Jessica Marie Colombo - Bikini Competitor
My life changed one morning when I woke up and thought to myself, I am not happy with the transformation my 40-year-old body was in. I have always been very athletic. I played softball, volleyball, and lacrosse while in high school. I even played in a few recreational leagues after college. Through it all, I have always been an avid runner. I have seen my body transform from a marathon runnerís physique to an Olympic lifter, to a then Cross-Fitters body. That morning, I felt a sense of thirst for a new challenge. My inner self was hungry for a change. Not only in the physique aspect, but in the intensity and regime of new workouts. I felt that I had plateaued in my workouts. At that moment I decided to research and ask myself if body building was for me? The New me I was looking for.
My body building experience began in May 2016 after contacting my previous Trainer at BEFIT Elite Team in Ft. Hood, Texas. From then, my lifestyle quickly changed with the addition of longer, strenuous days at the gym and strict meal plans, all while remaining as a full-time CRNA (certified nurse anesthetist), wife, & mom of two young energetic girls.
On December 10, 2016, after much mental will-power and training, I competed at my very first show. I stepped on stage as a NSL Bikini Athletic Division competitor at the NSL Space City Open in Houston, Texas and was awarded 2nd place. My second and most recent show was on April 8th at the NPC NC State Championship 2017, to which I received 2nd place in Bikini Masters 35+ and Bikini Novice, and 3rd place in Masters 40+.
Meal prepping is VERY important and almost the most integral part of this process in body building. Off season I try to maintain lean mass as to avoid drastic changes in my meal plans throughout in season training. My Trainer and I communicate with each other to see if gains are needed with my overall weight, and he adjusts my meal plans/caloric intake/carbs/protein/fats /fiber/ as needed as to prevent loss of muscle mass while attempting to maintain lean mass in the process. However, in season the meal plans become more rigid and absolutely NO cheat meals. The sugar intake is cut from low to none, and carbs are maintained throughout my last week of training and adjusted as needed on peak week until show day.
My workouts consist of lifting weights 7 days a week and cardio 7 days a week. Cardio is adjusted as needed due to my body maintaining lean mass and bikini competitors canít be too lean and hard for competition purposes. My trainer and I communicate closely regarding cardio and caloric intake as peak week and show date approaches. I personally enjoy combining weight lifting with CrossFit workouts, Olympic lifting and HIIT within my training phases.
Letís face it, stage presentation is a key factor to body building. Yes, yes, we must work hard at the gym and build those muscles but stage presentation and posing is just as important. While prepping for my first show, I spent many hours learning what my body looked like and how it moved. I had seen plenty of competitors in videos or on TV and I knew what I was supposed to do, but when it came time for me to stand in front of the mirror and strut my stuff, my body and my mind were not on the same page. It wasnít as easy as I thought. This was a new challenge. I was not used to presenting myself to an audience. I had to learn how to walk & pose in a way that accentuated my best features. After my first show, I felt that posing and stage presentation was one of my weaknesses. At that time I decided to invest in posing clinics, and even hired a posing coach for private sessions at Jís Fit Factory. Believe it or Not, one may have the most amazing physique but, if one canít show/present to the judges on stage all the hard work and hours spent training it will equal no call outs in the line up.
Pre judging is very nerve wrecking for me because every judge has their own thoughts on what a bikini body should look like. Some judges like hard lean bikini competitors but others rather have the softer bikini girl look. While training as a bikini competitor, I have learned that my body loves to turn into a lean hard body instead of a gaining a softer bikini look. When I step on stage to present myself to the judges I am showing the effects of my hard work and dedication. I step on stage to smile away and show every single judge my 3 am wake ups & my fasted cardio preceded by a 10-hour work day, followed by 1-hour total body workout and then sauna before bedtime. I step on stage to show them my ALL. I go into my competitions not expecting any medals, but if I place, I am a very happy bikini girl.
My future plans are to step on stage at the NPC Goldís gym Classic in June. I hope to maintain my current lean body mass and maintain current training and meal plan.