Morisa Conner - Physique Competitor
Morisa: Growing up I was a competitive gymnast. I spent most of my free time either in the gym or out in the yard practicing my routines. My weekends were mainly composed of competitions and summers traveling to National meets. When I retired from gymnastics I found that I needed to find something to fill that void. I tried going to the gym for awhile, but with no real training and not completely sure of what to do, I stopped going. It wasnít till after a couple years that I was unhappy with my body and didnít like the direction I was heading, so I started going back to the gym. I did my best trying to train myself for awhile, but after about 5 months I was introduced to my now husband and I started training with him and his partner. My husband is a very serious bodybuilder and national level competitor, so I knew he knew his stuff. During 2013 and 2014, most of my time was dedicated to my husband and his competitions.
After his competition in November 2014, we put the focus on me and my first ever competition, the 2015 Baltimore Gladiator Championship. I remember being so scared to go out and do my routine in front of a panel of judges that I forgot my routine up until the music started. Despite my years of being in front of judges judging my routines and my form, I was not prepared for the anxiety I felt being judged on my physique. Once I got out on stage though, all my fears disappeared and the confidence I had in myself shown through. I was so proud of myself for getting through my first prep and pushing my body to look just how I wanted it that I had decided at that moment this is what I wanted to do, this is what I was good at. Four months after my first ever show I tried my shot at a national competition, USAís in Las Vegas, NV, and took 5th place in Class D Womenís Physique. I was a little upset with my placing (I had high expectations on myself) but when I stood up on the stage with the other four women and our trophies in front all the judges and audience, it was the biggest high.
Leading up to my first two competitions, I found that a diet of fast digesting proteins, like Tilapia and egg whites, worked the best for me to lean out. I cycled my carbs through the whole prep up to the last week when I depleted my body of all carbs till right before the show. This method helped my body to respond better when pushing the carbs back in to fill the muscles and expel the remaining water weight. However, this method didnít work for me when preping for USAís. I think my body had gotten used to the process and needed a change. For that prep, I added in chicken and turkey breast along with carbs every day. I had also gone from 5oz of protein with each of my 6-7 meals down to 3-4oz and 5 meals. Once I switched up my diet, my body responded quickly. Each week there were huge changes and the carbs kept my muscles full, which I was lacking in my first two competitions. Since my pre-competition diet, my off season diet hasnít changed dramatically. More and different types of carbs are slowly being added in along with some beef. The times I eat have remained the same which makes it easy to balance work, eating and training.
As for the supplements I like, during off season I like to keep to the basics of a multi-vitamin, probiotic, digestive enzyme, B6, BCAAís during my workouts (Extend is my favorite), and glutamine before and after my workout. Pre-contest prep I add in Dandelion root, calcium, B4 (fat burner before my morning cardio and my training in afternoon), and pre workout drink (Mr. Hyde mixed with Hemavol).
My training is hard on the body so I need to make sure I give it the nutrients Iím burning off or lacking in the diet. My style of training changes from week to week, or how my body is feeling. I always start off with a couple warm-up sets, it can be anywhere from 2 sets of 50 reps, 3 sets of 25 reps, or just pumping out sets till I feel like my blood is moving. I like to lift heavy and get a couple sets in of 10-12, but then I might throw in a pause/hold set and finish off with a set of 25-50 reps. Each day I train a different area of my body so I can focus on building that muscle group to its max. I have some issues with a couple joint in my body which forces me to modify or completely avoid some movements. But at the end of the day, I try my best to get a good pump or totally exhaust the muscle group I trained.
Right now Iím not sure what my future holds. There is no specific competition I have my eyes set on, I just know for the rest of this year I will be focusing on growing and fixing some of my problem areas. By end of winter I will decide on which National competition Iíd like to try...I had such a great experience at USAís in Las Vegas that I think that is where Iím leaning.
For more information or any questions, you can contact me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/morisac or on Instagram at www.instagram.com/morisac.