Sarah Wyka - NPC Womens Physique Competitor

I started my journey in 2008. At that time my husband and I built and owned a gym in Labelle, Florida. That is about 20 miles inland from Fort Myers Beach. One of our female trainers was 50 years old. She was full of fire and had on her bucket list to compete in Figure. At first a lot of the ladies in the gym hopped on board with her. As the weeks went by, the diet set in, they started falling off one by one. Carlene (the trainer) was scared, frustrated and kind of unsure if she could do it on her own. So I hopped on board with only three months until the show date in Cape Coral. It was grueling. The hardest thing I had ever done. BUT I was determined. She and I made it to the stage and we both kicked some major tail in our first shows ever. Both in Figure. I placed second in my open and in Novice. She placed second place in her Masters Class and third in her open.

After that show, we had been bitten by the bug…. I have competed in the NPC since. I have competed in various shows in Florida, Kentucky and Ohio the years after 2008. Placing in the top 5 most all shows. I did take a break around 2012 due to some medical issues. Once I hopped back on board for my show in June of 2015, I had decided to hang up my heels and transition to women’s physique. I was told by a few fellow competitors, both pro and amateur that my physique was suited for this category. So, I took the leap and prepped for my first women’s physique show from March 2015 to June 2015. I took second and qualified for Nationals. I then went on to compete at the Kentucky Muscle Derby this past April and The Julie Palmer Classic, again qualifying for Nationals. I am now in training for Nationals next Spring/Summer 2017 to go for my Pro card.

Diet and Training

I like clean foods. So staying pretty close to where I need to be to start contest prep is not hard. The hard part is the constant food preparation. The only real difference would be the amounts I take in. During offseason, if I want more of something like the chicken or lean meat, veggies or carbs, I eat them. Whereas in contest prep, everything is measured out and accounted for. All of my adjustments are based on what I take in, amount of cardio and supplements I take. Any variation in that could throw something off, which in turn throws off my body composition and then my trainer and nutritionist are making adjustments based on what I’ve been told to do and not what I have missed or taken too much of or not enough of….. It’s critical during that prep time to follow everything to a tee.

When in contest prep, I cut out of course all processed foods, no fruit, no dairy, and no sugar. The rule of thumb here is: “If you can’t grow it, don’t eat it”. However, you have to also take into consideration things like peas, carrots, beets and any other “vegetable” that has naturally occurring sugar. Those are eliminated as well.

As far as building muscle goes: I stick to the basics. Lean red meat, turkey, chicken and eggs. Weight loss: I am generally put on some form of ketosis (taking away my carbs) to really bring in the definition. But I respond well to carbs to fill my muscle bellies back out closer to show time.
Failed diet: Honestly with each of my shows I have hired a nutritionist. So, I have not had a diet failure to date.

I train 5 days a week. I break up my days by body part. I may have shoulders and biceps on Monday, Day one legs on Tuesday, Back on Wednesday, Chest and triceps on Thursday and Day two legs on Friday. I have morning fasted cardio 7 days a week. I start at 30 minutes and work up to two hours of fasted steady state cardio closer to my show date. I do not do HIIT cardio as it tends to burn up my muscle that I need closer to show.
I prep all of my meals twice a week. Sundays and Wednesdays are my meal prep days. I eat 5-6 small, measured meals each day. All consisting of the food I need to be optimal in performance during my weight training, cardio and stay in a metabolic state.

On Stage

Building self-confidence: I hired a posing coach. She was a saucy Latino lady named Cat. She brought the fire out in me. She made it fun. She had me pose in front of everyone at her gym, at my gym, in the middle of the grocery store, anywhere…. Not to embarrass me, but to empower me. To let me know I was going to be nervous and scared, but so was every other lady up on that stage. It gave me the confidence to go up there and showcase what I had literally worked my tail off for.

Recent contest experience- I’ll say this about the women’s physique category. The comradery I see between competitors is refreshing and awesome! We stick together backstage, help each other out, laugh, build each other up and have fun. That’s what it’s all about in my book. I have seen other competitors from other categories that look absolutely miserable. They are scared, intimidated, and quite honestly the cattiness that goes on at some shows is next level. I mean like “mean girls” bad…… Each WP show I have done I have had an excellent experience with both the judges, handlers and fellow competitors. My advice is finding a show buddy backstage. Talk, laugh and have a good time. The hard work is done… not you are there to showcase it.

Future Plans- I plan to compete in The Junior Nationals Spring/Summer 2017 to go for my Pro Card in Women’s Physique.

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