Happy New Year from thefitwriter: 2013 in review

December 31, 2013

What a year it’s been! I’m looking forward to the opportunities and adventures which 2014 will bring. Here’s how 2013 went down in my world (and on the blog)

nicola joyce inbf world champion

I did five bodybuilding competitions and experienced the lows of not placing at all right through to the highs of competing in the USA and winning an overall World title!

comp 1) BNBF Centrals – 6th place physique
comp 2) BNBF Midlands – 2nd place physique
I was then invited to do the (new) Athletic class at BNBF Finals and decided to go for it
comp 3) BNBF Finals – 4th (of 5!) athletic
comp 4) UKDFBA Open – 3rd place bodybuilding
A few days later, I was invited to be the amateur female bodybuilder on Team UK at the INBF Worlds! Getting that phone call was one of the best moments of my year and I think I’ll remember it forever.
comp 5) (aka What the whaaaaat?! :-O ) What an experience… competing at the INBF Worlds as part of “Team UK”. I won the women’s bodybuilding HW class (by default!) and then competed in the over all against the LW winner. I won it, and became the INBF women’s bodybuilding overall winner and World Champion for 2013!

You can read the UKDFBA’s report of the INBF/WNBF Worlds 2013 here – it’s a great read and I encourage you to take a look.

I won a two awards in the naturalmuscle.com end of year awards (Best Journal, and I tied for Toned Glutes, LOL) – thanks, chaps!

WordPress.com has generated a handy summary of my blog stats for 2013. Have a look, see if you spot yourself in there! thefitwriter 2013 blog activity.

My most active blog commenters in 2013 were
Tara of Sweat Like A Pig (a fantastic strongwoman blog which tackles some meaty issues about training, women in sport, nutrition and competing – read it!)
Trish (she doesn’t have a blog but give her a cheer anyway, she’s probably making her bodybuilding debut next year)
Helen of Diary of a Newbie Strongwoman (as the name suggests – a strongwoman blog charting Helen’s journey through training and competing)
Rooobarb & Custard of Adventures in a Campervan (a wonderful blog about adventures in Ruby the 1967 split-screen campervan)
Fiona of HiFifi’s Transformation (a blog about a one-time (and future?) figure competitor who’s working out a way to eat and train for life)

Thank you, ladies (and gent)! But really it’s a big thanks to all of you who read, share and comment πŸ™‚ Apparently people read this blog from 155 countries, mainly the UK, USA and Australia.

Most popular post and product reviews in 2013 were

Tesco Nutri1st Advanced protein products
Monkey Nutrition whey isolate Primal26
Bio Synergy
Bio Synergy and Melanie Sykes supplement range
What I learned from the Phil Learney Fat Loss & Performance seminar
(You can see all my product reviews here)

Big up yo bad selves

I’d like to say a big thank you not only to my blog readers but to my friends and supporters in sport and business. Clients, agencies, PRs, collaborators, designers, editors, interviewees: thank you all. You can find me (wearing a slightly more professional hat) on my website, my linkedin and linkedin company page.

To anyone who has read, shared, liked, commented on or visited this blog in 2013: thank you! If you stick around into 2014 I promise to bring you plenty of interesting content, training info, competing reports, and behind-the-scenes news from a competitive bodybuilder who writes a lot. Hey, 2014 might even be the year in which I actually write more about the business of writing πŸ˜‰ You never know.

Happy New Year from thefitwriter: 2013 in review 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.

thefitwriter on local radio Academy FM Folkestone

December 5, 2013

Morning! Just a quick one to post up a link to a radio interview I did last weekend

I was invited in to speak to the guys on the morning show at Folkestone’s Academy FM and we managed to quickly rattled through the sports I’ve been involved in, from Channel swimming to endurance sports like triathlon, to my recent bodybuilding win at the INBF Worlds.

If you’ve ever wondered what I sound like (my opinion=”weird”!), would like to hear me speak about my feelings on going to the Worlds, or are interesting in finding out how a Channel swimmer becomes a bodybuilder, have a listen. The interview is just over 9 minutes long.

Thank you to the guys at Academy FM for inviting me in!

thefitwriter on local radio Academy FM Folkestone 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.

