Ending off this 90 day Body Beast journey has been crazy!! I started out thinking it would be a fun challenge to stick with in my online support groups but it really helped me reach a new level of fitness on my own time and without having to second guess my day to day plans.
My goal to hit the stage for the second time was going to be completely different from my first round. I had always wanted to compete in a fitness competition, mainly to see if I could sustain the grueling training schedule and stick to the food plans no matter what was happening in my day to day life.
I won’t lie, it was HARD!!!! But my goal was set and I wanted to push for first place so I hired an online coach/trainer to help me through the progress. She was a WBFF Pro (which means she had one first place in a world-wide competition and earned her PRO card) and I knew she had what it took to help me get my goals met.
The workouts were intense and most days I spent over two hours a day in the gym; and that meant intense cardio sessions and crazy circuit and strength training that left me standing in my own sweat puddle, time and again. I would see other gym-goers “eying” the crazy blonde doing burpees and step ups and jump lunges and more. I wouldn’t smile at anyone because that’s the intensity I brought to my training. The meals were set up to follow as a system of the same daily food plans; which were changed up in little ways throughout each phase of my training. The no carb days were the least of my favorite days but no matter how much I hated it all, I knew I would persevere and I knew I was committed to reaching the goals I had set out for myself when I began.
Most of you know the story and if not, you can easily go back and check out my blog post from the 2012 NPC competition but I felt proud that I came home with 2nd place trophy and 3rd place in the overall division.
The “after” story was not so pretty. I went into not caring about my foods as much anymore and doing workouts as I wanted to; but with no particular schedule or plans. I am not the type of person to go completely off my training and clean eating but I knew I had reached a level that was unhealthy for my body and mind at the end final stages of my training. I suffered from adrenal fatigue and was gaining weight quite rapidly due to the low body fat I had attained and the drastic workouts and meal plans that left my body and mind completely drained.
I am not here to bash fitness training at all. I actually have a new respect for those who compete professionally, although for me I knew it wasn’t to be. It took me almost a full year to finally feel like I could get serious about training and eating right again but when people would ask if I would compete again, I would always give a less than excited response of, “oh, I don’t know….”
So, when I began training for this competition, it was more about me and doing it right for my body this time around. NO punishing torture sessions in the gym; I didn’t even have time to do that any longer. The decision to train exclusively on my own with our Body Beast program, supplements and food plans was a new and exciting plan to me. I finally felt the enthusiasm for doing my best again. I surrounded myself with others who were on a similar mission to reach their own goals and who would do whatever it took to get there. No excuses are allowed in this game.
I started this with the mindset of being “all in”. I set up my training schedule and put it into my calendar each day, following Sagi’s plans from the program. The hardest part, yet again, was in the food plans. This wasn’t as clear cut as my trainer had laid out for me in the prior plans so it took some extra mental attention to figure out how many of each food group I was to eat daily. I knew that my calorie intake was going to be higher than I usually ate; and started out at 2200 calories per day. This seemed like a LOT of food but once the training took off, my body craved the foods in a crazy way.
I tracked my foods in My Fitness Pal because it was easy to find foods in the data base (but I do need to caution you that if you follow MFP, it is typically on the low end for calorie recommendations so if you need help calculation your needs for success, feel free to send me an email) and it allowed me to keep a tally without counting calories and macros on my own.
I know that we can’t get all of our nutrition met when cutting calories and training so aggressively so the supplements I used were; Shakeology (every day), Body Beast supplements (including Base Shake, Fuel Shot, creatine and Super Suma) as well as some additional Quest protein powder to make some of my meals easier to get in on busier days. (I only used the all-natural formulas so no sucralose for this chica!)
Each phase of the program held a new challenge and new successes. Phase 1 was all about “building” up the foundation and starting with weight training that was able to be challenged in the next stage. Phase 2 was about “bulking” up and getting into heavier weights and multiple training styles. Drop sets, progressive sets, force sets, were just a few of the styles Sagi would throw our way.
I went into phase 2 by gaining weight. That would freak out most women but I knew that this was only because of my changes in weights and lean muscle growth. I knew by phase 3, I would be leaning out and cutting back to lose the extra body fat that remained. That was a given. By phase 3, the foods were cut back a bit (but only to 2000 calories per day) and the workouts were a blend of both phase 1 and 2. I have to say that this phase was probably the least stressful on my body and made it fun by mixing it all up for my mind.
The final results won’t be clear until I finish the last 2 weeks of “Beast” phase but I am so excited about how far I’ve come that I had to share with you today. If this is something that you would love to take part in, please fill out this application to join my next support group and I’ll coach you through to your own results.
Until next time, BEAST UP!!!