UKBFF

Bikini comp prep: The exercise

 Week 1 of prep Vs comp day

Week 1 of prep Vs comp day

So, training for a bikini comp is like no other training I have done before. Its hard. It takes dedication and a lot of mental strength (that I was unaware I had) to will yourself to just do one more set or one more rep. Your joints hurt, your muscles ache, your bones feel broken. But, its the sort of training I had always wanted to do, I just never had motivated myself to train that hard before. There is something to be said for having a goal. A real life date where you know you will be up on stage in a bikini, and that in itself will set a firework up your bum.

The difference between my normal training and bikini comp training, isnt that much. The same with nutrition. I kept it similar to the way I normally train. A lot of strength and a lot of conditioning. The difference being more sets and more reps. But I focused on compound moves a lot. Only really isolating muscles during phase 3 onward.

Preparing for prep was new to me. Yes I'm a PT, I write programmes, I know how to structure training, but Bikini prep planning had my knickers in a twist. I didn't really know where to start. Because there is so much conflicting info. Some people lift heavy and keep reps lowish (in the 8 to 10 numbers) most stick to high reps for some good ol conditioning. The way people split their days varies greatly. Some opting for back and biceps, legs and triceps, a whole day for core... some stick to lower days and upper days. Some train legs once a week, some 3. It all depends on your goals and also what you believe is the best training method for you. But I wasn't sure. I am indecisive and I find it so bloody hard to stick to something in fear that I should be doing something else. 
So when I say, planning what I was going to do was mentally draining. It is not an understatement. Hours were spent on you tube, googling, asking my PT friends. I would dream about prep. What exercises to include, what to not bother with. Should I add more sets or less reps, should I spend a whole day on core or even bother at all? I lost a lot of sleep. And then one day I just bit the bullet and wrote out a plan.

My main objectives...
*burn fat
*build muscle
*condition muscle
*keep my strength as much as poss
* make sure I have progressive overload
*don't get bored 

I decided to do this is 4 week increments. Microcycles if you will. The body is good at adapting; getting used to something and finding a balance (ie not reacting to it anymore) The body is so clever. It can predict what you are going to do and decide that it is not enough overload on the muscle to do the job to its best ability that you want it to. This is why doing the same programme over and over is never a good idea. It will stop working. 

 Week 1 of prep Vs comp day

Week 1 of prep Vs comp day

Here were my phases

  • I had pre-prep: Get used to consistency in programme, build size
  • Phase 1 Concentrate on higher sets/gain strength and size
  • Phase 2 Up the reps and concentrate on conditioning. 
  • Phase 3 Up the reps and keep the muscles guessing by using drop sets and pyramids on major compound moves.
  • Phase 4 Up the intensity and condition muscles as much as poss/cutting fat

Each phase I would do something slightly different so that my body wouldn't get too used to exercises, by swapping out an exercise or two, and/or changing the order of my super sets.

In pre prep I was eating more calories. I was trying to eat at a slight surplus and trying to gain as much muscle as I could possibly have with the small window I had. I went from 1700 cals to 2200. This phase meant I was lifting heavy with low to mid reps for strength and hypertrophy (size) I wanted to be as strong as possible starting out as I knew I would lose strength (or could) during prep where I would be in a deficit for a while. 


Pre prep went something like:


5 x 5 for a compound move for overall strength.
I would then super set assisting lifts doing 3 x 8 to 12 reps. 
Here I was keeping things simple, doing 4 to 5 super sets with compound lifts. (8 to 10 assisting exercises)

Phase 1 Saw me start my slow cut. During this phase I wanted to get used to higher sets and reps. I begun doing 4 x 12-15 still sticking with my 5x5 on a compound move to start. On one out of two of my upper body days I would do a really heavy low rep day because I wanted to build size in my back if I could, despite being in a deficit.  During this phase I started to add burnout finishers at the end of the session. So a workout would look like


5x5 compound lift
...
4 to 5 exercises
4 x 15-12 assisting lifts on legs and 1 upper day
Or
6-7 x 8 on one upper body day
...
Then a burnout like
4 x 25 leg curls

Phase 2 saw me wanting to concentrate on conditioning. For upper body I concentrated on 4 x 15 reps and legs 4 x 20. I through in 1 or 2 dropsets and the end of my workout and also begun adding a specific day for glutes. 
I decided at this point to cut out my 5 x 5 because of time constraints. But I would do a major compound move with 4 x 10 for some strength/size work so as not to just be conditioning the muscles.

