What NOT to do when preparing for your first show



The other day I was speaking with a woman that is starting her first competition prep.  I asked if she had any questions for me.

She did, “What is a mistake you made, that you would change?”

Huh! That is a great questions that I don’t get really ever.  Normally I’m asked what my secret is, which we have already established is hard work and discipline. This question is great because this sport is a bit of a guessing game, because the target is always moving. I asked a few IFPA Pro’s that I respect because they are genuine, thoughtful, and really tell it like it is. It was interesting but not shocking that a lot of the IFPA Pros had the same thoughts when I asked them this question.





Don’t stalk girls Instagram fitness models and think that the process is so beautiful and easy because it’s not in reality ins very challenging. People tend to follow these “model” accounts and think you should look shredded everyday all year! It’s just not realistic.




Don’t have expectations. …if you place first or last,you are doing something that the majority of people would not be able to endure..if you walk on that stage knowing you have done everything in your control to be your personal best YOU have already won.




Don’t forgot you need carbs (you and your coach will figure out how many and the other details)!


jenn samm


Do not compare yourself to other competitors that you see on social media! I’ve seen more than my fair share of newbies literally drop out after being PSYCHED out!




Don’t to worry about the placing. This is a subjective sport and you can’t let that ride or die on the fun you should have during the day. Your first show is always a huge learning curve. Take the time to look around, talk to other competitors and learn what worked for you and what didn’t.




Don’t Be Nervous on Show Day: Chill out, relax, breathe. . You did it. You won. This is the culmination. You’ve stuck to the plan, you’ve sacrificed your lifestyle, you’re better. I always tell people, “This is the graduation!”. By completing this process, you’ve just grown immensely. Go on stage, do what you’ve prepared to do, and celebrate.

Remember.. Focus on becoming more, rather than obtaining more. There is joy in the process.


I’ll end with my DON’T… have to many chefs in the kitchen.   You will read, see, or even seek out advice from other… because you don’t know what you are doing! That’s ok…  you can try different theories, but you have to give each theory a chance to “work” or “not work”. When you do to many thing or change your plan to much you will never know what really worked for you.


Good luck to you and best wishes on your journey! Enjoy it… it’s one hell of a ride!

Sissy that Walk: Down the Road to the Cup- Part II

On to the Yorton

I had six weeks after the KC show to get a little leaner, but not to lean. No big deal right? BRRRR This is the tightrope we as Bikini competitors walk. If I lose too much weight then I would place lower for being too lean. If I filled out in a “bad way” I wouldn’t be lean enough.  In this time I fell “flat”  (for those that don’t know what that means- my muscles didn’t look as full/ my skin didn’t look as tight around my muscle).  Andrew saved the day by adding carbs/meal and cutting my cardio… so all and all “staying where I was, but a little lean” wasn’t THAT bad ha!



As the weeks ticked on I started to second guess myself a little. I thought maybe I should change my posing. I thought “maybe I can’t place 1st… Maybe I’m look too Girl-Next-Door and not enough Victoria’s Secret…. Maybe I want a doughnut!?”

Then I was reminded of the advice my husband, one of the best athletes I know, once gave me:

“There are hundreds of players just as good as Michael Jordan or LeBron James… the difference is that MJ and LeBron KNOW they are the best.”

Imagine what we could do if we stopped second guessing ourselves…. (deep stuff there)

Because I’m not MJ or LeBron, I left myself little reminders that I was capable of achieve my goal.

I put post-its around my house: in the bathroom, on my nightstand and on the fridge door. I made myself a poster of me and the Yorton Cup and made it my screensaver on my iPad and phone. No matter where I looked I was reminded of my goal and the outcome I was working to make come true.  Yes, I know I can’t control what happens when I walk on stage, but I did know I could walk out there feeling like THE Kristy Leconte. (cheesy but true).


Kristy going for the cup

Show Time

Normally the week leading up to a show I have a mental countdown.  This time it wasn’t like that.  People would check in on me… “How do you feel?” The answer… “Nothing. Really. It doesn’t seem like the show is in X days.” I was so focused on what I had to do in the moment that I wasn’t looking ahead.  During my cardio I put my hat on, hood up, closed my eyes and envisioned myself on stage (a tip from Andrew). With every meal I thought of how it was fueling my body to be the best it could be. With every posing practice I called upon my inner Diva, her name is Felicity.

