2012 UFE, North American Championships – Pro Division Show – 3rd Place
2012 UFE, North American Championships – Elite Division – 2nd Place – Qualified for Pro Card
- 2011 UFE, North American Championships – Elite Division – 5th Place
- 2011 UFE, North American Championships, Elite - Figure, Canada Nov 2011.
- 2010 UFE, Halloween Mayhem CANADA, Open and over 35's FIGURE CLASS - placed 3rd in both categories.
- 2009 BNBF, Miss Figure, Finals, Glasgow UK, 3rd Place and Best Presentation Trophy.
- 2009 NPA, Trained Figure, South East Qualifier, London, UK - 2nd Place
- 2009 BNBF, Miss Figure, Northern Qualifier, Manchester UK - 3rd Place
- 2008 NPA, Final, Trained Figure, Leamington Spa, UK.
- 2008 NPA, Mike Williams Classic, Trained Figure, Yorkshire, UK - 1st Place
- 2008 UKBFF, Body Fitness, London Qualifier, 2nd Place
- 2007 NPC Eastern USA Qualifier, Figure, New York, 2nd Place
What is your background, and how did you get started in figure competitions?
I was a professionally trained dancer and got into the fitness industry to make money. I enjoyed keeping my body in shape and was naturally athletic and lean, it seemed like a natural progession. In 2001 I moved home to Torquay from London and applied for a job at Winners 2000. It was then I met Simon Jeffery, who owns and runs the business. I started off as a Fitness Instructor/Exercise to Music teacher which lead me to the role of Classes Co-ordinator and now I run my own site at Winners 2000.
I enjoyed my training and helping people reach their goals but I knew I needed something more to give me personal fulfillment, something for myself. For training and inspiration I would endlessly watch Pumping Iron, Pumping Iron 2 - The Women, The Arnold/Olympia dvds, I really like the female physiques, especially from the 1980s like Rachel Mclish, Lori Bowen era. Simon gave me the confidence to try competing out and once I started training with purpose, my body improved very quickly. I enjoyed the challenge of gaining muscle and liked the way I began to look. I really enjoyed my first show in New York, the whole experience was great fun and led me to compete in the UK.
I am lucky to have an incredible coach who has mentored me, making me improve myself by studying, testing myself and most of all supporting me. It's just not about training and diet, its about building a lifestyle based on purpose. Simon is commited to what he does, and his his purpose; to make people happier, healthier and to live more positive and rewarding lives. Certainly helped me!
What is your training philosophy?
I don't really believe in the on and off season in a natural bodybuilding sense. For most people, off season turns into fat season, an excuse to eat a lot more food and carbs than they actually need to. I periodise my year based on performance, and also take time to build my health and work on my cardio fitness, flexibility and power. I haven't ruled out moving to Fitness, and competing in shows in the States so I want to make myself the best I can be.
Everyone is different, I want to make that clear before I go any further about what I do. Everyone needs to work out differently, and to learn along the way, to get the most from what they do. What I do, listed below, is just one week, of 52 in any given year, and every week would be different, depending on my recovery ability, goals, work commitments and everything else that is going on in my life. I would recommend anyone who wants to get in shape, get a great trainer to design something just for them.
For me, I need to generally keep my volume pretty low, and focus on lifting heavier, with ultra strict form. I use mainly compound movements, I am not a big fan of machines, I don't like anything that teaches any body-part to work in too much isolation. My legs are also naturally very strong, so I actually de-train those, to keep my body in better balance.
Right now, I am adding size to my arms and delts, so they are kind of prioritized in what I am doing. I believe that most people do too much training, at too lower an intensity, with not enough concentration. With the clients I work with, I try to get them to focus intently on whatever they are doing, be it that rep, the next meal, picking up the kids from school, whatever. To be "in the room" and "focused".
What's a good workout that you've had good results with?
