Bikini Bodybuilding: The First Two Weeks

Bikini, bodybuilding

What to expect during this phase of your journey into bodybuilding.

 

Hey Everyone,

Well, today is officially the end of the second week of my training for my bikini bodybuilding show. I thought that this would be a great time, you know-while it’s still actually in my mind- to give you an inside look at what to expect during those first two weeks. In order to get to the 101 basics of bikini bodybuilding, I first have to walk you through the personal stuff so that you can see ways of dealing with the things that will come your way during this part of your journey. So, let’s take a little trip to make sure that your head is in the right place, so that your body can follow.

Let’s go back for just a second. When I told my husband that I was going to start training for a show again, he was not happy. He is not supportive of this lifestyle or this sport in any way. To be clear, I am not saying this for pity.  I need to say that so that anyone else who is in that position knows that when you finally make this decision for yourself, you will need to go it alone, at least in the beginning.

Two weeks ago, we had a huge fight about this, which I detailed a little bit in my last blog. The point that I want you to take away is that you have to state your goals, out load, for every and anyone to judge. You need to own them, represent them, and be proud of them. Some will judge you, but you will find that most will actually be pretty supportive, or at least encouraging. Strangely enough, most of the people who will actively encourage you are not the people who you are closest to. I really don’t understand why this is, but it is how it will begin for most of you. Knock, knock. Who’s There? Jealousy and Change. Nope, we don’t want you here. Accept that this will be reacted to in many different ways, and just know that it has NOTHING to do with you, and then move on.

For me, when you question something that I have said that I am going to do, it only makes me want it even more. Ok, ok, Raphaela, get back to it. 🙂 Any who, I told him on a Friday that the following Monday I would begin training. We fought. I prepared my meals, my workout plans, and laid out all of my outfits, slowly and deliberately throughout the weekend. I wanted to make this transition as easy as I could on everyone in my family, so I made sure to do these things on my time, not theirs.

On Monday, I got up, got the kids ready, then went to the gym. I worked out, ate clean, drank my water (1 gallon per day…seriously do not skip this). My husband gave me a bunch of lip about how it must be nice for me to go to the gym while he has to go to work. To that I say, I chose a different path in my life. I work for myself, and I have worked for more than a decade at my business to put it on auto pilot, or at least mostly, so that I could have the freedom to do other things. While he was going to work, getting promotions, getting accolades, and moving our family around the country, I worked my a*s off from wherever we were living. I rebuilt my business repeatedly to support him. I mean, I worked all the time, nights, weekends, during holidays, during his repeated deployments, during our moves, 3 hours after I had both of our children, and more so that I could have this freedom. So, basically, I think that it is kind of amusing that he is frustrated by my freedom, especially since it has no financial impact on him. Regardless, I just went right on with what I wanted to do.

At nights, instead of simply sitting down to dinner with the kids, then bath, then bedtime, I set up a mini activity for us each night. I knew that it would make the temptation of snacking or emotional eating less likely to derail my plans. It started with me making the kids meals in little to go containers and then pulling them around the park, or our city, while they ate. We saw a lot of really cool things that we would otherwise have missed. They really enjoy our little sunset dinner cruises. One of our evenings out, we had the opportunity to watch a pilot drawing in the sky. It was very cool and the kids loved it.

 

 

We saw someone writing in the sky.

We saw someone writing in the sky.

When Friday night came, I knew that would not only be a struggle, but a temptation, as we have gotten into the habit of having a few cocktails on Friday night after the kids go to bed and just spending time together. I told him that Friday morning that I would be watching a movie, not drinking and hanging out. He rolled his eyes, which I expected. When Friday night came, I made my 6th meal (right on schedule), and I turned on a movie that I have always wanted to see, and never made time for ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’. He asked what I was watching, and I invited him to join me, which he did while saying, ” I reserve the right to go to bed in like three minutes because this movie is going to suck.” No matter, I turned it on anyway. We sat and watched the movie, and our son woke up and decided to sit with us for a bit. The whole time, my husband kept making fun of the movie, and I would just tell him how much I was enjoying it. I watched the movie, finally (only like 30 years late 🙂 ) and went to bed early. He stayed up doing whatever.

