Hannah Camfield - Bikini Competitor

I got into fitness around 2012. I simply wanted to lose weight after spending a few years eating and drinking whatever I wanted. Essentially, the freshmen ten/fifteen finally caught up with me junior year! I did the usual cardio thing, but I eventually picked up the weights and it completely changed my life. After a few more years, I found CrossFit. I fell in love with the idea of challenging yourself based on ability rather than appearance, and I think this has made a huge impact in muscle gain. I recently took a course and obtained my Level One (the first training requirement) for CrossFit, and I started coaching soon after. One of the girls at my CF gym went through prep and competed in figure, and that made me think it might be time to finally do a show. I have to say... I think I'm hooked!

4th place in open bikini b! Pretty happy with this score in my first NPC show. - Huge shoutout to @acecamfield12 for putting up with my (sometimes) hangry self for the last 12 weeks. - Another GIGANTIC shoutout to @hotshothood & @flynnd01. I literally could not have done this without you guys. I have wanted to try a bikini show for quite some time, and it weren't for Betsy to inspire me to go for it & Doug to show me the way, I would have never made it. Going after your goals and trying new things can be scary, and I know I couldn't have done it without you two. Many, many thanks ?? - Now I have a cheeseburger with my name ALL over it... - #bikini #bikinishow #showday #girlswithabs #npcbikini #4thplace #firstcallouts #npcillinois #illinoisstatenpc #girlswithmuscle #bikinigirls #firstshow #bikinicompetitor #bikinicompetition #npc #blonde #gymgirls #girlswholift #crossfittomorrow

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Diet off-season vs. pre-contest: Honestly, I have only done one show so far, so I'm not one hundred percent sure how my diet will change. I can tell you my plans, though! I have done a lot of reading (especially anything that comes from Layne Norton) about reverse dieting. I plan to follow this idea. I carb-cycled through my prep, so I plan to continue doing so while slowly upping my carbs on both high and low carb days. I definitely think that carb cycling was an extremely effective way for me to lose weight and prep for my first show. As for gaining muscle, I had a pretty high calorie and carb intake for my size before prepping. Obviously, being in a caloric surplus is helpful for gaining muscle. I also really enjoy flexible dieting and being able to work in foods that I enjoy. I think that is key in making the "healthy lifestyle" thing stick.

My training program started out with lifting six days a week, steady-state cardio three times a week for 30 minutes each session, and I kept CrossFit in about two to three times a week. As my prep continued, I had to up my steady-state cardio and decrease CrossFit. This was mostly due to the fact that my workouts were getting to be lengthy, and time constraints made it so I was unable to fit in my CF classes. I work a regular, full-time job, so I had to do cardio in the morning, lifting after work, sometimes coaching after work, and that didn't leave a lot of time for extras.

As for balancing that with diet, I'm a strong believer in "fail to prepare, prepare to fail." I did spend a lot of time meal prepping and grocery shopping, but that just comes with the territory of doing a show. I didn't have the funds for a food delivery service, so I tried to meal prep about two to three times a week. I definitely think it is vastly important to plan, plan, plan when it comes to food. This comes even more into effect when you prep around holidays! Find some foods that you do like and that you can have. I always had some sugar-free jello or a flavored water handy.

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Self-confidence to compete: I am going to attribute the self-confidence to two things: my past experiences and CrossFit. I was a cheerleader all through my high school career, and I think it helped tremendously with being on a stage and delivering a performance. I have also competed in a few local CF competitions, and that is a difference kind of pressure, but it still provided me with the confidence and self-belief that I can accomplish what I set my mind to. Also, after working so hard for months to get ON that stage, I believe I wouldn't be doing myself justice if I didn't flaunt and have some fun with it!

Contest experiences: You can read about some of these experiences on my blog: hancamfit.com! I have a blog up about peak week and the struggles of depletion while working and juggling other responsibilities. I plan to have posts up quite soon about show day!

I will tell you that it was an amazing experience. I had so much fun at my first show, and I know I'm not going to be able to avoid doing another! I now understand how people get addicted to "that prep life" even though it can be such a struggle sometimes! I was surprised at how calm and ready I felt for prejudging, but then I was literally shaking and trembling on stage. I wish I would have done a novice class to get the jitters out first! However, I still did pretty well for my first show - 4th out of 12 girls. I am proud of my placing, but it does make me hungry to do better next time! I thoroughly enjoyed the night show and the opportunity to be the only one on stage, even if it was only for twenty seconds. It helped that my nerves were completely calmed by then, too!

Being an athlete affects my life in an exceptionally positive manner. I truly enjoy being a health-focused individual. My hobbies and pastimes have shifted from going out on the weekends to waking up early to take the dog on a hike or go to a fitness class. This change has allowed me to strive for more personal and professional growth. I have gained SO much confidence beyond what I look like; I try to challenge myself to try new things and take more risks.
Of course, there are some downfalls that do come with competing and prepping. Some friends who drift away because they don't understand why you don't want to go to the bar or why you can't eat pizza right now. However, you will make new friends that share your same passions, too.

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Future plans? The question mark after this one is quite large! I do plan on doing another show on June 3rd (GNC Classic). I just decided to do this show after my first one; I figured I've worked so hard for this long already, and I've learned so much/have a lot of ideas for improvements. I'd really like to hit the stage one more time before taking an off season to focus on gaining some more muscle and sneaking in a couple of CF comps for fun. I definitely plan on doing more shows in 2018!

Hannah Camfield
Email: hancamfit@gmail.com

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