About Me

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I am the proud owner of Pole Position Fitness in Long Beach California.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Competition Prep & Travel. Like Oil and Water. Don't really Mix

So, as many of you know I travel all over the United States offering my one of a kind teacher training program for pole fitness instructors 3 weekends of every month. I am on one of those trips now and it reminded me to share my travel tips. In addition, this is the number one question I get from fellow fitness competitors; "how do I stay on plan within 5 weeks of show and travel?"

The key to any successful enterprise is preparation. I prepare my food in advance. I prepare my post it notes. I also prepare my eating schedule against my travel schedule.

1. Food Preparation: Some foods travel better than others.
* Bad Travel Foods: All the squashes turn kind of sour. Fish like Tilapia require more refrigeration and it gets this weird gel that congeals around it. Asparagus and all frozen veggies and fruits turn really soggy.
* Good Travel Foods: Hard Boiled Eggs, Ground Beef and Turkey Balls, Tuna Packets, all Veggies only slightly baked never boiled, brown rice, quinoa, and swt potatoes. Flax oil pills, so I don't have to check bags. Whey protein powder pre measured into single scoop baggies. Grapefruit and apple are the best traveling fruits but berries are really challenging. Strawberries travel best.
* Storage: All of the foods I prep are placed in zip log bags or really cheap storage containers. I like storage containers better. My zip lock bags always leak so if I need to use zip lock bags I double bag it. Never mix foods because they have different expiration. My storage containers and zip lock bags are the key to easy travel because as I eat something I throw the container away. Never carry dirty stinky storage containers home. I also set up these storage containers in bulk. I do not separate them by meal. This started to confuse me and took up too much space. Lastly, I never pack extra food. This will encourage me to eat the extra food.
*Refrigeration on the Road: Not everything needs refrigeration. Most of my trips are 5 days. If they are any longer then I will only stay in a hotel that has refrigerators, Motel 6 actually works best for me. On a 5 day trip I don't really worry about refrigeration. I request extra Ice Buckets. I only ice my meats covering the entire container with ice, then I place the veggies on top.

2. Prepare my Post It Notes.
I prepare my post it notes with each of my meals per day per post it note. I always have to travel with materials for work. I place all those materials in a binder.When I open the binder the post its are stuck to the inside of the cover of the binder. This is a gentle reminder to stay on track. I used to actually label the travel containers but that was really confusing for me.

3. Prepare my Eating Schedule.
Although I normally eat 5 meals per day when I am close to show, travel plans don't always allow for this. Oddly enough you would think I eat less meals but I actually end up eating more meals when I travel. Usually 6 or 7. It is the exact same amount of food just less per meal. If I plan on eating 6 or 7 meals, every 2 hours, and I miss a meal because of my travel or work chaos I can easily combine 2 meals. Also, I will always plan a snack or a meal while I am sitting on an airplane. There is nothing worse then having some guy with potato chips crunching next to you and you still have 2 more hours before your next meal. My airplane days are the biggest challenge. I look at my flight itinerary and make sure a meal is planned during that time, then I start backing out my meals 2 hours from that flight. I include my eating schedule on my Post Its for that day. If you are on vacation and are site seeing I still do the same thing but my food has to be on the go foods.

So this is my 3 step approach to traveling while prep'ing for a fitness competition. I hope it helps.


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Competition Secret Weapon #4

We all have competition secret weapons that have to do with the way we workout. I have already told you about Helix for my cardio. My next workout secret weapon is Power Yoga. I do yoga all year long, but starting 5 weeks out I step it up with a very specific yoga class. I drive 45 minutes once or twice per week to Bryan Kest's Power Yoga in Santa Monica and a class by an instructor named Vytas. A mix between traditional Ashtanga Yoga, Kest's Power Yoga, and a little bit of general fitness with a yoga flare; this class never disappoints. It is not only instructionally dynamic, challenging and mind clearing; but the environment from the room to the people I am surrounded by is exactly what I need during this time.This packed room full of a variety of yoga styles and levels pushes me in a way nothing else can; especially when I'm exhausted and depleted. I am completely drenched with sweat by the end, I feel energized, I am at peace with myself and the world around me, and my body is flexible. I think Vytas' quote explains it best for me, "Try dropping out of the rat race for a mere hour and a half. Leave that insanity at the door and join us." I think every single competitor can relate.

 Vytas, thank you for what you do for me and so many others.....


