I used to think that I worked out a lot. Spin classes 3-4 times a week. Weights 3 times a week. I thought I worked really, really hard.
Then I started training for a fitness competition.
One of the biggest challenges that I have faced in preparing for this show is making time for all of the training. Like you, I have a lot of other responsibilities in my life. Fitness is not my full-time job. I know I talk about it a lot, but I am actually a Technical Recruiter, my profession for over 10 years now. I enjoy making home cooked meals for my family every night. My husband works really, really hard and very long hours. Even though it’s not “my job” to make sure he has a hot meal each night, it makes him really happy when he does. He deserves it. We also have our little peanut Gianna who is 14 months, and growing up right before our eyes. Her new favorite word is “WHOA!” and it seriously cracks me up each time she says it.
I can honestly say, that if I did not have full-time child care, I don’t think that making time to train would even be an option. Luckily, I have some flexibility in my profession and my lifestyle, so I was able to make it work.
Let me be very clear. I am NOT complaining. I LOVE the training. Nothing makes me more excited, than driving to the gym with some new tunes downloaded and my wireless Jaybirds all charged and ready for a great training session. BCAAs in one hand and black grande cold brew with light ice in the other.
When I began training for this competition, almost 15 weeks ago, and my coach sent me my program, I was surprised at how often I was lifting the same muscle groups each day. In the beginning, and for 8 weeks, I lifted my shoulders and legs 5-6 times a week. It all makes perfect sense now, but in the beginning my body went into a bit of a shock with the continual pressure that I put on the same muscle groups. That’s why phase 1 of training was called “composition change.” Not to mention that pre and post workout nutrition that went hand-in-hand with the actual weight training which was just as important. The nutrition piece of the training is a whole other time commitment that I will save for another blog post, but I wish I could have cloned myself over these past several weeks just to prep my meals for me.
Below is an example of one of my workouts. Feel free to try it on your own anytime. The thing I would like to stress the most is to remain very focused and time sensitive when you are training. Don’t stop for 5 minutes to talk to your buddy. Don’t get lost on social media between sets and let 3 minutes of rest go by. I may look very focused lately at 24 Hour Fitness, and it’s because time is precious, and growing my muscles is my number one priority while I am there. As I often say in my spin classes, “Good luck. I’ll need it.”
Day 1 Workout Example
Warm up: Lateral Band Walks 20 steps each leg, repeat for 3. Totaling 120 steps. Are your glutes burning yet?
Seated or Lying Barbell Glute Bridge 4 sets of 15 reps (I use 80-90 pounds). Focus on driving through the heels and squeezing at the top. Also make sure to follow the full range of motion, all the way up and down.
Leg Press, 5 sets, 20, 15, 12, 12, 10 reps. Rest for 45-60 seconds between sets. Goal is to increase weight each set as you decrease reps.
Dumbbell Walking Lunges, 4 sets. 12 reps each leg. HEAVY weight. (I hold 30 pound dumbbells in each hand).
Plie Dumbbell Squats: 4 sets of 15 reps. Focus on driving through the heels and squeeze. For advanced weight lifters, use the Smith Machine which allows you to squat more weight without holding it in your hands.
One Legged Cable Kick Backs: 3 sets of 15 reps, each leg.
Leg Extensions: 2 sets of 20 reps
Lying Leg Curls: 2 sets of 20 reps
Seated Calf Raise: 4 sets of 15 reps
All done, right?! Nope. Now go to 30 minutes of moderate-to-intense cardio. I typically choose the stairmaster and focus on the mind to muscle connection.
After your workout, head home for a large post workout meal, like my favorite taco bowl which you can read about here. Pat yourself on the back for completing a bikini competitor’s workout, and get back at it tomorrow.