Beyond The Prep Podcast

027: Pumping Iron: Overcoming Trials and Savoring Triumphs as FIrst-TIme and Seasoned Bodybuilders with Jordan Long and Laila Lanteigne

November 20, 2023 Sherrie Kapach Episode 27
Beyond The Prep Podcast
027: Pumping Iron: Overcoming Trials and Savoring Triumphs as FIrst-TIme and Seasoned Bodybuilders with Jordan Long and Laila Lanteigne
Show Notes Transcript

 “When you see your body change and your progress is made, you get excited to see it.” —Laila Lanteigne

“Ask yourself why you're doing it. And if you're not doing it for the right reasons, it's not for you.” —Jordan Long 

Whether you're a seasoned bodybuilder or a fresh-faced newbie, the principles, mindsets, and values that fuel success remain the same. Consistent effort, unwavering discipline, and the will to push through any obstacle are the hallmarks of a true bodybuilder. The path may be long and arduous, but the rewards are worth every drop of sweat and every ounce of pain.

This week’s episode features coaches, bodybuilding competitors, and life partners, Jordan Long and Laila Lanteigne. Jordan has been competing in bodybuilding for 17 years since he was 15 years old, making him the youngest competitor at his first show. He placed third at his most recent competition. Lila recently started her competing journey, winning her first show overall at the wellness division after only 12 weeks of dedicated prep. 

Listen in as they discuss the challenges of prepping together while raising their family and maintaining busy careers. Jordan and Laila also share about their recent competition experiences at the TNT show, lessons they’ve learned over the years about overtraining, undereating, and using performance-enhancing drugs at a young age, mental challenges of competing, the importance of having the right motivations and coach, and advice for both experienced and new athletes. 

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Episode Highlights:

01:17 Competing as a 15-Year-Old

03:37 Fitness Journey and Balancing Family Life

07:45 Learning Patience with Progress 

12:11 BodyBuilding, Diet, and Mental Health

16:49 Reverse Dieting for Competition Prep

20:55 Pre-Show Rituals 

23:36 Every Little Detail Matters

Sherrie Kapach: Welcome to Beyond The Prep. I'm your host, Sherrie Kapach. I'd like to welcome today, Jordan and Layla. They've just finished competing this weekend at the TNT. 

Welcome, thank you for joining me.

Jordan Long: Thank you for having us.

Sherrie Kapach: So how long have you been bodybuilding for?

Jordan Long: For myself, I was actually young. The youngest person on stage at my first competition, which was held in Halifax, Nova Scotia. At the age of 15 years old, I was on stage. I've been doing this now for 17 years.

Sherrie Kapach: Wow. So how did that feel being the youngest on stage?

Jordan Long: Honestly, when you're in the local gym, everybody thinks you're gonna win. You're in the best shape in that gym. I was 15 years old. I had a lot of people telling me, you should compete, you would do so well. So yeah, I definitely dyed it hard for that. I doubted myself. I really didn't know what I was doing. But I do remember getting up there backstage and seeing how big the guys were, and I wanted to leave my sweater. I'll tell you that. But actually when I had gotten there, and I remember being backstage pumping up and all the guys being so supportive. And once they realized how young I was, they couldn't believe the shape I was in at that age. And that year to come to think about it, I was on stage with 30, 40 year old men. I was old enough to be their son. So it was a really good experience. And from that day on, I was absolutely hooked. So I went from doing that competition. And competing every year after, I ended up winning that show to 50 or into competing, or sort of my fourth year. I ended up winning that show. I took a little break as we have children, that can be a lot. So I did take a little break this year. Past weekend at TNT was my first competition in five and a half years. So yeah, it was nice to get back up there. And yeah, back into the room. I started 17 years ago.

Sherrie Kapach: That's young to be on stage, for sure. And how about you, Layla, how long have you been into bodybuilding?

Layla: I actually started 17 years old. Kind of got into bodybuilding about maybe two years ago to try to figure out how to build a body, how to get into competition, but not actually do anything, not just studies. Oh, maybe I can really watch the show or something like that.

