bikini competitor

Top 8 Exercises for Building a Booty

For bikini competitors, having a butt is a requirement. If you weren’t genetically blessed with a booty at birth, these are the best exercises I have found to help bolster your backside. Click on the name of the exercise for instructions.

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1. Squats – Squats are the classic but builder. If you have been intimidated by the squat rack, its time to get over it and go squat!

2. Stiff Leg Deadlifts – Deadlifts Help strengthen hamstrings and the stiff leg version is particularly effective at hitting that spot where the glutes and hamstrings meet.

3. Hip Thrusts – Admittedly this exercise can feel silly, but trust me this is an awesome workout for your glutes.

4. Lunges – One bikini judge told me the best way to build a great butt is to do lunges, loading up the bar as heavy as you can and stepping out as far as you can. What can I say, he was right!

5. Single Leg Hack Squats – I found this exercise quite by accident but it is very effective. I always feel it the next day, and sometimes a few days after.

6. Kick Backs – This is a great exercise for really targeting glut muscles and lifting your back side.

7. Glute Bridge – Glute bridges are a great way to work the glutes in hip extension. Even using just body weight, single leg glute bridges are a killer.

8. Hip Abduction– This helps strengthen the outer thigh and glute area which helps create the desired roundness to glutes.

What are your favorite glute exercises?

What Excuses Are Standing in Your Way?

We all have excuses, some excuses are valid and some are not, but did you know you could have subconscious excuses too?

Subconscious excuses are the ones that you don’t really think about explicitly, but they stop you from doing something anyway. I think this type of excuse is particularly challenging because you may not even realize that you are making it!

Have you ever felt envious of someone’s success or achievements and felt like they were just lucky? This is a key sign that you may be making subconscious excuses standing in the way of your own success. After all, it’s easy to look at a picture of someone receiving their doctorate or on their dream vacation (especially with social media) but did you ever stop to think about what steps and struggles that person made to achieve those things?

I have found myself feeling this way several times throughout my life so I will give you an example. One of my dreams has been to open my own Pilates studio. I look on at successful studio owners with envy, however I had never even bothered to start looking at what steps I would need to take to get there. You know why? Because I was so sure I wouldn’t be able to reach my goal– I didn’t have enough money, I’m not outgoing enough, I’m not a good enough teacher, I don’t know how to market my business. Once I started to actually look at these excuses I realized that they were serving no purpose and that they were actually standing in the way of me even getting started.

What I should have been doing is looking for ways to overcome my excuses– no money? look for investors or get a loan, not outgoing? find someone who is to help me promote my studio, not good enough? take some continuing education classes.

Instead of finding solutions I was creating imaginary problems for myself, which destroyed my confidence to be able to pursue one of my dreams.

If you find yourself in the same boat of envy and excuses, take a hard look at those excuses and come up with contradictions or solutions for them. Then, take the first step toward you goal by turning those solutions into an action plan.

For me, this simply meant googling “How to start a pilates studio” and there are tons of resources out there! Now I have an idea of what I need to do to be able to reach my goal, and it is a lot more manageable than I imagined.

Remember nothing is going to happen if you are just wishing and making excuses, you have to take action to move forward. I encourage you to try this for your own internal excuses, whether they are about fitness, a lifestyle or a career goal, the same process holds true!

What are your subconscious excuses?

Post Competition Binge/Depression

Anyway, today I wanted to do a little post on post-competition blues/binging.

Preparing for a Photoshoot

One of my goals for this year was to do a fitness photo shoot to document the hard work that I have put into my body. Luckily my coached helped me schedule a group photo shoot (to reduce the costs) with my team mates and renowned photographer Brian Landis.

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Brian was a total pro and helped with posing and definitely made me feel comfortable but I wanted to share with you a few tips to help you prepare for a photo shoot in case you have not done one before. I had no clue what to expect when I arrived at the photo shoot and I was VERY nervous.

1. Choose a great photographer- This may seem self explanatory but it really is key to your photo shoot success. Remember, you get what you pay for and if you are doing a free photo shoot expect to work with someone who is not as experienced and just building their portfolio.

Try looking for images you like online or in magazines and find out who did the photographs. Ask around, if a a friend is posting gorgeous professional pics on social media ask her who she worked with and how her experience was.

A good photographer will know lighting, help guide you in your poses and make you feel comfortable without pressuring you.

Another point is that if you shoot with a published photographer and they like working with you they may decide to have your pictures published. This can be a great way to break into fitness modeling!

