T Nation

Female Athlete Q&A


#1


I wanted to open a thread for all of you ladies to feel open about asking questions. As silly or embarrassing as they may seem, I encourage you to ask because probably many other people have the same questions

My name is Bronwen Sapir, I'm the wife of Amit Sapir who you can find over in the Micro-PA forum. I usually post under his log there but I decided to venture into the figure athlete forum because I think I have a lot of knowledge and experience to share here.

I am a mother of 2 boys (a 2.5yr old and a 11 month old) I competed in a figure competition just 7 months after my youngest son. It was a fun and rewarding journey, I'm so glad I did it! I will be competing again later this year and I'd be more than happy to share my experiences with everyone and answer any questions that come up.

I'm 28 years old and I've been athletic since I was a kid, participating in soccer, basketball, track & field and various other sports. After an achilles tendon injury(age:18) I became very interested in physique sports and I've never turned back since.

My training style is constantly changing depending on what my goals are or what type of competition I have planned. I compete in figure, powerlifting and I do a lot of Olympic weightlifting(non-competitive). I will be competing in the canadian powerlifting nationals at the end of this month so I've been training for this most recently. I decided to compete last minute and I'm looking forward to it! I'm always up for a new experience and love to try new things.

Besides all of the hard work and dedication it took to bounce back after having my sons, I have to give a lot of credit to my use of Biotest supplements. I will be posting an example of a training program and how I incorporated the use of supplements into it. It's been less than a year since I had the baby and I'm in better shape than I was in my whole life (and I've been an athlete since I was very young).

I have discovered a lot of gems from the T-Nation store and I can't imagine training without these supplements now. Se7en, Indigo-3G, Micro-PA, Plazma and MAG-10 are currently my staple supplements. I am so much stronger and leaner now, it's amazing. The Plazma keeps me going throughout the workout and I still have enough energy to run and play with the kids for the rest of the day!

Getting back to the gym after pregnancy or injury is never easy and I have been there so I understand your struggles. It can be very overwhelming and intimidating for a beginner as well but I know you can do it so don't be shy, I don't bite!! Looking forward to talking with you all.

-Bronwen


#2

So stoked you posted this Bron! I'm going to have to pick your brain on a few things!


#3

Bron, I have been lurking on T-Nation for a few months now. I've learned a lot and am in the process of leaning out while increasing my strength.

I'm not interested in competing, but would like to get down to a nice level of "beach leanness." Right now I am 5'4" and 145 lbs, and would estimate I have at least another 10 lbs to lose before I get to my desired level.

At what point would you recommend adding in one of the fat burning supplements? For someone in my situation, of just wanting to look "good" which supplement would be most helpful?


#4

Welcome! I'm happy to hear you're learning lots here and I'll help you as much as possible.

For now can you tell me a bit more about your current diet(macros)and training program. What type of training and how many times a week? (Weights & cardio)

Supplements can and should be a part of any diet. My first choices for fat burning supplements would be HOT-ROX(best thermogenic) and Indigo-3G (it will allow your body to absorb your nutrients and use them more efficiently). You can use both of these together and you'll see amazing results. I am curious to know more about your nutrition because indigo will be much more effective if combined with the appropriate diet. You are able to start these as soon as you have your diet and training program on track... If you aren't eating properly then there's no pill that will help!


#5

Absolutely, ask away!!


#6

Thank you for the quick follow up and your suggestions.

Diet is at 1900 calories per day, aiming for the "Zone" macros of 40% carbs, 30% fat, 30% protein. Works out to about 215/65/120. I'm far from perfect, but have gotten more consistent over the past 3-4 months. I do log my food every day.

Training is 4 days a week, 1 big lift (Squat, Press, Dead, and Bench) working up to a 3x5 set. This is followed by a circuit or complex that lasts between 15-20 minutes. If I have anything left in me, I'll do a finisher of Farmer's walks or some bodyweight intervals. I also walk at least a couple of miles with my husband 3 or 4 times per week.

I should also add I'll be 37 tomorrow, so I certainly don't FEEL like an older athlete, but my body might disagree!

How do the stimulants in HOT-ROX affect you? I'm already a 3-4 cup a day coffee drinker, which is my great vice in life. Adding more stimulants worries me a bit.

Thanks again, Bron. I really appreciate having a female athlete to turn to for advice.


#7

Can I suggest to throw in 3 days a week of cardio (Stairmaster is great) for 30min to start and bump the training up to 5x a week if your schedule allows you to do this.

Are you sensitive to stimulants? I need my coffee as well... In fact I'm drinking it now!! If you are sensitive to stimulants and don't like the feeling that thermogenics give you then skip that idea. It's really individual and you'd have to go with however you feel. For me, I can take it without getting jitters or anything too distracting... I always sweat a lot so the increased body temp makes it worse but for fat burning I find it extremely helpful.

I'll leave the decision of HOT-ROX up to you. The indigo however will give you results immediately and you'll fall in love with this product... It's my favorite supplement EVER! First of all, see how it works by itself and then once your bodyfat is decreased you can add Se7en into the mix and it really seems to help lose the stubborn fat that never seems to go away! If you tend to carry extra abdominal fat then this will make a big difference(my trouble area is my lower body but with indigo and se7en together it's made a noticeable change)

Btw- 37 isn't old!


