Name: Laura Ridings
Height: 5' 00"
Contest Weight: 100
Regular Weight: 109
Hometown: Chicago, IL
"I first started training for my shows late July and trained for 12 weeks before I hit the stage in Ottawa, IL at the NPC Continental Championships. It was my first show and I placed 3rd. I hit the stage 2 weeks later in Milwaukee at the NPC Badger State Championships and took 2nd place.
My diet consists of 6 meals a day. For the most part, I alternate between carbs and fats paired with around 20 grams of protein at every meal. I make sure my carbs fall post workout whether it's cardio or strength training. It's all about timing everything correctly! My 6th meal, which comes right before bed, is just protein. A typical day for me looks like this:
Meal 1: 6 egg whites with 1/2 c oatmeal
Meal 2: Ground sirloin with 1/3 avocado
Meal 3: 1 scoop Isopure protein shake with 3 oz sweet potato
Meal 4: Chicken with 10 almonds
Meal 5: Tilapia with MCT oil
Meal 6: 6 egg whites or 1 scoop protein shake
I mix veggies in with every meal, along with many spices to keep my meals tasting great! I love to cook!
I'd like to thank my coaches Kelly Keiser and Donnie Schladt for helping me with my diet and posing skills I needed to hit the stage for my 1st season! They are great fitness role models to follow! A big thanks to all my family, friends and clients for being so supportive and patient with me throughout my training season. Hard to believe, but I can get cranky while dieting ;-) A big hug and thank you to Dan Keller and Bob Whitney for their excellent photography skills during my training season. I thank all of the above for traveling to my shows to cheer me on, and for giving me the confidence I needed to rock the stage in 2011! I'll continue to keep them cheering and proud in 2012!
I will hit the stage again in May 2012, but this time I'm moving into the Figure category. I am hoping to qualify for Nationals, and I will be at Jr. Nationals in Chicago. Should I not qualify, I still plan on competing at Jr. Nationals, but in the Bikini category. My dream is to do some Fitness Modeling, so I'm hoping 2012 is the year for me
It's great to come across an athlete that has her diet down to a science, whether it's counting out ten almonds - or - eating just one-third of an avocado. This kind of meticulous attention to detail, reminds me of the old stories of Rich Gaspari, weighing all meals (cooked & cooked) and chatting the body's responses to diet. I also appreciate the fact that Laura isn't just strategic with what she eats and how she trains, but that's she also keen to the fact she may do better in a different division. We've seen champions like Marilena EchoHawk make the move from Figure to Physique (earning her a Pro Card), and we've also heard hints that Carolina Granados may also move from Bikini to Figure. It's a very smart move (whenever possible) for athletes to try their luck (or bring their best) to different forums and markets. I wouldn't suggest a bodybuilder go figure b/c this would mean losing a lot of muscle; however, a Figure star is in a perfect position, as she could conceivably alter her body for Bikini, Physique, and still conceivably come back to her original Division. If the Figure star in question has a background in dance and/or gymnastics, she could potentially even walk onto a Fitness stage as well. If you're a Figure or Bikini competitor - the sky's the limit!
Finally, I think that Laura has some pretty realistic goals for herself. I mean look at her physique! Look at her diet! She could easily be a national - if not, pro - champion, but her goals are humble and clear-cut. I think photographers like Dan Ray, Per Bernal, J.M. Manion, Jeffrey Sygo, Eric Beach and others would love to work with her. I also think that Laura might do even better if she were a part of a major network, like Tanji Johnson's Save Fitness or Team Bombshell -- just an idea. She's already made a pretty significant dent on the circuit (largely on her own), imagine what joining a family of competitors, coaches, nutritionists, and trainers could do for her - and for anyone on the rise.
But as usual, I really would like to thank Laura Ridings for taking the time to appear on FigureBikini.com -- and to congratulate her and her support network for having made a lasting impression on the sport and on us - The Fans!