Alexa Hostetler - Figure Competitor

My whole life I have been active. My family has always had me in the gym but it was not until Junior Year of High School whenever I started becoming interested in lifting weights. I had the workouts correct but not the nutritional aspect. I met my coach and watched him completely change his body for his shows through his training and nutrition and I was amazed and told him I wanted to see what I can achieve in this sport. As we started training for my first show I fell in love with bodybuilding. With the discipline, the struggle, the sweat, tears, the shreds, the bulk, all of it.

A photo posted by ALEXA HOSTETLER (@alexahostetlerr_) on

Off-season versus pre-contest diet differs in numerous ways. In the off-season you are eating in a surplus to gain mass, therefore you have much more calories (carbs/fats/proteins) to play with. You can allow yourself to enjoy cheats here and there, and you do not have to be so strict with things such as condiments. You are not watching sodium closely or stressing about water intake. Pre-contest dieting is the opposite. You are eating in a deficit and slowly depleting yourself and this meant that calories are going to decrease. Leading closer to the competition you watch your sodium closely, limit things such as artificial sweeteners, etc, and are very strict with your water intake. The two diets are different in every aspect. I do not like to share my personal numbers as it differs from different bodies and goals, but during the offseason in a surplus you are eating much higher carbs and lower protein, and in for the pre-contest diet you are eating much higher protein with lower carbs.

The competition diet plan that I like the best is IIFYM (if it fits your macros)/flexible dieting. This does not restrict you. You have given numbers (macronutrients) and can eat what you would like to fill those numbers each day. It is important of course to aim for mostly whole foods and healthy foods, but what fits into those numbers, you can eat. For IIFY/ flexible dieting you are given numbers of macronutrients that you need to hit each day, which is specific to your body type and goals. All in all this method is much better than the cookie-cutter diets that prep coaches try and get you to pay $800 for. IIFYM is tailored to YOUR body and YOUR goals, and obviously, no one is exactly the same.

A photo posted by ALEXA HOSTETLER (@alexahostetlerr_) on

During prep and even in the off-season seeing what my body can do and seeing what I can achieve has made me more self-confident than ever. This lifestyle is NOT for everyone. Not everyone can put himself or herself through the discipline that this sport requires whether it be in the kitchen, in the gym, or in your mind. I have fallen in love with my muscles and have a constant thirst for more. Showing off my physique on stage is such an empowering feeling because you know that you have done WHATEVER it takes to get to where you are. You have put yourself through things most people wouldn’t do. That discipline deserves those moments of stage of being unbelievably proud of yourself and admired.

During the offseason cardio is very minimal, if there is any required for me. The offseason for me is lifting heavy, pushing myself to the max, and putting those extra calories to good use to build muscle. During prep is when comes the lifting of course but also the cardio, HIIT, etc. I tend to do a both HIIT and steady state cardio but I implement HIIT with my steady state most of the time. Though the diets may be very different in the offseason than in prep, I still focusing on consuming most of my carbs around my training session, eating my protein after I work out, etc.

The day of the competition everything becomes so real. You see other people who look so good you suddenly feel like nothing. But that is not how you need to look at this. The people you see on competition day have been where you have been. They have been through the discipline too. However, everyone may be at different levels in the sport. For some it may be their first show and for others it may be their tenth. The most important thing to remember is to not worry about any of the other competitors. You have achieved your best self in that moment and beat the person that you once were. Be proud and show off what you busted your butt for.

I have plans of doing NPC shows in 2017. My next show is April 8, 2017 in Raleigh, NC. I am a college student at East Carolina University majoring in Exercise Science, so I plan to graduate and help show people the power of exercise and nutrition all while I continue on my competition journey and dream to become an IFBB Figure Pro one day in the future.

Facebook: Alexa Hostetler
Instagram: @alexahostetlerr_

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