Joanna Sanchez - Bikini Competitor

Joanna: I attended a small show about a year ago to watch my boyfriend, Nick Peragine (also my coach), compete in the men's physique division. When I watched the show and saw the gorgeous beautiful bikini women on that stage I was in awe and immediately had this feeling take over me where I told myself I would be on a stage one day. I set a goal and told my self that 2016 will be my year no matter how much work it would take. I prepared myself, researched, saved money, and tested out different diets with my body before I even looked for a show to compete in. Once I picked a show (Tampa Bay Natural) I prepared myself mentally to take on the challenge. I like to challenge myself a lot so I even decided to pick another show to prepare for right after my first one!

Here is my 16 week transformation. 17 lbs later and lots of tears, sweat, and challenging workouts! Let's see how I look after 4 more days of heaven/hell ?? #transformationTuesday #bikini #bikinifitness #pnba #natural #inba #npc #prep #fit #gym #novice #winner #victory #motivation #hardwork #tan #transform #determined #teamXBN #ALPHAPACKFITNESS #xtremebodynutrition #4daysout

A photo posted by Joanna Sanchez (@_joafitness) on

My diet on the off season was still macro driven but not as strict as when on prep. On contest prep I set goals WEEKLY on what I will be adding or removing, where as in the off season, I balance my calories to meet my necessities of building more muscle which has been very helpful when it came to cutting down for these two competitions. I am fairly new to the competition world, therefore, I haven't experimented that much with different diets. I based my diet off of how my body reacted in the off season and just got a little tougher with it.

Training: My program consists of workouts in the morning, followed by cardio as well as cardio at night! I do alternate between HIIT and steady state cardio and ALWAYS resistance train for it allows for muscle growth and more caloric expenditure. Surprisingly, I kept a lot of my muscle mass during prep which is extremely hard to do when cutting back so much-especially naturally!

The self confidence to strut on stage came literally two seconds right before I had my first step out of the back stage. Before then, I was extremely nervous and anxious, but when I heard my number, I said "this is MY time to shine and show off my hard work..." and just did it!

My first show, the Tampa Bay Natural where I won my two classes and overall female competitor award was amazing. The feelings I had were all over the place (which is normal) but the feeling I will never forget was stepping on that stage and knowing my hard work was finally being showcased after 16 long weeks! Funny thing is, I had been practicing a completely different routine so when the judges told us we had to do a "T Walk" I was terrified. I acted quickly, searched some T walks on the web, made a quick routine, practiced a few times back stage, and tried to remain calm.
The remaining calm part was the hardest. I couldn't believe that all I'd work for had to be changed around in a matter of MINUTES before I stepped on stage.... But I DID IT! And better than I thought I would! The judges loved my stage presentation! I couldn't believe it!
Besides that, it was a small local show with some awesome athletes that I know from my gym and the girls were so much fun to be around! I loved being tan and glammed up with all of them and just helping each other out back stage! It is all about team work! The ultimate decision may be based off individual results, but the experience would not be nearly the same without the other competitors that can relate with the hard work that has been put in until competition day.

I would say it's my second home but I spend more time in gyms than I do at my own place.... ?????? #fit #fitgirl #glutes #bikini #crunch #xtremebodynutrition #alphapackfitness #TeamXbn #nattymuscle #tampabaynatural #glutes #pump #PNBA

A photo posted by Joanna Sanchez (@_joafitness) on

As of now, after my second competition this year, I plan to take a long break. After 17 weeks of prepping, my body is definitely asking to go back to normal. I will be competing again early 2017 after I build my body up more, work on my flaws, and prepare mentally once again. In the mean time I will be going to school as a full time Exercise Science student at USF, building up my personal training career at Crunch Fitness in Tampa Palms, and sharing this amazing fitness journey with many people in the world!!!


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