Maija Kivela - My Journey To Vegas!

Was it not just a month ago I was writing about how I am enjoying my off season and heavy lifting...So funny how my mind changes, I was looking at the mirror and started to think ..Two weeks diet and I could be ready for the competition "so why not, let’s take up the challenge!" I was thinking.  I took my computer and I went straight to the Fitness Universe website. I remembered there will be the Musclemania World championships in Las Vegas. I checked the contest day and I thought, ‘’awesome I will have my two weeks to prepare!!’’

Those two weeks were perhaps the busiest of my life. Entry fees, new bikini, outfit, flights, hotel, diet, hard training and work...There was so much to do. I was so nervous and excited that every day I woke up 4am and just couldn't sleep anymore. But it was worth it, the whole Musclemania weekend was such an amazing experience!

And now you are probably thinking how can someone prepare with only two weeks before the contest?? Well, to be honest I am "preparing" all year round. It is just maintaining the shape, I keep training hard and eating healthy and that way my body is always in pretty good shape all the time. That way it is easier to get on the competition shape. You have to remember I am a bikini competitor and I need to be careful that I am not over conditioned. I have always had quite hard abdominal muscles and today I don’t do as much exercise with my abdominals as I once did.

The first competition in my life I did was Fitness and for that I followed my contest diet a little bit longer, and I had a harder look. I really enjoyed fitness class because of the dance part, but in the future I would like to reach professional level and I was thinking long term which category I wanted to do. Now after long consideration I ended up choosing bikini. There were many reasons including my back injury that affects the dance I can't do all the gymnastics and the other reason is that I like the bikini body look; healthy looking, feminine, well conditioned body. So my target is to develop my body and see how far I can get. Time will show if I will succeed in this sport and maybe get to the professional level.

How did my two weeks competition preparation go?

I increased the intensity of my workouts. I was doing more supersetting and circuit training whilst still trying to use heavy weights...But at the end of the diet the weight I could use dropped a bit.

Every day I was doing high intensity cardio. When I had my carb loading day, I didn't do any cardio. So I was cycling carbohydrates. 4 days low carb, 2 days really low carb and then 1 day carb loading and back to low carb 4 days, really low carb 2 days and finally before my contest again I was "filling" the muscles with carbohydrates which is my favourite part! I absolutely love the evening before where I am allowed to have some pancakes!

And how did it go?

When I arrived in Vegas and I got to my hotel I saw hundreds of amazing bodies and I was thinking wow, this competition will be tough. When the competition day started and I saw these amazing bikini bodies I noticed it was a really high standard bikini class! It was amazing to meet all these wonderful hard working fitness girls and they gave me so much more motivation!  In my category (Bikini Short Class) there were 46 competitors. So the first day we were all showing our best poses and enjoying our time on the stage, it was really fun! At the end of the day we did not know who was going to the finals, because on final day we all were on the stage and top ten girls were called out of the line. After the 7th girl was called I was sure I was not going to the finals but a few seconds later I heard my name, wow! That already felt like winning, I was so surprised and happy of course. To be in the top ten was amazing but I started to feel more nervous as well and the second time competing on the stage was really fun but I wasn't that relaxed in contrast to the first day. However, I felt great and happy because to be in the top 10 was like a dream for me.

And finally... the moment of truth came...top 5 call out...beginning of number 5, not me, number 4 no, that moment I was thinking the game is up...And then 3rd place...I heard my name, yes, they really said my name, the hard work had paid off! The feeling was amazing and so were the winner and the other 4 girls in the top 5. That day was unforgettable. The cheerful spirit and friendly people made my first competition in America a really wonderful experience!

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