Chandler Gray - Figure Competitor

My name is Chandler Gray and I am still new in the bodybuilding world. I have been an athlete my entire life. I was a 4 sport athlete in high school and had the honor to play volleyball at the collegiate level. When I hung up my knee pads (thank god because they smelled horrid) I felt empty. I have always had that competitive drive and needed to find a way you use it again. I then found bodybuilding through one of my best friends. She has been competing for a couple years and I was amazed by her body and knew I wanted to look like that. I picked her brain to see if I would be able to do it. I did my first show, Knox Classic, in 2016. I won Overall Novice, 2nd in Junior Division, and 4th in Open Division (qualifying for a National Show).

My second show and first national show was NPC Universe and I did not even come close to placing. I am a very competitive person and enjoy pushing myself to my breaking point. Bodybuilding is a way for me to do that because in this sport I hold all the responsibility. I am accountable for my results. Bodybuilding has been the most difficult sport that I have experienced so far in my life time and Iím loving every second of it.

My contest diet is very strict because I do not lean out quickly. It takes me awhile to get stage ready and my diet must be on point. For my contest diet I eat every 2 to 2.5 hours and have 6 to 7 meals a day. I have a source of protein in every meal. My carb intake depends on how far along I am on prep because the closer I get to show day I have to cut my carbs. I also have a source of healthy fat and lots of green veggies in majority of my meals. Now for the off-season diet I still shoot for 6 to 7 meals a day but I try to listen to my body more and eat when I am hungry and not on a set schedule. I am also more lenient on my diet and let myself enjoy little things like protein bars, condiments, whole eggs, etc. I do still have a protein source with every meal, so it is pretty similar, but just not as strict. During contest prep I eat to reach my best physique, but for off-season I eat to better my overall health.

I have done the exact same diet plan for both of my shows, but I am curious and willing to try new diet plans to see what works best with my body and is best for my health.

When I am in season I have to do it all. I lift 6 days a week and do fasted cardio 6-7 days a week. It all depends on the process and where my body is in result to the amount of time from the show. Normally in the beginning of prep I do a lot of HIIT cardio but then later in prep I do more LIIS because I donít want to lose too much size. I lift a different muscle group each day and let myself have one rest day. The way that I balance my diet and training is time management. Like I said I plan all my meals out during prep so I plan my training around my meals so that I have enough nutrients and energy to push myself in the workout.

Such an incredible experience ?? now it's time to train for the next show ???? #knoxclassic2016 #npc #npcfigure #hardwork #dedication #npcfigurecompetitor #nevergiveup #girlswholift

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To be completely honest I am not the most confident person. I have been really trying to build more confidence in myself and develop a love for myself. I feel that having self-love is extremely important for your mental health and then has a positive effect on your physical health. When I walk out on stage I am extremely nervous that I literally can not stop shaking, but when I am backstage pumping up and about to walk on stage I say a prayer. I just thank God for being with me through all the ups and downs of prep and allowing me to be able to walk across this stage. I also constantly remind myself that I worked so hard to achieve my best physique yet and I deserve to show it off just like everyone else at that show.

The past show that I competed in was NPC Universe in Teaneck, NJ and it was a lot of fun. Like I mentioned this was only my second show but my first national show. I went into the show knowing that I was most likely not going to place, and I did not even come close, but I knew that I needed to experience a national level show. Even though I am competitive and was discouraged about not doing better in the show I kept reminding myself that gaining the experience is very important. I met many girls who have competed in different national shows and I asked a lot of questions so that I can get better. This show allowed me to compare myself to some of the best girls around and pick out what I need to improve on.

Being an athlete definitely affects my social life. My whole day is schedule around my meals so there are times where my friends want to go out and have fun and I have to turn them down because I donít want to pack my meals and eat cold tilapia in the bar. My family gets together weekly and we eat lots of food but during prep I clearly cannot eat the food so I have to bring my own food. Everywhere I go I pack two meals with me just in case something happens and that way I do not miss a meal. To be completely honest during contest prep I am extremely selfish. I am solely focused on getting my best physique and if that means sacrificing my social life then that is what I have to do. I do not completely cut off my family and friends. I will still go out to lunch or hang out with them but I will schedule it into my day and bring my meals with me. I also make sure that I will not be out too late because it is also important to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night. So my sleep schedule also effects what I am able to do with my family and friends.

Right now I am a graduate student studying Clinical Psychology and I am going to have to take two years off from competing so that I can focus on graduating and getting a job, plus I have a lot of difficult tests that I need to pass. During those two years Iím going to slowly bulk and put on some size so that when I go back on stage I will be able to compete on another level. A long-term goal of mine in the bodybuilding word is to win my IFBB pro card. A personal long-term goal of mine is to specialize in helping individuals suffering with eating disorders.

My biggest goal in life is to help as many people as I can in any way they need it. So if anyone just needs someone to talk to or has questions about health, mentally or physically, Iím here and I will do my best.

Instagram: chan_brooke
Facebook: Chandler Brooke Gray
Snapchat: chan_brooke

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