Sherrie Kapach: So how was it prepping together?

Jordan Long: It was interesting. It's ups and downs. We do have three children. So we've been juggling school. Pick up, drop offs, the home life of having children. I work anywhere from 13 to 14 hours a day. So it was gone a lot. She was managing everything here alone. She also has a meal prep company from the house. So we are both extremely busy. But that being said, I do feel like it did have its benefits as well where we both were having the same goals in mind. And we were both on restricted diet, training and cardio regimen. So we did all that together which I did feel like it makes things a little bit easier, obviously towards the tail end. As you know, the diet gets pretty difficult. So we definitely had our moments. But other than that, it was pretty good overall. Like I said, it was the first landless show ever so she didn't really know what to expect. I just kept saying to trust the process for Coach laying out the plan. So I would go over things with her, and she ended up doing very well. But to answer your question earlier, we've been in the gym training. Not towards a specific goal for her, she's always been in the gym training. But it wasn't until, honestly, 12 weeks before the TNT, she decided to take it seriously. She just came to me and she's like, I really want to compete. Let's do it. So I said, we want to do it. Let's do it. So it's pretty impressive to see that she just had the 12 weeks of consistency of actually following a set plan. So yeah, we're looking forward to seeing what we do in Vancouver, and then taking a full year of actually taking this to another level, and taking it more seriously, and see what you can accomplish. Overall, doing it together was, like I said, I feel like it worked out for the best because having that structured same routine everyday together, it's a lot easier.

Sherrie Kapach: How is it when you have children because you feed them differently, and there's different foods. How do you guys handle that part of it?

Jordan Long: As far as the food and stuff, both of us are pretty strict.

Layla: We prep everything, we get everything ready for our kids.

Jordan Long: It doesn't really bother us. The only thing I find very difficult through prep with children is feeling like you're neglecting them. The final couple of weeks, it's pretty selfish. The sport can be pretty selfish because for instance, I'd be gone for 14 hours work, dad would come home and the kids would be like, oh, Daddy's home and all excited. I would have 15, 20 minutes. But hey, daddy, gotta go to the gym now. Out the door I go. So that part was probably the most difficult as far as the eating. The kids being kids wasn't so bad because we're both pretty disciplined when we have a goal in mind. So the food didn't really bother either one of us. But yeah, that was probably the most difficult part. Having children throughout prep is feeling like you're neglecting them not having that extra time that they need. And yeah, like the final week, your energy levels are pretty much gone. That was probably the most difficult part.

Sherrie Kapach: When you're at the gym, you're even at the gym for a couple hours. It's not just in and out.

Jordan Long: And the lifestyle we live in, like I said, we work from anywhere from 12 to 14 hours almost every day. So between doing our cardio in the morning, work training in the evenings, there was definitely a lot to manage and juggle. But luckily, our two oldest, they understand so it wasn't so bad. But our youngest is four. So that was I found that pretty challenging, but we got through it.

Sherrie Kapach: Yeah. Layla, how did you find it doing your first competition?

Layla: Very excited. I'm preparing for that. I know what is coming. I didn't do my best that day.

Sherrie Kapach: Nice. And how did you guys do this weekend?

Jordan Long: I ended up taking third place in the middleweight division. Layla ended up winning the overall in the wellness division.

Sherrie Kapach: Amazing. Job well done.

Jordan Long: Yes. So we decided to send her to Vancouver. I am qualified to do it, but I decided to take another year. I did draw 12 and a half pounds the day before the show to make middleweight. which was kind of a I'm kind of regretting doing now because I did sacrifice the book. I feel like if I had stayed where I should have been, the outcome would have been better. Not necessarily placing wise, but my look is short, but yeah, I decided to not do it and focus on Layla for the last two weeks just to put everything into the prep. Be there by her side, be able to support her and make sure I don't miss anything at all. We're very excited that she's going there. And she can't wait. Like I said, she doesn't know what to expect. You didn't know what to expect in this one. Everything's completely new to her. I'm seeing lots of her now, because I'm sure she'll be pretty fucked after this.

