Crystal Green - Diet and Training
My diet is a complete 180 from pre-contest to off season. It is more effective for me to completely switch up my plan and my food, so that when I do switch foods my body responds a lot faster. I also eat a lot more meals in the off-season and I do incorporate 2-3 cheat meals a week depending on how much gym time I put in that week. In the off-season I try to work on what the judges gave me feedback on since I have more time to be able to play with my diet and work-outs to see which exercises or routines give me the look the judges have asked for. Generally, I spend my off-season getting back to actually enjoying food and just building, building, building muscle!
The most effective diet for me to lose weight but still be able to hang on to my muscle has been a 3 week rotation diet. For 3 weeks I stick to a high protein diet and about 50/50 with fats and Carbs. As my body begins to level out I will cut out Carbs and fats, but really amp up my protein. This helps me lean out quite well and shave off some of those fat layers. I canít keep low crab too long because I will began to notice muscle loss, so I will rotate back up to a 50/50 crab and fat in-take and decrease my protein a little. I only eat clean foods which really help keep the physique you want even in the off-season just a little more filled out! My in-season meal plan may look something like this:
4 Egg Whites 2 Whole Eggs
1c White Rice
4 oz Beef
6 oz Chicken
1c Sweet Potato
1c Green Beans
6 oz Tilapia
1c Green Beans
1 spoonful nut butter
I cannot stress enough just how important water is for any weight loss and/or fitness program. I will have a LOT of trouble burning off that extra fat if my water intake is not high enough- really carry around that water bottle and get to drinking!
Before I met my trainer I did tons and tons of research about clean dieting and competition dieting. I even began following Lee Lambradaís 12 week Diet plan! While I did begin to notice my body re-shaping and curves I never had before, I was still not getting what I wanted. I still had the love handles in excess, my legs were over powering my booty, my booty was not lifting- no matter how much work I did my body just never really let loose all those stores. When my trainer, Ann Claiborne, formulated a diet for me- I was where I wanted to be within 5 weeks! She taught me that everybody is different and that is why while each diet you find online may have worked for others, it wonít work for you unless you can manipulate it in the right ways to fight your bodyís need. The issue with the diets I was using was a lot of them recommended fruits or really didnít tell me how much protein I should have in a serving. For instance, meal 1 would simply read Egg Whites, Oatmeal and Blueberries. There is quite a difference in 4 egg whites and 12 egg whites or 2 cups of oatmeal and 1/2c oatmeal! Unfortunately a lot of the popular diets are just cookie cutter diets they make a generic shape, to get the shape and form you want you will need to learn how your body reacts to different foods, so you can actually tailor the diet to your body type, genetic inheritance and lifestyle!
I have tried soo many different supplements it is almost embarrassing! Going to a supplement store is so daunting because the labels are all reading the same thing- ultimate fat loss or best lean mass builder! I remember I did a cycle of Relacore PM and Hydroxycut and they just made me feel so neurotic because of the jittery aftermath, but I thought if that is what is takes for the fat to burn then bring it on! Unfortunately, I was never able to really lose more than 5-7 solid pounds using those particular products. In the end my off-season diet plan consists of almost no supplementation with the exception of a pre-workout and then PRO BCAA for after my work-outs. For my pre-workout I use Vasocx from Probody Solutions as well as their PRO BCAA formula. When I hit about 16 weeks from a show, I amp up my water intake and begin supplementing with a protein shake after my workouts- I use LEAN protein from Probody Solutions and SPORT, just depending on if it was a heavy lift day or a polymeric day. At 12 weeks out I will start on a fat burner. I have been using cycle rotations between BURN and FIRE, both also from Probody Solutions.
I like BURN because I do not get jitters at all the entire day, but I am constantly getting energy. I can definitely tell when I forget to take my BURN. When I switch to FIRE I have to be careful because that fat burner will literally set your metabolism on fire! I just have to make sure I am on point with my nutrition or it will burn through me almost too fast- which is actually awesome because that means it is doing exactly what is meant to do! When it is time to start cutting down my Carbs I add in Adrenal Distress which really helps keep me focused and mentally alert- especially since I am in my final college years! I just simply canít afford to drop the ball and the adrenal distress does wonders for me. At around 8 weeks I cycle off of every supplement for 14 days and then I start back on them one at a time. When I am in the final week I cut all supplements except my Adrenal Distress and LEAN. That rotation of supplements has worked for me for 2 shows already and I did the same rotation for my upcoming shows in June and I am right where I want to be, so I consider that a win rotation!
My weight training program is balanced around my body and how I am looking. In the off-season, I focus on what needed the most building, in this case my glutes, but I hit every body part at least twice a week- I take a complete off day every 2 days! I go to the gym and I lift hard and I lift heavy! I will normally put Shoulders/Chest/Triceps on the same day, Back/Biceps on the same day, Leg Day, and then Glutes day! Sometimes if I am feeling frisky I may through in some legs on chest day or I may just do Triceps and Bicep together and hit Chest and Back the next day. I try to keep the same routine for about 3-5 weeks and then completely change it up! I can balance this kind of training routine with a very lenient diet in the off season and just be able to eat and grow. The extra muscle building helps keep my metabolism rising, so I can have that cheat meal when I want it.
In season is a lot different. I have to zone in on what needs the most attention. I tend to get pretty muscular very quickly (thank God for good genetics!). When you begin contest prep that is when knowing your body and being able to dial in your diet plan will come in to play and either make or break you- even if youíre 16 weeks out. Since I do tend to be more muscular, I spend my contest prep taking food away slowly so I can come down in muscularity, but still not get too hard. It is quite a trick! As always, it has to be balanced around your basic metabolic rate and how many calories are in your meal plan- you want enough deficit to shed some fat and tighten up, but not so much that you canít properly work-out when you need to!
So my work-out plan will look something like this:
Sunday- Off- Cheat meal!
Monday- HEAVY Shoulders/Chest/Triceps
Wednesday- Off- High carb day
Friday-Back and Bicep
I fit cardio in as needed. That will usually get amped up more and more the closer I get to a show. I will do anywhere between 20 minutes to 45 minutes of cardio depending on my work-out that day, how close I am to show, how I am looking- or maybe I am just feeling a little bold.