How To Travel and Compete Nationally

Competition prep is stressful itself, but when you add traveling on top of that, it requires a whole new level of organization and prep! Last week I flew and traveled to Pittsburgh, PA for the North Americans (National Level Bikini Competition). This was the very first time that I was traveling long distance, flying, and staying at a hotel for multiple nights for a competition. I learned a ton and wanted to share with you all!

 

Food

PROTEIN- I made, measured, and froze all my protein sources the night before in individual freezer ziplock bags. Store everything in ziplock bags, because they don’t take up as much space as Tupperware!

CARBS- I made sweet potatoes, quinoa, and white rice in bulk and froze them the night before. I also packed raw sweet potatoes, raw oatmeal, and raw quinoa in my suitcase since these can all be cooked in a microwave.

FAT- I kept nuts on hand in my carry on.

VEGGIES- I cooked enough asparagus for my day of traveling and kept that in my cooler. I packed 2-3 days worth of raw asparagus in my suitcase. I cooked the asparagus in my hotel microwave.

Everything that was frozen, I carried on board in my Six Pack bag. I had over 20 meals packed it in!

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Don’t forget to pack 1-2 pieces of Tupperware, a spoon or plastic fork (metal forks aren’t allowed on board), a measuring cup,  and hot sauce!

Post competition place of dining 🙂

Transportation

I opted to not rent a car. I took a Super Shuttle from the airport to the hotel in Pittsburgh and then from the hotel to the airport when departing. It was easy to book, cheap, and very convenient. They even send you text messages on how far the driver is and when he reaches!

Also, the hotel that I stayed at offered a free car service every hour if you’re traveling within 5 miles of the hotel. This definitely came in handy.

Don’t rely on taxis in Pittsburgh…they don’t exist!

Lodging

The host hotel completely sold out 10 weeks before the show so I stayed at a nearby hotel, the Hilton Garden Inn. It was only a 5 minute drive from venue and the staff here was incredibly nice.

I highly recommend staying at the host hotel because of convenience, but if it sells out, this is a great option.

Packing List

Suitcase

  • Raw carb sources that can be made in a microwave (oatmeal, potatoes, quinoa)
  • Raw veggies that can be made in a microwave (asparagus)
  • Stage make-up
  • Curling iron, hair pins, hairspray, hair brush
  • Shampoo, conditioner, exfoliator (don’t forget this! You need to heavily exfoliate before tanning), toothbrush, toothpaste, mouth wash (This is great to have since your mouth might get dry from lack of water), towels (bring your own towels for your post competition shower. If you get the hotel’s towels dirty with tanner, you have to pay for them.), dish soap and a sponge to clean your Tupperware
  • Dark sheets (If you get the hotel’s sheets dirty with tanner, you have to pay for them!)

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  • Backstage bag which included my robe, face mirror, band to pump up with, necessary touch up make up, curling iron, shower cap to cover hair while tanning, baby wipes, cups to pee in (if you’re a competitor you know what I mean!) etc.
  • Clothes- PJs, an outfit to wear and sleep in after tanning (loosely fitted), a post competition outfit to go out to dinner in, an outfit to wear on the plane back home, a few extra outfits just in case, and a jacket/sweatshirt.

Carry On

  • Cooler
  • Headphones
  • Wallet
  • Competition suit and heels (just incase your luggage gets lost!)unnamed-2

Being overly prepared and organized will help keep your trip less stressful and much more fun.

Is there anything that I forgot? Feel free to add it to the comments below!

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Nationals Posing Routine

WOW! Nationals was crazy/so much fun. I will be writing a detailed post on it in the next few days, but here is a clip of my posing routine!

 

Remember, it’s important to learn what poses suit you and your body type. Not every body is the same. It has taken me a long time to figure out what angles look best and I still have tons of work to do.

 

ON STAGE!!!

The Importance of Progress Photos

If you’re anything like me, you want immediate results. Your thought process is something like this, “I’ve been hitting my glutes harder for the past 2 weeks, my butt MUST be huge by now…” or “I’ve increased my cardio this past week. Do I have abs now?”

The body takes quite a bit of time to change and here is where progress photos come in. Honestly, I hardly ever track my body fat and only check my weight once a week to report it to my coach. Other than that, I go off of my photos. Why? Because we all want to look good naked and photos show way more than the scale or your body fat!

I have been taking weekly photos for the past 3 solid years and the change is incredible. My weight has ranged from 103 lbs-130 lbs and my body fat has ranged from 12% to something around 28%.

Left: When I decided to start losing weight 3 years ago. 125 lbs.
Center: 6 months after left photo. I was doing a ton of cardio and not eating a whole lot. I had no idea what I was doing with my diet or the way my workouts were structured. I clearly burned through a good amount of fat and muscle. So sad. 103 lbs.
Right: Right when I started my prep for the second show. 2 years after the center photo. 128 lbs.

