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Mar 26

Work It Out: From Running to Lifting

Competing is not for the faint of heart.

 

Or for those who dislike asparagus.

Body building requires a lot of hard work and discipline.  I love the weights – that part doesn’t seem like work to me (most days).

The diet… well, those few weeks leading up to a competition get a little rough.  You probably didn’t want to be near me the last week because I was a total bitch tired of chicken and asparagus.

sprint2table-workitout-BLUE

 

This post isn’t about asparagus.  Today’s Work It Out is a guest post from a friend and fellow comptitior.  Jennifer trains at my gym, House of Payne.

We competed together in the NPC Jen Hendershott Big Shott Bodybuilding Classic last year (Jenn in Physique and myself in Figure).  She was such a great friend – calming my beginner nerves and raising a margarita toast to out successes post-competion.

Team Payne

Jennifer, Christina, Steve (our trainer), Devy, and Me

 

Jenn is a big inspiration.  Like me, she’s a former runner.  The muscle she’s gained in the ~7 months I’ve known her is absolutely incredible.

Below is the story of her transformation.  I hope it inspires you – even if you aren’t interested in competing, it’s a great reminder that we can do anything we want to, if we want to badly enough.

________________________________________________________________________________________

Close to 2 Decades of Fitness

The year is 1994 and I sign up for my first jogging class at Gainesville State College.  Little did I know at the time what my fitness future would hold.  I had an amazing coach who shared his passion of fitness with me.  He gradually took us, beginners, and taught us how to build up stamina and endurance in running.  Through the class, I developed a liking to running.  I’ll never forget how I felt when I completed running 2 miles without stopping.  My coach told me if you can run 2 miles, then you can run 6 miles.  Well, I kept on running.  I even thought I was “Forrest.”  Forrest Gump, that is.

I ran all the way through college, 3 pregnancies, and into mid 30’s.  Then all of a sudden, I realized my body had massively changed.  I was fat.  I was flabby in a lot of areas.  I couldn’t eat the junk that I ate in my 20’s and look good.  I felt as if my muscle tissue was a lot less than it was in the  previous years.

Be Brave, Take Risks

 

I took a huge leap and decided to change my eating and my training.  I always loved the way girls looked in Muscle & Fitness Magazine.  I wanted that look.  I wanted biceps and a 6-pack.  So I started weight training at home.  I started out with a beginner set of barbells and a pull-up bar.

I trained 1 year at home and starting transforming my body gradually.  I mainly did strength training 4 days a week and 2 days of cardio.  But I wanted to do more and continue to transform my body.  So I hired a personal trainer.  Also at that 1 year mark, my pursuits became a little different.  At first, I just wanted to get fit and lose some weight.  Gradually as I transformed my body and learned more about weight training and its results, I decided to enter a figure contest.

Jenn Wade before and after

 

So I entered my first figure competition.  I will be real honest, my first time out I was not even close to the top 5.  However,  that first competition set me on fire to compete.  This was the best thing to happen.  I went into that competition thinking that I was going to win.  Oh Yes!  However, I left that competition and decided I was going to put in the time and build some serious muscle.  I was going to be a competitive figure athlete.

For the next 3 years, I studied and researched training methods.  I also hired a nutritionist/coach who monitors all of my food and helps develop my training splits.  He has developed a plan to help me build lean muscle mass in the off-season and he knows how to turn me into a lean competitor for the stage.

I have competed in 4 figure competitions since 2010.  However, in November of 2012, I stepped on stage as a physique competitor and placed 3rd in the competition, which qualified me for the national stage.

Jenn Wade

 

Physique is a new division in the body building world.  This division is for women that have a little more muscle than figure.  The Physique division also requires a routine that enables you to present your physique and display your muscles in a way that figure girls don’t get to do.  I absolutely adore it.  I love being on stage and the center of attention.  I especially love showing off my hard work that I have done in the gym and through my nutrition.

As I write this, I am in prep for Team Universe in July 2013.  This is my first national show.  I am giving my 110% to this competition.  I still have the same fire in my soul as I did with my first competition.  I love the structure, workouts, and the discipline required for competing.  Every time I do a  show I feel as if I learn something new about myself.  I have also learned in order for you to succeed, you must step out of your comfort zone and push a little bit harder.

Train Hard and You will be Amazed at Your Results!

XOXO

***

Follow Jennifer’s journey on Facebook and Instagram, and be sure to check out her blog!

Did anyone try last week’s Super Slow technique?

Would/have you ever considered competing?

 

85 comments

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  1. Katie @ Talk Less, Say More

    Wow! Congrats on such an amazing transformation! And good luck on your big NATIONAL competition, Jenn!

    1. Jennifer

      Thank you!
      xoxo

  2. Linz @ Itz Linz

    wow seriously amazing!!! lifting weights does the body good!! haha

    1. Jennifer

      Thank you so much.

  3. Amanda @runtothefinish

    Thanks so much for sharing her story!! It’s great to see women owning their power!
    ok so I would love to hear from one or both of you on this…. I love running, truly it’s my passion…I would also like to build some muscle. Are the two just not compatible?

