When you walk into the weight room here at the CWU Rec. Center, you will undoubtedly see a hoard of muscular men, and very few women. Often intimidation by the men with serious faces and huge muscles is a factor for this, but not for Lexie Pope. At age 21, Lexie is the definition of hard work and dedication.
Last month Lexie competed in the Emerald Cup, a national qualifying Bodybuilding show in Bellevue, WA for bodybuilders from all over the United States. Being able to participate, however was not easy. Deciding she was going to commit fully to the competition in January, Lexie whipped her body into shape in only four months by hitting the gym, and sticking to a strict diet.
“I live in the gym”
Lexie says, as she describes her daily routine. On a typical day Lexie wakes up at 6:30 am for a 45 minute fasted cardio session and is out by 8:00 am to get ready for her day. Then it’s back to the gym for her job as a personal trainer. After that, she goes to her usual CWU classes, comes back to the gym once again for another training session with a client, heads to the weight room for her own lift, and finishes with yet another cardio session, trying to be out by 8:00 pm. Clearly when this girl wants something, she gives it her ALL.
As mentioned before, a strict diet contributed to Lexie’s success. Four days out of the week she sticks to a carb cycling diet, which allows for moderate carbs, high protein, and low fat, taking in about 1,200 calories in total. On a typical day, she will eat carefully portioned lean meats, an assortment of vegetables, blueberries and an apple for fruit, a plant-based protein shake, and lots of butternut squash.
“Changing my eating habits was my biggest challenge, and will continue to be a struggle everyday.”
Her rocking body however, proves that she’s still a huge success.
Lexie has not always been this fit though, she says,
“I didn’t start seriously working out until my freshman year of college. Before, I was chubby.”
She got her motivation to kick-start her active lifestyle after seeing other’s transformations on social media and wanting the same healthy change. It was at this time that Lexie hired a personal trainer. She fluctuated through the next couple of years, with no clear fitness goal in mind before realizing she wanted a deadline. That’s when the Emerald Cup came in. She hired a coach last November, who is still currently her coach, to help her prepare. It’s been three years since she started with her first personal trainer and she has come so far!
Lexie’s story can be a huge motivation for those of us who are in the beginning stages of becoming fit. When asked what advice she would give to someone just starting out their fitness practices, she replied without hesitation,
“Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I had a lot of people who helped me and motivated me along the way. Weightlifters may seem big and scary, but trust me, we love sharing our knowledge and are more than willing to answer questions and help you!”
Another piece of advice she added:
“Adapt your environment to support your goals and plans. Tell your friends so that they can support you in your endeavors. If you’re going to a party and you know you can’t resist cake, either don’t go, or make a decision beforehand to resist it. I can attribute much of my success for this prep to my sister, who was also prepping, and my roommate Catie who is a Crossfit athlete. Having that social support made a world of difference—we cried and bitched with each other when we wanted carbs and were feeling defeated.”
She mentioned that it was definitely hard at times, but everything was worth it in the long run. She even stuck reminders on her mirror to keep her ultimate goal in mind: Lean out and be healthy!
As a senior psychology major, finding time to keep up her exercise routine and her school work can be difficult sometimes, but she manages with a positive attitude. Although she has had to cut down a lot on her social life, she noted that she has made many friends within the gym. This is not surprising; anyone who knows Lexie knows that she has an upbeat personality and is very friendly. When she can squish it in, Lexie also really loves to tend to her garden, read, and play guitar. She mentioned that she is a huge nerd about music history, and loves to watch music documentaries on Netflix. A few other fav’s of hers are Greys Anatomy, Orange is the New Black, Law and Order SVU, and (her guilty pleasure) Bill Nye Saves the World. Unfortunately, only about 10% of her time can be spent on these activities, while the rest is spent in her second home at the gym, planning out and preparing meals, and working toward her degree.
The next competition Lexie is preparing for is the Tanji Johnson Classic which will be held in Tacoma, WA and we all know that she will kick butt on this one. With her mind set on those goals she can do anything. Go get ‘em Lexie!