Thursday, May 18, 2017

Kelsey DeCamillis - Physique Competitor Debut

Physique competitor Kelsey DeCamillis stepped on stage for the first time at the 2016 Popeye's Fall Classic. Following is a brief recap of her contest experience.

Best advice for someone prepping for a first show?

Make sure you hire a great coach! Do your research because I think health and wellness come first above all else. It is imperative to find a knowledgeable and supportive coach who has your back 100%. I'm so grateful to have an excellent coach guiding me with his expertise - Darren Toma of Custom Built Training. His wife Lara has been an incredible support as well with posing and stage presence.  

Be sure to keep supportive friends and family close by and surround yourself with good vibes only. Expect many obstacles and be able to critically think and problem solve as issues come up. Be sure to have a post-show plan in place as well. Reach out to fellow competitors and talk to athletes who have been through it before. 

With knowing that you're pushing your body and mind to the max, there will be some days that will feel great and other days may not. There is a huge psychological component to this and being mentally prepared is key. The accomplishment in the end is all worth it, so keep grinding and push yourself to the limit. Always be kind to yourself and no matter what, enjoy the process and have fun!


Kelsey DeCamillis


What were you feeling and thinking the first time you hit the stage? Any feelings of nervousness?

I definitely experienced some anxious feelings but also was very excited! Taking some deep breaths beforehand helped calm me down and as I walked out to the stage, I kept reminding myself to hit the poses and transitions right, just like in practice, and keep smiling of course! As soon as I got out there and started posing, it felt great and the nerves went away. The whole day and experience was amazing. I can't wait to do it again.

Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?

I don't think so. It definitely crossed my mind that I need to be in a different job if I do another contest prep, however it wasn't feasible to make a job change during prep. The way things were set up with where I was working at the time, and also the immense amount of commuting I was doing just made everything extra challenging and exhausting. I was so determined though it didn't matter and I just did everything I could to execute the prep as best I could. I really feel like I did the best that I could.

What do you feel you need to focus on for your next show?

I would like to work more on perfecting my posing, routine, and stage presence. For physique goals, I would like to see my upper body better balanced with my lower body and also to improve on overall conditioning. I want to also put a lot more effort into recovery from training sessions.


Kelsey DeCamillis


Biggest challenge of the entire process?

Commuting three plus hours a day on transit, dealing with daily commentary from people at work and people on transit, and most days were 18-20 hours long. Pushing through sleep deprivation and exhaustion was really difficult and concerning as I knew stress levels needed to be kept low as well as keeping on top of recovery. It was incredibly tough getting everywhere I needed to be with the way things were set up but there was no other way around it and I was so determined to do my absolute best for my first show.

What show is next on your agenda?

BC Championships at the Vancouver Pro/Am & Expo - July 8-9, 2017.

Where can we see more of you or follow you?

Instagram

Facebook

If you're in the Vancouver area, come visit me at xFuel in Kitsilano to say hello!

Click here to see our Kelsey photo montage on YouTube.

Click here to read our previous feature on Kelsey. 




Friday, March 24, 2017

Figure Phenom Shay Niessen

You say you've never heard of Shay Niessen? 

Then it's time you found out who this figure phenom is. 

The 24-year-old started in bikini, but transitioned to figure. On March 18, 2017, Shay made her figure debut. Not only did she step on stage as a first-time figure competitor, but to add a huge exclamation mark, she walked away as the figure overall champ. That's how you make a debut. 


Shay Niessen - Figure Overall Champ


What are your stats?

Just under 5-6 tall; competition weight 140-145 lbs; off-season heaviest I've ever held was around 163 lbs. However, more consistent off season I'm usually around 155 lbs.

Why did you move from bikini to figure? 

I started in bikini because I was new to the fitness industry – more specifically the competing industry. I did tons and tons of research, but I was still a "baby" and had a lot to learn. My shoulders grew very fast and I always had figure in my heart from day one. 

Bikini is beautiful, but if you know me in person, I don't have the persona. I'm kind of a tomboy at heart, so I really had to practice the twists and turns and hair flips and such (haha). The muscle required for figure always captured my interest. I find it so incredible and there are so many figure physiques I look up to. 

With that being said, I took around 2.5 years off to grow, grow, grow. I became really interested in powerlifting and focused on eating and lifts for a long time. I also took the time off to focus on building a life and career. Competing takes up a lot of time in your life AND MONEY. I said the next time I compete I want to be 200% mentally and financially ready. 

How old were you when you did your first show? 

I believe I was 21-22 years 


"I remember always liking photos of tiny, tiny models until I came across a female bodybuilder on Instagram and I was in awe."

How did you get started lifting weights and training? 

I was always interested in nutrition. I would use all my free time at university spending hours and hours researching what foods were good for the body and the benefits of each. I would experiment with different "diets" etc. However, I was in university and of course I partied etc. and lived quite an unhealthy lifestyle. 

One day I was really tired of it. I remember always liking photos of tiny, tiny models until I came across a female bodybuilder on Instagram and I was in awe. I couldn't believe someone could look like that. I remember being like, "Damn, this girl is not superhuman which means I can do that too."

