What does it cost to compete in a bikini competition?

If you are contemplating a journey to the stage, my goal here today is help you navigate the cost of competing!

First of all, I believe that if you are reading this, you have been in the process of searching. You’ve been looking at Instagram and seeing all the gorgeous competitors.  You’ve thought about bikinis and maybe you don’t actually know where to start for this process!  So let’s make a plan.

Gym Membership:02

I’m assuming you have one. You need one.  Cost  will depend on your area. If you need to train at 3:30am  because that’s when you can do it.. get a 24 hour one!!
I own a gym. I have two other gym memberships too. One is the biggest gym in STL and the other is a 24 hour one. I need to train when I can!!
$35+ per month.

Coaching:

jules
I love being a coach!!  My girl Julia and her hardware!!

I fully believe that ALL first time athletes need a competition coach.

I don’t believe all competition coaches are good or qualified. I believe that YOU must interview your potential coach and get as much information as YOU can about what your coach will do for you.  If your coach only gives workouts, no support, no information, no posing, nothing but a cookie cutter diet and that’s ok with you.. you can find so many  who will take your money.

Your coach might be online, or in your area.   Decide which you prefer!!  If you  have actual personal training time with your coach, you are going to pay a lot hourly.
I charge $75 per hour for privates.  Some charge more!!

Please do your research and learn as much as you can about how your competition experience will be. 

Finances: Many coaches make you sign a full year contract that includes off season and prep. You can pay anywhere from $150 monthly to several hundred dollars a month.
Phone calls from the best coaches can be up to $600! I know because I requested one!!

Some coaches will require you to pay in full ahead of time for your prep.  That  could run you $600 or more.

Coaching is generally non refundable and non transferable.  If you don’t keep your end of the bargain, you can be dropped for non compliance.   This may upset some people but if a client is not ready for stage because they are not following their plan, that falls on the client. As a Client  it’s YOUR job to hire the best person then follow through.

Perspective:
Our  bikini team offers a  monthly package of $175 on an auto bill.   We require our clients to stay with the team for at least one month past their show so we can help them reverse diet.

You can find us at SLEEKBIKINITEAM.COM

You may also find coaches who will do monthly payments as well.

I found a coach who is super cheap!!
You probably found a coach who hands out cookie cutter diets and workout plans. 

I want to stress to you.. Find the right person and pay them to help YOU.  

ADVICE: if you see any ads that say “I can take anyone to stage in 12 weeks” 
Run away.  Trust me, every client is different!  I’ve seen this so often and it’s a low calorie, low carb,restricted plan.  Find someone who is a good fit for YOU.  Did I stress this enough?  

Do you need more help choosing a coach?  Look here!

POSING

page2_orig
Karina posed with our Skype posing coach and it was a game changer. 

  Please do not over look posing.  Please do not useYouTube videos to learn to pose.  Please pay the right person to give YOU the best presentation.  If your posing coach gives everyone the same routine, that’s a bad thing!!   Posing coaches with “signature” styles make it obvious to judges who posed the athlete.   The better choice is to find a posing coach who will teach YOU how you look your best.   They will teach you how to
create a presentation for the federation you want to compete and they will be vested in your progress!!  You can look to some amazing Skype coaches as well as local ones.  Please do your homework.  Posing will cost $40-60 per hour.

Do not make the mistake of skimping on your presentation. Hire someone who will be truthful and honest and help you win.

If your posing coach has no idea what to give you for your federation, find someone else!  Don’t waste your money.  Your posing coach should pose your early and then tweak you again when you are stage lean. Things a look different when you are stage lean!!

Do not wait! If you made the decision to compete, hire a coach  right away!

Supplements:

Prosculpt is my thing
Just a smattering of my supplements.

  The basic supplements you may be using  for bikini are Whey protein (or the equivalent), BCAAs,  Pre-workout, multi vitamin, fish oil etc.
I know, I know.. you might know someone who did it without any sups. That’s awesome but most of us will be taking at least a protein supplement.  My first coach had me on a vitamin regiment that was about $200 a month and I purchased from her friend. ASK questions before you sign up!!

Items like Whey will range from about $30-50 a tub.  Shopping places like Amazon, Body building.com and local stores, you can get rewards, points or sales.  Basic supplements will cost $100 a month give or take.

Food:
food

If you are eating Bro (turkey chicken or fish and veggies) your grocery bill is going to be spent on all of that!!  Walmart, Costco, Sams, these are great places to stock up!
If you are IIFYM you can have more choices but you can still stock up!!   Depending on prices in your area, you will spend a good amount on food. Athletes pretty much eat all the time.   I spend about $175 a week on my prep food.

 

Bikini:

crystilini
This one is mineeeeeeeeeee! It was $185 from Crystallini Bikini

Stage Bikini’s come in all price ranges!!  If you want to have   super blingy suit you can spend as much as you want!!  My first two suits from Ravish Sands were $650 each.   I have gone to sequin suits now because I can compete in more than one in my show.  I love them. They are fantastic on stage!  I paid between $150 -$185 for my sequin suits.
Plain suits can be purchased too. Most sites have plain ones for sale so you can really choose one based on your budget.  If you are so inclined, you can purchase your own crystals and bling your own.

