Tag Archives: Female Fitness

Remain a Fat Burning Machine On and Off Season

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Come competition time, the aim for all competitors is to become as lean as possible, while maintaining a hard physique. Although achieving this type of appearance should be relatively easy, there is one factor that often negates progress in even the most diligent: a slow metabolism.

A slow metabolism is the one thing a competitor does not want to be cursed with, when the main goal is to lose body fat.

Maintain a Healthy Weight Off Season.

The metabolism is adversely affected when one consumes a large amount of food for a certain period of time. In fact, the term yo-yo dieting stems from many peoples attempts to lose weight, while reverting to bad eating habits, when they should be sticking to a more sensible diet.

The body will simply adapt to maintaining a low metabolic rate if it has to continually adjust to a sharp decline in calories for a certain period of time, followed by engorgement for another period of time. This has obvious implications when it comes to losing weight during competition season. Attempting to lose fat at a rapid rate can also result in losses in protein, and loss of muscle protein means a decrease in metabolism. In my opinion, it is very important to keep a high protein diet, along with supplements like glutamine and branched chain amino acids during dieting to avoid muscle loss.

Another problem with drastic weight loss, is an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase (LPL). LPL is a fat storing enzyme that increases when calories are dropped at a significant rate. When your body produces too much LPL and you start to pile on the fat, you will possibly need to diet harder to lose this fat after, which may further increase LPL and making fat loss next to impossible.

Your best bet is to maintain a sensible eating plan during off-season, so when pre-contest rolls around, calories do not have to be severely restricted to lose weight.

Eat Smaller Meals

Eating smaller meals more frequently helps to keep the metabolic rate constantly heightened, and helps to stabilize blood sugar levels. A constantly stimulated metabolism means fat-burning over a longer period of time.

Stabilized blood sugar prevents the hypoglycemia that occurs when one eats a huge meal and feels tired and lethargic soon afterward, due to low glucose levels to the brain. The body is more likely to store fat when in a hypoglycemic state, due to spiked insulin levels.

Train Aerobically

Competitors serious about fat loss should engage in aerobic activity both off-season and pre-contest, to keep the metabolism high. Aerobics, or what we all like to call cardio, has a great effect on fat-loss. Cardio stimulates the metabolism, metabolizes fat directly as a fuel source, and burns carbohydrates. In turn, this will all help to lower the fat-storing potential of these macronutrients.

Cardio can however deplete the body of protein if done too often or for too long. Therefore, if you feel like you are losing muscle pre-contest, it might be a good idea to cut back on cardio to the point where fat, rather than muscle, is being utilized. Depending on the individual, cardio sessions 4-5 times per week for 40-minutes should be sufficient.

Train with weights

This should be an easy one for competitors: training with weights. Weight training builds muscle and muscle stimulates the metabolism to a significant degree. Individuals with more muscle tend to have more efficient metabolisms from the fat-burning effect that comes along with muscle.

Eat Protein

Protein plays a very important role in the fat burning process. Protein stimulates the metabolism far more efficiently than either carbohydrates or fat, due to the energy demands of amino acids.

In fact, studies show that eating a meal high in protein will stimulate the metabolism by as much as 30%, as opposed to fat or carbohydrates which increase it by around 4%. Protein will heighten the metabolic rate for around 12-hours after eating.

Eating sufficient protein shouldn’t be a problem for most competitors, as it is a fundamental requirement in terms of muscle building, and should be an established part of their nutritional plan.

Always eat breakfast

Breakfast has always been the most important meal of the day to most of us, and for good reason: it kick starts the metabolism and helps to negate the possibility of “indulging” later in the day.

Skipping breakfast will keep the body in starvation mode because it has essentially been fasting over an 8 hour sleeping period. When starved for too long, what can happen is the body will need to hang on to every available calorie, and fat loss will be the last thing to occur.

In conclusion, achieving your best body depends on a number of factors, including a functioning metabolism. A slow metabolism can decrease anyone’s chances of losing sufficient body-fat come competition time.

Rather than blaming a slow metabolism on genetic factors, follow these guidelines as best as possible, lose fat, look and feel great!


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Why Do You Compete?


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It’s a question that is asked so often: “Why do you compete”? I know why I do but I thought I’d put the question out there to see the responses.

To Challenge Myself (The most popular answer)

A lot of women who are already fit or bikini ready sometimes feel the need for a higher goal.  Deciding to compete is a way of taking them to the next level. Nothing shows dedication and strength like a fitness competition. They love watching their bodies change from ordinary to extraordinary!  One girl told me  “Win or lose, it didn’t matter. In my eyes I won as soon as I got on the stage”.

