Beyond The Prep Podcast

025: Lean and Mean: Mastering Meal Plans and Mindsets for Competition Success with Savannah Silver

November 06, 2023 Sherrie Kapach Episode 25
Beyond The Prep Podcast
025: Lean and Mean: Mastering Meal Plans and Mindsets for Competition Success with Savannah Silver
Show Notes Transcript

“Take it day by day. Even little changes do add up.” —Savannah Silver

Whether you're a seasoned pro or just starting your fitness journey, the dedication required to get competition-ready is no small feat. 

In this episode, Sherrie and bikini competitor, Savannah Silver, dig into some of the real nitty-gritty aspects of prep that competitors face, from navigating social situations to managing moods on a strict diet.

Savannah fell in love with the sport after seeing the transformation of a friend in 2015, prompting her to compete in her first show. With help from her ex-husband/coach, Savannah has seen her physique transform over the years into an increasingly polished package, and she will continue pursuing improvements as she prepared for her next qualifier in Toronto in August 2022.

Tune in as they talk about what competitors find most difficult to stick to and creative ways to stay on track even when temptation calls. They also discuss effective strategies for maximizing workouts without access to a full gym.

Connect with Sherrie: 





Episode Highlights:

01:17 Parenting as a Bodybuilder

05:20 How to Prep— Packing Essentials

09:54 Pandemic Era Challenges

14:24 Competing in Natural Shows

Sherrie Kapach: Welcome to Beyond The Prep. I am your host, Sherrie Kapach. Today, I have Savannah Silver. Thank you for joining me.

Savannah Silver: No problem. Thank you for having me.

Sherrie Kapach: So we'll start out with, how long have you been competing in this?

Savannah Silver: I have been competing since 2015. That's when I did my first show. I did it in New Brunswick, and I was hooked after that. I just fell in love with it. It was like a pure adrenaline rush. It was like an instant high as soon as I got on stage, and I just knew that's what I wanted to do.

Sherrie Kapach: So what got you into this sport?

Savannah Silver: Actually, one of my girlfriends tried it first. We're all into the gym, but I never really thought of it, and then I saw the transformation she made. She looked like a Barbie on stage. I remember being like, oh, my God, I want to look like that. So that's pretty much what got me into it. I saw her transformation, and I wanted to push myself and see what I could do myself. I had her, and then a few other friends did it too. But she was the main one. She got me into this. She taught me.

Sherrie Kapach: So when you were doing it, when you were prepping for competition, did you know exactly what it all entailed with the timeframe?

Savannah Silver: No, I just kind of looked at it almost like a weight loss competition where I was so wrong. My first show, I came in underweight. I was the smallest on stage. I did decent, but that was the main critique. They said they love my look, I was just too tiny. I needed to lift heavier, put on some muscle and come back. And so yeah, I took their comments into my thoughts, I worked and improved from there.

Sherrie Kapach: So what do you find the hardest part?

Savannah Silver: The diet, for sure. Hands down, I love working out. Even if I'm not impressed, I work out almost every day anyway. It's not an issue for me. It's more an issue to keep me away from the gym. But the diet, it's a little hard. I eat healthy anyway. But sometimes, you don't get to eat everything you would like when you're on prep. So I find sometimes that's difficult. Usually, if you want to be social and you go out with friends or whatever, everyone's having a drink or eating in bed, so you have to change it up a bit if you want to continue to be social. But yeah, it's still worth it. I think it's worth it.

Sherrie Kapach: When you're talking about being social, there are times where you're just like, no, I'm gonna stay home, it's going to be easier that way for now.

Savannah Silver: Yes, sometimes I feel like everyone's used to me by now. No one really treats me differently. And a lot of the time, I'm a sober driver. It helps them out when you think of it that way.

Sherrie Kapach: I've heard some competitors say that. Oh, they like it.

Savannah Silver: It's coming out right now.

Sherrie Kapach: I understand. So you have a four year old son, how is that when you're going through all of the prep part?

Savannah Silver: I probably have it a little easier than most. Me and his dad's split, split custody. He's also a bodybuilder. He's my coach, actually. He will take him for me to train or his girlfriend, so they helped me out a lot. So even if it's my days like he's not in school, they will take him for a few hours for me to get to the gym. So yeah, it's not too bad. It's hard sometimes if they're busy, but I do have gym equipment at the house. It's just not as motivating here. I prefer to go to the gym because seeing people is kind of like a little bit of a fire under you and motivates you more. You push harder when people are watching. I do anyway. But if it comes down to it, I could always work out at home. It's not too bad.