You ask, I do my best to answer: part 2 (INBF Worlds Q&A)

November 18, 2013

Here’s part two of you ask, I do my best to answer! (INBF Worlds Q&A) – thanks for your questions!

“How did you manage your food and water intake on the plane? I was surprised that you were allowed to bring your trophy back in your hand luggage – she’d make a good club if you were so inclined!”

It actually wasn’t difficult at all, thank goodness. I prepped all my meals up until we got to arrivals, and just ate those in departures or on the plane (had to refuse all plane food, including little packets of mini pretzels with the drinks, and had to hope nobody near me minded me eating turkey and broccoli out of a tub!) No food could be taken through the other side, so I just had to make sure I’d eaten it all. I then had quick-grab foods (oats, whey) in my hold luggage so I knew I’d have some sustenance if they journey to the hotel was longer than anticipated (it was – I was very glad of that whey!) Water was a different matter – you can’t take that through departures – so I just made sure I drank a lot before going through, and then bought a couple of bottles for the flight.

I didn’t ask about the trophies; I just carried them! I thought there was a chance of an upgrade πŸ˜‰ (there wasn’t… but the flight attendant did bring me a glass of champagne!)

“What do the judges look for? Do you have a tick list of things you need to work towards in the gym?”

The judging criteria is clearly set out (for every federation) and, for women’s bodybuilding at least, doesn’t vary too much even when you consider that this is a totally subjective sport. You do have to remember that the judges can only judge what’s in front of them on the day, and can only compare the physiques which are up there. And some will prefer size over condition, some will value condition over mass, etc. But, in general, bodybuilding classes are judged against the following criteria:

Round one (quarter turns) – symmetry (top to bottom, left to right, back to front)
Round two (compulsory poses) – muscularity and conditioning
Round three (posing routine) – this isn’t always scored but can make the difference when it’s otherwise a tough call.

Then of course, as you hint in your question, we all have things we want to improve upon in the gym. I do always ask judges’ feedback after shows, and most of them get back to me with some suggestions. I’ve had good feedback from Worlds about my presentation, posing, confidence and condition. One suggestion was to put more size and density on my shoulders. Personally, I’d like to build more thickness and density in my chest, and build a bigger bum (bum and shoulders tend to disappear when I’m dieted right down). More back is always good, too, for folk like me with not much in the way of a waist!

“What sort of turnout from competitors was there? Were there people from all over the world? Was there a big audience – had people travelled to support the finals?”

There were athletes from eight countries: USA (who don’t need to qualify or be selected to compete), and UK, Canada, Barbados, Australia, Switzerland, Italy and Japan. It was hard for me to tell what size the crowd was as I wasn’t able to be out front watching for much of it (and people tend to come and go) but the auditorium was huge and I could sense a lot of people out there. Most of the countries brought large teams of athletes, coaches and supporters and there was cheering in plenty of different languages!

“How did the atmosphere at a US show compare to the UK? In my head it should have been all glamour and spotlights πŸ˜‰ “

The atmosphere was definitely busier, and more intense than at any UK show I’ve done, but this might have been down to it being Worlds rather than a qualifier or British. The atmosphere in the amateur ladies changing room was definitely down to the sheer number of women (and amount of sugary snacks being consumed!) Tee hee.

I had my hair, make up and tan professionally done and am so glad I decided to do so. Not only did it kill that awful dead time of hanging about, but it was fun! The ladies were upbeat, excited, and really got me pumped up in to a great, positive mood. And having my hair and make up done made me feel like a superstar, which I really needed. I needed my attitude and belief in myself to step up to the highest possible level, and having hair and makeup really achieved this. It was a lovely treat to myself and just added to my feelings of “wow” about the whole experience of competing at Worlds.

I also booked myself a mini photo-shoot backstage with Reggie Bradford and again I am really glad I did so. Not only are the shots a fantastic memento of such a special competition, but the it added a sense of extra glam to the whole day.


“What I find quite incredible is how you have managed to sculpt your body over the years to perform several different functions, from triathlon, to channel swimmer to bodybuilder… In these days of body dysmorphia, I think you are an example of how our bodies are tools to make perform how we see fit. It is sad that impossible and unrealistic images are portrayed as something to aspire to through all the photoshopping and airbrushing done by the media. You are an example of how being in control reaps rewards.”