Suits are ordered 8 weeks out.
Do you need more info on choosing a suit?

Rental: Of course you can rent or buy second hard also!!  Facebook has several groups for reselling!
elliebrookshoe
Stage shoes :  Most of us will wear the basic style 5 inch clear heel from Ellie “Brooke”.  This shoe is amazing. It fits great. Easy to walk in too!   You can get them on Amazon for about $30.  Of course you can choose your own shoe style and bling.  Price range is up to you!!
Advice: Buy two pairs.   I’ve seen girls blow out a pair of heels backstage and hobble out. I’m an over thinker.

e6af0829d8f9dfae4eb7aedcc0429f4e
Jewelry:  We love our bling!!  I have a huge collection of stage jewelry that I’ve accumulated.  Let me tell you a secret.. don’t spend a fortune!  It gets janky from the tan and it can get lost.  I’ve been at so many shows where someone broke an earring or needed a bracelet and someone gave them their extras.

I purchase my jewelry locally at the import stores. They have huge selections and I got 10 pieces for about $70!!   Amazon has blingy jewelry and you can search IG for the high end suppliers to competitors.  I find it’s not worth the expense because backstage is very chaotic. I’ve lost plenty of things!!  Save your good jewelry for date night!!

Tan
1
This is where you do NOT want to skimp!!  Please hear me on this.  You have trained and dieted for months so do whatever it takes to bring your best package to stage. You will tan with your backstage tanner.  Don’t go to the local tan company and try them out.  Your stage tan is unique!!  It does not have DHA so it will wash off and you do NOT want to look green on stage!!  Your tan will be $100-$200 and you will receive touch ups all day backstage. You should have your tanner providing you with gloss and glue too!   The tanning backstage is generally wonderful!

Hair/Makeup: Someone posted “Do judges like you better if you have long hair, dark hair, extensions. Are you dinged for bangs?  ”

Ok listen to me now.. you are in a subjective sport.  You may find a judge that likes blondes better than redheads. You have one who loves girls in blue suits but hates red because his ex wife wore red.  So the only thing you can do is bring your best package.  The overall package will win. If you want extensions and you love your look, do it.  If you rock a look that isn’t at all you, it will show!   Be the best version of YOU and rock it like you are Beyonce.

Get your nails done with Gel so the tan will not stain it.  That’s an additional 30-40 dollars and remember you need to do your toes in Gel too.  The top coat is fine.
hair
Hair:/makeup: Can you do your own stage hair?  If you are good at it.. awesome. I can’t. I’m far to hungry and emotional to do anything day of show.  I use my own hair and makeup artists.

Backstage will have some options for hair and makeup.  Do your research!!  If you are comfortable without a trial run, they will be a great resource for you and they will most likely touch you up during the day. That will be  about $100 each for Hair/Makeup
20
Private Artists:  Search Facebook Makeup artists group and find the best one for you.   You will have to pay travel for some artists but if you work with them ahead of time, you can show them the look you want.  I’ve paid $180 for makeup with travel.

Do I recommend it. Yes I do.  I need 3 hours to get my look together. That’s just me.
photopic
Doing your own makeup: I set out to do my own makeup. I took lessons from an artist. That cost me about $100 per lesson.  I purchased a rolling makeup kit and about $650 worth of the right color cosmetics for stage.  I ended up paying an artists simply because I ‘m too low carb to do much day of show.   Some ladies are skilled.  Here’s more on makeup if you want to try to do your own.

Other expenses: 
Federation Card : $60-$100
Price per category you compete in
Example: Bikini open  $60+ and Bikini  Novice  $60+
Fee to register for the show  $75 +
Hotel  and other travel expenses TBD
Photography varies by photographer!!!  Backstage photography is worth it!!
At UFE I paid $75 for 10 pics. Stage pictures were about $200.
ufe3

Photoshoots: As you are stage lean, you will book your own photoshoot!!  This is well worth it!! We shoot in every competition season!!  You can do your research on quality photographers who shoot fitness.  Prices will vary in your area.

16831054_10110356675231631_7940275977066910332_n
Karina always had bomb shoots around her shows!  LOVE this.

I know you are working hard. I hope this helps! I wish you so much luck on your plan!
Baby Iggy has no knowledge of competition costs but he supports our desire to shine.
15941367_1508358212510870_81038829478542849_n
t

8 weeks out updates

IMG_0557
Almost..8 weeks out.
I use my blog to show benchmarks in my training/progress. I don’t send pics to coaches  since I’m self coached but I still do weekly pics.  I have been busting my booty this week. I ‘almost’ had a cold but found my way out of that so that’s good.
IMG_0559
T
his is 11 weeks and 8 weeks out. I’m feeling good. Umm.. a zillion miles to go though!

One thing I’m noticing is my recovery time is not super fast. I am not going to say it’s being 50,  but I’m trying to be mindful of that. I am still busting it so hard but as of yet haven’t resorted to endless  time on the cardio equipment daily.  I get some in and will be adding more, but my airdyne bike is keeping me on point.
In my studio, I have a lot of my team cutting for weddings, shows and just because it’s time!  The workouts we are doing are on point to keep us progressing to the end.

