3 days on one day off, two on one off.
I have always lived a fit lifestyle. I started playing ringette and hockey when I was 5, and I still play to this day. I was also very involved in high school sports. It was the combination of these two things that led me to start my off season training in the gym.
I love what I do so that is where I get the motivation and drive to do what I do. Even on those hard days I can pull that passion to get me through my workout.
Running stairs, running and spin classes.
Protein pancakes. I eat them every morning and would honestly be lost without this meal. I look forward to it every day.
During my off season I add fruit, especially bananas. And during my in season I add in broccoli, spinach and pretty much anything green. And I top it all off with sugar free syrup.
6 meals a day regardless of in season or off season. Both are very structured, however in season is protein rich, whereas off season is carbohydrate rich. I also listen to my body and have worked into my diet the ability to have clean refeeds as I need them.
I allow myself to have small quantities of these items during my off season and because of this I have the willpower to not eat them during in season. I structure my diet during in season so that I don't feel the need for them.
Definitely. If I have my headphones on people know to leave me alone, especially when I'm lifting. My playlist ranges but my go to is heavy metal (Metallica, Rob Bailey, Five Finger Death Punch) for lifting and house music for cardio.
3 days on one day off, two on one off.
Long term: Is to grow and continually improve my physique, educating myself and others, becoming a better well rounded athlete. My off seasons consist of making gains in the areas where I want more mass.
Short term: Making sure my conditioning is on target, day to day, week to week and month to month. And still making sure that I am taking the time for the important relationships in my life with friends and family.
I love being part of a group of women who help to inspire and support other women to not only become more physically fit but also stronger mentally and encompass the bigger picture of health. However competing on the Arnold Amateur stage in March 2014 and being able to return again in March 2015 is one of the brighter moments in my career to date.
I think there are many opportunities in my life that could present as obstacles, such as working two jobs that are opposite schedules but I have not allowed this to interfere with my personal journey. It is all a matter of making the time for the things you are most passionate about and fitness is one of those things for me. I have been very fortunate not to have had any physical setbacks this far in my journey.
A combination of things such as, measurements, making gains in the gym with my weights, how my clothes fit, quarterly fat tests, and last and definitely least my weight.
A daily vitamin regime. I have trouble drinking plain water so I find branch chains and greens really beneficial.
Charlene Gilbert on instagram: instagram.com/charfitness
First, it is important to know that fitness has always been a part of my life. I was a gymnast from ages 5 to 23, I had to retire due to a tear in my rotator cuff I was utterly devastated by this, so I turned my focus to the gym as I was able to train around my injury and focus my energy and competitive nature into my first bodybuilding show in July 2013. As sport and training have always been a massive part of my life since such an early age and I wouldn’t have it any other way, it’s a lifestyle.
Staying motivated all the time is tough, but I take progress pictures to remind myself of where I have come from in such a short space of time. Social media is also another tool that I use to keep me motivated, watching other peoples progress and results is always inspiring. My training keeps me motivated I never train the same way for long periods of time and like to mix it up to keep it fun and challenging. Upcoming fitness competitions drive me to make the best of myself. Photoshoots also really motivate me to look my best, my fiancé/coach is also a photographer!
I do a mixture of cardio it varies depending on whether I am off season or in contest prep, I do LISS always fasted and also do HIIT to keep my metabolism high.
I love making protein pancakes!
Mix together all together in a bowl and pour into frying pan, I usually use coconut oil to cook with. Then I drizzle warldens farms pancake syrup.
My Diet consists of eating 4 meals a day and a post workout shake. My meals are made up of chicken, salmon, eggs, broccoli, asparagus, oats and almond butter, if I chance anything occasionally, I make sure it fits my macros.
“Nothing tastes as good as looking good feels!” The longer I go without them the less I seem to want them.
I only listen to music whilst doing cardio as the beat of the music helps me to keep going, whilst helping me to “zone out”.
It varies depending on where I am at in my contest prep, but I generally use high intensity protocols such as German Body Composition and German Volume Training as my body responds well to this sort of training. During my contest prep I will train twice a day usually cardio in the morning and weights in the evenings and one rest day.