    1. Laura

      You can for sure do both! Tara just wrote a post on this the other day: http://www.sweatlikeapig.com/2013/03/21/combining-weights-with-endurance-training/

      Let me know if this helps!

    2. Jennifer

      Thank you,
      xoxo

  4. Sam @ Better With Sprinkles

    Incredible transformation!
    While I don’t think I would compete anytime soon, a bikini competition might be something I’ll look at in the future – it seems like a great challenge!

    1. Jennifer

      Thank you!
      xoxo

    2. Laura

      You would be so awesome!!! Let me know when/if you do it. :)

  5. Michelle @ Eat Move Balance

    Wow, Jenn, you are a beautiful woman! So inspiring! I’m really working on doing more strength training and less cardio . . . it’s a struggle sometimes, for those of us that are cardio junkies. Slowly, but surely, I’m making adjustments, and so far am liking the results. :) Good luck in July’s competition!!

    1. Jennifer

      Thank you and yes, it was hard at first but all worth it.

  6. Madeline @ Food Fitness and Family

    What an awesome story and transformation! Thanks for sharing :)

    1. Jennifer

      Thank you so much.

  7. Lindsay's List

    love her transformation!! makes me want to go lift!

    1. Laura

      Haha – it did that to me too! #gymrats

    2. Jennifer

      Thank you and Yes, go LIFT!

  8. Lee

    While I don’t think Ill ever do a fitness competition (never say never, I suppose, but I hate asapargus!), this is a great transformation story. I especially like how it all happened in your 30s, post-pregnancy.

    1. Jennifer

      Thank you,
      xoxo

  9. Kierston @candyfit

    LOVE THIS! Good luck with your prep Jennifer!

    As you know, I’m getting ready for the Provincials in June! 10 weeks away! It’s far but yet so close!

    It’s amazing what we can achieve if we simply believe and trust in ourselves :)

    1. Jennifer

      Good Luck in your comp and thanks,
      xoxo

    2. Laura

      So excited to see what you accomplish this year. You already look incredible!

  10. Heather (Where's the Beach)

    I have never thought about doing a comp, but I love lifting weights – how it makes me feel and seeing the body change and take shape. Awesome inspiration!

    1. Jennifer

      Happy Lifting and thanks,
      xoxo

    2. Laura

      I feel the same way! Results are motivating.

  11. Haley @ fullnfit

    This post is awesome! Jenn is an inspiration–I, too, am a former runner. Yes, I get the days where I have an itch to sign up for a race, but I know it’s the WEIGHTS that do a body good :) Keep up the awesome work, Jenn– YOU TOO, LAURA!

    1. Jennifer

      Happy Lifting and thanks,
      xoxo

    2. Laura

      I still sneak in the occassional run. Shhhhh… ;)

  12. Laura @ Mommy Run Fast

    Her determination is so inspiring! Like Amanda, running is my passion and I can’t imagine giving it up. But I also agree that weights are crucial for toning, and running alone can lead to flabby fit… I’ve been incorporating more strength and really enjoy it, but I don’t ever see myself driven to do a competition. I’m in awe of those of you who do! So much discipline, it’s impressive!

    1. Jennifer

      Thank you and good luck to you,
      xoxo

    2. Laura

      I’m in awe of you, speed racer! You are a great example. :)

  13. Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen

    I became a ‘relatively serious’ Forrest-style runner last summer, and I did continue to do some weight machine work throughout, but NOTHING like what you’ve got going on. :) I have been doing yoga to tone, but always get lazy with serious strength training. You are an inspiration!

    1. Jennifer

      Thank you and now I took Forest to Beast Mode. lol
      xoxo

    2. Laura

      Thinking of you as Forrest makes me smile. :)

  14. GiGi Eats Celebrities

    I considered it at one point, but my stomach acts up so much, that I know on competition day, I would look like OCTOMOM compared to everyone else, IE: I wouldn’t win. LOL!!

    1. Jennifer

      You can do anything you set your mind too! ;0)

      xoxo

    2. Laura

      ACV. That shizz works for everything.

  15. Tara @ Sweat like a Pig

    What an amazing transformation! I can definitely relate. When I was a long distance runner, I barely ate anything and I hated the way my body looked. Now I eat 2-3 times as much and absolutely love beasting it up in the gym! Thanks for sharing your story, Jennifer :)

    1. Laura

      And you look amazing! So happy to see you back at it. :)

    2. Jennifer

      Thanks and the extra food is always amazing.
      xoxo

  16. Jody - Fit at 55

    Laura – you know I LOVEEEEE this!!!!!

    Jennifer – CONGRATS!!! From one that has been lifting weights for over 30++ years & did some bodybuilding in my late 30′s, I know how hard it is – huge respect for you & all you have done!

    1. Laura

      Haha – I thought of you the WHOLE time I was prepping this to post. :)

    2. Jennifer

      I love following You, and thank you. You look FAB!!!
      xoxo

  17. Jennifer@knackfornutrition

    Such a motivating post!

    1. Jennifer

      thanks,
      xoxo

  18. Kat

    Wow! Love to see the transformation! Hard work paying off helps us to continue working hard!

    1. Jennifer

      Thank you and I’m glad you liked it.