I woke up early on Saturday, the kids and I had a beautiful breakfast together and then we went for a bike ride together. Then came Saturday night, aka, the night that I am supposed to have a cheat meal, which I did, but I decided to cheat clean. This means that you eat something that is not on  your normal meal plan, but that you prepare or eat food that is still a healthy choice. Cheat meals can undo a lot of progress, and I just didn’t want to do that. I made my cauliflower pizza and it was soooo yummy. Seriously, I would rather eat this than @Dominos.

Cheat Meal Cauliflower Pizza with Spring Onions,  Tofurkey Sun Dried Tomato and Basil Faux Meat Sausage and Fresh Grape Tomatoes. Yummy!

Cheat Meal Cauliflower Pizza with Spring Onions, Tofurkey Sun Dried Tomato and Basil Faux Meat Sausage and Fresh Grape Tomatoes. Yummy!

 

I know, I know, you are thinking, “Wow, this really doesn’t have much to do with bodybuilding.” Hold your fire there sunshine, because you will soon realize that getting control over the space between your ears has EVERYTHING to do with bodybuilding. You have to train like a champion before anyone even knows your name. You have to show people, with actions that you are not going to be stopped. It doesn’t have to cause fights, but it will likely be uncomfortable in the beginning. In the end, who cares? It is not my issue if others are made uncomfortable by my progress, it’s theirs. That takes some time to really own, but once you really grasp that, you will become a MUCH better bodybuilder.

One night I was going to bed at 9:45 so that I could be in bed, sleeping by 10. He asked my why I was going to bed so early. I explained that I needed eight hours of sleep per night. He said, “Why, because you’re an athlete? Yeah right.” I said nothing. I know what I am, and I know where I am going, so I brushed my teeth, washed my face and went to bed. I could bore you with all of the antics and petty comments that he made, but at the end of the day, it was textbook behavior, so I just decided to pray for peace in my household, and I pressed on. I planned my work, I worked my plan, and I continued training. I set everything out the night before. I prepared my meals for three-four days, two times a week. I drank a lot of water. I peed a lot, like I am considering moving an iPad in there :-). I slept for 8 hours per night, period, no questions asked.

I can not stress to you enough the importance of rest. It makes it vastly easier to train hard. It has a huge impact on your ability to stick to your meal plan. It keeps stress levels low, and it really causes you to prioritize what needs to get done. I go to bed at 10 PM and wake at 6 AM, seven days a week. I do not make exceptions to that rule, because it simply does not pay off to do so. Some may think that is really boring, but anyone on a mission knows that this is absolutely necessary to be fully available and present in your life.

Yesterday, something magical happened. My husband actually texted me asked me how my workout went. I will look upon that as a sign on hope. Ok, that or he was just really bored at work. 🙂 Regardless, my story, and my path will be different from yours. Some of you may have a huge support system, and some of you may not. The point is to take control over these struggles, to empower yourself with the understanding that you can and will effect positive changes in your life, but that it may not happen right away.

Outside of the emotional side of it, there are some pointers listed below that I really encourage you to follow.

Bodybuilding Pointers:

-Write down your workouts before you get to the gym. Know how many sets you are going to do of each, how long you will rest between sets, and leave a space to write how much weight you lifted so that you can track your progress. Say it with me, YouTube is your friend.

-Lay your workout outfits out in advance. This makes it an automatic behavior when you wake up. You wake up, you brush your teeth, you get into your workout gear. If you work out at night, lay them out anyway. Take them with you to work. Finish work, change your clothes and go to the gym. If you have children, make sure your gym has a daycare. If it doesn’t, go during lunch, because you will not be wasting time running around looking for food, because you will already have food with you. Don’t give yourself excuses. I used to get up at 4:30 in the morning to drive 27 miles into Los Angeles to beat the traffic so that I could work out before getting to my office at 7:45 each day. Get it done!

