Valerie Wiest - Bikini Competitor

I had been a gym rat for a long time and I wanted to have a goal for my training. After learning that fitness models that I looked up to were competitors, I decided to enter a figure competition (bikini was a brand new division and I didn't know about it). I didn't really have a enough muscle to be competitive in figure, but the ladies were so nice and I really enjoyed my experience. A few years later, after I had my first son, I learned about the bikini division, which my physique was better suited for and I decided to compete again. I was hooked!

Pre-contest, I am more strict. No alcohol and I count my calories and macros. Off season I still try to eat healthy but I am more lenient and don't track my macros consistently. I have found that iifym (tracking calories and macros) while still emphasizing healthy, unprocessed foods has helped me be most effective at losing weight and building muscle. I like the ratio 45% carbs, 35% protein 20% fat. My body does best on a high protein diet.

When I entered my first figure competition I did everything by myself and on a shoestring budget. I got a cut rate suit, I only practiced posing for a few hours and I didn't really track my macros, I just cut calories. I was clueless and it showed both in my stage presence and results. When I entered my first bikini competition I got a coach and spent more time training, dieting and practicing posing and I did great. My goal for my first competition was just to look like I belonged on stage and I ended up placing second!

I have a high metabolism so I can get away with 20 minutes or so of cardio a day.I mix up HIIT and slow steady state. For my lifting I focus on heavy compound lifts: squats, deadlifts, hip thrusts etc. and building my weak areas: shoulders and glutes.

Building self-confidence: Practice, practice, practice. I practiced my posing routine so many times I could have done it in my sleep. My coach also told me to act like I was having the best day of my life on stage and I think that helped my stage presence and confidence.

During my first national competition I was surprised at the amount of waiting. I was at the show site from around 9am-10pm. I was only on stage for about 5 min total! I spent a long time in my heels and got so tired by the time it was my turn on stage my legs were shaking!

Being an athlete takes a lot of discipline and time. It is hard to balance, training work and life. It is also very expensive, so budgeting is important. However, I have met some great people. learned a lot about training and my body and had some amazing opportunities thanks to this sport.I am not sure about plans, I am in the middle of moving, but I am considering doing a competition after I move this summer or in the fall.

My website is and I have a book for competitors: "Secrets of the Bikini Competitor" available on Amazon.

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