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5 Tips to Avoid Weight Gain Rebound

Few people can stay competition lean (or should). A little extra weight is healthy - but parameters must be set to avoid rebound.

Few people can stay competition lean (or should). A little extra weight is healthy – but parameters must be set to avoid rebound.

One of the things I hear a lot after someone has lost a lot of weight is that someone gained all their weight back. It’s a big fear for most people. They join a boot camp or do a competition and they reach all their goals, and a few months later they are right back to where they started – or worse.

While, in our gym, there are more people that keep it off than people who gain it back, it happens – and I sure didn’t want that to happen to me after my competition so I sat down with Steve and we made very specific rules. Here are the parameters I plan to put in my life to help me maintain my weight during our “off season”.

Whether you are in between trainers, boot camps or competitions, you can apply these same rules to your own life to make fitness a lifestyle instead of a phase, and make your new goal weight your new normal weight.

5 Tips to Maintaining Your Weight

scale1. Decide on your new ideal weight. If you haven’t reached your goal yet, your ideal weight will be a lower weight. If you have reached your goal, your ideal maintenance weight should be your new weight (unless you’ve just competed and dehydrated – then your weight should probably be 5-7lbs heavier than your stage weight). This weight is what determines whether you should be dieting (eating fewer calories than you are burning) or maintaining (eating the same amount of calories than your burning).

At 5’9″, my ideal weight used to be 144 for me. If I started rising above 144 (my NO! STOP weight was 148), I would diet back down and get my weight back into control. Now, my new normal weight is 136. After the show I stayed in the high 130s and hit 140 and I immediately jumped right back on my diet until it went back down. Today, I weighed 135 today. I will continue to weigh in to keep me accountable.

goals2. Set a new goal. Whether this is a race, a bikini or bodybuilding competition, a weight loss contest, a cruise or a photo shoot, you must put some kind of goal into place. Goals give your training purpose, and make it easier to say no to high-calorie foods and the temptation to skip a workout. My goal is to come into January at a specific body fat percentage, muscle weight and fat weight. I want to know I am starting my diet ahead of where I started it last time. I also want my skin to stay tight and continue tightening up. I can’t do that if my weight fluctuates too much, so my goal is to avoid weight gain so I can improve my skin texture. Plus, I just feel a million times better in all my clothes!

running3. Make a recovery plan. What do you do if you bounce a check or max out a credit card? Do you keep spending what you can’t afford? No. You start making a plan to pay it off and get back in the black. The same goes for dieting. As soon as you go over budget, you have to start paying it off because you can’t afford to eat that much anymore. This is when you step up your cardio (work off your past debt) and reduce your caloric budget (learn to be more frugal with your calories). This is just checks and balances – but you have to make a plan ahead of time. As soon as you get back to your ideal weight, you can afford to have a cheat meal, you can afford to skip a workout. But, until then, you have to stay disciplined and get your body back in control.

chocolate syrup4. Cheats are treats. What I mean is, cheat meals should be a treat, not a habit. There are certain things Steve and I decided we would not buy and bring into our home. This forces us to go out and get it if we want it (which requires more planning and reduces the chance of impulse eating). For instance, we will not buy ice cream. If we want ice cream, we’ll make a date out of it – but I’m not going to have something that available to me. Same goes with chips and other high-calorie snack foods. As soon as I bring them into the house, they can work their way into our daily lives. Then it becomes a unhealthy eating habit. We will continue to have limits on how much we eat out and how much we “treat” ourself. And, we will continue to cook healthy, low-calorie meals and have low-calorie snacks at home.

Maintenance 5. You’re never “off”. One of the biggest mistakes people make is doing a boot camp or competition and then taking “off”. They work hard for 3 month and then they stop completely. You should never be “off” – you are either in weight loss mode or maintenance mode. While a competitor can gain a little weight in off season while they try to build muscle, the more fat they gain, the harder they have to work to get it off when they are in season. Why not try to keep your fat under control so you start your season ahead of where you started it last time.

Stop right now and make a plan of how you plan to control your weight over the holidays so you don’t start 2015 behind where you are right now. If you fail to plan, then plan to fail. Planning is key to success!

