Nikki Pennella - Figure Competitor

I started to compete 8 years ago. I was always fitness oriented but I really wanted to challenge myself with something I had to be completely dedicated to. I did one show and I was hooked. I loved the idea that every year you could transform your physique.

The diet changes pretty significantly from contest prep to off season. In off season you canít be afraid to eat! You must incorporate more carbs with every meal to fuel the intense workouts that will build the muscle you will need! I find the most effective diets are ones that are balanced. Even in contest prep you need to be eating a considerable amount of calories if you want to preserve the muscle that you worked hard to put on. Diets that failed my expectations did not provide enough protein, carbs, or fat!! Diets are not meant to put you in starvation mode. I donít even like to call them diets. They should be called meal plans that sustain your lifestyle and your desired fitness goals.

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Gotta love a good bicep pump!!! ???????????? #biceps #procard #getitgirl #grind #workhard #nopainnogain #noexcuses #ifbbhopeful #ifbbprofigure #eliteathlete

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Once you put in all the work required and you know you have given 1000% effort, and your body transforms before your eyes due to your dedication. CONFIDENCE comes naturally. The fitness journey is extremely powerful and if done correctly you learn what you are truly made of. You learn that you have qualities inside you that will propel you to success. The more mental and physical limitations you bust through, the more confidence you build. When you step on that stage it just shines through!

The components of my training change from contest prep to off season. However I am a big proponent of using all methods. Lifting, cardio, HIIT, yoga, in order to keep the body guessing. I also like to change up my rep ranges, incorporate time under tension, supersets, dropsets, strip sets. Anything to really keep the body guessing. Also, in offseason or improvement season, as I like to call it. I will workout the body parts that are lagging or I want to see improvement in twice a week.

I really embrace all aspects of the competing process. I love meeting my fellow competitors, I have made many friends on this fitness journey. I am always grateful for the experience. At my last competition I took overall in masters figure and the feeling of accomplishment is something that cannot be explained. In that moment I realized there is nothing I canít do if I put my mind to it!!

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Great workout tonight!! ????????

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Being an athlete is truly a lifestyle so it is your whole life. Everything you do is purposeful to your goals! The qualities you utilize while you are competing also bleed over into all areas of life. Qualities like discipline, drive, and determination.

My future plans are to continue on my quest to become an IFFB Pro. I will be competing this year in July. Once the pro card is secured I will continue to compete and maybe one day grace the Olympia stage and beyond that I would love to help others achieve their fitness goals!


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