Emma Bowman - WFF PRO Fitness Model
I had always been into fitness to some degree throughout my life. I was the typical ‘cardio’ bunny’ at the gym, chasing down my calories I had consumed from my poor diet through endless cardio classes, sometimes back to back. I never saw result of change within my body and never really enjoyed it, as my focus was not on health.
After having my 3 children, I began to look at fitness in a different way. I was prepared to try a different approach to my fitness after becoming inspired by a woman who entered the gym one day. She had rippling muscle and minimal body fat. She looked healthy, strong and determined. My inspiration was right there, so I picked up the courage to ask her how she trained to get a body like that! She introduced me to the idea of lifting heavy weights and minimal cardio, but being supported by a diet that was nutritionally sound to assist with the changes. So it began. I lifted. I researched. I ate well. I saw results. My passion was born.
I first began competing in Bodybuilding contests within the Fitness model category only 8 months after I began lifting, at the beginning of Season A in Australia in 2016.
I had originally thought of competing in one show only. Little did I know how much success I would have in such a short time and most importantly how much of a rush I would feel from competing! I certainly never knew I would ever have the confidence to stand up on stage like that, but lifting weights has given me not only outer strength but inner strength that I never knew existed.
I ended up competing in 5 competitions in 2016, placing first in State and National competitions and gaining my Pro Card with the World Fitness Federation (WFF). In my final show for 2016, I competed internationally at the Miss Universe in Orlando Florida which was an amazing experience from which I learnt a lot.
Diet and Training
Off season for me isn’t a free for all. I still meal prep, I still stick to relatively clean eating plan. I up my calories but track my macros. I have one to two ‘cheat meals’ a week. It is important to get professional nutritional advice to gain maximum muscle through this bulking stage. I also do believe however that it is possible to stay lean, while also being in a slight surplus to gain lean muscle. In keeping this in mind, I am able to begin my prep for competition with an already lean physique, requiring less stress and minimal cardio to obtain a stage ready figure.
Failed diet: By the end of my long season last year, I was too lean. I went into my last show too dehydrated and too card depleted. I have learnt that travelling overseas will naturally increase stress and withhold fluid. Next time I will be careful in making sure I recover from travel before stepping up on stage.
I train 6 days weight training a week. In the last 3 weeks of my stage debut I generally incorporate 2 x HIIT sessions a week on the cross trainer at the end of my weight session, for a maximum time of 25 minutes.
Self-confidence: I had decades of hating my body and disordered eating. I had anxiety, low self-confidence and body dysmorphia. I never in a million years would think I ever had the confidence to go to the beach in a bikini let alone up on stage in front of the world in one! I took the challenge of changing my lifestyle and I gained not only a better physique but an inner confidence and strength that I am so proud of today.
My most recent win as the now 2017 ICN Rookie Fitness Model of the Year was an amazing experience. I travelled interstate on the day, by myself and knew no one at the event. It was quite daunting being alone, however the ICN federation is most welcoming and their ongoing support before, during and after the events is very reassuring. Competition nerves are completely normal. It is the way in which you channel those emotions on how successful you will become and the way it will be displayed on stage.
To have succeeded in reaching the goal of winning this event, I feel has helped my confidence in what lies ahead for my competition season this year. However in saying that, I will never take any win for granted and I will continue to push hard and present an even better physique each time I hit the stage.
My plans involve continuing to train for my passion of Bodybuilding. I will continue to compete in competition, as it gives me something to work towards. I will continue to challenge myself in the hope of always improving on my physique. You can always improve what you have, adjust and concentrate on gaining muscle in areas which you feel are lacking.
I am looking forward to continuing to inspire other women, in particular other mums out there to hit the gym. In becoming more involved in the Bodybuilding industry through my federations and sponsors, I am continuing to learn more each day. I will be on the judging panel for an upcoming WFF/NABBA competition in coming weeks which I am excited for.
At the end of this season I will be looking at completing a personal training course in the hope of helping other people to reach their goals.