Meet a star of the stage: Introducing the talented and inspirational UKBFF Bikini Fitness Athlete, Beth Williams!
I had a chat with the Bikini Fitness model, who speaks exclusively with Bodybulk about her life, bodybuilding and her ever increasing rise within the fitness industry. Find out all about Beth and her story…
Height: 5’5″ – 167cm
Weight: 132lbs – 60kg
How did you get into bodybuilding?
It was quite a random situation actually, how it came about was weird! I never really liked the idea of bodybuilding and I didn’t use to be very confident, so the idea of standing up on a stage in a bikini was something I could never see myself doing! I was studying my PT course in Central London and there were two girls who had competed and were in amazing shape on a different course.
“I remember looking at them thinking ‘I want to look like you’
I researched into the sport a bit more and, with some persuasion, decided to give it a go! I was a little lost with my own training regime at the time after just giving up swimming and athletics. It was a good time to add a new goal into my lifestyle.
Who, or where, do you get your inspiration from?
I am an avid Instagram user, so see lots of the other Bikini girls post their content on there, which inspires me a lot. My coach is VERY motivating and has won or placed in every show he’s competed in, so he definitely inspires me to do my best during my prep for an upcoming show!
When you get on stage and compete, I can’t describe the buzz you get, but just hearing other people competing or seeing their posts inspires you! I always tell myself I need time to grow but end up getting serious itchy feet when watching the other girls!
What’s a typical week of training look like for you?
So, I change my training up quite frequently so my body doesn’t adapt too much. I’ve done; push pull legs splits, upper body, lower body and full-body splits. Currently, I’m doing two leg sessions, one focusing mainly on hamstrings and glutes (which I tend to do with my coach normally), then a shoulder session, back session, full body metabolic circuit and then an optional training day of anything I feel was a weak point during the week.
I’ll isolate my hamstrings and glutes at another point during the week when I can fit it in (normally a high rep finisher after the main workout). If cardio is needed, I’ll do that accordingly.
I don’t really isolate my arms because genetically, I’ve got quite lean arms. I’ll add some arms and ab exercises into my metabolic circuit.
What’s your approach to nutrition?
I’ve trialled them all and actually, as weird as it sounds, with previous coaches it works out that I’ve tried most of the different styles of nutrition for a show too. I’ve never really got on with the ‘IIFYM’ approach and as a personal trainer and fitness professional, I have bits I could argue about that approach. I like carb-cycling and it is efficient but for me I prefer macros. It’s easier, as I know exactly what to prep for my meals, exactly how much and it stays the same all the time. (obviously, until my coach wants to change something!) I can definitely see the benefit.
I like carb-cycling and it is efficient but for me I prefer macros. It’s easier, as I know exactly what to prep for my meals, exactly how much and it stays the same all the time (obviously, until my coach wants to change something!) I can definitely see the benefits.
“I think with most people who prep for a show it’s more consistency – you have to be SO strict and even that one bar of chocolate you have is ‘bad’, in a sense.”
It’s mad because, as a personal trainer, I try and coach my clients to enjoy eating and have a healthy balanced lifestyle, but then in this ‘sport’ you need to be disciplined. Most people don’t understand how mentally and physically challenging it is!
How do you supplement?
Yes and no; I try and get my protein in my diet in the form of food! I get hungry all the time so for me, it works better if I physically eat something rather than drink it, if that makes sense? If I’m going to take protein in a shake form I will use the Goddess Nutrition Whey Protein. All their flavours are UNREAL. They all have such a good taste and don’t have that generic protein shake taste afterwards, which is nice. However, I really rate the Goddess Nutrition BCAA’s – I take BCAA’s in a powder form every day, normally twice during the day, it keeps me feeling energised and I find it really helps with my recovery. The Goddess Nutrition flavours are insane! They taste so good I end up drinking it like squash. Oops!
What are your 3 best exercises and why?
Such a hard question! I try to keep things relatively functional but I love training so can see the benefit of lots of exercises. If I have to pick 3… my top 3 at the moment probably are:
Pull Ups: I’m genetically quite strong in my back so I find these challenging but rewarding when you can do them, especially as a female. Most men and women think if a girl does a pull up they’re really muscular, and I think it’s almost frowned upon in some gyms! Pull ups work your back, yes, but they also engage your arms and delts (if done correctly), and also your core. So they work lots of muscles, instead of isolating.
