It’s no secret that it’s easy to put fitness routines to the side and replace them with studying while you’re in college. Juggling classes, homework, a social life and involvement on campus can leave little time for working out and cooking healthy meals.
Breggin Eddy, 21, makes physical fitness a priority. Eddy studies architecture at Auburn University and works a part-time job. Eddy competes in the bikini division of bodybuilding shows of the National Physique Committee (NPC). Eddy’s fitness journey began at the beginning of 2014 when she started lifting to make changes to her physique.
What are some of her go-to workouts? “I do mostly weight lifting with some cardio,” said Eddy. “I’m beginning to incorporate plyos into my workouts a few times a week and they are definitely kicking my butt! I’m not a huge cardio fan, but I’ll do it when I feel the need or when I’m prepping for a show.”
Competing for Fitness
Eddy first decided she was going to compete in the summer of 2014 when asked if she was training for a competition. She decided to pursue the stage after looking into the competition world. “I compete in the bikini division of bodybuilding,” said Eddy. “It is more feminine than the other divisions in the way that it is more sassy and pageant-like than the others. That’s rather difficult for me because I had to learn how to be sassy with my walk, my posing, my everything on a stage for judges. With the bikini division, our body fat levels are higher than the ladies competing in physique or figure or the classic bodybuilding.”
According to Eddy, getting ready to step on the competition stage involves more than working out. “My diet is very strict,” said Eddy. “I don’t do cheat days when I’m on a competition prep simply because if you give me an inch, I’m going to take the whole mile and throw everything off.”
Chandler Smith, 29, has been competing in the NPC Men’s Physique division for two years. Smith helped Eddy reign in her diet during competition prep. “About seven weeks out, she was getting worried about how her diet wasn’t being changed and her progress slowed,” Smith said. “So, I told her to change a few more things. I ended up making a few changes to the diet for her about every two weeks.”
Competition “prep” is a period of time during the year when competitors get very focused and start training to achieve a certain “look” for the stage. “Competition prep is hard. There’s no sugar coating it,” said Eddy. “It’s so much harder mentally than physically. Your mind will break down before your body does, especially on such a strict diet.”
Her Daily Fitness Routine
What does a typical day look like for Eddy? “I work too, from 6 a.m. until 1 p.m. during the week on days I don’t have 8 a.m. classes,” said Eddy. “Then, I go to class and I train after class. After I train, then I do my homework. On the days I don’t work, I get to sleep in a little bit and train twice a day and do cardio those days for maybe 30 minutes.”
Eddy does not tolerate excuses when it comes to training. “It’s all about priorities,” said Eddy. “I really don’t go out, so I don’t have to worry about balancing that into my life. What is important to you, you’ll make the time for…If you want something bad enough, you’ll go out and get it.”
Advice for Future Fitness Competitors
The advice Eddy has for someone who thinks they might be interested in competing for the first time: “Oh boy! Make friends at the gym! Ask questions! Do your research before anything else. Don’t be too hard on yourself but be critical. Be honest with yourself. If you want it, put those blinders on and work for it. No one will give it to you. Don’t cheat yourself. It’s very expensive and very time consuming…Yes it’s a competition, but you’re competing against yourself to be a better you and to bring a better package than last time. Or, if it’s your first time, just stepping on the stage is a win of its own.”
Eddy competed in her first competition this summer at the Clash at the Capstone, which is a national-qualifying show, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Eddy placed second in her height class. “She has an unreal drive and discipline,” Smith said. “She did everything I said to the letter and it paid off. Placing second place in her class in a national-qualifying show for her first time ever [competing] is no easy feat. I couldn’t be more proud of her and I’m honored that I know her.”
Competitor or not–Get Started with your Fitness Routine!
Not everyone wants to be a competitor, and that’s okay. The Internet is a great tool for finding workouts to keep the freshmen 15 at bay. The website www.bodybuilding.com offers free workout plans for every fitness level to help you reach whichever fitness goal you have, whether its to lose fat, build muscle or both.
This feature story was written for an assignment for my PRCM4080 Writing for Public Relations course at Auburn University in fall 2015.