Sarah Koprowicz - Figure Competitor

Sarah: I started to compete in 2013. First I went in the bikini division, I was training with a lady at the time who suggested I gave competing a go as she could see I was getting really good results. My first ever competition I placed 5th amongst 20 girls. What I really enjoyed was the training pushing my body to its limit. I always admired and liked the more muscular athletic physique therefore after changing to a more competition orientated coach I placed 2nd and 3 rd place in 2014 and 2015 in IFBB in the figure division. I realized how much I enjoyed the training and seeing my body changing through dieting and hard work which leads me to competing this year and winning figure overall at the NABBA with my best body yet !

I generally try to stay lean all year around 13-15 percent body fat as I believe it is healthier for your body to not diet drastically and you can still work to put on muscle on fairly good calories. Off season I stick to roughly 2200 calories with moderate fats and moderate carbohydrates 40,40,20 ratio as I like to call it whilst also having 1 free cheat meal a week. And then coming into a show, I give myself enough time about 4 months to prep progressively decreasing my calories. One month out I drop the carbs right down (more ketogenic diet) as I find my body responds to this approach well. I seem to lean down quickly whilst still holding onto muscle. My ratio changes and the 40,40,20 becomes 20 carbs instead of fats. It just works for me and I have found this through trial and error. Everyone is different though so you need to find the approach that works for you.

My last 2 competitions before this one, I trialed a high carb low fat diet and I found that it didnít really work well for me as carbs tend to make me hold more water and they give me a fuller flatter look. A low carb high fat diet helps me lean down quickly whilst still giving me enough energy through having good fats such as avocado and organic nut butters.

My training program varies off season and close to comp prep. Off season I tend to do no cardio and I focus strictly on putting on muscle as I have the extra calories on board to do so. By keeping my calories fairly high around 2200 and doing no cardio I can put on that muscle. I stick with heavier weights increasing them over a period of time as well as introducing a lot of compound movements such as deadlifts. I train all body parts focusing on a different one every week. One week I might work on pull ups increasing my strength by doing negatives and the following week it could be squats. I tend to do HIIT session every second week just to stay cardiovascularily fit and a yoga or pilates class every other week too to stay flexible. During contest season I slowly drop my calories and focus on leaning down therefore doing more moderate weights at higher reps and with shorter rest periods between sets. I only introduce cardio 8 weeks out 45 min once a day for 4 weeks then 45 min twice a day for the last 4 weeks and I do an extra HIIT session every week. That seems to work well for me.

It took me the first 3 competitions to really build confidence on stage. I realized that not only is it important to have a supportive entourage around you but you really need to believe in yourself when you get on that stage. You need to believe that you are the best out there and that you deserve to be up on that stage. Be proud of your efforts! Put little postits on your fridge about yourself, repeat them every morning with strong affirmations about yourself. I AM are very powerful words. Believe what you say and it will shine through when you get on that stage.

This competition just gone was the best experience for me as it really was the first time I really believed in myself from the start of the prep through till the end. I came in really lean and dry yet still full with muscle winning my figure division. It was then quite hard as I couldnít really eat and enjoy myself as I had to wait till the end of the show to compete for the overall title. I had to continue with no water whilst still picking on salty chips to remain dry and ripped. I believed in myself and really put myself out there which was all worth it as I won the overall title !

In terms of future plans I am competing at the southern hemisphere in Queensland on June the 5th of this year and then I am travelling to the USA for the WFF universe title on the 11th of June. I like doing one season in the year and not both as it allows me to still enjoy myself as well as grow and put on good muscle mass for the next year. I plan on competing again in May 2017 with a bigger stronger physique. To me if your improving your body every year you are winning every time!

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Sarah Koprowicz