Cold: Immune system: abby
I am using thieves oil every single day.  The product I use is DoTerra On guard.  I was feeling terrible
and started a gargle swish thing with a few drops of this. My cold was gone in 1 day. You can use it for
so much but I am determined to stay well this prep.  You can search Pinterest for more on OnGuard
You can get it here from my guru friend, Abby
Remember the other blog post about colds and flu??

New product:
gnc
I LOVE this product.  I am using this as a thermagenic (fat burner) and my creatine. This product has
Dandelion root for water retention.  I feel really good on this one.  You have to drink it before, during and after your workouts. I do 2 scoops for 5g creatine.  It does have CLA so I’m pulling my Abcuts. Be sure to count  5g of fat for this product.   I just supplement around this with my others to meet my needs.

It’s a weird grainy texture. You might not like it but I got used to is after the first day.
I don’t work for GNC. They don’t give me anything. They have a return policy though…

Changes:
I’m not changing macros just yet because what I’m doing is working. My goal is to keep as much food as I can for as long as I can.  I’m using a little more egg white this week to switch it up. Lots of pancakes, mug cakes.

Last night I had a boat load of macros to eat so I ate this
cookie
I modified the hell out of this recipe. No agave. The base of this is
Chick peas. I used peanut butter with no sugar added. I counted
out sixteen 60% cacao unsweetened  chips for the recipe.
The recipe also  has coconut flour, protein powder, and  almond milk.  I loved it.
I hit my macros and everything on this was squeaky clean!!

The rest of my day was perfect. Veggies, lean protein  whole foods.

I’ve been ending my days with a little too many macros left over so I’m trying really hard
this week to go to bed with only protein left.  I feel better. I think I sleep better.

Being on Bro-preps with M6 as egg whites or chicken  was tough.  Now, I try to have
some great food during the day so I don’t mind the egg white pancake as my last.

I’m sure some Negative Nancy- Mr. Boss Around  will fly in here and debate that meal timing does or doesn’t matter and there’s probably some material to back that up. Don’t care.. If it bothers me, it bothers me.
Some of my clients tell me, it matters or it doesn’t matter.  My meal timing is now intuitive on this cut.  Too many carbs before sleep bothers me.   I go to bed at 7pm. lol

Except for pre-post workout, my ish is tight! I eat with purpose!

Here’s a picture of my kitty, Tatu Baby. She’s my smushy!
IMG_0055
Enjoy your day!

Fat Burners: Should I use them?

burn-all-the-fat-meme
One of my competitors asked me about Fat Burners/ Thermagenics today. I wanted to share my experience and maybe it will help you in your decision making for purchases.

Edit: This is a running blog post of what I used each year so it is updated.

First: Stop  buying into the hype! If you see it on IG and it’s MAGIC.. whatever. Understand that supplements don’t solve problems when you eat like crap.  Ok.. here you go.

Dr. Oz gets a check. #truth
Dr. Oz gets a check. #truth

Fat burners/ Thermagenics  can be Stimulant based (caffeine) and non stimulant based. Some of them are “the MOTHER of all FATBURNERS” aggressive and containing derivatives of banned products so beware! I had one Sup guy tell me my Preworkout had Adderall in it.  It had “amperall” which is like a molecule off from Adderall. It was crazy.  Anyway.. you can find some beastly products but is it what you need?  Most people ask about things  like “Green Tea” or Raspberry Ketones, or anything from DR. Oz and other Multi level marketing companies.

For our clients I recommend supplement stores and I suggest you go where the product can be returned if you have an issue.  Be mindful of advertising on things DR. Oz recommends. He gets a check, remember? Many of those green tea fat burners have to build up in your system. I think you could just drink some Green Tea and get on with your life.

You can search my blog for more info on Fat burners, but I want to just share what I’ve personally used.

Fat burners in prep:
Prep is the best possible scenario for Thermagenics. Hopefully, you are eating your best,  and training hard.

The planets have aligned so if you use them, you may see changes. If you are doing  the drive thru expecting a fat burner to ‘block’ all the fat, or save you from your binges.. skip it.

ACK
My first coach on Las Vegas Bikini Team had me on Roxy Lean which is a she beast. That one gave me panic attacks but it did work. I can’t do my family like that so for me, that’s a no go. The cycle with Roxy is 30 days on and then the OxyElite pro so you switch them every 30 days.  You need to cycle off fat burners so don’t get comfy with one. It stops working when you get used to it. Don’t be the girl who stops eating either. I’m not here to condone disordered eating. No way!

Yep
I took Epiq-Shred for one of my shows. I liked it. No stimulant. It’s from GNC.

In 2014 I took Hydroxy-cut SX7 and think it was ok too. It was the non- stim one. Honestly, for me, I think it probably helped me more mentally to have an edge. I’m not entirely sure. In prep, I will do everything I can because that’s what my brain tells me to do.  I got that one at GNC. Of course they have new and improved ones all the time. Go where you can return them if you need to! When you ask about them, remember at GNC they have contests to sell products. Each month it’s a different push. So dig deep and ask them which ones get returned less. Read reviews.  Not picking on them, but do your homework.
cla1

CLA
I do take CLA ,which will give you 5g fat in your macros but it’s very helpful in flushing belly fat. CLA is NOT a fat burner. It is Omegas. We would need our omegas anyway. Again.. not a fat burner.