Phase 2 felt like the hardest phase for me as It was smack bang in the middle. I felt most demotivated during this time and think after this phase I knew I needed to ramp up my intensity and also programme, so that I didn't give up.
.

A typical day in phase 2

4 x 10 BB row

4 x 15 on 4 to 5 super sets on assisting lifts

Dropset on the seated row as an example

 Week 1 through to comp day at various stages of prep

Week 1 through to comp day at various stages of prep

Phase 3: Here I decided to make sure I added in drop sets and pyramids wherever I could. I wanted to cover all rep ranges. Going for strength and conditioning. I also needed the variation. I kept my major compound move at the beginning, I also made sure all reps were at least 20 no less (except for shoulders/biceps and triceps as I wanted to keep their size as I am very lean up top. Sometimes adding a super set and then threw in pyramids throughout and drop sets at the end of the session.

A typical phase 3 workout looked like this:  

SS Hack squat and reverse hack 4 x 10

...

Pyramid (8 10 12 15 reps)dropping weight as I go, smith lunges SS with 4 x 20 smith squat

Pyramid leg press SS with 4 x 20 (es) curtsy lunge

Pyramid Bulgarians SS with 4 x 20 front squats

Pyramid Smith step up with 4 x 20 goblet squats

...

Dropset cable squat starting with heavy weight 5 reps working my weigh down in weight up in reps with no rest.

Phase 4: The homeward stretch. Ahh phase 4 was my fav and worst phase. You were so close to the end yet your intensity had to ramp up. In this phase I added active rest and also added in 100+ rep challenges for a lot of moves. I also made my super sets into trisets or giant sets

A typical phase 4 day looked like

10/10 20/10 20 30/failure Chest press

4 x 20 SS single arm row with 4 x 12 bb shoulder press and (active rest 30 secs burpees)

10/10 20/10 20 30/failure T bar row with 4 x 12 bicep cable curls and 4 x 12 tricep cable pulls

4 x 20 Triset; seated cable row with single arm lat pull down with wide seated row (active rest 30 secs weighted high knees)

10/10 20/10 20 30/failure standing rope pull with 4 x 20 lat push down

4 x 25 hyper extension

My splits: roughly stayed the same and the structure also throughout, depending on if I missed out something earlier in the week. 

Monday: Posterior chain day

Tuesday: Plyo and abs

Wednesday: Upper body day 1 (lats and shoulders)

Thursday: Glutes and abds

Friday: Upper body day 2 (Lats and lower back)

Sat: Leg day quad focused and abs

Sun: Rest added spinning in the last 4 weeks

My cardio went from nothing in pre prep. Then went from 3 x 20 minutes a week to 6 x 40 mins a week.I mainly used the stair climber for my LIIS, with uphill incline walks on the treadmill at least once a week. Hiit consisted of 10 to 15 mins of 30 secs on 30 secs off sprints on the treadmill and plyo was mainly Kayla BBG 1 thrown in. My ab days would mainly consist of 20 min sessions focusing on isolation exercises and obliques. Such as hanging leg raises, rope crunches, side planks, russian twists and pikes or roll outs.

Cardio looked something like:

16 weeks out 3 x 20

15 3 x 25 mins

14 3 x 25 mins

13 3 x 30 mins

12 3 x 30 mins

10 4 x 30 mins plus 2 hiit

9 4 x 30 mins plus 2 hiit

8 4 x 35 mins plus 2 hiit 1 plyo

7 4 x 35 mins plus 2 hiit 1 plyo

6 4 x 40 mins plus 2 hiit 2 plyo

5 4 x 40 mins plus 2 hiit 2 plyo

4 5 x 40 mins plus 3 hiit 2 plyo

3 5 x 40 mins plus 3 hiit 2 plyo

2 6 x 40 mins plus 4 hiit 2 plyo

1 Not too much cardio. A few 40 minute sessions as well as a couple of hiits. I eased off towards the end of peak week. 

So there you have it. I hope this info is somewhat helpful and sheds a light on the sort of training that prep involves. Most days I would be training anywhere between 1.5 and 3 hrs with posing thrown in too. Honestly, I'm a bit lost post prep when my sessions are done within an hour. I'm not sure who or where I am lol.

