Lucy Cerantola - Physique Competitor

Lucy : After several years of having- raising children and working full time in Aviation, Circuit Training, mixed with boxing conditioning, helped me regain my stamina from my volleyball and track & Field days. I really thought it was gone for good. After being introduced to great weight room and bodyweight circuits, I loved how I felt physically and mentally. I started competing in 2009 when some great people (Mindi O’Brien and Dennis Beitler –TeamObrien) in the southern Ontario area explained what competitions were and that the nutrition component was really the only change I needed to add. I needed to take on my own Fitness challenge/goals as I wanted to be more than competent in prescribing effective training programs for athletes and adults alike. With a young family, 2 children, and a business I wanted to build, preparing to compete and setting goals to hit within the OPA was a great way to live change I wanted to help others with.

Nutrition: Very little change in my diet for off-season and pre-contest. Portion sizes increase as little in the off-season and I may have 1-2 cheats a week during off-season. Once I’m within a 12-16 week pre-contest, no more deviations so that I can really understand what food is working well and so Mindi, Dennis and I can pay attention to the rate of changes that are occurring. I found a meal plan of 5-6 meals a day with set amounts, and eaten in the planned order with a combination at each meal of protein, fats (hemp seed, avocado... and nuts in the off-season – I love almond butter) and complex carbohydrates work well. It also becomes easier to plan. I found that starchy carbohydrates vary each year for me... when I do take them in, it’s either first to third meal of the day or not at all.

Lucy Cerantola

Lucy Cerantola
Photo by Lori-Ann Mundt, Winnipeg

Each year, whether it’s age or your body adapting to what you’ve been doing, I need to change up the types of food. As long as I’m strict with my approach in pre-contest and my feelings about the competition are positive and excited, then the diet falls into place and tweaks and adjustments are easier to gage. It’s happened once where a plan wasn’t effective when 7 days prior to contest when I misunderstood what is no sodium and what has sodium... even a little deviation really affected the outcome on the day of competition- particularly in my legs and lower abdomen: Live and learn as its part of the journey.

I don’t get into weight loss supplements. I do take Omega 3’s to start and end my days – higher amounts further out from competition and down to 1000mg a few weeks out, 1-2 Protein shakes that combine Whey/ non-GMO soy protein and greens, Glutamine (PVL) for Heavy hard phases of training and BCAA’s (Dymatize) for pre-workout. I find with all the food, my vitamin intake is good but to be on the safe side, a multi-vitamin covers all the bases – since the Vi-pak included vitamin and Omega, that is my preference.

The components of my weight training program are I typically do 4-5 day splits for a major (or two) bodypart per day. I found that strange at first, as for sport (Volleyball) training, I always combined complimentary muscle groups, so as a “Bodybuilder in training in 2009” when I finished my first “Chest” day, I felt weird leaving the gym. Cardio varies from HIIT for 20 mins up to 45 mins. I trust the process that TeamObrien (Mindi O and Dennis) bring to my life and now appreciate how recovery really pays off. My diet supports my training to have the necessary energy but it also depends a lot on my mental and emotional reactions throughout the days or a week – ex. Higher amounts of slow burning starchy carbs at mid day during a heavy intense phase of training, lower the amount of oatmeal if I started to crash 1-2 hours after eating - I really get it now how the weight training program and the diet/nutrition go hand in hand.

Future plans: I have had fun and rewarding competitions at the Canadian IFBB world qualifier level, which opened the door to the Arnold Amateurs. My dream goal at this time would be to compete at the World Championships for Canada. Transitioning from Bodybuilding to Physique in 2012 has allowed me to keep all the fun aspects of competing while adjusting my training to be more dynamic. That helps me keep up with the athletes (youth sport, adult obstacle course racing) who I enjoy training and coaching.

Contact info: Facebook page -

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