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Confessions of a Bikini Pro

May 11, 2020

In this episode host Celeste Rains-Turk sits down with Chantel Hall, a mother of a five-year-old and a three-year-old who has been competing since 2012 and went pro at USAs in 2019. She is an online coach for lifestyle and competition clients and she recently relocated to Arizona during her prep for USA’s. 

Since her competition debut in 2012, Chantel discusses coaching herself for several years until she decided to bring on a coach after she earned second place and was disappointed. With her coach’s guidance, Chantel shares how she learned to properly peak, ate a lot more and was pushed to lift more and more weight. She quickly learned that succeeding as a bikini competitor wasn’t just about being lean, it was about having the muscle to show when she leaned out.

As the episode progresses, Chantel opens up about the importance of refeeds for both herself and her competitors. She explains how, in her experience, she finds refeeds tend to be “more crucial the leaner you get,” and goes even further to explain when she chooses to utilize refeeds with her own clients based on their hunger levels as well as biological and mental cues.

Chantel then talks about the importance of eating intuitively. She shares how her diet of primarily whole foods has benefited her during her season and how it continues to benefit her in her offseason when she lets go of the macros and feeds her body what it needs. Chantel explains how she chooses food based upon not only her love for the food but because of what the food does for her in terms of the taste and health benefits.

Being a mother, Chantel shares how she talks with her children about the food they eat. Although her children are young, she explains food choices in ways they can understand such as eating protein to make them strong. She feels strongly that if you want to manage work, children, being a wife and her own needs, a mother will learn how to prioritize her time to make everything fit, even if it includes bringing her children to the gym daycare.

After pregnancy, Chantel talks about the changes she experienced in her physique, including ab separation and an umbilical hernia. She stresses the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle which includes lifting weights during pregnancy and how she believes it caused her to “snap back” quicker from her pregnancy. She shares how she didn’t experience stretch marks in her pregnancies and attests this to continuing to exercise, eating whole foods and keeping her protein levels up.

As the episode draws to a close, Chantel shares her best pieces of advice, with a spin on the usual questions. First, she shares advice to future moms who are currently competing but want to start a family of their own and then she talks towards the new moms who want to compete or get back to competing. In this insightful momma episode, Chantel shares the importance of routine, structure and building muscle all while holding the best job in the world: being a mom.


[2:39] Pre Stage Rituals
[5:45] Journey to USA’s
[9:55] Chantel’s first show after hiring a coach
[11:03] Chantel’s first national show, leading to thoughts of turning pro
[13:25] Utilizing Refeeds
[20:54] Applying her knowledge as a coach to improve her own physique
[21:04] Practice Peak Weeks
[23:02] Reversing into her pro card
[26:20] Staying Consistent on Prep
[28:42] Intuitive Eating after a Show
[34:19] Talking to Kids about nutrition
[36:18] How her kids perceive competing
[38:55] Structuring family meals around prep
[41:27] Facing children’s complaints on their mom’s competitive career
[42:50] Prioritizing different areas of your life
[45:15] Managing work while being a mom
[49:58] Taking a break from competing to have children
[54:04] Changes to her physique after competing
[57:24] Chocolate microwave cake
[1:02:26] Coming back to competing after pregnancy
[1:07:30] What sets a pro apart from an amateur
[1:12:47] The importance of an off season
[1:15:25] Personal Goals
[1:19:13] Maintaing structure during the COVID-19 outbreak
[1:22:14] Best Advice to Future Moms/Current Moms
[1:25:45] Connect with Chantel