If you have any questions, please give me a DM on IG or send me an e mail to dannitabor@freefanni.com

Love, light and lifting (with a side of french fries)

Bikini comp prep: The begining

As I write I can't quite believe that I have competed in my first ever bikini comp. Even more than that, I can't believe five months from the day I said I was going to, has been, gone and flown by and I have squatted and donkey kicked and rowed my way to the depths of my 'fitness soul' (side note: A different soul to my normal one) 5 whole months of spot on macros, more egg whites than a meringue factory would know what to do with, more tuna than I feel ethically acceptable and more body selfies than you would find on Kim K's phone (well maybe not) Never in a million years did I think that the 5 months would come and go, that I would survive prosper and live to tell the tale. 

Prepping for a bikini comp was always going to be somewhat of a challenge for me. Not in terms of logistics. I work in a gym so that made training, practically, easier. But in terms of what that meant to me, who I was becoming, what my friends and family thought about it, whether my boyfriend could get his head around it. Would I be ready? Could I push myself that hard? Would I push myself that hard? What if I tried and failed? Would I avoid tryin hard in case I failed? Would I push myself to the limit? Did I need to? Should I? Could I? Will I remain sane, healthy, alert, spiritually open and self aware? Could I do this and somehow hold onto the remnants of real life? Would I survive the mind fuck, the challenge, the prep brain, peak week, all the stuff that everyone talks about so horrendously, that you wonder why on earth anyone in their right mind would attempt such a feet?

You hear people talk, people who have done this before you and they speak of losing themselves, their soul, having comp angst, body dysmorphia, chasing a goal that's not sustainable, getting post show blues, feeling lost when its all done. You hear how they don't go out whilst prepping and they only eat chicken and broccoli and how they do cardio for hours a day, 7 days a week and they drop their calories to 1200 and they kill themselves trying to get lean and when it's over they binge and indulge like the world may end and kill their progress trying to eat all the foods that were so restricted before.

I heard it and I thought... hell no! I read it and I thought, "I am not going to do it this way, not if it means loosing my soul, my self, my "ME"I want to tell the tale with a smile and a memory that would not make me shudder at the mere thought.

So... did I succeed in this fundamental goal? I am 1 full week post comp. Currently, I still have my soul in check. I'm 1 week post comp to the day and the last weeks thoughts have varied, between wanting to do another comp asap, wondering if my body can progress in other ways, shamefully wishing that I could stay comp lean and having a niggling thought that maybe I could, if I was really good, perhaps. Then you find your 31 year old, healthy brain and remember that that body was temporary, as it should be. That comp body, despite it being the body you longed for, for most of your teens, all of your 20s, its a body that is not sustainable all year round. The realisation of this was gradual. I had had time to think about that and come to terms with the fact that the body you thought you could get from a quick cabbage soup diet fix and a few body pump classes, is not a body that is attainable doing the above. Not in the short term, nor for the long term. The ( I will dare say it) painful realisation that those IG bodies are not realistic images of a body that is like that day in day out. Do not get me wrong, some people are born having those bodies. The long, lean, lithe bodies you see in Australian Bikini posts in your IG stream. Some people are paid to have those bodies all year round and some people, pose and find lighting and the correct setting to make them look like they have those bodies all year round. And then... some bodies, like my own, (if I want to live a varied, spontaneous life) will sit with at least 3 or 4% more body fat than comp body. That is a fact. I cannot live in a calorific deficit ALL the time. I don't want to. I want to eat pizza sometimes, and go to a cocktail bar on occasion. I want to have avocado on toast daily and not have to plan my days around 3 hrs in the gym. So I have come to terms with the fact that, no, bikini body bodies are NOT and should not be (for the life I want to live) the 'end goal or a goal in which I can maintain day in day out.

Throughout prep thoughts vary...


