BB Competition 2011

On 5th June 2011 I attended the Anglian Bodybuilding Championships in Great Yarmouth in the trained figure class. This is about the preparations during the year before.

The Training Plan

updated on 31st January 2011

Initially I still wanted to train with dear hubby for spotting and motivation, but I now realise that I need to train during the times I am best, so I shifted almost all training to the mornings. The only constraints I now have are to get the muscles trained in the right order. Additionally I am now training in four instead of three sessions, splitting the muscle groups again. I am becoming rather un-social now, but with only 17 weeks left panic is kicking in!

And what you see here is the 4th update and it feels really rather good! The splits make sense to my style of training and I have enough resting days in-between.

 Please click on picture for big one

The Exercises

I am doing 3 weight training sessions per week, training each muscle once a week. I changed to this 3-split set up from a two split in summer 2011 and it gives me the opportunity to focus better on each muscle group. As I go along I might have to split into four sessions should I find that a muscle group needs particular attention.

For the cardio/fat burning part I have now incorporated an incline power walking session on the treadmill catching up on a previous experiment which got abandoned due to rowing. I now however feel that my legs need a bit of extra attention and back then I was very pleased with the outcome. It worked wonders for the calves and the rear as well as burning fat, since part of it is done on a medium heart rate.

I still do 5 minutes of rowing before every weight training session to warm up, and although I tried to fit a 5km rowing session in per week I now have skipped that and changed over to power walking entirely. I try to fit in two sessions of 35 minutes.

The Hill Power Walking

When I started some years ago I could not sustain the full incline and I surely couldn't stay on those hight levels for a whole minute. I started off with 15 seconds per level, and then increased the time as I went along.

Warm Up

  • 2 minutes on 3 miles
  • 1 minute on 4 miles
  • 1 1/2 minute on 3.1 mile (which will stay my walking speed throughout)
  • 1/2 minute cranking up the incline to 15 %
The Hot Phase

  • reducing 1/2 a percent every minute (or whatever time I feel I can sustain)
  • when reaching 15 minutes walking time I stay on the level reached for 5 minutes

Cool Down

  • then reducing 1/2 a percent again per minute until 5% are reached.
  • going flat until reaching 33 minutes and then reducing speed to slow walking for another 2 minutes.
The 5 minutes on mid level are keeping me around a heart rate of 150 what is around 'low cardio/hig fat burning' level. The 15 minutes cool down then brings the heart rate to fat burning level quickly. Be prepared to break into sweat!

My Weight Training Principles

Training 1: Shoulders - ABS - Triceps - Biceps

These are the exercises I removed from the training sessions when I only did a 2-split. They are targeting small muscles which get involved in training the big ones like chest, and hence always were pre-trained by the time I got there, diminishing the performance.

Especially shoulders need a lot of attention due to their 3-way function. They are the only rotator muscles and thus need at least three exercises to cover every direction of movement.

Since those exercises have been split off, the muscles definitely did benefit from the training.

One thing though... I get easily confused about the proper names for the exercises and I am pretty sure that some of them are called differently on other sites. Well, that is one reason why I have videos... one can see what it is!


  • Cable Pull Down
  • Rope, over head
  • Machine

Training 2: Chest - Back

Althogh some say that it is too much to train two big muscle groups in one day I quite like doing them together. They are antagonist muscle groups and when I am finished it feels nice and round.

Usually I would do chest first - well, it's kinda tradition - but coincidentally I had to wait for the bench once and hence did the back first. From this I learned that it does make a big difference; the performance in benchpress was not as good as usual. So maybe towards the second half of the preparation period, if I would feel it necessary, I might consider splitting the two. For now I just see to alternate them in order to give each the benefit once in a while.

  • Bench Press
  • Incline Bench Press
  • Pull Over
  • Cable Fly
  • Cable Row
  • Dumbbell Row
  • Pull Down Front
  • Pull Down Neck

Training 3 - Legs
Legs is my problem area. I carry all my weight there. So I am very glad to have split it from the shoulder and ABS training to now be able to put focus on them.

