Erica Vogt - Diet and Training

Off season, I maintain a diet of eating every 2-3 hours with nutrient dense food of 1600 calories steady. The meals are still clean, so as to keep my weight within 5-10 lbs. I bring my calories gradually down to about 1400 when dieting during contest prep, usually by eliminating fats to decrease calories. As long as I lift heavy and eat clean, my muscle stays well. My greatest attribute is that adding and maintaining muscle is quite easy for me. However, fat loss takes a bit of time. For the 2013 season, I am making sure I give myself enough weeks to shed fat, as that was a mistake I made in 2012. I tried to fit in too many shows with little time for improvement in between. In fact, my calories were reduced to about 1200, while trudging through two hours of cardio. Therefore my body simply stopped responding. Due to this, I made sure to get my thyroid checked before I began any sort of improvement prep plan for 2013.

Obviously, increasing calories, and making sure I am eating enough is vital to improving my physique. I find that it is already allowing my body to naturally shed extra fat, and it keeps me feeling nourished. Therefore, it is easy control myself on cheat night as there is no ďhead gameĒ. In fact, I donít even feel the need to have a cheat once per week. Trying to prep on 1200 calories, and improve in the offseason on 1400 calories was not enough for my body. When it was time for a cheat meal, it often extended into a day because my body felt so depleted.

I had experimented with a Keto-type diet this past summer. This diet did work well for fat loss, but it was very difficult, and the aftermath was atrocious. I fought through a carbless eight week prep for North Americans, which was my fifth show of 2012. As soon as I could eat carbohydrates, my body reacted negatively and my body became even more carb sensitive.

I was a swimmer during my high school and college years; therefore my body had metabolized carbohydrates very well in the past. Nonetheless, I have found that my body responds well to higher fats, and lower carbohydrate, but I do not recommend anyone cutting out carbs completely. Currently, I eat a low carb diet with about 4 0z of a lean protein and a tablespoon of a healthy fat. My carbs consist of 2-3oz of sweet potatoes, brown rice, oatmeal and/or rice cakes. My healthy fats are coconut oil, almonds, almond butter, walnuts and avocado.

My favorite meal is any lean protein, (mainly chicken breast), with some brown rice, an ounce of avocado and a tablespoon of salsa. I love Mexican food, and this little meal just hits the spot! Another one of my favorites is my oatmeal pancake. I use MuscleEgg Egg whites, which are flavored egg whites that come in chocolate, chocolate caramel, vanilla and chocolate mint flavors. I love all the flavors, and they are all perfectly clean even on contest prep. I use Ĺ cup of any flavor, with 1/3cup of oatmeal, which I grind in a coffee grinder. This gives the consistency of pancake batter. I toss in ten almonds, or four walnuts, also chopped, then cook on a non-stick skillet, and sha-zam! A wonderful, clean, pancake!

In the past two years, I lifted five days per week, legs and butt sometimes three times per week. I alternated lifting heavy and moderate, but each body part had anywhere from 7-11 different exercises, and I lifted fast, super setting everything to keep my heart rate going through the entire lift. I did this even during prep. This type of workout, especially with tons of cardio, left me feeling like Gumby on stage, and my quads just became huge. It took a 12 week period to bring my legs down, which I am now happy with where they are and I donít want them any smaller, or bigger. Currently, my weight training includes a four day split. I lift heavy and slow, so that the last 2-3 reps burn like crazy. I only have about 5 exercises per day. My body and mind love the change, as I feel that I am truly sculpting my physique by giving more attention to form and each individual muscle.
I eat most of my meals with carbohydrates up to about 3pm, when I eat meal four. I lift after work at about 3:45-4:30, but I take a pre-and-post-workout supplement drink to recover after my lift. I usually do my cardio after my lift so I take the post-workout immediately following weights and then move on to cardio. By that time, I am usually ready for meal five by 6-6:30. I am a teacher, so I really have to be creative to work my meals in during the week, but I am always able to. I coach high school volleyball, waitress on the weekends, and tutor after my workouts a few days per week. I make sure my food is cooked and ready to go every Sunday, and as long as my meals are ready, Iím good. My family, friends, students, athletes and co-workers see me do this day in, and day out. I can only hope that I can lead by example that if you want something bad enough, you can, and will do what it takes to make it happen. Itís not about making excuses, itís about making adjustments. Things can be hard, and there will always be obstacles, but if it doesnít challenge you, it doesnít change you! Keep calm and train hard everyone!

Yours in Fitness,
Erica Vogt
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