"Ooo I can see my abs, I'm hungry, do I have time to do fasted cardio. Shit am I gonna be ready? Will I feel comfy on stage? I like my body now, I don't want to get leaner, do I? Tighter? Firmer? Bloody hell, I need to pose, my friends don't get this... but my boyfriend finally does. How did I become someone who actually likes the gym.. ooo I'm hungry, not gonna do fasted cardio today. Go get a bagel. Eat a goddam bagel"

Competition prep means your brain is in "constant" mode. like you have a constant download circle spinning around and around on your forehead. Your body is of course exhausted. The mind and body like to work against each other pushing and pulling and fighting. Its mentally exhausting. Your brain wants to do one. More. Exercise... and your body is saying "hell no" Your brain wants to do ALL the exercises for butt ALL the time and your body is saying "dont you even dare" Your brain is saying... bikini, posing, lunch, carbs, more carbs, less carbs, refeed, not to refeed, is this pose right, oats, coyo... ooo I want coyo, need protein, shit I forgot to order more protein, coffee, black americano please... and your body is saying...

"Mass...age, frapp...u...cino... egg yolk... please"

And people don't understand. They worry you are getting too muscly or that you might get too skinny. They ask if you are losing yourself in it all, they tell you that perhaps you are fighting a loosing battle, they wonder if it's worth it, what's the point? Why bother? They question if you are obsessed, crazy, boring, now that your priorities are different. Now that you have found something that requires more brain power than even you knew you had. People find, because you step on stage in a bikini rather than get grazed knees and covered in mud doing weird obstacles for 26miles, that it's less 'meaningful' Less of a challenge, less important. People lose themselves training for tough mudder/the marathon. They become focused, they train long hours, they avoid eating things that may impact on their training, results, outcome. Yet they don't put on stripper looking heels and get judged half naked and I understand why therefore its far easier to look down on a bikini competition. I judged it before. I scrutinised over my decision to do one, I questioned why I wanted to, I wondered... "Am I really this person? Do I want to be?"

But truly, to do this, to take part... its one of the most mind, soul and body challenges I have ever dove myself into. To me, I now see it as a sport. I feel like an athlete. I like to do things that challenge me. I haven't always. I'm a lazy person at heart. I wanted it all for minimum effort, until you wake up, late twenties, broke, out of shape, unhappy and you think, the common denominator has to be me. It's not the universe, its me. I wasn't helping myself out. I wasn't doing. I was just waiting. All be it for what I thought was my dream job (acting) and my dream body (anyones but my own) and I was waiting for it to happen to me. And with minimal effort. So I started to dig deep, and find what I loved. In all areas of my life. And asked myself this...

Before I do this, will this raise my level of consciousness, or take away from it?

And it literally made me feel like Ginger Spice again. What a bloody awesome question to ask. For me, this was one of those moments. Will a bikini comp raise my level of consciousness? And of course, It might have all the negative side effects that come with a competition. Comparison, self deprecation, ego... but if I stayed aware, alert and grounded, to the earth, to myself... couldn't I do this and take all the positives from it? Couldn't I do it, pat myself on the back and whether I placed or not, find myself with my consciousness in tact and better yet, raised?

This process so far has made me so much more self aware. So much more in touch with who I am, what issues still remain. I have learnt to want to be strong, not skinny, I have finally stopped needing a thigh gap. I find myself wanting more muscle not less meat on me. I have realised my fear of being successful has always held me back. My fear of winning was far greater than my fear of loosing. I have realised what I am good at, what makes me feel good, I am aware of my demons that creep over me and tell me that I am not good enough, I have accepted that actually, I am, whether I win or loose. There is no validation from 7 judges that can tell me whether I worked hard enough, am in shape enough, when I know I tried, enough. And did enough. Because I felt like I owned it on stage, I felt like I won already.

So did the competition raise my consciousness? Hell to the yizzle. Am I loosing myself in it all. No way, I found more of myself. Am I aware that that was a competition and real life will resume. Of course. Am I prepped and armoured ready for the roller coaster of emotions that are yet to happen, post comp? As ready as I'll ever be.

People may not get it. They, thankfully, do not have to. I have never felt more alive and more happy than I have done in the last five months. Not because I got skinny. But because setting goals and nailing them is liberating. My mum asked me just now, your happy now right? You don't need to do anything but maintain where you are. And I explained that I still want to progress. I still want to make some goals and smash them. I still want to see progress with my body in the same way I want to in my career, my relationships, my mind set. Just because I love my job and I am happy doing what I am doing, that doesn't mean I don't want to own my own studio one day, or that I don't want to write a book or develop a fitness programme that women can use to help them feel good in their skin. anting to progress does not mean that you are unhappy with what you have now. I like my body now, but I am up for the challenge to see what else I can do with it. How else I can develop my body composition, my shape.