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Branding for Fitness Competitors

So, about a month ago I started working with some PR people for my business, polepositionfitness.com. During those meetings they started asking me questions about my competitions. In an effort to sell me their PR services they explained to me that I should start looking at running my competing the same way I am running my business and really work on branding "ME". So this is what I did, like any good student, I started my research. I really think these PR people are getting at something. I started looking at some of the great fitness/figure/bikini competitors like Monica Brant and Jamie Eason; and they really do look like a brand not only when I see them compete but also when I see their modeling work. I have really taken this to heart and started working on branding "ME". I have recruited top makeup artists, stylists, hair designers, etc. to help me figure out my brand. We started by looking at all of my old photos from competitions and found the look that I had the most success with and the look that I felt the best with and after a few updated tweaks we have figured out how to brand "ME". So no matter what hair, makeup, costumer, choreographer, photographer, etc. I work with I am going to stay true to this brand. The reason branding "ME" is so important is because it creates visual recognition for promoters, judges, photographers, magazine editors, etc. Think of this visual recognition like Nike, you would recognize that swoosh anywhere. So, what did branding entail. My makeup person developed a bright, young and pretty look for me. She provided me with a diagram of that look that I can hand to any makeup artist to implement. In addition I purchased all of the makeup and carry my own kit for the makeup artist to use so I can always stay true to my brand. I did the same thing with my hair designer; including color, cut and style and took pictures of the front sides and back. Then I carried this out with all of the other professionals like my stylists, etc. All in all I am really happy with this approach to competing. At least it makes the process of competing a lot more interesting and it also makes show preparation so much easier. Thank you to my team that was able to make this happen for me.

Here is an example of what my makeup artist provided me. Thank you Denise Larsen you are amazing. http://www.paradigmbeauty.com

Monday, March 28, 2011

3 weeks until showtime

Fitness Atlantic is 3 weeks away and I have a lot of preparation to do. Not only am I going to step up my cardio and limit the variety of food I will eat; this is also when I start working on stage preparation. Every day for at least 15 minutes a day I will work on my stage walk and my posing wearing the same shoes I will wear on stage. I also go through and confirm all of my travel plans this week. Last but not least I start checking off my packing list and laying everything out. I leave everything out on my dining room table until the Monday before I leave. This gets me really excited about competing.

My Packing List
Bathing Suits - In Baggy
Outfits - In Baggy
Evening Gown - In Garment Bag
2 shoes
Jewelry in lunch bags, inside of each Suit/Outfit Bag
Hair Stuff
Makeup Kit (small just the essentials)
Tupe Tape to hold my suit bottoms down
Extra Tanner/Rubber Gloves/Buffing Pad
Baby Wipes
Scissors/Safety Pins/Sewing Kit/Tweezers
Flip Flops
Head Phones/Ipod
Sweats to wear with tanner
Clean sweats to wear home on the plane
Cell Phone Charger
Photo Shoot Stuff

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Competition Secret Weapon #3

Eating clean for me is very easy, but eating really structured can become a little bit challenging because I am so busy. It is difficult to eat on time and to eat exactly what I'm supposed to during the 5 minute breaks between fitness classes I teach. Every Sunday I prep my meals for the week; but that is not enough. I also prep my Post It's. So, my secret weapon #3 is the Post It. On Sunday I post on my fridge a Post It for every day of the week with my meals for that day written on the post it. As I eat a meal or pack a meal to take with me it is checked off the Post It. I save all my post its week after week until the show is over. If I love the way my body looks like on stage (not if I won or not) I journal those meals. This journal will become the framework for the meals I use to prepare for my next show. If I feel I came in too hard or too soft I go back and look at the Post Its, alter them and then journal what my diet is going to look like for the next show. So needless to say I go through a lot of Post Its; but I love them.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Competition Secret Weapon #2

So we all have to step up our cardio before we compete, but I hate cardio. So rather than stepping up the amount of cardio I completely change what I use for cardio. I would normally do step, or spin, or run...So when I am getting ready for a show I do the same duration of cardio but I use a HELIX...It's like an elliptical but instead of peddling forward and back you peddle in and out. The HELIX really is my cardio secret weapon 3 weeks out from show.

Friday, March 25, 2011

To Backup or Not To Backup

I know that almost every coach out there is going to disagree with me on this, but I am offering this to you because of my experience. It is a common opinion amongst competitors that you should bring a backup of everything you wear on stage from swimsuits, to jewelry, to evening gowns, to sportswear outfits; but I strongly disagree and here are my 3 reasons...

1. I feel it is far more important to carry-on all of my bags when traveling; the airlines can lose your luggage.  So I have to pack light and I just don't have room for all that stuff.

2. Every time I have traveled with a backup (or seen fellow competitors travel with a backup) I have second guessed my decisions. Literally, 5 minutes before walking on stage I am still asking myself if this is what I should have worn and not fully committing to it. This is one of the worse things I can do. Make a decision and own it on stage.