Well, thank you. I haven’t really thought of it like that but I’d be delighted to think that I am an example of that. I do believe that we can all do exactly what we want with our bodies (although competitive success isn’t guaranteed of course). Where the mind goes, the body follows. That’s the difficult part: knowing why you want to achieve something, setting goals, sticking to a plan and following through.

Like the lady who asked this question, some of you will know me from years back. Yes, I have swum the Channel (and similar swims), taken part in triathlons and other land-based endurance events. And now I’m competing as a bodybuilder. Different energy systems, different training, different nutrition, different mindset (and different levels of bodyfat!) But all me underneath it all.

So, yes, I do believe that our bodies are tools which we can persuade to perform as we wish. Very precious tools, and ones to be celebrated, but they are (or can be) at the beck and call of our brains. If we want them to be!


You ask, I do my best to answer: part 2 (INBF Worlds Q&A) 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.

You ask, I do my best to answer! (INBF Worlds Q&A)

November 17, 2013

In my previous blog post, I asked if you had any questions about the INBF Worlds, my prep, off-season, and my plans for future comps (or anything else relevant).


Yes, it’s a lazy way to get a blog post out there. I plead jetlag!

Here goes:

“What does getting a Pro card mean or do?”

Bodybuilders compete as amateurs or as Pros. A Pro was once an amateur but won a certain level of competition (usually a national Final, or the amateur bit of a World level comp). Turning Pro doesn’t mean you can jack in your day job and earn a living wage bodybuilding (we wish!) “Pro” denotes the standard and level at which you compete, not that it’s your profession. Pros compete for prize money, whereas amateurs don’t, but even if a Pro was to win every single comp he or she entered, it would barely be enough to cover the cost of flights and accommodation for competing. There are a few exceptions: in the IFBB, those at the very top of the tree do make a living from competition winnings, product endorsements, sponsorships and putting their name to supplements, clothing, etc. In reality, become Pro for a UK bodybuilder actually means you have less choice of where to compete (because you can only do Pro shows, and – at present – there are very few in Europe). For me, it’s something to aspire to, it shows progress and achievement, enables you to be judged against an ever-higher standard of competition, and is one way of marking ongoing progression through the sport.

“This might be a bit personal, but are you older than a lot of competitors? The reason I ask is that your blog reads a lot different…”

I’m 36 (and a half). And thank you – I think! The blog didn’t start out life as a bodybuilding blog, or even a competing/racing/sporting event blog. It’s just my blog, and bodybuilding is one part of a big life. So, at the moment at least, lots of it is about bodybuilding. It hasn’t always been that way (have a dig back through the archives for triathlon, channel swimming, cycling races and even stuff about the business of writing πŸ˜‰ ) I’m glad you enjoy reading it at the moment πŸ™‚

“I want to know everything about the comp – what was the backstage atmosphere like, what was the process that you had to go through to prove you were natural? PS some of the guys on your team are ridiculously good looking, phew!”

Ha ha, I have no idea what you could possibly mean about the male competitors on Team UK! Ugly mugs πŸ˜‰ Some of them proved very popular with the other ladies in my changing room… tee hee. Backstage was a lot larger than any comp I’ve done in the UK, although not necessarily any more well-equipped. There was plenty of space, plug sockets, toilet cubicles and room to pump up, but no mirrors (people brought their own) for example. In my experience, there’s always positives and negatives about every backstage area. I guess it’s because BB comps are held in so many different kinds of venues, from theatres to civic halls. This one was in the auditorium at a big University.

The atmosphere was really friendly πŸ™‚ It’s not always the case, sadly, particularly when it’s a top level comp. It often seems to follow that the higher the stakes, the tenser the atmosphere. I’m really pleased to say that this was not the case at the INBF Worlds (not in my experience, anyway). The atmosphere in the amateur ladies dressing room was… manic, frenetic, highly-strung, often hilarious, and a giggle. Imagine the largest, strangest sleepover you’ve ever been to. It’s like that. Only with bikinis. Beauty treatments, fake tan, talk of junk food, sharing makeup, high emotion, even a bit of singing and booty-shaking. It was all there. I made some new friends (“let’s take a selfie! OK, now tag me on Facebook!”), got some great advice on exactly which chocolate-covered peanut butter-filled pretzels to buy from Trader Joe’s, and enjoyed myself immensely.

