Body Transformation: From Fluff To Buff

Quitting smoking forced Crystal into the gym. She didn’t want to get fat during withdrawals and put the habit behind her. Now she’s too busy pumping iron to worry about it!

Name: Crystal Tidwell
BodySpace: cbrandel

Crystal Tidwell Crystal Tidwell
AGE 37
127 lbs
AGE 37
102 lbs

Why I Decided To Transform

In September of 2011, I quit smoking cold turkey and joined the gym because everyone says you gain weight when you quit and I didn't want to get fluffier than I already was.

I started working with my trainer who said I wasn't that out of shape and could do a show. I dismissed the idea for a month, but the seed had already taken and I agreed to do it.

How I Accomplished My Goals

I know how I am. Taking a day off from the gym could be a big setback for me, so Monday was the only day I took off because I work 12 hours that day. Knowing that recovery is part of any good program, my trainer set me up with a workout that gave me what I needed.

Over the course of my training, I stayed excited and didn't lose focus because I had a goal to do my first show and had fun the whole time.

Supplements That Helped Me Through The Journey
Diet Plan That Guided My Transformation

I drink one gallon of water daily.

Meal 2
Meal 3
Meal 4
Meal 5
  • Salmon



  • veggies


    1/2 cup

On higher carb days, I add a serving of brown rice to dinner or fresh fruit as a snack. I always look for new recipes to change it up so I never got bored with my food.

Training Regimen That Kept Me On Track

I train on a two-week cycle also known as non-linear periodization.

Day 1: Heavy Legs/Calves
Day 2: Heavy Chest/Triceps
Day 3: Rest
Day 4: Heavy Back/Biceps/Calves
    • Pullups Pullups


      3 warm-up reps, 4 sets of 5 reps


Resume regular sets

Day 5: Rest
Day 6: Heavy Shoulders/Traps/Abs


Resume regular sets

Day 7: Light Hamstrings/Calves
Day 8: Chest/Abs


Resume regular sets

Day 9: Back/Calves


Resume regular sets

Day 10: Rest
Day 11: Shoulders
Day 12: Rest
Day 13: Quads/Calves
Day 14: Arms/Abs

What Aspect Challenged Me The Most

As a wife, mother of two, and a hard worker, it was hard to find time for the gym and food prep. Learning what's necessary to achieve the goal I set for myself was very time consuming, but the curve got easier and I became more confident.

My Future Fitness Plans

From the moment I entered the gym, my life changed. Lifting weights, eating clean, and enjoying life as a better me is my new lifestyle. I have done two shows now. The first was with the DFAC where I won my class in open figure short and the second was a week later with the OCB where I also won my class in open figure.

I'm now enjoying a short off-season to reverse my diet and build my legs. I plan to compete In April with the DFAC and hope to win my pro card. From there, I want to go to the DFAC finals for my pro debut.

Suggestions For Aspiring Transformers
  • Never listen to negative people. Be strong in your decision to better yourself.
  • Stick to your numbers; you will only cheat yourself. It's not what you want now; it's what you want most.
  • Learn to listen to your body and understand its limitations. Slow and steady yields the best results.
How Helped Me Reach My Goals is a wonderful resource. No matter what you're looking for, the information is there. It was nice to talk with others and get their feedback. Talking to other women and learning more about contest prep is priceless.

Thank you,, for bringing a community of people together.


I would like to thank my family for understanding the changes I made and embracing it. I would also like to thank WNBF pro Craig Yarnall for planting the seed that changed my life, always being there, and pushing me out of my comfort zone to show me I can do more.

Finally, I would like to thank the DFAC for introducing me to the sport.