Bikini Competition at 40+ More Than a Hobby
No Nonsense Magazine Volume 25 #1
By: Teresa Elam, OCB Bikini Pro
At a Glance: Teresa Elam, OCB Bikini Pro
Occupation: Physical Therapist Assistant
Current Residence: Virginia Beach
Years training: Consistently now for 6 years
Weight: Off-Season: 146-150, Contest: 133
Favorite Beverly Supplements: Mass Aminos and Ultra 40. Ultra 40 helps improve muscle fullness, strength, and tone. It also helps support red blood cells and re-oxygenation during intense, fast-paced workouts. Mass Amino Acids help me build and preserve lean muscle while I'm getting leaner at the same time.
Favorite Contest Prep Meal: I love my oatmeal with eggs sunny side up. I could eat this all day long.
Music: I love all music, but SoCal is my go-to for cardio and workouts.
Hobbies and Interests:I love painting artwork and enjoy hanging it in my home. I also enjoy painting for others. I always said that when I owned my own home, I only wanted to hang my paintings in it, and now I'm able to do that. People always tell me that I should sell them, but I prefer to give them as a gift. They mean too much to me to sell. Maybe one day, though.
Words to live by: I always say, "You should treat people how you want to be treated. You get back in the universe what you give." I truly believe in this.
I began my competition journey in earnest six years ago. I had just turned 40 and was suffering from health issues that would require a hysterectomy to resolve. I tried to put the surgery off, but my condition became uncontrollable, and I ended up in the emergency room requiring four liters of blood. As a result, I became anemic, and surgery had to be postponed for a couple of months until my doctor could get it under control.
Finally, after surgery and an 8-week recovery, I slowly started some easy walking in my neighborhood. Even though it was the middle of winter, I looked forward to my walk every morning, gradually working up to three miles a day. On one of my follow-ups, my doctor cleared me to begin exercising. She knew I couldn't wait to get into the gym and emphasized that I must ease into it with no heavy lifting.
Natural Bodyz was the perfect gym for me. I started cautiously, learning what I could and couldn't do. As I grew stronger, I began feeling better about myself. But, summer was coming, and I wanted to have my bikini body back sooner than later. I hired a trainer, Terrence Bond, and began my four-month summer body program. As my training became serious, I met some members preparing to compete in a bodybuilding show. My goal was only to get in shape for summer, but I was intrigued by their lifestyle.
I signed up for a new three-month program that would help me prepare for my first bodybuilding competition. I wasn't sure how well I would do; I mean, I was 40 years old and would be competing against 20-year-olds. But I said, "Why not!". At least I'll have an amazing body for a 40-year-old, right?
My first show would be the OCB Battle for Tidewater. I was excited and so nervous during my prep, knowing that I would step on stage in a little bikini and sparkly heels at 40 years old alongside all these young girls. But I did. And I won every category I entered that day, including my Bikini open pro card and Masters Pro card. What made it even more rewarding was that all my friends, family, and coworkers were there to celebrate with me since it was local.
It was so exciting, and I just loved it from the moment I stepped on stage. I've been competing in bodybuilding competitions ever since. Even today, I get nervous and excited, but I'm so happy to be up there on that stage. I'm proud to represent the 40+ ladies on that stage, even when there are girls as young as my daughter standing next to me. I have competed in nine OCB shows and have won multiple 1st places not only in Masters Bikini Pro but also in Open Bikini Pro. I also have won 2nd overall in the last 2 years at the prestigious Yorton Cup. I'll be there again this year, gunning for that 1st place trophy. I'm now 47 years old and believe I still have a few more years of competing before I retire.
I eat six times a day, whether in a bulking or cutting phase. My first meal is at 7 am, and my last meal is around 8-9 pm. Meals vary but here is an average day for me. I drink at least 150 ounces of water a day to keep hydrated. I usually put lemon or lime in my water 2-3x a day.
Meal 1: ¹⁄₂c oats (with cinnamon, salt, and a tbsp of canned pumpkin), 5 egg whites and 2 whole eggs, 1c almond milk, 1 tbsp roasted pumpkin seeds
Meal 2: 4oz grilled or air fried chicken or ground turkey, ¹⁄₂c rice (white or brown), ¹⁄₂ avacodo
Meal 3: 4.5oz ground chicken or turkey, 2 low carb tortilla wraps, ¹⁄₄c rice or ¹⁄₂c black beans, add tomatoes and green chili sauce for tacos, and 2 tbsp vegan Greek yogurt with ranch powder seasoning
Meal 4: 4.5oz fish sautéed using gluten-free breadcrumbs, 5oz veggies sautéed in coconut oil with peppers
Meal 5: Same as meal four
Meal 6: 4oz salmon, 3oz avocado, side of diced cucumber and tomatoes
I feel using supplements is very important. I like the Ultra 40 / Mass Aminos stack to maintain muscle mass. Another favorite to retain my lean muscle while dieting is Muscle Synergy before my workouts. It makes my body look more defined and not bulky.
