Week one was tough. I got all the workouts done, and actually Monday through Wednesday were great. I even lost a pound in those 3 days, and hidden ab muscles were beginning to make a reappearance.
The hard part is that I am planning my food a little differently this year since I don't have to be at an "office" for eight to nine hours a day, so it's not necessary to pack my food for the day. I can prepare it with a little more flexibility and creativity. However, as a result, I haven't gotten into a groove for when to eat my food, when to have a snack versus a regular meal. I'm basically all over the place as a mom who works from home now scheduling my day around the kids and the hubby.
That's where having a set routine, where you do work and have to be somewhere from a certain time to a certain time helps if you are meal prepping or trying to stay on a healthy eating schedule. It gives you that routine and stability of knowing where you are going to be at some hour of the day. Even if you travel in a car for your workday, at least you know where you will be (out driving) and how to plan your food.
My calories are down to 1883 for a few days a week and 1663 for the rest of the time. So I have been logging my food meticulously and looking at the grams of protein, carbs, and fats that I am eating.
My biggest challenge has actually been getting all my protein in and sometimes the carbs, too. What happens is by 8:30 or 9 I am still supposed to eat more, but I just can't handle eating anymore chicken, beef or fish! I haven't wanted a protein shake, either. I am going to have to change my routine somehow. I bought some bone broth recently. Maybe I'll have to force myself to drink my protein in a broth that's not so heavy for late in the evening. I need to try a few recipes with it. I might just add some lo carb toast to it or add the broth to another dish. One cup has 50 calories and 10 grams of protein. (<-insert creativity here)
So where am I starting in this competition prep process ? I managed to keep my body fat between 12-15% during marathon training, but in the last 4 weeks of training and in the 2 weeks post-marathon, I popped up to 19% body fat. Not good. But that's what's been happening during the longest portions of my endurance training. (That's why I got into bodybuilding!) I think my body goes into "reserve" mode or "safety" mode and starts hoarding calories because it thinks I'm going to die running all those miles! Lol But, seriously, I think that's what's happening. It's like a self preservation mechanism. But the good news is I didn't get up to 23% body fat which is what happened last year. And I attribute that to following a macros plan all year.
Click on my link to see what one documented theory says about endurance athletes and weight gain.
You can also read about a new snack/breakfast option that is to die for! It's 20 grams of protein and only 270-280 calories max (If you opt for a larger serving).
I also talked about this new amazing snack/breakfast meal in a feature TV piece I did with Cristina Blackwell and Great Day SA. She came to my home to talk about how busy moms can get meal prepping done. The piece will be airing before our Fitastic Foods Meal Prep 101 party next Thursday, the 17th. (Details bellow)
So....back to competition prep! Seventeen more weeks to get this new round of prep done right for the Texas Shredder It's September 8th! Not letting one setback knock me off track. Just gotta focus on starting the week fresh and doing the best I can.
Sarah's Competition Bikini Workout: Friday- Push Day 2 + Legs (Shoulders, Chest, and Triceps - Quad Focus)
SARAH’S PUSH, PULL AND LEGS ROUTINE
From beginners to experienced gym-goers, Push, Pull and Legs is a simple, but very effective training split for anyone interested in building muscle across their entire body. Push workouts take care of chest, shoulders and triceps, while pull workouts look after back and biceps. The leg portions of the program include quads, hamstrings and calves.
Overhead barbell shoulder press
Incline DB press
Overhead triceps extensions
Bulgarian split squats
From beginners to experienced gym-goers, Push, Pull and Legs is a simple, but very effective training split for anyone interested in building muscle across their entire body.
Here's a glimpse of one of the workouts in the rotation:
1 Assisted or weighted pull ups
2. Bent Over Rows
3 Cable rows
4. Rear delt flys
5. DB bicep curls
Party's over, or you could say the party’s just about to begin. Depends on how you look at it. From here on out, every gram of protein, carbohydrate and fat I eat will determine how my body develops over the next 18 weeks. Even how I burn calories will help or hurt my development.
Sounds extreme, right? I wouldn’t care so much about these tiny details except I have seen the huge difference it makes in transforming my body from average to shredded and toned simply by following the nutrition plan to a T.
As a short term goal, it’s a fun challenge to see how much I can transform my body. In two years of living the fitness competition lifestyle, I have learned a lot about eating clean, how much to eat, and how many times a day. My body now also craves a different kind of nourishment that includes lots of fresh vegetables and water in my diet that I didn’t always incorporate before.
It’s definitely not a plan for anyone to follow for the rest of their life. But in the two years I have followed it, I have adopted many good eating habits that I practice every day now, even when I am not in prep. It’s funny, I can’t believe I deprived my body of so much great food, that’s healthy, too, for so many years! And my family enjoys a lot of it, too!
Even so, I realize fitness competitions are absolutely not for everyone, however, there are so many things about them that all people can benefit from. That’s what I want to share with others. If you are committed to getting healthier and stronger, there will be things in the fitness competitor’s lifestyle you can incorporate in your own lives that will help you reach your fitness goals.
I am excited! From now until October, I will be blogging and vlogging in detail on my website about my own fitness competition prep. I just started my prep for the NPC Texas Shredder in early September and another two competitions I have yet to nail down.
What I do know is that I will be making my “pro debut” in the Naturally Fit Federation, which, by the way, is an all-natural bodybuilding federation. They test for substances like steroids. And, for the record, I would never do that to my body. It goes against every reason why I started lifting weights and competing in the first place.
I hope you continue to follow my journey and are motivated by my experiences as you make your way to a stronger, healthier you!