The one I buy is Abcuts from Walgreens Or you can get the Abcuts Dreamweaver to help you sleep. Abcuts has some super fancy pants products so you can spend a lot or get the basics. Order online or GNC stocks them.

Or.. you can buy straight CLA.
I like Abcuts product and I did see a result. You will  pee your guts out!
Oh.. you have to drink water like crazy on CLA but, we already drink all the water anyway..
cla
This is only 7 days on my plan. I used Ab Cuts, 1 gallon of spring water every day, some very good food and worked out like a boss.  I do not get a check form GNC, abcuts. I’m just sayin…

2015

I didn’t do a fat burner. I tried a few expensive ones in my last 5 or six weeks but they made me have panic attacks. I ended up not using a fat burner at all.

These were the ones I  have tried this one from GNC and it nearly put me in the hospital. You might do ok on this one though. It’s intense.
pGNC1-17664307dt
This one is ‘timed release’ and I’m told, it’s a competitor favorite. This is one of those aggressive ones!!
GNC has a whole page on Hardcore thermogenics now. Just putting that out there.

140048
2016 I went for  Garcinia Sx7.  I had purchased and returned Hydroxycut Black and it gave me terrible panic attacks.  I was more interested in this product for the appetite suppressant.  Honestly, I kind of half assed this fat burner this year. I was hungry in prep which is normal so it did help but I wasn’t taking it every single day.

300x250gym_male
2017 I’m going with this 213 complex from Supplement Superstore.
You can learn more about this product here
This one has the night time and thyroid formula.  I had a great talk with the guys at
Supplement Superstore about why this one is a good fit for me.

Bottom line: It’s personal choice and if your coach wants you to.. Some competitors never use them. The ones I posted here are safe for natural body building.

Lifestyle weight loss,  you have to be smart. If you aren’t 100 percent on point with your program, then save your money.
Buy workout tights with the 100 dollars you save from not buying fat burners!

Summer recipes: Protein Popsicles

iso

Had a great check in with my client, Heather. She is having lots of fun this summer, out and about.
That made me think about the challenge of getting all your protein macros in when you are on the go!

This is one idea that I think would be spectacular!
Check out Isopure’s zero carb protein drink.
We’re the only ones out there who can make a carb-free, clear drink like Zero Carb. One that’s packed with 40g of 100% pure whey protein isolate and 100% awesome taste – 160 calories and 10.2g of BCAA’s in every bottle.  Made with protein so pure you can’t see it – the microfiltration process used to create Isopure® Protein is so complete, it creates the only completely clear milk protein when dissolved in water. Not to mention it’s lactose-free and gluten-free, so you can better your bod without discomfort.  ”

I like these very much. I was thinking it would be easy to pour this into a cooler cup with lots of ice and
fruit to sip on during the busy pool days. Each bottle has 40g protein.  This  could make summer faux drinking intersting too!

Flavors are : Alpine punch, Apple melon, Blue Rasp, Coconut (yummo) Grape Frost, Icy orange , Passion fruit and pineapple orange banana!

Crushed ice and a blender! HELLO!
cocotein
Thinking about the hydration effects of Coconut water but don’t need the ’empty’ calories?
“Tastebud-loving coconut refreshment plus 100% pure whey protein isolate. It’s a perfect post-workout recovery: Hydration with total body-boosting protein benefits. Because Cocotein packs 20 grams of 100% whey protein isolate plus 5.1 g of naturally occurring BCAA’s in every bottle. It’s protein so pure, you can’t see it: The complete microfiltration process used to create Isopure® Protein makes it the only completely clear whey protein when dissolved in water. Not to mention Cocotein is lactose-free, gluten-free, with no added sugar and 100 calories per serving, served up in a sleek 16 fl oz glass bottle (because we want you to be able to see what you’re about to enjoy). So it’ll help boost your bod, without excess bulk.”

Protein Popsicles

I’m thinking of the popsicles
pop

Recipe

Cocotein 1/2 Cup
Coconut milk 1/2 Cup
Ripe bananas 2
Avocados 2
Juice & Zest of Lime 1 Lime
Himalayan crystal salt A pinch

This recipe looks amazing.

Myself, I like the idea of having protein that isn’t super ‘milky’ so using the isopure drinks alone or with fruit, would make
make it very juicy and refreshing when it’s hot!

I have found IsoPure at GNC and stores like SmoothieKing.  You can also order cases
if you like from http://www.theisopurecompany.com/

Stay cool!

Code Pink: Hormones, the scale and Progress

code
Code pink is a cue for all men to leave the building. Girlie stuff in progress!

February no scale challenge is full on!
No one is on the scale.. we are all flying free from that albatross.
Then comes the questions no one speaks of.. the hormone factors with cutting and progress. What if my measurements/pictures stink?

Did I get heavier, more body fat?  Is it real fat?

We all know the gravity of the situation. I will engage you with some humor from Jess, on the New Girl.

Yep.
Yep.

