Jennifer Reece - Figure Competitor

I started competing back in 2001. At the time I was training with my roommate and a friend of his who had just done a competition. They basically told me I was going to compete. At first I thought no way but then the idea grew on me and I thought why not give it a try. My first show was a bodybuilding competition and I weighed in at 115lbs. I took second out if three girls and I was hooked! I loved the process and seeing the changes in my body during the 12 week prep. Completion day was amazing and I loved being up on the stage. After the competition I immediately enrolled myself in gymnastics and began my fitness career.
Over the years I have competed on and off. I have taken a few extended breaks once because I was burnt out and once to focus more on my career goals but I have always come back to the competition lifestyle. It is just something that is in my blood

A photo posted by J bomb (@jennaaaaabear) on

During my years competing I have tried a variety of different diets. These include low carb high fat, high carb and low fat as well as carb cycling and even ketogenic diets. I find what works best for me is a consistent low fat and moderate carbohydrate diet.
It fits best with my body and my lifestyle. I prefer to eat the same foods each day at the same times. This makes meal prep simple and reduces the chance of going off track. Moderate carbs allows me to have a more substantial amount of food as well and I love to eat.
Zero carb high fat and protein keto diets don't work well for me. Although there is an initial weight loss I find it impossible to feel satisfied while keeping calories low enough for continuous fat loss. There just is not enough volume with the food.

My training program consists of 30 minutes of cardio in the morning fasted. I usually have a moderate pace on the elliptical or treadmill but occasionally will amp things up with a good spin class. I also enjoy hot yoga when I can make it. I train weights in the evenings sticking to one body part a day with a couple days off a week. I like to incorporate HIIT training during contest prep to keep the fat burning high and keep my workouts on the shorter side. I try to keep my diet as clean as possible all year round.

As far as being confident enough to be on stage it has never been much of an issue. I love the stage and show day. Back when I was competing in fitness I had some difficulty with the routine round. I used to get very nervous and was never as confident as I would have liked. I started gymnastics lessons when I was 20 and was always at a disadvantage as majority of the other girls had been doing gymnastic from a young age. I worked to overcome this with lots of practice and used meditation and visualization techniques. Ultimately when figure was introduced into competition I was extremely happy. Sadly but thankfully I was able to stop gymnastics and focus on what I was good at which is presenting a good physique.

Recently I had the pleasure of competing in the very first Ben Weider Legacy Cup. What a great experience to be part of history in the making. It was a unique opportunity and I got to experience the contrast between how shows are run in the IFBB as opposed to the CBBF. The judging styles and stage process vary somewhat. Overall it was a great experience and I am looking forward to competing in the same event next season.

A video posted by J bomb (@jennaaaaabear) on

For 2017 I am contemplating competing in the Arnold classic amateurs. The show is in March so I may wait until next year to try the Arnold's as I would like to have a solid off season. My goal in the gym this off season is to put some more muscle on my legs and back. I am going to be competing at the Canadian Figure Nationals as well as the Ben Weider Legacy Cup and I will be aiming to take home a pro card this year.


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