Bikini Competition Prep: Week 13 Update
I wanted to share a little bikini competition prep update. In case this is your first time here, welcome! I’m Emily - a health nut / physique sport junkie / online fitness coach / Ben & Jerry’s ADDICT. I am currently on bikini competition prep numero three in pursuit of my qualification for nationals. My goal is to earn my pro card from the NPC, which means my first stop is a nationally qualifying competition.
If you’re interested in seeing more of what a day in the life looks like on competition prep, let’s be friends on Instagram! Also, feel free to join my free Facebook community where you have direct access to me and a group of bad ass fit women to help get you to your own fitness goals.
PS- Please do NOT read through my training and diet regimen and think this is what you should be doing to lose weight or reach your own fitness goals. This is for my body, time commitment, goals, and metabolism. If you would like help with getting started on a plan that is special to YOUR needs, schedule, likes, and dislikes, I would be more than happy to help you HERE.
What my Timeline Looks Like
Prep can last anywhere between 8 weeks and 5 months. It all depends on your current conditioning, your goals, and how aggressive you want to get. I have opted to do a 5 month prep this time around - my longest so far! Mainly for 2 reasons - it allowed me the time to take things more slowly (i.e. not lower calories super quickly) and ensure that I am 150% ready when it’s time to compete!
I am currently 6 weeks out from my first 2018 show and 8 from my second, which is giving me plenty of time to focus on coming in just a little bit leaner and tighter! These photos are about 13 weeks apart and I am about 11 lb down from the first to second photo. There’s definitely also been a good bit of glute and leg building going on contributing to an enhanced hourglass shape! I truly think it’s fascinating to watch how your body changes from day 1 to show day. It’s both a science and an art for sure.
I am training 5-6 days a week. Some weeks I have one full rest day and one active rest day, meaning I do something a bit lower intensity but active on my own time. Other weeks I have just the full rest day. The rest days are SUPER important whether you are training for a competition or just for life or weight loss. They allow for muscle and mental recovery. I find that, for me right now, the mental recovery is most important! Having that day allows me a time to stress less about scheduling life around when I’m going to the gym. My training sessions can get pretty long some days so it’s nice to have a free day to just live life outside the gym.
I am currently doing 20 minutes of cardio 4x a week. This has fluctuated throughout prep, depending on my current macros, how my body was responding, and what we were working on at the time.
I was doing HIIT treadmill sprints alternating with incline jogging. I have since returned to the stairmaster because my achilles tendons were just not having it with the incline training and high impact of sprinting 4x per week.
A note to you - it is SO important to listen to your body. If something doesn’t feel right, talk to your coach! He/she should always be willing to adjust your plan to avoid making an injury or strain worse. If you don’t have a coach, do a bit of research to find stretches to rehabilitate, go to a doctor, and either take some time off or switch your training to avoid the troubled area on your own.
While it pained me to deviate from our original plan, (my body tightens up REALLY well from running), it was important to do what was right to keep myself healthy long term. Who knows! Maybe if I didn’t speak up and have a change in plan I would have fully torn my achilles tendons and potentially had to stop prep altogether. Think about your long term success over what feels good for creating short term results.
All in all, this is the best that I have EVER felt on a diet. There is a lot that has gone into such a positive dieting mindset -
If you haven’t read my blog post about refeeds, treat meals, and diet breaks please click here! I’m so serious when I say this post is important to your dieting success and how you FEEL while pursuing your goals.
Anyway, refeeds have made such a difference in my life on a diet. They have helped me to control cravings, keep my metabolism functioning in a healthy manner, and keep my energy up while losing weight. Plus, it has given me something fun to look forward to each week!
2. Social Interactions
We’ve all been there… when you’re on that diet that makes you feel isolated from others. In the past, I have felt like my bikini competition preps have left me feeling super isolated from friends and family. You’re shorter on time, energy, and food.
This time around, however, I feel like my relationships have suffered minimally if at all while in a dieting phase! I have been using a flexible diet, which has allowed me to go out with friends, have dinners at restaurants without fear, and has just given me a lot more freedom to enjoy social interactions involving food. Because let’s be real, it’s pretty awkward to watch your friends chow down while you’re staring at them empty handed or whipping out your chicken and broccoli in a tupperware.
I’ve also simply made more TIME to ensure that my relationships aren’t suffering. Honestly, sometimes it’s work. But it’s vital that you prioritize the people in your life even when you’re drained or have a lot going on. Making time for friends and fam reinforces that your diet and training should feel like a part of your life but not your WHOLE life. It’s kept me in a positive place, which in turn, has made my training BETTER and my day BETTER.
3. Rest Days and Sleep
If you’re working yourself to the bone with no downtime, you’re going to feel rundown. As I said earlier, my coach has been incorporating 1-2 rest days per week to ensure my body and mind get the rest they need. On top of that, I’ve been making it my mission to be in bed by 9:30 PM and get at least 7 hours of sleep.
It’s a lot easier to do than people think! I used to think it was impossible to get that much rest every night. Then I realized how much time I was spending on my phone before bed. Try putting the phone down and instead read a good book before getting your shut eye. Set an alarm on your phone every night so that you know it’s time to close everything and head to bed - no excuses! I’ve found the Bedtime feature on my iPhone to be extremely helpful for this.
So Far, So Good!
All in all, this diet hasn’t been painless but it has been as pain free as physically possible, which in turn, has helped me to build my best physique so far. I am excited to see how much progress we can make in the remaining 6 weeks until I step on stage and will continue to share what I learn!
If you’re feeling super run down on your current diet and training plan or just feel like you need more guidance to get results, please feel free to apply here for 1:1 Individualized Diet & Training Plans! I would love to get you started on a plan that has you feeling your best while achieving the results you’ve always wanted.