2. Learn how to pose- It is always a good idea to practice your posing and know what looks good on your body before you do a photo shoot. Also understanding what you want your photos to convey and how to show that. Here are a few links to some guides on how to pose:

 

3. What to bring- Clothes, clothes and more clothes! Bring more than you think you will need, but at least 6-8 looks. Try one your looks before your photo shoot and make sure everything looks good together. You will want to bring a few pairs of shoes to go with your looks too. Usually dramatic more extreme fashion statements are great for photo shoots. Some photographers work with a stylist and will bring clothes you can wear– so ask what they recommend. In addition here is a list of items you may want to bring:

  • Baby oil
  • Make-up for touch ups at least a lip gloss, powder and blush.
  • Scissors- you never know when they might come in handy
  • Snacks- make sure you have healthy fuel that will make you feel great
  • Music- Something fun to help get you in the mood

4. Hair and Make-up:  Unless you are really great at doing your own hair or make-up I recommend hiring someone to do it for you. This will ensure that you look your best in your pictures. Bring touch-up make-up or ask your stylist for a touch-up kit. Ask your photographer who they recommend for hair and make-up if you are not sure where to go. A good photographer will have a great network of professionals to recommend.

5. Body Prep: You want to go into your photo shoot looking great but you don’t have to be completely ripped. A softer look can be great for photo shoots. If you are a competitor, a few days after your competition is a great time to book your photo shoot because you will have that left over glow from your spray tan and you’ll still be in great shape if you don’t go too overboard on your after competition meals! Also make sure your skin looks great by staying hydrated and applying lotion.

I hope this post was helpful. Good luck on your photo shoot!

 

How to Get Rid of Stubborn Fat — No Gimmicks!

Hey guys!

Do you have stubborn fat? You know what I am talking about– your body just favors one place to store fat over another place. For women its usually but and thighs for guys its usually the gut.

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One roadblock I had been coming up against is losing the fat right around my belly button. I am thin– 120lb and 5’7″– and I stay around that weight even when I am not competing but the fat right at my belly button does not want to go anywhere!

I started noticing this after I had my son, I know that it is not just loose skin. At first I thought it was due to a hormonal change, and some people said that when they stopped breast feeding they lost weight in there belly, but unfortunately for me this did not happen.

If you are a competitor, you know that a small waist is one of the key points that they look for and my body was just not cooperating.

So you know what I did, I decreased my calories a little bit and increased my cardio a little bit and my waist has come down an inch!

I believe that our body stores fat in preferred zones for many reasons including genetics and hormones. Although it may be the last fat to come off, it will come off if you continue dieting and exercising properly. While that body part may never look as good as someone who is more genetically gifted in that area, trust that by continuing to lose weight that fat will come off. Losing weight is a game of calories in vs. calories out.

I have heard several different theories on how to spot reduce, but I do not believe anything has ever been clinically proven to reduce fat in a targeted region.

That’s the beauty of body building– you can’t choose where you burn fat but you can choose wear you build muscle, its all about building muscle to create the illusion of  the figure you want and then losing the fat to reveal that frame.

Although it can be hard to trust the process and you may feel like you will never lose that last little bit of stubborn fat. I promise that it will come off if you stick with you diet and track your progress. Hope that helps!

Where do you store fat? Do you believe you can spot reduce?

 

Skin prep for the Perfect Spray Tan

I have had the curse of a horrible spray tan every time I  have competed up until my last competition. Although, ultimately, I don’t feel that my bad spray tan really made that big of a difference in my placing, if you get the spray tan right, that is one less thing you have to worry about. Today I wanted to tell you what I did differently that made the difference between great spray tan and horrible spray tan.

Bad Spray Tan!

Bad Spray Tan! (That’s my stomach in case you were wondering…)

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Good spray tan! (didn’t have a close up)

Here’s what you will need:

  • Moisturizing Sugar Scrub (or make your own)
  • Non-moisturizing sugar scrub (or make your own)
  • Non-moisturizing gel soap
  • Baking Soda

 

First, the week before the competition I went to whole foods and bought one of the sugar scrubs they sell in bulk. The one I got was coconut/sugar but I am sure you could use another one as long as it has both essential oils and sugar. The oils are important because they will really moisturize your skin. You could also make your own by combining sugar with coconut oil. The point is that you want to exfoliate and moisturize.

Liquid Sun Rayz has a competition prep pack that has a sugar scrub and body butter that you could also use.