Monday - Back and Chest
- Warm up
- Reverse Grip Pulldowns, 2 x 12 warm up sets
- Neutral grip chin ups, weighted, 1 x 10, 1 x 8, 1 x 6
- Bent over rows, 1 x 10, 1 x 8, 1 x 6
- Incline Dumbbell Press, 1 x 10, 1 x 8, 1 x 6
- Clap Push ups, 2 sets to failure
- Med ball jump push ups, 2 x failure
- Incline Dumbbell flyes, 1 x 8
Tuesday - OFF
Wednesday - Delts, hamstrings, calves
- Handstand shoulder press, x 2 to failure
- Push press, 1 x 10, 1 x 8, 1 x 6
- Med Ball overhead push, 2 x 5 speed reps
- Lateral raises, 1 x 8/8/8 drop set
- Stiff legged deadlifts, 1 x 10, 1 x 8, 1 x 6
- Jump Split squat lunges, 2 x 20 reps
- Donkey Calve Raises, 2 x 30
Thursday - Off
Friday - Arms
- Wide grip chins + dips superset x 3 (target of 20 chins and 40 dips)
- Bench Dips, 1 x 10, 1 x 8, 1 x 6
- Incline Supination curls, 1 x 8, 1 x 6
- Incline EZ Bar French press, 2 x 8
- Cable Curls, 2 x 8
Weekends I focus on recovery and flexibility, plus some cardio by way of outdoor bike rides, surfing, swimming, or road running and tennis. I think of it as building up to the next workout. My routines vary, and my weekly cycles also, depending on factors such as work commitments and contest prep.
Editor's Note: Choose a workout to suit your goals from the M&S workout routines database.
If you have to pick only 3 exercises, what would they be and why?
Chins, dips and lunges. In those 3, done with variations and the right form and intensity the whole body can be effectively conditioned. I like doing heavy shoulder presses and incline bicep curls, but the first 3 I think are the most fundamental exercises going.
Any other info you want to add about training?
I think the human body needs to be active, to maintain both health and sanity. I am sure the increase in so called stress related illnesses can be linked to a decrease in activity and an increase in refined sugars and grains in the diet.
What is your philosophy on nutrition?
Eat clean, and eat for your type. Everyone has specific requirements, based on their genetics and where they are in their life. I don't think people in Britain do well on starches, and refined sugars are poison, simple as that. A lot of people have built up negative associations with food, some use it to relax, some use it or pleasure, most people eat un-consciously, where as what it really should be, is fuel. The fuel to help you achieve all your goals in all the roles in your life.
Give us a typical day in your diet (off season):
- Meal 1, 7am, white fish, goats yoghurt and blueberries
- Meal 2, 11am, large green mixed salad, chicken/turkey, small apple/pear
- Meal 3, 3pm, scrambled eggs, raw carrots, small serving almonds and cashews
- Meal 4, 7pm lean steak/salmon with large serving vegetables, asparagus, broccoli, carrots
These times will vary depending on work and training commitments, but I eat 4 meals at around 4 hourly intervals. I think eating too often isn't good for the body, as digestion uses energy, and when you are out of contest mode, you should ease up on the digestive system, keep it really clean and easy. Using protein shakes all year round I also think is a really bad idea. Shakes are fine for what they are, but they have no life force, and they can clog up your digestive tract very badly. People are led to concentrate on getting in a certain amount of calories, grams per pound of bodyweight, I don't agree with that. Focus on quality first, quantity second, and consider the environment and state of mind you are in when you eat.
Give us a typical day in your diet (contest prep):
Similar to above, it changes throughout the diet, but right now, when I want to get ripped, my last 4 weeks would be:
- Meal 1, scrambled eggs, small serving spinach
- Meal 2, Lean chicken, small serving cashews and almonds
- Meal 3, lean steak with mixed veg
- Meal 4, Turkey with tablespoon peanut butter
- Meal 5, scrambled eggs, small serving spinach
What are your favorite meals and foods?
I love steak, burgers and fries, they would be my ideal foods and I enjoy anything that is well prepared to be honest, quality food, rather than quick packet junk.
Favorite cheat food?
I love organic burgers and fries and a big fresh salad!
Any other info you want to add about diet & nutrition?
I think how people eat has a big effect on how they treat people around them, and people don't get that. Someone jacked up on coffee and sugar isn't going to be as balanced and as genuine as someone eating clean and for their type. If you want to understand food, start by studying the oracle "Nutrition and Physical Degeneration" by Dr Weston Price, The Price Pottinger foundation. Tough read, but worth it. Then study William Walcott, Metabolic Typing, and the follow on work done by Dr Mercola and Paul Chek. Their work is superb, and really opens your eyes to the utter rubbish the media is trying to teach us today.
