Jami Shields - NPC National Figure Competitor

Jami Shields, 30 years old, mother of 2, NPC National Figure Competitor
Owner of Ab-Solute Fitness & Nutrition

Jamie: During my husbandís deployment in 2009 I turned to running as a way to escape the world. It was ďmeĒ time, time away from my children, a time to think and free my mind. The more I ran the more I felt the urge to get back into a competitive sport so, I started my fitness journey training for a Ĺ marathon. I realized I really didnít enjoy running after that 1st race and coincidently that fall an acquaintance at the gym I belonged to approached me and asked if I had ever thought about competing in a figure competition.

My first thought was, ďwhat is thatĒ? I remember going home that evening and researching everything I could find on figure competitors. I was instantly intrigued and now flattered that this woman I barely knew thought that I could do such a thing. These women were incredible. Due to my competitive nature I instantly wanted to learn all about this so called ďfigure competitionĒ. It definitely seemed like a lot of work but I wanted to give it a shot. My husband and I had always made our health a priority so I couldnít wait to share this with him. When he returned home I explained to him what I wanted to do, and from the very beginning had his full support.

In early 2010 I attended a competition seminar as well as my first posing class. I learned a great deal about my body, how it works, the nutrients it needs, and muscles I didnít even know existed in a short period of time. I trained myself for only 8 weeks in preparation for my first OCB fitness model, and figure competition in April that year. Letís just say the experience I had that day on stage was enough to change my life forever. In just a few short years I went from a 2nd grade school teacher of 6 years with a Masterís Degree to a gym owner of Ab-Solute Fitness & Nutrition, Fitness Director, Wellness Consultant, Nutrition Counselor, and Competition Coach. Bodybuilding is my lifestyle. I have now been competing for 4 solid years ending my 2012 season with 3 National NPC figure shows under my belt. I am thrilled to see what this year brings for me. I will be competing at the IFBB North Americans in August.

Jami Shields Jami Shields
Jami Shields

My weakness is off season dieting. I truly love food at this point in my career and look very forward to it after long months of prepping. While I make healthy choices I have a major sweet tooth. During off season my calories go up. I personally donít do the best job tracking my macro nutrients as well as I should in the off season but, I still stick to 6 meals a day moderate fat, high protein, and high carb. I guess you could say I become a bit of a hypocrite with what I encourage my clients to do and what I find myself doing in off season. I definitely will enjoy some ice cream or a batch of brownies from time to time. For me it is all about sanity.

I do however feel your biggest gains are made in the off season when you can take time to focus on your weaknesses and improve them before you cut calories again. When I begin contest prep my head is in the game 100%, eye on the prize. I plan to give myself at least a good 20 weeks to slowly decrease calories so that I can hold on to as much muscle as possible. Iíve found in the last 3 years the longer I have to cut down, the more muscle I retain and, the fuller I look on stage. Iíve learned over time that my body responds best to higher carbs, moderate protein, and very low fat however, I will carb cycle based on my workouts in the gym. The torture of low carb diets does not pertain to me. I guess you could say Iíve been blessed in that area.

When I first started competing I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I did so much googling and reading articles and plans written by many different figure competitors. I canít tell you how confused and frustrated I was trying to figure out what would be best for me. I initially decided to do the low carb thing. This did work to help me lean out and get smaller per say. I stuck with it for my first season in the sport. I got super lean, super skinny, and super stringy. Those competitive in figure know that skinny and stringy does not get you a first place. Needless to say I came to realize shortly after that not everyoneís body responds the same to the low carb diet. Some might say Iím one of the lucky ones in the sport. My body does well on a higher carb, low fat, and moderate protein! Therefore low carb is not for me.

Supplementation is very important to me and when in contest prep mode. I endorse Truestar Health supplements and I feel they work the best for me. I feel great taking them and knowing they are 100% natural eases my mind. Of their products during contest prep I take the True Basics with Lean Extreme. This is a multi-vitamin along with a fat burning agent. I also take the True ABS, this is a CLA blend that helps break up mid-section fat cells. I take the True Thermo, their natural thermogenic, as well as the True Carb Blocker. I take all of those in the morning with my breakfast.

I then take the True Energy Pre Workout prior to weight training, and the True Repair just after weight training. This supplement helps with muscle recovery. Just before bed I take the True Sleep as well as the True Joint Support. Getting the proper sleep is so important for good health and very important when training for a show. I feel wonderful on these products and do not get the shakes and jitters like you do with some other fat burners and supplements containing fillers.

When I start getting ready for a competition I break my weight training into 5 days with 2 rest days. I make sure that I am still doing cardio on my rest days. Cardio changes throughout prep but over all my weight training stays the same. I always go super hard and heavy but will also incorporate some high volume exercises. I lift back and biceps together, chest and triceps, legs, shoulders, and glutes/plyo. I have a hard time with my glutes so 2 leg days one focuses just on glutes and plyometrics helps them tighten up. I incorporate calves and abs 3x a week.

As far as diet and training are concerned I do some carb cycling. I have 2 refeed days, one on back and one on shoulder day. These are two areas that are weaker and need improvement! I eat roughly 100g of carbs more on these days than on regular training days. I then eat less carbs on a rest day than a training day. This really helps me in losing body fat and maintaining as much muscle as possible.

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