Shauna McEachern was inspired by other fitness competitors and decided to compete in this past May’s UFE Vengeance event in Calgary. It started as a motivating event in which to keep herself accountable as she worked to transform her body. Then, it became a springboard for a lifestyle of fitness. And now, upon reflection, Shauna vows to be back to improve on her 7th place finish in Calgary.
Here is her story:
From a young age, I was an athlete and this passion continued into adulthood with a love for fitness, sports and weight training. However, life happened. With a hectic career in financial services and after having two beautiful daughters 15 months apart, my workouts and overall fitness, fell by the wayside.
It was billed as everything from “The Money Fight” to the “Biggest Fight in Combat Sports History.” In reality, it was one of the world’s greatest professional boxers against an amateur level boxer. In that context, it wasn’t really a fight at all and the Las Vegas odds makers predicted just that. The Telegraph predicted that McGregor would walk away with at least $75 million USD, while Mayweather would walk away with over $200 million. Incredible to imagine that an amateur level boxer would make more money than 20 UFC Championship fights combined! Interestingly, McGregor made more money than even Mike Tyson’s biggest payout even when adjusted for inflation.
Why do some competitors do fasted cardio in the morning while others insist on having something to eat first? Fasted cardio provides the benefit of forcing the body to utilize bodyfat for energy due to the fact that there is less available blood sugar and muscle glycogen.
On the other hand, cardio after a meal allows one to work at a higher intensity level and burn a higher number of calories (though a lower percentage will come from bodyfat). The type of cardio you select may depend on your schedule and your preferences. If you have the option, try both and see what works for you.
Sophie Stansbury, a project manager from Harrow on the Hill in England was first introduced to fitness and bodybuilding when she went to watch her brother-in-law compete. Instead of being impressed with the male bodybuilders, it was the female bikini competitors that took her breath away. After an injury sidelined her from competing in triathlons, Sophie decided to give Bikini competition a try. She came to UFE with 3 fitness competitions under her belt and competed at the UFE European Championships in Birmingham, UK this past October. With lessons learned from previous competition, she brought a physique to the stage that earned her a first place finish, a UFE PRO card and a trip to the UFE World Championships in Toronto, Canada where she had a chance to represent the UK in a showcase of the best natural fitness and bodybuilding competitors in the world.
As we gear up for another contest season, Sophie gives some insight into the training and nutrition that earned her such success – insight that may help you refine your plan for the 2017 season.
As we look towards 2017 and setting goals for the New Year, Verity Smee shares her story of setting goals and, not just overcoming obstacles, but smashing right through them on her way to reaching the goals she had set in 2016.
Verity had decided in January that she wanted to do a fitness competition and be on stage at the UFE World Championships, so she turned around to her coach, Dan Osman, and told him, “You better make me amazing so I can be in Toronto this year!” At first, Verity was not totally convinced her goal was achievable, but by keeping it in mind, she powered through a routine that included 4am cardio due to the demands of her job as an assistant spa manager. Her fitness journey was also made more challenging due to her diagnosis of two chronic illnesses that require medication and weekly treatment at the hospital, but by keeping her goal in sight even with the challenges, she was able to dig deeper and push herself harder when required. The incremental results she saw along the way were what she needed to keep her fire and determination going.
Jill Nash will be taking the stage as Newfoundland’s first dual UFE PRO at the UFE World Championships, being held at the Westin Harbour Castle on November 19th and 20th in Toronto. She will join 200 other fitness and bodybuilding competitors from all over the world after earning her dual PRO status at UFE Showdown in London, Ontario this past June.
Marina Cornwall is an accomplished woman. Not only is she a pro natural bodybuilder, but she is a British, European and world powerlifting champion. So it makes sense that the next accomplishment for Marina involves coaching others to help them work towards similar success. She currently runs her own personal training business where she trains clients of all levels of fitness, including those who wish to pursue fitness and bodybuilding competitions.
UFE’s much-anticipated new Glamour category launched this year at UFE Revolution in Cobourg, Ontario. In this category, women get the chance to wear glamorous themewear costumes similar to those on a Victoria Secret runway. It was very exciting to see all of the amazing themewear that the competitors wore, and to make things even more exciting, we got to see UFE’s first Glamour PRO get announced since UFE Revolution was a special Pro qualifying event! That competitor was Maria Sheppard. The audience saw a confident, beautiful, and fit woman posing on stage in her outstanding peacock-inspired costume. But nobody watching the show would ever imagine her struggle to the stage.
At 50 years old, Sheila Liddle took the challenge and prepared to compete in a fitness competition for the first time on May 7th at UFE Revolution in Cobourg! The mother of two decided to challenge herself to something new and exciting for her 50th and found the perfect challenge to be a UFE competition. She realizes how important it is to stay fit. “I’ve been in health care for the past 27 years and I see on a daily basis what happens to the body when we don’t take care of it. Fitness not only strengthens the body, but the mind and spirit as well. I want to prevent, or at least delay, as many health issues as I can that come with aging.”