By Elisa Anderson
MURRYSVILLE, Pa. – A 30-year-old woman competed in the figure division of a natural bodybuilding show in Pittsburgh last Saturday.
As a competitor in a natural bodybuilding show, she and all other athletes were subject to polygraph testing for illegal substance use. Cindy Allan Coniglio had prepared for the show since June 13 by dieting and training vigorously at her home gym. She said she competed in a figure show in April as a preparatory step for the natural show held in Pittsburgh last week.
“I didn’t have a trainer that trains me with weights, but I do have a dietician that works with me,” Coniglio said, “Her name is Jenn Toth, and she is an IFBB pro.”
Coniglio said that Toth told her how to train using different exercises, exercises which involved lifting much lighter weights than required by her prior competitions as a female bodybuilder. Coniglio said she chose to compete as a figure model instead of a bodybuilder for Saturday’s show because of the feminine feeling of wearing high heels and jewelry when being judged on stage.
Coniglio decided to compete in this show due in part to her relation with a friend who was sponsoring the event. As the show drew nearer, she trained differently than past competitions in order to achieve the body shape necessary to get on stage. Coniglio said that she trained differently by limiting small talk and decreasing rest periods between sets. Coniglio’s diet also changed as the show date grew closer.
“The last week I was eating eight times a day, every two hours,” Coniglio said, reflecting on the week prior to the show, “I was eating four ounces of protein. I was eating mainly lean beef and tilapia. My carbs were fairly low last week. I did have about 80 grams a day.”
Coniglio said that this nutrition information was supplied by Jenn Toth. Coniglio also mentioned that she cut vegetables from her diet three days prior to the show because they cause the body to retain water, which makes the body look too full in appearance.
“The most difficult part of dieting, natural or non-natural, for me is nighttime and weekends,” Coniglio said, “Nighttime, when you’re sitting down relaxing and watching reality shows like I do, I have to snack so I usually just go to bed.” She mentioned that in order to avoid these prime time cravings she would try to keep busy by spending time with her husband.
From start to finish, Congilio lost 21 pounds. She began the diet at 155 pounds and walked onto stage at 124 pounds. Coniglio said she had been looking forward to her first real meal after competing Saturday, which comprised of protein bars on the way to Ihop. At the restaurant she said she enjoyed “a grilled chicken sandwich, seasoned French fries with nut pancakes topped with cream cheese frosting.”
Coniglio said she looks forward to a vacation trip in Las Vegas on Tuesday to relax, and she plans to compete again in the figure division of the NPC Pittsburgh show to be held in May of 2011.
More information regarding the NPC qualifications and competitions can be obtained at firstname.lastname@example.org.