Hey Guys, I’ll try to be quick with my intro. I’m Charlotte Coburn, a bikini competitor and EFECTIV AMBASSADOR (no biggy) from Oldham, Manchester. You may also know Kate Linsell a fellow ambassador and all-round inspo. Well yeah, she’s my coach AND got along with me so well that she also employed me at her gym; Heavenly Bodies, Moorside if you ever want to pop by and say hi.

If you don’t already know me (missing out big time)…

You may not have noticed (obvs, cause you don’t know me) but I have a limb deficiency on my left side. I don’t let this affect me or my training and actually rarely chat about it, so lucky you. My biggest pet hate is for people to treat me differently because of it, think that’s why I like competing so much. Everyone just looks at you the same ‘no pre-judgement’. Some people find it inspiring but most the time I forget that I’m any different and just get on with it. Obviously we’ve had to maybe adapt some movements but for most, I can lift exactly the same as you. Who would have thought a deadlift hook has been my life changer. Defo been my best find and made for a killer bio on insta “if captain hook was a female bodybuilder” clever ay… but enough with the sob story, I’ll give you a little background info on how I got into training in the first place.

Not going to lie, I stumbled across It. Gained a little Uni weight, as you do and was hammering the cardio in the hope to ‘lose weight’ and ‘tone up’. I was scared to death of the weights room as the FEAR OF MAKING A MISTAKE scared me in the back of my mind. It wasn’t till I moved gyms (clearly walked into the right one TEAMHB). I saw Kate and other girls that trained there and Instantly was inspired. I HAD to know their secrets and wanted to look as good as that. Turns out there was no big secret, just lack of knowledge on my behalf. I started a plan with Kate in Jan 2018 and never turned back. Got introduced to the beautiful art of lifting weights and got taken through some tear-jerking leg sessions.

I’d never heard about competing before. Seen the beefy male bodybuilders, as I think everyone does. But I’d never heard of all the women’s categories. I was instantly amazed by it, kinda hit me like a ton of bricks. The eager beaver I always am wanted to get my bum (or lack of at that point) on stage. I ended up competing MAKING MY STAGE DEBUT in July 2018 at Pure elite. Walked away with a second and third place plus a pro card and a new passion for being up on stage in a sparkly bikini. I did three other comps later in the year, testing the waters to see where I fit in. I loved the big comps and for sure had big dreams when it came to them. After my last comp of 2018 we planned an offseason, mission grow the booty was in place. Who doesn’t want a bigger bum ay?

Fast forward to the beginning of this year. Again my eager beaver self got the best of me and I wanted to get on stage. A compromise with THE BOSS and we chose 2BROSPRO, ooo biggy. But the later end of the year, aka September time. Gave me the opportunity to push my bulk a little more before entering the exciting fat loss time. ‘Prep’ (as it's called in the run-up to a show) started in March. Long-time to be in the diet phase I know, but girl over here enjoyed her food a little too much in offseason and gained A LOT of unnecessary fat, whoops. Knew I was going to have to lose quite a bit to even fit in on stage, never mind compete for a good placing. The aim for this was never to get into an overall or win a pro card thou, it was just a bit of trial and error to see if I fitted in. Not what most people plan I know, but I’m not normal, just kidding. 2bros being such a big comp and the girls that compete with them are INSANE we thought we’d set an achievable goal.

Prep started off well, the weight was dropping and it all felt amazing. That soon stopped though… them damn scales weren’t playing ball. Felt like I was pushing so hard and nothing was budging. This lead to many tantrums (Sorry, Kate). But in the end, I got the message and just had to keep ticking the boxes, cardio went up, calories went down. Just meant the end result would mean oh so much more and imagine how good that post-show Reeses tasted.

Training throughout prep for me stays the same as it would if I wasn’t on prep. I even train cardio when I’m not on prep CRAZY PERSON. Na I actually really enjoy cardio, near the end though it becomes quite a chore. As you fight that mental demon telling you, you can’t when you know full well you can.

I train weights 6 times a week with one complete rest day. 4 lower and 2 upper, still trying to grow them legs and booty, or at least keep the little I’ve worked so hard to build. Damn this fat loss stage for taking away the parts I want to keep *cry*

EFECTIV IS THE BEST (Do I get brownie points if I put this in my blog)

I’m not actually joking though, as I’m still on prep whilst writing this I’m currently dreaming about that chocolate and peanut butter whey protein in my oats in the morning. Actually made myself very hungry thinking about it, damn.