List 3 supplements that you've used to with good results, why you use each one, and when/how you use it.
- Extra Virgin coconut butter. Great health product, supports thyroid, great energy, good source of medium chain triglycerides, anti-microbial. Real health food. I use it 3 times daily, around a tablespoon at a time.
- Juice Plus, fruit and vegetable blend. Superb natural enzyme support, I cant say enough about it, other than you should all be on it.
- Vitamin B complex. Great for energy production, and dealing with any stress you maybe encountering.
Advice For Others
What are the 3 best tips you'd give to women thinking about competing in figure?
- Define what "Winning" is to you. Don't let others manipulate you and get you dancing to their tune. Decide WHY you are doing it, and if it is worth it. The contest is about you, not what other people tell you. Yes, there are rules to the event, and standards and occasionally a judge wil be kind enough to give you some real direction. But, show what you want to present, be who you are in life on stage, not some type of puppet. Don't expect anything in terms of where you place, just focus on having fun, meeting like minded people and being at your best. I don't think I have ever been to a natural bodybuilding show where the best physique won.
- Remember your health, that is why you got into this. Looking great is important, and the name of the game. But, remember, you have other roles in your life, maybe you are a partner, a mum, your career, and these have to be balanced against the demands of the contest, and the final stages of the diet. Always remember your health, and never get lead down the wrong path where you start compromising who you are, your values and integrity. This is about showing your body, your health, your personality, don't let anyone take that away from you. It isn't about sex, don't let anyone make it sleazy or dirty. They don't try to do that to men, and they shouldn't try to do it to women either.
- Stay natural, forever. I know a lot of people who use steroids, and I have no problem with that choice. In a lot of cases, it does no harm at all. Where I think things go wrong is where people are mislead into using drugs for contests with no real knowledge of the potential effects and dangers. Life's have been lost and ruined because people wanted to be that bit more shredded on the day. It really isn't worth it. Natural Bodybuilding federations who allow drug use need to educate their members far better into how to safely use them and monitor their effects on health and mental state. Currently these things are hidden under the carpet, so they can proclaim these drug assisted bodybuilders as hero's and champions, far superior to any natural athlete. There is room for both but it needs to be clear who are drug assisted and who aren't. The safer approach is to bring drug use and its dangers into the open, and to find some medically qualified experts to work with those federations to ensure that their athletes are safe and regularly monitored for any potential health problems. This is supposed to be about "health" after all.
What's your best tip for looking your best on competition day?
Ha, do your diet right! I don't believe in last minute tricks. Yes, you can change your body a small amount in the last day or so, by manipulating your sodium and glycogen levels. But that type of science is such a lottery. Every time you do a show, your body is in a different place and everyone is different. Some people can't touch carbs before a show, some people do great on carb loading. Then there is sodium manipulation. Some people get dry when they cut water and salt over 10 days, some get fat and spill over. Don't leave anything to the last minute. Get shredded by sensible dieting, and be ready a week out, then cruise in. Sleep and rest are the key in the final stages, and ensuring you don't get a steep jolt of aldosterone (stress hormone that causes water retention) through too tougher sodium and water games. Have a coach who knows you , most will just give you "their" approach to how to diet, which is more about their ego and them wanting to be right, rather than them taking the time to study you and what you need.
What shows have you got coming up, where can we see you compete?
I am now in training for the UFE North American Championships 2013 – Pro Division.
What would you like to achieve in your figure career?
Becoming a Pro really feels like a destination, but a new start at the same time. Like now I have to start over, improve and prove myself again in this division. I would also very much like to appear in fitness magazines as a fitness model and most of all to keep inspiring my members and clients in my gym.
Who are your favorite figure competitors and idols?
I do like Monica Brant, her level of commitment is outstanding and I have met and trained with Jennifer Searles and also Jenny Lynn at her base in Kentucky.
I don't idolize anyone in this sport, although there are some people I admire for their hard work, honesty and commitment. I did enjoy my time in New York, with Steve Weinberger. Simon has been the biggest influence on my work and competitive career and is the person I aspire to be like the most.
How can people contact you?
- Email: Hannah@winners2000.co.uk