Weight: 180 lbs
Body Fat: 28%
Weight: 130 lbs
Body Fat: 10%
Why I Got Started
I started getting serious about weight training a couple years ago when I hit a breaking point where I was tired of being a young mother with a body I had to cover up because I was ashamed to show it. I have always been athletic in high school, I ran track and did gymnastics for 5 years.
I have 3 brothers so I had the mentality when I was a teenager that anything the boys can do I can do better. It wasn't until I got pregnant that I started gaining weight at a rapid pace. The doctors started to get really concerned and warned me to slow down on my eating.
I ended up gaining 70-75 pounds with my first child, and was border line with gestational diabetes. After I had my 2nd child I started on a diet. I've done every diet I could think of, but I felt like my weight was constantly on a yo-yo string.
I managed to lose 40 pounds with just doing a little weight training and doing rounds of cardio but never could figure out why I couldn't lose anymore than that.
How I Did It
It wasn't until I went to my first figure competition that I decided to get serious about my weight loss, I was amazed by these women and really wanted to try it. So I started reading stuff about diets and realized that it was my diet that was keeping me from seeing anymore progress. So I got started in November of 2006 on Bodybuilding.com and stepped out on stage on March 31, 2007.
Still new to everything, I wanted to keep going so I would start feeling comfortable on stage. I was so nervous for my first show that I shook like a leaf during pre-judging. I did a couple more competitions to get the feel for the stage, and then my last show, which was the Washington State Ironman on October 4, 2008, I felt a lot calmer and confident and it showed on stage.
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I Felt A Lot Calmer And Confident And It Showed On Stage.
View Vanessa Bailey's Competitor Profile.
Everyone who saw me at my last show was impressed with my presentation, it was my best ever. I hired a prep coach to get my diet completely in check for this show and ended up placing 5th out of 14 girls. I knew I placed when they called me out in first rotation of girls during pre-judging, it was a great day for me.
Exercise and fitness is now a big part of my life. My training not only serves the purpose of helping me reach my goals, but it is also a place where I can let go of my frustrations.
It provides me with the sense of pride in my accomplishments and has helped me overcome some of my struggles I have fought for so long to achieve. I wasn't going to accept my body after having children as being my final package. This is my final package now, and it's only getting better.
My typical diet varied on training days and off days during my prep. My training days had more carbs to help supply me with energy when weightlifting. On off days where I just do cardio, my healthy fats were increased and my carbs were lowered.
- 5 Oz Protein Source (White Fish, Chicken, Lean Turkey)
- Natural Peanut Butter
- Serving Of Oats
- Green Veggies
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I change my workouts each week to keep my body from adapting to the same routine. I lift heavy, keeping my rep range 15 or below, except my warm up set which is 20.
- Monday: Shoulders: 3 sets x 6-10 reps
- Tuesday: Arms: 3 sets x 6-10 reps
- Wednesday: 1 Hour Of Cardio & Abs
- Thursday: Legs: 3 sets x 10-15 reps
- Friday: Chest & Abs: 3 sets x 10-15 reps
- Saturday: Sprints
- Sunday: Off
Cardio during prep starts out at 1 hour of steady state cardio in the morning 5 days per week, and as it gets closer to stepping out on stage my cardio gradually goes up. The final weeks are max 2 hours 6 days per week.
Off season my training changes to more compound movements, bench press, variety of deadlifts, barbell squats etc. This type of training really helped me improve my overall symmetry. My cardio during off season is 3-5 times per week for 30 minutes to keep good cardiovascular health and to keep the fat at bay.
Suggestions For Others
Patience, dedication, and determination. You didn't gain weight overnight so never expect to lose weight overnight, because it just isn't going to happen. Straighten up your diet if you're not seeing the results you want. I believe the key is 80% diet when trying to gain muscle and/or lose fat, everything else is just an added staple to an overall perfect package.
Never skip your meals, eat every 2 1/2 to 3 hours apart. Skipping meals will tend to slow down your metabolism. If you miss a meal, try to get it in as soon as possible. Do not eliminate the missed meal. It will further slow down your weight loss. If you want to lose weight, you have to eat.
Lastly, never give up on your dreams, push hard and strive everyday to get the body you want and remember that every accomplishment was once started as an impossible dream.