Jennifer Remazki - Figure Athlete

Jennifer: I have been an athlete all of my life and studied Fitness and Lifestyle Management through college. I have been involved in the fitness industry spanning three decades now. I took a lot of time off from fitness pursuits through my thirties, however, and as a result, my body suffered. My body composition deteriorated and I gained about thirty pounds. It seemed that what “they say” about being over forty was true — that it is a slippery slope of fat gain as the decades advance. I felt defeated and deflated and even worse, unmotivated to do anything about it. I knew I had to rally back somehow, so it was baby steps. I started by making some structured dietary changes and began a thrice weekly walk-jog program. After three months, I had released thirty pounds, but still felt “skinny-fat”, the upside, though was that my energy and motivation was back, so I got myself into the gym.

With great nutrition and doing what I knew to do, lift heavy and do a five-day body part split, I started to see results and was also amazed at my recovery. That is when I said, out-loud to a friend, “I have always wanted to compete in a bodybuilding competition.” And I had, ever since I was a young girl I was enamoured by the amazing physiques of Cory Everson and Rachel McLish and I was fascinated with anything Arnold Schwarzenegger did or said. Because I said it aloud, and the fact that is scared me to pieces, made it all the more reason for me to follow through, so I did.

Jennifer Remazki

In July 2012, I competed with the IDFA in novice figure and the transformation categories. I placed sixth and first respectively. Moreover, I had so much fun, I couldn’t wait to do it again. I sought-out a coach experienced in competition prep and competed again with the IDFA and then moved into the OPA in 2013 and 2014. I learned so much from that coach and a few others I had hired along the way and really fell in love with the lifestyle and journey I was on, so naturally, my goals and aspirations grew. I have since changed coaches now and have found a team I feel very blessed to be a part of and I am very clearly on the right track and in great hands. I have stepped on stage three times now, under their guidance and feel very healthy going into and coming out of competition because of their techniques.

Diet and Training

Up to this point, I have followed clean-eating strategies and definitely eat more calories in the off-season to fuel the body composition changes that we seek. My off-season diet, though structured, allows for more flexibility and variety as well as a once per week “cheat meal” or "re-feed" or “free meal”, whatever term suits your fancy. My pre-contest diet gets pretty tight. We have discovered that my body responds best to low-carb or carb-cycling strategies, so we incorporate a lot of that. I eat five to six smaller meals per day and incorporate super-food nutrition meal-replacement shakes for one or two of those meals in my off-season. I am playing around with flexible-dieting as I come out of this competition season in my reverse-diet and am liking the variety once again.

For me, we have discovered that my body responds to a high-protein, low-carb or carb-cycling format to release fat. Everybody’s body is unique, and I do have age working against me (hormones shifting etc…) so what works for me might be extreme or not work at all for another. I incorporate Isagenix nutritional shakes and many of that line of supplements into my regime and that of my clients if they so choose. The results speak for themselves. Combined with clean, flexible dieting, whether low-carb, carb-cycling or not, I find this an exceptional combination to elicit results in the competitor and non-competitor, average person just wanting to shed fat and get fit, alike!

Failed diet: Eating the same thing, meal after meal, day in and day out in a very low calorie deficit was quite detrimental to my metabolism. Cutting all sodium and drinking distilled water were old practices I was engaged in under a previous coach’s guidance and that is, I have come to learn, not only unnecessary, but downright dangerous.

I workout in the weight room 5-6 days a week doing a very typical five-day split. I hit trouble zones twice in a week. Since I want to build up shoulders and bring up my legs/glutes from every angle, I train debts twice a week and have split legs/glutes up to twice in the week.

I do HIIT training, generally speed intervals on the treadmill, anywhere from 2-3 days per week.

I do cardio 6-7 days per week. I like running, Stepmill, riding a Spin bike or walking on an incline. I like to mix it up. In off-season I still like to incorporate morning fasted cardio before breakfast as it wakes me up, gets my circulation going, as well as my metabolism and makes me feel like I have earned that breakfast! I like to do my weight-training with a couple of meals in me so I have the strength and endurance to get through a great workout.

A photo posted by Jennifer Remazki (@jrfitlifestyle) on

On Stage

Building self-confidence to compete: By just doing it. Life happens outside of your comfort zone, so I stretched. I am not comfortable walking in heels nor strutting in a bikini without a cover-up. I am very body shy, and like so many women, battling a lot of body issues. So, paying to have my physique be judged by a panel while I walk in front of them in heels, is downright terrifying — or at least in the beginning, it was. Now, I enjoy the day. I still get the shakes on stage, but I am far more comfortable up there. My smile is real. I earned that moment to showcase all of my sacrifice and hard work. I stand alongside women my age, and even decades younger and I am proud of my “work” to date. On a side note, I am involved in the world of purebred dogs and compete heavily in conformation shows. These shows are very similar in that the dogs I breed are being judged on how well they physically conform to the ideal standard (physique) for the breed. It, too, is a very subjective sport — I have learned how to accept wins and losses both with a perspective of, “it was those particular judges' opinions in that particular moment, on that particular day, against that particular line-up of competitors.” On any given day the outcome could be very, very different. The only opinions that matter are the subjective, constructive eyes of my coaches, my husband and how I feel about myself in my own skin. I take it all in stride.

I think the craziest experience for me was this past Provincial Championships! As I mentioned, I am involved in the world of purebred dogs, as well. I had a litter due the same weekend as provincials and was hoping she’d deliver Sunday as I would be home. No, of course nature being what it is, she decided to go into labour at 2am on the Friday morning. I had until 2pm Friday afternoon to register for pre-judging, which was beginning at 4pm that afternoon. I live two hours outside of Toronto. I was in a minor panic! Unfortunately, complications arose making the delivery of the puppies stressful for my husband, the momma-dog and me! In the end, we have a healthy momma, a healthy litter and I made it to the Athlete’s Check-in with literally five minutes to spare.

Once I was registered, had my tan, hair and make-up on, I had a few hours to spare and relax before stepping on-stage. I received a lovely compliment from a judge during the Athlete’s Check-in about the grace and confidence of my posing at the show I had competed at the week before, a regional qualifier. That was a well-timed compliment that eased my nerves and helped me step on stage for pre-judging with confidence that evening. In general, I love the camaraderie backstage — some wonderful friendships have been made in this sport and there is a lot of “hurry-up and wait” that goes on throughout the day or days of competition and it is during those down-times that great friendships can be fostered. I find, from my experience, that everyone understands the hard work and sacrifice that each and everyone of us endures in this sport/lifestyle and for the most part, everyone is very supportive of one another. It is nice to see.

Future plans: Absolutely future plans! That is what I love about this sport, I have moved the flag-pole a little further out, yet again. My goals are now to compete in Grandmasters Figure in 2017 and to ultimately one day compete at the Arnold’s and/or the North American’s. I would also like to travel around to some other shows in the USA in the NPC. I know everybody says IFBB Pro Card, and I do too, and that would be wonderful if it happened, but in the meantime, I will continue to work hard, listen to and learn from my coaches, assist my own competitors that I coach on their journeys and expand in my knowledge as a coach and the package I present as an athlete.

Contact info:
Facebook: JR Fitlifestyle - Jennifer Remazki Fitness & Lifestyle
Instagram: @jrfitlifestyle

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