Jessica Dolias - Bikini Competitor

Jessica: I decided to compete because I wanted to take my weight training to the next level. I learned about proper weight training in 2013, and immediately loved it. For ten years, I was a competitive dancer: always training, and always making sure to take care of my body. After my dancing began to slow down, I switched my focus over to weight lifting and cardio. I love pushing my body to its limits, seeing the physical results, and feeling myself grow stronger, and weight training was a new way for me to continue to do this. After about a year or so, I knew that too much time had passed since I had last been on a stage. In the beginning of 2015, I began to find myself captivated by the world of the NPC & IFBB, and I decided to compete in my first NPC competition, as a ďgetting my feet wetĒ experience. I placed 6th at the 2015 NPC Mid Atlantic Natural Classic in May, and, immediately, I knew that competing was really something I wanted to become serious about.

I did not have a good amount of muscle tone in my first competition, as I had prepped on my very own, without the direction of a coach to help me really train and diet properly for my body. I decided to join Team Bombshell, and working with them and my coach, Gigi, has really given me the direction I need to work on transforming my physique and nourishing my body with what it really needs. Since then, I have competed in two more contests: 2015 NPC Eastern USA Championships and 2015 NPC East Coast Championships, where I walked away from both shows with all 1st place wins in each of my classes, as well as two Overall awards. These shows have been incredible experiences, and I am so excited to continue my competition career and see where my journey takes me.

Off-season VS Contest-Prep diet:

During my improvement-season, my calories are slightly higher: high in protein, moderate carbs, and moderate fats. I get my cardio down to as low as possible, but my body, personally, still needs to have some cardio in the mix to avoid too much of a body fat increase. I focus on heavy weight training 5 days per week. During contest prep, my calories decrease a bit, but never drop below 1500. My protein stays high, low to moderate carbs, and moderate fats. I will also do more carb cycling, a few days per week of very low carb intake. I will gradually increase my cardio from 1 to 2 sessions per day, depending on how quickly my body is leaning out. Weight training and cardio will still be 5 days per week. I always have 6 small meals a day, no matter the season.

Diet Plans that have failed & why:

Simple, constant low carb diets are ones I would never recommend. I have found them to be more harmful than helpful in the past. Yes, you will want to start decreasing carbs during contest prep, and having a few low carb days is good, but having <=80 G carb days constantly is harmful. I have tried this theory in the past, and I did lose body fat, but after stopping this plan, I gained double the weight back and found it harder to get it back down. Now I always make sure to have a healthy balance of protein, carbs, and fats with every meal and have learned not to fear carbs. We need them!

Stage Confidence:

I have learned that confidence is key when you are on that stage. I have always loved the stage, and being a competitive dancer for ten years gave me great practice to get up there and strut my stuff. I also find that thinking about how proud I am of myself for sticking to my training & diet plan gives me a confidence boost. All of us competitors work so hard to get our bodies stage-ready, and itís important to keep that in mind and be proud!

Weight Training & Diet:

I follow a split weight training program between Shoulders, Back/Biís, Chest/Triís, and I make sure to hit my Legs & Glutes at least 2x per week. I weight train 5 days per week. My diet plan always consists of 6 small meals per day with sources of lean protein (chicken, turkey, fish, lean beef), complex carbs (sweet potatoes, brown rice), and healthy fats (olive oil, nuts, flax).

Contest Experience & Feelings:

One thing I noticed right away was how nice everyone was! From the start of check-inís and through the shows, everyone has been so pleasant and many of the girls make it so much fun backstage. I have never felt uncomfortable or tense at any of the shows. Prejudging does tend to feel a bit long because the Bikini Division is almost always last, and waiting for those few hours before you get to go on stage builds up some anxiousness. My time on stage always feels like it goes by in an instant from all of the adrenaline, until the next day when your lower back is super sore from holding that back pose in comparisons! Finals for me, these past two shows, have been so surreal. Standing up there, listening to them announce the top 5, and then when my name was finally announced as first place; the feeling is indescribable! Getting to have that 7 times between two shows, just one week apart, was such a blessing. Itís an incredible feeling of accomplishment.

Future Plans:

Right now, my plan is to have a good six to seven month improvement season. I want to focus on building a good amount of full muscle mass before I step on stage again. Then, most likely in June 2016, I will enter a few more regional competitions, and then get ready for Nationals!

Aside from competing, I am also currently studying Nutrition and Anatomy. My career goals that I am working toward are health coaching and fitness modelling, and I canít wait to see what my future holds!

Twitter: @JessicaDolias
IG: @jessicadolias

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Jessica Dolias

Jessica Dolias

Bikini Junior -1st Place, Novice B - 1st place, Novice Overall Winner, & Open Class C - 1st place.

Jessica Dolias