Jeanette Frieden - Figure Competitor

Jeanette: I have always been in fairly good shape throughout my life. I don't have any drastic before/after photos to share. I regularly trained 4-6 days a week and basically maintained. There were always those select few that stood out from the crowd at the gym. I decided to introduce myself to one and mesh a compliment with an inquisitive "how do I look like that?" I was lucky enough to confront the right girl who gave me the run down on competing.

Always up for a challenge, I hopped online and filled my head with info, asked around and decided on a coach and kicked things up a notch. My first show was Seven Feathers in Oct 2013. This was my first time ever stepping foot on any stage for any reason. I placed 10th out of about 16. I knew I could do better.

My off season diet is a work in progress. Quite honestly it's not a whole lot different from when I am in prep. I try to maintain a lean physique while building muscle. This is slow going for females. My off season has changed every year and every prep I come back better than the last, you never stop learning. You have to give in to the science of it all, trust your coach and allow a little extra "padding" in the off season.
For me, a carb cycle has been the most effective means of dropping extra fat while maintaining lean muscle mass during my prep (generally approx 10 weeks). 3 low, 2 high. Timing my high days on larger muscle groups (legs & back).
Currently I am enjoying an off season with an occasional adult beverage and guilt free treat now n then. I am currently 10lbs and 7% above my stage stats from my last show Memorial Day weekend and trying to GROW!

I previously worked with a coach who gave all female athletes the same cookie cutter diet. This did not work for me. Everyone's body is different and reacts differently to different methods, macros etc. It's a learning game and a science experiment that tries your patience.

Currently I enjoy training with Dan Simpson. For over a year now we have been training 2 days/week. He's fun, knowledgeable and pushes me because he sincerely cares for all his athletes success. I train on my own the rest of the week.
I hate cardio. I know everyone says that but I'm really bad at it. My cardiovascular endurance is my weakest link. I get bored easily and have to incorporate circuits training when it gets down to the final few weeks of cutting (battle ropes, jump squats, kettle bell swings and yes some stair climbing and an occasion tabata).
I'm a morning person so I like to get my cardio out of the way before I start my day. I like to lift later in the day when I have food and energy. This does not equate to 2/days till the last few weeks when energy levels are more taxed.

The self confidence is a work in progress; I still get butterflies the last few weeks leading up to a show. I am always fearful I won't be ready in time, I won't be big enough, I won't hit my poses etc. I still shake with nerves but I smile though it as I love the adrenaline and how all the hard work and dedication, suffering and cravings all come down to mere moments while hundreds of eyes are on you, judging you… it sounds awful right.

Each contest is just a little different from the next but the basics remain; show up the day before and get your tan on (here's my pitch for LSR, Kim Bell is amazing) get in line to register and check in, have height & weight checked based on your class/division (have your NPC card to avoid that line). Pick up your freebies, grab bag a t-shirt while mingling with the amazing competition and their coaches who are feeding them various forms of carbs.
Head back to your room and TRY to rest, watch the clock, eat on the dot, keep your tan flawless and again, TRY to rest…. Wake up before your alarm and start the hair and make up process, squeeze in a check in with the coach, practice your quarter turns a few more times.

Get your back stage bag packed (food, touchup make up, flip flops, bikini glue, jewelry, and of course the post show celebratory junk foods). Each class is lined up and ready in plenty of time, they'll call your name and triple check your numbers. Last opportunity to fix your lipstick, pump up, shove a handful of skittles in your mouth and rock the stage! Sometimes you can hear and see your coach and family in the audience. Smile in their direction as well as the judges! Giggle at their commentary, it makes your abs look good! Enjoy it, it goes by faster than your wedding day!

Now you rest, wait and wonder until the night show. This is far more of a "show"! Relax a little, the hardest part is over but always keep your focus and composure.
With any luck your hard work will pay off in the form of a trophy or a sword! This year I was fortunate enough to take overall at both Emerald Cup and Cascadian Classic in Masters Figure. Honestly I was pretty excited about the hoodies they gave out at Cascadian Classic.

Future plans: As I mentioned, I am enjoying some well deserved "off season" aka build season. My next plan is to hit a National Stage. Honestly, it's part of my motivation! I am never going to show up to a stage wishing I had done more, eaten less or trained harder… Even if I don't win I will know that I did what I could to be the best version of me. If someone beats me, good for her! I sincerely mean that! That's the most surprising aspect of this sport for me. Although it is a very individual and competitive sport, EVERYONE is so helpful and kind and good spirited, before, during and after any show. This is not a sport full of self centered, mirror hogs. It's a sport for people who work hard towards a common goal that requires sacrifice a strong mind and longevity. I have a lot of respect for all the athletes and I have made some amazing friends and I wish them all the very best in this sport and their lives!

Credentials and Contact info:
I am a public health major and an ISSA certified nutritionist. I do meal plans for competitors and non competitors. I enjoy doing this part time for a select few. I am not looking to get BIG and make millions. I want to take really good care of a select few people. I focus on quality, not quantity. My clients can call, text email at any time with questions as I would rather they ask then guess and be wrong.
You can find me on Thumbtack, Facebook at Jeanette Frieden

Thanks for reading,

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Jeanette Frieden