Maddie Lynnworth - Physique Competitor
Maddie: I began lifting about 10 months ago when my boyfriend Eric introduced me to its benefits. I was ecstatic to begin seeing results as I had always desired more muscle but never liked lifting prior to him showing me how fun it could be. I kept at it, until eventually I met my now trainer Tory Roberts through Eric. Tory insisted that I compete, which I thought was insane considering I still saw myself as the old me. But I deliberated for a few weeks and we decided on the Jay Cutler Classic 2016 in Boston. I wanted to do Physique, as I loved how muscular and chiseled the women looked, plus the minute routine seemed fun too. My posing coach Jodi Lyons gave me amazing advice which was to start where you want to end up and own it.
Diet during competition prep is wildly different from off season. Off season, I do my best to achieve a mean calorie intake of about 2,000-2,200 or so. I also have much more leniency with what I eat. For example, I can have minimal dairy off season as opposed to absolutely none during comp prep. In addition, I can switch it up rather than eat the same thing every day. During prep I ended up at 1,300 calories by the end of my prep, eating only tilapia and asparagus with the occasional, and treasured, sweet potato. During both comp prep and off season I attempt to eat 5-6 times a day to keep my metabolism running efficiently. I have found that the diet that Tory put me on was ideal for building muscle and losing weight, as I got lean but still bigger for the first half of my 8 week prep. This plan consisted of chicken, fish, asparagus, steak, egg whites, etc. As we got closer, we took me off of everything until it was just fish, asparagus and potato, which worked phenomenally. I was more cut than I ever thought possible without losing muscle tone.
As the Cutler Classic was my first competition, I have not tried many other plans. I did make the mistake of not sticking to what Tory suggested for the first week or so, and found that I felt much more bloated and less cut than I did when I followed what he wanted with the foods he approved. I think the content of what I was eating was not as clean, so when I switched over to his plan, my body handled the food much better.
During prep, my training consisted of mostly lifting, with 30 minutes of cardio (primarily stairclimber and incline treadmill to build muscle in my legs while burn fat) twice a week. Soon enough, we upped it to four times a week, and saw a dramatic change in my leg definition. We stuck with that for the remainder of the prep. By the end, I was lifting 6 days a week, with one active rest day of just cardio and abs, with cardio on three other lifting days for a total of four cardio days. Off season, I am avoiding cardio like the plague. I am doing a split of three days on, one rest, two on, one rest. I am doing more of a strength program with lower reps whereas during prep I was doing high reps (15-25).
I find that balancing training and diet is easier than one would think. With bodybuilding, you can never have just training or just diet. To get results, you need both, and knowing that helps a lot. Especially when I am in prep, you have to eat right and work hard to get the results you need. Even off season, if I eat garbage I will look like garbage no matter how much I train. Finding a balance is important though, so I love making things like chop suey with lean meat and whole wheat pasta so it tastes like a cheat but is actually quite healthy.
Building self-confidence to compete: I used to have the worst self esteem issues, and never would have dreamed loving my body enough to do something like that. But I found that lifting alone was enough to change the way I saw myself. As I began seeing results, I began transforming into the person I had always dreamed of being. As my abs became defined, shoulder caps noticeable, and legs getting bigger with muscle, I found that I never had a day where I didn't wake up and like what I saw. By the time the day of the contest came, I had put so much effort and time into building my body to show off everything I had worked for that I was excited for it. The thing to remember is that everyone is in the same boat as you in their suits, trying to make their mark on the stage. It is extremely rewarding, rather than terrifying to strut your stuff because you worked so hard for it, and get those few moments to show it off for people who know what it takes to get there.
I was blown away when I first arrived at the Back Bay Events Theater for Athlete Check-in. There were so many people there, and of course Tory knew most of them. This was awesome, since I got to meet a lot of them. The line was insane, but fast. I was amazed by how many people I saw who I knew lived the life I had endured for two months. As the day went on, I felt so empowered just to be backstage with everyone, because I felt like I had finally earned my spot in the industry. I could say "I am a bodybuilder" with pride and remember that day to prove it.
Prejudging was absolute insanity, as we had been waiting since the start at around 11:15. 2pm came around and they were calling us next, so calmly, we went to get me touched up and oiled. No sooner than I got the first spray of oil were the helpers dragging me in line. With no time to be nervous, or even pump up, I walked on stage with my posing coach spraying oil at me as I went. I posed in a haze, so focused on attracting the judges. I remember distinctly catching one judges gaze, and held it as I went up for my Ab/Thigh pose. I stuck it with as much confidence as I could, and it definitely paid off. Finals was amazing, since I was third to go on. Everything in my routine went perfectly, and was so sharp that I know they were impressed. I couldn't believe it when I heard them call me for third place, especially since at 18 I was the youngest there by 10 years or more.
Currently, my goal is to get as big and strong as I can in the next year. I have been blessed with the body shape to be able to get big but still be curvy, and I intend to take full advantage. I am planning on doing another show around April of next year, possibly even the Cutler Classic again. I am excited to see what I can do in a year, since in the last month alone my strength has increased dramatically!
Coach: Tory Roberts