#8

@LiftingStrumpet, you also mentioned you are eating 215g of carbs each day. What are the sources? Are you using Plazma intra workout? Any specific timing of your meals that include carbs?

I see a lot of benefit in consuming the majority of your daily carbs in a window around your training time as they will be utilized more efficiently and give you the energy you need for your workouts. The indigo is great pre workout, you take it 30 minutes before you start your intra workout nutrition or 30min before your biggest meal on your off day, works like a charm!

A few ideas about your nutrition... I don't know your body type but it sounds like some of the numbers might be a little off and this could be holding you back as well:
Increase the protein to about 150-160g, decrease the fat to 40-50g(quality sources) and try to do a carb cycle...training days you can go up to ~250g of carbs and OFF days you can lower it to ~100g(mostly complex carbs.. Brown rice, oats & veggies). If you aren't exerting a lot of energy you don't need to consume as many carbs. Keep fats at 65g these days.

Just a thought :slightly_smiling:


#9

Yesterday was deadlift day! I usually do an Olympic style deadlift but I decided that I'll go with a sumo deadlift in the meet because it's going to be easier for my grip (usually I lift with straps)

This is my all time favorite exercise and if you don't incorporate these into your workouts yet, give it a try... You'll love it for overall strength and physique improvements.


#10

Nice! Glad I stumbled into this forum.
And great pics up there, Bron!

Advice and support from other women is a good thing.


#11

Thank you for all your feedback, Bron! I definitely have room to tweak my diet. One thing I've done with carbs is eliminate them from breakfast on most days, and I do have a lower carb day on Wednesday, which is my mid-week off day.

I'll go back to my nutrition plan and look at how I can up protein and decrease fats. Thank you for that suggestion. My body probably does need a bit of shock right now.

As you noted, I'm not doing a lot of low-intensity cardio. It's pretty much just weights and a high intensity finisher 2 or 3 days a week. I could add more in here, for sure.

I haven't been utilizing any supplements around my training. I guess I've had the idea those products are for more advanced trainees. Given that I'm only training for 45-60 minutes per session, what size dose of Plazma would you recommend?


#12

Much respect on the deadlift!


#13

Thank you very much!

I agree, it's always nice to have support from other women so hopefully more girls will stumble across this forum as well. If you have any questions or personal experiences I encourage you to ask or share.


#14

These supplements are great for beginners and anyone who wants to progress in their training really. The products I mentioned can only help you and do no harm in trying. It can be intimidating to try something new but I've been using these for a long time and I think any girl who is looking to push her fitness goals to the next level can benefit tremendously from these.

I would start with 1 serving of Plazma intraworkout (38g of carbs and 15g protein) Your 45-60 min sessions aren't a bad thing either, it all depends how you are utilizing your time in the gym and with the Plazma you will be able to train with more intensity and most likely the length of your workouts will be increasing because you'll feel like you can do so much more. You can gradually increase your serving size (eliminating the carbs from somewhere else in the diet when you do that)

If you need some ideas for protein sources here are a few of my favorite: egg whites, lean white fish (I like sole not tilapia), extra lean ground beef, MAG-10, ground turkey breast and lean cuts of steak. I eat a lot of red meat because I need to watch my iron levels especially because my training is pretty intense so and women tend to have low iron levels due to our lovely friend each month... So if you like red meat, go for it!

My fat sources come from the red meat(because I eat so much) also mct oil and Flameout for my omegas. People often forget to count the fat from the meats they eat and every little thing adds up(not to say you do that, but I thought I'd mention it just in case!)


#15

Thank you! The meet is on the 29th and I'll post the results after I finish. I will be doing all 3 lifts in the meet(squat, bench, deadlift) with my deadlift being my strongest lift.

My max lifts to date are S: 245lbs B:145lbs :frowning: D: 335lbs and I weigh 155lbs (competing in the 75kg category) so we'll see how it goes!!


#16

A lot of people always want to know about my diet, so I'm going to post what my daily meal plan looks like right now as of today. My body responds well to a high protein/high carb/low fat ratio. If you are looking for a way to structure your day, this is a good example but the amounts of food would need to be adjusted according to your needs and goals.

I am 5'10 and weight 155lbs (stage weight is 145) and the weight category I will be competing in powerlifting is under 165lbs so I don't have to worry about making weight.

Meal 1
8 egg whites
1/2 cup oats
1tbsp natural peanut butter
1 serving of Superfood
4 capsules of Flameout

Meal 2
5oz lean red meat
1/2cup rice
Asparagus

Meal 3
Pre workout
1.5 servings of MAG-10
6 caps micro-pa(60min prior to workout)

6 caps indigo (30 min prior to workout)
Sip on Spike Shooter on my way to the gym.

