Curious about what it’s like to train for a bodybuilding competition? Well read on, because it’s time for the next installment of Same Show/Different Trainer. (If you missed the other installments, feel free to catch up now: Weeks 12-11-10, 9 1/2 Weeks, Weeks 8-7-6, Weeks 5-4-3.)
Last year I was training for the same competition (Adela Garcia Classic,) but with a different trainer and different goals. Last year was my first show that I entered on a whim as a way to force myself to lose weight. (It worked – fear is a great motivator.) My trainer was Daniel Rufini.
This year it’s my third show. I’m trying the Figure Division and my goal is to gain lean muscle mass. This time around I’m not training one-on-one, but on an all women’s bodybuilding team called Mel’s Machines, named after our trainer, Melissa Merritt Coker. (Please note, these progress pictures are from my first and second shows when I was training with Daniel. Mel has a rule that we can’t post progress pics until after the competition, so you’ll see those pics in about one week.)
Trust Your Trainer. The bulk of my first show prep involved me in a panic as to whether or not I would look fit enough by the show date to stand on stage next to hardcore bikini babes and look like I belonged there. My trainer, Daniel, told me to calm down and enjoy the last two weeks because, “This is when the magic happens.” I didn’t much believe in magic (then) but with two weeks to go I had no option but to trust him.
For my current show, the thing causing me to panic is that I have no idea what I’m wearing. My trainer, Mel, selects all the bikinis for her girls and also tells us how we’re going to change up our look. Apparently I’m going to have brown hair with extensions. Yay!! I always wanted really, really long hair but lacked the patience to grow and maintain it. (After a certain length I tend to wear it in a bun and just end up looking like a polygamist wife from the show Big Love.)
Time Management Tetras. Riddle of the week: What happens when you have to complete 40-60 minutes of cardio per day, plus strength training 3-5 days per week for an hour, plus posing practice for 90 minutes on Sundays plus 15 minutes daily, cook (and eat) 6-7 times per day, plus, you know, life stuff (work, kids, house cleaning, bills, etc.)? Answer:
Guilt. “I’M THE WORST MOTHER EVER!” Much of your time is wrapped up in all the show prep and when you are available, you’re just too tired to be very good company. This makes you feel unbelievably guilty, especially if you were previously a Tiger Mom.
Prior to my first show I used to teach my kids reading, math and preschool science experiments that focused on discovery. By week 2 of show prep I made an even bigger discovery: Nick Jr.
Looking forward to the future. Week 2 is not the week to try to start a meditation class. No sirree-bob, all you’re doing in Week 2 is counting down the days until the show is over. You’re looking forward to having more time again. You’re looking forward to having a functioning brain again. But mostly you’re looking forward to eating whatever the f*** you want again.
But also…much to your spouse’s chagrin…you are already thinking about your next competition too. “Mel, next show I want to enter the Fitness Division.” “Oh, did you used to do gymnastics?” “No.” “Can you dance?” “Nuh-uh.” “Are you flexible?” “Nope!” “Of course you want to do the fitness division.” I love that my trainer gets me.
The kids are all right. Mother’s guilt tells you that you’re not doing enough. Your kids will tell a different story. Used to be when that the neighborhood kids came over to your house everyone would eat ice cream and play computer games. Now your five-year-old has everyone doing jumping jacks in Disney costumes while she lectures them about protein for building muscles. (I don’t make this stuff up.)
Your spouse is fine too. Yes, he’s looking forward to drinking wine with you again and not eating chips in the garage lest he provoke your jealous wrath should he dare munch on them in your presence. But then he gives you a hug and says, “I’m so proud of you,” and you just want to melt.
If you are new to bodybuilding, stay tuned for the next installment of Same Show/Different Trainer: The Final Countdown…If you have trained for a bodybuilding show, did you have similar experiences?
Also, please “like” my Facebook Page. I’m trying to get 1,000 likes before my blog birthday!
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