Brooke Pighin - Figure Competitor

My background, I grew up fairly athletic playing any and every sport I could be a part of. I lettered in 5 sports each year of high school which led me to scholarship opportunities with Track and Field, and Basketball. I found success doing Track and Field internationally for 8 years throwing Javelin. Most notably I won national titles, received All-American status’ competing for the University of Washington, placed 4th at the World Francophone Championships. Through that I was able to travel the world as an athlete in those years.

The world of getting strong and explosive was something I was very familiar with and into. Aesthetics, well that was an entirely different ball game. In 2015, I wasn’t sure of my future with Track and Field so decided to clear my head one season and do a bodybuilding show with a coworker. A lot of different things lined up pointing us towards doing it so we started the journey that summer. Although, it was a bucket list “one and done” item, it led to 3 shows that season for me. I had fallen in love and was hungry for more! I am very Type A and I strive to be the best at everything I do. This new to me hobby definitely intrigues me. So, for the foreseeable future, I plan to spend each day trying to better myself on and off the stage!

A little pre show, pre pump, last run through before showtime video w my amazing training partner Dan Sheets! With pre judging in the books for today & about to nap before finals I just wanted to say..... Starting off w a huge Thank you to Michelle Nazaroff my AMAZING world champion coach!!!! To keep it short.../I'd be fat without you! ?? To this social media community of friends near & far..... Thank you for your part of my journey! Some of you have played bigger roles than others but it has all counted & meant the world to me!!!! Some people cross your path & change your whole direction. Some talk you off the ledge whether they know it or not & make it seem possible to stay in that direction. Some just keep ya staying true to yourself with their positivity towards what you are doing. I am so blessed to have people in all of these categories & more. I get it that bodybuilding has gotten a bad wrap over the years as being unhealthy & am so happy to have learnt first hand how it can actually be a healthier way of living. That it's not just a sort of unhealthy, drudgerous, self-flagellation that you have to endure to achieve a desired body image meanwhile causing metabolic damage etc... it's more of a controlled eating disorder ?????? ok it's not that bad..... BUT I am happily the healthiest I have ever been in my entire life & plan to stay this way?? THANK you to those who've loved me through this regardless of your level of understanding of what I'm doing. Those that have taken interest & learnt as I've learnt as well & so on! I am SO excited to announce that Peak Week #1 is over!!!! Together in fitness & health!!???????? #waIronman2016

Posted by Brooklyn Pighin on Saturday, October 1, 2016

Nutrition and Training

The thing that changes most in my off season diet in comparison to my contest prep diet is that I have a lot more flexibility in food options. As well as, an increased amount of cheat meals. Depending on my goals, whether it be to put on size or to maintain etc, I add in larger quantities of food to my diet generally by increasing carbs and fats. The one constant is that, I always am operating on a high protein diet! So far I have found high protein diets with 5-6 meals per day to be most effective for building muscle and losing fat. The key is to be in a deficit but to not be using muscle as fuel!

The diet plan that has failed for me is one called reverse dieting;) Life basically turns into an all you can eat when you want it buffet! HAH! Ok, maybe I only let that last a week or two but, still! I plan to be better at reeling things in faster next prep! Other diet plans that have failed for me over the years have been ones with lower requirements of protein. So, anything under 130-40G of protein. Anytime my protein has been dropped to that or less my expectations have not been met in strength or aesthetics. Luckily, bodybuilding is a pretty simple science and a good coach knows what to look for, how to adjust things to work for your body…and in a timely fashion as to not derail your prep. Although, we are always fine tuning my diet, I have been very fortunate so far with coaching as to not have someone who is just learning it all themselves.

The components to my training program are 6 days of lifting, 5 days of cardio, and 5 days of HIIT… the numbers of and within all of these change throughout prep as we change my body to get it to the shape we want it to be. The numbers are dependent on my progression. As far as balancing training and diet it comes down to being 100% diet and 100% training… outside of those I try to rest as much as I can so my body can repair and recover.

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On Stage

Building self-confidence… They say that to get into the best condition of your life you’ll have to feel your worst. It is so true! Your mind will play tricks on you and if you don’t have a support system around you it’ll eat you alive!!! Everything can be perfectly on track and feel entirely off track. Confusion, anxiety…all of these things come into play throughout prep whether you’re prone to them or not. You have to constantly remind yourself it is because you are so close to stage ready and that it is not normal to be this physically conditioned. That is why your body is freaking out. I would definitely say having a support system is the biggest reason for any of my success in my life. It has looked different in different arenas but is for sure the reason I have found any kind of success. I can’t begin to count the times throughout each prep I have had the people close to me talk me off the ledge! Furthermore, to break down some simple motivators, over time as you see the development in your physique you begin to trust the process more and get on board with what is really going on. That helps. Last but not least, people around you notice the results of your hard work!

As far as strutting on stage, I have always loved being the center of attention… now a glorified beauty pageant but with muscles… that’s a different kind of attention…. 5” heels, a suit that doesn’t even cover that of what a bikini should. Despite many hours of practice in and out of prep to strut on stage, it is always a new learning experience. The stage may not be entirely flat/flawless, the number of girls on stage is always different… there are so many factors that make each and every show different… It is all part of the process and learning experience. I love it and try to embrace all aspects of it each time whether I am comfortable or not!

Recent experiences and feelings from a contest…. I travelled and met up with my team in Bali for a World INBA show. It was pure excitement right from the get go. From heading into check in/registration, last workouts/posing, drug testing, tanning, resting, last meals, not being able to sleep because I was so excited…(and maybe 15 hours behind as far as time zones go). Waking up to go get my hair and makeup done, carbing up, and BOOM its showtime! Right from the beginning of travel to the celebrating post show shenanigans. I’m not sure what my favorite part even was!? My adrenaline takes off just thinking about it all. The entire experience was all so exciting for me with such great people around me! The competition itself was friendly, organized and well run. Although, it was not the largest show I have done, it is definitely my favorite thus far!

A video posted by Health Fitness Entrepreneur (@brookepighin) on

All I can say is to take it all in! Enjoy every single moment of it! It will fly by and you’ll remember what you have achieved…maybe be inspired to push harder, farther and want to do another show. The feeling of knowing you gave it your all, the things you achieved physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually…. Those cannot be replaced. Missing going for pizza and beer or ice-cream with your friends a few times will definitely have been well worth it in the end! It is important to remember that the real competition is not the day you are on stage….it is the hours, days, weeks and months leading up to it. Embrace them all, it’s a love hate relationship but the best learning experience that I have ever encountered. I believe it to be for others as well.

Future plans to compete? Definitely!!!! I have not reached my full potential and definitely want to explore that some more. I have not made any Season A or Season B plans yet but will for SURE be doing Season B again. Probably a handful of shows in October/November.

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