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Meet Team Trib3 – Introducing Lauren

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LAUREN WALKER – NATURAL BODYBUILDER
The sparkly bikini, the tan, the high heels, the posing, and of course the stage….this can sometimes make female bodybuilding look like a beauty pageant, but this is definitely not the case.
For some women female bodybuilding can be an extremely intimidating and confusing sport, but it is now one of the fastest growing athletic events with the number of competitors growing year on year.
I compete with the BNBF (British Natural Bodybuilding Federation) which is a drug-free federation promoting only natural bodybuilding. Competitors who place in the competitions are expected to have a drug test there and then to ensure that no steroids or other performance enhancing drugs have been used. There are three main categories for females in the BNBF:
Figure & Masters Figure (over 40’s) – a softer look focused on the natural shape of the female body
Athletic – still a feminine look but emphasises muscle definition and symmetry
Physique & Masters Physique – this category is for women who has more muscle size and development
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BNBF Midlands Qualifier August 2015 – 7 months post-partum
Last year was my first year competing and I entered the figure category, although I didn’t place I stood on stage just 7 months following the birth of my daughter. I spent my maternity leave training at home whilst looking after my baby, powerwalking the streets with the pushchair and focussing on my competition diet. Not placing in my first show didn’t faze me at all as I had smashed a lot of personal goals in the build up to the competition. Many of the women who enter these competitions come into it to get stronger and to accomplish something, or to even overcome something in their past. I have in the past suffered with an eating disorder and the thought of ‘dieting’ is a scary one, so to overcome the fears I once had with eating high amounts of calories and carbohydrates is certainly something I am proud of. There have been times in my past where I have hated my body, so to stand on stage in front of hundreds of people in a bikini is also a huge accomplishment for me. I am a very positive and optimistic person, and if I can inspire other people to make small changes in their own life, it’s like a domino effect; you are able to do things you never thought were possible.
Training for a competition definitely isn’t easy (especially if you have a small child!!), with training required once or even twice a day, and eating clean meals every three hours. I have to prepare my meals several days in advance, measuring out my portions, which can be time consuming. It takes a huge amount of willpower and dedication as this is something you will need to do for at least 10-12 weeks prior to your competition. A typical day for me in terms of nutrition looks like this:
Breakfast (8am) – 80g porridge oats with one scoop whey protein
Mid-morning (10.30am) – 2 boiled eggs with 100g sweet potato
Lunch (1pm) – 80g chicken with 100g sweet potato and green veg
Mid-afternoon (3pm) – 40g cashew nuts, one banana and one scoop whey protein
Post-workout – recovery shake containing protein and carbs
Dinner (7pm) – 80g salmon/chicken with 100g wholegrain rice / sweet potato and green veg
Evening (10pm) – 80g porridge oats with one scoop whey protein
All washed down with around 4 litres of water….
 
Competition dieting doesn’t feel like deprivation to me, it just feels like a whole body transformation. Over the course of the competition prep you can see and feel your body changing and it’s likely you will drop around 8-10% body fat and gain high amounts of muscles. Your body turns into a machine, knowing exactly what to do and how to change, such a fascinating process to go through and experience.
80-90% of your success will come from the diet, to be honest the training is just the fun bit. It is a wonder of science, if you lack discipline then the results will show on stage. Like any athlete, the pre-work to any competition is the key to success, for example Usain Bolt recently spent 4 years training for the Olympics where he spent just 10 seconds on the track.
In terms of training I am lucky enough to be a full time personal trainer and fitness instructor, so I use my time when teaching classes and whilst at the gym very wisely. As well as this I ensure I train every major muscle group at least once a week, splitting it over the course of the week – e.g. back & biceps, chest & triceps, legs and shoulders. In terms of cardio, I find the best way of burning fat is to do HIIT training (high intensity interval training), which is a much more fun way of training than slogging away for hours on a treadmill! HIIT is considered to be much more effective than normal cardio because the intensity is higher and you are able to increase both your aerobic and anaerobic endurance while burning more fat than ever before.
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BNBF North East qualifier June 2016 – Miss Athletic 3rd Place
This year I stepped on stage again, placing 3rd in the Miss Athletic category at the BNBF North East qualifier in June. I am extremely proud of earning my first trophy and it has certainly lit a fire in my belly to become bigger, better and stronger in the years to come. The feeling of stepping on that stage is like no other, it overwhelms you with emotion….it is you vs. you. All the hard work and dedication, the discipline and challenges, the mental preparation, the anxiety of the built up to the event, the feeling of achievement and accomplishment….the best feeling in the world.
 
I will be competing again next year, taking on board all the feedback from this year and creating an even better version of myself. There is always room for improvement, set your goals and start working on them!!
 
BLOG WROTE BY LAUREN WALKER …. TRAIN WITH HER AT TRIB3
 

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