side for the remainder of the competitors to go through their comparisons. Next, first call outs were made; this is when the top four of that class are called forward for comparisons. I didn’t make first call out, but for second call out, I was switched with the girl to my left which could mean I placed 5th in my class. I’m still not sure of my results because they haven’t been posted online yet. Sad, I know. It’s KILLING me!
Waiting to be called
The line up- waiting for comparisons
Nailed my back pose!
See how much the lights white me out?
After pre-judging, we had about 5 hours to kill before having to be back at the venue for finals. So, my family and I drove to a local restaurant where I promptly ate… my chicken and rice. I actually had to excuse myself from the restaurant because the server put hot fresh rolls in front of me; it was a little much for me at the moment. I was an emotional wreck because I didn’t make first call out and everyone was asking why I looked depressed. Yes, I was incredibly disappointed that I didn’t make first call out, but it was a valuable learning experience and it served as motivation for me to kill it at my next competition.
At finals, we were individually called on stage by our names and we got to complete our posing routine again for the sold out crowd. After the tope three competitors in my class were called, I left. John and I packed up, said goodbye to our new friends, and headed to iHop for my epic french toast destruction.
My friend and I murdering a cookie (lol)
After… There was bacon in there somewhere…
I finished my first tea in under 30 seconds. Our poor waitress was so patient lol
Me and my fraaaands
My bestie showed up from Austin!
My insanely supportive boyfriend
Took advantage of the green room for post-show selfies!
This chick is gonna kill it at the Coleman in 4 weeks! Go get it girl!
So, What Now?
Currently, I’m off my diet until Sunday. I should be making the decision on my next show date this weekend with the help of my trainer. It’s really hard to pick right now because I’m not sure what critique the judges had for me. I know what I want to change and what I want to improve, but I want to make sure what I want lines up with what the judges want as well.
As soon as contest pictures and results are up, I promise I’ll share them in a new post! I also have new work outs that from this week I’ll be sharing with you!
I just want to thank every single person that has supported me and cheered me on from the get go. This journey has taken a lot out of me but I’m definitely not done; I have competition fever. Thank you to my coaches, my family, my friends- you are the most incredible cheer squad ever! Thank you to Heather and Charlotte for your little pieces of encouragement from afar! John already knows how much he is loved- I can’t wait to be his cheerleader and pack mule at his first strongman competition. My sisters, Lauren and Ryan- thank you both for being so positive and supportive and for bringing my nieces along for the ride! My parents underestimate how much they are loved and how much it meant to me that they were there to see the progress I’ve made and the confidence I’ve gained since August (keep in mind, no one in my family has gotten to see me in a swimsuit or seen my progress pictures so my time on stage was truly my big reveal- they didn’t even know what color my suit was).
Have any questions about my experience? Let me know!
Welcome to Gym Etiquette 101. I will introduce you to some of the most basic principles of acceptable (and unacceptable) gym behavior to give you, as well as your neighbors, the most pleasant gym experience possible.
Lesson 1: Dress Code
Ninety-nine percent of gyms have a dress code. I know my gym in Katy’s dress code and I’m not even a member! Know your gym’s dress code and abide by it. Ladies, I know we see tons of fit women and fitness models “working out” in skimpy gym attire, but keep in mind they take those photos for photo shoots or “educational” purposes. Unless you are doing the same, please don’t wear less at the gym than you do in your daddy’s house.
Lesson 2: Hygiene
All too often a guy (and occasionally a girl) will pass by and you’ll almost pass out because of the stench that is their BO. Sometimes it’ll even be their freaking cologne! Either way, don’t come to the gym already in a stench cloud; no one likes working out next to “The Stinky Guy”. If you notice a 10 foot radius between yourself and the nearest person, take that as a hint TSG is YOU and go shower ASAP!
Yummy butt sweat.
Lesson 3: Rewracking Weights
We have signs all over our temporary weight room in giant lettering that tells you to rewrack your dumbbells and weight plates when you’re through using them. By completing this simple task, it lets other people know you are done with the equipment and they are okay to use it next (however there is an exception that I will get to shortly). When you leave your weight plates on the calf raise machine, poor suckers like me stand there for 10 minutes looking around for the idiot who left them there to make sure we don’t look like the jerk who took your machine when you weren’t done.
Lesson 4: Waiting for Equipment
There are several issues that tie into this lesson, so bear with me.
This has become my biggest gym peeve by far over these last few weeks. Our Rec Center has become exceedingly overcrowded, and fully functional equipment is in short supply for the time being until the new weight room is completed this summer. With that in mind, it is easy to imagine the lines that form waiting for a cable, bench, deadlift, or squat rack. This issue is what sparked the idea of this entire blog post: I had just finished box squats and was bringing the box back to the weight room staff, and I had already taken my weight plates off the bar but left my water bottle and towel at the rack so that people knew I was still going to use the rack (I wanted to do back squats next). I came back to find two guys dismantling my rack so that they could begin using it. Upon this discovery I said aloud, “Seriously?!” Of course, they turned around confused and kind of shocked that I seemed outwardly pissed to say the least; when they openly asked if I was finished I told them, “Never mind, I won’t do the rest of my squats.” I quickly removed my belongings and left.
When waiting to use equipment, be sure to stand out of the way of other people using aisle ways to do lunges or other exercises in, or even other people simply trying to walk past you. The last time I did walking lunges, I stood with 70 lbs on my back waiting for two oblivious jerks to get out of my way. I began clucking at them like I do with my horses and they finally figured it out, while this other girl doing calf raises with her friend managed to make eye contact with me and then continued to stand in the aisle way. If this happens to you, just say “f*** it” and keep on truckin’. I told myself if I bump her with the bar, it’s her own damn fault because I gave her the chance to move AND there were other places for her to stand where she wouldn’t be in anyone’s way. Surprisingly, I don’t think I hit her, but I probably came pretty dang close. Respecting one another’s space is important gym etiquette.
Lesson 5: Don’t Be A “Bro”
There are a ton of guys that go to the gym and treat it like a social gathering. I get it, you’ll always see friends there and want to talk and catch up, but keep in mind your 15 minute “bro hug” may be cutting into someone’s gym time because they are waiting on the equipment that you’re using. This goes for ladies, as well. I know you haven’t seen each other “in like foreverrrrrrr”, but let’s be real that was a week ago. Talk and work out or make plans to catch up with friends after your workout so that you’re not holding up other people.
Lesson 6: Wipe Down Your Equipment
Some of us are sweatier than others, so be aware of your personal sweat pools! The stair master is notorious of harboring sweat pools all over. If you have lotion on your hands or any part of your body that comes in direct contact with the equipment, be sure to wipe it down completely when you’re through so that the next person doesn’t put their hand in a pool of your sweaty lotion slime.
That’s all for today’s Gym Etiquette 101 class. I will continue to share lessons with you as I come up with more pet peeves at the gym I’m sure. What are some of your gym peeves? Have any lessons you would like to share?