GETFOXFIT | IFBB Bikini Fitness Athlete & Kidney Cancer Survivor Lisanne Keir

Contest Prep | Weight Training | Fitness Motivation | Nutrition & Healthy Living Inspiration


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4 weeks out (Bikini Competition Prep) – Focus, Self Control, Discipline and the Marshmallow Experiment

IFBB athlete's - Lisanne and Maarten Vos (www.getfoxfit)

Stats:

Lisanne

Weight: 52kg

Body fat: 12.5%

Maarten

Weight: 87kg

Body fat: 6.1%

 

A new month, new beginnings and a new focus.  

And with a new focus comes increased drive, motivation and determination.

With both my husband and I at 4 weeks out of our upcoming competition (Enercup) it is time to really step up our game, focus on our goals for this contest and bring the best physique and “package” that we possibly can.

We are both blessed to share a love of bodybuilding and compete together.  5 years ago, when Maarten started developing an interest in bodybuilding, I really wasn’t that into working out, fitness or food.  I would go to the gym, but that was about it.  I was physically at the gym and doing something, but it wasn’t training in the slightest, it was basically just moving and having the feeling that I ‘did something’.  He, on the other hand, would push himself.  It was his drive and motivation that really inspired me – seeing how he trained and how he was extremely conscious of what he ate.  He was strict and I could see the progress he was making… that’s when the switch changed in my head – ‘If he can change his body through weight trainings and food, then I wonder what I could do’.

The rest is history as they say.

Back to the here and now.  

A learning for me these past few weeks has been that I really thrive on having a ‘focus’.  I’ve found “maintenance mode” quite difficult in the sense that I don’t just like to drift.  I want to work, and I want to work hard.  I want to push myself as much as I see my husband push himself.  And maintenance mode, as nice and easy as that sounds, can take a toll on you emotionally.

After my weekly check in with The Boss / Coach, Jerry Koolhoven, last week, we set new goals and this gave me a clear focus.  I was ready to put in the hard work.  At 4/5 weeks out it was time to push further and really give it that extra.

My goal is to stand on that stage and know that I have done ALL that I can – whether that means sticking to my food, or putting in the time at the gym (every single minute of cardio, every single bead of sweat, every single rep with weights), or making sure I get enough rest.

No one can do the work for you – all you can do is make your own decisions, do it yourself and do your best.  As much as I am accountable to my coach, I am accountable to myself, and I don’t want to let either down.

This week has been one of my favourites so far.  The stage is clearly in sight, things are getting real, I know what I have to do and had more motivation and determination this week than any others over the past months.

It may sound weird, but I love the ‘struggle’ you sometimes have to go through – especially when it comes to nutrition and food.  Staying on point and having that wonderful fulfilled feeling of going to bed at the end of the day knowing that you stuck to the plan.

The struggle shows you just how much strength, self control and willpower you can have if you set your mind to it, which leads me to something that has come across my path a few times this past week – the Stanford Marshmallow Experiment.

This study, conducted in the 1960s, gave nursery school kids a treat (marshmallow, pretzel or cookie) and offered them the following deal – 1) eat it straight away or 2) wait 15 mins and get an extra treat.  The conclusion from this experiment was that the kids who had shown the ability to wait got better grades, were healthier, enjoyed greater professional success, and proved better at relationships.

I find it so interesting that this characteristic can be found in early childhood, but I do believe self control (and making the conscious decision to be self controlled) can take place at any age.  Believe me, I wasn’t always that disciplined to only snack on 6 walnuts, and not eat half the packet HAHA.

It’s definitely this willpower, self control and discipline that you learn through bodybuilding and the magical thing is that you can take this into all other areas of your life, and that learning, and experience, is invaluable.

So, onto the next week of prep – small and big goals are set, the focus is clear and the only thing to do is Do It.

IFBB athlete's - Lisanne and Maarten Vos (www.getfoxfit)

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5 weeks out (Bikini Competition Prep) Are We Ever Satisfied?

"Are we ever satisfied?" #bikinicompetitor #contestprep #bikinicompetitionprep #5weeksout - Lisanne Vos (getfoxfit)

Current stats:

Weight: 52kg

Body fat: 12.5%

 

One question I’ve been thinking a lot about this week: “Are we ever satisfied?”

We can always do better right?

