How I prepared for a fitness magazine photoshoot

IMG_7660This past Sunday I did a photoshoot for an article I’m working on for an upcoming issue of IMPACT Magazine.

Of course, the article has to be about sports bras and of course the photoshoot has to happen in the middle of winter. As a chronically cold person with Raynaud’s disease, I seriously had to psyche myself for this photoshoot. And not just because of the cold — I was going to be photographed running around in JUST a sports bra and shorts; something I don’t feel comfortable doing even in the summer months. Lying around in a bikini in the sun at the beach, sure — but things jiggle when you run. And since I’m right in the middle of marathon training and my fast-twitch muscle fibres — the ones that get more defined with resistance training — are taking a back seat to my less defined slow-twitch muscle fibres, I’m a bit squishy at the moment. Marathon training hanger hasn’t really helped, either.

For about half a week I thought about how to “get ready” for this photoshoot. I even researched some fitness competition photo prep techniques like drinking gallons of water the week before and dehydrating yourself on the day of the photoshoot; cutting out carbs and amping up strength training; and getting a spray tan so any abdominal definition I might have left from my strength-focused off-season workout routine would be visible.

Luckily, my desire to look a certain way for the magazine photoshoot was short lived. I write about the problems with filtered social media posts and negative body image issues and on my blog, and tell my clients that trying to lose weight during marathon training is a terrible idea — so why should I be a total hypocrite and represent anything but my true self for the magazine? If I was doing a photoshoot to promote something like my personal training business or a product, then sure, maybe I’d want to look a certain way. But that’s not what this article is about. I want it to be relatable so women who read the magazine article can picture themselves in our (running) shoes, and will take our advice about which new sports bras — bras that we tested for months and months during all kinds of activities — might work best for their cup size and sport of choice.

So instead of spray tans and carb-cutting, here’s how I got ready for my fitness magazine photoshoot.

Diet
The week before my photoshoot, I ate how I would normally eat: a big bowl of oatmeal and berries for breakfast; peanut butter on rice cakes with an orange for a snack; a veggie wrap with cashew cream cheese and tempeh with carrot sticks for lunch; a homemade granola bar for a snack; fruit or almond butter on crackers for another snack; tofu and pan-fried veggies with either quinoa or rice for dinner; and half a bar of dark chocolate for dessert. Save for a few post-long training run dry cereal binges, I averaged about 2,300 calories a day of about 300 g carbs, 65 g protein and 85 g fat. Although my body was full of water retained from all those carbs on the day of the photoshoot, my muscles were full of glycogen for my Sunday long run — which takes priority over looking lean for a magazine.

A typical lunch! Carrot ginger cashew soup and a veggie wrap with tempeh.

A typical lunch! Carrot ginger cashew soup and a veggie wrap with tempeh.

 

Workouts
I more or less stuck to my marathon training plan and did two days of strength training, two shorter tempo runs, a 5 km hill sprint (the morning before the photoshoot) and a 16 km long Sunday run. No last-minute pump-up strength training sessions for this girl.

Country road hill sprints are great quad-burners!

Country road hill sprints are great quad-burners!

 

Aesthetics
Okay, I actually did go tanning the day before — but so I don’t get burnt to a crisp during the Phoenix Marathon in a few weeks, since I’ll most likely sweat off my sunscreen during the race. It’s also hovering around 27 degrees C there right now, so I’m trying to ease in to the warmth. Plus tanning beds are warm and tend to help with my eczema, so I figured a few 8-minute sessions won’t hurt.

I did my make-up at home as I normally would and put my hair in a pony tail as requested. I picked my own running shoes and bottoms to go with my sports bra. There was so special hair styling, photo make-up or last-minute primping for this photoshoot! Just a bunch of fit chicks in awesome sports bras, freezing their asses off as they ran and posed along Dallas Road in downtown Victoria in the middle of winter.

We had to go for quick sprints in between shots just to stay warm!

We had to go for quick sprints in between shots just to stay warm!

 

So which of the latest and greatest sports bras for spring 2016 made the cut? You’ll have to read the March issue of IMPACT to find out!

Have you ever done a photoshoot where you felt the need to “get ready” for it? Did you do anything different in the weeks leading up to it?

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