So as I go to drink my dragon fruit smoothie by the pool in Bali, and I reflect back to this time last sunday when I was about to go on stage, in my stripper shoes and homemade bikini, all I can say is if you want to do something, if you are thinking about doing it, if you have goals you want to achieve, if you are scared, if your fears want to swallow you up and spit you back out in a mahoosive flem ball...FAAAAK IT... Just go DO IT. 

And if someone questions why... just turn around and say "Because I can..."   

My fitness journey part 2... macros, more calories and no cardio!

 Early 2015 vs early 2016 (1 year progress)

Early 2015 vs early 2016 (1 year progress)

So, as I was saying, my fitness journey continued... January 2015 came and went... I was slimmer, I was comfy in my skin. I had been doing a play and I was planning for a trip to spend three months in LA. To be honest, I didn't really freak out about LA and all the obnoxiously fattening food. I had been drinking and going for dinners out. I had even survived Christmas and New year. I was being mindful and I had just completed Kayla BBG for the first time for the full 12 weeks. I wasn't posting much on Instagram at the time. I was just plodding along. I felt like results were nice, but not amazing, so I planned to move onto BBG2...

But first LA. The plan had been to complete BBG 2 whilst I was there, but life, auditions and a million excuses got in the way. 

I put on ten pounds TEN POUNDS) in the 1st 3 weeks of being in LA, even whilst being mindful. I was angry at my body. Like the years progress didn't matter. Id ruined it, and felt resentful that I had a body that would react so quickly to more food/less exercise... whatever it was. I was so peed off that I couldn't just relax for more than a second as I would bloat, get thick, put on weight. I didn't know then that it was certain foods (dairy and gluten specifically) and the fact that some food in America is pumped full of hormones etc to make it last longer and what not. I also didn't account for the portion sizes being HUMUNGOUS. A starter salad is the size of a main salad (times 2) So my point is. Things regressed. By the time my boyfriend arrived for a ten day holiday I had decided to eat pancakes everyday with chicken and waffles every other day. We drove up the Big Sur and snacked and ate and snacked some more and I didn't exercise for a good 4 weeks. 

If you are on a fitness journey, if you know anything about consistent exercise and mindful eating and then a full on month in the opposite direction, you know that a lot of progress will be ruined. One missed day here, one pancake there will NOT affect you. One month and 28 plus portions of pancakes, really, unfairly, will. 

So March 2015 I arrived back from LA sun kissed and bloated. I was miserable. Mainly because I felt like I had undone so much work. I wasn't back a week when I decided to restart BBG1 and week 10 I started using IG to really hold myself accountable. 

This may seem a little boring, but when I was at the start of my journey I was really interested in how people really got the before and after pictures. So here is a breakdown of what I did.

During what I like to think of as phase 1, I trained BBG with minimal and inconsistent LIIS (steady state cardio) I was following macros roughly. I was eating clean and non processed 80% of the time. And treating myself when I felt I needed it or wanted it. My head space was in a very good place about food, but I was still scared of calories. This is where reverse dieting sort of began, without me really knowing it. I was introducing more food as time went on. Here is a breakdown of what I typically ate during phase 1. March to July.

My marcro breakdown was typically 30% carbs 25% protein 45% fats and my calories went from 1350 in April, 1450 in May, 1500 in July. 

Typical day in phase 1 (March-July)

Greek yogurt and fruit with seeds and oats or eggs and veg

Quinoa and salad with chicken/fish

Salmon, sweet potatoes, phillidelphia, pesto

Ham with veggies/Cottage cheese and veggies/greek yogurt and fruit

 March-May PHASE 1

March-May PHASE 1

 May-July

May-July

I lost 3 pounds in the first month, but then my weight plateau'd for a long while doing this, but I didn't gain weight at all. Doing BBG you are reminded that weight loss shouldn't come into it. As a PT I knew weight loss wasn't the most important thing. Progress pics and measurements are the best thing to go by, but even in my pictures I didn't feel completely satisfied. I lost an inch here and there and saw slight changes in my body. I was less bloated, more toned ie) I was building muscle slowly. This was the aim. Inside I was still anxious about my weight plateuing and eating more, but I had a niggling thought inside from the personal trainers that I used to work with. Whatever I had previously done, did not work, or if it did, it hadn't lasted, so I needed to persevere. 

