Annelies Van Loon - Physique Competitor

In 2011 I was introduced into the world of bodybuilding by a new friend. I was overweight, had a really unhealthy lifestyle and did no exercise at all. In the beginning, the first year, I didn't see any noticeable changes. So I decided to go on a diet. From then on the pounds were going of really fast. My body started changing. I was hooked!!! Bodybuilding changed my life!!! Soon other people started noticing the changes and that felt so good.

When I read Flex magazine I saw all these gorgeous ladies competing. And I knew, this is what I had to do. Show myself to the world, be an inspiration for every girl/woman that has a weight problem. If I can lose over 30 kilos by lifting weights and eating right, so can you!!
In 2014 I stepped on stage for the very first time. This was hard to do in the beginning. In my mind I was still the little fat girl and now I had to show myself in a bikini for about 2000 people. But I did it. And loved every minute of it.

My diet offseason isn't very different from my contest-prep. Offseason I load a bit more carbs but that's the only difference. I need those extra carbs to be stronger so I can gain more muscle-mass. My calories offseason are around 2500, during contest-prep it goes between 1200 - 1800. But I have an excellent nutritionist, Joeri Pauwels, he takes care of my meals plans. He makes sure that my meals are interesting and very tasty. I take the right and necessary supplements like BCAA's, multivitamins, protein shakes (during contest-prep beefprotein) and creatine. I'd love to take more supps but since I don't have a sponsor the costs are too high to have them all. My water intake is very high the year round.

During the offseason I lift heavy and keep my reps low. I love doing the "basics". Bench presses, squats, deadlifts and lunges. I believe in having a good foundation, and you go on from there.
When I start my contest prep I still keep doing my basics (compound movements) but I include some more "cable work" and supersets. I don't do any cardio at all! Just train at a faster pace.

My self-confidence grows every time I step on stage. But I keep being nervous and insecure. Like I said, in my mind, I am still that little fat girl with low self-esteem.
I love walking around backstage during a contest. All these beautiful people with the same mindset and determination. One big happy family. I love the smell of tan. It feels like coming home every single time. This is where I need to be.

My future plans are building a bit more muscle mass, getting more definition and muscle maturity. I try to do 1 or 2 contests a year. It keeps me more focused and gives me some extra motivation to power on through.

I love lifting. It changed my life, can't live without it any more. Bodybuilding changed my life!!!


Competition Prep Guides

Annelies Van Loon