Laura Jacobs - Bikini Competitor

I started competing about 2 years ago. I've been an athlete my whole life, and played Division 1 softball at University of Memphis. A couple of years after graduating and falling out of the active, athletic life style, I felt like something was missing. I started working out to try to get back in shape and found my passion in health and fitness. I started following fitness competitors on social media, researching and studying training, nutrition, etc and absolutely fell in love with it. I honestly never thought I could ever step on stage or look like any of the girls I followed. After years of wanting to do it, but never having the courage, I finally just decided to go for it and haven't looked back. Competing has brought out the best in me, made me realize I am capable of anything I set my mind to, and taught me so much about myself. It's a lifestyle for me, and I absolutely love it.

Y'all it's official.. 1st place and nationally qualified! No words can describe my emotions right now. It's been a long couple of months, with 4 shows in 3 months, 3 in the last 4 weeks, but I finally did it. And I AM.SO.PUMPED. Set goals, work your ass off, and own it. Be your own motivation, and most importantly: never give up. You better believe I'm not done yet???????? #npc #npcbikini #goldenlionproductions #npcnaplesclassic #naplessportsfestival #nationallyqualified #bikinicompetitor #competitionprep #fitness #fitspo #fitnessmotivation #motivateyourself #neverbeoutworked #timetobuild #ontothenext #girlswholift #girlswithmuscle #procardhungry

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My on season/off season diet doesn't change too drastically, with the exception of an increase in overall calories from not being in a deficit in the off season, and a few more treats here and there. I don't follow a set "meal plan" or eat boiled tilapia and broccoli 6 times a day. I follow more of a "flexible" approach, and eat the foods I enjoy while making sure to hit my target macro/micro-nutrients. I find this approach to be best for me. I honestly enjoy all the meals I eat, never feel deprived, and am less likely to fall of track when I'm eating what I like rather than forcing myself to eat certain foods. I typically train 6-7 days a week, with my days being broken up into: day 1-heavy legs, day 2- shoulders, day 3- back, day 4- legs (glute/ham focus), day 5- shoulders/arms, day 6- legs/plyos. On the 7th day I listen to my body, and either take a rest day or do HIIT, abs and stretching/foam rolling. My cardio varies based on where I am in prep, but usually I do 30 min of steady state or 20 min of HIIT 3-5x week. Depending on my schedule and energy for that day, I may do cardio in the morning, and lift later in the day, or combine the two and do cardio following my lift. I aim to do core/stability work 3-4 days a week as well.

Building the confidence to step on stage was the hardest part for me. I loved the training and nutrition, but being on stage in a bikini and being judged from head to toe absolutely terrified me. It was completely outside of my comfort zone, and I think that's why I was drawn to this sport. I never thought I could do it, so I looked at it as a personal challenge. I wasn't doing this to please the people in the audience on what they thought looked best. I was doing this for me, to step outside my comfort zone and prove to myself I could do it. After my first show I was hooked. It was a complete adrenaline rush. I immediately wanted to take all of the feedback, get back to the gym, improve, and do it again. My goal every show is to beat myself. To me, competing isn't about being better than the girl next to you, it's about being better than you were last time. If you are continuously comparing yourself to others you will never be happy. At the end of the day, you have to do this for you, and no one else.

2 days out. #levelup #leavenodoubt #motivateyourself #neversettle #relentless #grindharder #npc #npcbikini #competitionprep #peakweek #dekewarnerproductions #npcfloridastate #npcfloridastatechampionship #fitness #fitnessmotivation #bodybuilding #girlswholift #girlswithmuscle #putinwork #physique #trainhard #eatright #nutrition #metabolicevolution #teamgrazione #ASPI #aspitraining #personaltrainer #ownit #imnotdoneyet

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Balancing life and being a bikini athlete on competition prep is tough, but doable. I am lucky enough to be able to do what I love for a living, as I am a full time trainer/coach, so it's more of a lifestyle for me. There are definitely sacrifices that you have to make, but I don't think it should ever keep you from enjoying life. You may have to pass on the alcohol or dessert at social gatherings, but by no means do you need to pass on life experiences. I may have had to bring prepped food to weddings, vacations, etc., but I didn't miss out on the memories with friends. Finding a way to do both I think is extremely important, along with having the support of your family and friends. A lot of people don't understand what it takes to be on prep, and sometimes they aren't as understanding or welcoming to it. But, when they see how dedicated, consistent and motivated you are, they usually end up respecting it and a lot of times asking for help on how they can make healthier life choices. Motivating others to live a healthy lifestyle is more rewarding than any competition trophy.

After placing 1st at my last show, NPC Greater Naples Classic, and nationally qualifying, I am currently getting ready for the 2017 NPC Nationals in Miami. I am very excited to step on a national stage for the first time in November. I am eager to see where I stand, to get experience and feedback at the national level, and to see how I can improve to achieve my ultimate goal of earning my pro card.


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