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Bikini Competition: Will I Do It Again?

Driving

On our way to the Daytona Classic 2014

Everyone who knows me, knows I was VERY resistant to competing. Steve has asked me to compete with him for years, and I finally (reluctantly) said YES (with a grouchy face and all). haha! Well, now that I’ve done it, one of the most common questions I get is will you do it again?

A matter of fact, one of my friends (Susy B, who’s thinking about whether or not she wants to compete or not) asked me Friday night after weigh-ins, “would you do it again?” and my answer was “ask me tomorrow!”. At that point, I could honestly say I loved the whole process. I loved putting science to work. I loved being pushed to stick to my diet and training. I loved having goals. I loved the challenge – and I loved the results. I just wasn’t sure how I’d like the stage. And, at that point, I was pretty sure I’d hate it.

What have I got myself into?

bikini competitorI really DREADED the stage. I dreaded being half naked in front of everyone. I dreaded the stress. I dreaded the unknown. I dreaded the posing. I dreaded standing there all alone. I dreaded the attention. I dreaded the awkward long moments where you have to hold a smile forever and pretend you are completely comfortable torcing your body into a pretzel to look your best (yes, we may look like we are standing normal, but there is nothing normal feeling about posing). I dreaded the “judging”. I pretty much dreaded every single thing that could possibly happen on stage.

Here I go!

backstage bikiniI woke up that morning already feeling like a winner. I met and surpassed all my goals. I was in the best shape of my life. I could have just stopped there, but I knew I was supposed to step out of my comfort zone and finish this. I never anticipated doing well. I knew it was a big show and there would be a lot of girls up there who worked just as hard as I did. I would have been happy with 12th place, because I was at my personal best. Then I got the call out. Wow! Top 5!

bikini competitionThen I waited as they started announcing places. “5th place goes to…. 4th place goes to….” and was just waiting for them to call my number. At that point, I was just stoked I got a call out. Truth is, I hadn’t even looked at the other girls, so I had no idea how we’d all place. Then they called out the 3rd place winner and then the 2nd place girl – and it wasn’t me! I remember making a funny face as I processed “oh my gosh, I’m the only one left!”

White Competition Bikini Then they called “24, Bonnie Pfiester” and I heard, “THAT’S MY GIRL!” from the audience – and that’s when I really felt like a winner. I made my husband and trainer proud. I made myself proud. And, sure, there could have been someone more fit that could have showed up to beat me, but none of that matters. A trophy doesn’t make me a winner. My hard work did – whether I took 1st or 5th!

So, the million dollar question: Would I do it again?

The answer is (drum roll…….) I’d do it again in a heartbeat. Don’t get me wrong, I still am not fond of the stage. However, the stage is a necessary part of the process. It’s what makes you get up early and do one more cardio. It makes it easier for you to say “NO, I’m not going to eat that”. Did I like being on stage? It honestly wasn’t nearly as bad as I anticipated (you can’t hear or see anything with all those bright lights, so as far as I was concerned I was up there posing for no one! haha). Nevertheless, the results, the discipline I learned, the experience I had with Steve and the things I learned about myself and my body were SO worth enduring the stage for 2 minutes.

lighthouseSo what next?

First, I like the new improved me. I like the higher level of discipline and I like having parameters with my eating and weight. Basically, I’d like this to be my new norm. My new top weight (the highest weight I want to be) is now lower than it used to be. I’m now officially in maintenance mode. I am already thinking about next year – not for the purpose of getting back on stage, but to set new goals to hold me accountable for the off season.

grilled chickenMy first goal for the fall is to keep weighing in regularly to hold myself accountable so I don’t gain weight back. I will diet (which means count calories and eat clean) during the week and allow myself some more freedom on the weekend as long as my weight doesn’t creep up. If it goes above my mark, I will go to competition diet until I get below that mark and then go back to maintenance again.