To compete in the INBF and WNBF, athletes need to be 7 years drug free (some drug-free Federations are lifetime natural). Athletes are tested by urinology and polygraph. “Drug-free” is assessed against the current WADA (World Anti Doping Authority) banned list. When people think about drugs in sport (particularly bodybuilding) they automatically think of steroids (often used as a blanket term I think!), growth hormone and other exogenous hormones, and “stuff you inject into yourself”. In reality, there’s a great deal more on the banned list, from certain stimulants/”fat burners” to certain diuretics. Fun fact! Caffeine (in certain quantities) was on the prohibited list until 2004.

“What next?”

Well, I have had three goals for the last couple of years in this sport:
compete in America [tick]
win a World title [tick x 2]
– get Pro Status/”Pro card” [ ]

So, 2014 will be the Year of the Pro Card. I will compete with the UKDFBA again here in the UK, with a view either to earning Pro Status here with them (as the winner of my class did at the UKDFBA comp this year), or to go over to the INBF Worlds with their UK team again, win again, and this time earn Pro Status by doing so. Usually, the winner of the overall would be offered Pro Status at the Worlds. It didn’t happen this time, because there weren’t enough people in the class (last year there were 9). So – come on ladies! And I’ll see you there! πŸ˜‰

That’s enough for now – part 2 coming soon!

I’ll leave you with a couple of photos a mini-shoot I did on the day of the comp. I’m really pleased with them, they’re a great memento of a fantastic experience πŸ˜€

business card 1

business card 2

business card 3

You ask, I do my best to answer! (INBF Worlds Q&A) 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.

A World Champion… me… really?

November 13, 2013

Yes, really. It still feels bizarre to type “World Champion” and “me” in the same sentence, but it’s true, so I’d better get used to it πŸ™‚


This is just a quick post after the INBF World Championships last weekend. Partly because I wanted to get a blog post up before too much time elapsed, but mainly because I still don’t know where to start when it comes to writing about the entire experience.

Perhaps you can post any questions in the comments; it might help me know how to tackle the task of writing about it!

To cut a long, wonderful, memorable story short:

I went with the UK Team to compete at the WNBF and INBF Worlds in the USA last weekend. The INBF is the amateur half of the federation (the WNBF is where the Pros compete). I was the only amateur female bodybuilding competitor on the UK team (there were 12 of us in all, including male and female Pro athletes, a female amateur figure and fit body competitor, and male amateurs across the age and weight classes).

I weighed in at 124lbs, which placed me in the heavyweight female bodybuilding class (they split us at 118lbs).

On the day of the competition, shortly before going on stage, I found out I was the one and only HW competitor 😦 I was disappointed (and saddened) because I wanted some competition, and didn’t want to be on stage by myself. It’s a long way to go, and a lot of prep, to “win by default”. But I can’t control who doesn’t turn up on the day, and who doesn’t compete in qualifiers and national finals, and who doesn’t get selected for the other countries’ teams.

So I went on stage as the only HW competitor (they did end up putting the LWs and me on together, so at least I was on stage with others, although we were still being judged as two separate classes).

So, yes, I won the World HW title too, but I was the only competitor.

However, the real competition of the day for me was the over all. I would be up against the LW winner later on in the day to contest the over all and to push for the World title. I’ve never competed in an over all before, never gone back on stage for a second time against just one other person, never been in the position of knowing it’s either me or her who will get that main title.

I did it… and I won! I can’t remember the moment when my number was called, but I can remember feeling joy, elation, disbelief, excitement, relief and… I dunno! Everything! πŸ˜€

Winning the over all meant I became the INBF World female bodybuilding champion for the year. πŸ˜€ It’s been my dream, my goal and part of what I’ve been working towards for the last two years of my time in this sport. The other part – WNBF Pro status – is now next year’s focus πŸ™‚

That’s enough for now, jetlag is pressing on my eyelids and telling me it’s time for bed.