If you are into body building, fitness and sports you will constantly be trying to strive for the best – the best physique, the best results, the best performance etc.

I have come to appreciate bodybuilding as an art and you can be as creative as you want to be.  Everyone has their own visions and ideas of what beauty is AND, as the creator of your physique, you are constantly looking at how you can improve, design and make the best work of art you can.

Whether you are competing or not, I am sure that all the guys and girls in the gym critically look in the mirror and think about which body parts they want to change or build, whilst evaluate how they can create the best physique they possibly can.

Whether that means more muscle mass, 100% symmetry, lower body fat, more vascularity, bigger quads, more defined abs, more tone and cuts… whatever.  We are always striving to progress, grow and make gains.

Even though you reach a goal that you set out – like gain muscle mass, x % body fat, definition etc. there is always room for improvement, and that’s what keeps it interesting.  Like I have said before, bodybuilding is not just a physical sport but a psychological one too.  It can be a bit of an emotional roller coaster at times.  There are highs and lows.  Happiness and frustration.  Confidence and insecurity.

If I see the progress and changes my body has been through over the past year, yes I am happy – but I’m not content… I can do more and I can be more.

Like most, I would like to have achieved my goal yesterday (even if I just made the goal right now), but that’s just not the way it works.  The only thing to do is set a goal, make a plan and execute that plan Every Single Day.  Slowly but surely there will be progress and during these times you need to keep the faith and keep the focus, whilst surround yourself with people who lift you up, can give honest opinions and who support you in reaching your goal.

Bodybuilding is a never ending journey.  A lifestyle I am happy and grateful to live and, like the wise words say, it’s all about the journey, not the destination – so as much as we may have times when we are not be satisfied let’s enjoy this awesome ride.

5 weeks out baby – the game plan has been set, it’s time to focus and put in the hard work needed to reach that goal.


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6 weeks out (Bikini Competition Prep) 5 learnings from this week…

6 week out (Bikini Competition Prep Blog) - 5 learnings from this week.. (@getfoxfit)

Today marks 6 weeks out.  Exciting times, just 42 days until the Enercup.  I find every week has different learnings and wanted to share this weeks on today’s competition prep blogpost.  So without further ado, here are the Top 5.

1. Trust your coach 

This past week ‘The Boss’ (coach Jerry Koolhoven) put me on a 2 day pre contest carb loading practice run.  Did someone say more carbs?  No complaints from me.  Of course there are moments when you hope things will go the way they are supposed to, but he has a plan and I trust him 100% so was comfortable to do what he asked and see how it would affect my physique.  Suffice to say he was happy with the result.  I’m very grateful to have a coach who puts me at ease, has a master plan and who I can trust throughout the whole contest prep.  If you are looking to do a competition or contest, finding yourself a reputable coach who you ‘click with’ and trust is something I would recommend.

2. Meal planning

Meal prep really helped me this week as there were days when we were out and about.  With 6 weeks until the competition food has to be on point and I have come to realise that the only way to stick to the program is to plan in advance, prep and take food with you when you are out of the house.

3. Take the time to appreciate your progress

All to often we want to reach the end goal yesterday… but you need to appreciate how far you have come – the changes you have made, how you have grown as a person, what you have learned and how you can take all of those things to propel yourself further.  So even although you want to be at XX body fat, or XX kgs, or lift XX pounds in the gym.  Take a moment to consider how far you have come already.

4. If in doubt, go work out

Yes there are times you are tired, or just want to stay home, however it’s Game Time – every training counts and every training will help you reach that goal you have set.  I know full well that if I even miss one training I’ll regret it later.  One of the best ways of getting myself to exercise and workout is to get my sports gear on, works each and every time :)  In need of fitness tips?  Click here for my Top 5.

5. Set short term goals

To keep things interesting and keep you focussed I’ve found it very beneficial to set short term goals.  Be it a daily goal – meet all your nutritional needs for the day, or reach a new PR, or go for a morning bike ride. etc.  Or a weekly goal – cook 3 clean vegetarian dinners, workout 3 times a week etc.  Think of ways that you can make these goals fun to help keep you motivated.

You can follow more contest prep photos and videos via Instagram and Facebook which we are updating daily.


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7 weeks out (Bikini Competition Prep)

Lisanne Vos & Jerry Koolhoven (Team JK)

“Sometimes the best way to appreciate something is to be without it for a while.”