To Cross It Off My “Bucket List”

Many women answered that they wanted to do something to feel accomplished. They made the competitions a goal to achieve and then crossed it off their list. The ironic thing was, that they enjoyed competing so much that they became hooked after only one show!

To Defy the Aging Process

As time moves on, so does your strength and physical beauty.   Competitions have an interesting way of stopping that unflattering process. At 40 I could do more push ups that I could at the age of 20, simply because I wasn’t taking my health for granted anymore.  Competing is a great way to fight the aging process and feel confident again. Age shouldn’t define your physique, in fact some of the best bodies I have seen are on women over the age of 40!

A Weight Loss Goal

One girl I talked to had previously weighed 215 lbs before becoming a bikini competitor and you would never have believed it by looking at her now! These are the inspirational stories that move us into our own motivation.

“Competing is to show others that with enough dedication you can achieve ANYTHING! I competed the first time to prove to myself I could do it. I compete now because I love the process of changing my body through diet and exercise. I’m a competitive person, the stage is my carrot!” Kaylee Norton

To Show Off All My Hard Work

A lot of these women are nurses, teachers and moms. They are not interested in walking around town showing off their hard-earned abs. Competing is a perfect way for them to showcase their determination and commitment.  There is so much sacrifice and discipline that goes into this sport. It’s an amazing feeling to finally feel like your hard work is being displayed!

Because IT’S FUN!!!!

Ask any girl 4 weeks out from a competition if she is having fun. Usually you will get the answer “NO!”.  However, ask her again the day of the show and you will get a completely different answer. The pure adrenaline and thrill of the show are like no other feeling in the world. The glamour and sparkle of it all makes you feel beautiful. The lights and music make you feel like you are part of a spectacular Broadway Production for just one evening. A bonus to it all is the new friends you make and the experience that you will remember forever.


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Elspeth Polt – Bikini Athlete


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This blonde beauty has a lot going for her on and off the stage, and she just placed 2nd at the 2012 Arnold International Amateur Bikini competition! What a great accomplishment!

Please read more about Elspeth.

Can you please share with us your background and interests?

My name is Elspeth, or simply just Elle, and I am a fitness and beauty entrepreneur. These two fields encompass two of my greatest passions in life and I am extremely grateful to have the opportunity to pursue what I love. I am a licensed ISSA personal trainer, AFAA certified aerobic instructor, and TIGI trained cosmetologist, and an NPC Bikini Competitor. Through my work I have the privilege of positively affecting my clients’ lives. Watching them evolve both physically and mentally makes every day of work exciting and fulfilling. In addition to helping others achieve their goals, I have also begun and a modeling and fitness competition career of my own. It was a natural step to cross over into this Industry, and I have enjoyed every minute of it! Modeling has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember, and I feel I am at a place in my life where I can translate this passion in front of the camera.

Who has inspired you the most to succeed as a Bikini Competitor?

There are many people I am inspired by and admire in the fitness industry, but Jamie Eason is the first person that comes to mind. I don’t know her personally, but I admire her work and she seems to obtain all the qualities I admire in a person. Not only is she in incredible shape, but she takes the time to truly help people achieve their goals through her column and advice. Also, I feel very fortunate to have very supportive friends, family, and trainer in my life that inspire and support me to do my best and always work hard towards my goals.

What competitions have you made appearances in and what are your placements?

Arnold Amateur Bikini, March 2012: 2nd place Bikini

NPC Kentucky Muscle, November 2011: 1st place Bikini

NPC Ohio and Great Lakes September 2011: 5th place Bikini

NPC IFBB North Americans Cleveland, Ohio Nationals September 2011: 12th Bikini

NPC Mike Francois Class May 2011: Top 10 Bikini

NPC Paradise Cup, October 2010: 3rd Place Bikini

INBA Hawaiian Classic, June 2010: 2nd Place Bikini

NPC Stingrey Classic, April 2010: 2nd Place Bikini

When will be your next show and competing class? I plan to compete at Jr Nationals in June or Team Universe in July, where I will be competing for my IFBB Bikini Pro Card!

Where can fans find out more about you?