I’ll be getting official stage and backstage “mini photoshoot” images shortly and will share some with you.

In the meantime, if you do have any questions about the comp, the build up, the weekend with the team, my plans moving forward or anything else, please do leave a comment. It might help me write a better post-comp review when I have more energy!

Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for all your support, enthusiasm, interest, good lucks and congratulations.

A World Champion… me… really? 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.

I’m off on my INBF Worlds adventure

November 6, 2013

Right! I’m packed, prepped and (partly) primped. There’s nothing left to do except try and get a decent night’s sleep before I meet up with the rest of Team UK at the airport tomorrow.

I’m going to compete in open amateur women’s bodybuilding at the INBF World Championships in Worcester, Massachusetts.


In some ways it feels as if this prep has d-r-a-g-g-e-d on (well, it has, in the sense that I had assumed my season would be over by now). In other ways, it’s flown by, particularly these past few weeks. I mean… I’m 3 days out. From the Worlds. WHAT THE whaaaat?

I’m still not entirely sure how it all happened but it did, and is, and so the next update on the blog is likely to be show report and result πŸ˜€ (unless I have time to say hi from our accommodation).

If you want to follow along in real-time, you can check my Twitter or my Instagram (if you’re into the kind of thing) as I hope there will be wifi at the venue. Or you can keep an eye on the UKDFBA Facebook page which will be updated as regularly as possible with news not just of me but of the entire team (13 of us, Pro women, Pro men, amateur Women and amateur men across a range of classes and categories).

Prejudging for the Pro classes starts at 9am local time (EST – 5 hours behind the UK), and prejudging for the amateur classes will probably start around midday. Then the night show starts at 5pm.

Thanks for reading!

I’m off on my INBF Worlds adventure 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.

A second thank-you blog post: INBF Worlds supporters

November 1, 2013

Following on from my previous sponsor blog post, I have a couple more local businesses to thank. The following wonderful folk have chipped in to help fund my trip to the INBF Worlds… which is next week (!)

The following companies have generously supported me in my INBF Worlds dream (come true): with cash, with cheques of varying sizes, with goods and services.

My local BNI business networking group weaved its way through red tape and paperwork to sign a cheque (in fact it needed more than one signature) – thank you “top table” people!

In fact, most of the businesses who have supported me (see my previous post) are members of BNI Folkestone. I think I need to promote Steve Ross of Free Flow Drains to “Sponsorship Manager” for his absolutely amazing efforts on my behalf, helping round up sponsor donations at 6:30am on Friday mornings!

There are two extra BNI folk to add to the list of supporters:

Trevor Ellse is our Utility Warehouse member, he helps local people and businesses save money on household bills, shopping bills and utility bills. I am posting this blog courtesy of UW’s broadband and have been keeping warm (er) this week courtesy of UW’s gas and electric. Trevor is a keen angler so he knows a niche sport when he sees one πŸ˜‰ You can find Trevor on Twitter.

Steve Head of Head Property and Garden Maintenance is our garden maintenance guy, he does a stellar job of keeping gardens and grounds in Kent maintained, mowed and looking lovely year round. He’s been busy recently rebuilding fences and sheds, making fallen trees safe, and tidying up debris thanks to the storms last week. Find him on Facebook.

To everyone who has supported me in any way: thank you, thank you, thank you. πŸ™‚

Please also check out the sponsors listed in my first thank you blog post (some of them are also on the right hand side of this blog up the top there ^^^)

A thank-you blog post: INBF Worlds supporters 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.

Update post: 13 days til my 13th comp

October 27, 2013

It’s 13 days til my 13th bodybuilding competition. Here’s hoping it’s a lucky number for me!

(There are also 13 members of the 2013 team… !)

In two weeks time, it’ll be the morning after the INBF Worlds. What will have happened? Who knows. It’s exciting!

Only 13 more “sleeps” and only 11 of those in the UK. I can’t wait to meet up with the rest of the UK team and spend the final couple of days of prep with and around them.

