In an effort to achieve her dream of one day gracing the cover of a national bodybuilding and fitness magazine, Hinesville resident Tiffany Morgan works out five days a week — sometimes twice a day.
Her hard work is starting to pay off.
Morgan, 29, moved closer to fulfilling her dream as a figure competitor after she placed third at the 2010 NPC Eastern USA Bodybuilding, Fitness, Figure and Bikini Championships in New York City in October.
It was her first step toward becoming nationally qualified by the National Physique Committee, the governing body of amateur bodybuilders and fitness competitors. The NPC helps feed the professional circuit of the International Federation of Bodybuilding, which boasts such superstars as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno.
Morgan, the child of military parents, said she became interested in figure competitions because they allow her to work on developing her muscles while maintaining an aesthetically appealing appearance.
Unlike female bodybuilders, figure competitors are not judged strictly on muscle striation, size or bulk. Morgan said figure competitors are usually classified into different height classes and are judged by overall appearance and aesthetics.
Her meet in New York was her first NPC event.
"I got more of an adrenaline rush than nervousness," Morgan said. "I wasn’t nervous at all, namely because my team was there to cheer me on and one of my trainers was in the audience and one of my other trainers was actually the stock photographer for the show so it was a pretty comfortable experience."
Morgan is a member of Team Bombshell based in Daytona, Fla., and trains with Shannon Dey and Rob Rosetti.
Dey is a highly ranked IFBB professional figure competitor and the founder of Team Bombshell.
The Bradwell Institute graduate said she thought about becoming a figure competitor while in college at Valdosta State University, but didn’t know how to get started."I didn’t know who to contact to get into it, as far as trainers who specialized in it until I found one of my friends who did a show in Savannah," she said.
Morgan said her friend introduced her to trainer Reese Brown in March and she immediately started training with him and Michelle Flynn — reconfiguring her body to the sculpted physique they felt was ready for competition.
She ended up participating in a small show in Savannah and took fourth place. She said she became addicted after that.
Morgan said her typical five-day-a-week workouts starts at 5 a.m. She pumps weight for an hour before switching to cardio exercises for the second hour. On the sixth day she does plyometrics, a type of exercise designed to produce explosive movements, and on the seventh day, Morgan rests.
She eats six to seven times a day and said staying focused on diet is just as important as weight training.
"I do get a little bit more food than most girls because I have a hummingbird metabolism — it’s really fast," she said.
In addition to proper nutrition and exercise, Morgan said she was blessed with great genetics.
"Both of my parents are pretty fit," she said. "They were both in the military and my dad played basketball. I was a dancer and did ballet. My mom did a little bit of body building. She didn’t compete, but she did a little bit of bodybuilding in the ’80s."
With her third place finish behind her, Morgan said she is preparing for her next meet, The Fort Lauderdale Cup on Nov. 20, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
"I just want to have a good time first," she said. "That is the one thing that team Bombshell and my trainers teach me is to go out there and have fun. My goal, of course you want to win a trophy, but my biggest goal is to come in looking better than I did last time. I just want to improve each time."
The 5-foot, 7-inch tall Morgan said she has already reached two of her goals by getting her photos online at RxMuscle.com and www.musculardevelopment.com. But Morgan said there are other goals to strive for.
"Definitely Muscle and Fitness Magazine, Oxygen Magazine or being inside Flex Magazine would be great," she said. "Some endorsements would be nice and eventually a pro card would be wonderful."