The next part of my goal is to continue sculpting. There are spots that still need work. I need to narrow my backside and also maintain a smaller size so my skin continues to tighten up. I need to work my abs more and I want to practice and improve my posing. I’m not doing this to win, I’m not doing it to look better than anyone else. I’m not doing it because I’m vain – because no one sees my butt and abs except for Steve and the few people who may see me at the beach! I’m doing it to have training goals, to keep myself in check, and so I don’t find myself aimlessly going through the motions at the gym. Competing gives my training purpose, and helps me stay more disciplined. Now, I better get off this computer and get to the gym!

A big thanks to all who supported me through this journey.  

Thermo Heat – for their killer fat burner system & new pre-workout!!
Sewn In The Sun – for making my awesome suit (in the middle of giving birth!) & my jewelry!!
Designer Whey – for providing me with low-calorie protein!
Train Like A Freak Apparel – for workout clothes that made me feel like a winner in the gym
LoseIt – for giving me all the tools I need to track my calories
Energy Spa for tanning our team
Frankie J at Cloud 9 – for doing my hair!
The Shoe Lady – for my awesome insoles that helped me run pain-free and melt fat!
Misty Lundeen – for the best photo shoot ever!!
Kristie Gallagher – for believing in me and praying for me, that I could do this and still honor God.
Team Max – for all the support each team member offers each other
Muscle Papa – for capturing the memories on camera & posting them on your Facebook so we could see pictures SO fast!!!!
tom and julianne talleyMy Mom and Dad – who drove all the way up to support me, just to be there long enough to root me on & fly back home as soon as I left the stage because they had to be up early to lead worship and preach. What sacrifice!

I was blown away by the people who made the drive down to watch us compete. The last time I’ve experienced that kind of support was on our wedding day. It was an incredible experience and I’m so thankful for everyone!!  THANK YOU!!!

Motivation to be MORE than a Competitor

bikini competitorAs I prepare for my first competition, I am learning something new everyday. Cutting calories and denying the flesh is HARD (but it’s worth it). Cutting calories for 3 months in a row, logging every single thing that hits my lips (including my 5 calorie gum!) has been exhausting and challenging (but it’s worth it). Dieting 7 days a week, not 4, not 5, not 6, but 7 days a week, for weeks on end has been brutal (but worth it). Going from 18% body fat to 12% body fat (and still dropping!!!) reminds me it’s not for nothing, I am making progress (so, again, it’s worth it).

A few days ago I realized I needed to take my dieting up another notch to break another plateau. I flinched in anticipation of additional struggles, temptations and possible failures. Then I realized this: For some odd reason, I feel God wanted me to step out of my comfort zone to do this dang competition. I would have GLADLY bowed out if He even gave me one inkling of disapproval or a closed door. Instead, it was the opposite. Doors swung wide open, support came, confirmation begun. I began doing it (whining a little as I went – ok whining a LOT! lol), but I’m determined to be obedient. Yes, God. OK, if you say so.

why?But why in the world does God give a flip about my body fat or me being in a teensy-weensy bikini? Really? As always, His ways are not my ways and I don’t doubt for a second there is a bigger purpose than getting on stage. What am I supposed to learn? How can God use me – backstage, during the training, with our team? These questions are not answered yet, but I have peace I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing and waiting for God to fill in the mysterious blanks, even though there is no part of me that wants to be on stage in a bikini in high heels. Talk about awkward!

Maybe it’s for no one but me. For me to learn more about me, and more about relying on him. To learn how to fight the flesh – with both of my tongues; the one that desires food and the one that spews out mean things when I’m grumpy and short-tempered from the training and dieting. Yes, thank you God for pointing out how just out of control my flesh really is. I see I have a lot more work to do. 

Standing hamstring curlNow, going back to cutting calories more: I remembered the scripture “Whatever you do, work at it wholeheartedly as though you were doing it for the Lord and not merely for people” Colossians 3:23. It was this scripture that reminded me who I’m really doing this for. While Steve is the one who really wanted me to do this with him, it was ultimately up to God – and He said Go. So, in reality, I’m doing it for Him. Really? A fitness competition? Scripture doesn’t say “whatever churchy things you do, work at it wholeheartedely”, It says “whatEVER” you do – all of it, EVERYTHING! Yes, even this competition.