Hormones just get in the way of cutting!   Endless hunger for comfort foods, it’s just a pain in the ass.

So let’s just address it and move on.  It happens.  No one is perfect and no diet is perfect.  The Miss Picky trainer in me will tell you to problem solve the cravings you are having .  But I’m just saying, if you are craving salt, Quest chips probably aren’t going to cut it.
I hope they do….

If you are on prep, it has to.  You have no choice because that’s the choice you made to get to stage.  You and I both know, prep is no time for emotional binges. We have to push through.

When you are trying to track your progress though and your cycle is
involved, you can gain up to 6 pounds of water! I’ve seen it.
Bloating is the worst.  The closer I get to stage, everything bloats me.  I drink over a gallon of water a day and still I’m puffy.

Water pills/diuretics
I take an occasional Water-ex (GNC) when I’m super puffy.
I do not recommend a steady diet of water pills though. I don’t think that’s healthy at all!

Hard core diuretics for stage
Let me share this with you.  My last coach had me use
X-pel before my show. I did 5 days on it, 2 days off then a few days on it  in my peak week. I think it made me look awful!  I could see more cellulite and I just looked ‘dry’.   I did NOT like that.

Winston got PMS too!
Winston got PMS too!

Lifestyle and bloating.
If you are turning in pics and you know you are bloated, do not let it get to you.  My pics this week were just ok.  I could really see I was super puffy.  The 15 cups of skinny pop I had (on my macros) had me holding water like crazy.   Hormonal changes can spike the scale and even your measurements.

It is really important to look at the big picture of your progress .
Take pictures in another week and see the difference when hormones aren’t disrupting your selfies.

xoxo

Top Supplements for fat loss

It’s that time of year!  The Supplement stores are excited to see you coming in and part with all your hard earned cash.  I know you are in search of the magic pills to make you lean and tight.

So  I want to give you the scoop on supplementation and it’s place in fitness weight loss.
The first thing I want to say is

Supplements are for supplementation. They are NOT the solution to your problems.
I do not believe in starting my clients on any supplements until we have gotten their food worked out.
Don’t waste your money on magic pills when you haven’t put down the fast food.
You cannot out train a bad diet and you cannot out supplement one either.

But…

Dr. Oz gets a check. #truth
Dr. Oz gets a check. #truth

Stop listening to Dr. Oz, Oprah, Dr. Phil, Real Housewives and infomercials!
Now, I realize that Dr. Oz is a popular guy and while I believe he knows some things and he’s got a friendly face, I don’t think he really embraces  a brand new fat loss cure every single day of the week. There cannot be that many cures or we’d all be cured from belly fat.  Dr. Oz gets a check. So does Jillian Michaels. Uh-oh! I’m in trouble now. I’ve said something negative about the ‘World’s Toughest Trainer’.
*eye roll*

Supplementation products are terrific in theory. You can wander into Target, Walgreens or GNC and find products that promise you everything  you want. I want you to stop for a second and drink this in. If a product has a famous face on it, it is called a “licensed” product. That means the  celebrity that is ‘endorsing’ it got a check. Many times the product ends up being very kitchen sink-y. The product might have more fillers or less  quality ingredients because the company has to pay for the licensing rights.

So.. walk past those products. A personal side note.. please never give the Kardashian family a dime for any fitness related products. *shakes head* Jillian I get.

So where shall I go?
Return policy is #1
I live in St. Louis and the two competing entities in our area are GNC and Supplement Super Store.
I really like them both, but I recommend GNC for my clients for one solid reason. The return policy is great at GNC. There is no ‘official’  return policy at SS2. Quality products are an investment so if you find a product that doesn’t suit your system or you don’t care for, you need the opportunity to get it right. This is absolutely not an indictment of stores that don’t have a return policy. I have had clients who have reactions to high quality products and it’s hard to let go of 75 dollars for whey protein you can’t use. Begin your search in a store that has a return policy.

But I want some supplements because it’s January and I’m on a diet.
January is awesome. You feel all energized and ready to go. Supplements are deeply discounted for this reason. So I’m trusting that you have  your meal plans in order. I also trust that you are not going to be falling for the cardio only workout of weight loss. So if you are solid and ready to get started some supplements, alright!

I can help you with your meal plans!

 

Do you take a multi?
Take a multivitamin every day. I use GNC Active Multi. Love it. But I’m happy if you are on a One A Day.

Fish oil/Omega 3: Let’s do that too. Got mine at Target for 6 dollars. Fish oil is terrific for making your arteries slick and it also aids in weight loss.
It is believed that omega 3 oil improves the flow of blood to the muscles during exercise and helps to stimulate enzymes which transport fat to where it can be used up for energy. You can get Omega 3 in super foods like Flax oil or Flax seeds as well.

Vitamin C 1000mg daily: Recent studies show that vitamin C helps in weight loss and lowering body fat.
Vitamin C is one of the building blocks for carnitine, which is used by your body to transform fat into the fuel it needs.Taking extra “C” can help balance out cortisol spikes so take it!!

Calcium with D: For your bones. You already knew that! If you are taking calcium chews be sure you are tracking the macros for them!

