Nicki Carter - Physique Competitor

I am known in my local gym as "Fit Nick", but I haven't always been "Fit Nick". My journey towards a committed lifestyle of fitness and bodybuilding began out of loss...the loss of my mother to heart disease. In late 2007, my mother passed away at the early age of 47 after suffering her first heart attack. This marked a proverbial wake up call in my own life. I determined that the best way to honor my mother was by making healthy lifestyle changes in my life. The gym and the weight room were therapeutic for me in dealing with my grief. I first began my fitness journey by avidly attending strength training oriented group fitness classes and this eventually morphed into me summoning up the courage to enter the weight room and it just progressed from there as I fell in love with the weights and started noticing more and more changes in my body. In 2013, a friend at the gym who also competes asked me if I ever considered competing and I initially laughed, but she encouraged me and pointed me towards a local competition coach and I've been hooked on this lifestyle ever since!

A video posted by Nicki "FitNick" (@fit_chick_nick) on

Diet off-season vs. pre-contest: It doesn't really change in terms of what I eat. I simply eat more of it in the off season. I eat the same contest prep foods both in season and off season, and try to keep things consistent and clean. We reverse diet out of contest season and slowly build calories back up in order to build quality lean mass and minimize fat gain.

I eat 6 meals per day (a meal every 2.5-3 hours). My carbs are primarily "bolused" around my training time. So, if I train in the afternoon or evening, my first 2 meals of the day will be protein and fat based with either no carbs or minimal carbs. I also do a form of carb cycling. I usually have a high carb day on days I train legs or back and all other days are normal carb days.

My diet staples: lean beef, bison, chicken, fish, eggs, egg whites, whey protein, jasmine rice, cream of rice, rice cakes, sweet potatoes, green veggies, nut butters, coconut oil, olive oil, almonds, avocado.

Supplement Staples: Scivation XTEND BCAAs, PrimaForce Glutamine, PrimaForce Creatine, various whey proteins.

In the off season, I enjoy a once per week off plan meal on leg day.

My first prep experience in 2013 was a meal plan based prep. I had specific foods that I ate for specific meals with little to no variety/variability. There was no carb cycling and no manipulation of carb timing in terms of bolusing carbs around workouts. The lack of variability and variety burned me out by the end and set me up for a terrible post show rebound. Also, I've since learned on my new diet that my body responds better with carb cycling and carb timing around my training. The first diet did not teach me how to eat whereas my new diet is a flexible dieting macro based plan, so I have learned how to eat for my goals according to my macro needs in a way that's both enjoyable and sustainable.

A photo posted by Nicki "FitNick" (@fit_chick_nick) on

I lift 5-6 days per week. My lifting program changes every 4-6 weeks. Cardio is very minimal, if any, during my off season. It is primarily HIIT based when I do cardio. Contest prep cardio involves a mix of fasted HIIT and fasted LISS. During contest prep, cardio is increased. When you fuel your body properly, your body will run efficiently. Although I use a flexible dieting macro approach, I do not abuse the flexibility and stick to nutrient dense foods to keep my engines firing on all cylinders so that I can train effectively.

In honesty, I was terrified to step on stage, but that's one of the things I love about competitive bodybuilding! It forces me beyond my comfort zones. Bodybuilding isn't only about building the body. It also builds the mind and strengthens inner resolve and self confidence.

On August 27th, 2016, I competed in the NPC Excalibur Bodybuilding Championship held in Charleston, SC. I competed in both overall and master's women's physique categories and won 1st overall. The show experience from start to finish was phenomenal! Check ins on Friday evening were quick, efficient and seamless! On Saturday, the prejudging and finals couldn't have run smoother. We started everything on time, so meal timing and pump up time we're not an issue at all. I felt well prepared and ready when I stepped on stage. It was an incredible show experience!

My current goal is to enter a year long improvement season to bring up my lagging body parts and to improve my build and symmetry. I would like to aim for Master's Nationals in Pittsburgh for 2018. Although that may seem far away, this is a marathon of a sport and not a sprint. The work is done in the offseason. It's now time to go and grow.

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