In July the boyf and I happened to watch a lot of documentaries on factory farming, animal slaughter and veganism. I was suffering from bloating (all of the time) and certain things would make me smell/give me hives and make me constipated. That along with ethical reasons led me to try to be vegan for 5 days. The boyf did it with me, and to celebrate the 5 days we went out for burgers lol... I know, this is backwards. After our meal we were so tired and bloated that the boyf decided he wanted to go veggie... and I decided to challange myself to one month being vegan. Which happened to turn into 4 months with one hiccup in Italy (it was Italy guys, I needed cheese) During phase 2, (my vegan phase) my calories went from 1700 in July to 1800 by the end of November.

My macros were typically 50% carbs, 20% protein and 30% fat. I was lean during this phase. Abs still weren't showing, but I dropped an extra 4 pounds and stayed there for a good while.

On a typical vegan day I ate

A smoothie with oats, dates and non dairy milk

A buckwheat salad or brown rice pasta with piles of veggies and beans

Noodles with veggies and tofu for dinner

I snacked on nuts, fruit and one vegan protein shake a day.

 July-September PHASE 2 (Vegan phase)

July-September PHASE 2 (Vegan phase)

From July I had begun weight training alongside round 2 of BBG1. I was doing all the LIIS and HIIT training and my weeks were generally 3 days BBG, 2-3 days weights with 3 LIIS and 2-3 HIIT sessions. 

September I began BBG2. I had had 3 holidays and 3 weddings and 1 big birthday celebration by the time we got to mid October. I had beat the bloat with a month in November of eating cleaner and as December approached I was far more comfy in my skin after getting used to eating more without putting on weight. I was now in what I am calling phase 3. In this phase weight training became my focus. I also added in fish to my diet, but still avoided dairy. I was lifting heavy 3 times a week and doing BBG 3 times. I was doing LIIS about 4 times a week and HIIT twice. 

On a typical day in phase 3 Sept-Nov

My macros were 45% carbs 25% protein and 30% fat and my daily food looked something like this:

Oats and a quest bar

Pasta/fish and loads of veg or tortilla wraps with veg/quorn sausage and veg

Tofu and veg and sweet potatoes/eggs/fish and greens with sweet potato

Rice cakes with humous/soy yogurt/quest bar/fruit/protein shake

 Sept (after all the hols and weddings)-November PHASE 3 (Post hols)

Sept (after all the hols and weddings)-November PHASE 3 (Post hols)

My treats daily during all phases were always a pudding made with dark choc/raw cacaoa/dates/oats/peanut butter etc and I would generally eat out at least once a week and include dessert in my trips out. I was very mindful all week, filling in my fitness pal and making sure I was roughly within my weekly calorie allowance along with my macros being hit. I never went hungry, deprived or starved. Ever. I drank alcohol on average once a month, but I did have spurts of holidays to Ibiza and Italy etc where I drank far more than usual. 

During December I decided to challenge myself to see results, in real life, during the busiest season ever. I reduced my calories over the course of the 3-4 weeks from 1800-1300 (this is a lot but I was ill so I dropped more than I had wanted to) I dropped another three pounds and I was the leanest I had been in ages. My training programme was consistent. I removed hiit and 1 BBG2 training because I decided all the exercise was putting stress on my body and therefore probably causing me to plateau. My periods had also stopped and I wanted to ease off a little bit. I felt in a very good place with my nutrition and my mindset. Throughout these phases I had always had treats and cheats. Usually incorporating them into my macros. I was a flexible dieter and I calorie cycled. (More on how to do that in part 3) This meant that some days I had higher calories and other days I had lowers calories. I would try to stick to the same amount of protein throughout (although I was rubbish at this) and up my cals with higher carbs or fats/treats or no treats. 

In my training I would lift for strength doing 5 x 5 on all compound moves spread over the week and increase my weight weekly. I then would do all assisting exercises in a hypertrophy range of 8-12 reps.

My weeks looked like this in December.