Yes I do set myself goals, I think this is so important as it gives you drive and motivation. My current goal is to achieve my pro card in my up and coming show with the WBFF and a longer term goal of mine is to improve my glutes. The main goal is to inspire the new generation using my own experience. and knowledge of fitness.
Winning my first show with the UKBFF in Body fitness and receiving an invite to the British finals.
Also representing my county in 3 different sports, Golf, Gymnastics and Basketball.
Yes I have suffered with a rotator cuff and labrum tear, which needs an operation but I have managed to train smart and therefore hasn’t progressed further, and has in fact improved.
I take regular progress pictures as I find this is the best way to see improvements, during contest prep I use skinfold calipers to measure my body fat once a week.
Being a sponsored athlete with Reflex nutrition most of my supplements are from them.
I would definitely recommend any of the Reflex nutrition supplements, they are of an incredibly high quality and taste amazing!
Be yourself and don’t listen to the naysayers. Set a goal, make no excuses, train hard and smart, keep your training fun and varied. Eat clean!
Born:01/01/1988 – New Years Day!
Height: 5ft 2in
Weight: 64kg off season, 58kg contest.
I started in 2008 when I was a teacher in England.
Because there is so much to learn...
Martial arts, HIIT, interval training, tabatas, sprints. I hate long distance runs!
I just love salads. My favorite salad is made of baby spinach, reduced fat goat cheese, almonds, strawberries and dried raisins.
I am not on a diet I just eat healthy. No processed food. I eat a lot! 6 to 10 sometimes more a day. I need to eat every 2/3 hours or else I just turn into an animal ahahah.
I don’t crave them. My body is so used to healthy food that I don't crave shit anymore lol.
I don't really listen to music but if I do I'll put some punk hardcore music: bodycount, kickback, warzone...
I don't really get into a routine I try to vary my training in order to surprise my body all the time. It also depends if I'm getting ready for a fight or a bodybuilding competition. Then of course you will be on a schedule. When I competed in bodybuilding I was training 5 to 6 days a week bulking until 2/3 weeks out then incorporated some cardio after weightlifting sessions.
I used to do 3 to 5 sets of 10-12 reps depending on muscle group.
At the moment I am no longer lifting but focusing on getting stronger and more explosive as I will probably be having my first mma fight during the fall.
Not really. I am happy with what I'm doing at the moment. I take things as they come. Life is full of surprises!
Yes people telling me I look like a man, that I should stop because it's too much, that I am a lesbian ... A lot of people trying to discourage me or to put me down but I don't care. Haters make me laugh.
Mirror and performance.
I use vitc, minerals, fish oil, protein and Bcaas.
Aurora, aka Miss LZ fit
Year of birth: 1985
Weight: 72kg Height: 5ft 11in
Are you looking for a challenge? Do you want to compete but just don’t think bodybuilding is for you? Well you’re in luck; the Men’s Physique division may be what you’re looking for.
The Men’s Physique division has come a long way since its inception in the NPC. When this class first debuted; it was met with jokes and criticism, but one can’t ignore the obvious that this class has made huge waves in the NPC division and is here to stay.
The judging criterion has evolved over time. The first “pros” chosen for the class initially started off bigger with more musculature. From there competitors were smaller and “softer” than their predecessors. When a new class is developed it takes time for the class distinctions to take hold.
The first year was a rough year was rough for some athletes as they really didn’t know in what condition to come into a show. Be bigger, leaner, etc.? Some athletes changed their overall physiques multiple times, but were continually met with frustration when athletes that looked how they previously looked won their classes, or guys that didn’t have what most deemed a “male physique body”. Different parts of the country had different looks that they seemed to hold over others and so on. This still hold true today.
• Muscularity and Body Condition
Judges will be looking for fit contestants who display proper shape and symmetry combined with muscularity and overall condition. This is not a bodybuilding contest so extreme muscularity should be marked down.
This interpretation can be confusing. How lean? How big? Be sure to look at previous contests in your area and look at what the athletes looked like that did well. Also pay attention to other contests around the country and how the athletes look. This is a good guide to help you when coming in a certain way for a show. Also reach out to people that have experience in the division. Coaches, competitors, judges, etc. At one point they were right where you are and are usually glad to help answer your questions.