Sherrie Kapach: She kind of did get those competitors high or something. Okay, when's the next one?

Jordan Long: Exactly. And that's what I had explained to her to like, I did take the five and a half years off just to focus on the children in my career and stuff, but you always get the itch. Even when you think you're done, maybe at that competitive edge back and you're like, you know what? I kind of miss it. You know what, I got one more. It's just very repetitive. I feel that for the both of us, too. It's almost like, like you said, it's almost like you get some sort of higher. It's the process of going through, and seeing how far you can push your body mentally and physically. Because you know yourself like the gym is pretty much the easy part. The training and stuff is fun. But once you get to a level of conditioning where your body fat gets so low, it's such a mental thing. You have to have so much discipline to keep pushing. I don't know how many times the two of us will be doing fast cardio side by side and be like, you know what? I'm not doing this anymore. Why are you doing it knowing that you can just mentally feel like you're breaking and quitting. And then within 10 minutes, there's just a switch that goes off and you're like, no, I got this 20, 30 more minutes. And that's kind of what our drive comes from to see how far we can really push it without breaking. And so once you get up there, it's like, I made it. I had one show in the past, but I lost at the end of the day. You're still a winner when you get there. If you're able to push yourself and get to the final stretch and make it there, to me, that's a winner on its own.

Sherrie Kapach: Absolutely. Just making it to stage three, proud of that, for sure. I'm glad to hear that you said that. Like, oh, why am I doing this twice? And then you just push through it. Even being at the show this weekend gave me that extra motivation because there's a couple of weeks left, and seeing everybody, there was like the switch went on going this and this.

Jordan Long: Exactly. It's definitely motivating. And like I said, a lot of it's mental, your mind will put 100 times over before your body. That's pretty much what motivates the two of us because I know, yourself being a competitor, having days where you feel like you just want to give up and not giving up, and getting up the next day and having that motivation back again. You might have an off day, you might have a bad day mentally. And then the next day, you're right back into the groove of things and just steady consistency. And that's where the progress will come.

Sherrie Kapach: What do you know now that you wish you would have known when you first started out? Of course, you were very young. You said that you didn't know much about it.

Jordan Long: For me personally, there's a few things. One, definitely not rushing into things that feel like it's not a race to get there. Definitely, overtraining was a huge thing. Because a lot of people tend to think that the more they do, the longer they train, the more results they're going to have, which is the furthest thing from the truth. You have to listen to your body. You have to give it the rest that it needs. My biggest thing was under-eating when I first started competing. It was a feeling like the less I ate, the leaner I would get, which is also the furthest thing from the truth. So those two things for sure. Overtraining, brushing things and under-eating. But also another thing is PED use was a big one of mine. Because when I started competing at such a young age, as 15 years old, obviously, I was a natural competitor. I do remember being 15, I actually played 7th place when I was 15 years old, which was fairly well. I remember that I went back the following year at 16, and I placed 7th again. I think there might have been around the same amount of competitors. But obviously, the competition was better. So I remember being 16 and being discouraged like, well, I didn't do better than last year. So then at 17, I placed 4th. And I remember when I got off stage that year, certain coaches reached out to me looking to help. And PED talk would already be in the mix. 

I'm 17 years old. People would honestly like, if you want to do better, this is the route you have to take. And me being so young, I almost did it at 17 because I was so in love with the sport thinking that, okay, well, this is what I need. That being said, I didn't take that path. But I did start on PEDs at 19, which was definitely far too young. That's a big regret of mine just knowing that I did reach my full potential naturally. I did end up winning that year, of course, and that was kind of what sparked. It almost became not an addiction. But it was like, okay, they're right. This is what I needed all along. But it was just having those extra years of consistency of training. Another one for sure is wishing that I had held off and didn't go that path at such a young age. But I learned a lot over the years. So even being a coach myself, that is something that I always tell everybody to hold off on until you know if this is something that you want to try, to make a career out of. It's a personal decision, but I definitely feel like it's not needed either.

