The whole bikini/sports modeling industry is booming! But why? For me personally over a year ago now I began working towards my first show. How did I start? Well I was actually sprinting quit seriously 200/400m mainly at a national level when I faced injury after injury, I pulled hamstrings several times, calves, rolled ligaments in my ankle and had mild back injuries. After rehab, frustration and good and bad injury strict seasons I decided it was time to make a change. The issues in my athletics that caused me problems when I look back at it now were poor glute activation, poor biomechanics in my stride and structural imbalanced in my body. I was always the first one to challenge someone in a training session, run with the boys to push myself or smash out an extra rep but I never took the time to focus on rehabilitation, stretching and looking deeper into the underlying injury issues once they reduced. I began weight training around 18 properly in the gym doing heavy strength and power training for my running, completely different to how I train now ,although this style of training improved my speed and strength in my desired sports it didn't do a lot for my biomechanics and instability's with large compound movements.
As a personal trainer and someone who has a degree in exercise and sport science I then researched and looked at other methods of training, I gathered great knowledge from peers around me and the industries I worked in at strength and conditioning centers and courses that taught me its important to treat the underlying issues before going heavy and hard! This was a hard concept for me to get as I love lifting like that! So I focused about 6 months on my weakness training uni laterally, a lot of posterior chain movements e.g. hamstrings, gluteus, back and very controlled tempos (speed of exercise) and lighter weights. After this I completely noticed a change in my overall body shape, I now wasn't quad heavy and blocky at the front of my body with no shape in my back, shoulders or bottom to strong gluteus and hamstring definition and a wider upper back. After seeing this change I decided about doing my first competition to see how I could now tie in with nutrition to my shape change and achieve a leaner physique and really see a drastic change. For me I'm a competitive person at heart, I love a challenge and don't like not having goals in front of me so I set my sights on march 2012 and began around a 12 weeks initial comp prep from January 1st.
I went on the compete in several shows in my first few months and realized that the hardest part for me was actually getting on stage! Coming from a running background where it didn't matter how you looked and it all came down to who crossed the finish line the fastest this was a insanely different experience. Moving into a sport that is so subjective, so judgmental and so much about your stage presence and overall characteristics it was a huge shock to me. In my first competition I placed 4th, ill admit I was a bit disappointed and I asked for feedback from the judges, something that I believe is very important, initial feedback was along the lines of your body was great good condition, shape needs more work and a bit more muscle but an overall good package…your stage presence on the other hand, grooming and deportment and bikini choice were questionable, you walked like you were on speed and or like a deer caught in headlights! Hahaha, I took this criticism on the chin and then practiced my posing and walking, grooming and image much more than focusing on training for a while. People often say “that show was rigged” or “she had the best package and she came 3rd”, etc. when its so important to see that its about the overall not just your body. Confidence is key and that is often not a natural thing for all of us like myself, I have faced body battles in the past like many young girls and I even had a slight eating disorder at the age of 16/17 where I was bulimic and believed I was overweight when in fact I was just a bit more muscular than the other girls my age and looking back at photos I was very thin and athletic. My confidence was always low even though I may have projected a confidence exterior and this was always a battle growing up that not many people new about. After this competition I didn't know if I would have a future in the sport but I new that I wasn't going to go out without one last bang and attempt at it, so I went on to pose and practice all the time, trying to smile naturally and relax, I learnt to love my body and my achievements and be proud of what I had done when I got up there on the stage the next time. The next shows I placed consecutively, 2nd in INBA sports model then 1st in NABBA WA and 2nd at the nationals. I began to love the journey, the stage, the whole cimpeition seen and more importantly how my body could change. It was then 6 months to the next show and I set my sights back on IFBB I wanted to improve so much on my march show, I came in fuller, more muscular, leaner through my mid section and hamstrings and more importantly more confident, groomed and poised on stage, I felt at home! This time I placed top 3 and went on to nationals and FitX in march 2013. FitX was my first win in a show I came 1st and could not believe it, It was my first time and I remember leaving and saying to my best friend I'm just going to do this one for fun so I get to go and meet the pro's it will be a practice run for Perth and great experience. I was relaxed and had not expectations and enjoyed the journey and the 1st place was so un expected and the icing on the cake after a very rigorous prep. Its often those moment that you relax and enjoy the ride that you get to shine and reflect the most. So the way I see it is if you are competitive, can handle criticism, want to challenge yourself and see your body change and be very dedicated this may be the sport for you. Make sure your in it for the right reasons, for you and know one else as it really becomes a lifestyle and there truly is no off season for those who are dedicated.
I think another big reason why I love the sport is that the training actually strengthens your body, I ventured back to the track a few weeks ago for a sprint interval session and I felt just as strong or stronger than I used to, powerful and fit from my resistance training. All of my compound movements have now strengthen also my Squats, deadlifts, bench everything are much stronger than when I was a sprinter. This is due to my improvements in biomechanics, structural work in the gym and activating muscles more efficiently that were not firing correctly before, the past 1.5 years has been a big rehab for my old injuries and maybe one day ill be back down at the track….although my lactic tolerance has severally decreased after a few 400s I had the biggest jelly legs in the world!
I will seek to improve my body, confidence and mind further in this sport and set my sights on new goals every day, week and year to be the very best ME that I envisage for myself, not for anyone else, not to anyone elses standards but for my own personal journey and that's what its truly about.
Muscle Worx 4 Her