-People say that it’s 80% Diet, 20% Food. I couldn’t disagree with that more. I think it’s 15% Mental (giving yourself permission to succeed, and not giving yourself permission to quit, not concerning yourself with what others think, and not robbing yourself of a goal that you are worthy of achieving), 15% Exercise (seriously 45 minutes of weight lifting 5 days a week and 3 sessions of High Intensity Interval Training 3 days per week should do it), and 70% Diet (It’s not a diet. It’s choosing to put fuel, not garbage in your mouth. It’s understanding that you are building your body, and that you must feed it the proper fuel to make that happen.) A piss poor diet, matched with endless hours of cardio at the gym will not give you a chiseled bikini bodybuilder body. Trust me, I have tried that plan. It DOES NOT work. Stay Focused. Train Hard. Eat Clean!

-Don’t count calories, figure out your macros. There are all kinds of online tools to help you do this. I really love FitDay.com. Enter what you eat, adjust the proportions of food to fit whatever Macro split you are trying to hit. I am currently doing 50% Protein, 30% Carbs, and 20% Fat, but my goals may be different from yours. Macros help you to understand how much protein, carbohydrates, and fat you need to feed your body to make it do what you want it to do. Bodybuilding is NOT about counting calories, it’s about feeding your body the fuel that it needs to be able to perform the way that you want it to perform. Get a food scale. Click here to buy the one that I use. It’s not the most expensive, but it gets the job done, and has for the last 6 years. It’s the cost of a six pack of soda, so don’t make excuses, just do it. Prepare your food in advance, weigh your food, and eat only that amount. This is how you build a lean body.

Get A Food Scale Today. You can not afford to not own this. Don't count calories, understand Macros.

Get A Food Scale Today. You can not afford to not own this. Don’t count calories, understand Macros.

-Write out your weekly meal plan, and stick to it. I eat 7 times a day, no that is not a typo, 7 times per day. I eat at 6:30, 9 AM, 11:30, 2PM, 4:30, 7PM and again right before bed at 9:30. I eat basically every 2.5 hours, and drink a lot of water between meals. I never feel tired, or bloated, or hungry because I am always giving my body just enough fuel to burn and not enough to have to store. On cheat nights, do yourself a favor and cheat clean. The sky is the limit. Check out Pinterest for hundreds of cheat night meal recipes. I don’t eat anything but Fish (Pescetarian) and I created a Pinterest Board, which you are welcome to follow for those recipes. In case you don’t think that this works, you should know that I have lost 7.2 pounds in the last two weeks, so it absolutely does work. I promise. 🙂

-Drink your water. Don’t skip this one. Don’t short change your body, just drink it. Milk does a body good? I don’t know about that. Water definitely does a body good, well great actually :-).

-Watch videos on YouTube of competitions, look at pictures of bikini competition suits, and just generally recenter and refocus yourself several times per day. Trust me, do yourself a favor. People will say that what you are doing is not normal, but you have to remember that you are not shooting for the middle here. You are trying to effect change in your life, and yes, all of the things mentioned above are normal for competitive bodybuilders, fitness models, or anyone else who wants to live a healthy lifestyle where they are proud of their body.

-I would set up a schedule for yourself, as I have done for myself of when and what you are going to buy during what weeks. For example, this week, I purchased my competition heels, in two weeks, I will sign up for my NPC card, etc, etc, right up to the week where you buy your suit and make your hotel accommodations. If you do it in little pieces it will be less of a shock to your wallet, and it is like setting up a system of incremental rewards to keep you moving forward.

I hope you found this helpful. I hope you don’t give up on yourself. I hope you follow my progress, and I hope that you achieve the body of your dreams. If you want more regular updates, check out my YouTube channel for more about Bikini Bodybuilding and more. I shoot videos about a lot of things there, my life, my family, my fitness journey, and just yesterday, about repurposing your old tank tops and turning them into workout tanks. Don’t forget to subscribe so that you are notified whenever I upload a new video.

Here are a few examples in case you want to make your own, or feel free to take my ideas and recreate them. I would be flattered :-).

