Competition advice from Claire Harper – and 5 Smartshakes to win!

Today I interviewed Figure and Fitness Model competitor Claire Harper for a feature in the UK Muscle and Fitness magazine (keep your eyes peeled for the printed interview). Claire was a wonderful interviewee: bubbly, chatty and informative. The interview – along with Tauseef’s photos – is going to be great!

Claire has a refreshing and down-to-earth approach to training and nutrition and I know you’ll all be interested in what she has to say, so do keep an eye out for the interview.

After I’d interviewed her for the magazine, I asked her a few questions of my own. Claire – who distributes SmartShake in the UK – generously offered a giveaway to five readers (not limited to UK readers!) – see the end of this post for details and please do enter! (I love mine!)

Claire is a successful Figure competitor who has competed in BNBF, NPA and NABBA. She’s competed for the past three years, doing an incredible eight shows in her second year of competing – and placing first or second in them all!

She also won Fame International’s 2010 World Fitness Model out in Las Vegas and is the current World Champion.

Claire Harper’s advice for the BNBF Finals

TheFitWriter: Claire, you’ve competed at the BNBF Finals (in Figure, whereas I’m Physique). What advice have you got for me in the remaining weeks?

Claire Harper: You’ll be up against stiff competition at the Finals – all the women there will have come first or second at their qualifiers, as you know. But competition makes it even more worthwhile! When you’re up against other good-quality women and place (or win!), that gives you a proper buzz.

TFW: I compete in Physique and I know you have a lot of Physique-competitor friends. What do you think of the category?

CH: I think Physique is great. It needs more exposure – better exposure. What really bugs me is when people who don’t know any better assume that Physique women – “female bodybuilders” – will look like men. That’s just not the case (as we know from your pictures!) I’ve yet to meet a manly looking Physique girl! Yes, you lot diet hard to look lean, but you still look feminine.

TFW: Hear, hear! OK so what advice do you have for me in the remaining nine weeks (which will fly by I’m sure)?

CH: Keep posing regularly. Really keep on top of this, it will make you so much sharper. Get the DVD of your show and watch it over and over to critique yourself. Film your posing and routine so you can really nail it. Get your routine sorted ASAP. Other than that, just keep it safe and simple. Don’t do anything stupid now!

Don’t listen to too many people and don’t look at what’s happening at the other qualifiers too much. Lots of people will be commenting on the Finalists, but a lot can happen between now and September. Just worry about yourself and not what everyone else is doing. Don’t get sidetracked. As you know, what happens on the day can totally change everything! A competitor can have the best physique there but, if their posing is wrong, or their routine doesn’t suit them, it can lose them a place or more. So, really hammer the presentation side of things.

And, two weeks out, when you think you can’t do it any more and your brain is telling you not to bother turning up, ignore what your head tells you. Listen to only one person – someone you really trust – not yourself!

TFW: That’s amazing advice, thank you. What can I expect on the day? What do you remember of the BNBF Finals?

CH: The BNBF Finals are extremely organised – a competitor couldn’t ask for better – but, still, expect to be waiting around. No matter how long the day is, stay calm. Naturally, expect nerves to kick in, but use them to your advantage, as a booster to wow the crowd. The BNBF Finals are always sold out and the crowd is fantastic, so feed off that. It’s an amazing experience! I wish you the best of luck.

Thank you, Claire! What a lovely interviewee. Hopefully we’ll get to meet (and train?) together soon 🙂

FIVE SmartShake shakers to give away – we’ll post worldwide…

As well as competing, working as a sponsored athlete (Reflex Nutrition and Grenade fat burner) and running a studio, Claire also distributes SmartShake in the UK. SmartShake is a really fun and innovative type of drinks bottles/shaker in the funkiest colours, with two compartments in the bottom to hold protein powder, BCAAs, tablets, keys or jewellery. Once you’ve got one, you’ll wonder how you ever did without it. If I’d had my SmartShake with me, the engagement ring near-disaster of peak week wouldn’t have happened!

Since the latest version of SmartShake shakers come in five colours, Claire has generously agreed to give not one but FIVE readers a SmartShake each. And she’s said she’ll post to anywhere in the world! So, no matter where you’re reading this from, you can enter for your chance to win one of these fab shakers.

For your chance of winning one of five v2 SmartShake super-shakers, simply tell me (in the comments section of this post): what would you keep in the secret screw-tight section in the bottom of the SmartShake? Wedding ring? Favourite supplement? Front-door key? Vitamins? Nuts? … or something really bizarre and random?

Entries will close at midnight GMT on Sunday 17th July and I’ll announce winners (chosen at random) the following day.

Claire blogs here, is on Facebook here and Tweets from here!

Competition advice from Claire Harper – and 5 Smartshakes to win! is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.

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35 Responses to Competition advice from Claire Harper – and 5 Smartshakes to win!

  1. I would most definitely put creatine pills in the bottom. But I would seriously consider cramming some post-workout carbs in there as well… do you think I can mush a slice of bread into it?

    Like

    • thefitwriter says:

      Ha ha – maybe! There’s removable cross-shaped thing (in case you want to put tablets, nuts, a key and something else). If you took that out, you could probably roll a wrap into a spiral and stuff it in ;D

      Like

  2. Zita alves says:

    I’d put some blue berries in 1 and fish oil caps in the other :0)

    Like

  3. Dana West says:

    I am always on the go so I would probably put my fave drink mix in the bottom. These are awesome! Thanks for the giveaway!

