Chelsea Verdoliva - Bikini Competitor

I've always been around the bodybuilding and competing world because my grandfather use to body build and power lift back in the day in Brooklyn. He later taught my father everything he knew and later it was passed on to me when I was 18 years old when I graduated High School and I stopped playing sports. (I played tennis, gymnastics and cheerleading for about 7 years). My father wanted me to get a good foundation before I even thought about competing, and that took time. I would ask every year before the competitions started and it wasn't until this past April 2017 that he said I was completely ready. So my father introduced me to his good friend, who coaches and he's been coaching me ever since.

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My metabolism has always been fast, but it sped up a lot more when I started to eat strictly and very clean. I eat 5 meals a day. They include egg whites, cream of rice in the morning and then chicken or turkey with a vegetable and carb (jasmine rice or sweet potato). My first competition I followed that strictly but as my second show came two weeks later I dropped weight fast, so I had to have 2 cheat meals a week.

I lift 6 days a week 1-2 hours, focusing on a certain body part every day. I train legs 3-4 times a week, with my coach and on my own. Depending on how much time I have for cardio I try to do it 3-4 times a week, 2 times I do HIIT.

I had self-confidence before hitting the stage, but it is nerve wracking if you've never been up there. Before my first competition I practice posing every day every chance I got. Going to a posing coach definitely helped and made me feel more comfortable. The most self-confidence came after going on stage for the first time during Pre-judging Novice, I was a deer in headlights and it showed but after that and going back on stage for Open and then my next competition I felt 1000x better.

My first contest ever was Bev Francis Atlantic States 2017, which is one of the biggest shows of the year. I competed in Novice and Open Class. It was a great show and I got to compete with a friend and team mate, who competing before so she "took me under her wing" per say so I had someone to show me the ropes. It was a very long day with check-ins at 8 A.M, and then having to get makeup done and the finishing touches on my tan. Then it was a waiting game, Bikini competitors always goes on last in pre-judging and finals so I met a lot of amazing people, watched all the other categories. When it came time to go on stage I was so nervous, overthinking everything and just hoping to go out there with the best I had and show all the hard work I put in, but ultimately just have fun. When finals came around, everyone pretty much knows our placings, I was very happy with my places in both classes considering it was my first show ever. (Novice 3rd, Open 6th) I was little disappointed in myself by only missing being Nationally Qualified by 1 place, but I was happy overall. I knew what I had to work on and I improved a lot for my second show.

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Being an athlete affects my life in a lot of ways. Training and balancing my diet is very big part for the end result I work towards and some people don't get why I dedicated so much time but I truly enjoy the process and end result. It's not all about competing for me, even though I love to compete. I love even more seeing how my body changes, how far I can push myself, mentally and physically and just meeting some awesome people that you share your experiences with and they can do the same because you understand what each other is going through.

The future for me is definitely something I'm excited for. I'm going to continue to train for the next season in 2018 and bring an even better package then I did this year and see how far I can go. I'm also finishing up my Bachelors Degree and applying to Med School to become a Surgeon (Don't know what area but it's between Cardiac and Neuro).


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