How I Walked In and Out Feeling Like a Winner!!!

Wow!!!! Last weekend was incredible. I WON 1ST PLACE IN CLASS C!!! I competed against 18 other beautiful girls.
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Ok, now on to the juicy part of the journey. Everything about this prep felt right. My diet was on point. I WAS NEVER STARVING! I had carbs in every meal of mine, except for occasional zero carb days, I was only doing 30 minutes of steady state cardio, and my strength was almost the same as my off season.

Why?! How?! Well, I don’t know for sure, but I think it’s because I took a 1.5 year off season, lifted crazy heavy weights and always went HARD for my workouts, put on 10 pounds of muscle mass (my morning of the show weight went from 107 lbs to 117 lbs, same body fat), slowly increased my calories to increase my metabolism (I always stuck to my diet, only 1 cheat meal, even in the off season), and barely did cardio.

Don’t be afraid of getting a little soft, gaining weight, and taking time off from competing to make gains. I promise, you’ll get lean again and competitions aren’t going anywhere.
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What else did I do?
– I visualized winning every single day.
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– I made sure that when I worked out, no one out there could possibly be working harder than me.
– I practiced posing ALL THE TIME. Even when standing in the kitchen prepping food.
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– I promised myself that I would present a totally different package (hair, makeup, posing, suit) to the stage.
– Lastly, and probably one of the most important things, I didn’t look around or compare myself to the girls that day. I kept to myself, focused on my goal, repeated to myself…Either I have it today, or I don’t. I’m going to present all the hours of hard work, every single perfect meal, and every thought about winning on this stage. There is no point in even getting nervous… I kid you not, I never got nervous that day. Everything was out of my hands and I felt so relaxed and confident.

I walked in and out feeling like a winner!

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It’s so important to make numerous goals when getting ready for a show. Some of mine were:
– To put on muscle mass, especially on my lower half
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– Control my mood swings
– Not cheat (unless it’s a planned weekly cheat meal)
– Keep a very positive attitude
– Give my workouts my all
– Not compare myself to other girls, which lead to me going Instagram free for the last 4 weeks of my prep.
-Learn to ride the wave. Some days would be easier than others.
– Really, truly believe in myself

When you establish goals to get you through your prep and you succeed with them, it’s hard to not walk into show day feeling like a winner.
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Bikini Competition Check List

The big day is coming up and I thought I’d share my check list with others. For my first competition I felt like I only really focused on my physique, which is of course extremely important, but there are other bases I wanted to cover this year so I make sure I bring a better package and am well prepared!

SHOW

First things first, you’ve gotta pick a show or two and register!
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NPC CARD

You can register for the NPC online or even at check ins the night before. Cyrus and I will be getting it the night before, because last time we had to send a check to a P.O. box and it took a really long time to receive it in the mail.
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POSING

it’s never too early to learn how to pose. I felt like my posing needed a major revamping, so I contact IFBB Bikini Pro, Jessica Arevalo, and learned a new routine. I’d suggest practicing, the right way, as early as possible. I want to look natural on stage, so I practice at least once a day.

HEELS

Yes, I went to a stripper store to get my heels. The first few times I wore them, I had to heat up the straps with a blow dryer so they would loosen up. I personally like the ankle support with the strap, but that isn’t necessary.

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SUIT

For my first competition, I got a basic bikini from http://www.suitsyouswimwear.com.
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This time around, I wanted a suit that was a little more extravagant and custom-made. I drove to Sacramento with a few other competitors and got to personally design my new suit from Jagware. They are so nice and Delia made my suit so incredibly fast.
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HOTEL

Don’t wait for the last minute to get a hotel room. Cyrus and I have the luxury of competing close to home, so we will spend the night before at home, but we got a hotel room to relax at during the time between pre-judging and the night show. We did this last year and it worked out great. You will have a few hours of down time and it’s a good idea to get in a nap, relax, eat, and get ready again at the hotel.

Don’t forget to bring your own sheets so your tan doesn’t rub off on the hotel sheets.

Try to find the closest hotel to the venue. Sometimes the host hotel isn’t the closest!

REQUEST TIME OFF WORK

The last few days of prep get a little crazy with dieting and dehydrating, so it’s nice to be at home, stress free and getting in your meals on time. It’s crucial to keep stress very low at the time. You don’t want to be releasing cortisol and holding water.