Here's how I incorporate Beverly supplements into my daily schedule:
7-Keto MuscLean 2 capsules upon arising & again with meal 2
Lean Out 1 capsule with meals 1, 2, and 3
Ultra 40 Liver Extract and Mass Aminos 3 or 4 tablets each with meals 1, 2, 3, & 4
Muscle Synergy powder 2 scoops pre-workout
Energy Reserve 1 tablet with meals 1, 2, & 3
I also take a probiotic in the morning and at night
During my building phase, I usually train four times a week, in-corporating two leg days and two upper-body days. I follow each program for about four to eight weeks. Then I will switch it up by using different exercises or rep ranges. Below is an example of a typical building phase using supersets. Do 3-5 sets of 8-10 reps for each exercise.
Day 1 Glutes & Legs
Glute Bridges (legs pointed out) / Hack Squat
Glute Bridges (legs pointed forward) Straight Leg Deadlift
Smith Machine Sumo Squats / Bulgarian Split Squats
Barbell Squats / Box Step-ups (slow going down)
Day 2 Back & Chest
Wide-grip Pullups / Bench Press
Seated Rows (w/rope) / Incline DB Press
1-Arm Lat Pulldowns / Cable Flyes
DB Rows / Chest Press Machine
Day 3 Rest
Day 4 Shoulders & Biceps
Arnold Press / Hammer Curls
Alternate DB Press / Rope Curls
Lateral Raises / Incline Curls
Military Press / EZ Bar Curls
Day 5 Legs
Squats / Sumo Squat
Leg Press / Sumo Leg Press
Leg Extension / Seated Leg Curl
Deadlift / Hack Squat
Days 6 & 7 Rest
I don't perform any direct ab exercises throughout most of the year but keep a tight core while I train. During the last eight weeks before a contest, I will incorporate some light core move-ments and perform stomach vacuums.
I spend 10-15 minutes warming up before each workout and like to do foam rolling or active stretching after workouts. I usually have a vegan protein drink after training. Beverly has a great vegan option called PBP.
My favorite cardio is inclined walking. I feel like I get a good burn, but the intensity is low enough that I can maintain it for 30-35 minutes 4 to 6 times a week. I usually set the treadmill at a maximum incline, but my speed level is just 3-3.2 mph.
I also have a love-hate relationship with Tabata sprints on the treadmill. I only do those when I want to cut a little more or get a better sweat session. The intervals for Tabata sprints are 20-second sprints with 10 seconds of rest for eight minutes total.
Some Other Things You Might Not Know About Me
I married my husband, Marcus, in 2020. He also competes and recently won his Masters pro card. Our goal is to compete in the Yorton Cup together. I also got my daughter into competing when she graduated college. I helped her prep, made her meals, kept her accountable, and was also her posing coach. She made me so proud in her 1st show, the 3rd anniversary of my first show; she won her Bikini pro card.
Since I take posing so seriously, I would like to give you some posing tips if you decide to compete on stage. Don't wait to learn how to pose. Once you know you're going to compete, watch videos on YouTube to learn your organization's posing guidelines. If you can, hire a coach to give you feedback. It will help if you video yourself to see any flaws in your posing. Your "Stage Presence" sets the tone for the judges. As soon as you walk out there, you need to convey confidence from head to toe. Make sure you are poised, elegant, and look like you're having fun up there. Finally, you need to pose for 10-15 minutes every day while prepping, even if you have been on stage before. It just has to become part of your daily routine. I hope these tips help and happy posing.
Always make time for what you really want in life. No matter how busy your life becomes, you have to accept those challenges and make priorities. I am a mom of two with a disabled daughter. I have traveled back and forth five hours each way nearly every weekend to my daughter's college soccer games for four years. Yet I still was able to compete because it was something I loved and wanted to do.
Competing may have started just for fun, but now it's more than a hobby and has become part of my daily life. I would have never thought six years ago that my life would be structured this way. I enjoy working as a physical therapist assistant; that is my day job, but I enjoy competing and helping others become better on stage. It may eventually become my actual "day job" because I can't see myself not having some part of this life in my daily routine.