Ready, Set, Lift. My DIY Workout Tank

Ready, Set, Lift. My DIY Workout Tank

Leave Nothing DIY Tank Top. I wore this today and it really helped me to focus on putting everything I had into my workout today, and leaving nothing in the tank.

Leave Nothing DIY Tank Top. I wore this today and it really helped me to focus on putting everything I had into my workout today, and leaving nothing in the tank.

 

Thank you for spending some time with me. Now go plan your work, work your plan, and maybe I will see you backstage at a show some day.

Loving It All,

Raphaela

 

Dear Body, Let’s Talk: #dearbody

Dear body. A letter to myself.

Dear body. A letter to myself.

Hey Everyone,

Today is Friday, but not any Friday. Today is the day that I am going to share some very personal things about my body, where it has been, and where I want it to go. I should say that I am likely not alone in anything that I will write here. I should also say that I am writing this letter to myself, to my body to be specific, but I am sharing it because I know that this will be helpful for others, as it has been a very eye opening experience for me. So, here we go. Here is the letter that I wrote to my body a week ago, and the decision that writing this letter caused me to finally make today.

Dear Body,

What up! 🙂 It feels kind of weird writing to you, while being inside of you at the same time. Oh well, details I guess. Jesus, where to begin? Let’s start at the beginning. Remember when we spent hours a day on a tennis court together, you know, basically the entire time that we were growing up. I trained you insanely hard to play competitively. I remember what it felt like to want to play pro so badly that it’s all that I could think about. We were so fit, so happy, so hungry, but not for food.

Then the years went on and I started to want it less, life got in the way, and then remember when that as*hole shot you in the arm on Christmas night? Yup, I remember that too. That was some scary sh*t. We survived, but we were forever changed. We were a little weaker on the left side, but a lot stronger on the inside. Remember how you spent almost a year with your arm in a sling, and we had to do everything with one arm? What a year that was. Remember when we could barely lift a bottle of isopropyl rubbing alcohol 5 times during physical therapy? We cried and cried, but we didn’t quit. We just worked it out, slowly, but we worked it out. Thanks for hanging in there with me.

Ah yes, then there was college. Were we training for anything then? Nope. And what happened during college? Let’s see; we started going to dance clubs (country bars) and dancing, and that was fun because we were so good at it. It was good exercise too.  We were so young, our body was perfect in basically every way, and we didn’t really have to work for it. We could just eat whatever we wanted, sleep or not, drink, and it really didn’t show. Those were the good old days.

Competed in some pageants for fun. Why not?

Competed in some pageants for fun. Why not?

Then remember how I thought it was a good idea to smoke socially, and start drinking socially. Wow those were two of my best decisions, NOT! I so wish that I had never begun either of those things. Why, you ask? Simple, because they are disjointed from who I want us to be. Then you got bigger, had cellulite, and just generally started to look less than wonderful.

I was so mad at you for betraying me and not giving me the beautiful body that I once had. You were likely very irritated with me for not taking care of you. We were stuck together, like it or not. Then one day I decided that I would fix you once and for all and I decided that I would just stop eating and I would work out like a crazy person.  Just for fun I thought that I would up the anti and take copious amounts of fat burners, energy pills, and drink tons of caffeine.

New Years Eve. I just didn't think I was thin enough.

New Years Eve. I just didn’t think I was thin enough.

Oh yeah, you got skinny alright. Skinny like someone who was sick, becuase I was sick. My mind was just crazy. It took me years to admit it, because for a while everyone said how great we were looking. I couldn’t stop and you were just along for the ride. I was anorexic, like seriously  anorexic for so many years. I don’t think that I have ever apologized to you you for that, so I am sorry. That was wrong. I hurt you.

I was anorexic. It took me four years to admit.

I was anorexic. It took me four years to admit. I weighed only 94 pounds here at the age of 25.

