Work It OutMy typical workout plan begins around New Year's Day and peters out by my birthday (two weeks later). By comparison, women competing in a beauty pageant start their fitness and diet plans six months to a year in advance. And the working out doesn't stop come pageant time. "While they're at Miss Universe, the day can start at 4 a.m. in order to get in a workout and have time to do hair and makeup. Then you're often out at events until anytime between 9 p.m. and 1 a.m.," Allen says. Once again I was starting to feeling like a failure in comparison to Allen's healthy lifestyle and can-do attitude. I drive an hour and half to get to work and apply my makeup in the car, cutting my routine down to a bright lipstick and barely any eye makeup to simplify things. When I get home from work I will often skip out on swimming laps for a "Scandal" marathon. Suddenly my 7-11 day didn't seem like it should be such a feat.
While routines vary depending on a contestant's body type, the fitness plan requires more dedication than even some of our most fitness-enthusiastic staffers (I'm exempt from that category) put forth.
A typical fitness week:
•5 days of cardio for 45 minutes (elliptical, walking, jogging, etc.)
•3 days of lifting alternating between the upper and lower body with light weights, typically three sets of 15 reps (arm curls, ball crunches, bench leg lifts, low walking squats, planks, etc.)
And for those 4 a.m. workouts, Holly showed me how to incorporate items you'd have around the hotel, using trunks or boxes to do step-ups and always packing a blow-up exercise ball. The workouts were pretty simple for the most part (keep in mind I skipped the cardio. I deplore cardio.), but at 4 a.m., the only equipment I want to be using is a pillow.
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