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Amateur Fitness Competitor of the Week: Vanessa Smoley

Amateur Fitness Competitor of the Week: Vanessa Smoley! - Pics and info and more!

How Did You Get Started?

My interest in fitness and living a healthy lifestyle was initiated by an experience that I had when I was 15 years old. I was deathly ill and none of the many doctors that I went to see could figure out what was causing the illness.

This is when I found out that the Word of God still heals today. I was supernaturally healed from all of my health problems. Out of respect for the grace that Jesus had given to me, I made a decision from the moment that I was healed to learn how to live a healthy lifestyle and to maintain the precious gift of having a healthy body. This opened up doors for me into the fitness industry.

After high school, I managed a local gym and became aware of how large the bodybuilding world is. This immediately sparked my interest in competing, but I had no idea how to even get started.

Over the next few years I trained regularly using knowledge out of popular muscle magazines and books on weight training and nutrition. I even became certified in strength and personal training through the Exercise Science Alliance. However, my desire to be a competitive bodybuilder was only getting stronger. I became even more passionate about competing when I discovered the Figure Division. This was exactly what I wanted to do.

January 2004 I received an answer to my prayers as I became acquainted with the new strength and conditioning coach for the Bucknell University Football Team who had just moved into the area. He was an answer to a prayer because he not only successfully competed in bodybuilding in previous years, which meant that he had the knowledge of training and diet for competition, but also he and his wife were both judges for the National Gym Association.

I couldn't have asked for better trainers. He and His wife began to prepare me to compete as an Amateur Figure Competitor in the NGA.

Last year was awesome as I competed in three NGA shows all promoted by Essential Fitness. In the Figure Short Class I placed 5th at my first show, 2nd at my second show and at the third show, Mt. Rogers, I won the Figure Short Class and the Overall.

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What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?

During my off season I lift heavy straight sets doing single body parts per day. When I am 12 weeks out from my competition date, I begin to vary my training by adjusting weights and sets depending on my carbohydrate intake for that week. However, I still train single body parts per day, occasionally "super-setting."

arrow Training Schedule:

    Day 1: Legs
    Day 2: Chest, Abs, Cardio, Sprints
    Day 3: Shoulders, Calves, Abs, Cardio, Sprints
    Day 4: Arms, Abs, Cardio, Sprints
    Day 5: Back, Abs, Cardio, Sprints
    Day 6: Off (during the off season)
    Day 7: Off (during the off season)

Days 6 and 7 during contest preparation I leave open for additional cardio or sprints that were skipped for recovery purposes during days 1-5. It is nice to have these days optional as my husband is usually either drag racing on the weekends or playing in poker tournaments in Atlantic City.

I love traveling with him. He is my best friend and my biggest supporter. This also gives me an opportunity to visit other training facilities in the areas where we stay. It is always interesting to see how other gyms operate.

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What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?

My ratios for carbohydrates/protein/fat for the off season are: carbs = 36%, protein = 52%, and fat = 12%. The highest caloric intake, during my most intense training days for gaining lean muscle mass, is usually between 1900 and 2000 calories.

During contest preparation my ratios change based on my appearance. I fluctuate carbohydrate intake more frequently in the final weeks leading up to the date of my competition. On the highest "carb days," my ratios are similar to my off season, however, my caloric intake is much lower (between 1200-1300).

During contest preparation my carbs come from green type water based vegetables, and complex carbohydrates such as oatmeal, cream of rice, rice cakes and sweet potatoes. My protein sources are: chicken, fish, egg whites, and protein shakes.

Beverly International Energy Reserve

What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?

I use the following supplements from Beverly International: Muscle Synergy, Glutamine Select, Ultra 40, Lean Out, and Energy Reserve. Each of these supplements have helped me obtain not only the results that I have desired but also have helped get me through the vital training days by quickening my recovery time between training sessions.

I also take a daily multivitamin and b-complex as well as incorporating Optimum Nutrition's 100% Egg Protein into my daily source of protein intake mixed as a shake or mixed with oatmeal.

As always, water is a vital part of daily nutrition. It has so many benefits not only for the average person, but especially for a bodybuilder. I try to take in at least 1 gallon per day.

Why do you love Bodybuilding?

I believe that each person has a divine purpose and plan to fulfill. I believe that each purpose and plan has "seasons" that change as we progress through life depending on the decisions that we make. I love fitness because I truly believe that it is my purpose to be known in the fitness world as a source of help to others trying to find the knowledge of living healthy and/or getting involved in competition.

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The greatest part is the life giving benefits that I get to experience everyday. Even If my "season" of being a Figure Competitor ever changes to whatever I am lead to do later in life, part of my foundation and daily routine will always involve fitness because it is a vital part of my life forever.

It is just so amazing to me that I can take it a step farther beyond being healthy, by enjoying being on stage and the career opportunities that are becoming available to me as a competitor.

What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

I plan to have a career in what I enjoy doing the most. Although I do enjoy competing, my purpose now for all upcoming competitions is solely to gain exposure with hopes of obtaining contracts with reputable fitness companies interested in having me represent their company and/or products.

What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?

My trainer has me run 14, 40 yard wind sprints 4 times a week during the 12 weeks leading up to the competition date. This is such a powerful training technique for me as doing the sprints help me to cut body fat and "ighten up"like nothing else that I do.

Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?

I have always admired Monica Brandt-Peckham, Kelly Ryan and Lee Haney. All three of these competitors have left such an impression on me for their consistency in bodybuilding and their expression of excellence both on and off stage.