3. The more stuff I have with me the more stressed out I am when I can't find something. Especially when I am sharing a room with 2 other competitors. Ladies you know who you are. We can't even figure out who's stuff is who's by the time we leave after a show.

There are a number of reasons why people suggest you bring back-ups so let's talk about them.
1. What if you get tanner on your garments?
BE CAREFUL....I think the more experienced you get the less this happens. I wear white almost every show and I don't put my outfit on until I walk on stage and I take it off as soon as I walk off. I would be more likely to get mustard on it then tanner.

2. What if it breaks?
I can speak for myself (an avid seamstress and costume designer) and probably most of the seamstresses out there, if you are paying for a garment it shouldn't fall apart.
What if it does? safety pin it. Judges are 30 feet away and with the glitz and glam of the stage lights they are never going to see a safety pin.

3. What if you don't know if it is going to fit?
I agree for your first couple of shows you might not know how things fit. Even as a beginner this only ever really effected my swimsuit, so who cares if you bring a second one of those. My outfits and evening gowns were never unwearable because I was bigger or smaller then anticipated. This is where we have to be honest with each other, packing is not the issue here. You really have to be honest with yourself. The day before you leave for your show you should try everything on and if it is too small then you need to really think hard. Is it ever really going to fit. By this time you should be within a pound of your stage weight. I find that beginners are hopeful they are going to fit into it when they wake up the day of a show, like the dream time elves are going to come while you are in bed and you are going to lose 5 pounds over night. Not likely. AND....how stressful is that to have to wait to wakeup the day of a show in the hopes it will fit. Make sure everything fits before you leave when you have time to really fix the problem.

So, there is one thing that I always bring a backup of and that is shoes. I always bring 2 pairs of shoes at 2 different heights. If my legs are wobbly or the floor is slippery then I might need a shorter pair.

So these are my ideas on Backup or Not To Backup. The old adage you can never be too prepared doesn't always apply to me and I like to formulate a plan well in advance and stick to it.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Competition Secret Weapon #1

In January of this year I started a program for my clients called GAP (Goal Assessment Program). My clients create a short term goal and for every new goal they start they start with a different colored wristband (like the live strong wristbands). I decided to apply this to my goals and my training. I am going to wear a different wrist band for each show. For Fitness Atlantic on April 16 my wristband is white. I wear it all the time. It is a great reminder even when I am at dinner with friends and getting so much pressure from them to eat something bad "it's just one bite", or drink something I don't want "it's just one sip"...that these are my goals not there's. What is really cool is that you can write on your wristband with a sharpee marker or you can order a single wristband with a msg already printed on them. This is my wristband and I kind of like the sharpee. It makes it more real, organic, and personal for me.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

4 weeks until showtime

So this is where I really turn up the juice. I pull out all of my secret weapons and really get focused...My suits have been ordered and received and they are amazing. malibustrings.com is a great sponsor. As of last Friday the 18th I start weekly photos, caliper measurements, weigh ins and circumference measurements. I will do these every Friday until show. For most people this is to make sure they are dropping enough bodyfat. For me this is not the case. I have such a physical workload it is to ensure that I don't peak too early and don't lose valuable muscle....For me competing is all about this process; the preparation. It really is what makes it fun for me. My time on stage is just bonus. As for my measurements from Friday I am right on track and feeling great. I have not missed a single workout and my meals have been perfect. I really feel like I am going to compete the best that I can. Lastly and maybe the most exciting is last night I was featured on The Body Shop. A great radio program about competing. It was such an honor to participate in this. Thank you life for all of the wonderful opportunities you hand me.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Prep for showtime - Nutrition

Starting today my program is all about Nutrition. When prep'ing for a fitness competition I start limiting my food choices about 5 weeks prior to the show. I typically eat clean all year round so these limitations aren't very shocking to my system but very effective. The really big one is NO DAIRY for the next 5 weeks. The only things I miss are 1/2 and 1/2 in my morning coffee and greek yogurt. It's only 5 weeks, I will survive.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

5 weeks until Showtime

So, this blog starts my 5 week countdown to the WBFF Fitness Atlantic Show. I have decided to compete in Bikini and Fitness Model. The decision to move over to the WBFF was a very difficult one for me. I loved competing in Ms Fitness, but without a national final this year it is pointless to spend all that money at regional shows without the payoff of a finals. I will however miss performing and competing in Ms. Fitness. The really issue is that I don't know how much longer I can keep competing at my age, so I had to change my competition goals this year and a WBFF pro-card sounded like a fun idea. This is a new organization for the United States and getting involved on the ground floor is exciting to me. So here goes, 5 week countdown to WBFF Fitness Atlantic. I can't wait.