Rachel Fechner - Figure Competitor

Rachel: I started competing right before I turned 21. I went with a friend to watch someone (who is now my husband) compete. After watching the competition I was so inspired by all competitors. I've always been an athlete and love competition, but when I got to college I stopped playing sports. I had always been in the gym and felt like this was finally something I could really get into!

Diet and Training
My diet is constantly changing, though I have my constants - chicken, fish, and 99/1 lean turkey, my carbs switch from time to time. Offseason my coach will add in more red meats, potatoes, white rice, and sometimes even pasta. I go up to as much as 1 cup of oatmeal and a slice of Ezekiel bread for breast for my carbs. I'll usually do 6 meals a day and only one being a protein shake. My coach and I prefer to get real food in over a shake if I can. Once we start prep my carbs go down, and we've even had to cut to 5 meals a day. Contest prep carbs usually only include my breakfast oats, and sometimes rice post workout. I've found for my body that I tend to hold on to more water when I have sweet potatoes in my diet. For my body for contest prep I often get my post workout carbs from beets. My coach and I found that beets bring me in leaner, and unfortunately I hate beets! Some shows I've even had to cut carbs completely for the last few weeks. The most effective diet for me when leaning out for a show consists of higher fats, lower carbs, and lean meats. The worst diet I ever tried was before I found my coach. For my first show I did only protein shakes, no solid food. I did lose a lot of weight, but I also lost a lot of muscle. I was inexperienced and didn't know the first thing about contest prep. I just knew I needed to drop body fat. No matter what diet plan you follow consistency is key!

I train 5-7 times a week. Offseason I train every day and do cardio about 3-4 a week. Contest prep I'll usually have a couple more rest days, but I'm doing cardio 7 days a week twice a day. My training program doesn't change too much from offseason to contest prep. I hit back, shoulders, and legs twice a week so my split has a couple things lumped together. Usually I'll do chest and shoulders together, and then one of the back days will include shoulders too. One leg day a week is a heavy day, and the other is a lighter pump day with more of a focus on hamstrings, and glutes. I always make sure to give myself plenty of rest days in between the muscles I'm hitting more than once a week. I also work with a massage therapist twice a month. I push my body in the gym so I also need to make sure I'm taking care of it!

On Stage
When I turned 5 my parents put me in ballet. I think being on stage for recitals from such a young age is why I don't get nervous on stage. My first show was probably the only one I got a little nervous at. I was proud of how my body looked, but the posing was very unnatural to me and it showed. Before I go out on stage I listen to my workout playlist to get myself hyped up, and say a prayer. Most the time the prayer includes "Lord please don't let me trip on stage." Haha. I just go out have fun, and tell myself to own the stage for whatever amount of time I'm up there. I worked hard to get my physique to where it is so I'm going up there with confidence to show it off!

The day of my first show at check-ins I felt lost. I didn't know anyone and I saw everyone sitting with their teams, or their friends and I was all alone. It was definitely overwhelming to be the "newbie" in the scene. I have since done 4 shows and met tons of amazing athletes along the way. I love check-in days now because I know I'm that much closer to getting on stage! Backstage before prejudging is my favorite, I'm focusing on every last little detail. From hair and makeup to pumping up and making sure my posing is perfect. Then it's time for Prejudging! It's such an adrenaline rush, I love it! This is the time I get to show the judges what I worked so hard for and hope they like what they see. Hearing your number being called is one of the most exciting things that can happen, but you can't relax yet. From the moment you step on stage until you're done, and backstage again the judges are watching you. Finals are always an exciting time, because you know you at least made top five. Though I always strive for first place I'm always proud of myself no matter where I end up placing.

I'm currently prepping for the Ronnie Coleman Classic in 6 weeks, and hope to qualify there. If I qualify at the Ronnie I will be competing at nationals this November in Miami. If I don't my coach and I will look at doing one more national qualifier before taking an offseason to work on building my upper body.


Rachel Fechner


Contact info is rfechfitness@gmail.com, Instagram: @rfechh
And my competitor page on Facebook Rachel Fechner-Scorpio NPC figure competitor.


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Rachel Fechner


Rachel Fechner


Rachel Fechner