Lena Vajakas - IFBB Physique Pro

Both my parents were competitive bodybuilders in the 80's so I guess partially it was in my blood. Growing up I was a competitive dancer and during my 20's I continued dancing professionally and creating my own shows to travel with. During this time in my early 20s I started training personally and then personal training as well. I guess I found I got to a point where I wanted to use my skills in a more challenging way...so I thought I would try a body building show.

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Diet: Off season I still eat my six- seven meals a day and keep those meals generally clean. I still weight all my protein and carbs. It's either an obsession or good habit. I definitely consider myself a "foodie" so off season, I enjoy catching up with my friends and going out to enjoy some good food. As far as pre contest, I start about 22 weeks out. I take a few weeks to cut out all sugar and dairy and then the last 20 weeks I start my official 'diet'. Every week it changes slowly cutting things out. I have always taken no less than 20 weeks to start my dieting. A slow taper is best to lose fat and save all that hard earned muscle. All the plans have worked for me, as I have stuck 100% to the process. But what I found has worked best for me is to stick to lots of variety near the beginning of prep as far as proteins, veggies, carbs. As long as it's clean and slowly tighten up as far as leaner proteins, less carbs and less salt as competition day gets closer. This way is better and healthiest rather than just sticking to one single meal plan for the entire 20 weeks.

I apply my training like I do my pre contest diet. Variety! During off season I like to lift mostly heavy but enjoy light lifting days as well. I'm not getting any younger, and my joints are letting me know that so I practice more medium weights with slow tempo. I've been weight training for almost 20 years now so I know how to listen to my body. Off season cardio I do a mix of low impact cardio along with doing some HIIT type training. Only around three times/week. I teach a lot of bootcamp classes so it's fun to sometime apply that sort of training to my cardio routine. I do keep a weight journal on and off season. it's part of my obsession/habit just like weighing my meals. And it's great to reflect on my notes to help me stay focused. When I am prepping, Everything is very structured and I continue with keeping a lot of variety as far as exercises and weight training. Cardio starts slow and depending on how my body responds, it either increases or decreases. every prep has been different.

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Being a professional dancer/performance artist the stage is the easiest part for me.
My last show was the North Americans in Pittsburgh. I was a bit on edge before my travels to Pittsburgh since this was my first show in the states and I knew no one there. But it ended up being one of the smoothest experiences. Mostly because I was sure to keep myself very organized and prepared. I like to over-prepare. My friends say I am anal when it comes to that. But I think being anal is a gift lol. Check ins at the North Americans was the most smoothest/ stress free check in ever! I was surprised how fast it went. prejudging was different than what I am used to. Just the order of poses is different than what they do here in Canada. So I had to be on my toes. Usually the "freestyle" posing each competitor does is performed during the finals here in Canada. But at the North Americans it was during the pre judging. I just "winged it" with my free style posing. Like I said, I'm over prepared so I had a few routines already mapped out in my head. I always have "butterflies" when I am waiting behind the wing. I always have to do a lot of breathing exercises to calm my nerves but once I get up there it's easy for me and always smooth. After the pre judging the day was sooooo long. I know it normally is with these things but this time it felt longer than usual. I tried to keep myself busy by going for walks, meditating, doing my make up over and over again lol, and refreshing my facebook and instagram like a thousand times. I was antsy lol.

Luckily finals went much faster and I was excited to be able to show my routine (that was my main goal for this show...to perform my routine!). It was beyond my expectation for real when it came time to the call outs and being awarded second place and a pro card! I was never in this lifestyle to "chase the pro card" as some people would phrase it. It was simply competing to be better than I was the year before and look like I "belong" on the stage. So, to not only be able to show my routine (which is my favorite part) but to be given that honor was mind boggling to me. After coming off stage I felt like I was tripping out. I had a million emotions within me so I was really overall numb! As I write this, it's been almost three weeks since stepping off the NPC stage and it all still hasn't fully processed! I feel humbled and grateful.

I did it! New ifbb pro!! Im tripping out!! #northamericans2017 #npcnewsonline #womensphysiquepro #canadianmuscle #winning!

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Overall being an athlete keeps me focused and disciplined. I have always had a lot of anxiety and have suffered from depression... and I am an extremist! So I could go one way or the other. This road is probably the best and no one loses an eye.

Future goals: Everybody is like "well you have to do at least ONE pro show!!?"...okay okay...seriously this last show I did was going to be my retirement show! Seriously! No plans now, I want to rest and continue training of course. I am planning to arrange to do some creative shoots/fitness shoots soon to keep me focused over the rest of the season. Experience other things in life and dabble in my dance training again. I am in no rush to make a decision.

My Instagram is lovendahouse and my email is lovendahousepro@gmail.com.

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