I started this blog post intending to give an update but I don’t feel there’s much to say quite honestly! I’ve just been carrying on with prep: more of the same. I’ve been dieting to some degree now all year, and sometimes it really feels like it’s been that long, but at other times the length (and gentle “dialling in”) of the diet throughout the year means that it feels relatively normal. It hasn’t been extreme, or hasty, or full of panic and drama. It’s just kind of what I do, so I’ve felt fine to carry on doing it for a few more weeks.

That’s not to say I’m not thinking about life “post-diet” and setting myself some goals and challenges for the months (and year) to come. I certainly am. I’ll let you know what they are in due course πŸ˜‰

My training changes slightly today to keep the body moving and burning fat even in these final couple of weeks. My diet has stayed varied and tasty, and I’ve actually recently gone back to a slightly older version of the diet (having modified things for a few weeks, but those modifications are now a little bit harsh as the training gets more demanding).

Here are a few pics from Instagram (I do always advise people to reuse content as much as possible!)


I’m off to the NPA Finals today to spectate – it’s always interesting to watch shows rather than be in them, and I usually pick up a few tips about posing, stage presentation and performance!

Update post: 13 days til my 13th comp 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.

A thank-you blog post: INBF Worlds supporters

October 21, 2013

As you might have heard me mention once or twice (!) I’m off to the INBF Worlds! It’s exciting, overwhelming… and expensive. The UKDFBA can only afford to fund the Pro athletes at this time, so for the amateurs on the team, it means a largely self-funded trip.

Given what I do as a job, I ought to be able to put together funding bids, press releases and heart-string-tugging editorials which persuade corporates to get behind the uplifting story of local girl done good πŸ˜‰ After all, what business doesn’t want to openly align itself with values of hard work, goal setting and achievement?

The following companies have generously supported me in my INBF Worlds dream (come true): with cash, with cheques of varying sizes, with goods and services (including a taxi ride to and from Heathrow).

Little by little I am getting close to my funding goal (and, in the meantime, I’ve officially got tendonitis in one hand from the enormous extra agency project I’ve taken on, because I certainly don’t expect the entire trip to be funded by other people!)

To everyone who has supported me in any way: thank you, thank you, thank you. πŸ™‚

First to throw their hat into the ring was my friend Heidi at Fasttrack Fit Camp – Berkshire’s leading outdoor fitness bootcamps who get people around Wokingham, Earley, Henley-on-Thames in shape. Find them on Twitter and Facebook too.

This next lot are all fellow members of BNI Folkestone (a local business networking group). At our most recent meeting, despite it being 6:30am on a Friday, we did a bit of bodybuilding posing. Aren’t they a fine bunch of fellows?!


First up has to be Steve from Free Flow Drains (“number one for number twos” – yes, we hear that at 6:30am every Friday!) Steve helped me immensely with achieving the amount of funding I’ve got and I am so grateful. He helps manage a few amateur football teams locally and I think he understands the challenge (and achievement!) of being an amateur athlete. Free Flow Drains, as the name suggests, keep your drains clear. He’s really an expert in what he does and is trusted by restaurants, local councils, and big corporates as well as home owners. Free Flow Drains are on Facebook as well.

JJ’s Taxis Kent supply taxis, executive cars and wedding cars in Kent (and beyond) – their boss Jake is a fellow member of BNI Folkestone and he offered to take me to and from Heathrow for my flight, despite it being a pretty long drive (and a pretty early arrival on my way home).
You can also find JJ’s Taxis on Twitter andFacebook.

Colin Wood of Colin Wood Engineering who has a garage and MOT Centre out on the Romney Marsh. He doesn’t have a website (he’s too busy doing things like getting my car through its MOT and service) but here are his details.

Paul Roberts of Metroline Security based here in Folkestone. They provide security systems and alarms, as well as consultancy services, to homes and businesses. They’re on Twitter.

Chris Dodd at Pentins who are accountants and business advisors. He’s about to help me get my shiz together so that my 2013/14 accounts don’t make me want to gouge my eyes out like my 2012/13 ones did. Pentins are on Twitter giving lots of useful tips.

