Figure Competition Prep - continued

As far as diets that have worked best for me is a rotation of high carb and low carb days. Fluctuating my carb intake on a daily basis keeps my metabolism guessing. Once my body feels it is too carb depleted then I will add in a lot of complex carbs to give my metabolism the jump start it needed. This method has been most effective for me. The diet that does not work for me is a long-term carb depletion. Again, I have a very speedy metabolism so the more fuel I add to the fire, the more it burns. Dieting is only learned through trial and error and you need to find the formula that works personally for you.

Most of my clients ask me about weight loss supplements and what they can do to speed up their weight loss. My answer to them......there are no short cuts so do your homework! The supplement market is saturated with weight loss pills, drinks, creams and the list goes on and on. I personally believe that we can all lose weight without putting some foreign chemicals in our bodies that were made in a lab. Americans are generally lazy and we are all looking for a quick way to lose the weight. Well guess what? It does not work and if it does it is for a short period of time. I have seen more people try various weight loss products only to gain back what they lost and then some. You need to realize that nothing replaces determination, clean eating and working your tail off (literally) in the gym. So my attitude on weight loss supplements is......YOU DON’T NEED THEM!

Weight training is so important when preparing for a figure competition. I personally like to lift weights 5 days a week so I can split up my body parts each day. I also do a high intensity boot camp once a week that works not only cardio, but strength and endurance. It is one heck of a calorie burn!

My advice to those of you wanting to compete is to focus on different body parts each day and double up on the areas that need to most improvement. For me, back and shoulders need the most work so I hit each twice a week. One day is heavy weight with less reps and the other is lighter weight with more reps. I also love to split legs into two separate workouts. I do quads one day of the week and hams another.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to lift heavy. Put away the cute little weights and start challenging yourself. You should be sweating and fatigued when you are finished with your lifting session. Too many women think they are going to get big by lifting heavy. I lift the same weight as some of my male clients and we don’t look anything alike. Yes, safety is first and you need to slowly build up your strength. If you notice your form is not good, then go down in weight.

Overall, a good balance with diet, cardio, weight training, sheer determination and mental toughness will give you that edge when it comes to stepping on the figure stage. I tell my clients that when they stand on stage they shouldn’t have any regrets because they did their homework. If you have done your work in and out of the gym then your confidence will shine. Remember.....”No Excuses” and that’s “No Mullarkey”!

Karen Mullarkey
"No Mullarkey" Personal Training

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