Monday Deadlifts 5 x 5 (assisting posterior chain either 4 x 8 or 3 x 12) & LIIS

Tuesday BBG leg day & LIIS

Wednesday Chest press 5 x 5 (assisting upper body 4 x 8 or 3 x 12) 

Thursday BBG abs & LIIS

Friday Squats 5 x 5 (assisting quad 4 x 8 or 3 x 12)

Sat Rows 5 x 5 (assisting upper body 4 x 4 or 3 x 12) 

 Nov-Dec 4 week challange

Nov-Dec 4 week challange

Over xmas I continued to exercise minimum of 4 x a week. The week of xmas when I wasn't in the gym I made sure I did a few interval sprints and BBG 2 from home getting in all my resistance days that I had mapped out. I also flexible ate. So I made sure I had some low cal days (trying to reach my protein goal) knowing full well that I would have some high cal days too. Along with cheese and booze and a lamb on xmas day. Over that 2 weeks (my birthday is the 18th Dec) up to Jan 4th I managed to balance my cals at roughly going from 1300 to 1700 slowly increasing them over the xmas period. I gained three pounds but managed to keep my measurements all in tact. with some bloating battle wounds and minimal damage on the scales I felt very settled in my head that I had found a very good balance with food and diet.

I think I knew now how much my body could handle without gaining weight. 1800. I knew loosing cals down to 1300 would help me loose weight. I knew that the biggest hurdle I could face in the journey (xmas) was not going to set me all the way back to the beginning of my journey and I knew that for me, lifting heavy made all the difference. For me, I see most results when I lift. I still love BBG and still incorporate it. I find it to be such a good workout and structure that there is no way I would stop it. It fits in with my gym routine perfectly and my mindset too. 

January felt awesome, my mind and body image seemed balanced and at ease and the last few months seemed like such great learning curves that I felt I wanted a new challenge. I felt ready, mentally, for using this new knowledge about what my body liked and disliked, what it reacted to and didn't, to try something so out of my comfort zone that I may poop my pants. 

This is when I decided to try a prep for a bikini competition. See here...

Over Jan, phase 4, I have increased my cals from 1700-2100, with only 2 pound weight gain. I will do my fat percentage this week to see muscle gains and fat loss.

My macros are now 40% carbs 30% protein and 30% fat on average. My workout programme is a little more intense and I am doing no cardio, NO CARDIO whatsoever. Life is currently immensely blissful.  

My current workout schedule

Mon Deadlifts 5 x 5 plus(hammys/gluets/quads/lower back)About 10 exercises at 4 x 15 or 25 x 4 plus 20 mins handstands

Tues Kayla leg day plus 20 mins abs (3 x 15) 6 exercises

Weds Chest 5 x 5 plus (Upper body day lats focused) 10 exercises 7 x 8

Thurs Kayla abs day plus 20 mins glutes (4 x 15) 6 exercises plus 20 mins handstands

Fri Squats 5 x 5 plus (quads/abductors/glutes) 4-5 x 15 plus 20 mins handstands

Sat Row 5 x 5 plus (Upper back lats focused)3-4 x 12-15 plus 20 mins abs

Sun REST DAY

 Mini bulk Jan-Feb 2 pound heavier :) UKBFF Bikini comp PRE PREP

Mini bulk Jan-Feb 2 pound heavier :) UKBFF Bikini comp PRE PREP

 

Tomorrow I start PHASE ! BIKINI PREP after my 4 weeks pre prep. I will do a post on macros and reverse dieting in more detail if you would like me to. I just want to point out everyone's journey is so different. So unique and something I may do may not work for you. I know bananas, cashews, kidney beans and quinoa bloat me slightly. I know that I can handle carbs far more than I ever imagined. I know that dairy is something that slows my progress greatly, therefore I chose to have it sporadically (because who can live without ice cream)I know that I see results lifting heavy, but I also know that the consistency of BBG has lead me to where I am now. I literally don't think I would have seen the results without BBG, the community and my IG account holding me accountable. Not all one thing will work for all of us, but the things that will make every difference to your progress are simple. 

If you want to see results, make the unfamiliar familiar.

Be consistent, create habits, be positive, have a routine, be patient, there will be trial and error, drink lots of water, eat EAT, reset your body to get used to more food so that when you do want to lose fat, you have somewhere to go. Let go on any resistance you have to getting the body you want, let go of the expectation and just take each day as it comes. Let go of the fear of failing. Sleep. SLEEP. rest, stretch, foam roll, eat yummy foods for the soul, and trust your journey. You will look back and be grateful you kept going. 