I started YouTubing different bodybuilders and how they ate etc. and it all stemmed from there and I never looked back.

What is your profession?

I work for a builder/developer for condos and homes. I do everything AFTER sales from lawyers, to final closing, PDI’s, dealing with trades, etc. 

What's one thing about you that people would be surprised to know? 

I made a bet with my friends that I could be a raw vegan for three months and I did it. No cooking food. Nothing. Just fruit and veggies. Twenty plus bananas a day sometimes (LOL). 

What are your goals as a competitor?

My only goal is to keep getting better and better for myself. Bring an entirely new package when I decide to go on stage. I want to BRING something to the stage each time I go on.

"Goofy. As. F*ck."

What three words best describe you?

Goofy. As. F*ck.

Favorite curse word?

F*ck for sure. See comment above

Were you athletic growing up? 

Yes! Used to compete in 100m sprints, basketball, volleyball, soccer and dance. 

What do you think is the strongest part of your physique?

I won't lie. I love my delts. 

Favorite female competitor and why? 

Oh boy, there are literally so many I look up to. 

What's your favorite cheat meal? 

Sushi, followed by Menchie's stacked with white chocolate, peanut butter, Reese's, Oreos, and Nanaimo bars (LOL).

If you could look into the future and see yourself at age 50, what would you want to see?

I want to be one of those badass healthy moms who get up at 5 AM for a jog and come home to slay the kitchen and prepare a healthy breakfast for my beautiful kids and husband and my 2-3 dogs… and then also comes home and drinks red wine and eats pizza in bed.

If you had an all expenses paid weekend trip to anywhere in the world, where do you go and who do you take with you?

I want to travel EVERYWHERE.

Find Shay on social media and follow her journey. 

Instagram

Youtube

Twitter: @shayniessen

Medium.com/shayniessen





Shay Niessen - Great Biceps!





Sunday, March 19, 2017

Young Gunz - Sarah Sangha, Figure Competitor

Figure competitor Sarah, competing for just the first time at the 2017 Leigh Brandt Muscle Classic, finished third in her class. 


Let's start with your stats.

I'm 20; 5-4 3/4 height; I weighed 120 pounds for my show and about 135 pounds off-season.

What was the experience like hitting the stage for your first show?

It was really nerve wracking. The whole time I was up there it felt like my heart was just racing, but it was amazing.


"I liked being big and muscular and being able to intimidate people, so hanging out in the gym kind of kept that going."


How long have you been training and what motivated you to start?

A couple of years ago for bodybuilding, but not for show purposes. For show purposes it was a few months ago.

This all started because I was kind of one of the boys. I liked being big and muscular and being able to intimidate people, so hanging out in the gym kind of kept that going.

What was the most challenging part of training for your first show?

I think the most challenging part of my first show was just getting over the nerves of getting up there. I enjoyed the diet and I love training so that was easy for me. 


Were you athletic growing up? 

I grew up on a farm, so I was extremely athletic. Always out with the dogs, chasing animals, doing whatever. I played some sports in high school, but other than that, I wasn't one of those soccer kids. 


What is your profession or job?

I work for Fuel, a supplement company. As well I work in a pub, so a very busy girl. 


Sarah Sangha



Favorite female competitor and why? 

Nicole Wilkins and Dana Lynn Bailey. They're both really motivating and strong women and gorgeous and they always do their best at everything. 


What three words best describe you?

I'm extremely outgoing. I can be really funny but most of the time awkward. And I'm just fun to be around.


Best advice for someone training for a first show?

Do it for you. Enjoy the road and you're going to learn a lot about yourself. 

Find Sarah Sangha on social media.

YouTube

Instagram

Facebook


Sarah Sangha






Monday, February 27, 2017

Lauren Brigham - Figure Competitor

What are your stats?

Age 29; 5’6" tall; competition weight 130-135 lbs; off-season 145-150 lbs.


What is your profession?


Personal trainer, sports massage therapist.


How did you get started lifting weights and training? 


My middle school nickname was chunky monkey which gave me the motivation to lose weight and become athletic. I started personal training at 18 and became intrigued with the competitive lifestyle. I competed in my first show when I was 24 and I've been hooked since.  



Lauren Brigham

What inspired you to start competing?


I loved the dedication and purpose of the competitive lifestyle. I wanted to find that purpose and dedication for myself.  


Were you athletic growing up? 


I played soccer and ran track in high school, but really became interested in health and fitness in college. 


What are your goals as a competitor?


To better myself and improve every season. To feel proud and accomplished each year on stage. 


What's your favorite cheat meal? 


I absolutely love sushi! 



Lauren Brigham

What's one thing about you that people would be surprised to know? 


I am obsessed with mini pigs. I just adore pigs so much - no idea why. 


Favorite female competitor?


Nicole Wilkins. She is simply an amazing and beautiful competitor. 


Your home is burning down. Family and pets have all made it to safety. You have one chance to go back in and save just one item. What do you save?


I would save my huggie. It's a little pillow I just can't sleep without 


What three words best describe you?


Passionate, genuine and hardworking. 


Where can we see more of you?


Facebook


Instagram


Snapchat: @lebrigs

Check out Lauren's YouTube video. 



Lauren Brigham