I was lucky to have some very good friends around me that finally said that I needed to deal with my problem, and I did. I was one of the lucky ones. Together we beat anorexia and we got healthy again. We gained a little weight, and life was normal for a few years. Then what happened to us? Come on, you know. Shorts became replaced by pants. Tank tops were now covered up by cardigans. Don’t you even think about forgetting that sarong thing that covers our butt at the pool every year. I know, I know, I can try to lie to both of us and say that I have been so busy and stressed out trying to build my company, follow my military husband around the country, raise our children, etc that I ‘just don’t have time to be that thin anymore’. I could say that, but it’s a lie. It’s a lie that I have been telling you, well, me, for years. You never bit off on any of that. You never stopped wanting to be better, but what could you do, you were stuck with me. I was stuck with you. We were so unhappy. We went on like that for almost 10 years.

This is not a happy girl even though I am smiling.

This is not a happy girl even though I am smiling.

Then one day, a friend told me that she was getting into bikini bodybuilding. I didn’t know what that was, so I looked it up and for some reason, on that day in 2013, I was hooked. I knew that was my path. I knew that is where you and I belonged. I signed with a team, and we trained, and we trained. We were starting to change. We were starting to look really good. I felt great.

My fitness team: Team Bombshell

My former fitness team. Team Bombshell.

Then, that fateful day (detailed in another blog post titled My Year in Review) you just stopped working. You started falling down stairs, I couldn’t speak correctly, you trembled all the time. We spent months at the Mayo clinic until it was all sorted out.  I knew deep down that you were broken, broken from all of the abuse in the past, broken from a decade of bad decisions, and when I tried to push you that hard without giving you what you needed, you finally quit. I was so emotionally broken. I felt like you took that from me. I gave you time to heal. I found a new way to make you work again. We were sick and we were hurting, but we found a way through it, together. 

Yes, I know that I continued to train you for the last year and half, but not in the way that we are now capable of, because I have learned to embrace the fact that I am not a ‘skinny’ girl. We have curves, which until I learned about bikini bodybuilding, I did everything in my power to hide that fact. You have broad shoulders, a tiny waist, and more junk in your trunk than we know what to do with, but we are strong. We are muscular, and if we work together, we can do great things. For all of those years, I was a ship lost at sea, and you were my unwilling passenger. I knew that we were going the wrong way, but I just coudn’t see land. I didn’t know where we belonged. It was like I was living someone else’s life. I always had this voice inside of me that screamed that this was not all there was for us. It was you. I didn’t realize that, but you were waiting, you were stoking the fire, you were waiting for me to see you for what you are. You were waiting for me to learn to love you for what you are, flaws and all. Thank God you were so patient and that you are still here and now healthy.

There are many people in our life that do not want us to train, that do not want us to compete, and that are perfectly happy watching us live a life that is short of the one that we can live.  They feel that way for two reasons. One, if we train, they will be forced to look at their own behavior and question if they should and could do better for themselves. Two, it is inconvenient for them. They think that we will change, and we will. They don’t see how much happier you and I will be, in all aspects of our life, if we can work together to get to that really healthy place, so we have to have enough faith for all of them.

I believe in you. I know that you are an athlete. You always have been. No matter what I have done to you, or what you have done to me, we have one thing in common, we both want better. I want to make you better. I have dreams. I have goals. I will no longer live this life, where I know that I am leaving things on the table that I don’t want to leave there.

It has taken me 40 years to realize that you and I need to work together to achieve our goals. It’s silly really if you think about it, because we want the same things; goals, accomplishment, rest, training, clean food for fuel, and plenty of water. I get it now. I am so sorry that it took me so long to figure out that I couldn’t short change you, that I couldn’t manipulate you, trick you, or in some other way make you deliver the results that I wanted without the work. I am sorry that you were trapped with me while it took me way too long to grow up. I am asking for your forgiveness. I want a clean slate. Can you forgive me?

I want to move forward with you, in a healthy relationship where we give each other what we need, and where we both benefit from that process. I want you to know that I have always been an athlete too. I think that is why I engaged in so many of the self destructive behaviors that I did. I was fighting you, and not for any good reason, other than self doubt. I want you to know that I don’t doubt you any more. I don’t doubt what you are capable of. I don’t doubt that you can deliver the results if I give you what you need.

