Tammy Baines - PNBA Bikini Pro
Tammy: My journey within the sport of competitive bikini and fitness modelling started with my first show Oct 2013. Growing up I was always very insecure and never truly believed in myself. I spent my adolescence comparing myself to everyone around me. My desire to compete was only meant to be a once off bucket list activity to try build my self confidence and a stronger character. I was always in awe and so inspired by bikini and fitness competitors, even the ones I knew, yet I never thought I'd do anyway well and that I would never be good enough to place. With that inline I still gave it a go with a good friend. Even though I felt I lacked muscle development I chose to do Fitness instead of Bikini because I was way too shy to do the compulsory dance routine at the time. The day finally came and it took every ounce of courage and a massive leap out of my comfort zone to get up there and do it, I was even lucky enough to come off with a First Place in the ANB Central Coats Open Fitness category at my first ever show. This fuelled my love for the sport, and the standards physically, and mentally I set myself to get better and better.
Diet and Training
In my off-season I aim to increased my daily caloric intake as much as possible to leave "more room to move" when I am prepping. I monitor this by calorie counting occasionally (however now I am more familiar with what portions etc I require to hit my targets). The calories a based on hitting my goals of daily protein intake and carbohydrates.
When I am in my final 12 weeks I tidy up my diet and aim for the same targets for as long as I can. I use my changed exercise regime to shift body fat, and then slowly reduce carbohydrates and increase fats accordingly.
I find it most effective to eat according to your work load for the day, eg workouts using larger, or smaller muscle groups. Carbohydrates are essential to keep high, and ensuring I consume adequate amounts of protein daily plays a key role in my building of muscle and burning of fat. I time my biggest meals for pre and post workout when my body needs the high carbs the most. Complimentary to this is ensuring that I eat on average every 2 hours to keep my metabolism fired up, and to drink plenty of water. The most important start to my day is an adequate breakfast.
My first competition diet was really so unhealthy. I had the idea (from listening to other competitors I know, and poor online resources) that low calories were key to this diet. I restricted my calories to as low as 1100cal a day, and on some days did 3 exercise sessions. Whilst this was effective for my goals to come in nice and lean and that I was never too hungry, it was post competition that I felt it the most. I was so hungry, more than normal, and always. I could eat, and eat, and not want to stop. It was as if my mind was obsessed with the idea that I wouldn't get to enjoy this food again so I had to have it all right there. Dropping below 1100 cal daily was already way below my BMR at the time. I lost sight of my health, and I know I knew better than that, but frankly I had no real idea. Seeking expert advise is essential, and so is effective and valid research when you plan to put your body through such different extremes. This is my most passionate piece of advise when it co Es to competition prep, eat healthy, eat lots, and eat right. There's no need to starve yourself, it only require discipline, dedication, and education.
I constantly aim to increase muscle mass all year round, and my final 12 weeks continue in promoting lean muscle mass development.
I stick to a relatively strict hypertrophy program all year round and change according to my conditioning. I train 4-6 weight sessions a week through the year. Coming to my last 8 weeks I slowly introduce HIIT (high intensity interval training) sessions to speed up the fat loss, however to avoid the risk of muscle loss.
Honestly, still to this day I frequently really doubt myself and it is it rare that I freak out right before going on stage each time. Today this biggest thing giving me confidence to strut my stuff is really just knowing how many people I have inspired on my journey and knowing that regardless of the outcome I have inspired someone by steeping in that stage and doing my thing.
My most recent competition in Australia was the INBA Muscle Model weekend at the Sydney Fitness expo. Here I only entered the PNBA Pro Qualifier round which was a selective invite only of Australia's bikini competitions that had taken home a first place in and open heat this year. We were invited to compete for our PNBA Bikini Pro card. It was such an exciting opportunity leading into the show.
I really enjoyed the whole process as competing at expos really allow for such a positive vibe, full of good distractions if you like too (such as exploring the store or watching other competitors).
I was nervous throughout the day at time however watching competitors who I knew I would be against. I kept on thinking no way, she's way better than me, I'm not that confident on stage. Then all of a sudden it was go time. Almost always for me I get very nervous and unsure of myself and ability to perform about 30 mins prior to stepping on the stage. I'd practiced, and practice my posing and walking, and then as were line up ready to walk on stage we were informed there was a change in the suggested walk. I freaked out and wasn't sure how I would go. However for some reason the second I stepped on stage I was so comfortable and just told myself "breath, walk, take your time, smile, what will be will be, and have fun". So I did. It was very squishy onstage at times and I wasn't left with enough room frequently to master my poses, and I even got pushed to a whole separate line by myself when others were locking me out. I did feel a little disheartened at times, though I reminded myself that I too had worked to be here and earned my place on that stage so I didn't give up. After that experience I was in so much shock after such a tough line up to have taken out first place.
I remember being in so my disbelief. Receiving my pro card was one of my most wildest dreams, one I never thought I'd ever be good enough to achieve, ever. I walked out the back and saw my fiance and then just broke down into tears. My wildest dream had become a reality, and it was incredible to have him there after the whole process to share that moment with. It was one of those moments I hope everyone gets to experience at least once in their lives.
After receiving my Pro card I was lucky enough to experience my first ever international show the Natural Olympia in Las Vegas this November. I managed to take 3rd place in the Bikini open tall class. I then made my Pro Debut with many world champions, that was insane. Unfortunately I didn't place in the Proline up, however the experience was indescribable.
This has made me so hungry to step it up and place in a Bikini Pro Diva division. My next goal with Professional Bikini competitions is to again compete internationally as a Pro competitor and hopefully score a place alongside my greatest idols. As for when, I am not sure on event dates and locations, however I am, very excited for what the future holds.