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The real life of a Figure Competitor – part 4

This is the 4th blog about my journey to compete as a figure competitor with the British National Body-Building Federation (BNBF) in July this year. In my last blog I discussed the type of training I was doing which was ‘Full body training’ and that I was having my body fat measured again.

Well I had my body fat measured and I was glad to see that I had lost 1.3% body fat and put on another 1.2kg of muscle mass. I was really pleased with this result, considering I had been unwell for part of this phase. It shows that if you eat well you can still make changes even if you are not training at full capacity.

James my coach / personal trainer from PFP Exeter has changed my training again. I am now onto ‘phase 3’ which is a 4 week ‘Building Phase’. This specifically designed to build some more muscle, it is a 3 ways split: day 1= legs, day 2 = upper body push / pull and day 3 = shoulders and arms. I am currently in week 3 of this phase. I enjoy this style of training, lifting big heavy weights seems to suit me. I will be having my body fat measured again at the end of next week when this phase comes to an end and then it is back on the ‘Full body’ block again.

I am finding I am struggling a little bit at the moment. I am slightly under the weather, probably because I am putting my body through quite a bit at the moment and recovery is difficult. Still breast feeding my baby and potty training my other boy also takes its toll as every Mum knows (no change from last blog). Combined with the intensity of my training and strictness of the eating as well as trying to do everything at once is a bit of a struggle!!

In 4 weeks I will have a week to rest as we are on holiday yeay!!! This week I will still train but not to the intensity I have been and will probably only train every other day for no longer then 30 minutes. The rest will do my body good and allow me to step it up a notch for the final 12 weeks for the run up to the show.

Before I can get into holiday mode I still have work to do. James wants me to be at 6% body fat before we go on holiday. He wants me to be confident that I can get to be near competition shape even this far out from the day. Then after a week reduced volume training and ‘relaxed eating’ I will be better set up to progress, he calls this approach ‘a double peak’. If I don’t reach this goal by 4 weeks then I will have to be strict with what I am eating on holiday, so it’s in my interest to get there so I can have a little nibble of that chocolate cake!!

My confidence has taken a bit of a battering over the last few days. Sometimes people ask me what I am training for and when I try and explain I can get very odd looks and dismissive comments that can be hurtful! Luckily a lady came up to me today and asked about it all and when I told her she was so supportive and interested, she made my day!! I am not saying this because I want everyone to praise me, it’s just nice that someone likes what I am doing. So I guess all those people who think it’s “disgusting” or “manly” can have their opinions, each to their own I guess! Come July it will all be worth it!

In my next blog I will talk about my body fat measurements which I am having done at the end of next week…again and let you know my trainings going!

Thanks for reading my blog:) x

PFP trainer note: Recovery is a bit of an issue at the moment for Lucy. She has not recuperated completely from a nagging illness. Her hectic training and life schedule means that she is always rushing against time to get everything done. The fact that it is her choice doesn’t lessen the burden.

We are torn between the training output needed for optimal results and the requirement to recover sufficiently to continue intensely. On balance we will crack on and see how she is in 2 days. We may reschedule a ‘back off’ week of reduced volume and increase her nutrient intake if she is still off key then.

The ‘double peak’ method mentioned above is simply a plan we will use to ensure that she will ‘peak; in good condition prior to her holiday. Then recuperate, refeed and rest for a week. We can then plan her last 12 weeks more easily and with confidence that the system we are using works. However if she is not in reasonable condition (6 % body fat and well proportioned) by the holidays we know to change the plan and will have ample time to implement it.

PS. It should be noted that being constantly at 6% body fat or less is pretty extreme for a woman and is difficult to sustain. She will bounce back to a happier body fat after both planned peaks. James Buckingham