This weekend I drove down to the Wings Of Strength Tampa Pro National Qualifier. It was an opportunity for me to see my good friend, Tiffany Boyer compete and to finally meet my coach, Katie Kopfle. This was my first time watching a show and this was a great first experience! In the competing world, amateurs compete to get their Pro Card. Pro’s compete to earn points and qualify for Olympia. The amount of discipline, training and focus that goes into qualifying for this caliber of competitor is nearly unfathomable to the general public. These athletes wake up early, train for multiple hours a day, lift heavy, participate in endless cardio, measure every gram of food that goes into their body, drink gallons of water a day and do it all again the next day, for years. It’s a lifestyle not a diet. If you’re not in prep, you’re in improvement season, aka: prep for prep.
While I was among the best of the best, I took the opportunity to interview some of my favorite Pros and ask them what are some easy things that the general population can do to see results? While their answers varied, the content was complimentary to what I already knew.
Most people do not track their water. I have had clients in my chair for hours at a time and they haven’t had any water the whole day. When I became a competitor, I started drinking a gallon a day. It’s so much easier than you think. I follow a lot of people on Instagram and immediately recognized Na’iyma Thompson in the audience and I had to meet her! If you watched my Insta story, you saw me fan girl so hard. I asked Na’iyma what her thoughts were and she said “… water is so important. If you’re not drinking water your body will hold it and you will retain water. The amount of water you should drink depends on your size but on average 100oz a day is good.”
So how do you get enough water? What works for me is having at least a 1/2 gallon jug that is cute and I’m excited to take with me every where I go. I try to knock out two a day. My favorite jug during prep was this one from Amazon.
Eliminate Sugar & Empty Calories
Sugar has been said to be more addicting than cocaine. As someone who has been addicted to both, I can tell you sugar is harder to quit. It’s more accessible and acceptable. Have you ever looked at the nutritional facts on sodas ? 39 GRAMS PEOPLE!!!! And drinking sodas can increase your risk of early death by 31%!!!! “Eliminate soda and juices and calories that are liquid because when you do that you’ll excel faster,” says Na’iyma. I asked Tiffany what her one piece of advice was and she said the same thing, “cutting out sugar and opting for sugar-free or ‘diet’ alternatives! Sodas, tea, juice, syrups, condiments, creamers, etc!”
Lift Weights, Don’t Just Do Cardio
I have heard so many people say that they don’t want to get bulky as their reason for why they won’t lift weights. Here’s the thing: muscle burns fat. You can weigh the same, but if you are more muscular you will look leaner than if you had not lifted any weights. It is better for your body and over all health to have muscle development and it’s good to be strong! Why would you want to stay weak???
“We focus so much on cardio that we forget to lift and lift heavy. If you’re doing enough cardio think of lifting as to gain lean muscle mass. You’ve got to challenge your muscle, push it, break it down. Keep your reps lower than you think to accomplish more safely, so that you grow muscle. You don’t have to grow like a pro but you grow muscle while eliminating fat. Cardio & diet will eliminate that. Boot camp, pilates, barre classes will give you wonderful for a long streamlined body. For anyone who just wants to be healthy, mix it up!” JQ, IFBB Pro for Women’s Power Division.
Staying consistent is admittedly my biggest struggle and I don’t think I am alone. It is also the MOST IMPORTANT factor in ANYTHING. My coach tells me all the time that this is why I don’t see the results I want, and I know that she is right. Katie told me, “most people do something for a few days on, few days off and wonder why they don’t see results. It’s all about being consistent every day over time.”
When I consider these Pros, none of them take their foot of the pedal. They may have their improvement seasons, but they are consistent in that, eating the same thing every day, drinking their water, sacrificing birthday cake, Thanksgiving pie, and Christmas cookies. They don’t drink alcohol, they give their all, always in all ways. If any of us would apply this same discipline to anything in our life, we would be far less anxious, disappointed and frustrated. Don’t give up on your goals because it gets boring. Keep going because the results and the accomplishment is very exciting! You’re worth it!!
I hope this helps you! If you have any questions on tweaks you could be doing differently, please email me firstname.lastname@example.org ! I am not a nutritionist but I know a thing or two because I’ve seen a thing or two 😉