Alaina Cole - Physique Competitor

Alaina: I actually had no intentions of competing when I first started my fitness journey. But the more I watched other compete and the incredible physique transformations from the 12 week cut up until peak week, the more interested I became. My highest weight ever was 235 lbs when I delivered my youngest son, who is now 7 years old. I was pretty active in the gym during my time in the military, but I let myself go with the arrival of my two sons. I knew that I didn't want to be fat forever, so I started working out with Beachbody workouts in my home. When I became more confident, I started going to the gym. I loved the feeling of lifting so much that I vowed to never go back to an unhealthy weight. And the rest is history.

Diet off-season vs. pre-contest: My diet did not change very drastically as far as calories. What did change was macros. For my first contest, I started out with a very high cardio regimen so I needed to increase it further to see results. I will not do that again. I am doing no more than 20 minutes of cardio 4-5 times a week. Increasing to 30 min pre-contest and eating about 300 calories under maintenance should be enough for me to get a majority of the cut done without compromising muscle and stressing nervous system more than necessary. And my macros and calories in this build depend on what body part I am working that day. I go higher on carbs for legs and back, lower on delts and cardio. I also cycle calories occasionally to keep my body guessing. All of these things keep me reasonably lean while still building muscle. One thing I do know is, you will not build significant muscle in a deficit unless you have a lot of fat to lose.

I tried a diet that I jokingly called the "Guantanamo Bay Diet". It was too low calorie, too low carb, and just not sustainable. I didn't have any energy, I was irritable, and lost significant muscle. I think that makes the diet unsustainable, when it is devoid of most nutrients and has no variety whatsoever. Your body stops guessing and adapts to the lower than normal calories in long term cuts, and your progress slows. I had a coach that would keep our diets super strict and start the pre-contest cut way too far in advance. However, at her discretion would push us to eat 5,000 calorie binges of crap food as a "refeed". I will explain the danger of this later. First, if you have to start seriously cutting 20 weeks out, then you will lose muscle and may not be ready for competition in my opinion. You should begin a cut without a lot of excess fat and it should last no longer than 12 weeks. Why? Because your metabolism may become too damaged and not get back to normal for a long time, if ever. Cutting for competition is for polishing, not a total body weight loss transformation. And refeed binges are dangerous because they are counterproductive due to all the bloat and water gain from the sodium and fat you ingest, but they create a mental food obsession because you may want to do it again and again. I think low carb diets that require refeeds every three or four days are acceptable if the majority of the refeeds are smart and contain complex carbs and little fat.

I work out every day, usually split into a morning and evening session. Sunday is a cardio/heavy abs/ pick up session on anything looking weak.
Monday is Back AM (cardio), Biceps/light abs PM
Tuesday Hams, Calves, Glutes AM and PM
Wednesday Delts (cardio) AM, Tri, chest, abs PM
Thursday Back AM(cardio), Biceps/light abs PM
Friday Quads, calves, glutes AM and PM
Saturday Delts, chest, tri, light cardio


Alaina Cole

Alaina Cole


Honestly, after the toll you put on your body and mind, the stage is just the icing on the cake. Most are just happy to be there, glad to be surrounded by others as driven as they are. Whether you place or not, you really are a winner and look your absolute best and leanest if you have done it right. It is an art and a science, and it becomes easier show after show. My self-confidence came from conquering all of my fears, obstacles, and pushing myself farther than I ever thought possible. I was so proud and relieved that I made it! How can you not strut when you think back on all you have accomplished to get there? Your hard work and determination persevered, you earned it!

I eat for my goals. I don't have to be thrilled for my diet selection, it just has to be easily available and prepared as well as fit approximate macros. I am not super strict in build, my macros can be a little off every once in awhile if I want to eat something off-plan, but I usually compensate with my other meals for the day if that happens. You don't have to be deprived, just be smart and use the off-plan food sparingly. I always eat protein and maltodextrose post workout and try to eat oats with blueberries every morning before my AM lift. Pre-lift is the only time I eat fruit, for many reasons.

Last contest experience: I just thought it went extremely fast, and I didn't realize how crampy and shaky I would be. Not so much from nerves, just my body stressed to the max. It really is difficult to get your body to cooperate sometimes. And thirsty!!! And no deodorant for two days due to spray tan did not make anyone smell delicious. But I was soooo happy! And proud!! And looked so lean and awesome with the tan.

I am currently in a build for women's physique. I was honestly small and way too lean for figure this last time, so I want to be a lot bigger but stay that lean for the next competition. I am not sure exactly how long it will take, although I will try my best to be ready in early 2017. I want to gains at least ten to fifteen pounds of muscle and help others reach their goals. My advice to others that are interested in the sport and in competing is, take your time. Do not rush the process. Build the muscle you want, lose most of the fat you need to lose so that you don't have to starve and suffer needlessly when you cut. Do it all right and be amazed when you look at your competition photos and look back on your experiences. That will motivate you to get better and better.

You can email me at: sailorgidget@yahoo.com, find me on Bodybuilding.com as Sailorgidget, Facebook name is Alaina Cole Bodybuilder.

Good luck in all that you do! Bodybuilding and fitness is a passion and addiction that gives so much more than it takes. If your dreams don't terrify you, you are selling yourself short.

Alaina Cole


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Alaina Cole

Alaina Cole

Alaina Cole