Use the scrub in the shower everyday the week before the competition up until the day before the spray tan. Because the scrub has the coconut oil already in it you save a step because you don’t have to cake on extra moisturizer. However, if you have really dry skin you might want to moisturize again either in the morning or at night depending on when you use the scrub.

Shave your whole body Monday, Tuesday and Thursday the week of the competition. This is to ensure that you get everything as smooth as possible. DO NOT wax because waxing can leave residue on your skin. Do NOT shave the day of my tan because it opens your pores which can leave little black dots on your skin if you get sprayed too soon after shaving.

The day of the competition, moisturize in the morning and then before you go to get your spray tan take a shower using a non-moisturizing scrub. I used THIS black sugar and charcoal scrub by freeman, but you could use the Liquid Sun Rayz scrub. Make a paste with baking soda and scrub that all over your body to neutralize your skin Ph. Then rinse with a gel, non-moisturizing soap to get all the residue off.

That’s it! Simple. Follow these steps and you will get a great even spray tan. Also don’t forget to wear very baggy clothing to protect your tan.

How does your spray tan take? Good? Not so good? Any tips or tricks?

Choosing Your Competition Bikini

Hey guys Hope you are having a nice weekend and Happy Father’s day.

I really wanted to post about choosing a competition bikini because it is something that felt really confusing to me when I first started. The chooses can be overwhelming and it is hard to know what the judges are looking for if you are unfamiliar with bikini competitions.

First, let’s start with wear to buy your suit. I got my bikini from Waterbabies but here is a list of some popular suit makers:

 

COLOR

Next let’s talk about color. You want to choose a bold, dark color that will not be washed out on stage. Primary colors tend to pop so start by looking at blues, reds, yellows. Besides primary colors bold purple and green can look great too. Orange and pink tend to blend in with the spray tan and pink can come off as cliche. Do not choose pastels or white. These colors tend to wash out under the bright lights and it is easy for the spray tan to rub off on lighter colors making the suit look dirty. I wouldn’t go crazy with patterns or lace that could distract from your physique.

FIT

There will be lots of options for fit. For smaller busted girls, definitely go with a molded cup and ask for pockets so that you can stuff your top. Usually you can choose between the size and shape of the top and bottoms. It is best to stick with the traditional triangle top rather than selecting something different or asymmetrical- choose skinny or regular triangle based on your bust size. For bottoms make sure the back is a scrunch to enhance that shape of your rear. For NPC 1/3 of your glutes should be covered, but I think keeping this guideline in mind less coverage shows off more of your hard work! If you have any questions about fit and sizing reach out to the suit company and ask before you buy.

CONNECTORS

source:alibaba.com

Connectors are the sparkly bits that connect the parts of your suit together. You can have connectors on the straps at your neckline, between your cups and on the sides of your bottoms. Some companies also offer an option to have sparkly back connectors. My advice for you is to look at what the pros are wearing and try to mimic that within your budget. Right now the dangly connectors on the hip are popular. If you are on a tight budget this is one of the areas you can save on by choosing less expensive connectors. One other tip is to avoid choosing connectors that have small details. These have a tendency to break.

EMBELLISHMENTS

Sequin vs. Bling? I say if you have the budget for it, go with bling, crystals pick up the light a little better. However, if you are only doing a local show and looking to save money sequins can look great too. One of my favorite suits that I own is a sequined one. Crystals vs. Rhinestones? Make sure you get good quality crystals. Crystals are finely cut pieces of glass or stone that catch light and really sparkle. If your suit maker says that they will put “rhinestones” that can mean anything including bits of dried glue. Trust me, the first suit I ever bought had rhinestones and it looked cheap and tacky. If you are going to spend the money on bling make sure they are quality crystals (Swarovski is one renowned brand of crystal).

BUDGET

Your competition bikini can be very expensive. If you are just getting started, no need to break the bank– You can find great suits for around $100 at some of the sites I listed. Set yourself a budget and work from there. Also if you have a budget in mind and see a suit that you really like, you can let the designer know about your budget and see if they can make something similar in your price range.

FINAL ADVICE

The competition bikini is a very important part of your competition package. Make sure you are presenting your best self. Even thought I have given several guidelines, the choice is ultimately up to you so choose something that makes you feel amazing on your big day!

Have you bought a suit yet? Any tips or warnings for newbs?

XOXOX
Fitval

Meal Prep: Breakfast ideas

Hi guys!

Its a beautiful weekend, but I’m inside meal preppin’. For those of you in the bodybuilding/fitness world, most of you are familiar with “meal prep” that is, making your meals in advance since you have to eat 5-6 times a day.

