Saturday, March 9, 2013

Women's Physique Competition in 9 weeks

Life has been quite busy these days. I realize that only my closest friends and family really know that I have a competition coming up soon. 10 weeks when these were taken, 9 weeks now! 

To the average person that's a long time - like two and  a half months! But to a competitor, that's just around the corner.

It means time to buckle down and stick to the diet, be religious with cardio, weigh myself everyday, scrutinize my physique, practice posing and, I need to add in the routine!

Actually, many competitors have been doing the "diet" thing for many, many weeks. I actually went on vacation to Mexico and enjoyed lots of great food and drinks, at a time when most competitors would be on a hard diet. I stay lean year round so I can do that.

I have actually been humming along quite nicely  I enjoy the routine, the structure. I do well with that. Don't get me wrong, I love to be spontaneous (as long as I have all my food prepped and gym time scheduled!) LOL!

I find it all very interesting to see how different individuals handle the preparation for a competition and all of the added steps that go along with it. Everyone handles it differently based on their own personalities and their comfort zone. Of course, it also depends on if this is their first competition or they are a veteran. (Notice my deltoids in the picture below - those are what they call "striations", almost like groves or lines running down the muscle you can see just underneath the skin). 

I was scared as hell the first time, and I always get nervous as I lead up to it each time now, but I have an unusual sense of calm this time.

I don’t tend to be a reactionary person in life anyway, nor do I get freaked out over things, as David always says “You NEVER worry about anything! I have to worry for both of us!” ha ha 

I am a planner - I hired a posing coach since Physique was all so new and I wanted to feel comfortable. She did a great job, gave me many tips and feedback (good and bad); but I am no longer posing with her. I learned a lot but needed to venture out on my own. I am a person who likes to learn how to do something, not have it done for me. I do practice on my own almost everyday. I feel comfortable, very comfortable and in fact, am having quite the time posing in the gym these days!

I have been quite happy with how my physique has changed in the last year. I stayed lean, maybe too lean, so that is making my diet very, very easy. I didn’t say it was fun, but it is easy (there is a big difference).

Last night I finished cardio (my treadmill in the guestroom) and then took a nice long shower. I walked into the kitchen naked (and I think I opened the refrigerator and just looked at the homemade almond butter), and David says “You are looking pretty awesome you know! Before when you did Figure you used to look all (then he scrunches all up and makes himself look skinny and drawn). Now you look all (he hunkers down, holds his arms out from his sides and makes himself look short and bulky).

I think he was trying to say I look fuller, more muscular and healthier. I do like the look better myself!

I have reached the stage where I honestly feel it is the journey and not the destination. Getting up on the stage on May 11 will not alter my life, it won’t really change anything, and it isn’t the start of something. It’s an event that I am working towards right now, a goal with an ending date, and like any other event, I will enjoy it and move on when it is done.

I enjoy the weight training and staying lean and healthy, so I haven’t made many changes to prep for this.  I have stopped snacking, stopped eating out at restaurants, cut out my occasional wine or sparkling wine and added in cardio.  If I had started at a very high body fat percentage (I was at 7.8% 15 weeks out from my competition), then I would be singing a much different tune, but I remained lean and so I’s more mental that anything right now.

I have already starting thinking after the competition! I want to sit down and scientifically work out my diet so that I can gain but not bulk. There is no reason in this day and age, with the knowledge we have regarding nutrition and training that anyone needs to gain a lot of weight to add muscle. Yes, you need to have a calorie surplus and will gain bodyfat, but no one should turn into a hippo “off season” unless they just want to get fat and eat without being responsible about it all.

I have the competition diet down, and frankly the off season diet down too, I think I still tend to eat a bit less starch than I should to gain properly, so that will be the next goal.

But I am jumping ahead, I still need to drop a little fat, but not quite yet. So I am sticking to the diet, doing my cardio and lifting as heavy as I can.  I will reassess each week.

But back to the posing....I hit these poses in the locker room and always have my phone or camera. The other women no longer look at my quizzically  Competitors stare at themselves, a lot!  Many people think it's vanity but it's not, it's constant self doubt, constant anxiety, constant worry that you ate something at the wrong time, or you ate the wrong meal, or even (god forbid!) missed a meal and your whole being will crumble.

Posing is very, very important. Of course, the physique comes first, but once all those beautiful bodies are up there, what separates them? The posing. I can stand relaxed and look like a normal, regular woman, but if I hold my lats out, pump my chest up, bring my shoulders up and pull in the abs, all of a sudden, I am amazon woman! 

The posing is important to show off the muscles, the definition. 

Practicing the posing also ensures you learn to hold the poses, often a judging panel will make you hold them for quite some time, you need to get used to it.

If you plan to compete, I cannot stress how much you need to practice- I started six months prior I think, I know people who will start six weeks before their show.

Soon, the "routine"!

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