Part 3 next week xxx

Bikini competition time

So... this is where my fitness journey has led me. To a bikini contest. A freaking bikini contest. I promised Id be honest about all of feelings whilst prepping for this and that is what I shall do.

After a good year/year and a half of teaching myself how to eat properly, love my body, aim for goals not soley on (being skinny) and devising a mind set that let me find a balance... I have decided to throw caution to the wind and possibly throw all that by the waist side and go against all that I ever thought my fitness journey was about and would lead to.

Something in me decided that I needed a challenge. I needed a focus and I wanted to see what my body was capable of. After copious amounts of time watching you tube vids of Nikki Blackketter and Heidi Somers, I felt like a competition was the next step. I've been lifting weights since 2013 at least four times a week (with a mini break in LA) and with  a good time spent doing Kayla Itsines BBG. I love both and think combined they work great. I spend most of my time in a gym working as a personal trainer so it only makes sense to utilise my time and go forth and do a 16 week bikini comp prep.

I am currently in what I am calling 'pre prep' where I am eating a good ol amount of calories (2000) and pretty much not doing cardio. Currently life is bliss.

I flexible eat with calorie/carb cycling by making sure I eat the same amount of protein daily (120g) but my carbs/fats change to vary my days. I go by the 'if it fits my macros' rule but not with anything overly processed. I am having one cheat meal a week and I am not eating dairy or drinking. This is pretty much my daily routine anyways, accept towards the comp I will obviously have to alter this. But I am hoping to flexible eat somewhat through the whole prep... eeeek. The aim is to lower my cals to 1500 by peak week and up my cardio to twice a day.

I feel good about the phases but... I do have worries and concerns.

I am worried I will not get the results I want. I am worried I will not be able to stick to my macros dead on for 16+ weeks. Worried that I will go into a mental whirlwind regarding my body image, that I will not know how to prep properly, do enough research and ultimatley worried that I am not mentally strong enough and knowledgable enough to do this.

But I know that's just typical ego thoughts. Because people have done this before. Eating well is not hard, working out is not hard. Loosing a leg or fighting cancer is hard. So truthfully I am not going to make this a drama and get on and do my research. Train the best way I know how and get my head down and enjoy the journey.

I really want to document it all. So this week I will do my first you tube video looking at my 1st pre prep weeks.

Here is what I have done so far...
*Written a 4 week workout plan (I will change up exercises/order or tempo in another 4 week) (I am going to work through different reps over the 4 weeks for now)
*I have worked out my calories deficit over the 16 weeks. 
*Paid my UKBFF membership fees and printed my entry form. 
*I am researching my butt of of what has worked for other bikini competitiors and worked out what my areas of weakness are. My obliques, my fat percentage and my back. (Oh and my glutes)

 

Here Is what my routine looks like roughly Pre prep weeks 1-3... 

MONDAY: Heavy lifts Deadlifts (and assisting lifts glutes/hammys) & 20 min abs

TUESDAY: PLYO/BBG (legs) & 20 mins handstands & 20 mins LIIS

WEDNESDAY: Heavy lifts Chest (back/shoulders/bics) & 20 min cable glute work

THURSDAY: PLYO/BBG (core) & 20 mins handstands & 20 mins LIIS

FRIDAY: Heavy lift Squats (Quad focused legs) & 20 mins handstands & 20 mins LIIS

SATURDAY: Heavy lift Rows (Back/trics) & 20 mins abs & 20 mins cable Glute work 

SUNDAY: REST DAY

I am now going to get my head down, get enough sleep/water and supplements. I will take glutamine/BCAAs/B complex/vit D and probiotics.

I am in pretty alright shape already. I am healthy, I workout 6 days a week of varying degrees, I treat myself, I don't do any crazy fat burners or what not. I want to do this prep as mindfully and sanely as possible. I will keep a daily diary where I note down my thoughts and feelings and rationalise any negativity that goes on upstairs. 

I will keep you updated with any tantrums/ups/downs/good days and bad. Oh and some before and afters along the way.

   After 1 week of Pre prep. 1900cals 125g protein 215g Carbs 60g fat

After 1 week of Pre prep. 1900cals 125g protein 215g Carbs 60g fat