Janelle Gallo-Riegger - Physique Competitor

Janelle: I had friends that competed in bodybuilding & I always went to the shows to cheer them on. At 15 years old, I hit the weights & loved it! Trained for a few years until I was 23 years old & stepped onstage. My friends always pushed me to compete because my physique responded to weights really well & I had the genetics to build muscle very easily. However, I always thought I couldn't do what people did with dieting for a show. I decided to try it and competed for the first time in bodybuilding in 2001. Getting onstage was easy for me because I was dancing & performing at 5 years old. I was actually anxious to go onstage at my first show. So I tried it & after that I loved competing and have been for 8 years now.

Diet and Training
Well, my diet doesn't change drastically from the off-season to the on-season. Since I am insulin-resistant (due to PCOS), I keep a low carb (around 60g) and higher protein & higher fat diet on the off-season. My body does much better with fats than carbs. I eat eggwhites, chicken, egg protein powder for shakes & fish for lean proteins. I have a dairy free, gluten-free, soy-free diet due to allergies to these foods. My carbs come from gluten-free oatmeal, sweet potato, & red-skin potato. I only eat them for breakfast, pre & post workout. My good fats I eat are hemp seeds, almond butter, coconut butter, & extra virgin olive or coconut oil. I also eat a lot of green veggies such as asparagus, spinach, butter lettuce, & green beans. I have one cheat meal a week & it depends on what I'm craving although I rarely crave anythings. This type of diet keeps me leaner on the off-season.
On-season, I follow a similar plan but cut down on the portion of fats that I am eating. I find this type of diet better for my body to get even leaner for the stage & become more conditioned.

I have tried a high carb, high protein, low fat diet for competition in the past. I thought this would keep my muscles fuller, harder & get me more ripped but it only resulted in me having a puffy, watery, & smooth look to my physique. It's just not meant for my body. I don't metabolize carbs very well. So the high protein, low carb, high fat diet works better for my body.

I tend to do high volume work for all of my body parts which has resulted in me having so much muscle for my little frame (I am 5'2" & 150lbs in the off-season). I also lift heavy and do between 5-12 reps on exercises. I go by how my body feels. I never was a big fan of going lighter weights & high repetitions (15-20reps). I do incorporate drop-sets, super-sets, & tri-sets to change it up and keep it high intensity. I don't rest longer than a minute so I can keep the pump in my muscles.

As far as diet goes, I always eat clean foods. Even my cheats are clean! I believe that all the hard work in the gym, you have to balance it out with clean food or you are negating your results. Having junk food just isn't my style and how I feel after I eat it, to me, is not worth it. I have more energy & strength with clean, nutritious foods. It does a body good!

On Stage
My self-confidence was built when I was younger and took up dance & gymnastics. From a young age I was taught to be confident & not scared to perform on stage. I've been onstage since I was 5. Plus, I always had that personality where I like to be the center of attention & ham it up! So competing to show off my body came easy for me.

I always get excited when I come to the Athlete Check-In because it's official that I am competing. However, I do not like the long lines & waiting but it is what it is. Prejudging is a lot of waiting to just go onstage. I tend to relax, put my feet up & focus while listening to calming music with my headphones. I don't let nerves get to me but I am rarely nervous to go onstage. Just excited! Finals, I love because I get to do my routine & I just love performing some nice classic posing. I always pick different music than everyone else & try to make it theatrical.

I am currently training for the 2016 NPC Atlantic States Championships, & NPC Team Universe show. I really want to achieve my pro card in the Women's Physique division & won't stop until I get it!

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Janelle Gallo-Riegger

Janelle Gallo-Riegger