My Booty Work

I’ve always had a love hate relationship with my lower half.  I also loved my quads (the front of your leg) but never really liked my hamstrings (the back part of the legs).  I had cellulite and hated to wear shorts.  I had always worked out but It was time to step it up a notch.  I was getting ready to step on stage in a small than I would normally wear bathing suit…. if you have ever been on Instagram you have seen what the IFBB pro’s booty look like…. I was no where close.

I enlisted the help of my old track buddy, nicknamed Rawcket because of his speed and power. I had always looked up the him in high school, like a big brother.  Rawcket was a great balance of encouraging and “don’t be a baby”. I would push myself in every exercise with him because I never wanted to let him down… he would have never let me hear the end of it if I did! 🙂 To say I worked my butt off is wrong… I worked that sucker on!  Over 7 months I worked legs one day alone and one day with Rawcket.  He helped me accomplish a goal I never had,  PR (personal record) squatting 225lbs.  I thought it was going to crush me. He just looked at me smiled, laughed, and said “You got this”.  I did… After that, stepping on stage in a bikini in heels seemed like no big deal.

Green suit- the week before my first show. April 2013 Red Suit- the week before my last PRO show.  May 2014
Green suit- the week before my first show. April 2013
Red Suit- the week before my last PRO show. May 2014

A little education for better booty:

You have 3 muscles that make up your “Glutes”

gluteal muscles anatomy

1. Gluteus Maximus- The biggest muscle… IN YOUR BODY!

2. Gluteus Medius- Sits near the outside of your pelvis.

3. Gluteus Minimus- Lies directly under your Medius

What do they do?

The main job is Hip extension and Hip Abduction.  Also, They look great in yoga pants.

3 of my favorite Glute Exercises:

3 way squat (feet together, normal, sumo) – I do these 3 different foot positions to change my base, with makes the muscle react different. Which leads to more power in all ranges of motions, in this case foot position.  The important thing to remember when you are doing any glute movement is to squeeze them at the end of your movement.  In this exercise, I like to use the smith machine to help with stability.  You do not need to use the Smith. You can do this with a box behind you, or in a squat rack.  I would recommend to keep the weight lower  and more reps.  If you would like to squat heavy your foot placement would be different, and you probably would need to get off the smith.  (different topic)

Cable Pull through- Works the posterior chain,(The posterior chain is a group of muscles consisting predominently of tendons and ligaments on the posterior of the body. Examples of these muscles include the biceps femoris, gluteus maximus, erector spinae muscle group, trapezius, posterior deltoids, and so on.) This exercise helps people get the hinge movement needed to do a deadlift better.  Which will help you active your glutes more, and if they are working they are growing! Make sure you sit back with your hips, it’s not a squat.  Make sure not to round your back. keep your chest up. Squeeze your glutes at the top.

Single Leg Deadlift (Mid Height)- If you need help with balance this is a great challenge! Just like everything you do make sure you have good posture.  Move from the hips and squeeze at the top of the movement.  To help you understand where you will feel it… think of if at your Booty smile lines.

Funny butt

No matter where you are in your booty progression remember it takes time! Stay with it! 70% of your body shape is genetic… so work that 30% to the best of your ability!

I was once a Mean Girl.

It’s True.  I was once a Mean Girl.  No, I didn’t have a burn book. I wasn’t the most popular girl.  And I didn’t try to make “Fetch” a thing.  But I was was insecure, mad, and depressed. 

Fetch

 

As a kid I was made fun of a lot. (bare with me, this isn’t a sober story) I had a very loving family.  Even though we didn’t have money ALL my family always found away to give me things… like Starter Jacket (Chicago Bulls & Supersonic) SO COOL I know.  And yes I wish I still had them! 

If you read my first blog you know I wasn’t a great student.  I was also short, scrawny, and a huge tomboy that was just athletic enough to be on the team but was never the star.  (Ok, I was good at track… and defense in lacrosse).  So you can see where my mind was… I was always striving to prove that I could be prettier, smarter, and all round better. 

Because I never felt good enough I was very defensive and reactive.  My number #1 go to defense was to say something to make you feel as bad as you made me feel.  I had been called “Bitchy” a few times… in the past. They were right.  I was not happy with myself and didn’t want anyone else to know it or to shine light on it. 

What changed? 

After a bad break up it all come to head.  I wanted to blame everyone else for “picking on me” or doing things “to” me.  It was THE POOR KRISTY SHOW.  A few weeks of drowning my feeling in wine I said enough was enough.  I reread a book I said I read in College… The 7 habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen R. Covey.