I want to compete in bikini bodybuilding. I don’t want to do it for bragging rights, I want to do it for us. I want to do it so that my daughter looks at me and thinks that she can do anything. I want to do it so that my daughter grows up with a healthy body image. God, I don’t want her to go through what I put you through. I want to do it so that I can play in the pool with my kids on a summer day without stressing about my body. I want to do it so that I can go on a date with my husband without wondering if ‘I look fat’. I want to do it for me, because I still have the spirit of a fighter, of an athlete. That fire still burns inside of me, and I need you to help me make it a reality.

Will you go on this adventure with me? I want us to compete at a show in August, in Louisiana. Its far enough that we can train safely, consistently, and arrive stage ready. Will we win? I don’t know. I don’t know if we will win the trophy on this first time out, but I know that you and I will be winners if we work together to achieve that body. We can tweak everthing else after the first show, but we have to get ready, together. Are you with me? After that, we can do anything we want, but its’ going to be an adventure 40 years in the making. I am ready. Will you join me? We have 106 days, 15 weeks! I’ll meet you at the gym, near the weights. 🙂

XO,

Raphaela

Bombshell Fitness Training Camp Is Intense!

I should start this by saying that one of the only parts of my body that are not sore are my fingers. I just returned from my Bombshell Training Camp weekend with Shannon Dey’s Bombshell Fitness in Daytona Beach, Florida, and all I can say is OUCH! FYI, do not judge the way that we look in these photos, we were soaked in sweat at the end of three days, but so happy to be done.

I was pushed this weekend, hard. I was asked to do things that quite honestly, I had no idea that I could complete. I was asked to run longer, lift faster, jump higher, and just plain push myself to new levels. It doesn’t matter what the specifics of the weekend were, but I will tell you that from the moment I checked in to the moment that the pictures above were taken, the only time that I was not covered in sweat was directly after my shower at night.

The next time that I see a girl that looks that amazing in a bikini, I am going to know how much work it takes to look like that. I have seen my share of challenges during the last 37 years, but this kind of training is all encompassing. These girls train 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with extraordinary focus and commitment.

I know that you are thinking, “no way that anybody trains 24 hours a day.” They do! I guess I should say, we do. We eat 6 meals a day, with a commitment to prepare all meals in advance and eat them regardless of where we are, are how we have to get the food into our bodies. Yes, there are a lot of meals that are consumed with your fingers out of a Ziploc bag, well mine are from Uline (most economical way to purchase a lot of reclosable bags for prepared meals). We train hard 6 days a week. I am not talking about throwing on a pair of yoga pants and working up a little treadmill Barbie sweat at your gym while enjoying the latest Beyonce album. I am talking about the kind of training where when you are through, you are offending yourself, if you know what I mean (hello, somebody needs a shower…STAT!).

If all of that doesn’t sound like enough fun for you, then it would be helpful to understand that we forego life’s little treasures on a daily basis in an all out effort to be committed to putting our best foot forward on the stage to represent Bombshells everywhere. We don’t drink coffee, add salt to our food, consume alcohol, grab convenience food, or a million other little things that most people enjoy without even thinking about it. We drink a gallon of water every day, and we are happy to do it.

My whole point is not to make Bombshells sound like superheros, but to drive home the point that this kind of training takes elite athlete level commitment. I know that a lot of the people in my personal circle of friends and family do not lend Bikini Bodybuilding the credibility that they should, and that is their reality, not mine. As for me, I embrace it. I welcome the opportunity to set high standards and goals for myself, and to wake up and go to bed every night focused on my goal-the stage-the win-the team.

To all my Bombshell Sisters, thank you to those of you who encouraged me, and all of the other Bombshells to dig deeper this weekend. Thank you to Jen Strobo and Shannon Dey for their invaluable, and very frank, advice about how to succeed in this industry.

If you are considering attending a Bombshell Fitness Weekend Camp, I say, “Go For It!” It will be hard, you will push yourself, you will cry (or maybe that was just me 🙂 ), but if you are there for the right reasons, you will finish it, and you will go home with the Team Bombshell pendant hanging around your neck. It will be a reminder to you every minute of every day that you pushed yourself, and that you can push yourself.

