Brittany Bennett - Physique Competitor

The beginning: Oh gosh, well, I had always LOVED reading the magazines with Nicole Wilkins, Heather Grace, Jamie Eason, and Monica Brant. I always knew in my heart I wanted to do it, but pulling the trigger was not easy for me. To be frank with you, I started to compete after a near death experience. I have lupus, and was on chemotherapy. I would not wish chemotherapy medications on my worst enemy. I kept having bouts of pneumonia, about once every 4 months if I remember correctly, then one day it decided to take over my lungs, and that was that. I will leave out the crazy part of things I saw and experienced, but when I awoke, my little brother was crying right next to me in the hospital.

That was when everything changed. I knew that wasn’t it for me. There was a plan. I was supposed to be a better sister and role model for them. Not someone that let illness hold them in a prison. And now I am here. I quit pursuing pharmacy school, continued my nutrition education, and decided to drop all of my medications. I believe in God, and I knew that He had everything under control. I just had to jump.
One of my very good friends introduced me to a coach, and that’s when it all started. 6 months later, after many long nights, tears, and hard work- somehow I managed to place 2nd in my first Figure show October 2013. I think I have done pretty decent since then, 2015 I switched to Physique, took 3 first places and an overall, 6th at NPC Universe. Competing keeps me alive, and learning the discipline it takes to compete has improved every aspect of my life. I share my experiences with people because I believe that I am here to inspire and motivate them, no matter what path they are on.

Brittany Bennett

Diet and Training

My body has changed so much in a short period of time. I eat more now than I have in the past, because for my first show (Oct 2013) I was 115. In Miami last November (2015) I was about 147-150 on stage. Yes.. I gain muscle relatively quickly.

Offseason WILL be better this year. I have not done a true reverse diet before and I suffer for it. I think I gained so much fat that I actually lost muscle?! It just never clicked before now, it is a LIFESTYLE. You don’t have a finish line. It’s fitness. Shane will reverse diet me out correctly, and we will stay lean, it’s just SMART.

As far as successful diets go? I know that eating 900 calories and doing extreme amounts of cardio does not work well with the lupus. Lots of supplements even make my body flare up, so simple works best for me. The best prep (besides the one I am currently doing now, I love my coach and overjoyed with how this prep is going!) I have done was a carb cycle, there was a list of foods I could choose from, they worked well with my body and the inflammation stayed at bay. I didn’t even take BCAAs. I felt clean. And got shredded. I’d have 40 carbs on Thursday and 80 on Sunday. The other days would just be protein, almonds or macadamia nut oil, and green veggies. I lifted 4x a week, and the way the plan was set up it was a push pull, I did 2-3 sets of either 7-9 or 12 reps to failure. TRUE FAILURE. Did fasted stairs in the morning, and closer to NPC Universe I did an hour in the morning and an hour at night like clockwork. My body recovered. I actually enjoyed prep. I was hungry, but aren’t we all? Lol!

I am the type of person that will go balls to the wall, and I will do what my coach tells me to do, even if I question it. I want to win. It’s all a learning process. Especially finding a coach that does truly have your best interest in mind. The most successful diet was a TRUE IIFYM style, and I think that was the best thing for me. Some people just can’t do carbs though, I am one of those people. I’ve done straight tilapia only. For 7 meals a day. Not even veggies. I got lean though. I would also say that I am not the type of person that can have cheat meals of whatever I want without binging, feeling guilty, then deciding, “well I already did this so I’m going to eat this and this and hey I don’t know what you are but I’m going to eat you too!” So I have to keep it clean with refeeds, or it turns into a crapshoot.

A photo posted by Brittany Bennett (@brittanynicole_physique) on

Right now I am lifting 5-6 days a week, with an hour of HIIT/SS fasted cardio 6 days. Just added in a little bit of PWO/night cardio too, because I asked for it, haha! I have the size. But my conditioning is never as good as it could be. I want that pro level conditioning. I believe this year will pay off. Especially with this new mindset I have. The lifestyle mindset. I have to focus 100000% on diet, that is the MAIN focus right now. No secret Quest or FitOne bars, I am in it all the way. My body responds really well to HIIT training, it always has, I would say genetics helps, but I also have diseases in my genetics so I have to really work hard and get out of my head when I don’t feel well. Which, if you have Lupus, Fibromyalgia, or Multiple Sclerosis, you understand the- “no energy, don’t touch me, wait I want a hug, let me sleep for 1342498 hours but I cant sleep because my body hurts all the time, but wait I have to pee, omg my right leg just went out and I fell down the stairs, omg I am shaking so bad and can’t hold anything *drops shaker and breaks it the 75645th time* hey it’s 2 am I’m ready to parrrttayyyyyy” (run on sentence on purpose haha)

To summarize: 1. MINDSET. 2. Diet. 3.. Cardio. 4. HIIT training.