Word.  I would like to thank my coach Jerry Koolhoven for taking away some of my usual carbs and fats on my “Rest and Shred” days, as I have lovingly called them.  He is The Boss, so I went with his plan.

It wasn’t until I got through 1 of these days that I fully appreciated my peanut butter, rye bread and oats.  Yup, you don’t know what you got til it’s gone!

I have so much respect for every single athlete in this sport – no matter which division or category or league they are in.  This is a tough sport, but one that has so very many empowering and precious moments.  Those times that you get to the end of the day and can go to bed proud with the knowledge that you did Every Single Thing possible to stick to your plan.  Pretty empowering moments that make you think and realise what is possible if you put your mind to it and ‘Just Do It’.

Like everyone else, I’ve had to deal with challenges but in the past either tried to avoid them or just ‘get through them’.  However I’ve come to realise, and appreciate, that so much is down to your attitude – how you react and respond to the challenge (or problem), and how you can actually turn them into opportunities.  It’s all up to you in how you see it and how you tackle it.

So, what’s new for this upcoming week?  A new nutrition plan to see how my body reacts and what will change.  Exciting stuff and I am always up for the challenge.  The best advice I have had since starting contest prep is “Listen to your coach and do what he says the first time” and that’s exactly what we’ll be doing this week.

Game On :)


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8 weeks out (Bikini Competition Prep) “Change”

8 weeks out bikini competition diary (www.getfoxfit.com)

Stats:

Body fat: 12.3%

Weight: 52.5 kg

 

“We cannot become what we want to be by remaining what we are.” Max DePree

Not a truer word spoken and a quote that has stuck with me for the past 7 days.

After receiving my new food plan from my coach and trainer Jerry Koolhoven last Sunday I thought, “OK, now the hard work begins.”  Like the quote says – if you want to make (and see) progress, in any area of your life, you need to change something.  So changes had to be made…in the form of nutrition.

As mentioned on previous blogs, I love the science of bodybuilding – feeling and witnessing the changes and progress and how your body reacts to even the smallest of changes in food and trainings.  The outcome of the changes we made last week has been awesome – down in body fat and into the 12% mark – woo hoo.

Yes, there were times that I didn’t have the energy to train, yes there were times that I wanted to eat differently, but I stuck to the programme and, most importantly, listened to my coach.  And it’s clear to see that the changes he put into place are reflected in not only body changes but also in the stats.  Cool stuff!

It’s an interesting lesson to have – this whole change business.  If you keep doing what you always do, then things will remain the same.  There won’t be progress.  So, whatever your goal, or whatever you want to achieve, change will be necessary to reach it.

In all honesty I’m not such a big fan of change.  I’m a creature of habit and routine.  I like to plan and stick to it, so when Jerry handed me the new schedule I had to first and foremost change my mental attitude – see it as a challenge and… you got it… make a new plan for myself.  Note to self – change isn’t so scary as long as you can find a way to implement these changes.

Fail to plan, plan to fail :)

An attitude of “You Can Do This” had to happen.   Like the sayings – ‘The Body Achieves What the Mind Believes’ and ‘Your Body Won’t Go Where Your Mind Doesn’t Push It’.  Not only for trainings but particularly for the nutrition part, especially when you (and your body) are used to eating certain foods and certain ways.

So, here we are at 8 weeks out of the Enercup.  Every day, every training and every meal counts.

Today’s afternoon at Fitness Boulevard was great.  Always such a pleasure to meet with our coach, train, practice posing routines, hang out with the crew and shoot a few photos and videos in between.

Be sure to check out fellow Team JK athletes Gregori Braxhoofden and Souroush Moosavi who are in the photos above, and also in contest prep.

If you want to see more photos and videos be sure to follow our Instagram where we’re posting daily contest prep updates.

 


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9 weeks out (Bikini Competition Prep) Turning Challenges into Opportunities

9 weeks out (Bikini Competition Prep) Turning Challenges into Opportunities | via @getfoxfit

After a week of new learnings (and turning challenges into opportunities, see below – number 3 is my favourite) I was excited to check in with my coach and trainer, Jerry Koolhoven, today.

We discussed my progress for the Enercup competition in 9 weeks time, how the last week has been in terms of nutrition and trainings, and have set up a new action plan, which I’m very excited about – it’s awesome to have a new focus and change things up a little!

