Figure Competition - No Longer a Dormant Thought
No Nonsense Magazine Vol 22, #4
By: Ayana Domingo
Photo Credit: Chris Banks, Sinnerman Photography
At a Glance: Ayana Domingo
Occupation: Patient Screening Navigator for Breast Health at New York-Presbyterian Hudson Valley Hospital
Family: Married; 2 children - Tyler 22, Synda 14
Current Residence: Cortlandt Manor, NY
Years training: 1.5 years
Weight: 130 (Off Season), 119 (Contest)
Favorite Body Building Meal: 4oz beef or bison burger, 5oz sweet potato, grilled asparagus
- UMP is my absolute favorite – I love the chocolate and cookies and crème This is my last meal of the day and I consider it a dessert.
- Glutamine Select – I drink Glutamine Select pre/ intra/post-workout. I love that it contains BCAAs which keeps me from getting sore during the recovery period and the flavor is not overpowering.
Advice to Someone who has never used Beverly: I recommend that you check out the Beverly International website (BeverlyInternational.com). All the supplement recommendations are available there. No matter your fitness goals, you will definitely benefit from Beverly products.
Music: As a classically trained pianist for over 30 years, I enjoy all genres of music.
Most Inspiring Book: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. I read this book every year because it reminds me to never give up on your dreams.
Hobby or Interest outside of Bodybuilding: Outside of bodybuilding, I am a freelance photographer of life and love; shooting baby showers, engagements, birthdays, and weddings. I also love to run 5Ks and am a member of USA Track and Field; the 100 meter sprint is my favorite event.
Words to Live By: The mind tells the body what to do, not the other way around…
Favorite Quote: “And when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” –Paulo Coehlo
I've been an athlete for most of my life. I ran track competitively throughout junior high, high school, and some college, specializing in the 55, 100, and 200 meter dashes, as well as running on the 4 x 400 meter relay team. I worked out occasionally during those years and was encouraged by a friend to compete. My response was, “no way”, and I tucked that thought deep in the back of my mind. I went on to earn my Bachelors of Science degree in Health Education and Promotion from Lehman College in 2005. Then life happened, marriage and children, and any remaining passion for fitness fell to the back burner.
What really prompted me to focus on my health
In 2010, I was incidentally diagnosed with hypertension and was placed on blood pressure medications due to increased weight gain, eating processed foods high in sodium, and stress. My readings ranged from 140/100 – 150/120 some days. Over the years, I made numerous attempts to get my health in order but everything I did was a short-term fix.
Fast forward to 2016, I set a goal of getting into the best shape of my life by 2018 and started to document my fitness journey on Instagram. That same year, I joined Bodybuilding.com and started to use their various workout programs and challenges, but still, I fell short and didn’t complete them. The consistency and drive was not there. Any thought of competing was a thing of the past, reserved for the young.
Journey to the stage
On January 8, 2018, I pushed the hard reset button and made a decision that I was going to compete in an NPC Figure show in the summer. I signed up for the Bodybuilding.com $50K, 12 week transformation challenge to see what results I could achieve on my own. Although I did not win the challenge, my transformation was phenomenal. At that point, I knew I was ready to take the next steps necessary in order to prepare me for the stage.
Through word of mouth, I contacted competition prep coach Steve Poynter who worked with me starting at 14 weeks out. He outlined my nutrition and training in detail and made adjustments where needed during my prep. Beverly supplements were an integral part of my regimen throughout my entire prep.
On July 7, 2018, I stepped on stage in the best shape of my entire life at the NPC Northeast Summer Classic show in White Plains, NY. I placed fifth in Novice and the 40 and Over Figure division.
My journey to the stage was not easy, like many, I experienced setbacks. I developed quadricep and bicep tendinitis, along with a condition called notalgia paresthetica on the right side of my mid-back which made it painful to open up my right lat. (Not a good thing for a Figure competitor.) Luckily, I was able to seek medical therapy in a timely fashion and learn how to work through and strengthen my injured areas.
As I will be preparing for my 2nd show this year, I emphasize “practice, practice, practice” no matter how seasoned you are. I continue to practice my posing for 15 to 20 minutes a day as posing is considered a huge component of overall stage presentation.
