Liz Molano - WBFF Bikini Fitness Pro

I started competing after college as a way to fulfill my competitive nature. I grew up playing soccer, tennis and softball competitively in school and did ballet for 13 years. In college, I was on the varsity Womenís Crew team as an NCAA athlete. Before graduating, my boyfriend (now husband) introduced me to the website T-Nation. At the time, their sister site FigureAthlete.com was an incredible resource for women competing in fitness shows. I remember the first time I saw Jelena Abbou, Rachel Cosgrove, and Jamie Eason and distinctly recall how inspired I was to look like them. I had also just begun to appreciate my curves and muscle mass in a way that I never had before, so I was encouraged by these women and the celebration of their strong physiques.

Contest Prep

As with most people, my overall caloric volume increases in the off season. I tend to keep my protein fairly moderate and instead am adjusting my carbohydrate and fat intake. For me, a moderate amount of carbs and higher amount fat tend to be most effective for maintaining lean mass, keeping my energy levels high, and allowing for optimal performance in my lifts. I already carry a lot of muscle mass, so my off season is more focused on mini strength goals and maintaining a comfortable level of mass rather than building more size. I eat 4 meals per day; no more. My carbohydrate consumption tends to be timed around my workouts.

When I begin preparing for a show, I have had the most success with starting to bring down my carbohydrate consumption in the form of carb cycling (higher volume on lifting days than non-lifting). My protein stays at about a moderate 0.8 grams per lb body weight and I still eat about 4 meals per day. I enjoy getting my fat through animal sources, so I do not eliminate things like red meat and pork. I do love fish, but itís important to me that I consume a variety of nutrient-dense foods, especially as I eat less during show prep.

My best physique came not just because of the specific competition diet but more due to the work I did in my off season. I spent a lot of time working with someone who was very effective at coaching me to stay relatively lean and maintain every ounce of muscle that I had. When I transitioned into my prep, I was at a great starting point. I have been disappointed in the past and itís always been due to a plan that was not specific enough to my body, was too generic, and had me eating too little too quickly. My physique peaked before one of my shows because of this and it was incredibly frustrating.

My training is always centered around my lifts. I am mindful of incorporating some cardiovascular work at all times for overall heart health and longevity, but in great moderation. HIIT workouts/anaerobic conditioning is my primary source of cardiovascular training and aerobic work increases as show prep goes on. Still, all cardio is the final component to leaning out and is prioritized after my lifts and nutrition.

My nutrition changes as my training does; these two are synergistic and should always be programmed in tandem. Contrary to popular dogma, I do not consume a higher carb volume on days that I am lifting for strength and at a very low set/rep volume. My rest periods tend to be much longer on these days and these lifts are more centered around firing my central nervous system. The carbs are far less necessary. I take the same approach when doing workouts that are more anaerobic in nature since carbohydrates are the bodyís primary energy source during anaerobic work. Likewise, my fats are a bit higher and carbs lower on aerobic days where my heart rate stays at about 70% of its max.

On Stage

As I mentioned, I had done ballet for 13 years. I also performed in plays and musicals quite a bit in high school with a number of lead roles, so the stage was nothing new to me. I revel in the opportunity to showcase the hard work I have put in.

I went pro with the WBFF at my last show, so it was an incredible experience! I went in to the show with the goal of placing top 5 and was particularly anxious the day before. The show itself was a thrill, and I felt so much support and encouragement from everyone competing.

I will definitely compete again as a pro! Specific show date is yet to be determined, but for now, Iím enjoying a longer off-season and life as a competition prep and posing coach.

Email: ecmolano@gmail.com IG: _itsmeliz_ Snapchat: itsmeliz4


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Liz Molano