How Did You Get Started?
I got started when I was 18 years old. I was dating a guy who was really into lifting/body building, and he took me to the gym one day with him. I decided I wanted to give free weights and cardio a try and see what I could do, of course to get in shape and drop some unwanted weight. Don't get me wrong, I have always been involved in athletics, I have played sports ever since I could walk. Softball, Volleyball, and even Basketball for a period of about 4 years, and I love to knee board, water ski, and even picked up a little wake boarding. So I love to be active, but had never tried an actual workout regimen. And I was a bit heavy, I did need to drop about 20-30 pounds, which I did!
He got me started, and I have to admit, I HATED it for the first year! But I made myself stick with it, and started to see results! The more results I saw, the more I got interested in learning more and going further with it. I subscribed to Oxygen magazine and was addicted immediately. Wow! I want to look like the ladies who graced the pages of Oxygen magazine, and that turned into wanting to BE one of the ladies to grace the pages of Oxygen!
I have wanted to compete for many years, but didn't think I had what it took to make it. I finally was talked into getting ready for a competition about a year and a half ago. And I amazingly did it, and looked and felt better about myself than I ever have in my life, I worked with Mike Davies (www.mikedaviesfitness.com/), who wrote my nutrition plan for me, and he brought me dialed in! Maybe a little too good, I was told I was a bit too lean, is that possible??? LOL! Anyway, that is a shortened version of my road to competing and working out, making it a lifestyle for myself.
What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?
Cardio is key for me. I workout anywhere from 5-7 days per week, depending on if I'm getting ready for a show or not. I may tend to work out more than I should, but I seriously am addicted to it. I change up my routines often, but I prefer to stick to lifting a body part or two per day and coupling that with 20-30 min of cardio after a 30-45 min session of free weights.
Tuesday - Back and Triceps: a couple of ab moves, w/ 20-30 min of cardio to follow
Wednesday - Quads and Calves follow w/ 20 min of Bike
Thursday - Shoulders and Abs: follow w/ 20-30 min of cardio
Friday - Cardio for 30-45 min
Saturday - Off Day
Sunday - Hamstrings, Glutes, and Calves, 20 min of bike to follow
I always do 3-4 sets of each exercise, with minimal to no rest in between my sets, and I strive for anywhere from 15-20 reps per set, no matter how heavy I am lifting. I do increase my weight for each set, but I also keep my reps high. And legs, I shoot for 20-30 reps on each set. My legs needed the most work!
What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?
Of course I eat every 2-3 hours. Low carbs, but I do not go with out them, ever. And I stick to green veggies and things like yams for carbs. Also, I take in protein with every meal. 4-6 oz of a lean meat: chicken, a lot of tilapia, lean beef - usually steak, turkey burger, and sometimes salmon. I drink egg white protein shakes - I do usually have one of those after every workout, add half of a banana, 1/2 carton of egg whites w/ a scoop of egg white powder protein, and a couple of packets of Splenda - so yummy; and roughly 50 grams of protein per shake. I do cheat and have bad foods occasionally during off-season, or right after a 12 week diet! I love sweets, they are my downfall! But typically, I eat pretty clean year round.
What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?
I don't actually take a lot of supplements, very minimal. I use a lot of thermos, I love Jet Fuel, and Red Line Extreme in drink form! They give you GREAT amounts of energy! I do protein powders, and use the egg white protein in liquid and powder forms. I prefer to buy the pre-separated egg whites at the store to drink. They taste great with just a little Splenda and cinnamon in them as well!
Why Do You Love Fitness?
I love the way fitness makes me feel!! I love the way it makes me look! But the thing I love the most about fitness is inspiring people to get themselves to the gym and learn about nutrition, to change their lives. I have inspired a lot of friends to change the way they live with nutrition and working out, and I have even had many strangers approach me and ask questions. One gal who worked in my building, but did not know me, talked to me a few times about working out, and she went and joined a gym shortly after! That is why I love fitness the most. I love to inspire people with my personal passion in life!
What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?
I will be competing again in June, in Phoenix. And I plan on competing until I earn my pro-card, I seriously have goals to be the next Monica Brant! She, to me, is more than just a pro-competitor. She inspires women everywhere to get in shape and change their lives, and that is truly the status that I hope to achieve with my fitness career.
What One Tip Would You Give Other Fitness Competitors?
Keep on, keep on!! Don't get discouraged. It can be very discouraging at times, when you may not place as well as you know you deserved to. But if you truly are passionate about it, just enjoy competing for the pure joy of it, it makes you feel good, it gives you a goal to reach, and people who compete are truly passionate about working out and bettering themselves, so do it because you love it, and be the best YOU can be. Be PROUD of yourself, you are a member of an elite group of people whether you take 1st place or last place! It doesn't matter, you have won just by stepping on stage.
Who Are Your Favorite Fitness Competitors/Bodybuilders?
Of course, as I have mentioned previously, Monica Brant is my all time favorite competitor. And Mandy Blank back in the day was a true inspiration to me as well. I also look up to many body builders, even male competitors. Dexter Jackson is someone I check out often in the magazines, to see where he is at!