Life During Bikini Prep – The Final Weeks
I know, I know, where have I been??
Yikes these last 3 weeks have been a blur!
I have so much to update you guys on that I feel the only way to do it is to break it down into multiple different blogs.
Today’s is all about the final weeks of prep, and the overall changes from beginning to end when it came down to food, workouts, progress pics, weight etc.
Shortly I’ll be back with more on the actual show days, getting stage ready (stage presence) as well as how things are going post show — here we go!
Peak week is the 7 days prior to stage day.
I went through 2 of them, since I competed in 2 different shows.
The best way to describe these weeks is to compare them to a roller coaster.
You’re super excited, nervous, anxious, stressed, you scream a little, kinda want to throw up, maybe even cry, and then when it’s all over you can’t help but want to go on the ride all over again.
I found my self having a very hard time mentally focusing during these weeks.
There started to be a mental fogginess that was constantly around my head making it hard to even communicate with people at times.
After a while all of the food prepping, macro counting, cardio, planning my days around my workouts were just simply wearing on me.
I was having to plan for around 3 hours in the gym 5-6 days a week for those final weeks.
Workouts would be about 1.5 hours, then cardio, then I’d work on posing, and then use the tanning beds to start getting a base tan.
It felt like I lived there. And in the kitchen.
With work added in, all of this left there to be very little time to get normal chores done around the house which made me even more stressed out.
(Hubby wasn’t in love with that part either…)
Loosing sleep is just not an option for me around this time because I know how much of an impact it has on my body.
Prep was my #1 priority this last month, which obviously paid off, but that also meant that other areas in my life suffered.
Not trying to get all sappy on you, I just want there to always be transparency in my posts so that you see life isn’t always so dandy for me either, and that sacrifices had to be made.
Changes in Diet – From Beginning to End:
When I ended my reverse diet prior to prep, I was eating right around 2,200 calories every day (not including any wine throughout the week).
Calories were cut about 4 times total, which put the lowest they ever got being an average of 1,502 (I say average because I’m taking into account my refeed days).
Let me just stop right there for a second…do you know how awesome that is??
That I was able to diet to stage lean and never have to go under 1,500 calories.
THAT is why I reverse diet.
So that I lose body fat easier without having to drop calories so low.
As you probably know by now, I follow a flexible dieting approach (more to come on that soon).
When I first began I was able to enjoy treats multiple times a day because my carbs were still up there pretty high.
I had things like sour patch kids before my workouts, pop tarts after workouts, fruit + halo top etc.
As Dr. Layne Norton says, “Macros are like a budget”.
If you make $100,000k/year, you probably should go buy a $90,000 car just because you can “afford it”.
Same concept when it comes to counting macros and flexible dieting.
I wanted to save my carbs for foods that had more volume therefor were more filling.
Yayyyyy for broccoli! 😉
I’ve also been having a salad every single night for dinner since my carbs were cut to 120g, which was around May 12th.
Point being made – just because I follow flexible dieting doesn’t mean it was always a walk in the park (but it’s definitely still a lot easier than “clean eating”).
Changes in Workouts:
Throughout the whole prep I lifted weights 6x/week, hitting legs 3 times and upper body 3 times.
I’d say I started noticing drastic decreases in strength by about 4 weeks out from the first show (eventually this will happen at some point to almost everyone).
Everything just felt much heavier, and I would feel almost wiped out just after my warm ups.
Side note – I would not have survived without caffeine.
Typically I was drinking 2-3 cups of coffee a day + either a caffeine pill OR pre-workout OR a monster (the kind with only 4 carbs in it).
Sooooo lots of coffee plus something else.
I had two different splits that I followed, each one being around 8 weeks long.
However, towards the last 4 weeks or so I really starting honing in more on my weakest areas (gluts/hamstrings & core).
I spent less time on chest movements (since that’s not as important for bikini) and more on the areas that do matter for this division.
Changes in Cardio:
Before prep began I was doing 0 cardio – on purpose so that when I did add it in, it would have more of an impact.
When I started prep my coach had me doing HIIT 2x/week for 6 rounds.
Over time that increased to 8 rounds, and steady start cardio was also slowly added in.
By about 10 weeks in my cardio was upped to the most it ever got to (with 7 weeks left): HIIT 3x/week for 8 rounds + 60 minutes total of steady state cardio, split up however I wished.
I usually preferred to do 2 days of 30 minutes at a time for my steady state, and on opposite days of HIIT, which totaled 5 days/week of cardio on top of weight lifting.
I did not do fasted cardio 1 single time during prep (doing cardio first thing in the morning on an empty stomach).
I tend to work harder when I have at least a little food in me because I’m not worried about my stomach growling.
Working harder = burning more calories.
Weight, Waist, Pics:
Starting Weight – 122.8
Lowest Weight – 111.4
Stage Weight – 112.0
Starting Waist – 26
Ending Waist – 24.25
Well, I went back to my dieting macros this week so that I can slowly go into a reverse diet and ease into normalcy (cardio will be slowly be tapered back as well).
The goal for now is to reverse over the next 3 months and make as many gains as possible (future plans will be reevaluated at that time).
I plan on continuing my bikini blog series for at least a month so that:
1) You can learn what the mental struggles are like post prep
2) Help myself be held even more accountable knowing that I have to discuss any of the choices I make over the next month!
Be on the look out for 2 new blogs coming ASAP discussing the actual show days/what they were like as well as one all about getting stage presence ready.