NID model Brit Brinkman‘s Arnold Sports Festival Odyssey is unfolding … Can you picture it — walking into the Greater Columbus Convention Center, now full of buff fit females and jack male bodybuilders? You may be in shock to see such a crowd but Columbus natives aren’t — it’s just the Arnold weekend!
If you grew up in Columbus, as have I, you are very familiar with the Arnold Sports Festival and hope to be a part of all of the joyous madness that surrounds it. I’ve had the pleasure of working booths at the convention, participated in a few of the fitness fashion shows and I’ve even worked and entertained at the Arnold after parties for the last 10 years — can you say live photo shoot?
If you are attending one of these events you might get lucky enough to run into one of the Arnold Classic competitors. Or, if you are visiting the bar scene such as Short North’s Pint House or 16 Bit you might run into Ms. Brittany Brinkman, frequenting her regular spots celebrating after her show.
Brittany is again competing in this year’s 2015 bikini division after placing third in her height class at the 2014 Arnold Amateur. This is an amazing accomplishment, as she is competing with athletes from all over the world. We are proud to say she is from Columbus.
This will be Brittany’s fourth bikini competition and second year competing in the Arnold. If you are unfamiliar with the training regimen of these athletes you might be surprised to find out how much hard work and dedication goes into competition prep for someone like Brittany.
“Diet is very important! My diet differs depending on if I am close to a show or not. I follow strict macronutrients that are customized to my body type and my training schedule,” Brittany said. “My coach, Adam Atkinson, calculates my macronutrients and gives me a specific amount of carbs, fats and protein to eat per day. These macros change often when I am close to a show in order to help me lean out while maintaining muscle. No foods are off limits during my competition prep — I can even eat oreos! I have to calculate and track all of my macronutrients to make sure I am not going over my daily intake. Although I am able to eat cookies if I’d like, most of my daily intake consists of lean protein, complex carbohydrates and a lot of fruits and veggies to make sure I am fueling my body well.”
You may think that eating cookies during prep sounds easy but usually that is not the case. Most bodybuilders follow a very strict diet regimen during a 12 to 20 week training preparation. This is just Brittany’s approach decided by her coach and herself to make it more of a lifestyle. And don’t be fooled by these tight little physiques — these girls are lifting like the guys, trying to tighten those waists and build up those glutes!
“I weight train 5 to 6 days a week. I do a lot of dead lifts, squats and shoulder presses but add in a lot of other accessory-type lifts to hit more specific muscles as well. I do conditioning sessions 3 to 5 times a week which usually consists of 15 to 25 minutes of high intensity type cardio, ” Brit said.
“For me, training is therapeutic, ” Brit revealed. “It is my 1 to 2 hour period of the day where I get to be alone (or with my coach/teammates) and focus on a goal that I truly want. I love challenging myself in the gym — it’s a place where it’s you vs. you and you get to set your own rules and standards.”
Why would someone gets into this type of sport or hobby? For Brittany, it was just the next competitive challenge after school to continue her healthy fit lifestyle.
“I fell in love with lifting and then decided to compete because it gave me a goal to work toward. It is not easy by any means. You will have to miss a lot of nights out with friends and have to follow a strict nutrition and fitness plan. Competing is just as much mental as it is physical but if you stick to it and give it your all, it can be one of the most rewarding things you’ll ever do,” Brit said.
Her hard work in and outside of the gym is obviously paying off! If you would like to watch some of the shows or go cheer Brittany on, you can find out more info about events, schedule and expo details at http://arnoldsportsfestival.com.
To follow Brittany’s journey, you can follow her on Instagram @BritBrink or @Findurstrong.
Maybe if you’re lucky you can congratulate her with a drink if you see her out on the town!