Contest Prep From A Veteran Competitor!

With little prep, and no information to help me get ready, I did the 1988 NPC Boulder Bodybuilding Championships and I won the middleweights. Get a better head start when you start preparing for your first contest.
In 1984 I started training with weights as a scholarship athlete competing for the University of New Mexico ski team. After a bad fall, which made me stop skiing, I began to get more and more involved in lifting weights, as my thoughts were to make a come back to the slopes. Soon people in the gym were asking me if I was a bodybuilder. My answer was, "What's a bodybuilder?" After researching what they where talking about, I picked out a show and proceeded to get ready for my first contest. So, with little prep, and no information to help me get ready I did the 1988 NPC Boulder Bodybuilding Championships and I won the middleweights. Not to bad for not knowing anything. If I remember right all I ate was large plates of pasta with cheese, butter and vegetables. Since then I have been competing steadily in over a dozen shows, and made top ten in National shows and my contest prep has evolved over the years to become a very scientific process.

I Won the NPC NJ Heavyweight in '96!

After winning the 1996 NPC New Jersey Heavyweight I called it quits and even stopped lifting all together. I was tired and needed a break. The NPC will do that to you if you're not ready for it. After a couple years of living in always raining western New York my husband and I moved to sunny Florida. Seeing my flabby out-of-shape physique prompted me to begin lifting again and doing cardio. Though, competing, in the past, left a bad taste in my mouth, my transformation and new outlook on bodybuilding put me on a trek to get back into competition. So, I began dieting for the 1998 NPC Southern States about 20 weeks out. I was very nervous as the Southern States is one of the biggest regional national qualifiers in the NPC, and I had not been on stage in over two years.

I Won Heavyweights and Overall at the '98 NPC Southern!

I went on to win the Heavyweights and overall at the 1998 NPC Southern States and three weeks later competed in the 1998 IFBB North America placing 3rd out of 17 heavyweights. It felt so good to hear my name called out for the top six in both shows. I do have to mention though that I get a little frustrated at other girls, who haven't been competing as long as me, and start complain about getting 3rd or fifth place, when they think they should have won or feel they got missed placed. Well, I've learned in this sport sometimes you have to pay your dues and I've paid mine. Besides you should be thankful for what you are given, their are a lot of us competing for that #1 spot, and some of us have been doing it longer then others. So, remember, we are all number 1 up there! Part of my new physique transformation from bulky heavyweight to a more symmetrical and streamlined heavyweight was due to my strength coach and workout partner who is Curtis Schultz, my husband.

Here's What to do on Your Contest Prep

Here is a short run down of my contest prep, I hope it helps some of you and maybe even gives you some ideas on what to do for your next show.

I like losing my weight slowly, which is why I start so far out, and doing this helps you from getting that depleted look. I start with my calories just under 2,500, which is pretty high for me. I do not watch my sodium, nor do I care too much about fat content in my contest prep. But, I do care about carb intake so I keep them both about the same, around 70 grams each. Pretty high fat content, huh? My protein intake is very high to, about 300 grams, and I keep it that way all the way until two days prior to stepping on stage. This keeps the muscle on me and helps me to add more muscle the closer I get to the show. Also, other then an eat day on Sunday's, my diet and food stays the same all the way through. But, about 12 weeks out I do stop the eat day.

My Contest Diet Looks Like This:

Meal One: Labrada Nutrition Protein Shake
1 Tbsp. Flax Seed Oil

Meal Two: 8 Egg whites
2 Whole eggs
2 cups of Oatmeal

Meal Three: 100g. Sweet potatoes
2 Chicken breast

Meal Four After Workout: Labrada Nutrition Protein Shake
1 Tbsp. Flax Seed Oil, and100g. Sweet potatoes

Meal Five: 3 Chicken breast
1-Cup Broccoli

Meal Six: Labrada Nutrition Protein Shake 1Tbsp. Flax Seed Oil

As you can see, Flax Seed Oil is a major part of my dieting. I utilize Flax Seed Oil instead of carbs for energy and to burn off my body fat. This is what works best for me and for many other female bodybuilders this is the best way of dieting for a show.

I also do 40-50 minutes of cardio on a treadmill in the morning and another 30 minuets after my evening iron pumping session. I am very lucky to have a very fast metabolism, but year after year your body changes and something that worked a year ago will not necessarily work the next year. Regarding pumping the iron, I do not lift weights like most other bodybuilders. I do not do more sets, reps or supersets the closer to a show. But, rather, one body part a day, and I do 3 exercise and 3 sets per exercise for each body part, and my reps do not drop below six or go over 20. The closer I get to show time I get stronger, instead of weaker. I did 140 pound dumbbells Rows for six reps each arm four weeks prior to the Southern States. My husband made a bet with me that if I got to the 150's by contest he'd be my maid for a week. I lost, but I tried very hard to get those 150's. This is no story, don't believe me? Then ask the guys here at to video tape me doing dumbbell rows.

Everyone's Body is Different!

Everyone's body is different and peaking is always hit or miss. Your water and electrolyte intake is a big thing the day before and the morning of the show. I always see other female competitors drinking water prior to getting on stage and the night before, then they ask and wonder why they smoothed out. Or they ask why their legs were not as cut. Well, my contest peaking is all due to the exact time I stop drinking water, which is around 2 p.m. Friday afternoon. The only other liquid intake I might have is a glass of red wine with my steak dinner that Friday evening. Yep, steak dinner with bake potato and a cup of ice cream that Friday evening. I poured my glass of wine on my ice cream. It tasted good. The things we do when contest dieting.

I also up my dosage of Musashi vitamin powder from 3-tblsp upto 4 tblsp. What is Musashi? Ask to order some - It's GREAT stuff, if you can get the taste. Well, it's like taking a tablespoon of gritty dirt chased with a glass of water. This is the best supplement I have found that will stop me from having cramping problems while doing my posing on stage. I stop doing all cardio and leg work about 10 days before the show this gets rid of all the excess lactic acid. Enabling my legs to get the sharpness needed to compete on the National level. I go through my compulsorily poses every day and hold each pose for about one minute each. It's a workout. Try it. It will prep you for on stage and you'll feel like a veteran and not a rookie posing.

My feelings, and new attitude about bodybuilding show in my physique and presentation. I'm a lot happier now! I am more dedicated to other things in my life now, like my husband, getting my street machine built, and school. Although competing and training are not a driving force in my life anymore, I still understand about the dedication it takes to get there. So, whether you are a beginner or a veteran, always remember to compete to have fun. Be happy for all your hard work and the accomplishment of making it through 20 weeks of diet, training, posing, and everything else you put into that one day on stage.