Liz Bornwasser - Bikini Competitor

Liz: As a child, I was somewhat active taking tap, ballet, jazz, and ballroom dance classes, but I loved food so much that I grew up somewhat chubby in a size 14 at my largest. In high school and college, I put more emphasis on fitness and diet, trimming down to a more average size 6. Halfway through my first career as airline pilot, I took hold of my nutrition even more by joining Weight Watchers, shedding fat down to a size 2-4. After I quit flying, I discovered Crossfit which helped me build muscle and introduced me to more fitness industry individuals. Their guidance and advice led me to competing in bikini if for no other reason than to satisfy the curiosity of whether competing was for me. It is! I love it.

Off season vs on season diets are somewhat similar. I do not respond well to carb cycling, and the low carb days negatively impact my day to day work so much that I cannot do that. The biggest differences between on and off season are the inclusion or exclusion of red meat, weekly cheat meals, and the amount of cardio I complete on a weekly or daily basis. Off season I complete three cardio sessions a week. During contest prep, that number increases to two short cardio sessions per day.

I tried carb cycling for two days. That did not work because it affected my concentration too much. I work best with just a steady level of protein, healthy fats, complex carbs, and fibrous vegetables and/or fruit.

I lift weights 4-5 days per week, following a schedule of every third day being rest day. As I said, off season I do cardio three times per week, usually on my rest and arm days. During contest prep, my cardio gradually increases up to two cardio sessions per day to allow for a healthy leaning out while maintaining as much muscle tone as possible.

After all of the hard work I put into my physique, I am always pleasantly surprised at my look by the time I go on stage. That helps me show off what I have done.

I have only completed two shows so far, Kentucky Muscle and Kentucky Derby. Both experiences while similar were very different. Both shows have grown substantially with over 500 competitors. Brent Jones and staff for both shows are always extremely nice and professional. They put on amazing shows, using the best lighting and other equipment. Prejudging is always very nerve wracking. I get very nervous and anxious on stage. In fact, my anxiety was so bad for Open Bikini in Kentucky Derby that I basically choked and came in dead last. Luckily, I got a much needed pep talk from my coach, shook it off, and dominated on my next trip on stage to compete in Novice in the same show. First of the first callouts, I brought home a fifth place sword for novice.

My next show will be Kentucky Muscle in October.

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