So, I really can’t afford a personal trainer but I wanted to get some pro advice. I found a local fitness model who has competed in multiple NPC & IFBB competitions and has her Pro Card. She now solely focuses on personal training – both in person and online. I met with her on Thursday in a dingy little gym in the valley prepared with a million questions:
- What should my body fat percentage be? What should my ideal weight be?
- What types of supplements should I be taking?
- Should I revise my diet according to a specific calculation of macros? And how do I do that?
- How clean should I be eating? Should I be cutting calories or maintaining?
- How much cardio should I be doing?
- Most important: Is February 14th a realistic date that I can be ready to compete?
Now, to be sure – I thought I had the answers to most of these. I just wanted to confirm that I was on the right track and possibly get some insight from a pro that I couldn’t get otherwise. But when I walked outta there nearly 3 hours later, my mind had been thoroughly blown. Michele, to be sure, had an awesome body and she knows her shit. She told me that we’d be meeting for approximately an hour and a half, but the information she had for me just kept spilling out and I wasn’t about to stop her. She snapped some pictures of me in a bikini, took my measurements and I gave her some pertinent info like my body weight, BMR and body fat percentage. She put me on a completely different track than I had imagined and gave me a real game plan.
From now (Oct. 4th) through the end of November my main goal is to BUILD MUSCLE! In three specific areas: My shoulders, my back (specifically my lats, or Latissimi dorsi) and my glutes (note I did not just say “Legs” – she wants my focus on my glutes primarily, with my hamstrings secondary). I need to create an hourglass figure. Now, when she told me to build out my lats, I probably visibly grimmaced. Ew, lats? I don’t want a big man back! Then she showed me hers. She lifted up her arms and flexed her lats and I could totally see how creating breadth at the top makes the waist appear tiny. And she doesn’t walk around flexed! She’s smokin’ hot and “manly” is that last word you’d ever use to describe her. So, OK – lats it is. Shoulders are also important. Mine are tiny and I’ve unfortunately been using my traps (Trapezius – extends from the base of your skull down to your shoulder blade) and they are way overdeveloped. I already knew about my glutes – that wasn’t a surprise. Every girl is obsessed with working out her booty. She wants me focusing on single leg exercises which target my glutes only.
Another surprise – she does not want me running! Buh-bye HIIT and long runs on the bike path. She believes that running will burn up too much of my newly-hard-earned muscle, so she wants me walking on the treadmill for about 20-30 minutes at max incline just to raise my heart rate before I hit the weights.
I told her that I’ll be in Dallas for a week during Christmas and all bets are off when I’m there. I mean, I will restrict myself as much as possible but I can’t exclude myself from family dinners. To my surprise – she didn’t care! She said after my 2 months of muscle building, she’ll start to lean me out and I’ll go on a strict eating plan for the first three weeks of December – so by the time I get to Dallas I will already be in relatively good shape. When I get back (around December 29th) I’ll have 7 weeks of hardcore pre-competition prep.
She was confident I could place well in my first competition if I follow her plan. She said my body had “lots of potential” – which, to be honest, NO girl wants to hear! But I heard her out and I agree. She’s looking at me objectively through the lens of a bikini judge. I ain’t gonna let my pride or ego get in the way of hearing her expert opinion or criticism.
I left feeling a combination of new-found determination and motivation, but also some fear and frustration. There were exercises she had me doing that I could barely handle. She tweaked my posture and showed me mistakes I’ve been making for months (hello, giant traps!). How can I walk into the gym without some apprehension? It’s going to take a lot more concentration and a huge amount of time and focus creating more of a mind-muscle connection.
I want this more than ever, especially now that it seems way more real! More updates to come…