Incorporate stretching before and after all training as it reduces risk of injury. Invest in a stretching strap (it works wonders).
Know your “why”? Why are you competing? Knowing your “why” will add depth, passion, and fuel your inner strength towards achieving your goals despite any obstacles that might stand in the way.
Don’t compare yourself to other competitors. Always strive to be the best version of yourself and beat that person staring back at you in the mirror.
At 42 years old, I finally reached my fitness goals and can now say that I am an NPC Figure competitor. This journey has been a life changing experience for me. I did what I thought was impossible. I learned a lot about myself, how my body responds to different types of foods, and learned who was really on my support team for the long haul. I’ve met amazing friends who supported my goals and gave me that mental push on days when I wanted to give up.
For anyone thinking about competing or even weight loss in general, know that it will take time, patience, and dedication, but you can do it if you put your mind to it. Results may not happen overnight; however, with the right guidance and support system by your side, anything is possible. I believe in you.
Nutrition is key; there’s no way around it.
Every Sunday, my husband helps me meal prep for the week by grilling all of the meats and veggies. I measure out my portions the night before and carry my meals with me to work every day. It saves so much time, money, and keeps me on track with my fitness goals.
Meal 1 (pre-workout): 5 egg whites, 1/2 cup steel cut oats
Meal 2 (post-workout): 1.5 scoops Muscle Provider, 1/2 banana or 1/4 cup blueberries, 2 tbsp PBfit powdered peanut butter
Meal 3 (usually post workout): 4oz lean ground chicken or chicken breast, 1 cup green vegetables, 1/2 cup white rice
Meal 4: 4oz lean ground chicken or chicken breast, 1 cup green vegetables, 3-4oz yam
Meal 5: 5oz lean beef or salmon, 1-2 cups vegetables, avocado or 2 tbsp unsalted peanut butter
Meal 6: 1.5 scoops UMP
Water Intake: Drink at least 1 gallon of water per day
Muscle Provider – post workout to build lean muscle and recover from tough workouts faster
UMP – as a great tasting, contest friendly, nighttime meal replacement
Glutamine Select – before, during, and after my workout reduces soreness and quickens recovery time
Lean Out stacked with 7-Keto MuscLean to help my body to convert stored fat into energy and lose fat without losing lean muscle
I started to use Beverly’s Pre-Contest Training manual as a guide in early 2018. I have made some adjustments along the way (more sets, lower reps, heavier weights). My workouts last from 45 to 90 minutes. Here’s an example of my training:
|Monday: Legs & Abs||Sets||Reps|
|Straight Leg Deadlift||3||12|
|Abs (various exercises)||8||25-50|
* Hack Squats are one and one half reps – go all the way down, then half way up, back down, and all the way up = 1 rep.
|Tuesday: Back, Delts, Biceps, Calves||Sets||Reps|
|Front DB Raise||3||10|
|Bent DB Lateral||3||10|
|Cable Preacher Curl||3||8-12|
|Calf Raises (various)||6-8||15|
|Wednesday: Chest, Triceps, Abs||Sets||Reps|
|Incline DB Press||4||6-10|
|Flat DB Press||4||8-12|
|Abs (various exercises)||6||15-25|
|Thursday: Legs (glute emphasis), Calves||Sets||Reps|
|Wide Leg Press||3||10-15|
|Smith Machine Squat||3||12|
|Superset each pair of exercises above|
|Calf Raises (various)||6-8||15|
|Friday: Delts, Back, Arms, Abs||Sets||Reps|
|Straight Arm Pulldown||3||10-12|
|Barbell or EZ Curl||3||6-10|
|Close Grip Bench Press||3||6-10|
|Superset each pair of exercises above||6-8||15|
|Abs (various exercises)||8||25-50
For heart health and to keep my blood pressure under control, I do some form of cardio every day for 20 – 30 minutes alternating between the stair master, spin bike, and arc trainer. Leading up to contest day, I increase my cardio intensity and incorporate plyometrics and wind sprints depending on my condition.