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Left: A few days before my competition. 120 lbs.
Right: 10 weeks into my off season. 125 lbs.
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Left: The thinnest I’ve been at 103 lbs
Right: A few days before my show: 120 lbs
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Left: The thinnest I’ve been.
Right: Me on stage in November 2013
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Left: A year ago
Right: Last week
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There is so much progress that the scale and numbers won’t show! I highly recommend taking weekly photos. They are such a great reference for how far you’ve come. Whenever I feel discouraged or unmotivated, I look through my photos. And the best part about it… I can’t wait to look back in a year from now and see even more change!!!!

Follow me on Instagram for more progress photos: SKSAHNI

Time To Get Back On Track!

I’m about 11 weeks into my offseason and had really been feeling lost. There were a few things contributing to this and since I was tired of not taking action, last week I made some help changes. I thought I’d openly discuss the issues and how I went about fixing them in hopes that this can help other competitors and/or individuals trying to make healthier life choices.

ISSUE 1: I am eating way too many cheat meals! Yes, I said it. No, I can’t stay lean if I’m eating bowls of granola and chocolate chips every single night. More than anything, I just feel gross afterwards and it isn’t worth it.

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HOW TO FIX: I am going to allow myself 2 weekly cheat meals. Wednesdays and Sundays.

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ISSUE 2: My workouts are so scattered and unplanned!

HOW TO FIX: I have set a brand new workout schedule based on what body parts need improvement. Here it is:

Monday: Shoulders/Triceps/Calves
Tuesday: Glutes (rep range 6-10)
Wednesday: Off
Thursday: Back/Biceps/Calves
Friday: Legs (rep range 15-20)
Saturday: Off
Sunday: Glutes and Hamstrings (rep range 10-15)

ISSUE 3: I basically only do cardio when I feel like it. I’m getting way too lazy.

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HOW TO FIX: I promised myself that I have to do 2 sessions of HIIT and 2 sessions of steady state cardio. I can decide which days to do them on, but 4 sessions need to happen each week until my coach tells me to reduce it.

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ISSUE 4: I’ve been eating the same foods over and over. I’m bored, and because of this I sometimes skip meals or eat off my diet.

HOW TO FIX: I have revamped my diet! I have switched up my protein, carb, and fat sources. I am eating a variety of vegetables and have also found new ways to cook my food. A little bit of imagination will go a long way.

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These few changes within the past week have helped me tremendously! I actually feel like I have a solid plan in place to stay on track during the offseason in order to make gains and stay in shape.

Follow me on Instagram:SKSAHNI

5 Steps to Transition From Contest Prep to Off Season

You worked your butt off dieting down, doing cardio daily, lifting like there’s no tomorrow, and looked phenomenal on stage. After the high of competing, now what?!

Step 1: Contact the Judges

Whether you won the overall or placed dead last, there is always room for improvement. I found it very useful to contact the judges and ask exactly how I can come in better and what it’ll take to win.

Make sure you send in photos of yourself in different poses. Email the promoter of the show and ask him/her for feedback and to forward your email to every judge. You can find the promoters email address on the NPC News Online website.

Sample email:
John,
I had such a wonderful time competing at your show last weekend. I wanted to know if I could please get feedback from you and all the judges on what I can improve on (conditioning, symmetry, posing, hair, makeup, etc.) I am attaching a few photos of myself. Thank you very much, looking forward to hearing from you and competing at your next show.

Regards,
Sumeet Sahni
Open Bikini Class C (4th place, #254)

Step 2: Set Your New Goal(s)

Now, using the information you’ve gathered from judges and what look you noticed they were leaning towards at the competition, you can make a goal.

After my first show, my goal was to put mass everywhere and work on my posing. After my last show, my goal is to put mass on my calves, not to put anymore mass on my upper body, only pose with legs crossed, and to make sure I don’t come in overly conditioned (too lean).

Step 3: Determine Your New Diet

It’s really important to make a transition diet plan for post competition BEFORE you even compete. The last thing you want is to be bingeing and have no structured diet after your show.

I gave myself a week post show to have a few cheat meals and then got on my off season diet.

Your off season diet should be based on what your new goal(s) are.

Step 4: Plan Out Your Cardio

What will your offseason cardio look like? What will the frequency, duration, and intensity be?

Personally, I like to do about 3-4 sessions of HIIT a week.

Step 5: Prepare For Your Physique To Change

This is the hardest thing for me to come to terms with. After having ripped, veiny abs for 5 months, they have disappeared! Be mentally prepared for your body to change fairly quickly post show.

My weight usually goes up 3-5 pounds within the first month of off season and from then on I usually slowly gain weight, if my goal is to put on muscle, until it’s time to diet down for a show. If my body fat gets too high, I go on a mini diet during my offseason.

Making a post show plan for yourself will make your transition into the offseason mentally, physically, and emotionally easier! Make sure your off season plan is well thought out and productive.
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