Gillian Ndemaze - Figure Competitor

I entered into bodybuilding by mistake. If I hadnít gone into foster care at 16 I wouldnít be into fitness or even be a personal trainer so although it was due to unfortunate circumstances, I am grateful to have discovered something that isnít just a hobby but I can help others achieve their goals and create a better version of themselves. Athletes such as Michelle Lewin, Andreia Brazier, Shanique Grant and Nadia Wyatt became my inspiration especially Nadia Wyatt because she made me believe that as a small individual I can aim for categories such as Bodyfitness/figure.

I started out as a regular gym goer like most people and I enjoyed it because it helped me cope with problems and release build up stress. My transition from a regular gym goer to an aspiring fitness competitor was aided mainly by Instagram. It opened my eyes into a whole new world of fitness Ė it gave me a purpose and as I looked more into it, I knew I wanted to compete.

A photo posted by Gillian Ndemaze (@gillianfitness1) on

I made a mistake which I'd advice everybody not to repeat Ė which is to research different federations. Before I joined UKBFF, I only knew of two other federation which was WBFF & NABBA. I didnít have the money that goes into WBFF and NABBA didnít really appeal to me at that time. Even though Iím in my first year membership of a 4 year membership with UKBFF, I do not regret joining them and now that I look at it, if I knew federations such as BNBF & UKDFBA then I probably would have joined them then. This is why I would anyone to do their research and find a federation that works for them. Although I have no regrets on my decision, not everyone is that lucky.

Once Iíd made the decision on my federation, I set myself the time period of a year to step on stage and I was learning everything as I was prepping. I didnít get a coach so I was learning everything from training to dieting and discovering what worked best for me. After that competition I was 12weeks out of my next comp and my aim was to change category from bikini in my first comp to bodyfitness/figure. So I took a totally different dieting approach. Instead of experimenting with different types of diet, I focused on Ketogenic dieting. With this approach instead of having a set low value of carbohydrates, I totally cut out ďsolidĒ carbs from my diet and my intake was from food vegetables and protein meat although most of my meat products were lean. I came second in this competition so now Iíve just recently got a coach therefore Iím in a monitored diet with specific macros target.

As for my self-confidence to step on stage, I honestly donít know where I got it from. I thought myself how to pose using photos from Instagram and YouTube videos so I never completed a course or had specific help on how to pose. As for stepping on stage, I just ďwinged itĒ as us British say it. When I was backstage, I was very relaxed and the stage experience went too fast during my first competition. I wasnít as nervous as I thought I would be surprisingly so maybe you could say I was made to be on a competing stage Ė I donít know. But thereís one thing for sure, if you get on that stage - no matter how nervous you are Ė enjoy that moment and take it all in because to the audience you might have been up there for 5minutes+ but that time flies very fast when youíre on stage it feels like seconds.

As I didnít have a coach for both comp, there was a lot of trial and error in regards to training. For my first comp, I started doing intense cardio from 12 weeks out but I found that by the time I came in into 5/4 weeks out, I was bored. As for lifting, I just kept on lifting as normal without much adjustments. I ate the normal 3 times a day instead of slitting my meals into 6/7 times. I had calculated the macros I should take however I wasnít really strict on it in my first comp. my second comp was more intense than the first and I incorporated different types of training methods such as drop sets, supersets, negative rep etc. basically, I was doing everything that would aid with my 12 weeks transition from bikini to bodyfitness.

Going into my second competition, I was the most relaxed Iíve ever been. I felt as if I was ready for it and the one point I had self-doubt was when athletes were all backstage trying to get their tan done, and looking around me I had that moment of doubt asking myself if I was even ready to make the transition. But then I told myself there was nothing else I could do at that stage, what was done, was done and Iíd put in the hard work, there was nothing else I could do. After my tan, I went and checked-in. Check-in went smoothly and I even had a great laugh with one of the officials whom last time he pushed my hair down to measure my height since my hairstyle gave me a few centimetres Afterwards it was just a waiting game backstage getting to know the other athletes & just passing time. At this stage you could see some individuals getting intimidated by others physique. As for me, I knew there was nothing else I could do so I admired others and used their physique to determine what my aim and gaols should be during my off session.

Again the stage experience went fast and I came second therefore qualifying for the British finals. A couple of days afterwards, I got a coach to prep me for British in the short space of 6 weeks. I am currently 3 weeks out and training is going well. My aim of going to the British isnít to win but to get the experience and see where I stand among others at the top of their game.


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