I have been lifting seriously since I was a senior in high school. I continued through college, and while serving in the United States Army. After I got out of the service, I worked as a Personal Trainer for a time before getting my Masters in Human Resource Management, and taking a job with an insurance company. The switch from being on my feet all day in the Army, and while personal training, to working at a desk found me putting on about 10-15 pounds. I had a few friends who had competed in figure contests, but it had not even crossed my mind to do so. In December of 2007, I finally made the decision to lose the weight I had put on.
My fiancé and I were going to a destination wedding and I wanted to look my best. So from December 1st to February 20th, I had lost 10 of the pounds I put on and was feeling good about myself. Not too long after we got back from the wedding, the bride and a few other friends had mentioned that they would probably compete in an upcoming figure contest on April 26th. I brushed the idea aside. But on April 30th, I finally decided to just do it. So I registered on that day, ordered my suit and heels, and came up with my own plan. On that day I weighed about 163lbs or so. On contest day I weighed in at 140lbs. I placed 3rd in my class (out of 6 gals) at my first contest and ‘caught the competition bug.’
- INBF ’08 WI Natural Bodybuilding & Figure, April 26, 2008 – Tall Figure Class – 3rd
- INBF ’08 Midwest Natural Bodybuilding & Figure, October 18, 2009 – Tall Figure Class – 2nd
- NPC ’08 Natural Mid-States Muscle Classic XXI BB & Figure, Nov. 22, 09 – Tall Figure Class – 3rd
- INBF ’09 Central USA BB & Figure Challenge, Apr 4, 2009 – Tall Figure Class – 1st, Tall Fit Body – 1st and Overall
- INBF ’09 WI Natural BB & Figure, April 25, 2009 – Tall Figure Class – 2nd
What is your training philosophy?
‘If fitness came in a bottle, everyone would be doing it.’
But seriously, I try not to be that competitor who over does the cardio. I believe much more in lifting, plyometrics and speed work over cardio any day. During the off season, I lift very heavy and try to build muscle and allow the muscle that I already have to mature. Unfortunately, this off season my leg workouts had to be backed off because I had knee surgery on both knees. So right now I’m just working to get the strength, flexibility and range of motion back. While in the off season, I do very light cardio, and usually for no more than 20 minutes at a time. I lift 4-5 days a week in the off season and do cardio about 4 days a week. I start contest prep about 16-18 weeks out from a show. This year I will be starting my prep on December 19th to compete on April 10, 2010. I will still lift pretty heavy but not as heavy as I do in the off season. I will also up my lift days to 5-6 days a week to usually get an extra leg workout in and will up my cardio to 6-7 days a week. But my cardio will be a mix of biking, walking, elliptical, plyometrics, and speed/hill work. Cardio will range anywhere from 15 minutes to 45 minutes.
What workout works best for you?
- Off Season – Off
- In Season – Back 3-4 Sets & 8-12 reps
If you have to pick only 3 exercises, what would they be and why?
- For back – Negative Wide Grip Pull Up because they truly build up your lats and even people who can’t do regular pull-ups can do these.
- For shoulders – Standing Dumbbell Press because your shoulders are truly what makes up your upper body.
- For triceps – Cable Tricep Extension With Rope because everyone needs a horseshoe.
Any other info you want to add about training?
I keep track of all workouts. This is a must so you can make gains.
What is your philosophy on nutrition?
I WANT my philosophy to always eat clean but it doesn’t always work that way. The biggest thing is to allow yourself some freedom when you are in the off season.
Give us a typical day in your diet (off season):
Regardless of being off or in season, I always eat the same way 5 days of the work week. I always eat at 6am, 8am, 10am, 12pm, 2pm, 4pm, 6pm and 8pm. It’s the foods that I’m eating that vary. On weekends (since I get up slightly later) I usually eat one less meal.
Give us a typical day in your diet (contest prep):
See answer above. But I follow a macro nutrient diet and work with a nutritionist for this.
What are your favorite meals and foods?
I would say my favorite foods, especially while dieting, is chicken (I actually never get bored with it), sweet potatoes, and asparagus. My favorite ‘cheat’ food is homemade tacos.
Favorite cheat food?
Besides homemade tacos, I LOVE key lime pie.
Any other info you want to add about diet & nutrition?
Every unplanned cheat meal is one day of wasted training.
What supplements do you use that give you great results? How do you use them?
- Soy Protein – Genisoy. I like a soy protein because it also helps with hair and nail growth. I usually mix with a whey protein for a protein shake or mix it in with my oatmeal. I also make ‘protein pancakes.’
- Whey Protein – Pure Protein. As I said above, I mix with my soy protein.
- Women’s multivitamin. I actually take a prenatal vitamin because of the extra folic acid and vitamin E. I actually don’t use many other supplements. Sometimes I take some extra B6 and B12 along with fish oil but that’s it.
Advice For Others
What are the 3 best tips you'd give to women thinking about competing in figure?
Anyone can do it. Granted, depending on your current level of fitness, it might take you a few years to get there, but you can do it. Find someone that you know at a gym that competes or read fitness sites. There is always helpful information out there. But if you decide to compete, you MUST make sure you ask about what it is like the days following competing. There is not enough discussion for the ‘after.’ You also have to have an ‘off season’ plan before you even get on stage.
What's your best tip for looking your best on competition day?
Everyone’s body is different. I have always done my own prep until recently. I had to play around with different factors to find out what made me look the best. You can’t expect to get it right the first time. But regardless, as long as you are enjoying yourself you are going to look good.
What shows have you got coming up, where can we see you compete?
I will be competing on April 10th, 2010 at the Central USA BB, Figure and Fit Body Challenge in Sheboygan, WI. I will be competing in the Fit Body category. I will then compete at the WI Natural Bodybuilding & Figure Championships in Madison, WI on April 24th. If the show does not have the Fit Body category, I will cross over to the bodybuilding division.
What would you like to achieve in your figure career?
I would absolutely love to earn my pro card in the Fit Body category of the WNBF. If possible, I would like to compete as a pro at the end of 2010. But I will be getting married in October of 2010 so the schedule might not work out. If I do not receive my pro card in the beginning of 2010, I will wait to compete again till spring of 2011 with another try at a pro card.
Some of my favorite figure, fit body and bodybuilding competitors are Kristal Richardson (IFBB pro figure), Teresita Morales (WNBF pro fit body), Deanne Murphy (WNBF pro figure), and Brenda Rahe (WNBF pro bodybuilder).
How Can People Contact You?
How can people contact you?
- They can find me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/jewelofnile.