Sherrie Kapach: That's good. What about the foods because four year olds just like--

Savannah Silver: It doesn't really bother me. He definitely has a sweet tooth and enjoys the things that most young kids use, and it doesn't bother me. I can be around us. I guess I'm used to it now.

Sherrie Kapach: Because we can get a little hungry sometimes, and your temper, your mood swings get affected a little bit easier. Get triggered a little easier.

Savannah Silver: Yeah, I do find that. I'm just more emotional. I take things personally, more personal when I'm dieting than when I'm not. And it's usually the boyfriend that gets that end of the stick, so it's not too bad for everyone else. But yeah, I definitely noticed some emotion sometimes especially when I got closer to the show. But I feel like I'm not too bad. I've learned how to control it over the years.

Sherrie Kapach: Yeah. I guess the longer you're into this sport, the more you learn about how to manage things a little easier, a little better, different ways of doing things compared to when it's your first year.

Savannah Silver: My first show. I remember crying a lot.

Sherrie Kapach: Did you ever wonder why?

Savannah Silver: That first crap. I remember being like, what am I doing and all that stuff. But as soon as I got on stage, I felt like, okay, it was worth it. So I never really questioned it after that.

Sherrie Kapach: So worth it. So what's next?

Savannah Silver: I'll accomplish one goal. And then immediately, it's like, okay, what can I do next? I want to do something else.

Sherrie Kapach: What things do you take when you're going to a show? What's the couple of things that you make sure you have with you every time you go to a show?

Savannah Silver: I always take bed sheets because I learned that the hotel will charge you if you stain them from the tan. I never got charged. I feel like I'm good. Yeah, I just take loose, dark clothing for the tan. Flip flops, your prep foods. You have to have all that ready to go. And yeah, I will take diuretics leading up to the show, usually the night before. There might have been like one or two shows that I didn't take, but I'll always take something just to try and come in a little bit tighter.

Sherrie Kapach: And your coach will always coach you on that as well?

Savannah Silver: He tells me exactly what to take.

Sherrie Kapach: Nice. When you're traveling, because you said your first show was in?

Savannah Silver: 2015, Moncton in New Brunswick.

Sherrie Kapach: So when you're traveling, is there extra because you don't have all the accessories. How do you pack your food for that?

Savannah Silver: I usually pack all my food in one bag. I don't know what they're called, but the freezer ice blocks. I'll put that in there. So I'll have one big bag just for my food, and then a suitcase for everything else. Yeah, I usually take quite a bit of stuff. But it's good to be prepared because you don't want to be there like, I forgot this or whatever. But yeah, no, it's not too bad. It's more like a routine now.

Sherrie Kapach: Yeah. So what about backstage? Is there anything essential that you make sure you take with you backstage?

Savannah Silver: I usually take the bands with me just for pumping up. Sometimes shows will have weights and stuff backstage, but not always. So I'll take that. And then usually, if there's chairs, or stairs, or anything around, I'll do a pump up off of that. But yeah, I have at one point took little five pound weights, but you never know who's around. Sometimes people can just take things, stuff like that. But yeah, I always take the rubber bands just to help me pump up.

Sherrie Kapach: Have you ever taken a blanket? Are you ever cold backstage?

Savannah Silver: Oh, I'm always freezing the day of the show. It's so cold. I see a lot of girls that have robes and stuff like that, the thin robes. I'm like, how do they do that? I'm in a sweater and long jogging pants. I'm always freezing.

Sherrie Kapach: Just leaned out so much. There's no more body fat to keep--

Savannah Silver: Oh, yeah. But it's good though. Because when you get on stage, the nerves and everything evens out so it's not too bad.

Sherrie Kapach: Yeah. And the lights shining on you, you get warm.

Savannah Silver: Yeah, you can.

Sherrie Kapach: So if you had any piece of advice, what would be your best advice for someone that's considering even working out?

