Elise Bohus - Figure Competitor

* 2018 NPC San Diego Overall Figure Champ

The NPC San Diego Championships was actually my first competition. I was an athlete at a young age. I started competitive swimming at the age of 7. I also played soccer and track and field for a few years (shot-put and sprints) but competitive travel swimming was my bread and butter from 8-18 years of age. I was disciplined at a very young age through swimming. I stopped all athletics once I went to college to concentrate on my nursing degree. I got involved in Navy ROTC so I kept in shape by running and biking but never really cared about the nutrition side of fitness which is SO important. I dabbled in weight training my freshman year of high school as an alternative option of gym class but didn't really know what I was doing. I had the typical thought (myth) that I would get bulky and look manly and cardio is what females should do. After I graduated college I commissioned as a United States Navy Nurse Corps Officer from Drexel University College of Nursing and Health Professions June 2012. My first duty station was in Virginia Beach, VA.

Elise Bohus

The first year living in Virginia Beach I did a lot of running and tried the low-carb thing but still was not happy with my physique. I met my current coaches (couple) IFBB Classic Physique Silvio Toranzo and Top 3 NPC National Competitor Shoreh Toranzo. I met Shoreh at work. We worked together as nurses and then we started training together summer of 2014. Shoreh and my husband Doug were my first ever weight training partners! I told her I was interested in lifting weights and possibly competing one day. She told me that I had a great foundation already built from swimming and I had a lot of potential. We trained together until I moved to California in 2015 with my husband Doug. My plan was to compete in May of 2016 at a NPC Muscle Contest but it didn't work out because of a deployment. I took the time I had on deployment to train and grow. Not competing was probably a blessing in disguise. After I got back from deployment Coaches Silvio and Shoreh made a detailed outlined training approach and nutrition plan that I followed very consistently. Doug was my training partner at the base gym and we pushed each other a lot.

Off Season and Prep diets are similar in food content but lower in volume (lower calorie) for prep. For both prep and off season 35-40% of my diet comes from carbohydrates, 35-40% protein, 20-25% fat. The highest my calories were during off season was around 2,500 with weekly Sunday refeeds (300-500 calories worth of carbohydrates) depending on my pictures and weigh-ins. Off Season is pretty flexible as long as I hit the Macronutrients I need for the day but I prefer eating similar foods and foods that are whole. I am a creature of habit plus it makes it easier with my schedule as a full time nurse. Carb Sources: Jasmine Rice, brown rice, Red potato, sweet potato, oatmeal, cream of rice, bagels, sourdough bread, english muffins, cereals, fruits, veggies. Protein: whole eggs, egg whites, chicken breast and thigh, lean ground beef, lean ground turkey, mahi mahi, tuna, shrimp, salmon, whey isolate powder. Fat: Nut butters, whole eggs, coconut oil, olive oil, salmon, red meat.

I meal prep twice a week and everything is weighed/measured. It's just easier to eat similar foods, helps me stay on track. I've been doing it for so long now it's second nature. Off Season obviously I go out and treat myself with yummy food and occasional alcoholic beverages but I am always mindful of fat content when eating out because of the caloric density. Prep diet was actually not that crazy. I did a 14 week prep starting December 11th. Food sources were similar to what I was eating before prep just lower in volume, so lower in calories creating a caloric deficit which leads to body fat loss. We started prep at 1800 calories 40C/40P/20F split roughly, minimal cardio. I had refeeds (increase in calories mostly coming from carbohydrates) on Sundays starting my 6th week into prep (cream of rice, oatmeal, bananas, honey, kodiak pancakes, english muffins). I kept a lean physique during my off season and lost 15 lbs for the competition. I was able to get away with eating more at the beginning of the prep because my physique was already lean going into prep.

I also increased cardio during mid prep and had to do as much as 6 days a week the last 3 weeks of prep if you could add that please. Carbs during prep didnít go lower than 95 grams and that was during peak week.

Elise Bohus

I feel any sort of caloric deficit will make someone loose weight and I don't have much experience with different diets but a high carb high protein lower fat approach worked for me in the off and prep season. I prefer keeping carbs and protein high, fat low especially for training purposes. Carbs fuel you during workouts, protein repairs the muscle damage made during intense weight training and helps maintain muscle while dieting. Protein also keeps you full which helps when you're dieting.

I practiced my posing with my coaches many weeks before stepping on stage at home and I posed in the posing rooms at the gym after workouts. The practice helped with my confidence. I think being a Naval Officer has helped me build self confidence. Weight training has built self confidence.

Off Season I did zero cardio. Strictly weight training. M,TH Legs, T Chest, Delts, Abs, W Back, F Arms/Shoulders Abs. My 2 goals for training were #1 hypertrophy, #2 strength. the compound lifts were always involved (Bench Press, Overhead Press, Deadlift, Squat). Leg days I did 8-10 exercises 4 sets 10-12 reps. The other days 6-8 exercises 4 sets 10-15 reps depending on body part. Shoulders and arms I did higher reps 12-15 range moderate weight. I used progressive overload (the gradual increase of stress placed on the body during exercise training) Each week my goal was to increase weight or rep in my exercises. I applied this during prep plus cardio. I either did 20-30 minutes of HIIT on a bike or elliptical and 35-45 minutes of moderate state on stair stepper.

I really enjoyed my first competition. I thought the promoters and judges were very professional and honest. Meeting other athletes who also share similar goals and lifestyle is inspiring too.

I enjoy being a physique athlete because of the discipline. Hard work, discipline, and consistency are needed for achieving a goal. I am also more educated in nutrition and exercise. The human body fascinates me and I am happy I chose this sport and lifestyle. I am happier and healthier. Of course during prep i give my nutrition and training 100% but during my off season I do live a little. I know how to create balance in my diet, training, and relationships.

I will probably take this season off to improve in my weaker areas and compete in an early national show in 2019. I am working towards attaining my IFBB Pro Card naturally. I plan on gaining more knowledge in physique and strength sport science and working towards a sports nutrition certification through the international society of sports nutrition. For a better understanding for myself and hopefully start personal training as a part time job.

Email ekbohus@gmail.com
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/ebo1790

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