Website: www.elspethpolt.com (Links to my Blog, Twitter, and YouTube are on my website)

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Elspeth-Dana-Polt/129017703803999

Words of Advice: Whether you are just beginning on your health and fitness journey, or you’ve been living the lifestyle for quite some time my biggest advice is to always have faith in yourself. We will all have good days and bad ones, but its how we deal our obstacles that molds who we are. For me, I often ‘fall before I fly”, but I always learn, keep my faith, and push on. So work hard, be persistent, and your goals will be achieved! And a special thank you to my sponsor Dymatize and my Trainer and Coach Tim Rice for all their help and support!


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Kristi Winger Szudlo – WBFF Pro Fitness Model


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Beautiful mother of 2, Kristi Winger Szudlo just received her WBFF Pro Card last year and is very excited to hit the pro stage soon!

Please read more about Kristi.

Can you please share with us your background?

I am married to a wonderful man named Brian for almost 9 years, and we have 2 children, a son age 6 and a daughter age 2.5. We also have 2 Austrian Shepard Dogs. I have a full time job in the medical field working in biotech sales in immunology/neurology in the area of Multiple Sclerosis. I am also working toward becoming a personal trainer.   Our family time is always go, go, go! We love to be active together! We work out, swim, surf, golf, play soccer, dance, go to the park, hike, explore, do art, go to museums and we love to vacation!

Who has inspired you the most to succeed as a Fitness Competitor?

I have had two personal mentors that have inspired me, and many whom I have met along the way who I look up to as athletes. My first mentor who got me started into Fitness competitions is the beautiful Melissa Hall Little. She is a former Miss Bikini Universe and she is amazing!  Melissa offered to train me and prepare me for my first fitness competition in June of 2010.  She is a still a wonderful mentor and friend.

My next awesome mentor who I just started with after earning my WBFF Pro Card is the current 2 time WBFF Bikini Diva World Champion and former overall Bikini champion of the Arnold Classic, the stunning Chady Dunmore. She is as amazing as her many accomplishments, and I am so blessed to be working together on some projects with her, learning from her, and have her mentoring my modeling and fitness competition career as well.

I have deep admiration for the incredible Kim Dolan Leto and her work and inspiration for highlighting Fit Moms and for being such a remarkable fit mom herself and so kind to everyone she speaks to. I also admire Jamie Eason and what I see as her ability to stay so marketable and beautiful while never losing her sweet and down to earth self. I aspire to be like these amazing women and many more who are unnamed here but in my mind who I admire and I have had the pleasure of meeting since my first competition in June of 2010.

What competitions have you made appearances in and from these, what were your placements?

 

2010 Fitness and Bikini Competitions

~6/2010 Fitness Universe (Nat’l) – Miami, FL Bikini-13th (FIRST SHOW EVER!)

~8/2010 Carolina Nationals, Fitness Universe- Charlotte, NC-Bikini Classic- WINNER

~10/2010– Midwest Classic, Fitness Universe- Chicago, IL- Bikini Classic- 3rd

~11/2010– Fitness America (Nat’l) – Las Vegas- Bikini Classic- 12th

2011 Fitness and Bikini Competitions

~6/2011 Fitness Universe (Nat’l) – Miami, FL- Bikini Classic- TOP 10, 6th Prelim

~6/2011 WBFF Boston Championship

1) Bikini Diva-Model Tall-3rd Place

2) Fitness Model Tall-7th place

3) Fitness Model 35 – 7th place

~10/2011 WBFF Edmonton Canada Championship-Bikini Diva Model Tall-6th Place

~11/2011 WBFF New England Championship

1) Fitness Model Tall-4th Place,

2) Fitness Model 35 – 1st Place-PRO CARD!!

When is your next upcoming show? What will be your competing class?

I will next compete in the WBFF World competition in the Fitness Model Pro open division. As of now, there is not a Fitness Model 35 division, so unless a new age division is created before World’s, I will compete in the open division.

The amazing WBFF World competition has both an amateur and pro competition at World’s.  It is held in Toronto Canada on August 24 and 25, 2012. I am super pumped to go to compete against the other amazing Pro’s in my division! This year they are offering a pay per view option for those who want to watch their favorite competitor while on stage but cannot come to the show. I am glad that my family and friends can at
tune in live time to see me on stage! That feels great to know loved ones support will be there in many different ways.

Nutrition and Supplementation:

I use a variety, but I do really like Muscle Pharm products best

What’s your current Nutritional Plan in preparation for a Competition? What Supplements do you take when in contest prep?

I eat 60% protein, 20% veggies, and 20% clean carbs off season. I eat 70-75% protein 15-20% green veggies and the balance as clean carbs (or no
carbs) when in season. If I am eating no carbs, then I eat more protein.