That really took things up a notch for me. Christians aren’t whoosies. He deserves my best. I don’t want to be the lame fat chick up there who obviously let my flesh rule me. What a poor representation of God’s power in my life. I’m not giving my best for a trophy, or to get praise from judges or the crowd, but I’m doing it because (for some ridiculous reason) He has called me to this so I am to give my 100%.

Fitness coupleMaybe I am supposed to understand what hunger is so I can relate better to clients. Maybe it is so I can understand the pressures of being tempted to enjoy the praise of people, and to be reminded the only praise I need is from God. Maybe it’s for a job opportunity. Maybe it’s just to experience this together with my husband, to draw us closer, to work through our “hangry” arguments from our short-tempered disputes from being low on calories – that might expose stuff in us that we need to continue working on. (God knows I sure have had some ugly come out lately, and it’s made me draw nearer to the Lord in the process).

Spritual motivationOne thing I know is God can use all of us in EVERY part of our life. Whether in a competition or in a stock room. Whether surfing or singing. No matter how great you are at something, to keep God first – it says a lot. Anyone can run to God when things are tough, or when their life is a failure – but to succeed, to get praise of men and STILL say “that’s great, but I care about only one thing, that I can get to heaven and God say “well done my good and faithful servant” – now THAT’s what I want. The praise of one. My trophy is in heaven.

If you compete, already decide ahead of time, it doesn’t matter what the judges think. That’s merely men’s opinion. Don’t get me wrong, caring what people think about me and fighting my own vanity is just as much a struggle for me as it is to restrict calories or hold my tongue when hurt. However, it’s not a fight I plan to give up on. It’s a lifetime battle – fighting the flesh in every way. So, just as everything else you do in this life, choose to train and diet as if you are doing it for God Himself. I also remind you, He can see if you are cheating or lying to your trainer about what you eat. #JustSaying 😉

You are more than a competitor. You are more than 4th place. You are even more than 1st place. Do not let the crowd’s reaction define who you are. If you compete, use it to fuel you to reach a goal, but realize life is more than looks, body fat or attention. You will get much better, more honorable attention, by living a pure life, an unselfish life, and a life full of love for others. While fitness can be a very vain community if you let it, keep your eyes on eternity and you won’t get caught up in the body-focused world of fitness, but the health-focused self-improvement world of fitness. Work constantly to improve who you are – inside AND out. Remember, your body will shrivel up and eventually not be very attractive, but your spirit can remain beautiful your whole life if you keep your priorities right! 

fit-for-the-kingRemember what I posted a year ago – “It would be a shame to work so hard to be fit for this world, and be unfit for the king.” 

If you don’t think God has an opinion on fitness and training. Think again! Here’s a great scripture that warns us about bodily training… 

“While bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in EVERY WAY, as it holds promise for the PRESENT life and also the life TO COME.” 1 Timothy 4:8

Underneath the Bikini

BIKINI COMPETITORI don’t look at the body as a sex symbol or in vanity. To me, the body is like a clump of clay that can be sculpted into different shapes by applying science – and, like clay sculpted into a pitcher, our body is better used when it’s in good shape. A potter will cut away the excess, dig out the junk and squeeze the clay until it takes shape. If clay could hurt, it probably wouldn’t like the process very much. It would likely say “OUCH!”

In fitness, calorie management and training are the sculpting hands and much work is required to mold you in the best shape. One of the things I’m enjoying most, is one of the things I hate most – learning to set limits, stick to a plan and remain disciplined when I normally would cave. We live in a society where no one likes restrictions. People eat what they want to eat, buy what they want to buy and do what they want to do. When did restrictions become a bad thing? We need boundaries. We need to practice more self-control. It’s healthy and it makes us strong.

I’m loving living with more limitations, forcing myself to do what I don’t want to do to get to where I want to go. It’s hard work, but it makes me proud. I’m learning to control my flesh and not let it control ME! I’m learning I can do so much more than I thought I was capable of.

bikini competition suitYou may look at my suit and think WOW, that’s beautiful!! A bikini contest must be like a beauty contest, but it really isn’t. It’s more like a science fair. I am nothing more than one big science project.

