Join Our Team

Swank & Swagger Team LogoSandra Blackie, retired IFBB Pro Bodybuilder & Chris Preston, NPC Competitor & former-Marine, have partnered together to bring you the best in coaching for your competitive experience.

Our team name is “Swank & Swagger”. We provide the diet, training, and stage preparation for athletes who compete in Bikini, Figure, Physique & Bodybuilding competition. We will guide you in learning how to live the health & fitness lifestyle of a competitor for all 3 seasons: Off-season, Pre-contest and Post-competition.

During this phase of training, the goals are to:

  1. bring up overall muscle mass
  2. develop weaker or under-developed muscle groups
  3. keep body fat at healthy, sensible levels, as you grow.

There are a wide variety of methods in which to do this and as trainers, with a lot of competitive experience, we can choose the methods that are right for you.

As for how to eat in your off season, this is time to grow, so consume the right nutrients; lean animal protein, healthy starches & grain, and of course your fruits, veggies, and healthy plant fats. It is a time to be in “positive nitrogen balance” and eat enough calories to increase lean body mass, without adding excessive amounts of body fat. Off-season athletes that make the mistake of “bulking up” (too much fat over your muscle) usually have to diet harder & do more cardio, during the pre-contest time.

This is a time to focus on reducing body fat to competitive levels, while retaining all the muscle gains you created in your “off-season”. It is a time when calories are lowered, cardio increases and the gym becomes your second home! Give yourself enough time in this phase. There are lots of shows. We suggest only one pound of fat lost, per week. We measure your body fat percentage, learn how many pounds of fat that you need to lose, and choose a show that gives you enough time to diet slowly, so you don’t lose muscle. If an athlete has 15 lbs. to lose, we plan a pre-contest phase of 15 weeks, minimum. If you choose to lose it faster than 1 lb. per week, there is a higher chance of not looking your absolute best on stage, and a higher chance of excessive weight regain & binge behavior, after the show.

This can be the best time for positive change! No, this is not “pigging out” after the show. Nor is it time to regain all the body fat you lost before the show. It is a time to gradually re-introduce responsible, off season eating, back into your program & gradually reduce activity levels.

Right after a show, your “muscle- to –fat” ratio is high, meaning that your metabolically active tissue (muscle) is high and that your pounds of fat are low. The body is typically tired, possibly over-trained and definitely under-fed. It is easy to over-eat, after a show, because you have been deprived of calories, carbs, and your favorite foods, especially if you had to lose a lot of fat in a short period of time. Emotionally, it is hard to resist the “treats” but, if you do, you can make incredible gains.

This is a time to gradually back off on the hours of cardio you were doing, reduce some of your supplementation as you bring in a better balance of nutrition from your food, and reduce the intensity and time spent in the gym for awhile. Allow any injury you may have to heal before increasing your intensity, again. Do not stop exercising 100%.

“Pigging out” after a show may be tempting but, from experience, I know the aftermath can be damaging, both physically and emotionally. Not only are digestive complaints “a given” but the water retention can actually make your joints hurt from the sudden pressure increase.

Emotionally, watching all of your hard-earned cuts fade away can be depressing. After a show, athletes often experience the “post-contest blues”, too. We spend so much time working on the goal and suddenly, win, lose or draw, it’s over. So much time to fill up with other projects, but for some, they don’t know how to fill up that time. This is a “double-whammy”, psychologically speaking. Post-contest is a time to bring balance back into your personal life.

If you avoid gaining excessive amounts of body fat, after a show, you will make great gains moving into your off-season, you will see your changes, and you won’t have to diet as strictly or overdo the cardio next time you choose to compete.

Join our team today! Be the best you, you can be!

Sandra is very passionate about helping men & women be the best they can be on stage. Whether you are doing Bikini, Figure, Physique or Bodybuilding, let Sandra show you how to diet, train and prepare your presentation. Once you have chosen a contest date, give Sandra at least 12 weeks to work with you, to prepare for the show.