Amy Bowen - IFBB Physique Pro

Amy: I started going to then Nautilus in January 1998 with my husband. We trained together three or four times a week for a few months. One of the trainers there, Shelly, also needed a partner to train, so I dumped my poor husband to train with her. After several months she suggested I do a figure show, but I found out I was pregnant with our first child. We said our goodbyes and I followed a new path in motherhood. Our daughter was born in August 1999, and another daughter followed in November 2003. Five years later I wanted to get back in shape again and found Shelly at a different gym. We started august 2008 and by March of 2009 I competed in my first figure show, where I won the Open, Masters, Novice, and Overall.

I then entered the NPC, where I placed many firsts and a few seconds. Then I competed in Master Nationals in July of 2012, this was my first Nationals show. I places 12th out of 24 in class B. I went to the judges and they said I was too muscular and I needed to scale down for figure. Shelly and I discussed it and decided on trying physique. I love training and I didn't want to scale down, so we kept building and set our sights on Team Universe 2012.

I had used a Keto diet and it was awful. I was very tired and drained, I lost a lot of muscle. It was not a fun experience and I placed 10th out of 18. Then I took a year off for carpal tunnel surgery, and by September 2013 I was in the gym again. The best part was that I started training with three guys at Real Training and Fitness and they helped me train. I was older than all of them but they didn't care and they taught me to work hard, so I trained with them for a year. Brian Hoydic became my new diet and prep coach. We had talked about Masters Nationals again, but I didn't think I was ready. We picked two smaller NPC shows just to get my feet wet again. I continued sending pictures to him and about one and a half weeks out he said I was going to Pittsburg to compete in the North Americans. I have a lot of faith in him so I trusted his judgement and said ď Ok bossĒ . I knew I looked better than Team Universe, 2 years ago, and I felt a lot better too. I ended up placing 3rd in the 35 B class and 1st and the overall in the Masters 45 class. Unbelievable!!! I got that Pro card I worked so hard for!!

Nutrition: In the off season I have carbs with 5 of the 6 meals. Pre contest it dropped from 5 meals with carbs, to 3, then to 1 with meal one. Fats were limited to 3 meals and 25 to 30 grams of protein with all 6 meals. There were a few times where we went 3 days no carbs then 1 day with minimal carbs in order to jump start my metabolism. My failed diet was the Keto diet. My metabolism slowed way down and I was tired and sluggish. I also had to do two and a half hours of cardio per day which just about killed me.

Training: My training consists of back and biís, chest and triís, hams and glutes, arms, shoulders and delts, and legs again. Calves and abís alternate with workouts. I train 6 days a week with weights. I do a lot of push ups, pull ups and dips. Pre contest the weight goes down and the reps go up with less rest time between sets. Off season is heavier and includes drop sets and rest pause sets. Cardio is 6 days a week 35 min off season and 50 min am and pm during contest prep. Legs are my weak area so I made sure I hit them twice a week. Something I have learned over the years is to listen to your body. It will tell you when you need to rest so donít ignore it. Especially when you are older you donít recover as fast as you used to.

My future plans are to make my Pro debut at the IFBB North Americans in September 2015. I have a lot of work to do during these next 11 months to be Pro ready. Readers are welcome to contact me via e mail at I am also on facebook and instagram.

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Amy Bowen

Amy Bowen