 

I want weight loss supplements

Do NOT buy fad diet items like HGC, that promise rapid weight loss. You are risking metabolic damage. I will never condone anything other than solid meal plans, proper workouts and lifestyle changes. However, unless you are prepared, you ‘could’ walk out having spent a small fortune. You are doing your homework so now you know.

Fat Burners
There are two types of Fat Burners:
Stimulants (Stim) and Non Stimulant.
If you can take caffeine you ‘might’ do ok on a Stimulant. Fat burners are NOT made to allow you to eat whatever you want.
They raise your metabolism slightly and some have ingredients that stabilize your insulin. Extreme fat burners might have the Geranium oil and use tag lines like the ‘meanest and cruelest’ fat burners on the market. You may really like the idea of sitting on the couch and losing 5 pounds, or sweating like crazy while at your desk, the risks are real. I used a Stim fat burner and had terrible panic attacks. If you are on medications, be wary also. Mixing extreme fat burners if you are on anti-depressants or other mood altering pharms might not be a good idea. Do your research!!

Non-Stimulant Fat burners use ingredients like Green Tea, Raspberry Keto to rev the metabolism. Be wary, they take a long time to get into your system and work. You can certainly drink green tea as a natural fat burner if you prefer.  If you try one of these for a month and don’t like it, you didn’t give it a chance to work! The stores will try to sell you more than one month supply because YOU NEED more than 1 month.

But, there were great results on the commercial!
Those products are tested on people who are most likely
1. sedentary
2. eating terrible
3. out of shape.

They give them a controlled meal plan (read the fine print).
Get them off the couch.   Wow!  huge results!

But: it says I don’t have to exercise if I take this.
If you are still standing by the ‘no exercise’ success stories, you need to save your money on pills.
To lose FAT you need to burn it off. You need a deficit of calories. That is either by lower calorie intake or by training or moving more.   If you are not moving more, you will burn off muscle and that will slow your metabolism down.  Even weight training 3x a week will amp your metabolism. Let’s make good choices this year!!  Get lean the right way!

What I used:
The Non-stim fat burner I used before my first show was Epiq Shred from GNC. I had great results with it taking just one capsule a day.  My second show I used Hydroxy Cut non stim from GNC. It’s not the crappy version from Walgreens.  I liked both of those.

Do not purchase a fat burner that has an appetite suppressant. You must eat to lose weight. If you are not eating you are burning muscle. Your weight loss will be temporary and you will gain even more weight. Don’t be that girl!

 

Here’s my review of a great Fat Burner stack I love for my clients

 

Product Review: Phormula 1 Whey

Rob and I started using 1stPhorm’s Phormula-1 Whey protein several years ago. We were rocking the Juicy Watermelon
flavor before and after lifting.  I was at a bodybuilding show and Supplement SuperStore was there giving samples of their
new flavors CTC and Frooty Loopy.  I went out the next day and bought both.

Phormula-1 whey protein is perfect for before and after workouts. It’s helps in muscle recovery because it goes straight to the muscle.
Some types of whey are slower digesting, like Casein.  When we train at SleekBody, we always begin and end our lifts with a shot of whey protein for amazing results.  This is a great choice.

It also has lower calories and very little carbs.  This is perfect for me because I’m cutting right now.
Per scoop
Calories :approx. 100
Fat: .5-1
Carbs .5-1
Each flavor is a bit different.

Flavor:  The best part about the whey is the taste. I have such a sweet tooth. I love CTC.  It taste like Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal. Well.. it tastes like the bottom of the cereal bowl. I use almond milk at home, but even with water it’s really delish.
I have lots of little Tupperware containers in my gym bag with a half scoop of protein powder in them. I simply add water and shoot it.
No need for a big shake!

Frooty Loops is the flavor of ….. Fruit Loops.  So if you are craving something sweet, this is a great way to go. I do like the Watermelon flavor, but not nearly as much. Rob loves it.  I think the boys like it better. They also have Pink Lemon aid , Citrus Twist, and Cherry Lime-aid.  If you would like  a whey protein that is more juice like, this might be your holy grail.

Texture: This is a super fine powder and it mixes really well in your blender bottle. You won’t be disappointed!

You can pick Phormula-1 at Supplement SuperStores if you live in St. Louis or order it from the site at http://www.1stphorm.com

My friend David is at the Brentwood store and he knows our program very well. He can help you chose some flavors!
xoxo

We call this GAINS in our  house.
We call this GAINS in our house.

Supplement 101: Pre-workout C4 Extreme

In my training, I rely on a pre-workout for amazing results.   There are many pre-workouts on the market and the one
that I like the best is Cellucore’s C4 Extreme.  I want to tell you why a girl like me, would use a product like this.

As a side note:  I know that there are a million reviews, articles, and videos about supplements such as creatine, BA and
pre-workouts, but I want to keep it simple for my clients and those who just want the basics. If you want to get super geeky, then Google away!! 

My supplement philosophy: The supplements that I use and recommend to my Elite clients are to help with muscle recovery and better performance. I do not believe all supplements are perfect for all people.  Everyone is different.  I also do not recommend any supplementation unless your food is correct. If you are someone  who feels that you might enjoy the benefits that a pre- workout can give, C4 might be your holy grail!

