Karla Rodriguez - Bikini Competitor

Background: I began competing for the first time in 2012. I was having a hard time in my personal life and had broken up with a long time boyfriend. I decided that I needed to do something to take the focus off of the breakup. I decided that I would set a date for a competition and focus my energy on preparing to step on stage. It worked! Not only did I win my show, but I was able to overcome all of the feelings I was having over the breakup and turned them into something positive for myself.

A little behind the scenes photo shoot with these guys ???? @thatoneswoledude @violatethedresscode @death_squad_dames #violatethedresscode #deathsquaddames #philadelphia #photoshoot #badass #beast #killinit

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Diet: My diet does not vary greatly from off-season to pre-contest as I strive to look "contest ready" year around. I normally try to eat clean throughout the year. When I prepare for a show, I increase my protein intake and schedule my meals so that I ensure that I am eating enough food to build in whatever areas I feel are lacking. I am not very big on crazy diets or starving your body like some competitors do. I find that it is much easier if I eat clean always.
Diet plans/ Competition: I found that I am unable to complete a strict diet for the weeks before my competition. During my first competition prep, I realized that I simply LOVE food and I did not want to commit to a strict diet for several weeks just to compete. That is when I decided that I would concentrate on eating clean year around so that there were only a few things that I needed to change in order to step on stage. This typically means that for about 2-4 weeks before my competition, I remove a couple of foods so that I can lean out in my mid section and deplete my water the days before the show for a tighter look.

Training: I train daily, 7 days a week; however, I only lift for 5 days, the other two days are used to ab workouts and intense cardio. I lift for about 2 hours each day with about 10-15 minutes of cardio prior to my session which I consider a warm-up. I try to plan my meals around my training and work schedule to that I can obtain maximum results from my workout.

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Self-Confidence: I had very low self confidence due to being in an abusive relationship. I honestly did not find the confidence to step on stage until I broke things off with the person. Through focusing on my goal of stepping on stage, and the intense workouts I was putting myself through, I slowly realized that I was very happy with my look and that was all I needed to begin to feel happy and confident in myself.

Recent contest: The last time that I was going to step on stage was really exciting as I had already competed enough times to where I was no longer nervous. During the check-in I was excited to see some of the other physiques in other categories. I had an opportunity to speak to some of the other girls and ask them about their training and diet styles. I was much more confident in my look and was not intimidated by the other girls competing.

Life: being an athlete IS my life. I love to train and my entire day is focused on getting the most out of my workout. I ensure that I am up early enough to be able to eat enough prior to my lifting session. The gym is also an outlet for my stress and a time for me to think about the things going on in my life and planning out strategies to be successful in work, relationships, ect.

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Future: I am currently focusing on creating a website to begin online training/coaching. I love the idea of helping others change their body and reach their goals. I believe that working out is not only healthy for the body, but also for the mind. You become strong on the outside as well as on the inside. I think that everyone should be able to experience what it feels like to walk around confident and happy with themselves.

Contact info:
IG: https://www.instagram.com/swole_barbie
email: swolebarbiefitness@gmail.com

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