So, I accidentally stumbled into the world of bodybuilding this year. Yes, accidentally! I work out regularly but nothing in my spirit ever wanted to be a bodybuilder. I’m a girly girl, so bulking up is not my thing. But I let my trainer talk me into it.
So, bet … let’s get to work!
And there you have it, I’m competing in the National Physique Committee “GrandPrix” Competition in Washington, D.C. There are several categories, Bodybuilding, Fitness, Figure, Bikini, Physique and Classic Physique. I agreed to compete in Bikini because it is a bit different. Bikini calls for athletes to be lean, not bulky, with heavy emphasis on the glute-hamstring tie-in (legs & all that a$s), as well as overall appearance. Kind of like modeling, I can do that! Little did I know what I was getting myself into.
It’s a whole new world when you decide to compete. You look at everything differently (especially food), people look at you differently (as a fellow competitor) and you become a member of this whole new group of extra strong and focused athletes. After this realization, I had to step my game up!
I decided if I was going to do this, I would go IN all the way! I contracted more sessions with my trainer, hired an International Federation of Body Building (IFBB) Bikini Pro as my posing coach and linked up with the guru of nutritionist who has an extensive background in prepping athletes for competition. “You not gone have me looking crazy on stage!” I’m working with the best to be the best.
I train 5-6 days a week, total body. In Bikini, legs, and the hamstring-glute tie-in are the focal point. Bikini judges like a somewhat soft look, not too hard, so training has been a delicate balance. A delicate balance of sculpting the right muscles. My upper body tends to sculpt faster than my legs, so now, with 3 weeks out, I’m putting in extreme work on my legs. Cardio 2x a day for 40 minutes. Easing up on my upper body and abs.
When I tell people I have a posing coach, I usually get the “WTF look”. But, yes posing is very important. Not only do I need to look lean, toned and fit, but also graceful and poised. My routine has to look effortless, but most importantly I have to accentuate the features that I am being judged on. “If it doesn’t hurt when you are posing then you aren’t doing it right.”
This by far is the hardest part of show prep, but the most important aspect! The diet! I had no idea how much discipline it takes to really compete until I started my diet. My nutritionist is AMAAAZING! He calculates EVERYTHING, “numbers don’t lie”! However, he did strongly encourage me to start this diet 2 weeks b4 I was originally suppose to and while I was on vacation at the all-inclusive Hyatt Ziva Los Cabo (like really… you’ve got to be kidding). No drinking, limited my carbs and sugar intake, but increased my protein. Talk about painful.
During this process I have experienced physical and mental roller-coasters. From worrying about fluctuations in my weight, whether my body will be ready for the stage, to idea of having strangers pick my me apart. But you know what, I have spent A LOT of money and spent A LOT of time prepping…I GOT THIS!
I’m getting glammed up, rock this hella expensive but bangin’ bikini and show the world what hard work looks like. At the completion of this journey, it will be 14 weeks of physical training, posing and strict dieting, but it will be all worth it, just to say “SHE DID THAT”!
I’ll enjoy the journey!
-Tahlee Mambia of Bestiesandbrunch.com
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