Charlene Bonsignore - Wellness Competitor

I started competing 8 years ago after I joined a bodybuilding gym in Columbus, OH called Beyond Limits Training. That gym is so special to me because there I built the foundation of my physique. I really wanted my inside to match my outside and competing was the pinnacle of that.

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Diet: Obviously the off season allows for increased intake but the goal is to stay controlled. We always say the workouts keep the same intensity but the food changes. I thankfully like clean eating but I do also love pizza! The most effective way for me to lose weight is to track my food on a macronutrient level. My body tends to do well with lower amounts of fat and moderate protein and carb intake. Essentially clean eating is my way to maintain or lose excess fat.

I have never really had a competition Ďdiet failí so to speak. There is so much science to it that unless you are not following your macros/calories and activity itís hard to truly have a fail. That being said, some competitors may go on stage too early and need more prep time which may seem like a diet fail when itís actually not.

I think your self- confidence comes from who you are, how you grew up and who you choose to spend your time with. I do public speaking and am used to being in front of people. That being said, it's not in the norm to be half naked in a glittery bikini being judged solely on your body! I look at it from the perspective of what I do have to show off and never what I donít. I also beat cancer so most anything looks better than THAT so I figure Iím already winning!

The diet/meal plan is getting your eating portion done during the day. I work full time so training takes place before and after. Having a successful eating day leads into completing it with training. My body, especially my legs, respond well to HIIT and heavy amounts of conditioning. I have to get my lifting in for all body parts and higher amounts of cardio to bring my legs down. Needless to say, I spend a lot of time running up hill and swimming.

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Iíve been competing for 8 years so I have a solid understanding of how shows work and the logistics of competing. I have never had a bad experience at a show. My advice is have a plan for each step. For ladies, book hair, makeup, tan and especially hotel as soon as possible. Having a positive and peaceful mindset the day of the show and staying relaxed are the keys to a great experience. Give yourself plenty of time so you arenít rushed and anxious. Make sure your posing is on point and be ready to show off what you have worked so hard for!

Balance is the key to being an athlete along with the many facets of who else I am. I love fitness so being an athlete is very much part of my daily lifestyle. I also have many other interests too. I make time for what is important to me. Contest prep time tends to be the hardest part of being an athlete because most all free time is spent working on your goal-you. Iím thankful though for having a supportive and loving friend and family base that both cheers me on and keep me in check!

Currently I am in contest prep for the new Wellness Division in 2020. See you from the stage next year!


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