I used to be quite good in squats until I hurt my knees. Now the ankles have become even more inflexible than before, which is not really helping either. I however have become quite strong in Leg Press and since I am feeling confident in Deadlifts again, I am now tempted to give Squats a shot again as well, as they are an incredibly powerful exercise.
Squats felt good and resulted in changing the leg plan a bit. Deadlifts won't be at the end of the session anymore but right after squats as second major glute exercise. Both exercises cannot be executed to the very last repetition due to danger of injury. So leg press will come third and take the role of final killer, be reduced in weight and increased in numbers, just to finish it off beyond exhaustion.

  • Leg Extension
  • Hamstring Curl
  • Calves seated
  • Calves standing
  • Adductor seated
  • Abductor seated

High and Lowlights

5th June 2011
The deed is done: I made it!

2th March
Several weeks of constant and focused trainng are showing. I am definitely getting leaner, but my pants are still sitting tight. Yay! Photoshoot - fashion, but nevertheless - next week. May be able to show a bit of progress then.

12th December - grrr
almost 3 month of no progress. Too much food, weird back injury, general ache ( I believe a combination of cold and over-training),... really need to come to grips that the entry form is lying here and all it needs is a stamp to send it off!

1st August 2010 - 44 weeks to go, the countdown is on
Calendar added to the Training Plan

26th July 2010
We have a date: 5th June 2011

6th July 2010 - 45 weeks to go (estimate)

  • Did an incline powerwalking session on the treadmill and loved it -> to be integrated into training.
  • For the first time the wobbly bits around the rear feel like not belonging to me anymore. Like flaking skin from sunburn. It's still there but feels already detached.

30th June 2010

  • Seeing 65.9 on scale for the first time in ages
  • Decided to do the rowing marathon AFTER the Bodybuilding competition

6th June 2010
Visit at Anglian Bodybuilding Championships 2010, Great Yarmouth

5th June 2010
Integrated squats into the training.

17 May 2010
Decided Oaks Gym and ballet is not worth the money and time. Will rather go straight to BT gym after work, and fit in a posing training at home instead.

16th May 2010

1st long distance row (10k, 48:50) after the half marathon last summer

15th May 2010 - 54 weeks to go (estimate)
  • Seeing 66.9 on scale for the first time in ages
  • Measurements show down trend for fat and up trend for muscle for the 1st time.
  • Increased deadlifts to 75kg.

28th April 2010
  • Training plan and new split in place
  • Seeing 67.6 on scale for the first time in ages
  • Deadlifts tried and succeeded on 70kg

25th April 2010
Starting proper measurements

24th April 2010 - 57 weeks to go (estimate)
Oaks Fitness - building my scene

9th April 2010
First Assessment

7Th April 2010
Setting up blog

3rd April 2010 - 60 weeks to go (estimate)
Decision taken to enter Bodybuilding Championship in June 2011

My Supporters

I am the luckiest women in the world!

I had such a wonderful feedback when I announced my idea. First and foremost of course there is:

Dear Hubby - Detlef
Well I would have understood if he would have asked me if I'd gone nuts, but his response was: 'Brilliant, then let's go to Great Yarmouth this year and check it out, and then you have a year to prepare in ernest... and then you'll win it!'
Whoops! We'll see about that, but that probably is the attitude one should adopt and I am working on that.

After I had uploaded the assessment video I got the loveliest email from a subsciber:

He was the first to respond and to offer me support with the words ' I would be proud to be one of your supporters at your first contest.'
I am honoured to have Marvin as supporter, and it is people like him who will keep me pushing the envelope!

You know, they say you can't make real friends on sites like Facebook and Myspace. I found wonderful people there, every single one unique and able to cheer me up in their very own ways.

Mick O'brien - The Cosmic Gypsie
He already supported me with sales of his CDs when I did Race for Life and he is a wonderful artist and musician. He seems to know me rather well; when he heard about my new challenge he lovingly called me a nutter and then dedicated the following poem, which I just love:


Burn bright in free flight, firefly
as self belief's incandescent light
illuminates your way
float free, firefly
facilitate fantasies as yet unthought
let naught encumber you
as you prance and dance in
the flames of self belief

Mick O’Brien …

Thank you Mick I hope I will be throwing sparks in 60 weeks time!