  19. Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning

    Jennifer, you are awesome! I have so much admiration for you figure competitor ladies. I know it takes SO much dedication and heart… I don’t know how you do it! I have to say- you definitely were NOT fat in the photo in 2009 – you look great in both, but you look absolutely amazing now!
    Best wishes for your big competition this summer- I’m sure you’ll hold your own!

    1. Jennifer

      Thank you so much,
      xoxo

  20. Carol @ Lucky Zucca

    What an incredible story, Jennifer!! Thank you for sharing!!! This is really, really amazing. And it totally reinforces the importance of strength training which I think is something a lot of us girls ignore! I know I’m guilty of not doing enough strength training… but I’m trying to incorporate it into my routine more and more!

    1. Laura

      I think you’re doing great! Love your accountability recaps. :)

    2. Jennifer

      Thank you, and yes, strength training is the SECRET.

      xoxo

  21. lindsay

    wow! thanks JEN!! You are an inspiration, just like Laura. YOu both have such dedication to the sport and PASSION!

    1. Jennifer

      Thank you, and yes, Laura is a BEAST, too

      xoxo

  22. Michelle

    Of course I LOVE this post, yes!! Lift those weights ladies!!

    I love seeing how far Jenn came to accomplish this goal. And I love the phrase “Fire in my soul.” You can tell she actually loves what she does and that’s so important. I too love the discipline of it but I must admit I don’t think I have that same fire as her, ha! We’ll see how I feel after my first competition…I think I’m going to be happy with “one and done.”

    Good luck in July at your competition Jenn!! We will be pulling for you!!

    1. Laura

      I loved that phrase too! So inspiring. :)

      Good luck to YOU!!!

    2. Jennifer

      THANK YOU SO MUCH! I soo feel the love from all of you guys.

  23. Moni Meals & Fitness

    Very cool. You both are super inspiring – keep up the great work!!
    I have thought of competing but I am so focused on my own clients! Plus I really am genetically long and lean and not Prone for putting mass on!
    I work with clients that do though and talk about Hardwork.:)

    1. Laura

      Thanks, Moni!! I was always jealous of you long and lean types. ;)

    2. Jennifer

      Thank you, and working with clients is so rewarding! Love it.

      xoxo

  24. purelytwins

    amazing! truly amazing!
    our second oldest sister competed when she was in college so we got to see what she went through ;)
    it is a lot of hardwork!!!!
    but totally agree lifting does the body good!

    1. Laura

      I’m always suprised you guys don’t do it – you both are at incredible fitness levels!

    2. Jennifer

      thanks and it is cool process.

  25. amanda

    holy hell!!! jenn looks aahhhhhmazing!!! that is probably the craziest “transformation” i’ve EVER seen. what an inspiration – truly!

    1. Laura

      Doesn’t she?! I love seeing hard work pay off so beautifully!

    2. Jennifer

      awww, thank you so much! It’s has been hard work, but sooooooooooooo worth it.
      xoxo

  26. Christine @ Love, Life, Surf

    Such an awesome story and transformation!! Thanks so much for sharing it. I too totally admire you both for all the work you put into prepping for competition – so much discipline and hard work. So awesome.

    1. Laura

      Thank you! :)

    2. Jennifer

      awww, thank you so much! Laura is a Beast, too.
      xoxo

  27. Marissa

    What an inspiration!!!
    It’s amazing how work & dedication can transform your life ;-)

    1. Laura

      Isn’t she?? Thanks for checking out the post. :)

    2. Jennifer

      Absolutely, hard work still holds true.
      xoxo

  28. Elle

    I loved reading this… darn if I were only 20 years younger!

    1. Laura

      Never too late! Have you read that Grandma Sheppard story? That woman is incredible!

      1. Elle

        Oh yes. I am a huge fan of Ernestine Sheppard. She is incredible!

    2. Jennifer

      Girl, age is a number.
      xoxo

  29. Choc Chip Uru

    Wow what an inspiring body!!!! Love this post to motivate :)

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  30. Jennifer

    Thanks,

  31. Jed Gray (sportsglutton)

    Amazing transformation! Kudos to you Jennifer!

    1. Jennifer

      Thanks so much!

  32. Calee

    I love this post! Especially the “… Or for those who dislike asparagus.” :)

    1. Laura

      Haha – thanks Calee!

  33. Bonnie

    Wow! What a story and transformation. As much as I love running, it’s clear that my body responds best when weight training. I’ve never lifted heavy – more higher intensity workouts and bodyweight training – but I’ve been kind of curious about competing…mainly because it means I’d be following a program both food and fitness-wise instead of being consistent but simply doing my own thing day in and day out. I think I could put mass on (I’m more of a muscular body type) and would love to lean out a bit in the process…

    It’s always in the back of my mind! Thanks for sharing your story, Jennifer! And keep it up, Laura! Both an inspiration. :D

    1. Laura

      Thank you, Bonnie! I know you would rock a competition – you already look amazing!

  34. Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli

    Wow, absolutely amazing! What a transformation! And such an inspiring/motivating story! And a mother of THREE?! Rock on Jennifer…rock ON!!

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