The drive to the show was about nine hours.  I listened to a book I listened to earlier in my prep “The Champion’s Mind” which helped me stay mentally focused. There weren’t moments of doubt like I had in the past.

When I got to the check-in I was relaxed.  Normally I’d have a mini anxiety attack at that point. Maybe it’s the polygraph, or when they give you your numbers, that normally made me think and feel suddenly “this is real,” but this time… nothing.

Next, it was tanning time. Yvette and her team were amazing and took all the stress out of standing in a tent naked and cold! 🙂

After all of my “to do list” was done and it was just and my thoughts again, I wasn’t nervous. I visualized hitting my poses, my walk and being called as the Yorton Cup Champion over and over again.  I prepped my mind just like had done with my body.

Day of the show I drove to the venue cool as a cucumber, which again isn’t my normal state. I normally get a rush of heat, get watery eyed, with my heart racing, and it gets hard to breathe just for a minute. This time I was in what some athletes call a “flow state.”

Backstage I enjoyed seeing everyone I had stalked for months on Instagram and actually talking to them in person, but I didn’t lose sight of my goal. Oh don’t act like you don’t do it!

During prep judging I wasn’t moved at all, but I did realize that they put one of the competitors I knew would be one of the top competitors next to me. I didn’t focus on it. I just did what I had practiced for hours without second guessing myself (which yes… I had done on stage before).

I didn’t know where I going to place after prep judging, but you never know in this sport. I took the rest of the show to enjoy my time with my best friend and other competitors (really one of the best parts of show… the people you meet).

kristy yorton

Sissy that walk to the top five!

In our league our evening show is made up of our Twalks, a 60-90 sec stage walk that we do alone.  I enjoy this, but I normally just go with whatever music they play. This time I picked the song “Sissy That Walk” by Ru Paul (I watched a lot of Ru Paul Drag race during my cardio sessions). I knew every beat to the song… it was like Ru herself took over for the 90 secs (which was the longest I’d done before). I was in a little bit of “awe” with how great it felt!

Next thing I knew they were calling the top five out. I was the last one called. I was standing closest to the front of the stage, with each place I took a step closer to the remaining competitors.  Five, four, three… I took a deep breath and said to myself one more time (FIRST place Kristy). Second place was called… instantly tear rushed to my eyes.  HOLY SHIT… I DID IT! Cry face and all… I WON THE YORTON CUP (I’m a crier, ever since the first time I saw Bambi).  My best friend was there to hug, thank goodness because I was a little weak in the legs and in full cry at that point (thanks Heather… she hates hugs). By the time I was backstage the husband was there.  I threw my arms around his neck and he picked me up like he did on our first date 15 years ago.

The show was live-streamed and by the time I got to my phone I had a mess of text messages, facebook messages and posts, and a missed call from 2014 Yorton Cup Champion Danika Johnson. It was surreal! It wasn’t cloud nine…. it was higher than that! I had reached a dream I had strived for! Holy shit.. again I did it.

I know this post might not help you at first, but in closing (finally… this was a long post, I know) with no bullshit here (thanks Michael, Chuck, and Andrew for never letting me BS myself)… Stop getting in your own way.  For some reason we think everyone else has this secret power and that maybe if we just knew what that was we would be better. Well, I really hate to burst your bubble, but the only difference between you and “the winner” is… hard work. Listen…. the only thing that makes me different from you is probably time in the field, posing and understanding my body. Maybe you will come across a liar that says they didn’t have to diet or do cardio. Don’t let them fool you! It takes hours in the gym (both cardio and weights need to happen) and following an eating plan. Even IIFYM people cut down to chicken, turkey, rice and sweet potatoes in the end (don’t be fooled).

You will be at the gym for about 1-2 hours a day. You will eat 90% “clean foods”. You will get your sleep.  You might feel weird about eating out Tupperware, making a special order out or not eating with your friends and instead just going out with them to enjoy their company. This is only for a small period in your life. Like I’ve said in the past, remember your why! When times get tough (because they will, this is not an easy sport) you can cry a little, but suck that shit up and get back to working towards your goal!

YOU will get there! Keep moving forward.