In his book, Stephen R. Covery talks about switching your paradigm.  What’s is a paradigm?  The short answer is they way you see things.  You’re paradigm changes as you “growth”.  Here are his 3 phases of growth:

  1. Dependence: the paradigm under which we are born, relying upon others to take care of us.
  2. Independence: the paradigm under which we can make our own decisions and take care of ourselves.
  3. Interdependence: the paradigm under which we cooperate to achieve something that cannot be achieved independently.

As a kid, we believe what we are told… whether it’s from our parents, friends, and community leaders.  We don’t know that if we are unhappy or if we are insecure about something that we can work to change it (like my reading/writing).  Or we that we will learn to love what is “different” about ourselves.  Unfortunately, I shouldn’t use the word “kid” because there are still some MEAN WOMEN/MEN out there. These people are still in phase 1 as growth ups.  Or they are in phase 2 where It’s the ME show. 

 

So, how did I (and do you) growth out of the first 2 phases? 

 

I had to work on ME, and not the shell I showed people … as Stephen says “Inside-Out”.  If you are insecure about something deal with it. I know it sounds harsh, but there’s no sugar coating it.  WE ALL HAVE ISSUES! Stop trying to hide your own by pointing out other peoples. 

squirrel

 

It wont be easy at first, but by making myself better I have made my relationships and career better.  Know it doesn’t have to be a big public thing (like I chose to) but you have to start understanding what makes you you… and use that!  Heck, I’m writing this blog… if I was scared of what negative people might say I might miss out on helping that 1 person that needed to read this today.

 

 

 

 

In Summary:

STOP BEGIN A MEAN WOMAN/ MAN.  Keep your eyes on your own paper and work on your “self” assignment.  I promise it’s a much better life when you step out of the shadows of your fears.

Also, IF YOU WERE ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE I WAS REACTIVE TO, I AM VERY SORRY FOR EVERYTHING I SAID IN THE PAST.  I’m still not perfect but every day I try better.

– Keep Moving Forward.

To First Time Competitors

Last year I competed in my first fitness/ physique show, The OCB Pine Tree. I had just moved from Minnesota to my home state Maine and I was bored and gaining weight.  At the time I was helping a girlfriend of mine with her goal to be Miss Maine. I was honored to help her with her goal, but the funny thing was, it was her that motivated me to achieve a goal I never thought I would do…. a fitness show.  I really didn’t know where to start… like most people that wanted to do a show.  So, below are some tips for first time competitors, from a competitor and a coach.

1. Find a organization/ show:

I was 11 weeks out when I signed up to compete in my first show.  I had only seen one show in the past and it was a different organization.  All organization have different guidelines, so whatever show you are doing start by reading their guidelines.  My show was part of the Natural Muscle Network, ( http://www.ocbonline.com ) The Organization of Competition Bodies. I picked this show because it was the closest to me and was in a good time frame. I also spoke to a friend that had done the same show the year before. She had nothing but good things to say about it, so I was jumped in and signed up.

2. Make a game plan:

Bikini? Figure? Bodybuilding?  That is the question!

I have been an athlete all my life but was never a very big person… My family’s nickname for me is “The Short One”  and I was the one getting throw in the pool… a lot. 🙂  There was no way I would be able to compete with the body builders, that leaves figure and bikini.  My thoughts about figure was the women in this group had to be on a stricter diet then I was ready to commit to.  Also, they had more muscle than I would be able to get in 11 weeks.  Leaving bikini, which I thought… then… that it was the entry level into this world. The women in this division where a little softer but still had a shape I could work towards. (I no longer think bikini is the “entry level” to this world.  Each division has it’s own challenges.  It’s more about what you want your body to look like). Now that I knew what I wanted my body to look like, I had to make my plan. 

As a trainer I knew how to workout, but I had never been on a strict diet, ever.  I knew what people should do to live a healthy life style, but fitness competitors diets where on a different level.

 

I didn’t have the money to hire a coach, so it was time to do some research.  I reached out  to people that had done shows in the past.  I added their insight and my knowledge from Precision Nutrition together and come up with my own plan.  Whether or not you are going to hire a coach or do it yourself be safe!  YOU SHOULD NEVER BE BELOW 1000 calories a day! AND if you do hire a coach and they cut out a complete macronutrients, that’s a huge red flag.  I’ve heard competitors say they cut out all carbs for a WEEK! Two things, people forget or don’t know that vegetables and fruits are also carbs and that this is NOT GOOD!  You need carbs, fats, and proteins for energy.  Yes, there are difference levels in which you need these things.  The point is you need them all in some way to live a healthy life!  Also, if you are doing 3+ hours at the gym a day… you’re doing something wrong.  Everyone’s body is different, we learn that in kindergarten… when you are getting ready for a show you will be learning new things about your body. My advice is to talk to someone that knows what they are doing to help you with guidelines.

