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:
“In preparation for my first fitness competition, I had an even split with my training, as I had no idea how quickly (or slowly, in some cases) certain areas of my body would respond. By the time I reached that first fitness competition, I’d discovered that I had a definite weakness: glutes! Not ideal for a bikini competitor. Since then I’ve followed a much more glute focused training program. A typical split for me includes workouts for glutes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, alternated with full body workouts on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I’ll usually dedicate Saturday to cardio – normally spin. I mix up my rep ranges and use various equipment, including free weights, cables and bands to keep my body guessing and my interest piqued.”
As she approaches show day, Sophie will increase or decrease her cardio according to how she is progressing and she mixes up the type of cardio she does to prevent boredom.
Sophie follows the principles of flexible dieting and carb cycling which help her stay on track by helping to keep her diet more varied and interesting.
High carb day example:
Breakfast – protein porridge with banana and cinnamon
Lunch – thai turkey mince stir-fry
Dinner – spicy chicken and vegetable skewers with broccoli and rice
Snack – apple
Snack – protein ice cream
Low carb day example:
Breakfast – smoked salmon and scrambled eggs
Lunch – king prawn salad with peanut sauce
Dinner – flat iron steak with roasted vegetables, topped with goat cheese
Snack – protein waffle