Meal prep is a great way to make sure you have healthy eats readily available throughout the week, but I haven’t always been such a big meal prep fan. I made a post not too long ago about “prep-less meal prep.” Basically buying as much pre-prepared healthy food as possible to cut down on my preparation time. That worked well for me for the last two preps because l am always short on time, and the little free time I do have, I don’t want to spend in the kitchen. I wish I liked cooking but I just don’t.

The problem with buying things mostly pre-made is that it gets expensive really quickly. For example, at whole foods, I would buy a 4 pack of plain, pre-cooked chicken breasts for $14.99, while a package of chicken breasts un-cooked costs about $6.00. I also noticed that I have been leaning on convenience foods a lot more lately. Unless I have the foresight to pack myself a few salads for my day I rarely eat the amount of vegetables I should.

I am starting slowly into my competition prep plan this time, and although I did the work-outs last week I did not really follow my meal plan. This week I am trying to start things right by prepping my breakfasts.

Many of my days start at 5:00 am so in the interest of sleep I try to push my wake-up time back as much as possible. Having a healthy breakfast ready to go will help me get some more sleep in and prevent my from relying on less healthy convenience foods.

Since oatmeal and egg whites are on my meal plan for breakfasts here is how I made them more convenient:

Mini Egg White Omlettes:

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1.5 cups of egg whites

1.5 cups Cut up veggies (I used peppers, onions, and tomatoes)

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 & spray muffin tin with oil

2. Put cut up veggies into muffin tin

3. Beat egg whites until fluffy (I cheated and used a food processor)

4. Pour eggs over veggies in muffin tins

5. Bake for 20 min.

 

 

Baked Oatmeal “Muffins”

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2 cups Old fashioned oats

1/2 cup flavored flax oil (I used Barleans blackberry)

1/2 cup Truvia or other sweetener

2/3 cup of milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)

2/3 cup of blueberries

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1.Pre-heat oven to 350 and put cupcake papers in muffin pan

2. Mix dry ingredients

3. Add wet ingredients (including blueberries)

4. Spoon into cupcake papers

5. Bake for 30 min.

 

Now that I am done meal prepping I am excited to eat healthy this week. I have a couple questions for you, though:

1. Any ideas on how to make you grilled chicken breasts taste better/ be less dry?

2. Do you think the Iso bag/ 6 pack bags are worth the money? I currently have a cheap-o cooler and am considering an upgrade.

 

Have a great week!

 

Upcoming Plans

I am feeling pumped. I am super excited for competition season this year. Last year around this time, I had just contacted my coach and was still unsure if I would be able to compete or if I would have to spend more time building muscle. So much has happened since then! Not only did I get nationally qualified, but I competed in my first National level competition and placed top 15 out of 40 girls.

This year I have two main goals:

1. Earn my Pro Card

2. Find Sponsorship

I haven’t quite sat down and figured out how I am going to make the 2nd item on my list happen, but this past weekend, I did a promotional event for a local kickboxing club and got paid to do it. That feels like a step forward to me 😉

This season I have two competitions in my plands:

1. Bev Francis on June 21st

2.Team Universe July 4-5th (National level)

I feel refreshed after having taken time off in the off season, and I am ready to rock and roll with my new plan. I started this week with my new workouts and have been gradually changing my diet. I think this softer start has been a nice way to ease into things so that it doesn’t feel like to much change at once.

In the next few weeks I will post more on prep. I am hoping to get a youtube channel going and post a few videos too, including a competition make-up tutorial.

I am hoping big things are going to happen this year. I hope big things are happening for you too!

 

XOXO

Fitval

Progress Pics!!!

OK I am embarrassed to post these “Before” pictures but I think it is helpful to track progress with pictures. I have been working for almost a year to build muscle and I wanted to show you the results:

 

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Stats:

Before: Weight:116; BF %: 12.8%

After: Weight: 121.3 BF%: 13.8%

Ok, I know the results are not earth shattering and please do excuse the dopey pose, hair and lack of make-up. But check out how my waist appears smaller in the after pic. Also look at how I improved my quads, inner thighs and upper back. My glutes have improved lots too but I am not sure if you can tell from the suit that I am wearing. The lighting is different in these pics so it but I can see major changes in my physique so I am super happy. I will be preparing for a competition in June. Looking forward to seeing how my body changes!

How have you been doing, what have you done that you really think helped change your body.