Week 10 – Traveling During Prep

Flying with food & Training on the Road

Flying with food & Training on the Road
I’m about to face one of my greatest challenges of my journey. Thursday evening, I will be jumping on a red-eye flight to Washington D.C. to visit two of my best friends from UCLA. This may not seem like a challenge since it has become easier to maintain a healthy lifestyle while traveling and vacationing. If I was simply visiting during a normal time of year, I would not be as worried as I am now. However, this isn’t a normal time of year. This is contest prep. When I arrive in D.C., I will be six weeks out from my show. With only six weeks left, there is no room for error. How do I stay on my nutrition plan while traveling? Do I just “go with the flow” and hope that I don’t hurt my progress? Do I live on protein bars and shakes? How do I make this work?


Flying with food & Training on the RoadI pooled my resources through my I-Physique team and the resources at FitnessRXWomen.com (6 Ways To Travel Fit) and came up with a game plan. It is a little crazy, but I have faith that if I can make it through TSA, I will be all set. My plan is to prepare, pack, and bring ALL of my meals for the entire four days of my trip. The logistics of this plan is where it gets a little complicated. First, do I carry-on my cooler or check the cooler? Ideally, I guidelines on what exactly is allowed food-wise. My cooler will be packed with chicken, vegetables, grains, oat muffins and more without ice packs. Will the food keep okay throughout the six-hour travel day? Through my research I have come to the conclusion that 4 hours is the maximum amount of time that meat can be left at room temperature. So then the question becomes: Can I get away with bringing ice packs in my carry on bag? After much contemplation, I am hoping to find 3-ounce ice packs and place them in a ziplock bag hoping that will keep my food cold enough for the trip. I have bought loads of new Tupperware and a new cooler hoping that this will help me to make it through the weekend. I will let you know how it goes!

Flying with food & Training on the RoadI have also found a gym where I can get a free 7-day pass that is only 1.3 miles away from where I will be staying. I will be able to get up early and take a 30-minute walk to the gym to keep up with my lifting regimen. Also, because I am in D.C. and there is so much to see, running throughout all of the incredible monuments and cherry blossoms will be a great way to do my cardio. With these resources, I hope that I will continue my progress and perhaps the change in scenery will even boost my motivation.


Flying with food & Training on the RoadWhile this will be quite a challenge, there have been some changes in my life that will make the remainder of this journey much smoother. In a past post, I discussed my move to Texas and how it will be taking place a month before the competition. After some discussion, my boyfriend and I have decided to postpone the move until after the show. Doing this will help to alleviate my stress and anxiety about show prep and will also allow us more time to truly transition from Oregon to Texas.


Within this preparation, I have found the most difficult thing is posing. Before this process, I expected posing to be a little challenging. I mean, how hard can it be, right? Wrong! It’s extremely hard. While I know how to flex, the ways in which I am used to flexing is not the same type of flex that is used in competition posing. Each pose, front, side, back or individual has many aspects that need to be perfected in order to hit it just right. The hardest pose that I have found to perfect is the back pose. In order to have a great back pose, you need to create width in the lats, raise the shoulders without looking shrugged and lift the glutes. This takes a lot of practice. Widening my back while not bringing my shoulder blades together is frustrating at times.

At posing practice, I have my team around me, adjusting my body and letting me know when I have the perfect pose. However, when I get home, I have no one to tell me if I have gotten the pose, so I just hope that it is right. It’s incredibly frustrating. The posing can make or break you in a competition. It doesn’t matter how great your body is, if you don’t present yourself well, you are unlikely to place. And…I want to place. This will be a challenge, but it simply means that I must practice…practice, practice, practice. So here I go…quarter turn.

Rachael Olkin

Rachael graduated from UCLA in December 2010 with a degree in International Development Studies. She is currently working towards admission to nursing school, where she hopes to obtain both a Bachelors of Science in Nursing as well as a Masters of Science in Nursing.

Rachael is also preparing for her first Figure competition and will share her journey along the way, including her goals, aspirations and struggles.

Find more of Rachael on:

Muscular Development