Female Fitness Testimonial – Victoria Hood
I am an endurance athlete, I race my bike all over the UK and Europe for a women’s road race team. Contrary to what some people believe, endurance sport does not give you a great physique. Obviously I’m fit and reasonably lean year round, and I do love lifting weights but it is very hard to keep this up whilst racing my bike. My race season tends to stop around September time and I started thinking “What if I gave myself 2 months of just lifting weights?” I was intrigued to see what sort of shape I could achieve in that time frame. When I realised that the WBFF European Champs 2013 were coming to London in Nov, I thought “Yes! I’ll have a go at that!” It would give me a goal to work towards.
I knew I would need a physique coach to get me stage ready so I did a lot of research before choosing Gordon. I knew I was going to be very restricted as to what I was prepared to do. I could not allow myself to wreck my body in any way as I would be getting straight back on the bike after the competition and had to be fit and healthy at the end of it.
Gordon came across as very sensible in his views regarding dieting and as I knew it was not going to be straight forward working with me, I appreciated his more flexible approach.
I contacted him and gave him my guidelines!
I wanted to enter the WBFF bikini category, I could only give him 8/9 weeks at the most, I would be starting from scratch with my lower body as I had not lifted any weights due to my tough racing schedule since winter 2012, I refused to cut out carbs! I wanted to eat all food groups and most of all I didn’t want problems with my menstrual cycle as I know that afflicts most female competitors. I had no intention of starving myself.
He had his work cut out as we had to go straight into a cutting phase due to the lack of time so I couldn’t have the luxury of spending a few months building muscle, we had to go with what I had.
I’ll admit the first week was challenging. I had to stop my bike training and lower my calories. I am used to eating a lot of food and I am naturally very small at only 52kg so the calories had to reflect this but what made it easier was the fact that I could still eat all food groups including bread, fruit and dairy and was still taking in lots of carbs. I got used to it quickly and to be honest I found the entire process reasonably easy! Even a few weeks out from competition my calories were still above what a lot of women eat normally so at no point was I starving. I was eating all food groups and was still eating bread and jam a few days out from my comp!
I started to really lean out in the last couple of weeks which was just how Gordon had planned it so I didn’t spend too much time at low body fat levels. We didn’t carb load or water manipulate or anything out of the ordinary the few days before the comp. I was just in really good shape and still healthy. When other female competitors backstage asked me how I’d coped with the process etc and I explained that I was OK, they couldn’t understand how I had got into the shape I had whilst still eating well and not cutting out all carbs and dairy etc.. I just replied “maybe I had a great trainer!”
I ended up placing 6th in the WBFF and because that surpassed my expectations I decided to go on and compete in the Miami Pro Universe 2 weeks later where I placed 3rd in a really tough category. Considering I’d only trained and dieted for 9 weeks my physique was awesome and it was so great to be able to change my body like that. I was so pleased with what I’d achieved but I couldn’t have done it without Gordon.
I am now right back into my bike training and Gordon has helped smooth the transition. I will be continuing to work with Gordon from now on as I continue preparing for my race season. He will be advising me throughout, starting with the Tour of Malta in April.
He will also be getting me ready for my second shot at the WBFF in Nov 2014 and this time I’ll be hoping to win! After working with Gordon and seeing the results he gets, SENSIBLY, I couldn’t possibly work with anyone else!