I interviewed an fascinating Chicagoan a few years ago, a female bodybuilder preparing for a bodybuilder competition. I think of her every May when I realize summer is not far off and I realize it’s I need to get serious about getting in shape.
When you think of female bodybuilders, perhaps you picture super-muscular oiled up women who resemble their male counterparts, but this gal was not one of those. There are different categories; one of these is the bikini category. This gal had a body that was model-like with impeccable posture; a lean, muscular body; toned with a flat stomach as well as a flattering tan plus made up pleasingly with healthy hair — basically, the total package. Internet ads taunt us: “Look good naked” — isn’t this what we all want. So let’s get to it!
Muscles look good on men and women, plus it feels good to be stronger. To tone up and build muscle, weight-lifting is the way to go. If you have fat to burn off too, add some cardio. If you don’t have much fat padding, it’s encouraging to see muscles show quickly. But no matter the shape you’re in, muscles will improve your look. The goal is to strive for tone and nice muscle definition all over the body for a symmetrical look. Younger and older, lean or not, everybody looks better with some muscle.
Below is what a female body builder does while in training to get a perfect body and win competitions. Granted, you probably won’t want to go this extreme – or maybe you will if you’re determined to look good in your swimsuit by summertime.
Bodybuilder exercise hacks:
My bodybuilder friend utilized the full variety of weight machines and treadmills offered at local gyms.
Furthermore, cardio exercise is very important to burn off fat and build stamina. While in training for a competition, she did 70 minutes of cardio, then a workout, alternating one to two muscle groups on a rotating schedule day by day.
I asked her what she would recommend to the average woman looking to tone up and slim down, especially the stubborn tummy area. Her reply: “Everything you do has to do with the stomach.” That area of the body is also known by fitness enthusiasts as the “core.” Strengthen your core, folks, and your whole body will be stronger and improved in more ways than you know.
A bodybuilder’s diet:
Mind you, this is worlds away from how most people eat. Meals are small, very low in carbohydrates (only having carbohydrates with the first three meals of the day, usually including eggs and oatmeal), heavy on white fish and vegetables, and consumed every 2½ hours.
My friend’s advice: “Diet is 80%. You can workout until you are blue in the face seven days a week, but if you’re also eating McDonald’s everyday after your workout, you will achieve nothing. Eat six small meals a day instead of eating two to three big, fat ones. And keep it healthy — nothing out of a box (or can, usually): fresh, organic, whole foods. But you don’t have to go to Whole Foods and spend all of your money to achieve this.” Just shop wisely (differently) wherever you normally shop.
My girlfriend takes a variety of supplements, though she says she takes far fewer than many bodybuilders. Her regime is: fish oil (apparently fish is even more important than we thought for a good body), branch chain amino acids (which keep muscle on plus optimize digestion), acidophilus, a green food supplement (especially if you are eschewing fruit, which are pure carbohydrates, during your diet), plus a daily multi-vitamin-mineral, which we should all be taking.
Did you know bodybuilders strive to get loads of sleep? Nine to ten hours a night is considered ideal in their world. Plenty of Sleep is vital, because muscles need sleep time to refurbish after rigorous training.
So let’s say you’re invited to the beach or pool party. How confident will you feel? If you follow the above guidelines or a close variation, you will be more ready than you are today.
Another hint to looking good sparsely dressed: Get a tan. Before competitions, bodybuilders get a semi-permanent spray tan that lasts for days. A tanned look enhances muscle definition. Also before a show, some weight lifters carb deplete the last few weeks or days in advance. It’s also smart to workout with weights right before stepping onto the stage. You can do this too, right before your debut onto the stage of life this season, whether that be beach or poolside, donning your fashionable new swimsuit.