I’m not competing to win a trophy, because I think I have a good body, or because I want to be on stage. I might not even PLACE! I can’t go on stage hoping to win a $40 trophy, or seeking praise from people. That is not what makes me who I am. A trophy can’t define me. It mustn’t. It’s the training, the self-discipline, the process and what God teaches me along the way that means more to me than a bronze sculpture or a medal. It’s finishing what I started to become the best version of me I can. That’s what will make me a winner, trophy or no trophy. It’s me against me – and I plan to CRUSH the old me!!

The truth is, I really don’t want to compete. I don’t care about the stage (terrified of the stage is a more accurate description lol). I am not comfortable being in a bikini in front of hundreds of people – I don’t even walk to my car from the beach without a cover up on! I dread standing next to a bunch of other girls to be “judged” – don’t we get judged enough every day? Lord knows, I know ALL of my flaws already and could just slip the judges my own list of all my shortcomings and save them time.

Steve and BonnieI’m competing, first, because my husband has been dying for me to do this with him for years – and I admit, dieting and training together has been a lot of fun. Second, I am competing because it’s forcing me to break through plateaus, push my limits, reach my goals, and step out of my comfort zone. It’s an incredible amount of work and a time where God is growing me in ways I never thought possible. The same way your muscles can’t grow unless you put them under pressure, I personally can’t grow if I constantly am avoiding the challenges of being under pressure.

My body is NOTHING – it will fade away like a dying flower. Learning to not be controlled by it is teaching me so much about myself and about how much more we need to let God be in control – not out stomach, not our laziness, not our selfish ambitions. Learning to die to flesh and live in the spirit both require a lot of discipline – and I plan to run this race of life to the best of my ability!

“…I discipline my body and bring it to submission, so when I have preached to others, I myself should not disqualified 1 Corinthians 9:27

The Bikini – Sewn In The Sun 

Sewn in the SunShop for your perfect competition suit, shoes and accessories at www.sewninthesun.com. She also sells amazing custom swimwear and workout gear.Sports Bra

Cara will help you pick out the cut, color and design that will best enhance your physique. She’s AMAZING when it comes to knowing exactly what will look best on you. She’s got mad skills!!

Visit their site, or stop by their store!
763 N Alt A1A Suite D, Jupiter, Florida 33477
Email: SewnInTheSun@aol.com
561-762-6165.

Bikini Leg Workout

bikini leg workout

The above workout is the abbreviated version. Here’s the FULL version of this workout Steve did with his Bikini Competitors recently. Click on each exercise to view video demonstration.

5-Minute Warm Up: 6.0 on the Treadmill

leg workoutCIRCUIT #1

20 Dumbbell Lunges (or kettlebell pass-through lunges)
10 Sumo High Pulls

 

X 5

CIRCUIT #2

15 Hamstring Curls
20 Knee Repeaters (left)
20 Knee Repeaters (right)

X 4

swingsCIRCUIT #3

30 3-Position Leg Press (10 Each: Feet Wide, Middle, Narrow)
15 Kettlebell Swings
15 Leg Extensions

X 3

CIRCUIT #4

15 Straight Leg Dead Lifts
10 Kettlebell Snatches

X 3

Want more workouts? Just use my search bar, located at the top right of my blog, to search for more workouts!

 

Bikini and Figure: What the Judges Want

bikini posing don'tsWhether you’ve competed before, or you are just thinking about competing, the one question everyone wants to know is “what do the judges want?”

Recently, I went to a seminar led by judges from our region in hopes of finding the answer. Here is what I learned – and what I didn’t.

10 Things A Competitor Should Know

bikini walk1. Make your first few steps count. First impressions are EVERYTHING. One of the first things the judges said is they can tell if you are winner as soon as you step on stage. So, as soon as you are in view, the judging begins. Your first step should be just as strong and confident as your final one. Your smile should already be on, your posture should already be rocking, and your attitude should already be in play. Many competitors practice all their moves for center stage, but neglect practicing their walk and transitions (moving around in comparisons, etc) – and it shows. Don’t wait to nail your favorite pose, win them over in your first few steps.