Sherrie Kapach: Layla, you'll be doing your first competition having that structure and the other control that's needed in there. How did you find that compared to just going to the gym without competing compared to the focus entailed in competing like?

Layla: Going to the gym everyday is always like a routine that is easy for us. Fun while competing. For me from the beginning, I say that it is hard to diet and eat because it's lIke, why do I need to eat it either. But my diet is kind of hard or easy at the same time. But I really love it. And when you see your body shakes and your progress is made, excited to see it. Then you go out there, the feeling of the wind, it just made me blow us away either. I didn't expect that.

Sherrie Kapach: Yeah. So post competition, how do you guys do your, she's still competing and you're not. What kind of plan did you have when you went back home?

Jordan Long: So for me, I'm a firm believer in doing a reverse diet for many reasons. For health reasons, obviously, and for the mental aspect of it all. So I pretty much jumped right back into my diet. So coming home from the show, first thing, I remove all PEDs. I come off everything. I give my body a break. I go right back. Basically, I'm following the same program. I was two weeks out from the competition, calorie wise, carbohydrate wise. So for the sole reason of like, we had the two days of free eating, you'll see that the scale rapidly jumps off just from fluid retention and water and you know how all that goes. It's not only not good for your health. But mentally, it's very challenging to see your body go from being so lean. And just to watch all go away in a blink of an eye, right? So basically, I go right back on my diet pending on my progress. I still do my checking photos, I still track my weight as if I was still competing. And basically, I slowly want to increase those calories and carbohydrates week to week as we go right depending on where my body's at. But right now, I'm only two pounds over stage weight. So yeah, so we took the two days, the two of us did the free eat. The scale jumped up for me, I think 11 and a half pounds. Obviously, that came down after three days being back on the program. Layla jumped up 10 pounds. Now, she's actually the same weight she is where she was shown today. So yeah, definitely reverse diet. Like I said, you put all that hard work and just to jump back in. A lot of people don't understand, but you're tracking your sodium intake, your water intake, your calorie intake, your cardio for all these weeks. I've made that mistake in the past myself. I remember one year, I put on 40 pounds in two weeks. I have so much fluid retention in my ankles. My blood pressure was through the roof just because I thought, well, the diets are over now. This is a lifestyle. This isn't just doing this first show. 

So over the years, I've definitely learned a lot there. But yeah, definitely a firm believer in reverse dieting. I do have a coach, he also has the same beliefs. So it's really good because he's keeping close tabs on me. And they said that I'm right back into the program again. And the goal is to probably, over time, I do plan on coming back next year. But my plan is to put on probably another 10, 15 pounds of stage weight that I had this year for next year. But just slowly ease my way into it and do more. So like I said, a health phase on top of that by coming out and making sure my blood works in check, and everything's in check. That's what's most important.

Sherrie Kapach: Like you say, that reason scales right after. It can be just almost traumatizing mentally for some people if they're not expecting it.

Jordan Long: That was a big thing. I had pretty much tried to drive into Layla because prior to prep, like she had mentioned, she never followed any sort of regimen. She ate whatever she wanted when she wanted. She used to go to the gym, and she would train whatever she felt like training that day. There was nothing. She obviously was in the gym everyday, and she loved fitness. She could get away with eating whatever she wanted and still be fit and healthy. So I did warn her like, once you do get into these calorie deficits like you have been for the last couple of weeks per show, you just can't jump back into doing that. I think she realized that after having those two days of free eating and looking at the scale, she was like, oh, my goodness, how am I going to do Vancouver? I laughed because I said no, no, this is a fluid. This will come off in a day or two to get back. But it definitely scared her. So she is already talking about doing her reverse diet after Vancouver. Like I said, there's a lot to it. But once you figure it out, it's pretty straightforward.

Sherrie Kapach: Yeah, yeah. There's definitely science. And each prep is different because your body is different going into it. Like you say, you're tracking everything.

