Hailey Delf - Figure Competitor

Hailey: Iíve been an athlete my entire life. In high school, I competed in softball, track, cross country and cheerleading. I went on to play softball in college. After my athletic career, I quit working out for a while, riding motorcycles, eating and drinking anything I wanted. I wasnít happy with my appearance, so I decided to return to the gym. After a couple months in the gym, people started telling me I should start training for a competition. At first, I wanted nothing to do with competing. I just didnít think bodybuilding was for me. Eventually, I started missing competition, so I gave in and decided to give a figure competition a shot. I hired my coach and started my 20 week prep. I finished in fourth place in my first figure competition. I counted a fourth place finish and qualifying for nationals as a win since I didnít even know how to check in when I arrived the morning of the competition! Iíve been addicted ever since. So far, Iíve been training 11 months and have competed in three competitions, finishing fourth, second and second.

A photo posted by Hailey Delf (@hdfit_) on

Diet and Training

My off-season diet is definitely not as strict as pre-contest. I earn cheat meals more often. I enjoy my cheeseburgers, pizza, doughnuts and everything delicious. During off-season, I have a much higher caloric intake to build muscle mass.
During prep, I stick to my diet 100%. I earn a cheat meal from my coach every week or two. The temptations to pig out are always there, but I donít give in because I want to win!
For me, the most effective diet to build lean muscle mass has been carb cycling, high protein intake, and trusting my coach. I eat six meals per day, consisting of lean meats, eggs, rice, oats, green vegetables, and protein shakes. I try to eat organic non-GMO foods when possible. I rely on vitamins to help me stay healthy while Iím prepping.

Everybody is different. Iíve noticed a lot of people like eating chicken breasts and steak, but for some reason Iíve been on a ground turkey kick lately. My favorite meals of the day are when I get to eat ground turkey with green beans, rice and Frankís Redhot Sriracha sauce. Itís important to find ways to keep your meals flavorful and exciting. I incorporate zero calorie and sugar free sauces and syrups as much as possible!

Iíve learned that our bodies are machines. We have to fuel our bodies properly for them to work properly. If you put shitty gas or not enough gas into a machine, it isnít going to operate very well. The same goes for our bodies. Trying to drastically decrease my carb intake didnít live up to my expectations. I still looked decent, but I was flatter than I hoped to be and felt weak.

My training split is setup up to push and develop my weaknesses. I spend two days a week training legs heavy - this has helped me greatly improve my lower body, especially during this last prep! I do fasted cardio every day and another cardio session after my lift. Two days a week are rest days. On these days, I start my day with fasted cardio and end with a hiit session. For hiit, I prefer sprints, intervals on the stairmaster, or muay thai with my husband.

A photo posted by Hailey Delf (@hdfit_) on

On Stage

Iíve always been a confident girl and athlete. However, strutting around in a bikini isnít usually on the top of my list of things to do, but being a successful figure competitor is important to me, so I just suck it up and strut my stuff. Besides, Iíve put in a lot of time and hard work towards building my physique, so I might as well show it off from time to time. Itís also a ton of fun to put on a full face of makeup and feel like a beauty queen for the day. Every woman deserves to feel beautiful. Show day does that for me!

I love competition day because months of hard work are finally ready to show off to the world! Show day is what we spend hours eating and training for. On that day, everything we have done without the support of the crowd can finally be appreciated by the crowd. Not only that, we can be proud of ourselves for achieving a goal and doing something many people wouldnít dare think of doing. Prejudging is the most nerve racking part of the day. I love feeling a little nervous before hitting the stage. Some nerves are good - nerves mean you give a damn! As soon as I hit the stage, all that goes away and I am really happy. Itís pretty awesome to be appreciated by the people and judges in the audience. All I tell myself on stage is to smile and work it. Confidence is key and your physique is never complete without a huge, pearly white smile. Finals are less nerve racking because the competition portion is over and itís time to receive what you have earned! Show day is the best because that feeling of accomplishment and of course finally having a donut when itís all over!

I have a competition this coming weekend and plan on competing in Junior Nationals this summer in Chicago. I am a high school English teacher so right now I am busy finishing up the school year with my students! I am also a track coach, which is ending soon, and I nanny two kids in the summer. Other than training and nannying this summer, I will be finishing up my personal training certificate and taking a class to work towards my masters degree in education.

Readers may contact me via my website at www.delfmuscle.com or delfmuscle@gmail.com. Follow me on Instagram @hdfit_ !!!

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