AMINO LEAN oh my, I actually live for this drink. At first, I was all for the mango flavour but I’ve now moved onto blackcurrant. I would drink it all day long if I could but got to limit myself to just when I train. Obviously it has a nice taste but I do use it for its actual uses. It helps promote weight loss with a caffeine boost, Cla + Green tea. So it's not just a pretty face. AND the fact it only gets taken away from me two days out from the show it basically carries me through prep.

WHEY PROTEIN oh how I miss you so much. Salted caramel, white chocolate, chocolate peanut butter. I just want them all aha. Anyway… as I mentioned before whey protein gets taken out of my diet whilst on prep. Each to their own but we find about 6 weeks away from the show whole foods work miles better with my body. Up to 6 weeks though I use a scoop in my oats (Heavenly if you haven’t tried it) and a scoop after a workout, Blended, with ice, AMAZING. Really saves me from them sweet cravings as it tastes just like an unhealthy milkshake.

I lied, from 6-4 weeks out I use Isolate, My bad. Strawberry is my favourite, but I still get a sweet shake which I’m happy with. Isolate is just a cleaner protein, fewer sugars and additives in case you wondered.

MICELLAR CASEIN my before bed heaven. Can be made into a mousse, hot chocolate or just as a shake, Yummy thou. I’m all for that chocolate flavour with my major sweet tooth. Something to look forward to at the end of the day. Best used then because of its slow digestion and steady release into the bloodstream. So again not just a tasty dessert.

I’M OBSESSED WITH VITAMINS, my vitamin ‘C’ first thing in the morning with my Efectiv Pro-Vit Sport and omega 3. Feel on edge if I don’t have them, not cause they give me a kick or anything. They do me good on the inside so I could say help with good health? I also have ZMA at night time they are said to help with sleep and I fully do agree with it. Can actually tell if I haven’t had them and my sleep is shocking. On prep as well it's so important to get your sleep for recovery so I make sure I’ve stockpiled my ZMA so I’m never had the chance to run out, imagine if I did.

After all that waffling on FINALLY I’ll give you a little insight into the D-Day that some may refer to as show day.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7th 2019 –Aka 2Brospro Regional rumble!

Show day morning was bliss! Don’t think I’ve ever been so chilled going into a comp. We’d (Me and my Mum) travelled down from Manchester too Watford the day before as I had to register, meant that I got a lie in the next day (Show day) so I was happy with that. Then I didn’t even need to be at the venue till 4pm the next day, bliss. So I started my morning lounging around the hotel room watching rubbish TV and eating my first of MANY rice cakes consumed during the day. (If you are what you eat on show day I’d end up a rice cake)

Regular check-ins are sent over to coach 1. Because we need to see how I’m filling out, plus I’m very prone to a bloated tum so gotta keep watch. And 2. I hope I get more carbs to stuff down my face.

As a cost saver (and because I love doing it) I do my own makeup and hair. Competing can be expensive so saving on costs like that can be very savvy especially if you end up doing more than one comp. I do pay for tan though as the stress of that would scare me to death, all the bad fake tan disasters from my younger years come back to haunt me.

I arrived at the venue around 4pm, the men’s categories were the morning and lady’s in the evening with the bikini category being last up.

I love the atmosphere at a competition, it's like no other. Everyone is so appreciative of each other and the lengths they have gone to to get to the stage. Like I know your getting on stage with these people and are competing against them. So you’d expect everyone to be hard-faced rice cake freaks, but its really quite the opposite. I’ve met some great friends for life backstage at comps. Which are forever my biggest fans on the gram from then onwards, GIRL POWER and all that?

We didn’t get on stage till about 7:30 so a long time to be living off rice cakes and a little bit of jam. I say it like it’s a bad thing, I love rice cakes.

I entered 3 categories; junior, intermediate and open bikini AND I can say that I placed in every one of them taking home a medal in each. 2nd 3rd and 4th as well as an invite to the finals the next day. Although it would have been nice to compete at the finals I decided against it, I think a lot of improvements can be made and I’m ready to come back stronger next year with the hope of getting that 1st place baby!

I instead went for a five guys (a common competitors chosen post-show food) and a giant Reece’s piece may have made it to my belly. HONESTLY was sooooooooooo good.

Overall the day was a success. I got what I aimed for and actually placed, wooohoo, I met some friends for life and got some amazing feedback to work on ready to come back next year stronger than ever.

With the help of Efectiv I’m sure the gains will be made, chasing that first place!

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