Group PT and posing practise

March 6, 2011

Phew, yesterday was full on! My head is spinning, full of fantastic information after meeting up with my coach Kat Millar and a female bodybuilding competitor she knows. Annie Uelese was kind enough to invite me to her house, take a look at my physique, help me with posing and finally give me her thoughts on which show/s I have the potential to do best in. So I now have some dates in the diary! Countdown to showtime is officially on!

Let’s back up a bit.

I started my day (after a tortuous time on the tube network) at Kat’s personal training studio in Farringdon, where I gatecrashed one of her Saturday morning group personal training sessions. Anna, Angela and Jess, thank you so much for letting me join your group and train with you! I had great fun and worked really hard. I love the singleminded solitude of training by myself but from time to time it’s great to train with others, and yesterday was one of those days.

After warming up with medicine balls and kettlebells, we did a lot of partner work with medicine balls, some agility work as a group and even some fun “games” with press ups etc as forfeits, none of which would have worked by myself. I’ve been focusing on slower lifting work in the gym recently, so the series of bunny hops, fast step ups, jumps and running was a (good) shock to my system.

We finished off our hour’s sweatfest with partner-assisted stretching which was a real treat. Thank you, Angela, for the help with stretching (all 55kgs of you!) and for the mini back massage which you threw in for free!

Jess, Anna and Angela are all obviously working very hard with Kat and I wish them all the best with their individual strength, nutrition and fitness goals. Hopefully I’ll see you again soon, ladies! Train hard! XX

From there, Kat and I made our way to NW London to meet Annie Uelese, Kiwi figure competitor. You know how you always meet someone in every sport who is willing to give up their time, knowledge and experience to help out a stranger? Annie is one of those people. She filled my head with helpful information, suggestions and practical ideas and let me hang out at her house for hours asking her questions about bodybuilding and figure.

She took at a look at me and told me which class of bodybuilding/which federation she thought I was best suited to, explaining the subtle differences. She then took me through all the poses I’d need to do, tweaking my technique and manipulating me into the right position. Posing is really hard work and very precise, and Annie’s help was incredibly useful (even if I am aching today – yes, from posing!)

So, I now have a couple of shows earmarked, dates in the diary and – of course – a countdown! That’s what I’ve been missing and needing, and I know the weekly countdown is going to give my training and nutrition an even sharper focus.

Here they are:
– 3 July
BNBF show (figure class)
17 July NPA show (figure, possibly physique class)

and, as plan Bs (just in case):
– 7 August BNBF show
– 15 August NPA show
– 12 Sept NPA show (I may do this one anyway, as it’s in Kent – my homeland!)

So, that gives me 16 weeks to keep on building size and symmetry before cutting down to reveal all my hard work! Oh, and to practise posing, develop some stage presence, and…and…and…

Thank you so much to Annie for your generosity, time and insights. And thank you as ever to Kat – great to train with you and the ladies at your group PT session in London. May the groups go from strength to strength, it’s a brilliant way to train!

Do you have a mentor in your sport? Do you do group personal training?

Group PT and posing practise is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

My 2011 challenge

February 18, 2011

I figured it was time to tell you all what I’ve been training for these past few months (literally, not figuratively). I know a few of you have figured it out already.

It’s a break from the norm and I’m not sure what you will think (not that other people’s opinions have stopped me before ;)) So just stick with me past the next line and I’ll try to explain.

Bodybuilding. There, it’s out. Or, more specifically, figure – a class of bodybuilding.

No, not like Arnie, and no, I won’t be taking steroids. I have no intention of looking like a man (it would be a good trick if I could manage it) and I won’t end up all huge, I promise. Although, yes Mum I will have to “go that funny colour”, although it’s only fake tan and most of it’s wash-off. 😉

Long time readers of the blog will recall the 8-week body recomposition challenge I did with personal trainer Kat Millar. I decided to do that because I was looking for a new focus, something to challenge my mind as well as my body after years of endurance sport. I was also still carrying a little “Channel chub” (the affectionate term Channel swimmers give to the bodyfat we find it necessary to gain and maintain). I’d always loved weight training and decided I wanted to make it my focus, to see what it could do for me.

What did it do for me? Quite a lot, actually. And when I sent Kat my “after” pictures, she told me I had the kind of build, symmetry and genetics judges look for in “figure” competitions. Figure is a category of female bodybuilding – sitting somewhere between the softer look of “bikini” and the harder, larger look of female bodybuilding. Kat’s a successful figure competitor so I took her word for it. And once the idea was in my head I found it hard to shake off.

The idea of competing in figure terrifies and excites me. It’s challenging on every level – psychologically as well as physically. But that’s exactly what I was looking for. This is so far outside my comfort zone that it’s a tiny dot on the horizon. Honestly, I feel more comfortable with the idea of getting in the Channel and trying to swim to the other side than I do with the idea of stepping on stage as a figure competitor. But that’s the whole point. It’s completely new to me on every level, and I love that.

I have no idea how I’ll do. It’s such a subjective sport. I don’t know if I’ll do just one competition, or if this is something I might come back to again. One thing I want to assure you is that I am absolutely not leaving swimming, triathlon, running and cycling behind. I’m just trying something else for a season, just to see how far I can take it.

Oh, and I’ll most definitely be doing the XT Memorial Mile, even if my quads are so sore I have to walk it. I suggest you join me 😉

I know the idea of competitive bodybuilding isn’t for everyone, and I know there will be people out there having a giggle, or shaking their heads in disapproval, or saying “why would you want to do that to yourself?” That’s OK. 🙂 I welcome comments, questions and candid thoughts – do leave me a comment and I’ll answer.

And I hope you’ll stay with me as I go through my contest prep and get ready to step on stage….eeek!

My 2011 challenge is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

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