2. Pose to look good from 5 feet below. Judges reminded competitors and coaches they are normally 4-5 feet below the stage. What may look symmetrical in front of a mirror, may not look the same from the bottom of the stage. This means, when you face away from the judges and bend over to stretch out your butt crease, you may giving the judges more than they want to see. The judges suggest trainers sit on the floor while coaching their athletes, or competitors practice on a platform to get the most accurate view of each pose.

bikini posing dos3. Stand naturally. Judges prefer competitors look natural. They don’t want a bodybuilder lat spread, and stiff hands that look like you are pointing a fake gun at everyone. They want competitors to stand tall and proud, maintaining a tight core while having relaxed arms and soft hands. I admit, it does look a lot better – unless you have a flaw that needs hiding. In that case, I suggest you do what you think makes your body look its best. Some of the most common mistakes were winged arms, flared lats, poor posture, forward shoulders, downward chin (showing insecurity), severe bent-over glute pose, torqued waistlines and awkward stances.

I picked out a few pictures online, from both bikini and figure competitions, to help clarify what they are not wanting – as well as show you what they want, which is demonstrated beautifully above by this woman in the blue suit. Refer to the very first photo in this blog to see how to make corrections.

bikini posing don'ts

bikini posing

4. Don’t resort to poses made popular by people who were trying to hide flaws.  Some competitors will twist more at the waist to hide width, or bend more at the hips when showing their rear pose to get rid of lose skin. However, if you don’t need to do these poses, then don’t do them. The judges prefer you stand normal with arms down to the side and only lifted slightly. In many ways, posing is smoke and mirrors trickery. But, it is always best to stand and walk as naturally as possible, while posing in a way that flatters you most. This is just my opinion, but based on what the judges said, I’d venture to say the girl with the legs crossed is fit enough to stand normal, as well as the girl with her legs awkwardly spread out wide. Of course, if you need to cross your legs, go for it – but if you’ve got the total package, stand comfortably in it and leave the awkward poses for the people who need it.

Since presentation is everything, a person who well-hides their flaws still have a great chance to beat out a hot body who lacks confidence and is missing other elements, so don’t be discouraged if you have to use the alternative poses. I think their whole point is not to do them if they aren’t necessary.

bikini dos and don'ts5. Be original. Just because someone else does something, doesn’t mean you have to. Choose your walk, suit, hair, style, poses and sign-offs that fit your own personality – not someone else’s. The judges love it when a person’s unique personality comes through. Some girls are girlie, some are sassy, some are classy, some are a bit sexy (but be careful on this one), and some are bouncy and fun. The key to your success is choosing what looks best on you,  going with your own personal style, and going with it 110%. Remember, they see competitors alllll the time – so give them something fresh and new to look at!

figure side pose6. Avoid the awkward side glide. No one really enjoys walking away from someone while in a bathing suit, knowing your butt is bouncing all over the place – but what looks even more ridiculous is someone obviously trying to walk away from you while forcing their body to face forward. The same goes with people walking out on stage. Side-gliding across the stage looks funny. It’s natural to point your body in the direction it is going. I only wish I could have found a photo to demonstrate this ridiculous looking walk, but I came up empty handed – so you just get this crazy quarter turn side pose (which I’m sure the judges would hammer by the way).

They key to looking natural is practice, practice, practice! When you are walking on stage, you can still face your head toward the audience, while looking natural walking across the stage. If you want to avoid bouncing your bottom across the stages in front of the judges, you can still limit the time your body may have it’s back to the crowd while walking, but you need to do it in a way where know one notices. So practice how you would get on and off stage, how you would change places in comparisons, and how you will return to the back if asked to step to the side.