• Stage Presence and Personality
Contestants will be asked to walk in board shorts (shorts must be just above the knee in length and can be one inch below the belly button, no spandex and no logos are permitted on the board shorts however a manufacturer’s logo such as Nike symbol or Billabongs are acceptable.)
It is the opinion of many outside of the division, especially bodybuilders; the longer board shorts are there to cover up the lack of legs. Yes some of the physique athletes do have small legs or are very non proportional top to bottom, but that’s not always the case. Some of the best legs I have ever seen are on physique athletes. Does that mean they are the size of Jay Cutlers? No, but they are balanced with great definition and bring together a very symmetrical and aesthetic physique.
I personally believe as many of the physique athletes do that the shorts should be shorter. It is a physique contest and your legs are a part of your physique. I believe that this would make the division even more competitive and bring more support and credibility to the class.
Competitors will enter the stage without a shirt and barefoot. No lewd acts allowed for example the moon pose. Judges are looking for the contestant with the best stage presence and poise who can successfully convey his personality to the audience.
In the realm of posing most athletes would like the freedom to do more of an actual routine to show more of their personality and also have more mandatory poses included such as a double bicep pose. This is a physique contest and some of the best parts of the physique are never shown due to this lack of posing. However because these mandatory poses are regulated nationwide, everyone that competes is on an even playing field and presents the same assets on stage not giving one athlete at advantage over another.
• Competitors will walk to the center of the stage alone and perform quarter (1/4) turns with optional pose of hand on hip or hand in pocket, face the judges as directed then proceed to the side of the stage.
Comparison Round –
• The competitors will be brought back out in a group and directed to do quarter turns
• Judges will have the opportunity to compare competitors against each other in quarter turns.
Promoters can choose to have multiple height classes
For contests with two height classes
• Up to including 5’8”
• Over 5’8”
National level contests do not permit competitors to crossover into Bodybuilding. All other competitions are permitted to have crossovers at the discretion of the promoter with district chairperson’s approval.
Who Qualifies for National Level Men’s Physique Competitions:
From 2013, the top three (3) in a national qualifying Men’s Physique contest will be qualified for the NPC USA and NPC National Championships. The top five (5) will qualify for all other national contests including the NPC Junior USA, NPC Junior National, NPC Team Universe and IFBB North American Championships. At a non-qualifying contest, no athletes are qualified for a national contest.
One-year qualification for the top five (5) places in each class at national-level contests previously listed.
Each show is different and can be changed. Some national shows the winner of each height class will go pro, and others the top two will go pro. This then enables them to compete as an IFBB pro.
A Masters Men’s Physique class also exists at the local level and national level. This gives competitors the ability to compete with others their own age. At local shows it is customary to see a 35 years of age and up class (open to those 35 years of age and up). At national shows it is standard to see an open class (open to all competitors) 35 and up class (open to those35 years of age and up) 40 and up class (open to those 40 years of age and up).
“The advice I would give for anyone wanting to participate in the Men’s Physique division would be you should really research the division. What the other athletes look like, the trends at different shows for who is placing, down to what color of board short works best. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Use the resources you have and educate yourself. Make sure you are doing a routine that is right for you and you have a good diet plan in place too that will build the ideal physique for this class. PRACTICE POSING REGULARILY!! Nutrition is 80% of the equation so put extra emphasis on your nutrition plan. If all of your research and asking questions still leaves you with questions, consider hiring a trainer. I wouldn’t be where I am at today without the help of a coach. All the top athletes in the industry have worked with coaches at one time or another and most all of them still do.
Don’t try to be just like someone else – that’s a recipe for failure. It’s ok to look up to, learn from, and be inspired by others, but don’t put yourself below them and assume they are better than you, be you. Blaze your own trail! You can accomplish anything you want with a strong mind, strong goals, and hard work. So if you want something, go get it. If you try to copy whatever someone else is doing you lose sight of yourself and who you are and what you represent and that will show up on stage.
Surround yourself with positive people and people that help you along the way. Negative people will just bring you down and make it that much harder for you to achieve your goals. The people that bring you down are afraid of change, and feel that you’re positive attitude and hard work somehow makes them have to make those changes too, which scares people, so they will become your worst critics.
Lastly get rid of the Bodybuilding mentality. By all means bring a physique to the stage that you are proud of and you feel best represents you. Bigger however isn’t always better, if you want a bigger physique and more of the bodybuilder look, you may want to consider that class.