Why do I take it?
I am a low energy girl. I’ve been caffeinated since 1982.  Whoohooo…C4  contains 135 mg of caffeine. This is the equivalent of one  8 oz. cup of drip coffee or a double shot of espresso.   Caffeine does help in workouts with mental focus. It makes me fired up and ready to work!   I can tell when my clients pre-workout has kicked in!  It’s GAME ON.

My holy grail: Creatine
C4 has 1 gram of creatine.  I am a huge fan of creatine.   There has been so much research about creatine yet it’s very misunderstood. I have had amazing results with  creatine through both my preps.  Creatine’s benefits include:

1. Building lean muscle mass
2. Assisting with high intensity workouts.  Those arch stairs were a breeze, because creatine assists in athletic performance with longer durations of high intensity work.  I flew up those stairs, like never before and there are LOTS of them.
3. Assisting in anaerobic capacity.  My HIIT workouts are necessary for my prep. I need to be able to workout longer and harder for best results.
4. Building strength.  Who doesn’t want more strength!!
5. Creatine also assists in muscle recovery.

Beta-Alanine.
C4 also contains 1.5 grams of Beta-Alanine.
Beta Alanine is a natural formed amino acid that you typically would find in animal proteins like beef, pork and tuna.

Benefits of Beta-Alanine
1.Boosts explosive muscular strength and power output.
2.Increases muscle mass.
3.Boosts muscular anaerobic  endurance. (HIIT)
4.Increases aerobic endurance.
5. Increases exercise capacity so you can train harder and longer.

Like creatine, BA helps the muscle work longer and harder.  It makes you vascular so you pump more blood to the muscle.
I have always found great success in my prep with a BA/creatine stack.  This stack in C4 is much less than I take during the day so I do supplement with extra to reach my recommended daily amount of 3-5 grams of creatine and 4-5 grams of BA.

Beta Alanine can give you the tingles. Not to worry, if you take it with food, it lessens. It does subside as you take it longer.
I don’t notice it anymore.  You can also increase your water and that helps as well.  A lot of people like the tingles. I don’t mind.

I recommend that everyone investigate the label of your products and make sure that they mesh with your medications or ability to take caffeine.  For that reason, I also recommend you purchase your supplements at a store that has a great return policy.

Where to buy?
I purchased my C4 Extreme at GNC and I love the new Strawberry Margarita flavor. The Fruit Punch flavor is on sale currently at Costco for 38.99 for two 30 serving containers. That’s  a steal!

A friendly reminder:  Stores like GNC have bonus incentives for their sales people to sell certain products each month. I have noticed that I don’t always get the same recommendations on products when I shop at the supplement stores so I like to do my own research.  You *might* go in looking for C4 and be steered to another product based on what their incentives to sell are.  Just tossing that out there.. See if you can score some samples. If the manufacture is making a big push, they will often send samples to the store.  That’s how I found C4.

Cautionary tale
A local trainer once told me that creatine has no benefits and has a placebo effect. He shamed me for taking it and deemed my results basically imaginary. He then posted a link to his favorite workout supplement giving it glowing praise.  His post said he could not have won his trophies without this amazing product.  I looked up the ingredients for his product and found 5 grams of creatine and 5 grams of Beta alanine in the stack.
*smh*

On that note, I am here to assist, to give you my perspective and experience with products I have used.  At the end of the day, you can do amazing discovery and decide what is optimal for your training and desired results!

Green Shake and Prep update

My security blanket is my green shake.
My security blanket is my green shake.

It’s game time! Prep is on! I’m on my leaning meal plan now and I’m ready to see what all that muscle I’ve been putting on
will look like come show time!
I’m about 13.5 weeks from my show, and I’m setting up to drop 1.5 pounds a week. We’ll use that as a starting point and see how
I’m doing closer to the show. This time, I want to come in leaner than my last show, so I’m working on my diet quite a bit differently.
I’m sticking to my macros and measuring everything I eat.

One of the things that helps me is my green shake. I don’t actually enjoy vegetables so I do a shake everyday with about 6 cups of spinach
and cytogreens for athletes. I feel amazing when I drink this. My video will tell you how I do it!

My Bikini
My bikini has been selected! I’m going for a very different package this time and my suit is going to be so beautiful!
I’m working with Ravishsands.com again. They are super nice and are going to make some tweaks for me to get the suit just perfect.
It’s so hard to choose a suit! I don’t think I will ever not get a new suit for each show. It’s one of my favorite things about
the sport. Shopping. I say, bikini competitions are the “new wedding”. You get to pick out a very expensive outfit you’ll probably never wear
again. You get to shop for sexy shoes, jewelry, hair, makeup and of course you are going to pick out all the food you will eat when your show is done.

Workouts

Since last week was impossible to make the gym because of the Polar Vortex, I did a lot of at home workouts. I’m so happy to be
back on schedule now. I am on track lifting and metabolic work. This week’s Plyo was a huge success. We bought a half cage and 300 pounds of plates for our studio so I can do a little more work at Sleek and cut my gym trips shorter.
I had a great PR this week on my Leg Press. I did 4 sets of 8 at 470 pounds. In November, I was at 370 pounds. I’m squatting around 100 pounds, which is very hard for me. VERY. I’ve also adding in thrusting and that is a burn like nothing I’ve ever had. I did 85 pounds for 60 reps. I’m excited to get some glut activation! Whoohoo!

