Erin Heintschel - Bikini Competitor

I got into weight training and running a few years ago after finding myself 30lbs overweight and unhappy. I have a friend who is a bikini competitor and I had been following her journey for awhile. I was in awe of her dedication to fitness and nutrition and had the strong desire to push my fitness to new levels. I made the decision to compete as a goal to help me push myself to reach my desired fitness level.

My diet in the off season is macro based. I like to follow IIFYM. It allows me more flexibility with food. Which can be helpful when on family outings and unplanned meals. During prep, I follow a more strict diet. Keeping with proteins, limited carbohydrate choices (complex), healthy fats and vegetables. I do think that during my off season I can build more muscle due to an increase in my calories and energy, and cutting is easier when on a limited diet with less temptations in front of you. I have never competed before June 2016, so therefore I do not have any input on other competition diet plans. I just know what works for my body. I do think it's important to try a few different things to find out what works best for you body and most importantly find a diet plant that you can adhere too.

I weight train 5 days a week on off season. During prep, I continue with my 5 days of weights, but add in a few mornings of fasted cardio. I do some steady state on the stepmill, and HIIT on the bike. I feel like those two machines combine really helped shed fat off my stubborn lower areas.

I'm definitely did not think I was a stage person. I had never done anything like this before. I actually really do not like being the center of attention at any point. I hired a great posing coach. Having her, helped with my confidence in my posing. I would go home and record my posing and pose in a mirror daily. By the time competition rolled around, I was feeling great about my physique, posing and total package. That helps a lot. If you don't feel your best, you can't bring your best. I actually loved being on stage and got great feedback from judges on my posing and stage presence.

I had a great experience with my first competition. Everyone competing was so nice and I made a few new friendships. Once the nerves passed and the day started, I took the time to just enjoy the process. The day goes so fast. One of the best pieces of advice I received was to not go back stage and start comparing myself to other ladies. There will always be someone that may be more toned or have a more glamorous bikini. You can't dwell on those things. Feel confident in what you brought to the stage! Your confidence will be reflected on stage. The most important thing is to have fun!

I do plan on competing again in Nov with FitnessUniverse one more time. I may branch out after and try another federation. I just love the laid back environment that FitnessUniverse brings. Plus I love the theme wear division. It's so much fun to get creative with a costume that reflects your personality. I would love to try to get into a little fitness modeling if possible. I'm currently working on building a portfolio to help get me started. I would also like to try to apply for a sponsorship. It would be such an honor to be sponsored by a company to promote their products.

Los Alamos Woman Wins Bikini Novice Division At Fitness New Mexico Competition, Los Alamos Daily Post, June 26, 2016

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Erin Heintschel