Hardbody Road To The Olympia: A Competitor’s Life – Nicole Nagrani, The Champ

The defending Ms. Bikini Olympia Champ, Nicole Nagrani joins us to share her Hardbody Road To The Olympia. Nicole is one of the few women who has competed in each Bikini Olympia. She was third in 2010 and took top honors last year. After finishing third at the 2012 Bikini International she regrouped, refocused and won the Tampa Pro. She’s looking to carry that momentum into Vegas next month. Check out what the champ had to share in her first installment of “A Competitor’s Life”.

nicole nagrani bikini champion


4 weeks out
By Nicole Nagrani

Wow, here we are about 4 weeks out from the 3rd Bikini Olympia! I really can’t believe this year will be the third time I’ve been honored with gracing the Olympia stage! As a child when I would watch the Olympia on tv every year with my parents and never dreamed that I would be on the stage, yet alone crowned Ms. Bikini Olympia in 2011.

Now that I have earned the title of Ms. Bikini Olympia, it’s time to come back in 2012 and defend my title! This makes prepping for this show a lot different because I have earned the top spot already.  Three weeks ago I competed in the Tampa Pro where I placed first!!! I thought this was a good idea to get my head on straight and gain some momentum coming into the Olympia. By getting in competition shape a few weeks out from the Olympia and being able to critique my pictures, I can see what I need to improve and have time to do so. I also brought a different package to the stage in Tampa and it seemed to get a lot of positive feedback. This package is a lot more mature. I turn 21 this year, and Ive noticed that not only has my body matured, but also I have as a person. This becomes evident through my posing primarily because posing in the Bikini division is such a good indicator of the personality of that individual. I am a lot more confident, a lot wiser, and I have a greater appreciation for all that I have accomplished. Every time I take the stage, I approach the situation differently. I used to be so nervous, even though its such an enjoyable experience. Now I’ve learned to take everything in and enjoy every second of being in a competition. I think a lot of competitors tend to get lost in all of the craziness of prepping for a show, and especially on the day of the show. If they learned to not make everything such a big deal, just treat the prep like a lifestyle, it all becomes a lot more enjoyable. When youre not so consumed in being so uptight and nervous, it’s a lot easier to take note of everything going on and allows you to enjoy the journey. The journey to a show is an experience that not a lot of people will ever know the feeling of because it takes an exceptional individual to withstand weeks of harsh training, dieting, and the mental fatigue of constantly trying to improve. So make sure to live it up and not let it pass you by.

Coming off the Arnold with a third place finish after winning the Olympia has definitely given me some motivation to put 150% effort into prepping for this years Olympia. People always ask if I was disappointed with the outcome of the Arnold and my answer is ABSOLUTELY NOT. First off, I’m competing in the most prestigious shows in the world, the Arnold and the Olympia, next to the most beautiful women with the most incredible bodies…. It wouldn’t matter if I placed dead last!  On the other hand, I was able to take the critique from that show, learn from it, and improve. If you are willing to take steps toward improvement and never settle for what you may think is your best, then you become a winner in my eyes. Striving for perfection, which is generally unattainable, is not easy. So the perseverance, dedication, and motivation that fuels the passion to better one self are all characteristics that make you a better person. I am a better person in all aspects of my life because I compete. I am a stronger woman with high expectations for myself because I have set goals for myself to be the best I can be. This all stems from the goal of IMPROVEMENT.

With that being said, I will hope to improve my physique, my posing, and myself on the road to this years 2012 Olympia. GAME ON!

Here’s a good shoulder workout that’s aided in my improvement off season…

The key to obtaining the result you want, is training according to your desired “look”. If you want to put on size, lift heavier and do less reps. If you want to lean up, grab waits that you can do lots of reps with but aren’t to easy to lift. You also have to find out what kind of training works for YOU! Experimenting is one of the most time consuming and annoying things to do when you want result right away, but when you find out what works best for your body type its well worth it.

In my case, I tend to lift a little heavier to put on size on my upper body. I’ll grab the 20 lb dumbbells instead of the 10 lb.

Remember ladies
It’s harder to put on muscle than you think! 5lb dumbbells wont do the trick, and lifting heavy will not turn you into a monster

I generally allow for 30 seconds of rest in between sets. That way, I’m not wasting time, my metabolic rate is elevated, but I’m not burning out too quickly. I try to go up in weight.

5X 12 Arnolds
5X 15 Shoulder Press
5X 12 lateral raise
5 X 12 rear lateral raise

See photos of Nicole here. Follow Nicole on twitter @nicolenagrani and become a fan on Facebook.

Disclaimer: Reader discretion advised, please consult your physician before beginning any exercise or diet program.