Amy Hanley Garside - Physique Competitor

Amy: I competed at first as a dare to myself. I always worked out in a gym; I did what everyone else does. I muddled along through a series of exercises and did every fad diet under the sun. One day it just hit me. How far could I go if I actually threw myself into it? I didn’t believe I would get anywhere least of all end up on stage. I thought ‘Na, its just not me’ ‘im just a fat little Irish chic’ but turns out you really can be who ever or whatever you put your mind to. It has taken me three years of competing to finally realize that I can do this and frankly if I can then so can anyone.

Dieting: Harry Ogg in the body tone warehouse has done my diet prep for this upcoming show (Leeds ukbff 2014) and I look and feel the best I have ever felt. I generally keep my food pretty low fat, moderate carbohydrate and high protein in the off-season and then we cut the carbs whilst dieting. I have found that by keeping really strict meal timings and not changing the food types I have been ably to loose more body fat and feel pretty good whilst doing so.

A diet is a diet and I have done them all. Here is what doesn’t work: Starvation, you yo dieting, cheat meals and anything that strikes you as ‘fad like’. Use your common sense. Don’t cut food drastically. Don’t change the foods every two minutes. Don’t try to discover some magic trick, as there are none.

Supplements: There has been a lot of energy (advertising) and hype around supplements in the last few years and no one seems to know what there taking and why anymore. Don't expect supplements to have magic effects they help supplement your training and diet they are not super drugs. Supplements can be expensive so I’m going to keep this simple and honest only including what I actually use.

* Protein powders
These can range from a meal replacement to a post training recovery booster. Use them as you wish there the backbone of your supplement cupboard. There are three main kinds and this relates to the speed that they’re released into your body.

* Whey protein
Whey protein is the fastest absorbing (you can get whey isolate which is faster) this is perfect for after training or as a meal replacement when stringently dieting.

*Blended proteins
This is protein with added extras like glutamine vitamins maybe some carbs. These are ok post training but best I feel as a meal replacement if your too short on time to start adding your own extras. A bit thicker than whey.

* Casein
This is thick filling and slow releasing good if your not going to get to eat for a long period of time or at bedtime.

* Meal replacement shakes or bulking shakes/gainers
This is a blend of protein and carbs for when you’re looking to add extra muscle in a hurry. (Not for a carb restricted diet)

* Vitamins
Everyone should be on a strong multivitamin like inner armour, animal pac or gaspari.

* Branch chain amino acids (BCAA’S)
I usually take flavored powder form throughout the day and during cardio these help prevent muscle breakdown

* Glutamine
Helps prevent muscle breakdown, can speed up recovery by helping protein metabolism via an optimum nitrogen balance. Has been shown to increase natural growth hormone response and boost your immune system I take 5 g three times a day

* Creatine
I’m not going to go too mental here creatine basically aids in the transference of energy within the cells of the muscles. It speeds up recovery and is safe and effective. I don't generally load creatine I just take 5-10 g a day depending on my energy levels and rate of recovery. Some people feel it makes them hold water but I’ve never noticed it.

* L carnitine
Is an amino acid that helps in fat breakdown/ metabolism. I find it helps when I’m dieting and a take it in liquid form 2 mouthfuls a day. Poliquin do a great article on this.

* Cod liver oil / oil blend
I take this with my l carnitine (a mouthful of each). Is an aid in the breakdown of fat and helps my joints.

Training is the fun part. I don’t really ease off the weight training at all in terms of contest prep. I keep my reps higher with more supersets and drop sets in the lead up to a show and in the off season ill incorporate more power based movements and strength rep ranges.

Currently I do a three-day weight split and hit each body part twice a week and I do 30 -40 minutes cardio daily.
For example
Monday – chest and back
Tuesday – legs (quad focused)
Wednesday – shoulders and arms
Thursday- chest and back
Friday – abs and hamstrings (calves if time)
Saturday- shoulders and arms
Sunday – rest

Future plans: I am competing n physique in Leeds in six weeks. That’s the 20th of September 2014. I am just going to keep competing until I eventually get an invite to the British finals. This princess is going to the party.

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