Interview with top figure competitor (and biochemist!) Lauren Jacobsen:
I started weight training to gain weight for athletic reasons. In high school, I was involved in track & field, swim team and was the defensive captain for the flag football team. A good friend introduced me to a personal trainer who put me on a basic weight training and nutrition program to gain muscle and improve my strength and performance.
At first, I was very reluctant but when I started to see the development of a curvaceous and muscular body, I realized I really liked the results I was getting not too mention the improvements to my athletic ability. In fact, by the time I got to university I was so addicted to building my body, that I dropped the other sports, so I could have more time to train and develop my physique.
After university, I landed a job at a major bodybuilding supplement company and was fortunate enough to attend the first ever figure Olympia, after seeing the beautifully developed physiques, I knew I wanted to try competing for myself.
In my on-season, I usually start every day at 7 am with a cardio session. I then spend my day at work, where I am fortunate enough to work for a reputable supplement company, developing marketing strategies for new products.
After work I head back to the gym to perform my weight training session, followed up by my second cardio session! The remaining part of the day is usually spent prepping meals for the next day.
I stay motivated by focusing on what the end result and outcome of my hard work will be when I have reached my goal and am standing on that stage. Competing in a very small bikini can be motivation enough sometimes!
In addition, my other half also competes and understands exactly what I am going through when I am getting ready for a show. He stands by me and supports me in every way imaginable, he has been my biggest supporter and fan.
Since I compete in figure contests, I need to have a specific look. I tend to stick to compound exercises that help develop a strong V-taper and symmetrical physique. I use pressing movements to work my shoulders and chest and pushing and pulling exercises to develop my back.
As for my legs, since they are quite developed already, I like to use a lot of exercises that help to shape and tone, such as split leg squats, alternating lunges, walking lunges, leg extensions and leg curls.
When I am getting ready for a show, I add in lots of cardio including interval sessions on the treadmill and the step mill at least 30 -45 minutes, 5 times per week. Lastly, I rely on the training expertise of my trainer Don Gauvreau to keep my training fresh and my body on track when I am getting ready for a show.
To keep my physique looking sexy and toned, I eat a diet high in lean proteins (poultry, fish and lean cuts of red meat), moderate in complex and fibrous carbohydrates (oatmeal, sweet potatoes, green vegetables and berries) and low in unsaturated fats (fish, flax and olive oils, unsalted raw nuts). I eat meals frequently, every 2-3 hours throughout the day to sustain my energy levels and keep my metabolism high.
When I get ready for a show, I drop my calories to a level where I am losing between 1-2 pounds per week. I give myself plenty of time to get ready for a show, between 12 – 16 weeks to lose the weight properly without sacrificing any loss in muscle. I also drink plenty of water and make sure I get plenty of rest. However the key to dropping those few extra pounds is consistency, discipline and sacrifice.
During my on-season I use Methyl Ripped to help me burn fat and have energy for my workouts. I also use ISO XP protein powder to help supplement my protein in-take. I use fish oils for my joints and 5-HTP, rhodiola rosea and tyrosine to improve my mood during dieting and help keep me focused. Lastly to make sure I am getting the essentials I use a multi-vitamin.
The best secret for looking great is consistency and making a choice to live a healthy and fit lifestyle. Even in my off-season I am consistent with my training and my diet choices, this helps me to stay in top shape and makes getting ready for a show that much easier.
If you are competing for the first time, here are my top tips for competing.
To finish off, if you would like to learn more about Lauren visit sexystrongfit.com.