I personally will be taking Thursday, Friday, and Saturday off of work.

TANNING

Make sure you book your tan as soon as you know who will be the tanner on site. You will be getting tanned the evening before the show and backstage. Cyrus and I both will be getting tanned Friday evening BEFORE my check in. So, as soon as I check in we can head home and try to get to sleep early. On the day of the show last year we were up and moving at 4am.
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Also, I bought a cheap robe off of Amazon to wear backstage. Last year I wore a loose shirt, but I think it’s a better idea to wear something that opens in front so it doesn’t touch your makeup or hair.

Wear flip flops to go tan in.

Bring your own hair clip and or shower cap.

MAKE UP

I am terrible at doing stage makeup, so one of my competitor friends will be doing my makeup. Make sure you do a trial run!! You can also go to MAC or Sephora and have them show you how to apply the makeup and which will look best on stage.

Don’t be scared. If you look like a drag queen, that’s perfect! This is something that I’m not used to, it’s probably why I’m terrible at doing stage makeup!!!

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JEWELRY

I got a bracelet, earrings, and a ring from Macy’s.

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WAXING

Lets be honest, the bikinis are TINY! Definitely make sure you get a full brazilian. It’s a good idea to get a few days before the competition to make sure you if you get slightly irritated you have enough time for it to clear up and not get aggravated by the tan.

HAIR

This show I’ll be going with straight hair. The day before the show I’ll be getting my hair dyed and straightened by my hair dresser.

If you choose to go curly. Make sure you pin up your curls and don’t drop them till you’re about to go on stage. Last year I made the mistake of not pinning up my curls and by the time I got on stage my hair looked terrible!

NAILS

Complete your look by painting your finger and toe nails!
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4 Week Weight Training Plan!

Here is a typical week’s worth of my workouts. I always have 2 leg days, lift 5 days a week (2 days on, 1 rest day, 3 days on, 1 rest day), and try to add a variety of exercises.

I also sent this workout to my sister, who is a mom of 2, and she loved it. I suggested that she follow this workout for 4 weeks and focus on getting stronger and lifting more without compromising her form. If you are a bikini competitor, looking to spice up your normal routine, new to lifting, or anything in between I recommend the same to you!

If some exercises are unfamiliar to you, I would watch YouTube videos of others performing and explaining them.

Enjoy!

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Note:
-Supersets are exercises performed back to back with no rest in between.
-3×15 would translate to 3 sets of 15 repetitions.
– Keep track of your rest periods! No more than 30-45 seconds
– Workout should take anywhere from 45-60 mins
– Abs and calves are worked out 2-3 times a week

Leg Day #1

1) Superset
– lying leg curls- 4×15
– quad extensions- 4×15

2) Leg press- 5×25, 20,15,12,10 (add more weight every set) this should be really hard by the set of 10

3) Box squats with weighted bar- 3×15

4) High Step ups holding weights- 3x 15 on each leg

5) Glute bridge (start with no weight then add a weighted bar)- 4×20 with a 2 second pause at the top flexed position

6) Abduction- 4×25

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Shoulders & Back

1) Superset
– Dumbbell shoulder press- 4×12
– Standing lateral raises- 4×12

2) Superset
– cheerleader press- 4×12
– rear delt bent over raise -4×12

3) Pull ups (on assisted machine if need be)- 5×12

4) Seated narrow grip row- 4×15

5) Lat pull down- 3×15

Biceps and Triceps

1) Superset
– Standing EZ bar curls- 4×15
– Tricep bench dips (feet elevated, locked out knees) 4xmax

2) Superset
– Tricep rope push down- 3×20
– Seated dumbbell curls- 3×15

3) Superset
– Preacher curls – 4x 15
– Tricep bent over kickbacks- 4×15

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Back & Chest

1) Push ups- 3×15

2) Incline dumbbell chest press- 3×20

3) Dumbbell single arm rows- 3×15

4) Reverse grip, close grip lat pull down- 3×20

5) Supinated seated row- 3×15

6) Narrow pull downs- 3×15

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Leg day #2

1) Superset
– Heavy walking lunges- 3x 10 on each leg, so 20 total
– Lunge switch jumps- 3x 10 on each leg, so 20 total

2) Superset
– Stiff legged deadlifts- 3×20
– Pop squat jumps- 3×20

3) Superset
– High and wide leg press- 3×15
– High and wide squat jumps- 3×15

4) Superset
– Quad extensions- 3×20
– Narrow stance high squat jumps- 3×15

Abs & Calves

1) V ups- 3×15
2) Plank- 3×30 seconds
3) Swiss ball crunches- 3×30

1) Seated Calf raises- 3×30
2) Standing Calf raises- 3×20

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Don’t forget to add in cardio and a clean diet for the ultimate physique!