3. Balance of fitness, family, and friends

This is a life style yes, but 90% of us aren’t going to make a living at this.  It is important to find a good middle ground between the show prep and the “real world”. By all means, take your prep seriously. I give 110% to my training! I love seeing the changes in my body.  I also know like everything in life you need to find balance.  This sport gives you a goal and help you are learn a lot about who you are and what you can handle! 

I have seen a lot of females go through this and hate it because they didn’t keep it in check with their real lives.  Even if you win your pro card in the IFPA, IFBB, or WFBB you will need a day job! Yes, winning your pro card may open doors for modeling jobs, endorsements, or in my case clients. But be realistic and know there is more to life then just competing.  Go out to lunch with your girl friends, just plan your meal or bring it!  Go to the movies!  It’s a great place for meal 4… no one will be able to see you eating out of tupperwave.  Live your life!… You only get one. 

On the flip side, remember the people in your life aren’t competing… so they aren’t going to understand why you go crazy when they eat the food you weighted and measured for meal 5 on Tuesday.  They will look at your funny when you say good night at 8:30 pm, because you have to get up at 4:30 am to do your workout.  They may even think you are obsessive when you ask them to take 15 progress pictures every week. Or why you would want to stand on stage in 5 inch clear heels in a bikini and be judged.  IT’s OK!  This is your goal not theirs.  My Father has a very strong faith base.  At first, he was not comfortable with me being on stage in my suit and in his words, “that one back pose”.  BUT he did appreciate and admire the fact that I was doing something that was healthy and that I was determined to reach a goal, I never thought I would do.

That Back Pose Dad Hates. Sorry Dad! :)

One of the most important things I have learned:

Nothing others do is because of you. What other say and do are a projection of their own thoughts/ dreams. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of other, you wont be a victim of needless suffering”.

This is a quote from my favorite book, The Four Agreements.  How does this apply to you doing a show?  Well, when you are out with family and you pull out your tupperwave, who cares.  When you significant other is eating a pizza in from of you and you are eating chicken and asparagus, don’t freak out on them.  If you don’t want to go out drinking with your friends, it’s ok!  You have other things to spend your money on! (we’ll talk about that later).

The point is when you are preparing for a show you have to be OK with YOU!  There will be ups and downs, you will hit a wall or two, and at times be emotionally and physically drained.  But you are about to step on stage and be judged, and no matter what the outcome you have to know your are the BEST YOU you can be…. and that is where the growth will come from.  In the end, isn’t this what it’s all about? YOU being the Best YOU!?

4. Posing

I can’t tell you how many times during my first prep I spent watching YouTube videos of bikini competitions on repeat. My boyfriend (now husband) would always ask if I was “looking at butts again”… I was.  By watching these videos, you will start to understand how important the presentation, poise, and posing is to this sport.  I highly recommend getting a posing coach that knows what they are doing.  After you get your posing lessons, PRACTICE… a lot!  Do a rep, hit a pose.  Watch yourself in the mirror, or record yourself then watch it back.  You may think you look like Amanda Latona… but you may see something else when looking at the video.  I did a weird thing with my arm, that I never noticed.

5. Cost

This is not a cheap hobby! Get your debit card ready…. Here’s an idea of what you may be getting yourself into:

Show fee:$60-100

Organization Membership: $60- $100

Suit- $150+

Tan- $100+

Jewelry- $50+

Hair and Make up- $200 +

Posing- $30 -$100 an hour

Trainer- $50 -100 an hour

Online trainer- $40- $150 a month (note: Just because a trainers rate is high doesn’t mean they are better.  Do your research on them)

Polygraph (for OCB) $40- $45

Other things to think of travel, hotels, supplements, nails, warms up… so on.  You do not need all these things but this it’s an idea of what you could pay.

6. Hiring a coach

Like I said before I didn’t have a coach the first time, but I did for my second.  When I lived in Chicago I knew Nicole Moneer, IFBB Pro.  She was the first person I ever knew that did shows.  After doing research on other Instagram coaches I asked Nicole if she would take me on as a client.  I love her down to earth and EAT REAL FOOD… and not just fish and asparagus theories. It was also nice to have her to report to.  Now that I have started coaching competitors I have a new respect for what coaches do.  The role of a coach is to help motivate you, push you, give you tough love with encouragement, and the knowledge to help you bring the best package to the stage.  When you reach out to a coach ask them questions! Here’s some any good coach should be able to answer: 

– How do you build meal plans?

– What is your thoughts on cardio and weight training?

– Do you give meal, weight, and cardio plans?

– Do you do posing?

– Do you help with picking a suit?

