Nicki Bell – World Champion Miami Pro Testimonial
So here we have it people… The story of Nicki Bell becoming a World Champion Miami Pro winner – Coached by Daniel Wheeler – Life Changing Fitness.
Where do i start… I suppose the beginning is always a good place
9 weeks out of from the competition Nicki approached me and asked me if i would coach and prepare her for the Miami Pro Bikini & Yummy Mummy championships. Nicki and I have always been close online acquaintances and she knew all about me and what i did for my clients. However, she also knew that i had never coached anyone into show condition, so this was new for me and, quite frankly, a brave move for Nicki. Lets face it, 9 weeks out from a competition and you decide to change your coach to someone who has no experience in show prep…. thats a gamble to say the least!
However, regardless of actual show prep, Nicki was aware of my knowledge and expertise in the field of fitness and fat loss, so its not like she was asking for help from a novice coach.
So why did she change coach and what happened next?
When Nicki and I first sat down to discuss the following 9 weeks plan, there were some obvious things i needed to know about her and her current diet/training. This is where things get quite controversial…. bear with me.
Nicki had come to me from a “professional coach”. Here you are probably wondering “why on earth did Nicki leave a professional coach for someone who has never prepped someone for a show?”…. well the answer is simple – Health & progression.
When Nicki and I first sat down and we went through her full bio briefing, the more she told me the more and more my jaw fell to the floor and the more worried I got
- Nicki was eating Carbs and Proteins but hardly any fat!
- Her caloric intake was terribly low for her BMR & body type.
- She was ONLY eating 1,400 calories a day – again, with very little dietary essential fats.
- Her menstrual cycle had stopped….. yes STOPPED!
- She was doing hours and hours of cardio a week, AS WELL AS weight training daily.
- She was feeling tired all the time and her sleep patterns were terrible.
- The list of issues was actually pretty long…. but you get the gist of it, she was screwed!
My first impressions, although i didn’t tell Nicki this at the time, was – “I’m taking on a client who is in serious hormonal shut down….9 weeks out from competing in a show where she has to look lean, healthy and fit. Later that day, Nicki sent me her baseline measurements and photos and, again, i was worried. Her muscles were flat and she still had to lean out quite a bit before show day.
Putting all that to one side – i jumped straight over to the Miami Pro website to find out what we needed to achieve in order to even be in comparison to the other girls on stage…
Their physique should be lean with minimal body fat, but should not display significant muscle size, separation or striation. Abdominal definition is expected but a ripped “six pack” is not to be visible. This category is perfect for those who are not as lean & toned as the Fitness Model category or do not have as much muscle definition as the Figure category. Models in Ms. Bikini must be in shape and have an attractive look and physique that is marketable in the Fitness industry.
What Judges are looking for:
A complete package.
* Models with a lean and toned body.
* An attractive healthy look that is marketable in the Fitness industry.
* The ability to pose on stage in flattering ways.
* Great stage presence and confidence.
* Bikinis that suit the model and that shows off their body.
* Eye catching bikinis that suits the model.
* An evenly applied tan.
This category is perfect for those who want to show off that mums can still be fit, toned and sexy! Mums in this category must be in shape and have an attractive look and physique that is marketable in the Fitness industry. There is not one type of look that is preferred in this category but what suits the competitor and the overall package. Their physique should be lean with minimal body fat, but should not display significant muscle size, separation or striation. Abdominal definition can be visible but a ripped “six pack” is not to be visible.
What Judges are looking for:
* A complete package.
* Mums with a lean and toned body
* An attractive healthy look that is marketable in the Fitness industry
* The ability to pose on stage in flattering ways
* Great stage presence and confidence
* Bikinis that suit the competitor and that shows off their body
* Eye catching bikinis
* An evenly applied tan
So, I needed to bring her onto stage fit, healthy, without ab definition, however still be lean. A tricky brief actually…. low body fat, without visible abs isn’t as easy as it may sound. The two go hand in hand.
The reality of the situation, however, was simple for me. Again, i didn’t tell Nicki this at the time… I genuinely didn’t care about the competition for the first month – her health was my FIRST priority and my ONLY priority at that point. I was seriously concerned she was facing metabolic damage and menstrual issues.
So what was the plan over the next 9 weeks?
Simple – Health, health and health. Like i said, the competition wasn’t a priority for me at this stage. I had to get her eating essential fats… and fast! With only 9 weeks to go, there was a lot of work that the diet had to do. I upped her calories and introduced a large variety of fats, proteins and got her on a carb cycling plan. The other immediate step was to STOP ALL CARDIO. The last thing i needed her to do was burn any more energy that was going to further lower her metabolism. The main reason Nicki wasn’t seeing any progress, prior to starting with me, was that her body was shutting down – metabolism wise and hormonally.
So, long story short, and without giving away any of my secrets. For the next 9 weeks i worked on slowly upping her calories, adding in fats, stopping all cardio, changing the way she was lifting and increased her rest days. I needed to ensure that her body was under as little stress as possible – considering she was dieting and competition training.
