Sarah Nordin - Physique Competitor

Sarah: I grew up around the bodybuilding lifestyle with my dad. He used to be big into it and was really big when I was younger. Working out, nutrition, the lifestyle, it's something I've always loved and had a pain for. I started working out when I was 15 and started thinking about competing when I was about 17. Ever since I have worked to put on muscle size, knowing that I wanted to be physically prepared to compete when the time came. I've always been big on having proportion head to toe. Emerald Cup, in Seattle, was the first bodybuilding show I had ever gone to, and I knew is what I wanted to do. When I first started dating my fiance, Mike Cornes, he told me he wanted to get me on stage for the first time within about a year and he "dieted me up" so that my body and metabolism would be ready for the prep. I competed for my first time a year and a half later in October of 2014 at Seven Feathers.

Diet off-season vs. pre-contest: Besides extra cheat meals and treats, I basically stay to the same foods: chicken, eggs, rice, potatoes, beef, etc. Just in larger portions for the off season. High protein, high carbs, moderate fats. This has always been the base for my nurtion. It's a lifestyle for me. Growing up, I remember always eating chicken, rice, and protein bars... Pre contest- high protein, moderate carbs, minimal fats- I am more strict and dialed in on nutrition, all the way down to the last gram. When I'm prepping for a competition, it's easiest for me to just eat egg whites, chicken, and rice cakes with an occasional red potato. Green vegetables are "free" during prep, but I didn't feel the need to incorporate them and they caused me to retain even more water weight.

For my diet I eat basically the same foods: chicken, forms of rice, egg whites, potatoes. It's all about knowing your body and listening to it. When you stop seeing your body fat going down, it's time to lower your carbs. As it got closer to the competition, I carb cycled for the last couple weeks-couple days lower carbs and a day of normal carbs- to try and make sure I came in as lean as I needed. It was my first time dieting down and my body was being stubborn. I enjoy the structure of the prep diet and I look forward to it starting May 1st.

Supplements: I incorporate protein powder (MaxPro by Max Muscle) and Carbo Max (also by Max Muscle) on a daily basis as meal replacements both during off season and prep. They get cut out about a month or so prior to competition. Vitamin C and multi vitamins are also part of my routine during prep and off season.

Training: Off season I lift heavy, pushing for failure while focusing on time under tension, squeezing the muscle each rep. I usually lift about 2 body parts per workout, trying to hit each twice a week. During this time, I eat enough to feed the muscles and grow. So as prep starts and my carbs and fats go down, I lower the weight and focus on the squeeze and tension with every rep.

Seven Feathers October 2014 was the first (and so far only) competition where I double entered in both Figure and Women's Physique. I placed 4th in both divisions. It was an amazing experience. Probably the most exciting and intense experience of my life. Adrenaline running the whole time. I was focusing on dropping water weight, keeping relatively calm, and stress free all at the same time. I was worried that I wouldn't come in how I wanted, but Mike was there the whole time supporting me and reassuring me that everything was going well.
* Check-ins were fun and nerve racking all at the same time, not knowing what to expect and just trusting my coach and the process. Getting to see all the other competitors and knowing quite a few other people there and sharing that experience with them was great. All the support, especially from people I only knew on social media who took the time to introduce themselves, was touching and motivating.
* Prejudging was full of all sorts of emotions all at once. I didn't feel "nervous" until right before I stepped on stage. I was in my lineup about to step out for Physique and all the sudden it hit. But as soon as I got out in front of everyone, that all went away and I was comfortable like I had done it a hundred times before.
* Finals were exciting, especially since I placed in the Top 5 in both divisions. In Physique, it was especially an amazing moment because all of us in the top 5 were with the same coach, Noel Fuller.

I am currently off season for a little longer. I am getting ready for two competitions this October 2015-Northern Classic in Washington and Seven Feathers in Oregon. My prep starts May 1st and I am looking forward to it. I enjoy the structure and daily details of the prep process. I am looking to come in leaner this time and place higher. I need to beat myself in how I came in last year.

Sarah Nordin

Competition Prep Guides

Sarah Nordin

Sarah Nordin