Lori Faren - WBFF Pro

Lori: I picked up my first copy of Oxygen Magazine at the gym while I was in my early 20ís and was immediately inspired by the fitness models. After reading their stories and learning most of them competed in fitness competitions, I found myself learning everything I could about being fit, and I knew someday I wanted to try a competition myself. Although I had been working out for years, I didnít start competing until the age of 37 because I just wasnít ready for the discipline of the diet. I finally got to the point in my life where I wanted a fitness goal and was tired of working out and not seeing the results I desired. I was referred to a local Coach, Mark Nichols with Sledge Gym who has helped me prep for all my shows.

My first competition was a local NPC Show in Oregon where I placed first in my age category and second in my height category. It was shocking to me, to do so well, and I was motivated to work even harder. I then tried the WBFF (World Beauty Fitness & Fashion) where I earned my Pro Card in the Fitness Model category at my second show with the WBFF and only my 3rd competition. I then went on to compete as a WBFF Pro twice; once in the bikini model category and once in the fitness model category. My original goal was to compete in one show as a ďbucket listĒ item, however, after a total of five shows and a Pro Card, it occurred to me that I had achieved far more than I ever dreamed of.

A photo posted by Lori Faren (@1fitfaren) on

Diet and Training

The foods I eat in the off season are very similar to the foods I eat when in competition prep. I maintain a diet of 80% clean foods and leave room for treats during my off season. Some of my off season treats are red wine; frozen yogurt and a good hamburger & fries! I have a HUGE sweet tooth so curbing this during contest prep was something I had to work on. Chewing gum was a big life saver for me! Contest prep starts about 12 weeks out from the show, and I follow a meal plan my Coach prepares for me, based on my body measurements. I have my measurementís and body fat tested every week during prep, and adjustments are made based on the numbers. I have only ever followed a set meal plan and I find this works best for me. I like to know what I will be eating ahead of time, without worrying about counting any macros etc. or not knowing what Iím going to eat for my next meal. When I get closer to my competition and Iím needing to lean out, I have carb cycled and found this was really effective in helping me loose those last few lbs. of fat. Iíve found 5-6 meals per day works well for me. My favorite contest prep meal is my protein pancake breakfast I have every morning; Ĺ cup oatmeal, 5 egg whites & cinnamon. I blend all theses ingredients in a blender and cook it in the form of one big pancake. Itís amazing topped with sugar free syrup and blueberries!! The foods I eat the most (either off season or in prep) are; egg whites, chicken, yams, brown rice, albacore tuna, oatmeal and rice cakes.

I had an off season where I took a few vacations and I didnít know if I was going to compete the following year. When I eventually decided I did want to compete, I knew my prep would be rough because I entered my contest prep a bit heavier than I had in the past. My Coach had me follow a very low carb, high fat diet. I wasnít sure I was going to get to where I needed to be in the amount of time I had, but I did and I stepped on stage really happy with the work I had put in. Although I initially lost weight on this type of plan, I was constantly tired and needed a nap every day. I have definitely learned I need carbs and I will never take them for granted again!

When training for a competition, I usually perform my cardio fasted in the morning and lifting in the afternoon/evening. I follow a pretty basic bodybuilding type program, and have always enjoyed this type of training. I lift approx. 4-5 days per week and when in contest prep, sometimes twice per day. I train each body part separate and usually try and do glutes and delts 2x per week. For cardio, I start out with 3 days a week and then it gets increased closer to show time. I just recently started mixing some HIIT workouts, which Iím really enjoying. Because I love working out and how it makes me feel, I have to force myself to take at least 1-2 days off a week, in which I will sometimes take a yoga class or a long walk with our dogs. During contest prep, I would schedule a yoga class every Sunday, just to give my body a good stretch from all the training and re-charge my mind.

On Stage

For whatever reason, being on stage was one of the easiest parts of competing for me. I was a dancer through my childhood and teenage years, so I was used to being on stage. Learning how to walk and pose for a competition, however, was very difficult. Because itís not a ďnaturalĒ way to walk or stand, I found it very challenging learning what to squeeze and flex. Videoing myself walking and posing was one of the best things I did. It allowed me to see what I actually looked like, versus what I thought I looked like! My Coach suggested to practice for 20 mins per day, and there was also an area at our gym where we could practice our posing skills. Because I compete with the WBFF, I have learned how to show my personality on stage. Itís all about having fun and entertaining the audience. I always look forward to show day, just to get out on stage and show my personality and have fun. The hard part is already done and show day is the time to show it all off!

I remember my very first show at the check in meeting, feeling nauseous seeing all the other competitors, thinking ďwhat am I doing?!Ē A lot of my family and friends showed up to cheer me on, and I think they were the loudest ones in the audience!!! I am forever grateful they came to my first show, and I loved hearing their voices in the crowd, cheering me on.

I love competing with the WBFF because everything is so glamorous. At the Athlete check in, everyone is required to dress up, and itís a chance to show off your hard work a nice dress! I think Iíve been a bit nervous before each show Iíve done, but once Iím out on stage, my nerves calm and I feel like Iím exactly where Iím supposed to be.

I couldnít be happier I chose to follow my dream and compete in a fitness show(s). I feel Iím ready for whatever is next. I recently trained for a photoshoot and loved it. It wasnít as strict as training for a competition but it gave me a goal to work towards and some beautiful pictures for my portfolio. Iíve recently been featured in Natural Muscle Magazine and Oxygen Magazine (which was a dream come true!). My future plans are to continue to work with fitness magazines and my passion is to coach others who are looking to take their fitness to the next level or just learn how to live a fit lifestyle. I am very passionate about nutrition and Iíve learned so much through my journey, and Iíd like share my knowledge with others. I also want to inspire women that itís never too late, no matter what age you are, to take on a new journey or follow your dreams, whatever they may be.

Lori Faren
Instagram: @1fitfaren
Facebook: Lori Ronlund-Faren, WBFF Pro

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