A bikini competitors’ advice on fitness, training and nutrition

Bikini competitions aren’t for everyone – they require a lot of hard work, discipline and protein! But there’s something to learn from those that take their diet and training to the next level.

We caught up with 23-year-old amateur bikini competitor Shae Jorgensen to talk training, diet, overcoming injury and her journey to the prestigious Ms Fitness Australia stage in June.  

My journey to bikini competitions

I have been involved in sports since I was about seven years old, but I started training at the gym more seriously when I turned 16. I love the feel-good endorphins following a workout – how it makes you look is just a bonus! 

I started competing in bikini competitions because I wanted to take my training to the next level. Bikini competitions push me both physically and mentally, and I’m always looking to improve and progress my physique and fitness levels. For me, there is no ‘end date’ – it’s a lifestyle and I’m always a work in progress! 

My greatest achievement

After suffering a spinal injury last year with two bulging discs, doctors said I wasn’t going to be able to compete for a long time. I was determined to get back on that stage and I did exactly that: after just four months of spinal rehabilitation, I stepped back on stage and competed. I consider it my greatest achievement in the sport because I displayed determination despite the odds not being in my favor; I had the will power to keep pushing forward and do what I love. I’m very proud of that.

Bikini competition pros and cons

The hardest part of competition preparation is social outings, especially when food is involved. It’s where discipline is vital to your success: it’s so tempting to just eat a piece of cake at a birthday party, but once you’re disciplined enough to say no there’s a real sense of satisfaction. It’s all about keeping your eyes on your goal. 

My nutrition 

I eat a wide variety of foods and don’t cut out any food groups. The main foods I eat during strict comp prep would be lean meats, sweet potato, green veggies and salad, eggs and avocado.

My favourite ‘cheat’ meal would have to be pancakes and ice cream! But I also love a decent big brekky.

My training

My workout schedule is a combination of weight training, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and low-intensity steady state (LISS) cardio. My training changes day-to-day, so I’m never bored and I’m always keen to get to the gym. 

My weight training sessions are usually a whole body super-set workout that keeps my heart rate high, as usually I’m trying to lean down heading into a show. 

My favourite body part to train is definitely booty! After my spinal injury, I wasn’t able to train my lower body for an extended period of time, so it has given me a whole new appreciation for being able to move properly again. My favorite exercise would have to be squats!

My best piece of advice 

Make sure you’re doing it for you! Also, remember that every other athlete on that stage has put in the same amount of effort to their diet, training and posing, so always be mentally prepared for either outcome – win or lose, be proud of yourself every step of the way.

What’s next for me

My next goal is to compete in my first interstate competition in Perth, Western Australia in June 2017: the inaugural Ms Fitness Australia! It’s the first ANB (Australasian Natural Bodybuilding) all-female show and a pro card is up for grabs, so I’m really excited to be apart of history.  

What I love about competing in the ANB, and especially Ms Fitness, is that it combines my love for fashion, glamour and bikini modeling with fitness. For me, there is no better way to showcase all my hard work over the last 12 weeks (and beyond) then dressing up and feeling beautiful.

For example, the registration night will be a red carpet event, complete with heels and gowns, and an opportunity to meet all the other competitors from around the country. As a girly-girl, it’s a real treat for me and something a little bit different from most comps I’ve been involved in.

I’d encourage anyone keen on fitness, training and nutrition to set the goal and get involved! If I can do it, anyone can.