Local figure competitor Tiffany Morgan placed fifth in the open figure division class F at the 2012 National Physique Committee Team Universe competition July 6-7 in Teaneck, New Jersey.
“I competed there last year, exactly one year ago … and I placed 14th last year,” Morgan said.
Last year’s finish helped her get nationally ranked, but Morgan wasn’t pleased with her performance. “It wasn’t good enough, and I needed some time off to regroup and get back on the stage,” she said.
Morgan entered the Team Universe competition, changed her entire workout routine and took the advice of her new trainer Noel Fuller.
“It was like day and night,” she said about the change.
Morgan was told to stop using the treadmill for a while and concentrate on her diet. Morgan said it was a big adjustment.
“I didn’t start doing cardio again until about six weeks out from the show,” she said. “I started training in February … It was very weird to me because I’m used to living on the treadmill … I had to get used to just lifting a lot and eating more and eating healthier all the time so I didn’t get to cheat. It was straight, healthy, very low-fat, moderate carbohydrates, moderate amounts of protein and just very clean food.”
Morgan said she soon noticed the results. She said her back and shoulders were more muscular and full, and her legs were more toned and filled out.
“The muscle memory was a lot better than it was last year,” she said. “I came in with better quality muscle this time, and I felt much more confident about it, too.”
The fifth-place finish allowed Morgan to stay qualified as a national competitor for a few years. She plans to stay focused on those shows.
The next big national show is the International Federation of Body Building North American Championship, held Aug. 31-Sept. 1 in Pittsburgh.
Morgan is trying to place among the top three in the open figure class to claim her professional card.
“I want to be an IFBB pro,” she said. “I want those four letters to be in front of my name. My trainer was telling, ‘Now it’s all or nothing. You are in the national circuit now, and once you become a pro it becomes a job, and you have to be ready for it.’”
If she earns her pro card, Morgan said she would need to take a year off to gain more muscle and size.
“I have to take some time and breathe and focus on building rather than just jumping into competition feet first,” she said. “It’s a whole new world.”
Morgan is also working on marketing herself as an athlete to gain sponsors. She said her friends and family have made it possible for her to travel and compete. Farmer’s Natural Food in Hinesville supplied supplements during her training and competition.
“I’m very grateful for them being in my corner while I’m competing this year,” she said. “It helped out a lot. I know I have to expand and start contacting people and letting them know I am a marketable athlete … That is really what it comes down to. People ask me, how do you get sponsors, and I tell them, it really comes down to whether they feel I can drive their product and make people come to them and buy their products.”
Morgan said she has made a few contacts and was recently featured on Maximum Human Performance’s Improve Your Self-Image website.
“I have started to build a little bit of a connection with them. Hopefully, it will turn into something bigger,” she said.
But even if Morgan makes it to the pro level, she still plans to call Hinesville home, at least for a while.
“I’m fine with staying here for now, because it is expensive to travel as a body builder, figure competitor or bikini competitor,” she said. “I looked it up, and I realized that a lot of the top Olympians, they live in small towns ... I’ve noticed that not everybody lives in Hollywood, New York or Miami.”