I love this sport and find it’s extremely important and beneficial to keep myself driven by setting new goals (as I wrote about in 5 Steps to Create a Solid Health & Fitness Goal and How to Recharge your Health & Fitness Goals), so let the games begin and let’s see more progress.

In today’s training we focused on my 2 fav groups – shoulders and hamstrings.  After that it was a case of sweating it out on a bike for a bit of cardio, refuelling with food and then posing practice with the Team JK bodybuilders and MAP (Men’s Athletic Physique) class.

My posing coach, the brilliant Sasha van Dijk, has been pushing me further to T Walk, quarter turn and pose on front of more and more people, so today we were all each others audience.  It really helps to be in such a supportive team who ultimately have the same goal (to create the best physique possible) and who help and support each other.  There was such a great energy vibe and buzz in the gym today, which just propels my motivation further.

So onto this weeks learnings, which I have broken down into Challenges and Opportunities.  I always like to turn negatives into positives, even though that in itself can be a challenge but that’s the fun part.

1. Challenge: The humidity and heat = less strength and overall energy

Opportunity:  Sweat it out (sweat is fat crying!) so I embraced the heat and got through my cardio (did a whole load of fasted cardio in the morning this week), whilst making sure I really pushed myself on my trainings – take it to the limit and go that bit further.  Ugly faces all over the place.  Oh, you are tired and don’t have too much energy to lift that weight?  You aren’t a quitter are you?  So stop complaining, sweat it out and Just Do It.  In 1 hour you can shower and chill out, so (as my husband says) “Make It Count”!

 

2. Challenge: Hunger (as I was being more active and doing more cardio on the same calorie intake)

Opportunity: Time to see changes!  NOW comes the exciting and cool part where your body is going through something new, which results in change: lines, definition etc.  So time to shred people – let’s see what we have been building over for the last months.  If you need some tips on how to deal with hunger or cravings, click here.

 

3. Challenge: Witnessing minute (or close to no) changes in your own body when you see others making major changes

Opportunity:  This is the one I love the most.  When I see others doing well I get so incredibly inspired by them and how I can make progression myself.  I know it can be easy to want others’ shoulders, or legs, or definition – but the cool thing is that we can focus on the areas we want to improve, take matters into our own hands and be accountable for making changes and progressing.  I don’t know if anyone has ever gotten to the point of being 100% happy with their physique but I do like the fact that you can always improve – That makes, and keeps, it interesting: there are always things you can take from good to great.  And, this comes back to what I have said so many times before, this notion and feeling is one that you can bring into different areas of your life (not just how your body looks or feels or it’s strength) but how can you progress in you career, be a better friend, be better in organising your time and, thus, generally grow as a person.  So to those who are making huge progress – I have the utmost respect and applaud you all for the changes you have already made and thank you for motivating me to push myself further.

Team “Let’s Do This” :)


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10 weeks out (Bikini Competition Prep) “Growth”…

This past week we have been having a heatwave, so out of necessity I had to cross a boundary which has been present for about 3 decades – wearing shorts in public.  My legs are the part which I dislike the most and try to keep covered, however over the past few months I have had to accept and, in a way, embrace them (as I wrote about here).  So, due to the heat this week it was a case of A) keep the legs covered and feel sticky, hot and bothered all day long or B) put on some shorts to maintain a normal temperature.   So ‘B’ it was, especially in the gym where the temperatures were simply sauna like.

Contest prep is certainly teaching me a lot – to push boundaries, to get out your comfort zone, to embrace the things you used to dislike, to change the things you can change whilst accept the things you can’t and make peace with that.  In a nutshell ‘growth’.

For the last week I have also had to accept that the hard work really starts from here on out as we are working towards slowly decreasing body fat for the Enercup competition.  Meaning, at this point, more cardio – which is resulting in more hunger as I am burning calories.  Copious cups of green tea, keeping myself busy and, strangely enough, looking at chocolate cake and mint chocolate ice cream pins in Pinterest are helping me – weird I know.

At 10 weeks out this is where the fun begins – now is the time to focus and grow – both of which test your strength: in your trainings, in the gym, doing your cardio, getting yourself to the gym when you are tired or don’t feel like it and especially when it comes to food.  I’m looking forward to the learnings, the changes and growth.

70 days to go… let’s do this!!!!

10 weeks out (bikini competition) blog - @getfoxfit