So you want to compete?

All Things Fitness, Competition Prep

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The tan, the sparkle, the muscles, the photoshoots, the prizes, the trophies  … It all looks very glam doesn’t it…

Over the past year or so it seems to have become quite ‘trendy ‘ to enter bikini competitions and I’ve seen so many people go about it in great ways but also some very dangerous ways also.

First off the big question…. why do you want to compete?

• because the girls on Instagram are doing it?

• for the likes and follows on Instagram?

• for the free stuff you might get along the way?

• because you hate your body?

 

All of the above are the wrong reasons!

 

 

Competing isn’t something to be taken lightly. It isn’t easy. You have to love your body In your off season as well as when you’re on stage otherwise no improvements will be made. In order to build muscle effectively you need to be in quite a calorie surplus so 1500 calories in your off season just isn’t going to cut it. You have to trust the process that it isn’t going to happen over night,  it’s going to take time, it’s going to test your patience and it’s going to take everything you’ve got.

You HAVE to be strong willed and in a good place mentally. It is very much a psychological journey as much, if not more than a physical one. If you can’t fathom being near to a maintenance calorie level or a surplus at all, this is not the sport for you. It isn’t all about dieting and cutting.

You HAVE to do your research. Which federation do you want to compete with? Which coach can get you there? Which coach has good experience prepping people for that show? What category do you want to enter? What’s your budget?

There are some very dangerous coaches out there who have girls on 500-1000kcal per day with hours of cardio…. THAT IS NOT SAFE. I’m not even sure how these girls function. Do your research!

So you’ve found yourself a coach….

They know their shit. If they’re telling you to eat x amount of calories and do x amount of training, you do it and if you’re concerned talk to them and they’ll be able to tell you their reasonings. Otherwise you’re wasting your money, your time, their time and you’ll be moaning that you aren’t seeing progress but it’s actually really your own fault. If you’re straying from your plan, stay accountable, you are to blame. There’s a reason they’re your coach. Listen to them and TRUST THE PROCESS.

There probably will be mornings close to show day where you have to get up at 5am to sneak in the extra cardio, or night’s where you have to stay up just a little bit later to prep your food. It’s just part of it.

I LOVE the whole process, seeing my body build, learning more about myself and about training every single day, surrounding myself with other people just as passionate as I am. I have got the best and most supportive team behind me and I really feel part of something. I know my nutrition plans and trainings plans are made for me and aren’t a ‘one size fits all‘ job.

Sometimes the days I don’t feel like training actually turn out to be the best sessions and I just get in and get it done.

Sure, I have more opportunities now than ever before with brands/ photographers/ other athletes etc but that’s because you can see it’s something I’m truly passionate about. When I get in the gym I train HARD, I don’t just move things around. At the end of the day you’re only going to get out as much as you put in.

Have I won a trophy yet? no. Is that okay? YES! I’m working for bigger things and always bettering myself, you’ve not seen the best of me yet…

You are not in for an easy ride.

If you’re doing it for the Instagram likes. Don’t.

If you’re in it because it’s something you really truly honestly want to do. Then you’re in for the best time of your life.

 

But before you make any decisions just ask yourself…. why?

 

 

lots of love, Char xx

Here are some proud competing moments:

1.Me on stage

2. Zoe winning twice at the UKBFF at Fitcon

3. Curtis and Rico winning their categories at the Coleman Classic

MATT9973

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It’s the LITTLE*S things….

Recipes

So the lovely Will and Caroline over at Little’s coffe sent me a selection of their flavoured coffees including the new Coconut Island flavour! I’m going to be sharing with you ways to use flavoured coffee in your daily life.

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It was Little’s Maple Walnut and Chocolate Caramel coffees that got me through the last few weeks of my Bikini Competition prep. In those weeks, diet is SO strict and you can’t help but crave sweet treats. So to keep those cravings at bay I’d make myself my favourite cup of Little’s and be VERY satisfied!

Keep an eye out because every week I will be sharing with you a new recipe and way to be using your coffee! Here’s my first recommendation:

LITTLE’S Bulletproof Coffee

You need: 1 mug black  Little’s Coffee + 1 tsp coconut oil

Method: Blend together your cup of coffee and coconut oil in a jug or nutribullet(esque) blender. Pour into your favourite mug. This recipe is particularly good with the Coconut Island flavour.

Honestly that is all you need to do. When blended, the coconut oil also whitens the coffee so there is not need for milk at all. So why coconut oil coffee? Coconut oil is know for its metabolic properties. It raises your metabolism causing you to burn more calories. It also serves as a form of natural energy so in a coffee you’re boosting the energy potential of your cup- the perfect pre-workout coffee!

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Give it a go and let me know how you get on!

