Sarah Venturini

February 15th, 2013 by

I have been following Erik’s methods and articles through LBC for about a year now.  When I stumbled upon the LBC page, I was instantly hooked.  Being a certified Personal Trainer and CSCS myself, I KNEW without a shadow of a doubt that Erik knew what he was talking about and went above and beyond your average so-called “coach” in order to ensure that his clients would reach their goals in the healthiest way possible.  This, to me, was revolutionary, as finding someone like Erik who practically applies smart science to each individual seems nearly impossible to find. 

I found Erik and LBC while researching for a BETTER way to do contest prep for myself.  I knew that I wanted to continue to compete, but just couldn’t accept that the only way to reach “competition shape” was through the all-too-familiar 5-food diet and double cardio sessions daily.  My first competition was just that: a 5-food cookie-cutter diet, 2 plus hours of cardio per day, no nutrient timing around workouts, and compete carb, water and sodium depletion toward the end.  Although my coach at the time is still a dear friend and someone I have a great amount of respect for, I knew that the rebound I experienced after the show would prevent me from ever wanting doing another one.  I was down-right miserable as I gained 20+ pounds, didn’t even want to LOOK at weights or the stair-climber, and didn’t care about nutrition anymore.  After a few months of feeling this way, I slowly gained balance back into my life and made the decision to only do another competition if I could figure out a healthier way of doing it.  I used much of the information and research that is openly shared through Erik’s websites to help me through my next 2 shows, in which I felt better, looked better and performed better.  I placed 1st overall, which qualified me for Nationals and proceeded to place 3rd in my class at the Jr. USA’s.

I was finally able to actually work with Erik as my coach starting in September of 2011.  I decided it was time for his expertise and help as I embarked on a journey to my next competition (NPC Nationals).  I wanted the full-blown LBC contest prep – and did I sure get it!  Erik gave me a plan that was very focused for contest prep, yet gave me a great amount of variety in food choices and never included carb, sodium or water depletion.  The best part was that I looked better, felt better and actually got STRONGER in the gym, despite a lower calorie intake.  As the weeks went by, I was more and more amazed at the results I was seeing.  I was floored as I was lifting heavier and performing better in the gym the closer the show was.  This was usually the opposite in former contest preps.  I felt amazing as I got leaner, tighter and felt better than ever.  The best part was that I was lifting 4 days a week and doing 2 cardio sessions per week (only because I had to teach 2 spin classes for my job).  Another huge milestone for me with Erik’s training was that my relationship with food while in contest prep made a 180 degree turn around.  (A true personal victory.) Normally during past contest preps, I would be thinking about food constantly, idolizing it and desiring to eat unhealthy foods 24/7.  Not with Erik.  I was loving the food he allowed me to eat and rarely thought about food in that way.  I was getting the proper amount of nutrients to keep me from craving junk and was given the variety that I needed in order to keep me satisfied.  I found that the more consistently compliant I was to his food plan, the easier it was to stay 100% on track.  I desired good, whole foods and didn’t have those intense cravings anymore.  I can honestly say that I ENJOYED this prep so much!  How many competitors do we know that can honestly say they ENJOY the prep?  I’m sure they enjoy the outcome and the competition.  But the prep…. is so hard to ENJOY when you are doing 2 cardio sessions a day and eating only 5 foods, feeling low on energy, fuzzy, moody and hungry all the time…. AND have major rebounds after every show.

I can honestly say that training with Erik has been a milestone in my competing journey and even in my own personal accomplishments.  Erik is a gifted, caring and realistic coach that will help you reach your goals in a profound, scientifically sound way.  Training with Erik has been an incredible learning experience for me, as Erik has facilitated me toward more positive, healthy ways of thinking and living through this whole process.  If you are thinking about working with him, you will not regret the decision to do so.  It could very well be the BEST choice you could ever make for your health and fitness goals.  I know it was for mine! Thank you, Erik, for teaching me that there IS A BETTER WAY!

– National-Level Figure Competitor, Sarah Venturini, Jacksonville, FL