– If online, What is the level of communication/ support  you offer during prep? 

– If in person, Will you be there the day of show? What is your role that day? 

If you do hire a coach, listen to them!  Don’t lie to them about if you did or didn’t do something that was on plan.  If you’re not honest with your coach…. or yourself they can’t help you make improvements.  The saying in the industry is “trust the process”.  You’re coach is your rock… if they are a good coach they will help you not only achieve this goal but help you be a better you after this is all done.  

7. Be a good loser and winner!

When I decided to compete I was doing it alone.  After a year for doing shows, half of my facebook friends are show people… my best friend was once called my “rival” on stage.  Besides the things you learn about yourself through this process, the people you mean during your journal can be pretty amazing.  If you aren’t on a team, try to find a posing clinic/ class to meet others competing.   That’s where I first met my best friend… even though we wont friends yet… we were actually sizing each other up. HEY! We’re both competitive, it’s only normal to want to see what you’re going up against.  BUT my word of advice is to ALWAYS be classy! Only 1 person wins the show…. and only about 5 people per class get to take home an iron barbie doll.  If you place… but you’re not happy with where you placed, remember there’s a bunch of ladies that didn’t even get that far.  If you win don’t be a jerk and rub it in people’s faces.  On the flip side, don’t cut down those that placed over you.  THIS SPORT IS SUBJECTIVE!!!!!  You can’t control what the judges are looking for… but you can control how hard you worked, and how much fun you have that day.

Heather and I from the start

 

In closing, if you have decided to live out of tupperwave.  Have most of your laundry be workout clothes.  And have 100 pictures of your abs in your phone! WELCOME TO THE FAMILY!  We’re all a little nuts but we’re happy to have you!  We’re excited to watch you grow into a stronger person inside and out… with a bubble butt!

 

If you have any questions about shows please left a comment or email me, kristyleconte@gmail.com.

Dorothy had Red Slippers. I had Clear Heels.

“All human plans [are] subject to ruthless revision by Nature, or Fate, or whatever one preferred to call the powers behind the Universe.”
Arthur C. Clarke, 2010: Odyssey Two

 

How I got into doing shows was because I was bored and feeling lost….

In April 2012, I left my corporate personal training job and great bartending job in Minnesota to move home to Maine. After being home for 2 weeks I have a new personal training job and bartending job here… Yes. I am absolutely a creature of habit.  I had worked at 4 different gyms in my old company, so I knew it was going to take time to rebuild my clients.  But this was the first time I didn’t have to be at the gym for a 8+ hour shift.  Some people would love this break, but me…. not so much.  I have been called a “Hyper Kitty” in the past. I am always doing something or planning to do something. THIS WAS KILLING ME!  My then boyfriend (now husband) would joke and tell me I was on “Maine time now” and I should just enjoy this down time. He’s a pretty smart man, so I gave in and took his advice.

I enjoyed sleeping in.

I enjoyed going to family events.

I enjoyed Alex pizza, dairy queen, and my Aunt Tina’s cooking!

I think you get the picture.  After being home for 3 month I was up 20 lbs. YA! I know…

Kristy, aren’t you a personal trainer?

Yes… I am. But here’s a secret… We’re human.

It was time to get back on a plan. But a plan for what?

My 29th birthday had just passed and everything in my life was not following my previous 5 year plan. I thought at 29 I was going to have my dream job, be married, and probably a kiddo on the way. Instead, I was starting from ground zero with my career, dating my high school crush again, no kids… (but an awesome dog) and living in my childhood home. Needless to say I had no idea where my life was going.  This ended up being the best thing to happen to me!

Fast forward to January 2013…

Business was slowly picking up, and I had the honor of training a friend for her Miss Maine pageant.  I admired her for putting herself out there… on stage… to be judged.   As we worked out she asked me why didn’t I do a fitness show?  I had been asked this question in the past and my answer was always “I didn’t want to give up wine and cheese”  then laugh it off.

This time when the question came, I didn’t have an answer.  Not even a joke.  I had nothing stopping me. I wasn’t working 70+ hours, I wasn’t partying my life away like I had done in the past, and I wasn’t looking to have kids anytime soon.

WHAT DO I HAVE TO LOSE?

I contracted a friend that had done a show the year before and asked her advice. She had nothing but good things to say about her experiences, and that the same show just happened to be 11 weeks away.  I thought there is no time like to present…. and I took the first step into my new life!

More post about prep, show, losing, winning, and becoming pro to follow.

Closing thought: No matter what your plan is right now, it ‘s going to change.  That doesn’t mean you failed.  It means you are meant for something you couldn’t see in the present.  If you accept it and keep moving forward it will bring you to a place better that you ever dreamed of.