    Like

    • thefitwriter says:

      Yep that’s pretty much what I tend to do – preworkout mix (or just water) in the bottle to sip on before I go, then BCAAs/creatine/l-glut in the screw-tight section to mix up at the gym. And in the bottom, either nothing or my rings and locker key 🙂

      Like

  4. John says:

    Since I work at a high security prison as a guard, I’m always working on gaining weight, so instead of putting my protein mix in a zip lock bag, it would be great to have a more convenient place for it. The smartshaker sounds like the best idea ever, and I would love to have one. Thank you

    Like

  5. Yvonne Higby says:

    I am always in need of a hair clip or pony tail holder. I would put a few in the bottom of the shaker. Then I would be ready to go! Thanks for the good read, I found your blog from Bikini or Bust. I am very new to this, I have my first competition Oct 1st. I love to read as much as I can about fitness to get motivated. Thanks

    Like

    • thefitwriter says:

      Ah ha, I am queen of losing hair grips, clips and bands (and keys.. and gym card.. and ipod holder… and earphones – just ask my poor husband!) That’s a great idea. Thanks for coming over from B or B and BEST of luck with your first comp. Figure/bikini/physique? If can ever blog about anything in particular for you please just ask 🙂

      Like

      • Yvonne Higby says:

        Thanks,
        I am competiting in Figure, I am a military wife,mother of 2 boys and live in Spain, the base is having a small competition. I have never done anything like this before but I have always thought about it.
        I am excited to take on the challange. I will keep you posted.
        Also I always need help in the food department.

        Like

      • thefitwriter says:

        Great, well all the best of luck to you! It is an exciting challenge. Let me know how you get on! Do you have a coach or nutrition/diet coach?

        Like

    • Yvonne Higby says:

      Hi,
      I just got a coach, so I am sure that will help me. I was getting really stressed trying to make sure I was eating and working out right, but it feels good to know some one is watching out with me.

      Like

      • thefitwriter says:

        Absolutely, I’m convinced I couldn’t do this without a coach – not only is it the actual coaching/information but it’s accountability and – as you get closer to show date – the confidence that there’s someone out there you can lean on who understands what you’re going through. A good coach is worth their weight in gold (even if they don’t weigh very much like mine ha ha!)

        Like

  6. Richard says:

    Chocolate covered coffee beans. get a caffiene buzz whenever I need it!

    Like

  7. Fayeaye says:

    These smart shakes look awesome. To be honest instead of pills and powders i would have to keep a small nail file in mine, it’s just a silly superstition i have that the world must come to a standstill until i’ve filed a broken nail!

    Like

  8. James says:

    I would keep tiny yellow cards with red print “I don’t care how many sets you’ve done, I am here for me!”. Keep the shaker near at all times! 🙂 Dislike the gym chatterbox… put in work and leave.

    Like

    • thefitwriter says:

      Hi James! I recently got some noise-cancelling headphones which work a treat for that – I actually can’t hear a word anyone is saying! Most of the time I’m like you – want to get on with my sets/rest periods without interruption. But I must say, this morning, I got chatting to a bloke who trains a lot and is in a wheelchair… his story was jawdropping and his work ethic puts me to shame. I’m glad I spoke to him.

      Like

  9. Becky says:

    Probably my Gymboss timer. A close second would be my headphones. I have very weird ears (needing ridiculous Sennheiser odd shaped things) and losing those little babies would be gutting. 😉

    Like

  10. Tiny ziplock bags of protein, to last me throughout the day to have in my SmartShaker!

    Like

  11. My wedding band and engagement ring for SURE! I never remember to take them off before going to the gym and I don’t feel comfortable just putting them in my gym bag :-X so I could secure them in the bottom!!!!!

    Like

  12. Kat Millar says:

    Oooh great ideas everyone!! Great interview too – thanks Claire and Nic! I’d love a SmartShaker – Smart idea! Definitely hair ties, BCAA’s, locker keys and as above – quote cards for the X-trainer – maybe even other competitors photos tee hee 😉

    Like

  13. Ben Coomber says:

    My secret post workout weapon….. Phosphatidyl-serine (800mg)!

    Like

  14. Lisa Kedian says:

    Wow this is a must of a great necity !!!
    Is Defo have to keep
    A bobble, kirby grip and my car key in the bottom.
    Then a small 40g Carbs – oats to have in my shake !!!
    Wow wow wow I love this – il be posting this on Facebook not only as a competition winner but Defo promoting it too as a much need for the gym 🙂 fingers crossed. Goodluck everyone xx

    Like

  15. Lisa Kedian says:

    Wow this is a must of a great necity !!!
    Is Defo have to keep
    A bobble, kirby grip and my car key in the bottom.
    Then a small 40g Carbs – oats to have in my shake !!!
    Wow wow wow I love this – il be posting this on Facebook not only as a competition winner but Defo promoting it too as a much need for the gym 🙂 fingers crossed. Goodluck everyone xx

    Like

  16. […] let you know who’s won the five Smartshake shakers Claire Harper kindly agreed to giveaway in this post. I numbered the entries then picked at random and the winners […]

    Like

  17. […] interviewed for Muscle & Fitness magazine in the past, and also for this blog – here) She very generously gave me a SmartShake, one of the newest additions to the ever-expanding range: […]

    Like

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