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The real life of a figure competitor – part 6

This is my 6th Blog about my journey to compete with the British Natural Body-building Federation (BNBF) as a figure competitor which is kind of toned down body building.

Since my last blog I have had my body fat measured again and have dropped from 8.8% down to 7.3% and put on muscle mass which has gone from 59.3kg up to 60.1kg.

I am now in the final 5 weeks of training for my competition in July. I am finding that it is now getting physically and mentally tougher. My body is feeling tired and it seems to take me longer to recover from each session, but I just have to ‘man up’ and get on with it! I keep telling myself you’ve only got 5 weeks left to endure.

I have just completed another ‘Building Phase’ which gave me some good results. I managed to put on more muscle mass. My body weight has gone from 60.1kg up to 60.9kg while my body fat measurements have also dropped from 7.3%  down to 7.0%. This doesn’t seem a lot but this was a building phase and the object was to put on muscle mass which I have achieved. I can see changes in my physique which I like. My shoulders are a lot bigger and my legs and back have got better shape to them. The only thing I’m still conscious of is my stomach. It seems to be taking time to lean out! This may due to having a baby recently or because I’m still breast feeding, I’m not sure. But my coach James Buckingham (www.pfpexeter.co.uk) tells me to remember I still have 5 weeks of hard work ahead of me and it will all come together on the day. He got me in shape (3% fat and 59kg lean body mass)last time so I trust his judgement! Everything else is on track and both James and I are happy with the results so far.

I am having to be very strict with my diet now. I eat 5 meals a day which contain meat and  green vegetables. The first meal of the day is always red meat (i.e. Steak/Liver/Heart) these are my favourite!!! The other meals over the day consist of either fish or Chicken again with  green vegetables. I have a black coffee in the morning before I train and maybe another during the day, other then that I just drink green tea and lots and lots of water.

I have stopped eating nuts and the small amount of dark chocolate that I was eating before! Damnit, I love chocolate!!!

Preparation is vital for me, I have my 2 young boys with me all the time so it can get a bit  hectic so I need to be on the ball with preparation food!!

Now that I am into the final few weeks I am concentrating on my stage presence. Rehearsing my compulsory poses that we all have to do and also putting together a routine that I will perform on my own. I must make sure I know it inside out so I don’t make any mistakes and am confident on stage, I don’t want to trip and fall on my arse! Also making sure I know what I will be doing with my hair/make up/tan etc is important for my confidence. Luckily I have a good friend who I can call upon to making me look pretty!!

I am having my body fat measured again next week so fingers crossed it will be all good! I will discuss next time the results and how my training is going.

Thanks for reading 🙂

PFP note: I am writing this bit a week later than Lucy’s main blog and have just done her body fat measurements. Lucy is now 7 days into a 14 specific fat loss phase. 14 days may not seem like much of a training block but as part of the over all plan started in January is it works. Of course all her preparation involves some fat loss elements to a certain degree.

Since her last reading 2 weeks ago she has dropped from 7% to 6.2% body fat as measured over 12 skin fold sights around the body. Her lean body mass has remained the same. This is significant as this phase is design as fat loss specific. The maintenance of muscle mass during such as a phase is probably the most important thing. We do not want her to lose muscle as well as fat…just the fat! She will finish this phase in 7 days and experience tells me that she will in fact add muscle as she gets leaner.

To help her to specifically lose fat during this phase we are using a variety of full body training programs, not a split routine. I feel that the frequency means more volume and more global stimulus which seems to work well for her…as she is a natural ‘not juiced’ athlete. She also trains one session a week in a fasted state (exercise gurus will arrest us) but with the help of copious amounts of  Branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) to supports an anabolic environment. She is also ‘fat adapted’ which seems to be the only time to train fasted.

She is feeling the added volume this week and is a bit depleted which is as expected. Therefore we are adding certain extra ‘carbs’ meals (5 in total per week). Her main fuel source are fats and protein but the inclusion of some additional classic carbs will help restore muscle glycogen, spare muscle breakdown and increase anabolism. We will know if this has worked at the end of next week!

Her abdominal fat is at 6mm which is very lean but she should really be at under 5mm. So we will either continue as we are for awhile and see how it goes, or next week we will make some tweaks. For example we may ditch yohimbine HCL and tyrosine before training, we may ditch fasted training,the rationale being that these add to the cortisol load. We may simply cut carbs further as the increase may reduce fatty acid utilisation. We will not be cutting back on fats or protein…in fact we may increase fats to maintain health,vitality and hormonal output.

Lucy’s next phase is the final mini ‘build phase’ which will be a 2 way split.

James Buckingham
www.pfpexeter.co.uk