Joey Guz - Bikini Competitor
I started competing about 3 years ago because I lived this lifestyle of food prepping, working out, eating healthy and have a tremendous amount of passion for health and fitness. I needed a goal and I needed a challenge. Competing seemed like the best fit. I never thought I would love it or become addicted to it as I have.
Diet off-season vs. pre-contest
I will be honest, I typically eat well 95% of the time. I love whole foods that are good for you and I do crave them. It's not a chore for me to eat healthy. I love the food and love how it makes me feel. Being that I have 4 degrees all science related, I know the body and I know what fuels it the best. That is high quality whole foods, not processed junk food. I follow IIFYM on and off season. I will say about 4 weeks out I do not eat anything with any kind of artificial additives at all. I don't eat much of it anyways so it's not that difficult at all to do but I do make sure that my intake is coming from nothing but whole foods period.
I have done meal plans and I find those hard to follow because who wants to eat the exact same thing day in and day out? Or foods that you may not even like? The other challenge is post show as well. It's not ideal or sustainable to follow a meal plan year round. How do you go out to eat? Family gatherings? Or anywhere for that matter? You will end up stressing about not eating on your plan and then the whole concept becomes annoying and definitely is not any fun.
IIFYM gives you the flexibility to decide what YOU want to eat. Obviously I am not eating donuts to fill my macros. But I can have different things and don't have to do the "bro" diets that consist of zero carbs, tilapia and asparagus.
I lift 6x week and do HIIT cardio majority of the time. During off season my lifts stay at 6x and cardio will go down to about 2-20 minute hiit sessions a week. During prep I increase cardio but not until later into prep. I will incorporate more hiit, plyometrics, and jogs. I use a lot of bands for resistant work especially for my glutes/hams. Now for me I don't have a hard time fitting in a workout. I make it happen. I wake up and head to the gym. It is like my coffee. I don't think about it, I just do it. I know that I will feel great after and I know that if I don't do it I won't feel the best. This does not mean I have days where I wake up and don't want to go to the gym. But I don't let that doubt get to me. My goals are to stay healthy and fit. For me working out is a part of my daily routine along with eating the healthiest that I can. Again I do have days that I crave cake or cookies. So yes I will have one. It's all about moderation and making it work :)
I will say I have always suffered from stage fright. I still get panicked before going on stage. But it's a different panic now. It's an excitement to show what I worked so hard for. I listen to motivational music before I go on stage, read motivational quotes and I have an amazing team that keep me motivated 24/7.
The last show I competed in was North Americans in Pittsburgh this past September. This show was actually one of the better ones that the NPC held due to the organization of it. It was only 1 day and they weren't behind on schedule at all. Prejudging was in the morning and finals in the evening. It was bikini only and they had a day for each category that way you weren't there for hours waiting. I always meet great people at the shows and gain new friends. I love competing and the comradery that it brings amongst everyone. Every part of the show is fun to me. The getting dolled up with hair/makeup, being tanned and finally getting to present your package that you worked so damn hard to work for in front of judges and audience members who are there supporting their family and/or loved ones.
I am currently in prep for a local show coming up here in Michigan before I get started with the national shows this year. I am starting with junior nationals in Chicago and will go from there. I will be graduating in May from graduate school and will be a family nurse practitioner. I work for Adofitness and have the best job in the world. I have an amazing boss, Amber Fokken who is the owner and also one of the coaches. We have a great team dynamic and consider each other family. I will continue to work for her full time, part time as an FNP and continue competing. I am working my butt off to get my pro card and I won't stop until I get it! :)