bikini pro attitude7. Bring your attitude – and if you don’t have one, act like you do. Have you ever wondered why the guy or girl that looks like they have enough attitude to go around (even if they appear a little TOO confident) always wins? Well, after this seminar, it was clear the judges want confident competitors. So, while the cockiness may be a complete turn off to me, the judges will take a confident cocky competitor over a pretty, but bashful, one. And, if you lack confidence, they suggest you fake it. This is when acting skills become very valuable. 99% of the crowd has no idea who you are, or what your real personality is, so bring your alter ego to the show and leave Little Miss Shy at home.

 nathalia melo8. Your posing suit won’t win the show for you. If you thought you needed to spend $500 on a suit to win, think again. The judges said there is no reason to spend a bunch of money on blinging out your million dollar suit – especially if you aren’t blinging out your body. I’d suggest spending the money on the things that matter most – like good training and a professional tan (the judges highly recommend getting sprayed at the show). As for the suit, its primary purpose is to have the right shape that flatters your physique. All the extra bling is just that – extra. This doesn’t mean you go pick up a bathing suit at Kmart, but it does mean that you shouldn’t let a pricey suit get in the way of competing. While overall presentation is super important, no one will notice that you have 100 less rhinestones than the next person – especially if you have the most rocking body! 2012 Bikini Olympia Champion, Nathalia Melo, (pictured here) proves a simple suit can still look like a million dollars.

 doutzen-kroes-2009-victorias-secret-fashion-show-019. You’re a bikini athlete, not a victoria secret model. One of the judges actually made a comment in the seminar that they wish they could just pop the heads off and judge their bodies. While I do understand the point they are trying to make (and realize the focus is on the body) the way you style your hair, wear your make-up, and express yourself through facial expressions is also a big part of your appearance and attitude. Although we can’t pop off your heads (sorry, you are stuck with it), what you choose to do with it still matters in my opinion.

What I believe the judges meant was this. When choosing your hair style, you shouldn’t be constantly trying to flip and rearrange your hair, or allow it to cover your body. They same way you don’t want your hair to be a distraction, your makeup should not be distracting either. Your make-up should enhance your natural beauty – not take over your face like a rhinestoned leaper. Most importantly, don’t spend a ton of money and energy on the extras. The judges aren’t judging how natural your extensions look or noticing the stones on your false eyelashes.

bikini competition tips10. Be YOUR best. The judges explained that they never know ahead of time what will win a show. What they meant was, if a bunch of hard girls show up, the winner will most likely be hard. If a bunch of soft girls show up, the winner will be most likely soft. This was super frustrating to me. Since I have seen how much judging can fluctuate from show to show, this is what we’ve always told our competitors. Choose ahead of time what YOU want to look like. Personally, I’d rather a competitor lose because they are too lean, than too soft. At least, even if you don’t win, you didn’t lose because you were too fat and deconditioned.

Before you compete, you need to decide WHY you are competing. Are you doing it to force yourself to diet and train hard? Are you doing it as a science experiment, to see what you can do with your physique? Are you doing it to win a trophy or get “discovered”? I would venture to say most competitors are doing it to look their best – and all the rest is the icing on the fat-free high-protein cake. Of course we would all like to look THE best, but that is a bit relative – so I suggest you just focus on looking YOUR best, and if the judges agree…BONUS!

CLICK HERE to read the Bikini Division Rules

CLICK HERE to read the Figure Division Rules

MY THOUGHTS

What I didn’t learn

I didn’t learn what judges want a competitor to look like in the ideal world. Their answer to that question was “it depends who shows up”. Ughhh!

What I took home from the seminar

Although the judges did say what they don’t like to see when it comes to poses, suits, etc – the fact of the matter is you WILL see people win who still do this stuff, so I don’t really think they necessarily count against these things, I just think they don’t prefer them. I still think it’s valuable to consider them and try to give the judges what they want as much as you can, while doing what you can to look your best.

What I wish the judges WOULD do (a girl can dream right?)

I wish they’d decide on what they want each division to look like and judge accordingly no matter who shows up. Another words. If a bunch of hard girls show up, but they want a softer look, give the trophy to the softest conditioned girl – or vice versa. Eventually competitors will “get it” and move into the right division and begin to show up prepared. But, right now, there are soft out of shape girls winning some shows and shredded girls winning other shows – all judged by the same judges. Although I totally understand the dilema, I feel judges have the power to guide the sport more by who they give the trophy too. Bodybuilding seems most consistent (which to me is much easier to judge), but it gets squarely with the women it seems. That’s just my opinion, but the fluctuation drives competitors bonkers and that can do a number on you mentally.

