I applied to work with Erik after a friend had hired him ‘after’ competing. She was tired of rebounding and wanted a different approach to maintenance. After three attempts at the questionnaire he accepted me and I was on my way to training for my 5th show. It would be one of the largest competitions in the Rocky Mountain region.
Let’s start with me admitting that I am a HUGE control freak. Although, I was psyched to start the program with Erik I was skeptical given his no-cardio approach to contest preparation. It was early on in my communication that he shared with me that being a control freak and having a coach are contradictory. I think you all know how that conversation went! I had two different coaches with similar approaches. I was ready for a change and I had to let go of the reigns and trust in him – which I finally did!
Erik’s approach to getting on stage was somewhat familiar and yet so different. I’ll start with the nutrition approach. The idea that I can enjoy a white potato (which I honestly had not had in 3 years) was striking. Getting to enjoy fats (including: avocados, peanut butter, almonds and pecans) every day was heaven – oh and yogurt at the end of the day just gave me all of the motivation I needed to push through each day. Breakfast has always been my favorite, but meal 6 became a close second!! The hunger was there, as he reminded me it would be, but it was limited and not debilitating. I did not feel deprived at all.
Regarding training: I had never been one for long rests. I have always loved lifting weights and taking up to 120 seconds between sets was difficult for me to get used to. However, I found that I was able to recover and lift the same amount of weight without having to drop weight to complete my workouts. The idea of not having to spend 60+ minutes on the step mill was amazing and when I saw my body start to change without step after step it was incredible.
A couple of striking conversations we had was when I asked Erik if I could compete in the October show vs. the November show (we have 2 large shows within 3 weeks of one another in Denver). I shared with Erik that I was at the same weight I had been for my previous shows. He said, “It is not about a number, it’s about a look and you’re not there.” He can be pretty blunt and that was tough to hear. My body had responded so quickly to his program that I thought I’d be ready. But, I pushed forward and put the November date in my head as the day I’d be competing.
During the final week of the show I was surprised each day with how much water (oh my, 10 liters is a lot of water!!) I’d have to drink and what I was ‘able’ to eat. It wasn’t asparagus and tilapia 5 meals a day! In the week leading up to my previous competitions I was exhausted and ready to get it over with and I think it showed in my stage presentations. I can honestly I was excited and felt completely ready to get on stage this time. I had so much more confidence and loved the way my body looked – and felt!
My confidence and preparation paid off. I took the stage and by the end of the day I took 1st in my age class, my open class, was awarded the Masters Overall Champion – AND named the 2011 NPC Met/RX NPC Figure Champion!!! It took a moment for me to realize they had called MY name!!
My experience with Erik and Lean Bodies Consulting has been nothing short of phenomenal. I look forward to competing at the national level in 2012 and who knows … maybe even putting a new goal of IFBB pro on the list too!
– Tiffany Karnig, Aurora, CO