OK, Now What?


Am I bodybuilder or a strong woman competitor?

It’s been a week after my strong woman competition.  Today, the first ever Ms. Physique Olympia was chosen.  And it was Dana Lin Bailey.

Can’t lie – my excitement was so high yesterday following pre-judging online, that I had butterflies and a was a little nauseous. Yesterday afternoon, I went with a friend to see the documentary “Generation Iron” about the 2012 Mr. Olympia competitors. I was riveted.

When I listen to music, I classify every song I hear as “potential posing music” or “not a good posing song”. I practice quarter turns in the bathroom when I wait for the shower water to warm up.

I am a bodybuilder.

The two months of training for that strong woman competition felt like six months. I hated it. I liked how it challenged my fears and mental boundaries about what I’m capable of doing. It feels like I grew muscle and I got stronger.  But I hated doing it. Soooo boring!  But I had a lot of fun at the meet.  I LOVE lifting and pushing myself to do more and more.  I’d definitely do it again – but my passion isn’t there.  All the local shows happen when I’m teaching, so I have to travel to compete anyway.  Expensive.

My rest week is almost over and I have to start training again. Training now will be different. I’m not training for a specific show or meet. I have NOTHING on the calendar. In fact, I’m leaning towards not competing again as a bodybuilder until summer 2015 and I don’t know if I’ll be strong enough to compete in a sanctioned strongman competition.

There is another consideration.  I’m curious to see what kind of gains I can make if I don’t have to interrupt my training to prep for a show. What gains can I make if I just relax and TRAIN? What will happen when I eat clean, eat in surplus, and give my body 18 months to progress before I go into a contest prep cycle again? If I have to pay for airfare and hotel, I want to compete in a bigger show and be more competitive. I’m cheap. I’m not going to pay more to come in last place again.  And if I’m going to compete at age 50-something, I need to make sure that’s not a variable when I’m standing next to the 30 and 40-somethings.  Despite what some people think, I’m very serious about this little bodybuilding thing I do.

There are other things I need to pay attention to right now. I spent this rest week finishing up another certification. This one was a fitness nutrition specialization that I’ve been working on for a year. Since that’s done, I need to take care of other things. I have been distracted by these three competitions and neglected things at home that are important to me. I am also building a new business so I can make a lateral move to it when I retire from teaching – which I think will be June 2016?

And there is that book Hubby and I started to work on…

For training, I’m going to design a hybrid program that uses some of the strongman exercises within a more “normal” training program.  I’d like to go back to a 5 day split based on body parts for a few weeks.  Maybe take another run at the Madcow 5 x 5 after that.

It’s a weird spot I’m in right now.  These transition points are difficult for me.  I usually rely on Coach to help me through them, but I’m going to do this on my own now.  I do this for others.  I can do it for me.


Filed under Bodybuilding Journal, Competing, My Lifting Log, Strong Woman Training

8 responses to “OK, Now What?

  1. How does it feel to be a true Rennaissance woman? I think it is so oool that you have accomplished so much and you still have so much to look forward to. Your 50 is anyone else’s 30..you are such an inspiration!


  2. Amy

    Thanks for sharing! You are very inspiring!


  3. Liz

    I can relate on so many levels. Transitions are interesting…


  4. Truly, I am a bodybuilder at heart. But, I align myself with guys like Franco Columbu who was exceptionally strong and looked great being so. I’m really a noob to bodybuilding as I was out of the game for a quarter century. However, I’ve always and still believe that strength and and size are not exclusive. I’ve been hard at work loosing fat and gaining strength and muscle for the last four months. The next phase of my development will include big compound moves followed by hypertrophic isolation exercises in every workout. I’m convinced that this will produce the size and strength that I am looking for. I’ve never competed in bodybuilding or strong man but I am determined to compete in both events. Thank you for the inspiration Tammy. I hope you understand how much your efforts inspire those of us who are beyond the midpoint of our lives to proceed. Your work excites me and I am right behind you.


  5. Have fun with nothing on the calendar. I don’t compete, but my life competes with my training. I find that when I get several solid weeks of 5 days training in I am in absolute heaven and feel and look my best. Just starting back at it since school’s now in session, and couldn’t be happier.


  6. Colin DeWaay

    Excited to see what comes of this period for you. Mad gainz! 😉 Thanks for the continued inspiration.


  7. Great post! I am a 20 something and I walk onto stage waiting for a 40 or 50 something to blow me away with amazing leanness and muscularity, so the grass isn’t always greener! I started competing as a bodybuilder for the first time this year and I love it too. The goal-setting and the enthusiasm of everyone involved makes it an amazing journey 🙂


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