Are you a competitor? Do you want to be?
What are YOUR Thoughts, Questions, Concerns?

 

 

What’s Greater? Your Excuses or Your Dreams?

Excuses FitnessI’m too old
My stomach will never look like that
I bet she never had kids
I don’t have that kind of time
I have a full time job, plus 2 kids to raise
I don’t know what to do.
She was probably always fit
She’s probably a lot younger than me
She just has good genetics
I don’t have the discipline
I wouldn’t know what to eat
My body could never get that lean
I’ve never done anything like that before
I wouldn’t even know where to start…

These are all common excuses and comments I hear when people see a bikini or figure competitor. People almost talk themselves out of even wanting that kind of body – just because they don’t think it’s even achievable for them. However, Ursula Kepferer, knew what she wanted and she made the decision she was GOING to compete, no questions asked. No excuses.

ursula kepferer

Ursula, a 42 year old working mom, came to my husband Steve late last year and told him she wanted to do a competition in the spring. She had never done anything like that before, but she knew she needed to lose weight – and she knew a competition would force her to follow through. 30 pounds heavier than she is today, Ursula did everything Steve asked. Many times I would see her training with Steve in the gym, and I’d see the look on her face that said “I hate him right now”. No matter how tough the workout was, she never stopped and she never gave up. It wasn’t easy, but she always left proud (and little more fit) each day.

“Although most people realize what fitness can do for someone’s physique, I don’t think most people truly realize what training can do for their OWN body.”

Ursula KepfererShe DSC_0113 copyhad a lot of fears and a lot of doubts I’m sure. Could she really do this? Would she be able to lose that much weight in 90 days. What would her skin look like? Could she get lean enough? What was hiding under that fat? Much of it was sort of a mystery.

When someone commits to being on stage in the smallest bikini they’ve ever worn, even thin people get nervous. You notice every little bit of cheese you still have no matter how fit you are getting. And when you are just starting out, you wonder if your butt will ever look OK in that teeny bikini bottom that you have to wear AND turn your back to the judges so they can examine it. THAT’s a frightening thought all by itself.

Although most people realize what fitness can do for someone’s physiques, I don’t think most people truly realize what training can do for their OWN body. I believe many people actually think their body is just built a certain way and they are stuck with it. That is SO untrue. Although you may be prone to easily build muscle or not, have a smaller waist or bigger hips, etc you CAN greatly improve your body no matter how it looks now. Fitness works for everyone.

On April 6th, Ursula found out just what her body was capable of. She hit the stage, admittedly shaken and nervous, but also excited. She did it. She crossed the finish line! All those cardios – were worth it. All the dieting – was worth it. Trusting her coach – was worth it. Following through – was worth it.

Ursula finished 1st in her class. But she says she’s wearing her real trophy, and that is so true. Your best reward is your new and improved body! Congrats Ursula!!

Ursula Kepferer

Ursula Kepferer

Bikini, Figure, Physique & Bodybuilding Competitor Motivation

figure bikini competitersWe have 2o members competing in the upcoming NPC Southeast Bikini, Figure, Physique and Bodybuilding competition in Hollywood, Florida. Since most of our competitors are first-timers, I wanted the memory to last as long as possible and have been taking a lot of photos and video.

I taped our team training in our “Power Hour” after hours workout and practice Saturday to create this motivational video to keep them training hard and getting excited about the final 4 weeks of their training. I have to admit, I had a hard time staying still just editing this video so I hope it gets you going too!!

iPhone Lock Screen Wallpaper

Here are some iPhone Lock Screen wallpaper graphics we made for our competitors phones to keep everyone focused and motivated. Feel free to use them too!

Girl in Training MAX    Today I will make myself proud MAX Yes, I am hungry MAX I AM A WINNER

Nothing MAX fat will surrender

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