Rachel Pressler - Physique Competitor

Rachel: Unlike most competitors, my competition lifestyle began in 2013 when my doctor suggested I compete in my college's amateur bodybuilding show. I was fighting depression, and lived a life of partying- which I thought was fun, even though it made my symptoms much worse. I figured, if I took care of my body, that my mind would follow. During times when I was really unhappy- I would drastically restrict the amount of food I ate in an attempt to look better. Trying to fight my affliction I was making changes to my diet by including vegetable and fruit juice to find balance. I also began lifting more. My doctor saw this and my desire to change physically as a positive note. He was concerned about my eating disorder being amplified by the sport, but overall, it's been a blessing! I rarely struggle with food, and very rarely binge eat. (Does thanksgiving count?!)

Only being in the sport for three years, and going through 3 contest preparations with three different approaches I've found the most success through tracking macronutrients. At the moment, in the off season I'm not the typical IIMYM kind of person- I'd say I "cheat" once or twice a week. Having the consistency with the macronutrient goals helps me feel more on-track and maintain self control! As far as contest preparation I've found it most effective to eat exactly what my trainer tells me to eat. That's the best advice I can give! Per my request, I do not handle cheat meals well during prep, as they lead to me losing focus all day with diet, and making me crave more something fierce! I'd rather not eat it all prep and forget about it. When it's simply not an option, I don't sit there and dwell on it or count down the days to my next cheat. My vision instead is the days until my show! My last contest preparation I did 14 weeks of clean foods. Lastly I would like to stress the importance of a proper reverse diet. If your coach doesn't give you one, don't work with them!

Failed diet plan: Firstly, I wouldn't call this a "diet plan" but I tried to prepare myself for a contest just 6 months into the lifestyle. The stress of trying to manipulate my own nutrient intake was too much to bare, and I broke down and had the foods I really shouldn't have just a week before my show! In addition- I don't believe in eating out during contest preparation. There are too many variables and too much on the line to play with it in my opinion. For example: how did they cook this meat? What types of oils are being used? Did they use any preservatives? How much chicken did I actually just eat? All of these things play a role in bringing in the perfect physique and for me, they stress me out. So my best secret would be to always be prepared during preparation!

I typically stick to body part isolation, hitting legs and my weakest body parts twice a week. With diet I'm big into experimenting, especially on the off-season. Right now I'm working on increasing my carbohydrates overall and focusing the times I eat them to be right around my training session.

I've always been a performer, being very active in the music scene from a young age! I love being on stage and I love feeling confident. Something that people notice about me now is that I'm not afraid to strike my stage poses in the middle of the gym, and dance around like no one is watching!

My most recent contest (The Omaha Duel of Champions- NPC) was so amazing. During contest day I am always in such a grand mood. When you work your butt off with the right plan, it's all on the table. For women, there's no weigh-in so I just try to focus on bringing in the best package by staying relaxed, and making connections with fellow competitors.

Future plans: Nationals!! I don't feel ready, so my short term goal is to take an overall at a local Colorado show in women's physique before I step on stage at a national level. I'm looking at doing the Warrior Classic, or the Rocky next year. Right now I'm focusing on rehabbing from a car accident! I had some slight bulging in the discs in my neck from whiplash that I've been battling with, but don't you worry, I'll be back!

My contact information:
Instagram and Twitter: @gocrazyrachel
Facebook athlete page: www.facebook.com/gocrazyrachel

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