Katt Snelson - Bikini Competitor

After training myself for 3+ years I decided to compete for the first time at the end of last year. I am a full time PT and coach and decided I wanted a new challenge! Competing had always been in the back of my mind as something I wanted to pursue, but I think waiting until this year was a good decision as I was in a good place both mentally and physically (comp prep is no joke!). I contacted my coach Alan Carson last October and the rest is history!

Diet: For three months at the end of last year I did a heavy 'bulk'. I was already carrying a fair amount of muscle mass but we wanted to make as many gains as possible in a short amount of time so we were in the best position for when I started cutting, (as you obviously waste some muscle when dieting). I gained over a stone in weight which was difficult to deal with initially but was definitely worth it. I did a completely 'clean' bulk with lots of lean meats, high quality carb sources and lots and lots of veggies. I am quite lucky, as due to carrying a fair bit of muscle, I never have to lower calories excessively or do copious amounts of cardio to drop fat. The types of foods I consume are pretty much the same all year round (I use a IIFYM approach) - just quantities change slightly - and on 'prep' I tend to stick more so to whole foods and keep anything processed to a minimum. Although I was still working 'treats' into my diet a few weeks out from show, I feel this is important for mental health especially. If you are very in tune with your own body you know what foods your body does and doesn't respond well to!

My competition prep went exactly to plan. We did a slow steady cut to maintain muscle mass as much as possible and I was very happy with my condition on show day! We didn't try and rush anything and made adjustments week on week (if needed).

I think I have a very different approach to training than most - in that I usually do whatever I feel like on any given day. My body over the years has been built through yoga, HIIT, calisthenics, running and heavy lifting to name a few! I do whatever feels good and makes me happy but do try and include a good balance of all body parts each week. During my bulk I had a LOT more structure than I was used to as we were specifically trying to build and strengthen certain body parts. Prep was also fairly structured but I just did cardio when I wanted to and didn't run myself into the ground with it by any means! I think when you're enjoying what you're doing your body tends to respond well. I also mix up my cardio to keep it interesting - go to the odd class, go running, swimming, use gym CV equipment - you've got to keep things fresh else you end up hating it.

When I started my prep journey I was SO nervous about actually getting up on stage. Training and diet I can do... It's my job after all! But actually having the confidence to get up on stage in a tiny bikini was the big obstacle I needed to overcome. I tried not to think about it too much initially as I was worried I'd end up chickening out. I booked onto Audrey Kaipio's 4 week posing course down in London and this woman honestly transformed me from a shy, nervous, introvert into a sassy stage diva! I owe all my confidence to Audrey - she was honestly amazing and taught me so much. I would recommend anyone thinking of competing to sign up to her course. What I learnt was invaluable and worth every single penny. They don't call her 'The Champion Maker' for nothing!

I can't begin to put into words how much I've LOVED my first season of competing. I was initially only doing one show, but ended up doing 3! Winning best legs with UKUP, 1st Place in my category and Female Overall at the PCA Hampshire qualifier and then going on to place 2nd at the PCA British Finals. When I first contacted Alan I couldn't have even imagined that I'd even place - I just wanted the experience! But I am so proud of everything I've achieved. The atmosphere back stage at all the shows I've been at has been phenomenal. I've made so many friends for life and I couldn't have asked for a more positive experience. Everyone has been SO lovely and friendly. Backstage at a show is the most exciting, yet surreal experience, and I can't wait to do it all again in the future.

Placing 2nd at the British Finals means I am automatically through to finals again next year which is amazing... BUT, at the moment, I'm just seeing how things go. I'm reverse dieting back to a healthy weight which is probably the most important thing to me currently! I'm also unsure if I'll be able to make the improvements needed to my physique in time, so am actually considering taking a whole year out to BUILD! I'm also very keen to compete with Pure Elite at some point next year, as I know it's a great federation and want to experience as many Feds as I can! I'm also really enjoying being back to work full time and working with all my clients and helping them achieve their own goals - some of which are considering competing which is massively exciting for me! Happiness and health are my main focuses, but you definitely haven't seen the last of me up on that stage yet... :)

FACEBOOK : www.facebook.com/deadliftsarebae
INSTAGRAM: @deadliftsarebae_
EMAIL: kattsnelson@hotmail.co.uk

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Katt Snelson