Gratefully,

Raphaela Laurean

I am ‘Under Construction’ with Team Bombshell

Ok, I’m in. I received my email yesterday from Team Bombshell, officially welcoming me to join their ‘Under Construction’ team, which is great, because that is the one that I applied for. They have several different levels at which you can join, and being honest with myself, I had to start from the beginning.

The ‘Under Construction’ part of things means that you are now working with their nutritionists, trainers, and exclusively using their advice to move up to the ‘Bikini Competition Team’. I have really given this a lot of thought, and I would estimate that it will take me roughly 4-5 months of solid training to move up to this next level.

I am very eager to try their nutrition, training programs, etc. After years and years of working out every day with minimal gains at best, it’s time to admit to myself that I simply do not know what I am doing. I know how to drive to a gym, lift weights, get on and off of a treadmill, take supplements, etc. However, that doesn’t mean that I personally possess the knowledge to make all of those elements work together correctly. There is no shame in admitting that you are not the best person for the job. There is only shame in admitting that you waited too many years to have that little chat with yourself. C’est la vie.

I am hoping to attend their weekend camp this weekend to meet the girls, staff, learn the ‘trade’ and come out of it with my program for success. As for the details of the training, nutrition, etc, I will have to be pretty vague on here about all of that. As a business owner myself, I can appreciate completely that they want to protect their intellectual property (methods/techniques) and their business model. It’s not like they swear you to secrecy, but they do ask you not to divulge what you are learning, as that is proprietary to Team Bombshell Fitness, and I totally agree with that.

I am so ready to get there and get fit! For the first time in I don’t know  how many years, I am actually excited about bikini season. I have a lot of work to do, and a short time frame to complete it in. Let’s get this party started Team Bombshell!

If you would like to learn more about Team Bombshell Fitness, click here. I will not lie to you, it’s a little pricey, but what is it worth to you to not have to hide in your clothing anymore?

For me, the answer is, priceless!

Gratefully,

Raphaela Laurean

Pre Workout Supplements for Bikini Bodybuilders

Ok, so it’s 5 AM, the kids are asleep and my husband is cutting down logs next to me (aka…snoring like an old man), and the alarm goes off. What do I do to get UP?

Easy, I walk past the coffee maker, you know, the place where good breath goes to die :-), and straight into my gym. I pour 8 oz of cold water into a cup, and add one scoop of No Xplode and one scoop of Amino X, both by BSN. On alternating morning, I use one scoop of Hyper FX and one scoop of Amino X (my personal preference between these two combinations). When you mix either the Hyper FX or No Xpode with the Amino X, the results are nothing short of pure magic.

I suddenly feel a rush of energy, and my body feels a bit warmer. I feel alert and ready to go, but not in the crazy, punch a wall, and run a 4 minute mile while listening to speed metal way. I feel an even and comfortable level of energy start moving through my body. As for my earlier statement about the comparison between Hyper FX and No Xplode, this is just my personal preference. I like the way that the Hyper FX makes me feel better. I feel a little more jittery on the No Xplode, but again, that’s just me. They both beat a coffee ‘awake’ by a country mile.

So here’s the weird part, and yes I know it’s weird, but this blog is about honesty, so here goes. While I am waiting for the full ‘wake up and be ready to lift’ stage in my mind, I do two things at once. That’s right ladies and gentlemen, I even multitask while working out. It’s a sickness, I know. Any who, I hula hoop and do facercise. No, you are not misreading, and no I did not mistype that. That’s what I do at 5:10 every morning, after drinking my pre workout supplement drink. Can you picture me doing this? If you can, it looks kind of silly, and I certainly don’t think that I would make new friends at the gym if I did this there, but my house, my rules :-).

