All posts by Kimberly

3 Types of Bulking

Now that the shows are winding down for the year, many competitors are beginning what’s called “the bulking season.”

Bulking is the period of time when a competitor strategically eats more food, lifts heavier, and puts on weight for a cut closer to show.

For new Figure, Bikini, or Wellness competitors, this process can go extremely wrong.

Before I tell you how it can be a disaster, here are the 3 types of bulking:

Clean Bulk

A clean bulk is where you methodically increase calories over the prep season to steadily gain about .5 to 1 pound per week. You need these additional calories to build muscle. These additional calories should come from clean whole foods.

Dirty Bulk

A dirty bulk is where you eat whatever, whenever, and without tracking macros or calorie intake. Even though this method will bring in the amount of calories needed to put on muscle…

You could end up packing on way more fat and increase water weight due to inflammation. One thing to note, it’s hard to lose body fat!

Ideally, you want to be between 18-20% body fat before starting your prep.

Lean Bulk

Wait, how do you get lean and bulk at the same time? If this process is done right, you’ll be able to increase calories and ditch the fluffy weight gain.

Here is an example of what happens during 8 weeks of lean bulking…

My client Jo, went from 151 to 140 pounds and GAINED muscle in her glutes & hamstrings!


You need to understand the lean bulk if you don’t want to add unnecessary weeks to your prep. I’ll be talking more about this and the whole stage process during my upcoming 3-Day Virtual Contest Prep Workshop, December 11-13, 2020.

Click here to register. <<< Pre-Sale Save 75%

5 Competition Myths Debunked

Will you gain a ton of weight after a competition? Is Peak Week really that horrible? To lose weight, do competitors eat 1200 calories a day? Get the real deal on these common misconceptions newbies have about preparing for a competition.

Myth 1: After a competition, you gain back all the weight you lost.

Part of this is true. You should expect to gain some weight after your show. This is usually all the water that you shed right before your show. It is important to get back to a pre-contest level of health, fitness, and weight.  Your coach or online program should include a 4-Week post contest transition to avoid unnecessary weight gain.

Myth 2: The more cardio you do, the leaner you get.

Cardio plays a part in fat loss if done in the right heart rate zones. Just doing more cardio will not guarantee your body fat or weight will go down. How much cardio depends on your actual body fat & water level (you can find this out with an Inbody or BodPod test), how much you need to lose, and how many weeks you have until your show. There are 2 basic types of cardio competitors need to reach the right level of conditioning–high intensity interval training (HIIT) and low intensity steady state (LISS).  An experienced coach or trusted fitness professional can help you map out a realistic weight, cardio, and nutrition program to get the best results on stage.

Myth 3: Competitors eat about 1200 calories (or less) for most of their prep.

Yes, there are many new competitors out  there eating 1200-ish calories everyday. Unless you weigh 90 pounds that is not enough food to put on (and maintain) muscle, reduce body fat, and have enough energy to get through your workouts. How many calories you consume are based on your actual basal metabolic rate (BMR), exercise calorie expenditure, and phase of training (growth, maintenance, conditioning, etc). Calorie count is only part of the puzzle. Mastering your macros and knowing how to adjust them throughout your prep will yield over 70% of the results you achieve on stage.

Myth 4: Peak Week is horrible for all competitors.

I’m not going to lie, the final week or so of any contest prep is a challenge. The only way it will be horrible is if you are following a cookie cutter peak plan. The kind of program that cuts your calories and water extremely low that you get weak, cranky, and too tired to reach the finish line. If you have had a solid prep, the final week should be exciting and fun.

Myth 5: Eating carbs will make you gain weight and increase body fat.

For some reason, carbs have gotten a bad rap with new competitors. The truth is, you need carbs to provide the energy necessary to train at a competitive level. You don’t want to totally cut carbs from your diet during prep. There are many ways to structure your carb intake to support your training needs. For the most optimal level of conditioning, a combination of carb cycling, re-feeding, and restriction will be most effective.

Do you have more questions about the process of competing? Or do you want to learn how to build a competitive physique without stepping on stage?

Contact me for competitor or non-competitor coaching or check out my self-directed contest prep course here.

At Home Prep Exercises

Contest Prep Secrets now includes a BONUS At-Home workout program! You can use it if you don’t have access to a gym or if you are wanting to train a home a bit longer. This is just a sample of the dozens of home exercises in the workouts.