Savannah Silver: I would say to take it day by day. Because I find even little changes do add up. Don't expect big changes overnight. Because even now when I start out and prep, I don't notice much changes. And then all of a sudden, you'll notice something. And then from then on, it's like, wow, like, look at the changes. Don't expect it to happen overnight. Trust the process. If you have a bad day, everyone has a bad day sometimes. If you cheat on your diet, just make up for the next day. Don't quit just because you have one bad day, and try to get around people who will support you in your goals because not everyone understands the sport. They'll just be like, oh, why are you starving yourself? I heard that so many times, and I just shrug it off now. But it's really good when people have a similar mindset or support on what you're doing just because they care about you. I would say that.

Sherrie Kapach: That's great advice. You get the people like, oh, you're getting really thin way more than you do.

Savannah Silver: Yeah, exactly. It's like, I eat six times a day. How often do you eat?

Sherrie Kapach: And they're just amazed by that, for sure. Have you always had a coach? When you first started, did you have a coach with you?

Savannah Silver: Yes, I always did. But I started out with a coach, her name was (inaudible). She was my friend's coach that I saw compete so I kind of was just like, oh, well, she helped her. I'll get the same coach. And she was great. Then my ex husband, and he was a coach. I was like, oh, go with him. I had a few coaches. I had my ex husband, but when we separated, I did try someone else. But then I was like, nah, he knows my body better. I do really well with him, I'm gonna go back. So yeah.

Sherrie Kapach: Nice. So are you competing again anytime soon?

Savannah Silver: Yeah, I'm going to Toronto for August 5th. It's a natural pro qualifier. I qualified in February for that one, so I'm gonna go there. And then it's my first time to Toronto so I'm kind of excited.

Sherrie Kapach: Nice. In 2015, so you went through the COVID era, per se, where did you have things booked through that time that got canceled?

Savannah Silver: Actually, I was really lucky because I know a few people that prepped for a show and then it was canceled. But my show went on. There was no audience. So better than having it canceled because I was like, oh, I probably would cry if I put in all that work and then they're like, no, sorry. But yeah, I was one of the lucky ones.

Sherrie Kapach: So how was that going on stage with no audience?

Savannah Silver:  I didn't mind because I didn't have any fans anyway. I was like an equal playing field now. Because I was like, oh, everyone's gonna have fans and I won't have anyone. But no, everybody was kind of, it was just crickets. I liked it.

Sherrie Kapach: Nice. You won an overall?

Savannah Silver: Yes. Last year, the Grand Prairie. It was pretty exciting. So yeah, I won the overall there. I knew a few people doing the Vancouver pro qualifier and I was like, maybe I'll try it out. I have never been to one. Just put my foot in the water, see what it was about. I think it was like a month later, I went to the Vancouver pro qualifier. I was like, whoa, it's a whole different playing field. Everyone was so hard, and everyone looked amazing. But yeah, I think it was a little intimidating, then that's where I got the idea of maybe I should try it. I'm pretty tiny, I don't know, who knows. Maybe I'll have a better shot or look more like the rest of the people at a natural show. So yeah, that's where I got that idea.

Sherrie Kapach: Okay. It's kind of next level, for sure.

Savannah Silver: I felt out, Jack's going there, and then I saw everybody else. I'm like, whoa.

Sherrie Kapach: That's a great experience.

Savannah Silver: It was great. I wasn't upset at all. I play sports in my high class, I just felt like I was on a movie set or something. I was like, everybody's gorgeous. Wow. Yeah.

Sherrie Kapach: Oh, that's great, though. You never know.

Savannah Silver: Yeah. That's kind of how I look at it. I wouldn't say I'm chasing a pro card because it doesn't really matter to me. It's just a hobby, but I feel like if I qualify, I might as well give my all and just go in and see what happens. Because you never know.

Sherrie Kapach:  Absolutely. You never know who's going to be on stage, and you never know what kind of package, your prep changes every single year with your body.

Savannah Silver: Exactly.

Sherrie Kapach: Improving every year, and the package you're delivering on stage.

Savannah Silver: Yeah, most of the time. Every time I compete, it's like a better package. So this one's even better, we'll see.

Sherrie Kapach: Absolutely, yes. All right. Well, on that note, we'll end it here. I want to thank you again for coming, and good luck in Toronto. Hopefully, I'll see you there.

Savannah Silver: That would be good. Come and say hi.

Sherrie Kapach: Absolutely. It'd be great. You're in bikini?

Savannah Silver: Yes. Yeah.

Sherrie Kapach: Perfect.

Savannah Silver: All right. Well, I'll see you again. Have a great day.

Sherrie Kapach: Thank you for joining me.

Savannah Silver: No problem.