There I am with a hula hoop flying around my waist while I am doing facercise in the mirror to keep my face toned. If you don’t know what facercise is, this is something you have to learn about. Think about when you see a woman whose body is very tone, but her face is very ‘loose’ by comparison. There are roughly 50 muscles in the human face, so why do most people ignore them? They probably just don’t think about. I didn’t until I was around 25 and I saw an old book at a yard sale about it. For a quarter, curiosity got the better of me, but wow, am I glad that I picked that book up. For anyone who is interested, I picked up The 5 Minute Face-lift, but I am sure that there are other wonderful books out there. This is just the one that I picked up that day, and the program that I have been pretty consistent about for roughly 12 years.

This is not a sales pitch for facercise, so I will not go into a lot more detail here. It should suffice to say that I can definitely tell the difference between the photos of mine where I had been sticking to a facercise program, and where I had not. Even at the tender old age of 37, I can confidently say that I do not look anywhere near my age, and if I had to identify one beauty secret causing that effect, it would be facercise.

So, that’s my crazy little morning secret, I fuel up on a BSN mix of Hyper FX or No Xplode, and a scoop of Amino X, throw a hula hoop around my waste, and make crazy faces at myself in the mirror (aka…facercise) until I feel ready to tackle my workout. Thank God my family is asleep while I am doing this, they might think that mommy has crossed over to the dark side if they saw this little routine.

What’s your crazy workout tip or trick? Add your comments below so that people can laugh at everyone, and not just at me :-).

Let’s Run To The Bikini Together!

Gratefully,

Raphaela Laurean

Getting Started with Female Bikini Bodybuilding.

WITWIBB? What is the world is bikini bodybuilding?

One day about three weeks ago during Superbowl Sunday, a friend of mine mentioned that she was going to start bodybuilding. I looked at her like she was crazy. She is very tiny, and exceptionally fit (she is an officer in the US Marine Corps), and I didn’t see how someone with her body type would ever be a bodybuilder as I understood it. I started looking into bodybuilding, and suddenly realized that this sport is the perfect marriage of all of the items that matter to me in my life; fitness, beauty (inside and out), challenging yourself, competition, healthy living, and a splash of glamour.

With that said, I set out to try to understand if someone my age (37), at my fitness level (about a 6 on the 1-10: 10 high scale) could ever get into something like this, and how. The following is a list of the things that I did last week while I was doing research. It’s by no means comprehensive. It’s just what I did, and if you find that valuable, then it is here for you to use as well. If you want to add something, please contribute below:

-Read Wikipedia to understand the industry as a whole; history, stars, icons, and future.

-Learn about the different types of bodybuilding/modeling (bikini, figure, physique, fitness) and understand the differences.

-Decide which body type/class that you are going to work towards as a goal.

-Understand the various parts of this industry: nutrition, supplements, training, and finances, and compensation (these will be the subjects of some of my future posts).

-Make a commitment to yourself that you are done making excuses, and that no one is responsible for your body but you!

-Make an appointment with your general doctor and get the all clear before embarking on this journey. Ask your doctor for a referral to a nutritionist if weight loss is a part of your journey, or visit the National Association of Fitness Professionals to find someone local.

-Find a model(s) that motivates you. This will usually be people who are like you; moms, military wives, etc.

-Order the correct supplements and print out their nutrition guide (usually this comes right from the models page on bodybuilding.com).

-Find a local networking/trade event to attend to ‘see the industry’. You may locate this by visiting the websites of the various organizations in this industry, for example NPC.

-Pick one date to go and observe,and then another date to compete. Write it down/stick to it (you know, add it to your calendar)

-Discuss your new decision with the people who you spend the most time around (family, friends, etc) as they will have a heavy influence on you and your success.

-Set up a profile page on bodyspace.bodybuilding.com to be both visible and accountable.

-Start networking right then and there to develop relationships, motivate, and be motivated. Facebook and Twitter are fantastic for following your idols and seeing what they are doing.

-Order at least two industry magazines to help you on your journey (Oxygen and Eating Well are fantastic).

-Dust off your workout clothes, or go buy some new ones.

-Reach out to Shannon Dey at Team Bombshell Fitness for training boot camps, posing coaching, etc. If you are serious and you mean to win, then you work with the best. Period.

Get Focused and Get Ready!

Running To The Bikini,

Raphaela