Meal 4 intraworkout
4 servings of Plazma
5g BCAA's
5g Leucine
5g Creatine Malate

Meal 5
Post workout
1.5 servings of MAG-10

Meal 6
5oz white fish
1/2 cup rice

Meal 7
5oz red meat
Asparagus
4 capsules of Flameout

Supplements:
Se7en 2 capsules 2x daily 8AM & 8PM
z12 (4caps) 30 min prior to bed
1000mg Vitamin C

Breakdown: Calories
Carbohydrates 258g 1012
Protein 210g 840
Fats ~50g 450
Total: 2302

  • I have a very fast metabolism and my training is very intense so this probably looks like a lot of food. Small meals throughout the day and good supplementation keep my metabolism running through the roof. Often my clients come to me at the beginning and they are eating far too little and then by increasing their calories in the right places they are surprised how much they can actually eat with much better results and an overall better lifestyle (who likes to feel starving all the time, right?)

I believe in cheat meals if I am on track with everything, so during contest prep I have 1/week and right now I am having 2/week.


#17

Finishing up my last week of training before the powerlifting meet and feeling great! I'm hoping to pull off some PR's next weekend. Getting excited!!!!


#18

Hi Bron! We've chatted briefly on another thread. You look great woman!! Congrats and man I miss when this forum had the Vixens side why ever did they get rid of it!! I hate bodybuilding.com lol

I'm almost 6 months PP and I'm still breastfeeding. I feel like I'm getting so fat :stuck_out_tongue: Probably because Im not eating enough protein. I don't track macros and well I'm eating "healthy" junk and high fat foods. I am lifting but can't expect much with my shitty diet. Although I have gained back a lot of strength :slightly_smiling:
I want to start tracking calories or more importantly my macros. Since you're a mommy too (our kids are around the same ages my daughter will be 6 months my son is almost 2 and a half) what kind of macros should I try I'm thinking 40p/30f/30carb split. I don't need to get to anal about it but If I could have a general idea it would help. I've been lifting since 18 and have dieted but its like I've forgotten all that years ago. I'm like lifting strumpet doubt I'd compete but would love to look awesome in a bathing suit. I'm out to get serious glutes. I love Marissa Rivero if you've ever seen her as well as her mentor Ingrid Romero.

One other question that I know you could help me out with but if your doing all your meals for a couple days to you prep in advance? And with kiddos what do you do? I can't expect my son to eat bland food like I do. Do you cook him separate meals. Im thinking of cooking him a big batch for at least two nights. I don't feel like living in my kitchen between my meals and his lol.
Feel like starting a journal here theres just not enough info for pregnant or breastfeeding mama's.


#19

Hi, I'm glad you found me here. I was wondering how you were doing but I figured you'd never find my comment way back in the pregnancy thread!

Good for you, you've made it 6 months already!! Hopefully you're getting some rest, I know it can get overwhelming at times. As for your macros split, I think you can do something like 40/35/25, just make sure your fat sources are coming from quality foods like avocado, natural nut butters and fish for example.

I am in an out of the kitchen all day, it's rather crazy/insane in my house. My husband and I eat similar foods but everything is weighed so I usually cook it separately and then I'll prepare food for our 2.5year old as well, luckily he loves everything we eat (he wasn't to be just like his dad) and I always keep little quick snacks in the cupboard for him so I can grab something on the run (yogurt, cheese, fruit squeeze pouches, crackers) and my 11 month old is a little piggy who is starting to eat everything and anything so I'm cooking CONSTANTLY so I feel your pain.

If I were you I'd pick 2 days a week and prep meals on those days. Chicken, ground beef, ground and fish(if your baby is ok when you eat fish) are some of the easiest things to prepare ahead of time and for carbs you could go with rice oats or potatoes. Your son might even like your food if you put something tasty on it, ketchup is usually a winner for me or a bit of cheese. He also likes rice cakes, he thinks the chocolate caramel flavor is a "chocolate cookie" :wink:

I'm sure you're doing great, just remember it's only 6 months postpartum and you're still breast feeding so it takes a lot of energy out of you. Make sure you are getting a good variety of healthy/clean foods and you'll feel a lot more energized. The cravings are always so tempting but so much easier to avoid if you prepare you meals ahead of time so it's a great idea.

Thank you for posting, I hope you and your family are doing well and I look forward to hearing more from you. How is your training going? Any luck getting back to a routine yet?


#20

UPDATE

Amit and I have been away for the weekend in Amherst, Nova Scotia for the CPF Nationals. This was my first ever powerlifting meet and I placed 1st in the 75kg open full power category and qualified for the world's in November. It was a long day and i had my micro-pa and I was drinking Plazma throughout the day to keep my energy up. I ended up lifting more than I had anticipated thanks to my awesome coach (Amit) for helping me through the day.
Squat: 248lbs
Bench: 138lbs
Deadlift: 332lbs

I have a lot of room to improve here and I'll be working with Amit to improve my lifts before the meet in November. This was my first powerlifting meet ever and I think I've fallen in love with it, I had so much fun! I want to thank Biotest for all of the support leading up to this show, I've gained so much strength since starting Micro-PA and Plazma... I have made PR's in all of my lifts(about 20lbs on each) and I owe a huge thanks to this company for producing such quality products. I was stuck at the same weight for a long time and now I've been able to push past these and I am continually getting stronger by the week, it's AWESOME!