Can I just start by saying what a privilege it was to meet the IFBB Figure Pro’s yesterday at FitX – I met Erin Stern, Nicole Wilkins, Alicia Harris and Larissa Reis and had photos taken with all of them – of course!
Every one of them without fail was humble, kind, a little shy almost in Alicia’s case, they’d all just got off stage, taken off their bikini’s and headed straight over to their sponsors stands to spend some time with the long queues of fans. You wouldn’t know that they’d been kept waiting more than 2 hours late before getting on stage, were probably hungry and thirsty and probably just wanted some down time to relax and focus on the finals later that night, they were all welcoming, engaging and patient – professional.
It looks like an easy job just standing around smiling and having your photo taken, and answering the same questions over and over again – week after week in different towns and cities or timezones but its not really – after 10 hours or so on a stand it gets very boring, tiring and dull and the endless travelling is also not as glamorous as it appears – I know, I’ve done it! I also caught up with Lindy Olsen on the Oxygen stand, the more I see of Lindy, the more I feel that she epitomises everything a successful ambassador should be. She is an absolute professional, a seemingly tireless promoter for Oxygen Magazine, and the health industry in general, who always puts you first even when she probably really just wants to sit down for 5 minutes in a quiet place by herself. Awesome.
Hats off to all of them – they all deserve their hard earned success!
So this morning, I was excited to be going to a seminar with Nicole Wilkins and her trainer – after having learnt so much from Lindy and Greg at the ANB Workshop, I wanted to know more about what it takes to be a champion. To me, the relationship between trainer and athlete is the key to this success, you already know my opinion of my trainer and during our interview when he said that not only did he think I could take bodybuilding anywhere, but also that he was prepared to go there with me – I’ll admit that I was left speechless. I didn’t truly know that up until that point and to have someone have that level of belief in you is humbling, as well as a huge responsibility…and it motivates me even more.
ok so back to the seminar
It turned out that there wasn’t a fixed format, very relaxed and informal, just a Q and A session – I wish I could remember all the questions but I can’t there were so many, we went waay over the hour allotted!
we went though Nicoles diet – eat clean at all times, schedule in a cheat so that when you have that piece of cake you can not only enjoy it but you don’t beat yourself up with guilt afterwards! Lots of veggies and protein of course. Tweak things here and there during comp prep because if you do something extreme, your body being the super adapting machine that it is will do something extreme to adapt – and that is when you mess up your hormones – and whilst we were on hormones, Kim advised getting a full blood plan done after every comp.
Re-introduce foods gradually after comp, have an off season eating plan – be aware of how sugar, sodium and dairy affect your body – particularly after comp diet – your body becomes super sensitive to foods after the total cleanness of comp diet so go gently on it.
Drink tons of water!
Kim advocates eating real food whenever possible – sounds sensible doesn’t it? he prefers real food over a shake in the post workout window, and it all comes down to preparation. Nicole also said preparation is the key – she only cooks twice a week if she can.
We went through Nicoles training – generally cardio twice a day during comp prep, mix up high intensity and endurance. Nicole trains her upper body according to bodybuilding style but she trains her legs in a more plyometric style – lots of sprints, steps, squat jumps because her legs ‘puff’ just by Kim looking at them. She said how she loves to work hard and doesn’t need to be yelled at because she just wants to work. Nicole said she often works with a training partner, but when she trains by herself, if she’s doing heavy weights she likes to use the machines – so she doesn’t drop a dumbbell on her head or anything stupid like that
Nicole trains about 4 days a week and tries to keep the sessions shorter less than an hour and she tends to do cardio in the morning, then answer emails from her online clients, then trains her one on one clients, then fits in a weight session before more online client support and maybe another cardio session at night. She’s one busy lady!
Kim was saying how genetically gifted Nicole is for USA Figure and he saw her potential immediately when she came to him to start training. Nicole searched out Kim because she realised she’d got as far as she could go on her own – she was winning at local level, but not at national level.
We went through comp prep, Kim says he does something different every time, every prep is unique because each time Nicoles body is different – they may start further out from a comp and bring her in slowly and before the Olympia Nicole stays at Kims house for the whole week before so he can monitor her every day and tweak things accordingly.
If she flies to a comp then she makes sure she drinks lots of water on the plane to minimise puffiness and makes sure she eats every 3 hours regardless of the timezone.
Nicole is the only person to not only hold IFBB Pro Fitness and IFBB Pro Figure cards at the same time, but she also won them on the same night.
Phew! it was a lot of information – I’m sure I’ve missed a lot out here, but it was a very informative, worthwhile session and however amazing Nicole might look up on stage, she is such a normal down to earth person, who loves doing what she’s doing.
and then she was happy to pose for photos at the end..