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I first started weight training when I wanted to tone up a bit for the Australian Swimsuit Calendar shoot I had coming up so I started going to the gym with my partner. Since I had no other females to work out with I would work out with Chris just doing what he did with a fraction of the weight. It was addictive! The biggest adjustment though was my diet. After seeing the massive difference a clean and calorie/carb controlled diet made to my body as well as cutting out all alcohol and soft drinks. I don’t think I could ever go back to eating the way I used to. I started watching Olympia and the Arnolds on YouTube and saw that they had a bikini section. “These girls are amazing!” I thought to myself. I now had my new goal!
I often watch clips and DVDs from Olympia, the Arnolds and other pro comps that upload their competitions online. Meeting the competitors I admire and watch is important too, because in photos everyone looks 6 foot tall and huge if you do not have a person next to them to compare him or her to.
I love getting that excitement of being on stage and showing off what I’ve been working on. All the early mornings, dieting, cardio and weight sessions will pay off in the end and I will be on stage too showing my physique at the best condition I can have it in.
Receiving feedback from the judges is so important and eliminates a lot of the confusion as to what they are looking for.
I also look at my previous competition pictures and look at what I want to work on and “grow”. This makes sure I get on stage every time looking better than the last time.
I do like to mix it up by doing my steady state cardio but every 5 min jumping, and doing some plyometrics, then hopping back on the treadmill/stepper/bike.
I do have treats here and there as like many people I have cravings, but I try and keep them controlled e.g. If you’re going to have ice cream try some sorbet or frozen yogurt and only one scoop!!
Usually I just tune into MTV or a music network channel. I am currently looking at getting some wireless earphones so that I can make my own playlist without getting tangled up in the cords while training. (Yes, I’m that clumsy!)
Outside the gym: Being able to juggle daily life with husband, child and home while being able to enjoy training and be able to have personal goals and hobbies without alienating my family.
Inside the gym: 5 days after competing at 3 national shows over 3 weeks in 3 different states I received a phone call to join the Australian team in Tahiti to compete in the IFBB Pacific Championships, which I then won. Then 2 weeks later got married then prepared for the IFBB State and National titles which I was also fortunate enough to win my classes.
The psychological part of dieting and training and realising every little bit matters. Sometimes it's easy to plan out how you are going to train and prep your meals each day and in a perfect world it would all happen like it's written on paper. But there are all the things you didn't account for like getting sick, changing work, relationship issues, sick children, school duties/personal commitments.
Through life I guess it's about tackling each obstacle as best we can to get to our goal.
I’ve had everything from an emergency hospital visit 4 days out from competing to actually competing with a ruptured PIP implant then the next week having surgery to remove it.
Mirror. When you are on stage you haven’t got a sign or a number floating above you stating how much you weigh, how much you can squat or how fast you can run. This sport is how you LOOK on the day of competition. How you get there is everyone’s individual journey.
Jaime Baird has been one of my earlier inspirations, not only how she looks on stage but how she lives her life and the supporting relationship she and her husband have.
Nicole Nagrani, It was a real honour to get to speak with her back stage at IFBB FitX Melbourne, one of the most bubbly and friendly girls not to mention winning Bikini Olympia and the Arnold International in the same year.
Find a good multi-vitamin and greens powder. I use Pharma Greens in strawberry-kiwi as I like the taste. I also use OxyElite Protein as I love the chocolate flavour and doesn’t go all watery.
Sarah Allen (Eveston)
I was born in Durban, South Africa. I then moved to Indonesia then the Philippines where my sister was born, before moving to Australia. I’m an IFBB bikini competitor, wife and mother.
Sponsors: Flush Fitness, Activewear online & Mass Nutrition Chermside.
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