Are You Getting In Your Own Way?!

I’ve been Instagram free for the past week and I’ve never felt so relaxed! As competition time is getting closer and closer (less than 3 weeks out!) it was getting easier and easier for me to get wrapped up in the way I looked compared to others on Instagram. I’d wake up in the morning, open the app, see a female with a beautiful physique, and start bashing myself for not looking like that. First thing in the morning. Definitely not healthy.

So then I just decided. NO INSTAGRAM FOR A WEEK.

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Why?

– It was causing me to stress.
– I was channeling my energy to the wrong things.
– I was forgetting that this is MY journey. I don’t want to look like anyone else. I want to be the best version of ME!
– Instead of being inspired by others, I was comparing myself to others.
– I was becoming unhappy.
– I reminded myself that I only need validation from myself, not Instagram followers.
– I didn’t need to see what other people are eating, wearing, or doing nor do others need to see that from me. I just need to focus on myself and follow my plan.
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What I’ve realized thus far:
– I was getting in my own way of progressing. WTF.
– I have so much more time and energy in my day!
– I’m more present in the moment.
– All of a sudden, I’ve lost a few pounds, I’m more relaxed, and focused (I sware it’s because I’m stressing less and releasing less cortisol)
– I’m putting all my energy into my diet, lifts, cardio, posing practice, and resting.
– I have more time to blog and share my journey.
– I planned to go 1 week without Instagram, but my new goal is to be Instagram free till post competition!!!

What are you doing that is getting in your own way? It could be anything from negative self talk to waiting till the last minute to prep your food. It’s important to constantly be evaluating what is and isn’t working for you and your journey. Then just decide to stop doing that. It’s really as easy as that.

Just decide.

Keep focused, stay stress free, and take it one day at a time!

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Posing Practice!

So, when I got on stage for the first time, I literally was backstage repeating to myself “I am Beyonce. This is MY show. I gotta show off what my momma gave me (and all the squats I’ve done). I am FIERCE!!!”

Yeah, my posing was pretty terrible, not gonna lie. It’s not Beyonce’s fault! I channeled her just fine, it was just that my posing was really off. I had no idea was I was doing! So, it’s back to the drawing board. Here is a little of what I’ve been working on.

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Why Stress If Stress Makes You Fat?!

As we get closer to out next competition (7.5 weeks out!!!) it’s really important to make sure that everything is dialed in, including stress. It’s so easy to get overwhelemed by thoughts like, “I’m not lean enough! Competitors on Instagram look better than me!” “Am I where I should be at this time?” “Am I doing everything I can be doing?” “I need to make time to practice posing. Oh wait, I don’t really know how to pose!” “Is there a better way to do this?” “Costs of everything are adding up!” You get the idea. Stress is high and food is low.

Even if you aren’t a competitor, you still deal with multiple stressors throughout the day. Work, money, relationships, kids, family, deadlines, goals. EVERYTHING.

Stress triggers the hormone, Cortisol, to be released which causes us to get hungry and crave quick digesting carbs (sugar). Elevated levels of cortisol, as you can imagine, will cause weight gain and/or hinder you from losing fat.

So, take a deep breath and remember to relax. It’s not worth getting fat over!

Sumeet
Follow me on Instagram: SKSAHNI

You Know Your Off Season is Getting Serious When…

– You’re the ONLY one that’s high-fiving the mirror when your quads are too big for those skinny jeans.

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– Cardio? What’s that again?

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– Everything is growing…including your belly.

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– You’re looking forward to the days where you can actually Instagram photos of your abs.

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– You spend a good amount of time looking at photos of yourself when you were lean.

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-When everyone else dreams of seeing the scale go down, you panic if you lose a pound.

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– You feel like Superman in the gym, but a hibernating bear everywhere else.

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-Shirts that you wore 6 months ago have started looking like belly shirts.

