Dianna Semmens - Figure Competitor

Dianna: When life gives you lemons, use all your best ingredients to make the most unique lemonade you can! My fiance, gym owner and bodybuilder, Bryan Raymond, has been competing in the NPC for over 8 years. When he asked me to do a show with him in 2012, I will admit that I had no idea what I was getting myself into and how much I would fall in love with the sport. I started my first bikini prep around Thanksgiving in 2012 in order to compete in my first show in March of 2013, the CJ Sunshine Classic in West Palm Beach, FL. As a new competitor, I was learning so much about training, nutrition, posing, the NPC, and fitness, and I dove head first into it all. We also started a clothing line called Progress & Pride, which now sponsors about 15 NPC athletes, that is solely based around competitors and finding unity within the bodybuilding community. We also provide contest prep, posing clinics, and personal training for clients through our gym, Fort Myers Fitness 24/7. Within the last year, I have competed in five shows in women’s bikini, placing top five in each one! Most recently, I decided to make the leap into the figure division. I will be competing in my first figure show on August 16. With my fiance, who is also my training partner, my nutrition coach Jeff Delaney, and my team by my side, I feel like I can accomplish anything!

To me, there is no off-season! I am always preparing myself for what the future holds. However, my diet changes drastically depending on whether or not I am competing in a show. Contest prep is all about trial and error. I see my prep coach on a weekly basis who monitors my progress in order to accurately adjust my meal plan to fit my needs. Having an educated nutritionist as a prep coach is by far one of the most effective ways to prepare for a show. For contest prep, my calories are cut in order to attain a caloric deficit to lose fat. During off-season, I eat to grow. It is more lean protein and clean carbohydrates. Cardio is also incorporated at all times depending upon your body’s needs. Everyone’s body is different and will respond in a different way to certain techniques. During competition prep, the goal is to cut down and lose the fat. During that time, it is impossible to gain muscle. Muscle gains occur when you have a surplus of calories, so training during contest prep is strictly meant to deplete your muscles, not to add any. The most effective way to lose weight that I have found is CONSISTENCY! In order to lose the weight and improve your quality of life, you must change your lifestyle and be willing to go out of your comfort zone.

In my experience, I have never been disappointed in any of my contest preps. You must find an educated prep coach who genuinely cares for your well being, and not only for monetary gains. In order to meet your goals, you must give competition prep your full dedication. It means early mornings and late nights, cardio, training, posing, suits, tanning, hair, makeup, and the list goes on and on. You must go all in. Listen to everything your coach tells you to do and do not listen to anyone else. Your coach knows your body and will devise the best plan to get you to your end goal. You must “trust the process” and always trust your coach!

The only supplements that I take are a pre-workout drink for an extra good pump, and BCAAs taken during my workout to aid in recovery. I also incorporate some fat burners on occasion during prep but only when advised by my coach. The only way to ensure your best results are to stick to your meal plan/training regimen and stay consistent, not to rely on supplements to aid in your weight loss.

Our training program revolves solely around the idea that less is more. We train each muscle group every week, and give ourselves one day of rest. We often switch the training style, but use the same movements between different weight systems, like dumbbells and machines. Another very important part of training is to fuel your body before and after your workout. Overtraining your muscles doesn’t allow the body enough time to heal between workouts, which will impede your progression! My training and meal plans are devised by my coach, who also allows me to carb load one day a week. Training and diet go hand in hand, so ALWAYS consult your coach!

Goals: I just recently made the decision to move up a division into women’s figure. I will be competing in my first figure show at the Florida State Championships on August 16 in Orlando, FL. I have also started assisting competitors with bikini posing. When you do what you love, the possibilities are endless! Our clothing line Progress & Pride is constantly coming out with new competitor and training gear, as well as updates on our competitors, so be sure to check out our website at www.progressandpride.com. Now that I’m beginning a whole new journey into figure, you never know what the future may bring! If you are ever in the Fort Myers area, please come see us at our gym, Fort Myers Fitness 24/7!

Dianna Semmens
instagram: @sweetd_fit4life

Competition Prep Guides

Dianna Semmens

Dianna Semmens