So with all this in mind… here is the evidence of how these changes in her prep visually looked. I will let you read Nicki’s own testimonial (below), so you can read how she actually felt and reacted to it hormonally. (click on the image to enlarge)
You will see that even within the first week there was a significant change in her reaction to the new diet. From week 4 onwards i am pleased, and proud, to say that she was starting to look like she could walk on stage and actually do well.
It was at week 6 that things started to really change for Nicki and her training. Her feedback to me was positive daily. The most important thing for me was that her menstrual cycle was back up and running…. superb! It was at this point i knew her hormones were getting back to normal and I could then focus on show prep.
I changed up her training significantly, however, she was still doing ZERO cardio at this point. Nicki was doing HIIT training, however i don’t class this as cardio in the traditional sense, or what she was doing before…. hours and hours on a treadmill/bike at a steady pace.
Nicki was getting stronger week in week out. We met up for Personal Training and took the intensity levels to a whole new ball park. Her calories continued to rise and she even had a few cheat meals leading into the final weeks.
So, what did her stats looks like throughout the 9 weeks?
Well, she leaned out significantly however her weight didn’t change that much. What do we conclude from this…? Simple – body fat reduction and muscle gain, in its simplest explanation.
Nicki had: -
- 0.3cm on her left calf
- 0.1cm on the right calf
- The point to note here is that both calfs weren’t the same size – unsymmetrical! They are now!
- 3.5cm on her left quad
- 3.5cm on her right quad
- Maintaining symmetry!
- 1cm on her chest – under and below her bust line
- 2cm on both biceps
- 1cm on both forearms
- 0.5cm on her neck
- 4cm off her waist
- 1.5cm off her hips
So the areas of her body we wanted to get smaller, got smaller! The areas of her body we wanted to get bigger, got bigger! Despite all this… her weight only went down by 1.3kg.
All that in just 9 weeks! Oh, and its also important to note that the competition was on the 9th of April and the last weeks of stats i asked for were 2 weeks out from competition. This is important to note, as her final stats were NOT her show day stats – for any skeptics out there who may claim that all those stats was just water retention!
So, thats the background…. how did she actually do on the day?
She smashed it! Nicki placed 3rd in Bikini Tall Class and become World Champion in Yummy Mummy.
As Nicki explains below, in her testimonial, her stage performance coach told her (the week she started with me) that there was no chance she’d place in her current condition. She just wasn’t lean enough and didn’t have enough definition for the classes she wanted to enter.
In 9 weeks…. we changed all that and Nicki Bell became World Champion Yummy Mummy for Miami Pro 2013
Nicki – you made me a very proud coach that day!
I’d like to publicly state that Nicki was a dream to work with. She did as she was asked to do with zero complaints. She placed a lot of faith in my hands. I asked her to do things that went against things previous coaches told her not to do, but she did it and everything paid off. To this day, i’ve never trained a client as hard as Nicki and still have them asking for more! Her drive, determination and spirit is second to none. You are going to go far Nicki…. very far indeed! Well done!
Know it, Feel it, Live it
Below are some images of the competition, a video and also Nicki’s full testimonial – in her own words how she found the competition prep with Life Changing Fitness.
Nicki Bell’s full testimonial
When I started with Dan, 9 weeks out from my first competition, I was erring on the skinny soft side, my monthly cycle had stopped and I had just been told by my stagecoach that if I didn’t sort it out, I was never going to place top 5 at the Miami Pro World Championships on April 7th. Dan’s priority, however, was my health. He increased my calories, over time, from 1400 to 2000 and added fats and carbs into my diet. I also started carb cycling for the first time which I really enjoyed. After just a week, there was a noticeable difference in my strength and overall well-being – I felt great!
Dan adjusted my nutrition and training plan on a weekly basis, dependent on my statistics and we kept going from there. Training 1:1 with Dan was also a great but slightly scary experience! Every time I felt like giving up, he would scream, “How badly do you want this, Nicki?” The entire gym would turn around so obviously I would keep going! I spoke to him every week, after I had received my amended plan and he was always at the end of the phone, whenever I needed him. One week before the competition, I went into meltdown and started to think I couldn’t do it and Dan dropped everything and called me straight away. This is what you need from a coach, especially during those last weeks, when the diet has turned your brain to mush and you become a bit of an emotional retard.
I also received a huge parcel in the post! It was a bag and tracksuit that Dan had made especially for me for competition day! It was such an amazing thing to do and just spurred me on even more!
On the day, Dan rocked up with biggest goody bag ever! I still have one of the ginormous Galaxy bars in my fridge, there was so much of it! I don’t still have the bottle of champagne though, that didn’t last 24 hours! :) Dan was there like a proud Dad! When I came on to the stage, I could hear him screaming my name, it made all the difference – knowing your coach is there is as important as knowing your family is there supporting you; it means that he believes in you 100%.
The results? I came 3rd in Ms Bikini Tall and I came FIRST in Yummy Mummy which was the most amazing feeling ever – especially as my daughter was there to cheer me on. So, the proof is in the pudding (or should that be protein bar? ) Dan CAN prep a female for competition, despite having never competed himself – there were many critics who said he couldn’t! Well, we proved them wrong! I am so grateful for everything that Dan did for me and know that I now have a friend for life! Thank you, Dan – the man that CAN!
The Miami Pro Bikini & Yummy Mummy video