By Jaime Rice
Over the past 10 weeks I have completely changed my focus as it relates to fitness. Most of time, energy, and money last year and some of this year was spent trying to sculpt the perfect bikini body. I dieted for 6 months in order to be show ready for my two NPC Bikini shows in 2014. I did really well for my first year, placing in the top 5 in both shows and qualifying for the National Stage. After qualifying for Nationals I began to prepare for my first National show. I maintained a good offseason, time bodybuilders take off to improve their physique while keeping a clean diet, and started my competition diet in March of 2015. I would be lying if I said I felt the same passion for the sport as I did the prior year, something had changed. I went through the motions but mentally I was not there this year and it showed in my stage presence at Jr USA’s. After my show I decided I needed to take a step back from bodybuilding and shift my focus.
Enter Powerlifting! I traded my blinged out Bikini and heels for my new obsession, Chuck Taylors.
I immediately loved powerlifting. I loved lifting heavy weights and seeing the benefits in my changing physique while having the freedom to eat a wider variety of foods. It was the balance I needed in my life; making gains in strength and lean muscle while still enjoying a social life.
Today I am 15 weeks post Jr USA and 9 weeks into my powerlifting program. I have maintained a good healthy weight of 118-120 , stage weight was 112, while only going up a 1/2 inch in my waist. This basically means I have made some great lean muscle gains, going up in weight while staying relatively the same size.
Powerlifing focuses on three lifts, Deadlifts, Squats and Bench. All three lifts are great for building strength and adding size whether you are a powerlifter or not. Since my legs are slow to gain muscle I am loving all the squats and deadlifts. They are responding amazingly to my workouts and proper nutrition, which Lisa Rhea tailored to fit my lifestyle. She gave me plenty of carbs which meant a huge jump in energy. It amazed me how techique is a such a huge factor with each lift. Seasoned powerlifters make it look much easier! I am constantly tweaking my form and technique in order to prevent injury and get the most from the lift. (Be on the look for a Deadlift Post coming soon!)
I initially planned on competing in Kentucky Muscle, a push/pull only, for my first Sanctioned meet in November but due to a work conflict I pushed it back to December 5. The new meet is still in Kentucky but is a full meet. A full meet is all three lifts squats, bench and deadlift. I am super excited to continue to train hard and get my poundage up in all my lifts.