The Unexpected

So when I decided to do this figure competition, I don’t think I knew exactly what I was in for.  Don’t get me wrong, I did my research, but there is always more to learn.  Here are a few things that I was not expecting when I made this decision:

The callouses on my hands.  I mean, they’re really bad.

They're a lot worse in person. I promise. I'm afraid for the next person who wants to hold my hand.

How badass I would feel when squatting close to or the same as the guy next to me.

How many funny looks I would get in the weight room when squatting the same as the guy next to me.

That cardio would not be my favorite thing anymore.

The people who look at you sideways while you’re writing down the details of your workout between sets.

THE notebook (also known as my planner)

How many questions I would get about what I’m doing and how hard it is to explain sometimes!

Wanting to conserve my energy for a workout later in the day.  I used to take advantage of any extra activity, but if it’s going to mess up my strength training, I’ll skip the extra calorie burn now.

How much I now adore strength training.

The amount of mental strength I have.  I thought I’d lost it, but I’ve really surprised myself lately.

How much easier it is to get back on track if I do slip.  On Saturday, I was far from perfect, but I still got my workout in, and it gave me that much more motivation to get pretty darn to close to perfect with my workout and diet on Sunday.

How much effing protein I would have to eat.  And how quickly I go through chicken breast, tuna, Greek yogurt, broccoli, and sweet potatoes.

The eye rolls from my roommates when I tell my to feel my flexed bicep or quad.  (OK, JK, totally expected this one.  I’d do the same!)

Any figure competitors out there? What was most shocking to you? Anyone who has just started a new fitness routine or a new way of eating?  How many of you had experiences you didn’t expect?  Spill!

About Heather

My name is Heather, and I moved from a big Midwestern university to a GIGANTIC Midwestern city. I'm working at a gym as a personal trainer, and I work as a freelance writer on the side. Sometimes I pretend to be an adult. I'm also figuring out how to keep my mouth shut every once in a while -- not here, though. How boring would that be?

Posted on March 7, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. I’ve started doing a lot more strength training. I was nervous that I would gain weight by cutting back on cardio, but I think the opposite has been true. My body is more sleek and sculpted than before.

  2. Do you use weight lifting gloves? I used to have horrible callouses from spinning the flag in the marching band at Michigan. Gloves help!

    I’m glad that you’re enjoying the whole journey of getting to the contest.

    • Honestly, I feel like a big dork lifting with them at my gym! Also, I didn’t think they improved my grip that much. My grip has naturally gotten stronger and I kind of see the callouses as a badge of honor…sick right? haha. I may try them out again as the weights keep going up, though.

  3. You may gain weight, but muscle takes up a lot less room than fat so it works out. You cannot rely on the scale (unless you have one of those fancy Tanita scales with the bodyfat %) to judge your progress.

    Also for the calluses, get a glass nail file from Sephora or something and file them down while you watch tv. This is a tip from a powerlifter/former figure competitor friend of mine :) Otherwise you will experience yet another first — your first ripped off callus (hint: ow.)

    • Yeah I’m struggling with the weight thing right now because at this point it should be dropping, but I’m going to talk to my old trainer and see what’s up! Body fat has gone down a little, but I think I just need to tweak some things! But thanks for the tip on the nail file! And don’t worry, I’m not eating too much tuna, but I also don’t want to eat too much chicken because of the hormones, so I’m trying to find a balance!

  4. Also, go easy on the tuna, because of the mercury. Canned salmon does not have the same problem if you’re looking for a substitute, though if you’re grossed out by the skin/bones in it (both of which you can actually eat, the bones are good for calcium. I am not that brave, sadly) you’ll want to spring for the extra that comes in a smaller already cleaned can.

    If you have friends/family with a membership at CostCo/Sam’s/big box warehouse store, take advantage of it for cheap frozen chicken breasts/5 lb bags of frozen vegetables.

  5. LOL I am forever and always flexing one muscle or another and telling my husband to feel it… He doesn’t roll his eyes at me but then he flexes and, well, he has 18 inch arms sooooo I always feel a little puny ;)

  6. The most awkward part is trying to explain to to others what you’re doing. People look at me like I have 5 heads. And I’m pretty sure I’ve had everyone on the planet tell me I could die from drinking a gallon of water lol…yeah, no joke.

    I’m in the same boat about the weight, but my trainer keeps telling me not to worry about it so much yet at this point. As long as your body fat is dropping, you’re in a good place :)

    • EXACTLY! They’re like, ‘Sooo…you want to be a body builder.’ Especially my mom! She’s hilarious and keeps telling me she hopes I don’t bulk up. Sigh.

      When are you competing? I don’t plan on doing so until September, but I really need to drop at least a little before summer so that I know I’m doing it right! Reassuring to hear someone else is similar though!

  7. How many times a day I would have to pee because of all the water I was drinking! :)

    How early I would go to bed…seriously…why am I grown woman going to bed at 8:00 pm…even on the weekends! :)


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