Tracey Longo - Physique Competitor

Tracey: I was a competitive figure skater as a kid and loved the rush and adrenalin of competing. But what to do as an adult for that kind of thrill? Then one day I wandered into a neighborhood gym and realized I had found my way home. I loved the endorphins and the way lifting allowed me to test my agility and strength and build and shape my body. When the bodybuilding community introduced physique competitions a few years back I realized it would be a great fit for me. I started programming my training, cardio and diet to build a stageworthy physique. Instead of just working out I now had a reason to train hard. I prepped for my first show in about 100 days in 2013, losing 30 pounds and putting on 7 pounds of muscle.

Tracey Longo

Tracey Longo, Myrtle Beach, SC, NPC Physique competitor

I now work with Prep Coach Dr. Trey Hodge of Greenville, SC, throughout the year to constantly improve and refine my muscle, shape, training and diet. I eat seven times a day both on and off season. We strive to constantly build as much shock into my programming as possible. I start the training cycle at about 1200 calories and eat protein, veggies and fairly high carbs. As I get closer to competition (this year my first contest is in September) we will start cutting calories and cycling and cutting my carbs. Iíve also used ketogenic diets (using higher fat, almost nonexistent carb meals) which I believe can be a godsend to some competitors who are very carb sensitive. I notice all this shock makes me far less carb sensitive and also keeps my metabolism speedy, which is important in fat burning.

To supplement my nutrition I use whey isolate protein shakes, prenatal vitamins, fish oil, BCCAs, carnitine, glutamine and leucine, which I take daily.

My training program under Dr. Hodge is rigorous. I start each day with 30 minutes of fasted cardio and then do another 30 minutes of HIIT (high intensity interval training). I lift six days a week in the late afternoon and on the seventh day I do cardio twice. Cardio will accelerate as I get closer to my contest going to as much as two hours daily of stair master, incline treadmill and running. I pose every day, doing both mandatory poses and my routine.

The competitions themselves make it all worthwhile. Iíll never forget the excitement of sitting with 400 very tanned competitors backstage as the promoters told us what to expect and what stage directions they would be giving. Next came the pump up room, the tanning station and the glue station (that was a reality check having women spray glue my suit to my hips and glutes so It wouldnít ride up during my posing routine) .

I canít wait until September to take the stage again. And thank you Jonathan for showcasing women athletes and models and all of their hard work and achievement. Much appreciated!

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