The Elite Physique

Erica Ray

Erica Ray, From Weight Loss to Top Figure Competition

erica's before and after figure transformation

What figure competition did you recently compete in and how did you place?

I just competed in North Texas Fit Expo, figure division.

What was your figure competition experience like?

This experience was great. It definitely challenged me because I started a new full time job 2 weeks into prep and was dealing with a huge commute to work, so I had to get creative with my workout schedule. Good ole’ two-a-days for several weeks.

Have you always been athletic? Did you play sports growing up?

Nope! Other than playing football occasionally with my 3 brothers, and a few required PE courses in high school and college, I’ve never played a sport in my life. I thought about doing soccer my senior year but didn’t like to run. LOL

What got you involved in figure competitions?

I’m goal oriented. I desperately needed something to work towards to lose the weight and keep it off.

Are you comfortable with competing or did you have to build up the courage?

Of course I was nervous initially. But after months of hard work, I was ready to show off my progress.

How long have you been into fitness and working out?erica taking selfie before fitness competition

Only about a year….and I LOVE it!!!

What is your competition weight and off-season weight, and how tall are you?

My competition weight was about 132-135. Off season is usually between 145-150. I’m 5’4

How long did it take you to prep for your figure competition?

I prepped for 10 weeks.

What motivates you to keep in shape?

It just feels good to be in shape. I’ve had so much more energy. For me it’s about being healthy physically and emotionally.

How do you stick to your goals?  

I remind myself of why I started. I wanted to be healthy for myself, my family, and my future children. Plus it doesn’t hurt to be bikini ready year around. LOL

What is your nutrition like off-season?

Pretty much the same as during prep, except more carbs since I’m not focused on cutting. I’m pretty much addicted to chicken, sweet potatoes and broccoli now. And I usually incorporate a cheat meal rather than a just a re-feed day.

What is your figure competition diet like?

My figure diet consists of lots of protein, healthy fats and clean carbs. Macros tweaked with the help of my great coach, Karen Sessions!posing for camera

What is a basic cheat meal for you?

Pizza or a double cheeseburger!

Are there any sacrifices? If so, how do you overcome them?

Oh yes! Plenty of family gatherings and work parties missed. I just have to remind myself that it’s only temporary. It’s not like food is going out of style anytime soon. It’ll be there when the show is over.

What do you find to be the hardest part about getting into contest shape and how do you overcome it?

The hardest part for me was limiting sugar. I am a sugar freak! I love my dark chocolate and donuts. In the beginning of prep I try to fit some sweets into a cheat meal or even tweak a bite sized Snicker into my macros. Then a few weeks before my show it’s cold turkey. Otherwise I’d go insane for 12 weeks.

What is your training split like off-season?

Alternating upper and lower body days and incorporating cardio 20-30 min a few days.Erica Ray doing dumbbell lunges

What is your training life when you are prepping for a contest?

Following the schedule my coach, Karen Sessions gives, targeting every area, and progressive cardio!

Do you track your personal best lifts and if so, what are they?

I haven’t in a while. But last time I checked several months ago I was squatting about 230.

What do you do for cardio?

I love ZUMBA!!! I also enjoy sprints on the treadmill and the Stairmaster.

Do you have any future competition plans?

Yes! Planning to do a Natural Show sometime this summer.

Do you use supplements? If so, what are your favorite supplements?

Yes. The supplement Chrysin has worked well for me.

Does your family support your fitness endeavors?

Yes. They’ve all been inspired by my dedication.

What hobbies do you have outside of fitness?

Not very many, other than just spending time with family. I’m a homebody.

What advice would you give someone who wanted to get in such outstanding shape as you are in?

Set a goal and go for it. You’re going to mess up…we all do. Take your time, surround yourself with motivational people and just keep trucking.

How has competing in figure changed your life?

I’ve developed a level of confidence in myself that I didn’t know was there.

Do you have any long-term goals in the fitness industry?

I’d eventually like to do fitness modeling.

If you could give one piece of advice to a first time figure competitor, what would it be?

If you want to compete but don’t know where to start, get a coach who’s been there before and knows what they are doing. It’s a worthy investment! Enjoy it!!! The ups and downs. It’s totally worth the sacrifice.

Do you have a website of facebook page you would like to share?

Instagram: @Happygopuffy

Did You Know…

Did you know that Jackie is just like you and YOU can make the SAME type of Body Transformation! You can have all the same Diet, Training, and Prepping Secrets to transform your body, get on stage, and Win your Competition!

Click Here to choose your Division

If you are not ready, then grab my FREE Contest Prep Crash Course so you can start making the same amazing body transformation.

Click Here for FREE Contest Prep Crash Course

Karen Sessions NSCA-CPT