Follow Little’s on Instagram here

Check out their website here 

Love Char x

Readjusting post-competition

All Things Fitness, Competition Prep

Going from super lean and having a competition to be ready for and train for to coming out the other side and that structure disappearing can be pretty hard to deal with and adjust to.

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I went from tracking my food every day that my trainer had worked out for me and training with him 5 days a week, an extra day day by myself as well as cardio all of those days, to waking up the day after my competition and none of that being in place anymore.

During prep my mind had played games with me and made me crave bad foods and naughty foods, so I went out and bought them to have once my competition was over. I had also arranged with my flatmates to have a huge Chinese dinner the day after comp too. Half way through my plate and I was super uncomfortable, stomach distended so far out and in pain from the food and quantity of food that my body just wasn’t used to. I then followed this up with a few days of still eating poorly and snacking like crazy and it made me physically sick. In one respect it’s great because it meant that my body was telling me to stop and it actually didn’t want the naughtiness, but still not pleasant to be ill.

So that’s the food side of things. I’m still not tracking my food at the moment but I am eating better and cleaner foods.

I went straight back into training two days after comp, on the Monday. I just couldn’t not train, it had become SUCH a massive part of my life. The only difference being was that I was now training by myself, well with Tyla, but I was so used to being trained by Artur that I felt a by lost and it all felt a bit foreign. I didn’t know what weights I’d been using because I chose not to focus on that before, I didn’t know what order to do the exercises in, I didn’t know how much was too much or too little for my body but because everyone knew me in the gym and what I’d been training for, I had to just pretend I knew what I was doing and that I had my shit together. I didn’t.

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I’ve chosen to spend the next six months focusing on building my upper body to match my lower body. In order to do this, I have to eat more and gain a little body fat so that my body is fuelled correctly in order to grow and not turn to my muscles for energy. Going from super lean to fairly ‘fluffy’ shall we say, is not a process that sits well. It’s a process I need to trust and know is necessary and when I’m feeling logical I know this, but on those emotional days where logic doesn’t come into it, it is hard. Having said that, I want arms and shoulders that are bigger for the next competition so I do know it’s necessary.

So basically what I’m trying to say is that if I didn’t choose to take control, it would be VERY easy to get stuck feeling lost and out of sorts Post-Comp. I know I have my competitions in October to focus on and that’s my next goal and where I’m putting my energy. I need to accept that I don’t NEED visible six pack abs right now, I NEED more (good) food and body fat to fuel my muscle growth.

Yes, I do feel somewhat lost in the gym without Artur training me everyday and I do miss our sessions, but hopefully I might be able to twist his arm into helping me out nearer the time when competition prep is back in full swing again for October. However I do need to learn how to train myself because the luxury of having someone doing it for me does not last forever. Luckily for me, all of the trainers, managers and clients in my gym are highly supportive of me and my journey so if I ever did feel in a pickle there are people there.

If I’m honest, I underestimated how much of a readjustment it would be and how hard it would be but I just need to surround myself with good energy and good people and trust the process.

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Here’s to maintaining my newly grown peachy bum and growing some shoulders and arms to match!

Char x

Pure Elite: My First Competition

Competition Prep

So following my peak week series, it’s about time i updated you on the competition day itself.

I woke up at 6am ready and raring to go… well almost, I actually woke up with a raging headache but it was nothing that a bowl of oats and a coffee couldn’t sort out. I chose to do my own hair and make up for the competition, may as well put my years of dance show prep to use and know exactly what i want and will look like rather than pay someone and feel super guilty if i want to change it after if i don’t like it. So off i set curling my hair and painting my face, my tan from the day before still getting darker by the second. Tyla made me wake her up early so she could sit with me while i get ready so that she didn’t miss a thing from the day- cutie!

Disaster strikes- heart starts palpitating as 70 million beats per minute as I open an email to say that the competition couldn’t find the confirmation for my category change so I was competing as Fitness Model Tall… when I had changed to Bikini Babe Short so unless I could find the confirmation email, thats where I was…. I have never scrolled through my email so fast yet so thoroughly in my entire life. I found it!! Thank goodness! I sent the emails back and everything was fine and i was reassured I would be competing in Bikini Short. With over 300 athletes to organise and with all sorts of category and admin changes to be made in the run up to the show it was only natural that the odd mistake would be made here and there, we are all human! Now that that was sorted I could calm back down and carry on getting excited for the day ahead and my first ever competition.

Once i was as ready as i could be, Dad drove me to Margate Winter Gardens where the competition was being held so that i could get ANOTHER layer of tan applied- that made three coats…Mahogany doesn’t even begin to describe the colour. It’s so peculiar, in a room amongst 300 other tanned athlete, the colour doesn’t look all that extreme because you’re all the same colour. It isn’t until you leave that backstage bubble and see your family who are a normal shade of Human that you really see what colour you are!

