I am so proud to share this amazing story with you of one of my newest Roxstars, poised to take the stage for her very first figure competition in just under 6 days.
You know, with every first time figure competitor that comes to me looking for online contest prep, I get excited for them and remember my own humble beginnings.
Doing a show as a first time figure competitor is a nerve wracking experience. You don’t know what to expect. You don’t know if you’re on track with how you should be looking at x-amount of time out from your show. You have to just trust the process, work hard, and GO!
And this couldn’t have rang more true than it had for newly christened NPC Figure Competitor Grace Marlin.
Meet RoxStar Fitness/Team RoxStar First Time Figure Competitor Grace Marlin
Grace started with me in my Inner Circle as a member. She was actually a referral from a client of mine, who happened to be her sister. As Grace started on her fitness journey, it was simply more organic for her to train under my protocols and approach through my Inner Circle site, all while being able to work on her own, at her own pace as she figured out her next moves.
Grace emailed me one day said that she was finally ready to take things to the next level, and had a few shows on her radar to do.
Now, as I do with any fist time figure competitor, I sit and take a look at their starting point, relative to the projected show date, and devise a game plan to making their goals their reality – as safely and healthily as I can.
As a coach, and what I’ve gathered from years and years at this game, is that a lot of new competitors don’t anticipate the sheer work that has to go into training for their first show. And because the barrier of entry for shows is so low – simply pay your fees and sign up – people don’t realize that it’s not just a game of dieting and training for the event. It’s so much more – way more!
So for Grace, I wanted to make sure we set her up with enough time to truly bring her best – and to allow for time in case things slowed down and we had to make some major tweaks, we still would have enough wiggle room to make it all come together.
Luckily for Grace, it’s been relatively smooth sailing.
Weight: 160 pounds, Waist: 28.5 inches, Hips: 35.5 inches, Buttocks: 40.5 inches, Navel: 30.5 inches, Chest: 35 inches.
We picked a show that allowed her a full 16 weeks to prep. And really, for most new competitors, I always feel that’s more than enough time to really reel things in.
Grace’s Figure Contest Prep Diet Set Up
So my main deal with Grace was always to make sure that we keep some size on her 5’11 frame. For taller competitors, you always run the risk of starting to look too stringy once you get lean enough for the show – and that has to do with your long limbs and having to keep them full.
With Grace’s diet, I wanted to start her off in a deficit that gave her enough food to work with, all while pushing fat loss along at an even pace from start to finish with her prep.
|Non Training Day|
|Protein – 160
Carbs – 223
Fat – 48
Protein – 160
Carbs – 169
Fat – 72
Now taking a look at her macros, you can see that I relied heavily on higher carbs on her training days, and lowered the carbs (while raising her fats) on off days.
Right off the bat, I allowed her to also sub foods out whenever she wished, and have a free meal once a week. And what was great is that after 4 weeks on this set up, we saw some great recompositioning coming along without having to change her diet. Plus she was feeling GREAT about things. In her words:
“The eating plan is going really well. My cravings are essentially nonexistent and I haven’t found it really difficult to strictly stick to the plan. This is the first cycle that I used the FSC [food substitution calculator] tool, and I really like the flexibility that that added.”
After 4 Weeks
Weight: 160 pounds, Waist: 27 inches, Hips: 35 inches, Buttocks: 39.5 inches, Navel: 29 inches, Chest: 34 inches.
As for her training, we kept to a 5 day training split schedule. We bumped her cardio up from 20 mins at 5 days a week, to 30 mins of cardio, 5 days a week, including a mix of HIIT cardio, intervals, and high intensity steady state. I added 2 metabolic circuit workouts, plus 3 days of just regular heavy strength days in the mix for weight training.
Ultimately I was pretty pleased with how everything was coming along, and we kept to this schedule all the way up to about 4 weeks out.
4 Weeks Out From Showtime
It is at this point that I like to push the envelop, and push the intensity in both the gym, and in her nutrition.
Now with her meal plan, what we switched to was a carb cycle set up. Her lower carb days saw her around 90g of carbs per day, with her fats sitting around 70-75g. Protein was kept higher at 170g. This kind of set up allows the body to stay in a low insulin state, which can in turn help to really blast fat – without starving her.
Once a week she would have her high carb day, putting her carbs at 199-200g, fats at 40g, and protein around the same at 170g. I allowed her to also keep to a cheat meal once a week still, all focused on revving up her metabolism.
I threw in some yohimbine and switched her cardio to morning sessions – as you must be in a fasted state for yohimbine to even work.
The results of this set up was the shaping up of an amazing physique.
4 Weeks Out
Weight: 152.4 pounds, Waist: 26 inches, Hips: 33 inches, Buttocks: 38.5 inches, Navel: 27.5 inches, Chest: 34 inches.
Fast Forward to Peak Week
The beautiful thing about taking a smarter approach to contest prep is that once peak week comes around, you simply have to make small tweaks to your plan, and just watch closely with how the body reacts, adjusting things as you go along day by day.
So now, at the time of this writing, Grace is exactly at that point. With less than 7 days out, she’s confident and poised to take the stage. At 4 weeks out, we started to drill her posing and took her from a complete newbie, to a polished amateur competitor who knows her body and her best angles.
And I was really pleased with how quickly she actually learned the posing and presentation for showing her best on that stage. Here are a few quick videos of our last posing session at 7 days out.
So as she swings into her peak, and her first show ever, we are VERY excited about the look she’s bringing to the stage. When a competitor reaches that final moment that they’re up there, sharing their hard work, the important thing is to be able to say they’ve left no stone unturned and they’ve done everything in their power to bring their best.
I’m happy to say that Grace is definitely in line for exactly just that!
7 Days Out
Weight: 145.2 pounds, Waist: 25.5 inches, Hips: 31 inches, Buttocks: 36.5 inches, Navel: 27 inches, Chest: 33 inches.
Stay tuned for her show results! We’re on stage this Saturday at the NPC Ironman Naturally in Los Angeles, California!
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