The Workout

1️⃣ Balance Ball DB Squats (hack squat) 3×12 slow tempo

2️⃣ Elevated Knee-In’s 3×15 ea (Roman chair crunches)

3️⃣ Balance Ball DB Press3x15 (flat bench or smith press) slow tempo

4️⃣ Sissy Squats 3×15 (front squats or leg press) slow tempo

What ladies are saying about my competitor home workouts…







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Stop trying to lose weight!

I get alot of emails from women who are trying to lose weight for a show or just want to look and feel better in their own skin…

But are frustrated because they are experiencing slow (or no) weight loss.

The reason why they may be struggling is because the scale is NOT the best way to track progress. Frankly, you should stop trying to lose weight!

I tell my clients to focus on their body composition.

The main component of composition is body fat.

Your body fat percentage determines your overall shape and size. Just 1% body fat reduction could mean 1-2 inches off your abs!

For example, my client Kieu started her coaching program 2 months ago.

At 126.8 pounds, she didn’t think her body fat could be over 28%—but it was.

Today, I wanted to share her progress to encourage you to rethink your goals and maybe even how you are training & dieting…

In case you can’t read the reports below, here’s her results:

-Lost 5.6% body fat

-Gained 3.8 pounds of muscle (Skeletal Muscle Mass)

-Lost 1.8 pounds

-4 inches off her abs!

If we had used the scale to determine results…

Kieu might have felt discouraged because she ONLY lost 1.8 pounds!

But when the goal is changing the shape of your body (composition)—measurements, body fat, and how you look are important things to monitor during your program.

Here are 4 tips that helped Kieu accelerate her fat loss:

1- Swapped out all processed meals for calorie and nutrient dense foods high in fiber. This kept her feeling full and reduced sugar cravings.

2- Followed a diet higher in protein to gain muscle mass (she gained 3.8 pounds of muscle). The more muscle you have, the more fat you can burn!

3- Structured her weights and cardio program to maximize the fat burning zone (its really tricky to do).

4- Tracked her calories burned vs. consumed. Kieu wore a HR monitor, tracked her workout calories, and logged her food online to stay within a NET range proven to melt the max fat!

I hope her success helps you see where you need to make changes in your overall plan and how you track progress 🙂

If you need help setting up a progressive program focused on losing body fat, schedule a complimentary call today.

Gluten Free Apple Crisp


For the apple mixture:

1 tbs cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
5 medium apples, (split between granny smith and honey crisp apples)

Optional: 1 tbs honey/agave nectar, 1 tbs Walden’s Farms Maple Syrup, or 2 packets teaspoons Truvia brown sugar

For the crumble:

1 cup old fashioned gluten-free oats
1/2 cup almond flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
2-4 tbs honey (or other sweetener above)
2-3 tbs almond milk
2 T coconut oil, melted


Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Peel and core the apples then cut them into thin slices.

Put the apples into an 8 x 8 baking dish, then toss with the cinnamon and nutmeg. Make sure all the apples are coated and there are no dry bits of spice anywhere.

Add honey or other sweetener to taste.

Set the apples aside, and in a medium bowl, combine the oats, almond flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.

Add the melted coconut oil, honey or other sweetener, and almond milk.

Stir until everything is completely coated. The mixture should be slightly sticky but not watery at all. If it looks a bit watery, just add a little almond flour or oats to soak up the moisture. If it’s too dry, just add some more honey or almond milk. The key here is to make sure the entire mixture is coated so it can all bake together.

Once the crumble is ready, sprinkle it over the apples.

Place it into the oven and cook for 40 minutes, or until the top looks browned and crispy.

Can top with dairy free whip or ice-cream.

Recipe makes about 8-10 servings.

Macros (per serving):

Calories: 165
Protein: 3g
Carbohydrates: 25g
Fat: 7g
Fiber: 4g

Love this recipe?

Learn more about my training and nutrition programs here: 

Sweet Potato Casserole


  • 2 cups  sweet potatoes (yams – try to find ones that are about the same size, so they cook evenly)
  • .75 cup raw pecan pieces, divided
  • 1/4 cup Walden’s Maple Syrup (optional)
  • 1 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt, divided
  • 1 tablespoons liquid coconut oil, divided
  • 1/3 cup Unsweetened Silk or other coconut milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 1 large egg or small egg


Preheat oven to 400 F.