New Squat Rack! It's on!
New Squat Rack! It’s on!

Hope you have an awesome week!!
Keep pushing!!
T

Supplement 101: Let’s learn the basics

Today I want to take a moment to demystify supplementation and it’s place in fitness weight loss.
The first thing I want to say is

Supplements are for supplementation. They are NOT the solution to your problems.
I do not believe in starting my clients on any supplements until we have gotten their food worked out.
Don’t waste your money on magic pills when you haven’t put down the fast food.
You cannot out train a bad diet and you cannot out supplement one either.

But…

Dr. Oz gets a check. #truth
Dr. Oz gets a check. #truth

Stop listening to Dr. Oz
Now, I realize that Dr. Oz is a popular guy and while I believe he knows a lot and he’s got a friendly face, I don’t think he really embraces
a brand new fat loss cure every single day of the week. There cannot be that many cures or we’d all be cured from belly fat.
Dr. Oz gets a check. So does Jillian Michaels. Uh-oh! I’m in trouble now. I’ve said something negative about the ‘World’s Toughest Trainer’.
*eye roll*

Supplementation products are terrific in theory. You can wander into Target, Walgreens or GNC and find products that promise you everything
you want. I want you to stop for a second and drink this in. If a product has a famous face on it, it is called a “licensed” product. That means the
celebrity that is ‘endorsing’ it got a check. Many times the product ends up being very kitchen sink-y. The product might have more fillers or less
quality ingredients because the company has to pay for the licensing rights.

So.. walk past those products. A personal side note.. please never give the Kardashian family a dime for any fitness related products. *shakes head* Jillian I get.

So where shall I go?
Return policy is #1
I live in St. Louis and the two competing entities in our area are GNC and Supplement Super Store.
I really like them both, but I recommend GNC for my clients for one solid reason. The return policy is great at GNC. There is no ‘official’
return policy at SS2. Quality products are an investment so if you find a product that doesn’t suit your system or you don’t care for, you need the opportunity to get it right. This is absolutely not an indictment of stores that don’t have a return policy. I have had clients who have reactions to high quality products and it’s hard to let go of 75 dollars for whey protein you can’t use. Begin your search in a store that has a return policy.

But I want some supplements because it’s January and I’m on a diet.
January is awesome. You feel all energized and ready to go. Supplements are deeply discounted for this reason. So I’m trusting that you have
your meal plans in order. I also trust that you are not going to be falling for the cardio only workout of weight loss. So if you are solid and ready to get started some supplements, alright!

Do you take a multi?
Take a multivitamin every day. I use GNC Active Multi. Love it. But I’m happy if you are on a One A Day.

Fish oil/Omega 3: Let’s do that too. Got mine at Target for 6 dollars. Fish oil is terrific for making your arteries slick and it also aids in weight loss.
It is believed that omega 3 oil improves the flow of blood to the muscles during exercise and helps to stimulate enzymes which transport fat to where it can be used up for energy. You can get Omega 3 in super foods like Flax oil or Flax seeds as well.

Vitamin C 1000mg daily: Recent studies show that vitamin C helps in weight loss and lowering body fat. It’s also important to note that many fat loss programs have less fruit due to the sugar content. Take your C everyday.

Calcium with D: For your bones. You already knew that! Don’t get any chews of any kind. They have corn syrup. Well.. that’s not helping the weight loss!!!

I want weight loss supplements

Do NOT buy fad diet items like HGC, that promise rapid weight loss. You are risking metabolic damage. I will never condone anything other than solid meal plans, proper workouts and lifestyle changes. However, unless you are prepared, you ‘could’ walk out having spent a small fortune. You are doing your homework so now you know.

Fat Burners
There are two types of Fat Burners:
Stimulants (Stim) and Non Stimulant.
If you can take caffeine you ‘might’ do ok on a Stimulant. Fat burners are NOT made to allow you to eat whatever you want.
They raise your metabolism slightly and some have ingredients that stabilize your insulin. Extreme fat burners might have the Geranium oil and use tag lines like the ‘meanest and cruelest’ fat burners on the market. You may really like the idea of sitting on the couch and losing 5 pounds, or sweating like crazy while at your desk, the risks are real. I used a Stim fat burner and had terrible panic attacks. If you are on medications, be wary also. Mixing extreme fat burners if you are on anti-depressants or other mood altering pharms might not be a good idea. Do your research!!

Non-Stimulant Fat burners use ingredients like Green Tea, Raspberry Keto to rev the metabolism. Be wary, they take a while to get into your system and work.
You can certainly drink green tea as a natural fat burner if you prefer.

I used:
The Non-stim fat burner I used before my last show was Epiq Shred from GNC. I had great results with it taking just one capsule a day.

Do not purchase a fat burner that has an appetite suppressant. You must eat to lose weight. If you are not eating you are burning muscle. Your weight loss will be temporary and you will gain even more weight. Don’t be that girl!

In my next blog post, I will explain my fat burner stack.