Glute Ham Raise: I’ve genetically got strong glutes but my hamstrings are really weak, they’re always the last thing to lean down before a show. I find that the hamstring phase of this machine is so good for my hammies and really strengthens them, while you’re also actively using your glutes all the time. They’re one of those exercises that you don’t necessarily feel 100% at the time but will know you’ve done it the next day!
“Done properly this is hands down probably one of the best bits of kit for hamstrings and glutes!”
Deadlifts: I’ve always loved a deadlift, there’s something about them that make me feel strong and like I’ve achieved something, even if I’m having a bad session (everyone has them!) Deadlifts are so easy to get wrong, but so good if done correctly as they really work for most muscle groups and are one of the best exercises to build strength. Be careful to watch your technique on them as if done wrong they are a very high injury risk, always get a professional to teach you!!
Deadlifts are so easy to get wrong, but so good if done correctly as they really work for most muscle groups and are one of the best exercises to build strength. Be careful to watch your technique on them as, if done wrong, they are a very high injury risk. Always get a professional to teach you!!
And your three worst exercises?
Hip Abductor/Adductor Machines: do a wide stance walking lunge, it works the exact same muscle!
Girls that do kickbacks on the Stairmaster/climbmill: It’s not going to target your glutes any more than a banded or cable kick back is going to.
Behind the head overhead press/ lat pull down: they’re different exercises but people seem to think that these really work. Granted, you might feel them in your shoulders and lats, but performing these exercises gives you a really bad range of movement which is a higher injury risk – you’re also going to see much more benefit from doing a normal overhead press or lat pull down anyway. If you’re stuck for ideas on how to make it harder, there are loads of ways you can feel it differently by still doing the same exercise. Try adding a pause in at the top of each rep or hold the rep for 5 seconds.
How does your training and diet evolve as you get closer to a competition?
It really depends. Competing is all about aesthetics, so if you look really lean 5 weeks out then cardio could be cut and calories increased. If you’re not leaning down as quickly as possible it’s likely that LISS (low-intensity steady state) cardio will go up and HIIT (high-intensity interval training) cardio will be added.
Resistance training will usually stay the same for me unless my shoulders are under developed or my legs become ‘too muscular’ for the bikini look. It’s really difficult to pinpoint a specific thing that will change because it really depends on how your body is reacting to it!
If somebody else wanted to follow your path and get into bodybuilding, what is the one piece of advice you’d give them?
Do your research!
It’s almost impossible to stay motivated all day every day through prep so don’t be disheartened if you have days where you just don’t want to do it, even the best of us have those! Make sure if you’re going to get a coach you do your research and don’t be afraid to ask to see qualifications etc. It sounds a bit intense, but the number of coaches out there who aren’t qualified is actually shocking!
“There are coaches that give girls 500 calories per day. That’s not ok!!!”
I’ll usually end prep on about 1,500 calories.
What occupies your time outside the gym?
I have a very busy job, so depending on whether it’s a weekend or a weekday, I’ll usually be working in the week, normally take my rest day on a Sunday if my body allows with the training week. I’ve a big social circle, so I like to spend my time at weekends with my friends and socialising. I like a drink but I’m not a massive drinker. My main friendship group is massive so I can go out in prep and not drink and enjoy myself.
I like a drink but I’m not a massive drinker, my main friendship group is massive so I can go out in prep and not drink and enjoy myself.
Favourite quote? I love these!
“No pain no gain.”
Cliché, but so true in so many ways. The good pain though, obviously!
Finally, what’s next for you?
I’ve recently started a new job in Central London, so transitioning over from my old job was tough with lots of 18 hour days. I’m working hard now to get everything set up in London; the gym I’m working in is incredible, all the staff are lovely and really helpful, so that’s made it loads easier!
I’m working on some projects with Goddess Nutrition and have been doing events with them at weekends when they have them. I also have various meetings outside of all of that, so that normally takes up most of my time! I’m going to try and keep my show dates this year fairly quiet, I was going to compete in two separate shows this year already but had to pull out due to personal sickness – I got a bit of stick for it on social media because people thought I was just saying it to be branded as an athlete still! I am all better now and aiming to compete in the later part of this year.
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