Sissy that Walk: Down the Road to the Cup- Part I

When I stepped off stage last year I thought I was walking away from competing.  I thought my competing years had come full circle, I placed in the same spot I did in my very first show.

I’m what you call a planner, or as Mark Wahlberg’s character in “Pain & Gain” so proudly said “I’m a doer!” Now that I was done competing it was time to started researching my next big goal.  Part of being “a doer” is believing that YOU CAN DO ANYTHING YOU TRULY WANT TO, but this year I was slapped in the face with reality. Even though you can do anything you set your mind to, sometimes there are factors outside of your control that you must work with. To make a long story short, these factors were telling me that my goals were not the right goals for me at this time.  It didn’t mean I wouldn’t achieve them, just that I needed to consider a different timeline.

So now you have “the doer,” the planner, with nothing to do.  Those little voices in my head (yes you read that right, you know you have them too) yelled “It’s time Kristy… pull the clear heels back out”.  I listened and said back (this is what makes me crazy by definition right?) “If I’m doing this I’m not f’ing around… I’m going to win.”

Some of you might think that seems odd… will win?… Haven’t you already won before Kristy? NOPE. I have never won a show.  Yes, I have placed at a lot of shows, but never won the overall.  Even my pro card was at a double pro qualifier, a show where two pro cards are giving out, at which I was the runner up. I know boo-hoo Kristy, you haven’t won when some people don’t even place.  Well, I’m sorry to those that haven’t placed, but I was tired of being a bridesmaid, never the bride. Your hippie-girl, girl-next-door types can want to win just as much as the bitchy cocky girls!

To be coached or not to be coached… that was the answer!

Normally I do my own prep because I’m cheap, really no other reason. But after speaking to a very respected bodybuilder about my “bridesmaid-ness,” I took his advice and hired a coach to help bring me towards the end of my prep.

As a “hear me roar” kind of woman, I really wanted to hire a woman.  I interview a few coaches, but none of them had “it.” There was one coach that did keep popping into my world, Andrew Berry; clearly not female. After speaking with him a few times I felt that working with him was the right decision. It was on like Donkey Kong.

What did I like about Andrew?

– He was strict.  No BS with him.  It was not a IIFYM diet, it wasn’t bro science, and it was based on real whole foods.  I was told what and when to eat. This works well for me because I really like the structure.
– He pushed me to try different types of exercise.
– He was, and is, very science-based and does the research behind EVERYTHING he recommends.
– He gives you the WHY behind the food, supplement, exercise.
– He didn’t let me doubt myself, but he also didn’t sugar coat anything.
– He cared about all my goals, not just my competitions.
– I had the goal, the coach, and the plan… now it was my job to do the work; and work I did!  I busted my ass. I pushed heavier weights, did my cardio, was in bed at 9pm and up at 3 am.  I even did the poor woman’s sauna (Where I kept my sweats on in my car with the heat on in the summer) HA … this was my idea not Andrew’s… we had a good laugh about it.

2015 Progress June to October
2015 Progress June to October

KC Classic

Before I could win the Yorton Cup (the IFPA’s World Championship) I had to qualify just to be able to step on that stage. At the time there were only two show left that I could compete in, The KC Classic and the Gaspari Pro.  Because I wasn’t going to compete this year, I wanted to keep my word that I would support my girlfriend as she competed in the Gaspari. So it was off to Kansas and Missouri (we never knew which state we were in at any given time while we were there!).

I like traveling for shows.  I try to make a mini vacation out of it. My girlfriend Megan was AMAZING and came to be my tanner (and butt gluer- a VERY important person to have “on staff” come show day!) With Andrew, Megan, my sponsor (Portland Nutrition Corner) and the support of friends/family I felt great.  It was the best I have ever looked.  Yes, competitors say that a lot, but if they keep getting better, which is normally the goal, it can be said every time.  But alas, I was a bridesmaid yet again, coming in second place. I wasn’t upset about the placement.  In this sport it can be the littlest things that will separate first through fifth place. I didn’t see it as a set back. I actually thought of second place as a motivator. I was so close to first place, I thought “I CAN DO THIS… I CAN WIN.”

One step closer to the cup… Stay tune for part two this week.

My second place first at the KC Classic 2015
My second place first at the KC Classic 2015