Fitness Challenge: Winning a Fitness Pagent

Dubai-based trainer Derryn Brown put her training skills to the test by entering a US fitness modelling contest - read the amazing story here
Miss Diva
Miss Diva
Pushing a car was part of Derryn’s workout
Pushing a car was part of Derryn’s workout
Derryn Brown
Derryn Brown
Clean food was on the menu
Clean food was on the menu

I decided to enter the Miss Diva Fitness Model competition in Boston, USA in January this year as a personal challenge. I wanted to advance to the next level as a fitness model and was inspired by Nadine du Toit who runs GloryGirl Fitness. I’m a qualified personal trainer so I know how essential it is to have a trainer to keep yourself motivated. I enrolled specialists Cathy Savage Fitness, a USA based company. They assigned me a personal coach and sent me training and nutrition plans. I emailed them pictures of myself weekly and my progress was evaluated and recommendations made. My personal training schedule included one hour of weights in the morning six times a week plus an additional three cardio sessions of 20-minutes each in the afternoon, three times a week. Training was done at my gym at home, or local gyms.

The GloryGirl team – there were four of us – completed hard core weekly workouts, forcing ourselves to the next level. We pushed a FJ Cruiser up and down the street, ran sprints on the beach, and incorporated as much functional training – where you use your own body weight to do a variety of exercises – as possible. At the time my lower body was less defined than my upper body, so I concentrated on my legs and glutes.

Training was intense up until two days before competing, and then I rested on those two days. The week of the competition we had to complete two extreme functional training sessions. Having the other girls there made it easier.

During my training I cut out sugar and processed foods. I allowed myself a small weekly treat of a piece of chocolate or small piece of cake, but closer to the competition no treats were allowed.

Being part of a team helps you stay on track with your programme and introduces an element of fun to this intense challenge. Secondly, when you see your body transforming weekly, you keep going. The hard work always pays off.

The payoff
The day of the competition was nerve racking. Surrounded by so many girls with such amazing bodies, I just wanted to hide. But when I stepped on stage everything changed. People screamed for me and I gave it my best. I walked off feeling like a new person. Never in my life would I have thought I would get on stage in front of hundreds of people. It was a privilege to be awarded the title of Miss Diva Fitness Model 2011. I can’t wait to compete again next year.