Poke the sweet potatoes several times with a sharp knife or fork and roast in the oven until soft, about 45 minutes to 1 hour depending upon the size of the potatoes.

Let the sweet potatoes cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Split them and scrape out the flesh into a bowl; discard the peels. Lower the oven to 375 F.

Make the topping: Pulse 1/2 of pecans in a food processor or blender until they are ground into a meal. Add the maple syrup (if using), 1/2 cinnamon, a pinch of salt, and 1/2 tablespoon of the coconut oil and process until blended. Mix the remaining half of the pecan pieces in by hand.

Put the sweet potato flesh into the food processor or blender (you don’t need to wash the food processor between making the topping and sweet potato filling) and process with the coconut milk and the remaining 1/2  tablespoon of coconut oil. Alternately, you can mash with a potato masher, but the texture will be somewhat smoother if you use a food processor or hand mixer.

Add the remaining cinnamon, the nutmeg, salt, and the black pepper and more Walden’s maple syrup, if desired.

When the seasonings are to your taste, add the egg and blend.

Spread sweet potato mixture in a lightly oiled baking dish and sprinkle pecan topping over the top. Bake until the topping starts to brown, 10 to 20 minutes.

Macros: (Makes 6 servings)

190 calories

21g carbs

10g fat

2.5g protein

1g sugar

3g fiber

Cooking/Recipe Note: You can add 1-2 teaspoon of Truvia Brown Sugar (5-10 calories) to sweeten the recipe vs. Walden’s Farms or in addition.

Like this recipe?

Check out my training and nutrition programs:

No Bake Rocky Road Bars



  • 2 cups oats
  • 4 scoops Beverly Rocky Road UMP
  • ¼ cup Truvia
  • 1 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup almond butter
  • ¾ cup water
  • ½ cup Walden Farm’s Marshmallow Cream (opt)
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts (or any nuts of your choice)


  • Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  • Then add wet ingredients and combine well.
  • Mix well. Mixture will look dry and crumbly but keep pressing it into cookie dough like texture to ensure all the almond butter is distributed evenly.
  • Line an 8X8 dish with wax paper and place contents in the dish.
  • Press the mixture down firmly.
  • Place dish in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  • Remove and cut into 8 bars.

Nutritional: Per Bar

Calories 174 | Carbs 18g | Protein 20g | Fat 4g | Sugar 2g| Fiber 2g

Get all 12 Protein Dessert & Shake Recipes in Figure & Bikini Diets – Save $50 instantly with promo code: diets50  (Reg. $97)

3 ways to jump start your prep (free plan)

Whether you’re starting to prep for the first time, need a quick refresher on the basics, or just want to learn more about living a competitive lifestyle—this post is for you!

3 Ways to Jump Start Your Prep

1. Download your FREE Sample Pre-Contest Program

You can begin a competitive lifestyle with these FREE workouts & Meal Plan! The full 6-Week program includes the yummy Banana Bread Recipe option in Meal 4. This program will NOT be available much longer, save $200 and grab it before it’s gone!



2. Schedule a FREE Pre-Contest Strategy Session

You can schedule a detailed 30 minute phone or video chat with me to pinpoint your training & nutrition needs and when you could be ready to step on stage!



3. Join our FREE Figure & Bikini Facebook Group

You don’t have to prep alone! Get tips, support, and motivation in our private competitor community of over 1500 amazing ladies!

2 Fat Burning Circuits to Get You Lean


Circuit # 1 – 3 sets, 2 min cardio in between sets

Jump rope 50-100 revolutions

Ball side squats 10 ea side

Rope tricep extensions 15 reps

Pop squats 20 reps

Circuit #2 – 3 sets, 2 min cardio in between sets

Kneeling pull downs 15 reps

Hip ups 15

Toe taps 50-100

BB hang clean to press 15

Like this workout?

You can train with me in my Springfield VA studio, click here

You can train with me online, click here

Plank Single Arm Cable Rows

One way to fire up your core is add a balance component to your exercises. To get a double dose of core burn, try this new move. Set the cable machine low to the floor and use moderate weight you can complete the exercise reps below with good form. Watch the video below to get a full description of the exercise.

Complete 3 sets of 10-12 reps per arm.  Get my complete contest prep training program that will build your core for the stage.