Written by: Brandan Fokken
Team Bodybuilding.com Athlete, NPC National Competitor, Beast Sports Nutrition Athlete, NPC Judge
An increasing number of fitness professionals, including personal trainers, nutritionists and sponsored athletes are starting to display worrying trends when it comes to their attitudes towards food. Many are suffering from food aversion and dietary obsession, including starving, purging and binging, as well as introversion and the withdrawal from social situations where food consumption may play a role.
One of the key contributing factors to the onset of eating pathology and mental health disorders is the individuals’ dissatisfaction with the perception of their own body.
Clinical research has shown that the drivers which contribute towards our body image perception are: peer appearance, conversations and criticism, internalisation of appearance ideals, and our own height and weight[ii].
In the fitness industry we are bombarded with images of scantily clad, muscular competitors from both male and female gender every time we turn on our computers or our phones. Pictures, videos, snap chats, instagram, twitter feeds and facebook news bulletins are all bristling with toned, tanned and tight, photo-shopped depictions of the people that we are all striving to be. Or even worse, pictures of ourselves in stage condition when the current us is 5kg over that weight, feeling like a shadow of our former ‘perfect’ self.
Recent studies highlighted that the majority of research into disordered eating has centred on the drive for thinness, which is most commonly observed in girls and women[iii], so have we as a society inadvertently pigeonholed eating disorders as only being applicable if the subject looks like they are about to die?
Studies into normal anorexia sufferers found that the influence of the media portrayal of idealized mainstream female bodies in women's fashion magazines found that women overestimated their own perceived “fatness” further after they had seen pictures of runway models, as opposed to when they saw photographs of neutral objects[iv].
However, if it was the case that runway model images invoked an emotional response in fitness athletes, then these athletes would be motivated by the drive for thinness not the drive for muscularity?
A study found that social standards dictate that male attractiveness is measured in muscularity, not thinness, and thus those males seeking to attain muscularity and perceiving to have not achieved this aesthetic were far more likely to display disordered eating and signs of depression[v].
It is therefore the likely and probable result of the public and social swing in female idealism, shifting from runway-model thin to an almost impossible image of healthy, lean and shredded female muscularity that has played a part in the rise of a new sort of fitness related eating disorder, created by images of our fitness peers.
There is also a subtle but crucial differentiation which has been identified between bodyweight dissatisfaction and muscularity dissatisfaction. Muscularity dissatisfaction has been found to be more prevalent among men who frequently engage in muscle-building or fitness related conversations and when the bodyfat percentage is lower. Females or males with a higher bodyfat % reading are less likely to be dissatisfied with their musculature and are more likely to be concerned with bodyweight and bodyfat issues[vi].
Interestingly what we may find is that as bodyweight drops through disordered eating or purging; competitors will shift from bodyweight dissatisfaction to muscular size dissatisfaction and back again as they bulk to attempt to gain muscle.
Strangely, most female fitness competitors all display a desire to be bigger, more muscular and more defined – this is in stark contrast to medical research into classic eating disorders – for example in a study by Silberstein et al, they found that only 4.4% of the women they studied wanted to become bigger compared with 46.8% of the men.
This suggests that female fitness competitors are more likely to have disordered eating that relates to their bodyfat but that allows for the retention of muscle – this is backed up by studies showing that those who exercise with weights or in bodybuilding are a subpopulation at greatly increased risk of developing eating disorders[vii].
Overall the competitive fitness population seems to be overly concerned with food, overly concerned with weight, body fat and muscularity and is a western phenomena perpetuated by the pursuit of the perfect body – the fitness societies and federations encourage and reward the pursuit of the perfect body because it is an ideal that symbolizes the attainment of numerous personal virtues and achievements.
To summarise: Are fitness competitors becoming the unrecognised victims of wide-spread disordered eating and depression caused by body dissatisfaction?