On Stage

I was the most insecure person when it came to my body, not sure if that ever goes away. But getting up on stage after someone has to glue your suit in your hoohut?! NO WAY! Since this is my interview, I am going to just say it- before any competition, I will get on my knees in line and pray. “Hey Jesus, it’s me.. welp.. here we are again.. you’ve gotten me through this far.. so I am going to just let you do the rest. I got you, you got me. Deal? And PS.. thank you for letting me be able to have made it this far. You’re a real cool guy, Jesus, and I can do anything because your strength is in me. All the glory to you, my man. Amen.” Now I know that isn’t a “by the book” prayer or anything, but it’s how my relationship is with Him. You asked, I answered, haha! And somehow when I get up there, something just comes over my body, and it flows.

For all but one of my NPC shows in 2015, we did no water manipulation, nothing different. It was amazing. I was in shape. It felt good. I enjoyed every one of my shows this last year. I NEEDED all of those experiences. Seeing and meeting new people. People that I follow on social media and the feeling of someone coming up to me knowing me, my story, and my sweet dance moves, haha! The feeling of all my hard work coming to fruition and WINNING. I needed to know what winning a show actually felt like. It made me want more.

The feeling of not winning a show and being humbled. It made me want to work even more. The feeling of knowing I could have done better at Miami, I should have done better, and that feeling doesn’t go away when the show is over. I made a few screw ups, of course, but I also think that SIMPLICITY works really well with me. I almost quit competing completely after Miami. In Jersey 5 months prior, we did not carb me up at all, so I was ‘too small and needed to get serious and be fuller,” but Miami I was way too full. So I am really looking forward to finding that balance of what the judges actually want. It all depends who shows up that day though. 2015 was a year to learn as much as I could about my body, mind, everything. I needed 2015, because now I am prepared for 2016.

A photo posted by Brittany Bennett (@brittanynicole_physique) on

Future plans

I love competing at NPC Universe. In fact, when I was in the hospital I had ripped out the 2014 flyer for it and slept with it at night. Cool story is- 2014 Universe was my first “national” level show. However, I want to come in tighter, leaner, and needed more time this year. So Universe is out.. Shane thought it was a great idea too, (that’s my coach, by the way, in case you were wondering who this guy I keep talking about is! LOL) so we are prepping for USAs. Universe tends to be a smaller show in my opinion, and Miami scared the crap out of me. I loved seeing my friends in Miami though. Vegas will be a good time, everyone will be there, I am working on getting shredded to the bone, and I actually feel good about prep. I’m so excited to see everyone there, and I am even more pumped to do well because I am working on a really hard yet fun routine to do. So if I am working that hard on a routine, I better keep my rear on the grind stone because I WILL do this routine. My motto lately with anything is “is that going to help me? I wanna WIN.” I don’t want one more person telling me that I needed to be more conditioned. Period.

I really think all of these experiences have helped me be a better coach, too. I understand when life happens, I also understand when to push someone and give them “real talk.” I have been on the receiving end of when a coach thinks you aren’t good enough and drops you because your body isn’t progressing well enough. That hurt. And that fueled my 2015 fire. Being on the Denver News, to interviews in other countries, to all the shows. 2015 was a freaking badass year. 2016 is even better. If you want a flower to grow and blossom, you need to give it light and water. Feed it life. Believe in it and it will flourish. And that is what I do with my clients. I give them what they need when they need it. I am real with them. This lifestyle is my passion, and I am not going anywhere. I love this life I am able to live, I love my family, ManWaffle, clients, friends, my little dog BoogerButt (yeah, she picked her own name out, trust me), and even the people that have hurt me. Every experience is necessary to learn and grow for a better future.

Be Your Best,

Brittany Nicole | CPT, CSCS, & Precision Nutrition Specialist
Team Alpha Head Coach

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