Jordan Long: That's a good example. Because with Layla, towards the tail end of it, she was eating more carbohydrates than I was. So once you figure out your body and how it responds to certain things, like I said, everybody's body's different. Every prep is different. She's definitely someone that could tolerate a lot of carbohydrates and still drop body fat, which is good because she didn't really have to suffer per se, throughout the tail end of the prep. But yeah, everybody's different.

Sherrie Kapach: Yeah, for sure. So if someone came to you that was thinking about competing or getting into bodybuilding, what's the best advice you would give them?

Jordan Long: Number one, I would ask them their purpose for doing it. I do have a lot of people come to me and they liked the idea of it, sometimes for the wrong reasons. But if it's a goal of yours, then I'm always, it's just hard because I feel like social media being a big thing now and stuff like that, a lot of people tend to jump into the stage just to be recognized, and it's not something they really love to do that they just like the idea of it. But for me, if someone approaches me for coaching, I basically tell them, and for myself, you have to be all in. This is something that you have to want to do. It's not a walk in the ballpark. It's not something as simple as just, let's take some supplements and go to the gym, and I'm going to be stage ready. I explained how difficult it is, both mentally and physically. If they're ready for it, then I'm all for it. But like I said, these days, especially social media, people compare each other to one another, and that's where the PEDS come in and stuff like that at such a young age because people see these people that have been doing it for 20 years. And that's what they think they need, when really they just need time to put into the sport, and to put into their diet and their training. And so I have had a lot of people come to me for coaching. And to be honest with you, I've steered a lot of people away as well because they were doing it for the wrong reasons. They were wanting to look like so and so, and they were willing to sacrifice their health to be on stage when that's not what this is about. Your health is number one. I definitely think it's a fantastic sport to get into. Like I said, it's something that I lived and breathed since I was a kid. But there's definitely a wrong way of going about it, and a right way of going about it. But that's why I'm big on believing in having a good coach as well. It's having someone to guide you the right way, the right direction. But yeah, definitely ask yourself why you're doing it. And if you're not doing it for the right reasons, I feel like it's not for you.

Sherrie Kapach: Great question for them. One more question for each of you. Layla, what do you take backstage when you're getting ready? What kind of things do you take with you behind the stage?

Layla: Yeah, I have whatever that might cause you (inaudible).

Jordan Long: She's very spoiled as well. So everything's packed for her. She just does what I tell her to do. But for Layla, to answer the question for you to make it easy. Backstage, she would have had her pop up bands, rice cakes. She had natural almond butter, she had jam. What else did Layla have? She had some honey. And of course, everything she needs to be all glammed up. Layla carved up rice cakes prior to the show with honey. She used some almond butter, but it was a jam here and there. She was actually quite funny because she is new at this so she's like, there's certain terms that I would use. You're a little bit flat, so what she decided, she didn't quite understand what flat meant. So when she wanted to get a little extra food, she was like, I feel like I'm flat. And I'm like, I feel like you don't even know what that means. You're trying to get extra food. Can I have a rice cake? It was pretty funny. But it was cool to see that everything that I told her to do, she trusted the process. And honestly, everything that we had told her, what happened to her body when the timing was right for certain food groups and stuff, and she would look in the mirror and be like, oh, my god, you're right. She definitely had full trust in us. But like I said at that point in time, every little detail matters. It makes all the difference. So it definitely paid off.

Sherrie Kapach: So do you have a blanket to stay warm back there?

Layla: That day was really warm for me. I don't have anything. I just keep warming up and running back to see people on stage.

Sherrie Kapach: Brilliant. Wonderful. And what do you take backstage with you?

Jordan Long: I actually had some rice cakes, pop tarts, almond butter, and honey. I did bring a blanket because I fell asleep back there actually twice. Yeah, that's pretty much it for me. For this year, a little bit of water.

Sherrie Kapach: Okay. On that note, I just want to thank you both for joining me. This was great together, and wish you luck in Vancouver. All right. I'm gonna sign off.

Layla: Thank you very much for having us.

Sherrie Kapach: We'll have to connect after your next show.