And then there is the 'nice guy' who hates to be called like that ;o)) So I just call him:

Bijou Tucker
It is his stage name and I am using it because this is the one of his many skills which will be essential to help make this challenge a success. He has been writing for a Bodybuilding magazine on female Bodybuilding - so he knows the scene - and he is a theatre person. And his instant response to this blog was: '...I hope I can be a constant voice of encouragement as you go for this...'

Thank you Terry - you are wonderful!

My dear Italian friend. I will keep you in mind in documenting my journey. To have you on this list is a great pleasure!

Joey is a competing bodybuilder and personal trainer who unfortunately lives in the US. He wrote me a lovely message on YouTube and offered help and advice - well and gave me a lovely compliment :o)) Thank you Joey, your support is very much appreciated!

Fernando Vazquez Jr.
A dear MySpace and Facebook friend who always has a kind word and a lovely comment for me. It's good to have you on board Fernando!

Jason Brower
My Bohemian man from across the Atlantic. Luckily he is a night owl so when I am enjoying my morning coffee he usually is only just winding down from his days achievements and is always happy to have a little chat about music, bodybuilding, photography, the world, the sky and most of all: Dreams that need to be fulfilled. Hence is a great source of inspiration and a good friend. Hope you will get famous soon so I can see you play in London, dear friend!

Big Matt
Fisherman and photographer. Oh this man has so much energy and enthusiasm, I can't imagine him sitting there and patiently waiting for fish to pass by snapping for his rod. But then: He loves fly fishing, which as I understand is the more active variety of the sport. As for his photography: I love his photos and his approach of no use of photoshop. And since he lives in my neck of the woods he will be supplying the one or the other snap for this blog.

Thanks for being there whenever an uplift is needed, big boy!

So my dear friends: Want to become part of my official support team? Oh that would be so great to have you on here! Send me a comment or a post either here, on MySpace, Facebook, YouTube, or send me a DM (safe bet) or @reply on Twitter and I'll add you here.

Love you all!


So this is the place where I will list progress - hopefully - in size and weight.

Oh my, this is a picture from 2007 and I could kick myself for having let myself slip so much. I am almost back to the same fat content now, but I definitely had a better back and shoulders before.
Well, I did it once so I can do it again.
Let's get started!

Weight and Bodyfat
Start weight 11th April: 69.3 kg (153 lb)
In the gym is a handheld device which I can use to measure bodyfat, but it doesn't take into account whether one is a trained person or not. At home we have a scale. Well, those measurements basically show that one should not trust them as measure of performance and hence not use them for motivation, because the values are all over the place. The gym device is measuring on the higher end, and sometimes it just doesn't make sense. While the scale measures me as approximatel 110% which I find... very interesting.
What I am looking for is trends which may become visible after a month or so

Tue 13/04/2010
Sat 24/04/2010
Wed 28/04/2010 67.6 - - - - -
Sat 01/04/2010 67.8 27.8 18.8 20.1 55.7 34.6
Sat 15/05/2010 66.9 27 18.1 19.9 55.9 34.7
Sat 22/05/2010 66.3 27.3 18.1 19.9 56 34.8
Sat 29/05/2010 67.1 27.4 18.4 20.1 55.8 34.7
Sat 19/06/2010 66.7 26.2 17.4 20 56 34.8
Sat 31/07/2010 65.0 26.1 17.0 19.8 56.1 34.9

Sat 20/01/11 69.0 28.5 19.7 20.2 55.7 34.6
Thu 12/05/11 63.6


Measured in cm; 1" = 2.5 cm
Sat 24/04/2010
Sat 22/05/2010

Sat 20/01/11 34 31 95 87 75 101 61 25.5
Fri 12/05/11 33 31 93 86 73.5 97 59.5 25.5