Nana Al Haleq - Bikini Competitor
I've been wanting to compete since last year, however the opportunities were kind of hard to come by since there's not much comp organized here in Malaysia that cater to my division - bikini. I was so hungry and eager to be on stage I actually prepped for Arnold Classic Melbourne last October hoping I could enter it. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to join in as the comp only allow Australian to take part in the event. But I'm excited for this upcoming year end events as it is closer to hometown and allow others - Asian region to enter the comp.
When I first pick up weight lifting, my intention was to improve on my aesthetic appearance. I was already active in sport like sprinting & also rock climbing before that, however my physique wasn't up to my expectation (fitness bikini model). The goal at that point was solely to sculpt my lower half as genetically I wasn't blessed with good booty. I became hooked and wanting to improve more on my condition when I see drastic changes in my physique after 3 months.
After a year and a half, few individuals came up to me and told me that I should be on stage given my condition has improved and progress so much. At that time I was a little bit skeptical and also lack of confidence as I personally think that my condition wasn't ready and good enough to be on stage. Coming to 4th year working on to improve my physique, and after some thoughts and encouragements from close friends, I've decided to give myself a shot. Also I came to realize that being on stage is not all about winning and who has the best physique.
Now, I personally believe that being on stage is a way to celebrate the hard work, dedication & discipline Athletes put in. Everyone on stage is a winner regardless, and it also gives individual goal to look forward to. Hence, I decided to give it a go this coming year end and celebrate the hard work with the rest of amazing individuals and athletes on stage.
During off season my goal is to gain as much muscle as I can at the same time keeping my body fat low or at least between 13%-15%. My daily calorie intake is between 2000kcal to 2200kcal and I prefer to keep my meals interesting - mixing varieties of protein, carbs and fat source everyday as I get bored easily eating the same food/meal. I also get creative with my dishes so my food doesn't taste bland and compliments my Malay pallets which I love my food to be spicy.
Many think I avoid carbs to keep my body lean almost all year round. However, that's not the case. Due to my hectic schedule & lifestyle - working up to 10-14 hours a day, I usually consume between 30%-40% carbs off my macros. Also, because my body able to metabolise carbs efficiently.
Before shifting to pre contest diet or leaning down process I periodize my training routine which, my coach Benjamin Siong director of Australian Strength Performance will structure and design a plan based on my condition at a particular time. And as for nutrition plan, my good friend and also colleague Kam from ProPhysique & Nutrition will help structure my meal based on my coach advised.
Prepping for this coming year end events, my meal plan will be recalculated every forthrightly which usually start between (1650-1900 cal) and I may or may not be eating the same amount of food depending on my progress. Mostly it will consist of moderate to low carbs with slightly higher amount of protein and somewhat to moderate amount of healthy fats from fish and virgin coconut oil.
Since I've never competed before, I wasn't sure whether my photoshoot/video shoot diet plans will compliments the stage standards. Based on photoshoot/video shoot prep, none of the diet plan I've tried failed. However, if I were to choose which suited me best, it probably would be between a high protein diet - 40% protein from my macros or zone diet. To pick one would be inaccurate as mostly the outcomes matches my expectation as I tweak my diet based on what my body needs depending on jobs as well as overall condition.
My training routine is mostly consist of hypertrophy or building lean muscle. Believe it or not I do very little to no cardio because of my nutrition plan itself able to help me in losing body fat. My intense training program which I usually complete within 60 min help to boost my metabolic rate which help in losing body fat too. I have no specific time nor time frequency to eat due to my hectic life however my most important meal are always pre, intra and post workout meals.
Prepping for my 1st competition this coming year end to be honest is indeed nerves wrecking. I have butterflies in my stomach just by thinking about it - because I have stage fright! To tell you the truth, I think my self-confidence grew by looking at videos and photos of individual who has transformed themselves from big size to be rocking the stage with pride. They have inspired me to brave myself, celebrate and share my achievements with the rest of dedicated amazing individuals on stage.
Having been working, assisting and helping obese individuals, sculpting women's figure, combat obesity in Malaysia as well as trying my best in inspiring more Malaysian to pick up healthy and active lifestyle, I plan to come up with my own Educational/Talk TV show, fitness & health as well as recipe publish book and e-book in the near future. Mobile app is also in planning given my schedule is not too tight this year.
If you would like to find out more about my activities, preps as well as how I help and motivate my clients, do visit my
FB Page: Nana Al Haleq
YouTube: to be launch soon.