I had never taken supplements before for competition prep or any reason until July of 2011 after my first competition with the WBFF. It was
suggested by a trainer who had advised many of the use of supplements and he had years of experience and knowledge. I was curious to see if it would provide all the benefits I had heard supplements can provide.  I have a known low Thyroid condition, known as hypothyroidism. My thyroid disease can make training a struggle at times, but it can also make finding the best balance of supplements while training that can
be beneficial a challenge. After I started my suggested supplement plan, I was totally exhausted for weeks rather than benefiting at all.  I should have carefully checked with my doctor about the supplements and other vitamins I was taking so not to interfere with my medication that I needed to help my thyroid function. After I did consult with my physician I became better educated on what was really best for me and found the right balance.

My advice to others is that if you have any underlying medical condition or even if supplements are new to you, please take time to educate
yourself with a professionally educated and experienced resource so that the supplements you pick work in the best way to benefit and not hinder your training progress or your health.

Weight and Cardio Training Split:

Off season: I do one hour of weights and 30 minutes of cardio rotating cardio routines.  5 days a week

In season: I do 2 hours of weights and 45 minutes in the AM/PM, rotating cardio routines 7 days a week

Off Season

1) Arms/Shoulders/Abs/Upper Back

30 minutes-treadmill or stairs, mixed speeds/inclines/ HIT

2) Legs/Calves/Gluts/Abs/Conditioning points (includes lower back)

Cardio- 30 minutes or cardio class that would be acceptable like spinning or Kickboxing

3) Rest day

On Season

1) Arms/Shoulders/Abs/Upper Back, 45 AM Cardio/45 PM Cardio (switch up on treadmill, stair drills, Stairmaster, etc.)

2) Legs/Calves/Gluts/Abs/Conditioning points (includes lower back) 30 AM Cardio/ 30 PM Cardio (treadmill only-mix up speeds and incline, HIT)

3) Repeat

Where can fans find out more about you?

I have some irons in the fire, so publications are coming but I cannot comment!  Keep your eyes open for me; you never know where I will turn up! Smile!

My Athlete page is:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kristi-Winger-Szudlo-Bikini-Competitor-Fitness-Model/204261569610292

My Facebook page is:

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=568075354#!/profile.php?id=100003118795968

Be Blessed!

~Kristi Winger Szudlo, WBFF Fitness Model Pro


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Becca Goldie – Figure Athlete


Becca has dedicated her life to fitness and health, and continues to inspire those around her to live a fit and active lifestyle. Her passion for fitness definitely shows.

Please read more about Becca.

Can you please share with our readers your background and interests?

I was born and raised on the East coast of Canada and moved to Montreal when I was 19 to study fashion design. While working in the industry I
continued with my love for all things health and fitness on the side and finally took the plunge and decided to compete in 2010. In 2011 I decided to follow my passion for health and fitness and move back to the East coast to begin a career change.

Competing in figure is just a perk of my healthy lifestyle now. I love being healthy and fit enough now to run races, hike, and fully enjoy life. After growing up very overweight with several health problems, I wouldn’t trade my healthy lifestyle for anything now.

In my spare time I love to cook and bake, hike, camp, or just be outside, and spend time with family and friends.

Who has inspired you the most to succeed as a Figure Competitor?

When I began competing my biggest inspiration came from wanting to look like the women in fitness magazines. It began as a competition with myself to push myself to train and compete to look like those women. Over time I came to realize that everyone, myself included, has strengths and weaknesses and there is no logic in trying to look like someone else, it is simply about making yourself the best you can be.

When competing became about bettering myself, and not trying to look like someone else, I began to find inspiration in people I met in my everyday life, other competitors, bloggers and friends and family. Everyone has their story for wanting to be healthy, get active and compete (whether it be in fitness or anything else) and that is what drives me forward.

What competitions have you made appearances in and what are your placings?

To date I have competed in four competitions: IDFA Novice Classic 2010, IDFA Montreal Classic 2010, IDFA Eastern Canada Classic 2010 and the IDFA National Capitol Classic 2011.

I was a finalist for the IDFA Transformation Challenge in 2010, but have not had any placings to date. My biggest goal is never a trophy, but simply to walk off stage knowing I have improved from my last competition.

When is your next show and competing class?

My next competition will be Atlantic Classic Bodybuilding, Figure & Model Championships April 21st in Moncton, New Brunswick and I will be competing in figure medium.

Where can fans find more information about you?

The best place to learn all about me or follow my prep would be my blog http://ihearteggs.wordpress.com


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