The show began at 12.30… (give or take half an hour) with the athletes parade. We all walked on, gave a little wave and the stage filled with 300 odd competitors all crammed together. We had lift off, the excitement escalated and we were off! My category wasn’t on until around 4.30pm so I spent most of the day meeting some really lovely girls and guys, practising my posing and walking and eating rice cakes. I tell you, if you were a fly on the wall in this room and you didn’t know what was going on, what it was all about or anything you would be fascinated and probably think we were the strangest people.

We were the third class after the interval so when the interval came around it was time to jump back into my bikini and heels- well not quite jump, the bikini bottoms required lots of wiggling. I had set myself up with some of the loveliest girls and we just all got excited together, started getting ourselves ‘pumped up’ and lots of ‘ooooh have you got this’ ‘ooooh can i borrow that?’ NOTHING like my dance competition days where there was SO much bitchiness and rivalry. This was perfect.

That’s our call, we were up. Time to head backstage and find out our order and do our final bits to get ourselves in the right headspace to step onstage. I was the penultimate girl in our class, there were about 30 of us and the competition was FIERCE. On i walked for my T walk. Walk, Pose, Walk 3 poses, Walk, Pose, Walk, Pose, walk to the back, pose. Then the first group were called forward for quarter turns. This was our turn to go forward and pose to the front, the side, the back, the other side and then the front so they could see direct comparison before heading back to the back of the stage to keep posing while the other two groups headed forward for their quarter turns. Finally the sassiest pose off happens where all competitors are called forward, everyone fighting to be seen and be at the front in the middle. The best thing to do here is remain graceful, classy and composed and let your posing do the talking. We were DONE! We were ushered off stage.

I came off and was overcome by all of the emotions you could possibly ever feel in one go. I had the time of my life up on that stage. I will openly say that I felt like I wanted to cry because it was over and I loved it so much SADDO! I couldn’t decide whether I then wanted to go out and see my family and friends or just keep backstage until everything was done. I was scared that I’d go out and see them and hear ‘Charlotte you were great, you’ll definitely place’ ‘you were the best up there’ ‘yep you smashed that’ While of course those are always wonderful things to hear, your family and friends will always be biased and we don’t know EXACTLY what the judges are after. I did choose to head out and see everyone and I did hear those things which in some respects does breed disappointment when you don’t place but I know they were just incredibly proud of how far i’d come and were just also incredibly excited in the whole atmosphere. I also got to see pictures and videos of my performance and I will openly say I can’t believe how good my bum and legs looked! So that was a great boost for me.

Results time! We again popped out bikinis and heels back on and went on stage to line up and hope you hear your name and number called out in those all important placings. Now, I didn’t place and while it would have been lovely to place, this was my first competition and I’ve only been training for five months. This competition for me was to get a feel for things, see how it all works and decide if competing was something i wanted to continue to pursue. In the lead up to things I grew concerned that I’d fallen in love with the process of getting to the stage, that there was always the possibility that I’d step on the stage and not enjoy the performance side of it after dreaming of doing it for years. Luckily for me, I LOVED the competition side too. I only trained for five months, what I keep saying to people is, I wouldn’t only train dance for five months of my entire life and EXPECT to land a role on the went end in my first ever audition. So while I didn’t place, I had the time of my life at Pure Elite and am so happy that this was the competition I chose to enter as my first. Stewart and Janine (the founder and director of Pure Elite) have managed to create a competition with a supportive family feel between the competitors and themselves and that’s a really wonderful thing to be able to achieve so thank you both!

I have had my images back from Matt Marsh and he really is incredible, I am so happy with my stage shots. Thank you Matt!

I am planning on competing with Pure Elite in their competition in October. I will be spending the next six months  focusing mainly on building my upper body and mainly maintaining my lower body (okay maybe some booty gains). I will invest more in my posing and stage routine in terms of coaching and professional help, hopefully from The Champion Maker herself Audrey Kaipio. See what magic she can work on this dancer! I have spoken about how proud of myself I am and how happy I was with what i did on stage.That isn’t narcissism, it’s just pride from a huge journey for me. I know I have lots to work on for my next competition and that hard work has already started.

Thank you to everyone who helped me get to the stage and supported me in my journey but most of all thank you to Artur Pavlos my coach/trainer. He transformed me from fairly fit slim dancer to strong bikini competitor. At the end of the competition day, he pulled me in for a big hug and told me how proud  of me he was and we already started speaking then about what we should work on for next time. I started to cry because he told me he was proud. Grandma goes ‘it’s okay Charlotte, there’s always next time’ …. I wasn’t crying because i didn’t place, I was crying because Artur told me he was proud. We had been on one hell of a journey together and my first competition was over!

Here’s to the next six months of building and growth both physically and mentally and Pure Elite i’m coming back for more in October! I’ve got the competition bug now!

Char x