Johanna Blume is Ms. Natural Philadelphia! Yo, Jo, you did it!
Success requires struggle.
There will be times when you want to quit during that struggle. But if you stay the course and endure on your journey towards your goal, the payoff will be immeasurable. Tough times do not last but tough people do.
Johanna Blume is a former Division 1 walk-on sprinter and long time member of The Fit Team since 2011. This past weekend she won the figure overall at the 2019 Mr/Ms. Natural Philadelphia at Plymouth Whitemarsh High School.
This was Jo’s first ever time competing in figure. All of the training, dieting, recovery, and will to win was put on full display and she earned the title of Ms. Natural Philadelphia.
I have personally trained multiple physique athletes including myself who have competed at Mr. Natural Philadelphia but no one has been able to capture the overall until Saturday.
No one who I have trained for bodybuilding has ever had a better debut show or first year physique than Jo. I lacked so many parts my first year but from the minute Jo hit the stage, there was no doubt that her first competition prep had been a success.
Let me give you some background because Jo has an interesting story. I met Jo in 2011 after training her mother Ms. Val. This is still when I was laboring in the commercial gym world and the idea of The Center was just a thought.
Ms. Val told me after our session that she wanted me to train her daughter. She was highly unimpressed with the “trainer” that had been training her previously. She was going nowhere fast and her times in track were getting slower.
Based on her times at the start of our training there was no chance she would run track in college. After a year and a half of training, she was able to improve her speed enough to walk-on at Division 1 Rider University.
She was the first athlete I ever coached who made it to college and at the D1 level. At the time, I still did not know if I could make it as an athletic performance coach so this let me know that my program, while raw, was actually legit. I had a future in the strength game.
Unfortunately errors within that collegiate strength and conditioning program led to injuries that derailed her track career.
While we were able to make up some ground in the summer when school let out, it was never enough to overcome the other 9 months of subpar training, nutrition, and recovery.
I felt her pain because I had experienced a similar collegiate track career with injuries and bad training/nutrition/recovery while I was in college.
After becoming burned out and injured in track and field she was in limbo training-wise for a few years post college.
She would train at gyms but these workouts were loaded with more fake hustle than actual hard and honest training. The intensity and consistency that is required for real results was nowhere to be found.
When I opened The Fitman Performance Center, she reached out to me about training and started getting back into the iron game in the summer of 2017.
In 2018, a few months after getting re-acclimated to the program, she told me she wanted to compete in bodybuilding, but specifically in figure.
I predicted this would happen when she started training again because many athletes cannot turn off that competitive switch myself included. She had left so much meat on the bone when it came to her track career.
Her committing to competing in figure presented a unique opportunity for us to work together towards a legit goal without the influence of another program. I scheduled her first competition to be at the 2019 Mr/Ms. Natural Philadelphia.
Jo was able to take advantage of using the program for 1 year and maximizing her results. It takes a truly committed person to do bodybuilding and we ran the Fit Coast playbook with a few audibles called here and there.
What we did not do is follow the typical competition prep mythology that is prevalent in the bodybuilding game.
There was absolutely NO:
-excessive, long duration and muscle depleting “cardio”
-use of treadmills, ellipticals, or stairmasters
-using very high reps to get “cut”
-utilizing starvation diets
-elimination of carbs from the diet
-peak week “tricks” like severely restricting water or sodium
For contest prep you need proper training, nutrition, an recovery but you also need time and preparation. Bodybuilding is not just about losing “weight.” It is about developing a balanced, symmetrical, and lean physique.
Check out a few shots from the contest prep and Mr/Ms. Natural Philadelphia below:
Jo did everything that needed to be done and absolutely earned the overall figure win at her first show.
The training/nutrition/recovery program we use is daunting but you did everything that was asked of you.
All you can do from here is get better. Let’s make your first show pictures look like “before” pictures.
To the good folks reading, if you want the results you have to be willing to do the work. There are no shortcuts on the road to success.
I must admit that after 8 years in the bodybuilding world it feels very rewarding to now be the trainer of a champion. You have to learn to channel the doubts of others into fuel for your success.
I’ll holla at you next time.
The People’s (and Proud) Trainer,
Note: If you are a bodybuilder or figure athlete who wants to improve their physique please fill out our application to join The Fit Team.
Johanna Blume is Ms. Natural Philadelphia. Are you ready to create a winning physique?
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