With less than 7 weeks until the Ms. Bikini International, I’m at the point in my prep where my training goes into another gear. It’s now all about volume, intensity and endurance to blast the remaining fat and shape my muscles into a tight, curvy IFBB Bikini body. I am drenched with sweat two to three times a day thanks to the training and cardio programs designed by my coach Shannon Dey of Bombshell Fitness. For the remaining weeks, you will see me lunging, jumping, bounding, sprinting, climbing, etc. before, during and after my lifting sessions. There is no reading a magazine on the Stairmaster or checking Facebook between sets. :)
Now, while I love this type of explosive, athletic training, keeping the intensity up consistently while in a calorie deficit is definitely difficult day after day, especially when you are balancing a career and other life responsibilities. There are days when I feel like I’m moving through mud wearing cement shoes. I used to get really aggravated on those days, but now I just accept it as a part of the process and do my best to mitigate it. Over the last eighteen shows, I have discovered a few simple things that help me to keep my intensity high throughout my prep:
Buddy Up: I try to train with fellow athletes a few times a week to garner some extra motivation and inspiration. Sometimes I head over to Bombshell Headquarters in Daytona Beach, or I meet up with other athletes in Orlando to train. (Thank you, Shan, Michelle, Gen, V & Hope, for always pushing me!) It infuses a little extra fun into a process that can become a grind if you isolate yourself too much. I say enjoy the company (even if it’s your competition), help each other and push toward YOUR best.
REST!: For me, the difference between a good prep and a GREAT prep is getting consistent rest. There are some people who can live on four hours of sleep. I am NOT one of them. When I am sleep deprived, I struggle to train intensely, hold water, have an insatiable hunger, get a little grumpy and become A LOT stupid. I do things like spend an hour shopping at the grocery store only to have realized that I left my wallet at home, have to make the morning coffee three times because I keep messing it up or forget common things like my best friend’s name. Sigh. So, to avoid these less than ideal characteristics, I commit to getting 7.5 hours a night, hitting the sheets by 9:30pm and jumping out of bed ready to smash morning cardio at 5:00am.
Visualize It: Each day, I spend the car ride to the gym envisioning the intensity I want to train at rather than talking on the phone or zoning out to the radio. I think about each exercise I will perform and how I will execute it. I imagine pushing through challenging parts of my workout and how I will feel when I am finished. It’s like a dress rehearsal for training. Visualizing my workout gets me in the right mindset to do hard work and creates positive energy that I can channel into my training.
Optimize Supplementation: Over the years, I have experimented with many different supplements to help fuel my training. I love SuperPump Max pre-workout and Phenorex pre-morning cardio, but I’ve also been experimenting with the NEW Gaspari Nutrition Vasotropin to help my endurance during my training. I have seen great results, and so has my husband, IFBB Men’s Physique Pro Eddie Baird. Both of us have been able to push our reps in each set while maintaining a heavier weight (and get a killer pump!). This is really cool, given that I typically lose strength while cutting calories and doing more cardio.
That said, so far, I am happy to report that I have been feeling great, training hard and having fun this prep. I am off to train and do cardio #2. Only about 70 more cardios and 30 more weight training sessions until I hit the Ms. Bikini International stage. Let’s GO!
Before I sign off, I wanted to thank all of you who sent me the “congrats” messages and tweets regarding getting my FIRST magazine cover this month. You can still pick up this month’s issue of Iron Man at bookstore near you! I posted some of the images from the issue on my Facebook page, if you want to check it out.
Until next time, keep pushing toward your best!
IFBB Bikini Pro
Jaime Baird can be contacted for appearances through www.fmg-fitnessmanagementgroup.com