One of our very own Team Green – Tracy Dell – is in the last few days of training to compete in the Figure Category of a bodybuilding competition this weekend. Talk about setting challenging targets and being totally focussed on achieving goals, and Tracy is your woman!
Our Team Coaches spend their days supporting great people to get where they need and want to be and they’ve all been inspired by Tracy and keen to hear about her journey.
Bring on our ‘Q&A with Team Green and Tracy Dell’…
Q: Have you done anything like this before?
Up until the start of 2017, I’d done general fitness training for a couple of years but without a specific goal to work towards. I completed my first competition in June, where I came second and made it through to the UK Championship Qualifiers, which are this weekend in Rugby.
Q: Why this competition and how did you make the decision to go for it?
This competition is run by the UK Drug Free Body Building Association and I’ve chosen to start in the Figure Category. Being drug-free means that any improvement I get is through my own hard work and dedication – that’s important to me.
I watched a friend compete last year in the same comp and was inspired to give it a go. It took a while for me to be sure I could do it, but last December, after much encouragement, I decided that I could and that I really wanted a new personal focus. My training started in January this year.
Q: What targets/goals have you set along the way to check your progress?
There are three really important aspects of competition prep: training, diet and posing. Training begins with ‘foundation’ (training schedule: 2 months/4 times a week), which is all about getting your weightlifting technique consistent and safe. Then you ‘build/gain’ muscle (training schedule: 3 months/6 times a week) and then it’s the ‘cutting’ stage, where you need to cut away the fat to reveal the muscle (training schedule: 6 weeks/twice a day).
Practising the poses is just as important as getting the shape and muscle definition right, so I’ve been working hard at this and making sure I have the mandatory poses nailed so I can then practise some others that show off certain parts that I’m really proud of, such as my calves.
For me, it’s definitely all about breaking down the big targets into small goals that you can tick off and feel really good about. Bodybuilding training is all about consistency and never letting yourself get static, so these small goals fit in perfectly with that ethos.
Q: How do you keep your motivation high on wet/dark mornings to get the gym/go for a run?
This is really interesting because my motivation changes depending on which training stage I’m in. Right now, to kick myself out of bed for that early run or gym session, I picture myself on stage at the competition and I know exactly how I want to/need to look. This gives me something very visual to focus on! But in the muscle gain stage, my motivation was strength, and ‘strength’ meant ‘pull-ups’. Twelve months ago, I couldn’t do a single pull-up – now, I can do 20 – and with weights on me!
Q: Who’s supporting you? Or is this a solo journey?
I’ve got so much amazing support. My boyfriend Grant has been fantastic – he’s had to put up with this taking over my life (our lives) for the last year! I have a coach and a nutritionist – Sid and Georgie at Macs Health. They’re also friends and Macs Health is sponsoring me. Then I have the wonderful Team Green! They’ve been great, always asking how I’m getting on and a few of them will be there cheering for me this weekend. I’m lucky that Leading Edge is also sponsoring me.
Q: What will your pre-comp routine be?
There’s the obvious beauty prep (two tanning sessions and then ‘glazing’) but what people might not realise is how important diet is in the 24 hours before. I have to restrict my fluid intake to dehydrate my muscles and increase definition, then eat a combination of rice cakes, honey and salt on the day to boost my carbs and sugar intake, which will draw out my veins and give me the vascular definition that the judges will look for.
I’m also going to make sure my pre-comp focus is on having some fun! I know I’ve worked so hard for this and really want to enjoy it – and show that I’m enjoying it on stage. It’s really important to smile!
Q: What’s your overall ambition in this?
Finishing in the top 3 on Saturday will get me through to the International stage, but it’s rare for someone in their first year to do that. I agree with my coach that what’s most important is knowing that I’ve improved for each competition, and I’ve definitely done that since June.
I thought I’d just do one year, to see how I got on, but I’ve loved having such a clear personal focus and personal goals – I’ve actually found that this clear focus has crossed over really positively into other areas of my life. I’m pretty sure that I’ll keep going next year… so watch this space!
Tracy is competing in the Figure Category of the UK Championships Qualifier (Heart of England) as part of the UK Drug Free Body Building Association (www.drugfreebodybuilding.co.uk) on Saturday 30th September in Rugby.
Good luck, Tracy!