Week 1: Posing Ain’t Easy
Week 1 of my very first competition prep season is already wrapping up! Throughout the course of this process, I will chapter each week with my observations, experiences, challenges and successes from the prior 7 days – careful to try to note every last little detail. Before electing to compete, I spent the last year following and learning from other competitors online and found the collective anecdotal feedback to be so intriguing. Its easy to look at someone’s before and after photos and say, “wow, that’s awesome!”. But to have the opportunity to follow along and read about the emotions that drive someone to pursue competing, the sting of the pitfalls and the triumph of pushing through plateaus is something I truly appreciated and aim to deliver in return.
So here it is; My week 1 in bullets!
- Posing is everything (and harder than it looks!): For weeks I’ve been teeter-tottering with whether or not to hire a prep coach. I don’t lack motivation, I’ve got a decent handle on training myself and have done enough nutrition research to probably sneak by and do OK on stage. Or so I thought. Posing is one of those things I had absolutely no clue how to do or how important it was. I’ve already had 2 posing classes with my coach and I’m dead certain I’ve already exceeded the level of precision I could have ever acquired on my own via YouTube videos. My coach is a pro, she knows what she’s doing AND she knows how to manipulate my body to highlight its strengths. Just look at the difference in the photos below: taken only 24 hours apart, my body looks entirely different depending on whether or not I’m doing Figure or Bikini class posing. I’ve got a lot of room to improve but I’ll get there. Oh, and did I mention its hard? Posture, flexing, twisting, popping, sweating, shaking and all in the tallest heels I’ve ever worn.
- What Real Muscle Failure Feels Like: So I thought I had training down, right? Wrong. Sure, I’m pretty intense in the gym on my own but until training with Brooke, I had no freaking idea what failure felt like. We’re talking yelling out loud, eyes clenched closed and oh, you still have 3 more reps. Example: you should see me try to do a simple jump squat after a 45min leg session with Brooke. Look up videos of baby horses trying to stand seconds after they’re birthed. Yea, its like that.
- Gaining and Preserving As Much Muscle As Possible: this is what I’m all about right now. No cardio whatsoever. High calories. Clean protein, carbs & fats. Never hungry. Cooking like its my job. Training, training, training. As much as I love cardio, I really don’t miss it much right now. Also take into account that my 45min high intensity strength training sessions with Brooke have my heart rate floating around 130 consistently so I am technically in the range; you just wont see me running, sprinting or jumping like I usually do.
- My Mind is Doing Just Fine: with the muscle gain goal comes a thick, dense, heavy feeling I’m not used to. My abs are starting to go a bit into “hibernation” and I certainly feel stalkier than normal. Going into this plan, I was curious to see how my “lady brain” would feel about this. Would it make me self conscious? Would it be a self esteem struggle? So far, I’m pleased to say its quite the opposite! I look in the mirror and I see a combination of power and grace. I know I’ll be much leaner in a few weeks, but really, I’m very pleased with what I see!
On to Week 2! Enjoy your holiday weekend!