Ray Johnson of Independent Insurance Services, who are independent brokers with clients ranging from me/my dog to international corporates in high-risk industries. Ray is a keen runner (he’s done 13 London Marathons so far) and is on the organising team of local races including the Folkestone Half Marathon and Folkestone Coastal 10K. Ray is on Twitter here.

John Betts of HSI Roofing, affectionately known in our BNI group as “the rooftop gladiator” (and a few other names which are best kept off the blog). He specialises in rubber roofing, if that’s any clue.

David at Frizbee who print and embroider corporate clothing and gifts, everything from sports kits to mugs and coasters and all those little things you sometimes need for Christmas and hen dos etc! Frizbee are on Twitter and on Facebook too.

Andy of Why Not Fix who offers an amazing service repairing everything from smashed iPads to hair straighteners, white goods and lawn mowers. Probably anything really! He’s just one of those handy guys who understands how to take things apart and fix them. He cleaned my macbook out recently and it is much better. Why Not Fix are on Facebook and he just joined Twitter today so go and say hi!

A thank-you blog post: INBF Worlds supporters 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.

A day in the life of a competitive bodybuilder

October 14, 2013

A few days ago, I idly aired the idea of a “day in the life…” type post on Twitter. It seems you like the idea! Well, here goes… although I’m not promising it’ll be particularly interesting πŸ˜‰

2:47am you wake up for a wee
3:30am you wake up for no apparent reason
6:45am you wake up because it’s time to wake up

Time for a coffee! You have an espresso with a teaspoon of coconut oil, partly because it’s yum, partly to fuel your “cardio” (aka fast walk with the dog)

Off out along the canal/to the beach/up some hills with the dog for 45 minutes or so. You listen to a podcast, or an audio book (thank goodness for never-ending series of whodunnits and thrillers)

Home again, time to feed the dog (rice, sardines) and yourself (eggs, egg whites, green beans).

Let’s get to work. After all, this bodybuilding thing isn’t actually your job and there are bills to pay. Open up the laptop and look at the to-do list you put together last night. Sip on a green tea whilst you complete at least one task.

One bit of work done/a pitch sent off/business admin completed, it’s time to head to the gym. Grab a bottle containing BCAAs, electrolytes and water, a change of shoes, and all the essentials (gym pass, today’s session written down, headphones) and off we go.

Today is quads! We are front squatting, amongst a myriad of other delights.

That done, it’s home for “PWO” (of whey and an apple today) and a quick shower.

Back to work. After a while, you get up to make another meal and realise that your quads have seized up whilst you’ve been sitting and typing.

Work. Meal. Drink. Wee. Work. Let dog out for a wee. Think – as every day – that you really ought to do some stretching and/or foam rolling during the day. Fail to do so.

None of my daytime meals are photographed because, frankly, when the busy end of work coincides with the sharp end of a diet, meals look uninspiring (at best) or ugly (at worst). Picture various sources of protein, various green veg, and some nuts. In a bowl. Normally the same bowl, all day long.

Work finished (any time between 5pm-7pm) you get up, stretch, wince and take the dog for another 45 minute walk, glad of the fresh air.

By now you’re struggling for energy. Dinner time can’t come quickly enough: it’s usually steak, game or other red meat with…er…green veg.

Write tomorrow’s work to-do list, tackle the mountain of washing up (all those meals soon add up…), perhaps a little reading, blogging, catching up with a pal on the phone or – when the waves of freelance life are more like a tsunami – yet more work.

8:00pm Is it too early to go to bed? Probably. But if we just potter for a bit… it’ll be 8:30pm, and that’s not so embarrassing.

But whyyyy are the stairs so steeeeep? Next time, you’ll move into a bungalow. You’re crawling by now.

You take your final meal/snack to bed (you’ve long learned that not only is this a nice ritual, but that when the diet really starts to bite, it will keep you out of the danger zone of wandering in to the kitchen at night). Casein, egg whites, maybe some flax… oh what a joy! πŸ˜‰

Just before you go to sleep, you get to peel the next “count down” sticker off your bathroom wall… the Worlds are getting closer… you made it through another day on prep!

Lights out. IPad and phone out of the bedroom. Your brain doesn’t need any further excuse to wake up at obnoxious times in the night!

A day in the life of a competitive bodybuilder 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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