Jessica Dolias - IFBB Bikini Pro

* Jessica is a new IFBB Bikini Pro and the 2017 NPC Universe Overall Bikini Champion!

Experiences and feelings from NPC Universe

From the moment I arrived for the 2017 NPC Universe Championships, there was just this amazing energy all around. I have always loved competing at the Teaneck venue, especially because everything is held in one spot. The hotel, check-in’s, tanning, the show, everything being together in one place is not only rather convenient, but also just makes being there seem like more of a full-on experience. Even with this show being record-breaking in the number of competitors (there were 1000!), check in’s still ran very smoothly, as they always do at Steve Weinberger’s shows. Everyone was in such high spirits and excited – it was great.

Being that this is a two day show with so many competitors, it always feels like eternity waiting for your turn to get on stage. But there was no chaos or rushing around. It was pretty easy to stay stress free and just relax until stage time, which is so important for us competitors. Prejudging and Finals both ran smoothly, and surprisingly quicker than I had thought, but not too quick as to feel rushed. I was excited, nervous, anxious. This show was a big one, a chance to turn from Amateur to Pro, and those butterflies were on hyper drive. I was prepared for whatever the outcome may have been, but I knew I felt ready. Coming from a successful start to my 2017 season, I knew I had made great improvements from the year before, and I knew I was bringing my best. I was confident getting up there, and I felt at home on the stage.

When I received first call outs during prejudging, I was on cloud 9. I had placed 14th at this show last year, so knowing I was being considered for a top 5 finish this year was a wonderful feeling of accomplishment. When I was then moved to center stage during call outs, I’m surprised the audience couldn’t see me shaking! I kept thinking I was about to wake up from a dream. Needless to say, I was beyond excited to get to Finals the next day. I knew there was a chance that an entirely new chapter was about to begin for me.

Finals went pretty quickly, once the Bikini division was up, and it was time for awards. 5th place was called – not me, then 4th place – not me, then 3rd, then 2nd. I felt an absolutely indescribable rush of emotion at that point, and then my name was called for first place as a “New IFBB Pro”. I was still waiting for someone to wake me up from this dream. When it came down for the Overall comparisons, I was already so ecstatic that it wasn’t exactly hard to have the biggest smile on my face. I got up there with the other new IFBB Pro’s and had a blast just doing my thing. And then it happened – Shannon Dey announced my name as the 2017 NPC Universe Overall Bikini Champion. I almost collapsed. I literally froze before I could manage to put one foot in front of the other and walk to center stage to accept the award from Steve Weinberger himself.

This show, my last NPC show, was an absolute dream come true, and I will cherish these moments and memories for a lifetime.

??The best accessory a girl can own is [confidence]. ?? ???????????????????? #happyhumpday

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Current Prep

My prep for NPC Universe in terms of diet was, well, the oddest prep I’ve had yet. I had started my competition season in April at the Steve Stone Metropolitan Championships, followed by the Pittsburgh Championships 4 weeks later. I had 8 weeks after that show to then prep for Universe, and since my body was stage ready at that point, there were no drastic cuts that were necessary. The goal was to come in just a bit tighter than I did for Pittsburgh. So, what made those 8 weeks “odd” is that my body responded to prep quite well and my metabolism went nuts! Before Pittsburgh, my diet consisted of carb cycling with 2 days of low carbs, followed by one day of higher carbs, but after Pittsburgh, instead of carb cycling - I was burger-cycling! My Coach Gennifer Strobo put it in the terms of “fanning the fire”, where we needed to keep feeding my body to avoid losing fullness. And this was accomplished with a burger and fries every three days! This is most certainly not typical, and I have never had a prep where this needed to be done before, so that’s why I say this prep was definitely “odd”.

My training schedule, in terms of weight training, pretty much stays very similar all year round, with focus on glutes, legs, shoulders, and back training. My cardio training increases to two sessions per day once I am a few weeks out from a show, and the sessions are anywhere from 25 – 60 minutes, depending on how much tighter my body needs to be.

Challenges during the prep

I guess I would say my biggest challenge this prep was making sure I didn’t get too lean. Everything needed to be quite strategic. My body loses mass rather quickly which can be a struggle. I had the same struggle last season, but it seems that my coach and I found the formula to help avoid this (Burgers! Crazy, I know.).

Life as an athlete

Being an athlete definitely demands a certain lifestyle, but with time it seems I’ve managed to get the hang of balancing competing with “normal” life occurrences as well. I’m lucky that my husband is also very much into fitness and healthy living, so the lifestyle happens to be one we both enjoy and have become accustomed to.

Future plans

Now that I am an IFBB Pro, I am gearing up to get on the Pro stage. I plan to get up there sooner than later, and right now I am working with my coaches to come up with future show plans. In the meantime, I am still training hard, working on improvements, and getting ready to hit the Pro stage. I could not be more excited to begin this new chapter, and I am absolutely honored to be welcomed into the IFBB.

Twitter: @JessicaDolias
IG: @jessicadolias
Previous feature on Models Observer (2015)

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If this is a dream please never wake me up ?? IFBB BIKINI PRO and NPC Universe Overall Bikini Champion. I couldn't possibly put this feeling into words. Thank you everyone for all of your support and messages, it means the world. ?? #npcuniverse #ifbbpro #overallbikini

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