Lauren Long - Bikini Competitor
Lauren: I started lifting weights and seeing results after having my second baby. I saw change and muscle gain that really changed my body. After moving to Athens, GA I found a trainer that lived for competing and he really set me in right direction after telling him my goals becoming a 1st time competitor for my 30th birthday! After my first one and seeing a transformation I was hooked.
Diet changes from off season by adding in more chicken and ground turkey as opposed to fish twice a day for two of my meals. I also add in avocados which I miss during my pre –contest prep. I try to continue my 6 meals a day as well as a gallon of water throughout the year. The six meals off-season stay around the same ounces, but I will add the simple pleasures of life such as, Greek yogurt, bbq sauce, and almond milk to my coffee! It’s the simple things I miss the most during my contest prep diet. I have noticed the gallon of water a day makes great changes in my skin, face. I swear water really does help it works from the inside out! Changing to pre-contest prep I tie all my loose ends up start making lots of extra brown rice, and cooked sweet potatoes, as well as grilling my meats. It makes prep easier when the meat is grilled it doesn’t seem like prep at all! Once all my food is prepared and in my Tupperware it’s easy to stay on track because it is already done!
Before and after.
I have tried MACROS and it does work, but if feel like to really be pulled in on stage I felt most comfortable with the same steady diet. It kept me in my comfort zone and it really helped me from cheating. I felt like on MACROS there was wiggle room and I couldn’t just have “one piece, or one bite”. My second competition I tried just doing chicken and ground turkey with my meals, and I did come in lean, but the best results I saw is when I incorporated fish into my diet. It really stabilized my blood sugar, kept me full and on point.
I like to lift heavy, that is where I see the most gains, so I will lift heavy until I am further into my diet. Then once I start cutting lifting heavy gets hard, and I will focus on the muscle I am using and really squeeze, using a mind-body connection. My cardio stays steady of 3 days a week mostly stairs until I get closer to competition then I try to incorporate a sprinting and HIIT workouts to really activate the fast-twitch muscles in my legs. Training is the easy fun part, I enjoy it. It is a time away from my kids to really focus on my thoughts and get my mind right. The diet I feel is the hardest, but if it is prepped all the thought is taken out and I just go with it. With kids I have to make it easy on myself, so if my food is done, I consider it one less thing I have to do for the day!
Building the self-confidence to compete: I like this question, because I don’t feel like I am a “out there” kind of person. Being a fat kid growing up I didn’t have the confident to wear a bikini and strut, I almost envied those who did. So I use that as my motivation to strut. Also, I think my husband gives me the most confidence because he sees my hard work I put into my gym and diet, and he tells me “your there”, “you look amazing”. He really brings it home for me, keeps me grounded yet really supports me. I also feel like each competition I do I am competing with the “old me”, of the last competition, and if I have improved and can actually see muscle gains than it was worth it, why not show it off?
I feel like my last competition was the best. Check-in was smooth and simple. By Check-in I am ready, no turning back now. Nerves do set in that night, but each hour I see changes in my body and I think the whole process is amazing, dehydration, low carb and carbing up. Every ounce that went into the diet and gym time really shows and I feel proud of myself, not everyone can do this. Prejuding is the most nerve racking, you never know what the panel of judges are looking for. This last competition I felt I came in really hard for bikini, but that is what I was going for. I actually had a figure suit in my bag, thinking I might crossover. My nerves ended up getting the best of me and I just stuck with bikini. After call outs I knew I should have done figure, because I didn’t place. However, my thought again was I still came in harder, more muscle, and overall improved from my last show. I could see the change and I was happy with that. In fact, to be 31 years old with two children and knowing that half of these girls haven’t had any babies made me feel really good about my gains. Finals are all about fun. I try to really stay positive. I also find it enjoyable to watch the other competitors on stage during the finals. It really is amazing to see everyone’s hard work. It is almost over and in a blink of an eye I am back to normal life of a mom and wife.
Future plans: That is the most fun about competing new plans and better results. The change and transformation that come with all the hard work put in after months of the dieting and sweating it out. My next show I am shooting for is sometime in October 2016, and look for me in figure novice and open. I feel like figure is more my style. I like the posing side better. I also love the workout I get to do with figure. Wide back, shoulders twice a week, who doesn’t love to hit shoulders twice a week? This is a weight loss journey I started after my second baby, but glad it turned into a lifestyle I can’t live without!
Coach: Tremayne Johnson