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– Any daily meal has the same macronutrient content as your last contest prep cheat meal.

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– After 8 hours of sleep and breakfast, you’re ready for a nap.

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– You miss the days of being hungry.

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-It takes you an hour to eat an entire meal.

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-If you can’t wear sweatpants or leggings, you’re not going.

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– When you sit and calculate how many pounds of chicken you eat a year, you get genuinely scared.

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– You just ripped your last pair of jeans.

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-You spend double the amount on groceries when compared to pre-contest.

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-All the butchers at all the local grocery stores know you by your first name AND your order.

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-The butcher has stopped asking your if you’re thorwing a party when you’re ordering meat.

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-You eat so much protein that…

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– You need to drink an extraordinary amount of pre workout, just to wake up.

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It’s easy to lose focus and concentration during the off season, because you feel so far out from competiting. But the reality is that the harder you work in the off season, the more progress you make, even if you can’t see it right away. Change takes time and its important to trust the process!

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-Cyrus & Sumeet

16 weeks out!

Follow Sumeet on Instagram: SKSAHNI

HIIT Me Baby One More Time!

Recently I’ve added in a few session of HIIT cardio into my weekly routine and I highly recommend it. Why?

  1.  It’s done faster – I’m personally not a big fan of cardio and with HIIT, your cardio sessions are quick and end fast. They can even be done during your lunch break and you’ll still have time to eat. Sold yet?
  2. Burns more fat – With HIIT you actually increase your metabolism for up to 24 hours post session and burn more calories not only during the workout, but after, even while you sleep! So, you start to use fat as fuel. And that’s not it…
  3. Doesn’t eat away muscle – Ever see how sprinters look compared to long distance runners? Enough said.Sprinters_vs_marathoners_Body-Types
  4. It’s fun – It’s easy to get bored when doing steady state cardio, but with HIIT, you’re constantly toggling between bursts of intense sprints and active recovery. Ain’t nobody got time to get bored!

Now on to the “How”

My current program consists of a 5 minutes warm up, 12 rounds of 15 second sprints and 45 seconds recovery, and a 4 minute cool down.

I’ve used a spin bike, the treadmill, and the stairmaster.

Spin Bike: Minutes 0-5 at a low intensity and resistance, minutes 5-16 at a high intensity and resistance for 15 seconds a moderate intensity and resistance for 45 seconds, minutes 16-20 cool down at a moderate-low intensity and resistance.

Treadmill: Minutes 0-5 at 3.0 mph/1.0% incline, minutes 5-16 at 10.0 to 4.0 mph/3-5% incline, minutes 16-20 at 3.0 mph/ 1% incline

Stairmaster: Minutes 0-5 on level 3, minutes 5-16 on level 14 to level 4, minutes 16-20 on level 4

I’m taking HIIT outside tomorrow on the hilly streets of SF, wish me luck!

-Sumeet, 16 weeks out

Follow me on Instagram: SKSAHNI

NOTE: I do 2 sessions a week in conjunction with steady state cardio.

How To Become The Sculptor To Your Own Physique

About 2 years ago, every time I looked through a fitness magazine, I was absolutely positive that I was screwed because of my Indian genetics. “Those white girls popped out of their mommas looking like that!” “I will never have a nice butt and cut abs thanks to my genes!”

Now, I am NO WHERE close to looking like the girls I admire in fitness magazines, but boy was I wrong. With the right amount of protein, carbs, and fat, precise weight training, and smart cardio…I HAVE MANIPULATED MY BODY! It can be done people. So, cut out all the excuses you have been telling yourself and become the sculptor of your own physique. You want a nice booty? Go squat, deadlift, leg press, lunge and sculpt yourself that perky, round ass. What a nice back? Go pull and row, narrow and wide till your back is exactly what you want it to be.

I took a little over a year in off season to focus on adding mass and more shape to the lower half of my body. Here are a few progress photos on how my off season is going!
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Left: February 2012 Right:  February 2013

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The one on the left was when I was 18 weeks out from my last competition and the one on the right was of me last week, 18 weeks out from my next competition.

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Left: Feb 2012 Right: May 2013

Your body is clay. Your diet, cardio, and weight training are your tools. The gym and your kitchen are your workplace. You are a sculptor. Now go create!

-Sumeet

17 weeks out!!!

Follow me on Instagram: SKSAHNI