Don’t tell that to Siene Allen.
The night before competing in the nation’s largest amateur competition — the Emerald Cup Championships in Bellevue, Wash. — the 32-year-old Kodiak resident downed a burger and fries.
Her eating binge was the perfect recipe for success.
Allen topped a field of 16 women in the figure Class D division on April 25. She earned a first-place vote from each of the seven judges.
“This was the first show that I have ever been at where, for my class, first place was unanimous,” Allen said.
Allen, a native of Montana, is a veteran figure competitor, but this was her first win in eight shows.
It must have been the burger.
“It was really difficult to eat that the night before the show,” Allen said.
Allen didn’t lose her mind; there was a strategy for her madness.
She was manipulating her sodium, carbohydrate, and water intake. The solution: A hamburger and fries.
“For me sodium-loading was what I needed to do so that I came in looking nice and sharp,” Allen said.
Allen started training 24 weeks before the show. She would spend upwards to three hours a day at the gym. Each day working on specific body parts.
“It is a part-time job,” she said.
Pumping iron is nothing new for Allen. She started lifting as a sophomore in high school and kept an eye on professional female bodybuilders by flipping through magazines.
“I didn’t know anything about it except that I thought they looked great and I thought it would be awesome to look like that one day,” she said.
Allen moved to Florida after graduating high school and started working out at a gym owned by two German bodybuilders. She said the two owners tried to get her to join the sport, but she laughed when they showed her the poses.
It wasn’t until she moved back to Montana that she got serious about being a figure competitor. Figure is different than bodybuilding as judges look for shape and cemetery instead of popping muscles.
“They want us to look feminine and fit,” Allen said.
Allen has been competing for three years and had to adjust the way she trained when she and her husband moved to Kodiak for a job last August.
She was used to big gyms with lots of equipment. She also liked to sprint outside, which can’t be done during the winter months in Kodiak.
Allen found a home at the Kodiak Athletic Club and was surprised at how people-friendly it was.
“The one thing that has been really nice over here is just the support from the gym… Everybody is looking out for everybody and that makes almost more of a difference than having a nice fancy gym,” she said.
This was Allen’s third Emerald Cup show. She placed third in her figure class last year. This year she won her class, which put her up against six class winners for the overall title. She didn’t win the overall title, but was thrilled she got that far.
“Part of it is just luck of the day and part of it is just a lot of hard work,” she said.
By winning her division, Allen can compete at any national show. She hopes to do that this summer. Her ultimate goal is to obtain her professional card, which is given to national show winners.
“For me, it is about pushing yourself beyond your limits and trying things that might be uncomfortable,” Allen said. “Most people don’t really enjoy being on stage in front of a bunch of people.
“It is nice to come off there knowing that you put in a lot of hard work and you look good — there is a lot of sense of accomplishment.”
Contact Mirror writer Derek Clarkston at email@example.com.