Marica Berlenbach - Physique Competitor

Marica: When I was a teenager I wasn't really active in sports and wouldn't have called myself an athlete. I was a little bit of a tomboy, but I enjoyed being a girly-girl a lot of the time, too. I have always been very competitive however, and not one to back down from a challenge...I love to win! And when I really like something, I am very passionate about it!

I was introduced to weight training when I was 18. My boyfriend at the time was on the wrestling team at Cornell University, and he would bring me to the campus gym to train. He taught me everything he knew and thoroughly reinforced how important proper form was from squats, right down to dumbbell curls. I loved it!

I trained throughout college and was constantly reading up about ways to improve my physique. My training took a little bit of a back seat however, when I decided to start a family. I now have four sons and two of them look like they are following in my footsteps! They are in the gym most every day, too, like myself. It was during the last 2 years that I really amped up my training and considered competing. I entered my first figure competition in June of 2014 and took third place qualifying me for Masters Nationals in Pittsburgh.

I'm at the gym six days a week. I train every body part once with the exception of legs and glutes, those I train twice a week. I try to mix things up, but I usually go as heavy as I can. I don't like to always do the same exercises so it helps me to write everything down in a journal. Also, then I can see where I am making increases in the weights or reps. I try to incorporate drop sets and supersets, and will mix that up with pyramid sets as well. I don't usually do cardio in the offseason, but am starting to do it now while prepping for my next show.

My diet is pretty simple. I try to always eat pretty lean, but don't get me wrong I can eat! I do allow myself a cheat meal every now and then but will cut those out a couple months before a show. My meals usually consist of chicken or fish, and occasionally lean red meat but not very often. I might have oatmeal with berries or an egg white omelet for breakfast, and for carbs I will have plain rice cakes, vegetables, or a sweet potato.

I had my thyroid removed a few years ago due to a nodule that turned out to be non cancerous, so have to be on thyroid medication for the rest of my life. It can be hard to handle at times because technically I am considered hypothyroid. The thyroid controls the metabolism, heart rate, and also helps with hormone delivery, so I really have to watch what I eat. I did try for a bit, intermittent fasting and really liked the results I achieved. I felt that the method really helped to lower my body fat percentages.

I will be entering another show in April of this year, however I'll be trying my hand as a physique competitor, and am also prepping for the Junior USA'S in May. I also am promoting for a few NPC South Jersey bodybuilding shows for any companies that might be interested in being a sponsor. I'm constantly striving to make improvements in my physique and hope to make my mark in the competitive field of women's physique, and one day earn my IFBB pro card!

Marica Lukic Berlenbach

Marica Berlenbach

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Marica Lukic Berlenbach

Marica Berlenbach