My Fitness Competition Journey - Ivana Chapman

My Fitness Competition Journey

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women fitness models on stage

Me and the girls posing it out on the fitness model stage.

Having recently completed back-to-back Fitness Competitions, I wanted to share my experience and let others join my journey towards my next goal. The stage tan has finally come off and the glittery nail polish is nearly chipped away, but the training and preparation for my next show continues with renewed vigor. Here’s a quick recap of my last 2 shows:


This competition was my primary focus, as I hoped to qualify to compete at the Provincials at the Toronto Pro SuperShow in June. I was very happy with my preparation: the training and diet was consistent throughout the 8 weeks or so that I set up to prepare for this show. Everything I did in my final week worked well too.

I did my sodium/water load and then cut my water the day before the show. I did a mild carb depletion and then a slight reload a couple of days before contest day. I was satisfied with the physique that I presented on the day.

I wasn’t hungry or thirsty and ate regular meals (2 meals before pre-judging and 2 more meals before the evening show) throughout the day. I sipped on water after the pre-judging and had about 1L by the time the evening show arrived. As far as I could tell, there wasn’t any detriment to my physique.


The whole week from the OPA show to the Fitness Star show was spent scrubbing the dark stage tan off my body a couple of times a day. I was happy with my 3rd place at this show and felt that the judges rewarded some wonderful physiques for the top 2 places.

I also had a great time, met some more awesome friends, and felt renewed energy to improve my physique in the upcoming months. I’ll probably be adding Fitness Star to my competition list later in the summer, as I had such an amazing experience with this awesome organisation.


I don’t think that I would do Fitness Shows a week apart again. Losing 2 weekends to tanning, athlete meetings, makeup & hair, packing & unpacking for the shows, and having busy weekdays between, is tough. I could have planned my nutrition more consciously from the first week to the next, but I wanted to see the impact of a more normal routine on my physique (including a big cheat day on the Sunday after the OPA show!).

I had worked hard on my posing and stage prep prior to the OPA show, but during the week before the Fitness Star show I relaxed a bit and that was probably a mistake. My stage performance wasn’t as tight as I was hoping for at Fitness Star. There was a bit of a change with my physique for the 2nd show, and I should have maintained or increased my leanness for Fitness Star. It probably wouldn’t have affected my placing, since Fitness Star judges the “total package” and the top 2 ladies brought amazing performances, but it was a personal disappointment on my part.


My 5th place finish at the OPA Toronto qualified me for the OPA Provincials at the Toronto Pro SuperShow on June 1. The Toronto Pro SuperShow is a massive 3-day event that includes professional bodybuilding, kickboxing, boxing, weightlifting, and Strongman challenges and I’m excited that I’ll have the opportunity to be part of this event as part of the OPA Provincials.

The training continues in full force, as usual. I’m working on putting together a better package for the stage next time and I’m excited about my journey.

Ivana Chapman 

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Ivana Chapman

Ivana Chapman

Ivana Chapman BSc BA CSCS is a Canadian fitness and nutrition coach, happy wife, and mom to an energetic 6-year-old boy. She is a writer, published fitness model, speaker, 3rd Dan black belt in Shotokan Karate, former World Cup Karate Champion, one-time marathoner, and CBBF National level Natural Bikini competitor. She loves weight training and chocolate, not always in that order of preference.
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