Written by: Georgia B Simmons
REFERENCES: [i] Journal of Youth and Adolescence January 2011, Volume 40, Issue 1, pp 59-71, ‘Body Dissatisfaction Among Adolescent Boys and Girls: The Effects of Body Mass, Peer Appearance Culture and Internalization of Appearance Ideals’, Margaret Lawler, Elizabeth Nixon [ii] Margaret Lawler, Elizabeth Nixon [iii] Journal of American College Health, Volume 48, Issue 6, 2000 , ‘An Exploration of the Drive for Muscularity in Adolescent Boys and Girls’, Donald R. McCreary PhD & Doris K. Sasse PhD [iv] The British Journal of Psychiatry (1993) 162: 837-840, ‘Media influences on body size estimation in anorexia and bulimia. An experimental study’, K Hamilton , G Waller [v] Donald R. McCreary PhD & Doris K. Sasse PhD [vi] Journal of Youth and Adolescence, December 2005, Volume 34, Issue 6, pp 629-636, ‘Adolescent Boys and Body Image: Weight and Muscularity Concerns as Dual Pathways to Body Dissatisfaction’, Diane Carlson Jones, Joy K. Crawford [vii] Franco et al (1988) [viii] Brownell, K. D. (1991). Dieting and the search for the perfect body: Where physiology and culture collide. Behaviour Therapy, 22, 1–12.
I have always been into fitness and sport since I was a young girl, starting off with dancing and then continuing on to do pretty much all sports possible. When I left high school I was introduced to weights by a friend and since then I have not stopped! I love training and everything about training, and couldn’t ever imagine a life not doing it.
My main motivation comes from within – The desire to keep moving forward and to continue to improve my physique and my fitness. On top of all this my fans and clients continually motivate me to push the limits and I couldn’t be more grateful. The kind messages and thoughts that people share about me are a constant reminder to keep living a fit and healthy lifestyle and to keep empowering others.
My preferred form of cardio is H.I.I.T. It is an exercise approach alternating periods of short intense anaerobic exercise with less-intense recovery periods. I do this method using the treadmill, the rower, skipping ropes, kettlebells, sleds or battle ropes.
To be honest my absolute favourite thing is ice cream. So the best healthy recipe for me is making my protein shakes in my magic bullet with HEAPS of ICE and it turns into a thick shake AKA ice cream ;)
As my time is very limited my sponsor 'My Muscle Chef' makes sure that all my food is prepped and exactly what I require. I eat 6 – 7 meals per day which consist of 4-5 main meals with lean meats, complex carbs, good fats, veggies and 1 – 2 Optimum Nutrition Protein Shakes.
I schedule a cheat meal every week. Usually on a weekend I will have one night when I am relaxed where I will eat a dinner and a dessert. This rewards me for a hard week of training and then motivates me for another week ahead.
Yes, music is a must for me!!! I listen to a lot of different albums, from Drake, Chris Brown, Dj Snake, the list goes on! Sound cloud is my best friend!
My training routine is never the same. In saying that yes I have structure and records of what weights I lift but I am constantly reprogramming my training, depending on if I’m in my strength phase, hypertrophy phase or endurance phases. Plus simple things such as mixing up an exercise from using a dumbbell, barbell, machine or cables.
At the moment my current plan is:
Saturday: Full Body cross training session
Sunday: Rest day
Yes absolutely. I believe setting short-term and long-term goals are very important! At the beginning of every year I reflect upon the year that passed and what goals I achieved. I then always set short-term and long-term goals for the year ahead and make a plan of action with the steps I need to make to move forward to achieve those goals.
I believe EVERYONE has their OWN obstacles and setback towards achieving their goal physique, whether it’s a physical injury, or even an emotional setback. It’s the process we take to overcome these setbacks that make overcoming them that much more rewarding.
I measure my progress every way possible, yes I weigh myself and I get the occasional dexa scan to get an understanding on what is happening with my body composition. But the best for me is the mirror and the way my clothes fit my body. Scales can’t tell you if you have lost water, fat, or muscle. Clothes and the mirror usually will. I also like to measure my performance, both cardiovascular and strength wise. It is so important to have performance goals off comp season to give you goals between comp preps. Remember it’s not all about how you look, it’s also about how you FEEL!
Paige Hathaway and Amber Dawn Orton.
Age: 24 years old (1990)
Optimum Nutrition – My Muscle Chef – Gripped Fitness – Greenteax50 - Core 150 – Lift Watches
A quick and easy video recipe for Quest Style Bar Recipe – Cinnamon Roll
Simon’s Channel: www.youtube.com/user/thedietkitchen