Amateur Fitness Competitor of the Week: Holly Baroni

Amateur Fitness Competitor of the Week: Holly Baroni! - Pics and info and more!

How Did You Get Started?

Although I was never in any sports growing up, I have always been an active person--I just never had the opportunity to take things to the next level. At one time I was going to be an extreme roller blader; however, that turned out to be a very crazy thought! Then I was going to become a kick-boxer, but I quickly realized that you don't get to use pads in competition!

I could go on and on (yikes!) about the different sports I got involved in, but what it really came down to is that I realized it was the weight training that I loved. In addition, one of the trainers in my gym at the time suggested that I enter a show. I first went to a show as a spectator to see what it was all about. Three weeks later I was in my first show. I enjoyed it so much that I decided that I wanted to take it to the next level, but I realized that I needed a lot more education regarding my diet and training. I started working on my diet and training and have not looked back since.

What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?

I like to weight train 5-6 days per week, hitting each body part once. When weight training, I do between 6-10 reps, for 3-4 sets, depending on the body part being worked. To change things up I like to switch exercises, and I also like to include pyramid and negative sets change things up as well. I work my abs 3-5 times per week, and I try to hit my calves two times per week. In addition, I work on cardio (treadmill, stairs, jump rope, elliptical, and plyometrics) 3-4 times per week, for approximately 20-30 minutes per session.

Of course for pre-contest everything changes! More cardio, less weight, higher reps...

What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?

I make sure I eat at least 6 meals a day and I drink at least a gallon of water per day as well. All 6 of my meals include proteins, carbs and good fats. Sometimes I skip the carbs for the last 1-2 meals of the day. I also try to include a vegetable with each meal. As for cheat meals, well that is what I use the weekends for! The following is a sample (off-season) day for me:

  • Meal 1: 1/2 cup of oatmeal with banana, 1-1/2 cups of Eggbeaters (equals 6 eggs), flax seed oil, multivitamin, calcium, and Vitamin C.
  • Meal 2: 2 Scoops of Muscle Milk, 6-oz. sweet potato, and a small zucchini.
  • Meal 3: Can of Tuna, Romaine lettuce, 1-cup brown rice, and light salad dressing.
  • Meal 4: 1 cup low fat cottage cheese, and 1 cup oatmeal.
  • Meal 5: 6-8 oz. of chicken (marinated is the best!), 1 red potato, and sweet peas.
  • Meal 6: 2 scoops of Muscle Milk.

What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?

My greatest gains have come from protein--either through shakes and/or natural foods.

Why do you love Bodybuilding?

I love seeing how far I can take my body and reaching that next level. Just in the short time I have been involved in Figure, I have taken my body and its strengths beyond what I ever thought attainable!

I love feeling healthy and knowing that I can do anything I want, and although I may not succeed at first, I have the ability to practice until it becomes perfect--whether in fitness or life in general.

I also love teaching people about living a more healthy life. There are way too many misconceptions out there due to all these 'diets' that saturate the market!

What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

I am going to continue to keep putting on more mass and hit some National Figure shows next year, and I hope to one day stand on the stage next to the pros - and have a supplement contract!

I am also considering trying out fitness--I think what those girls do up on stage is simply amazing!

I am also in the process of obtaining my personal trainer certification and hope to soon be able to help anyone who wants to reach their physical goals.

What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?

I know many have said this before, but be concerned with only you and your progress. It is very easy to become wrapped up in setting your eye on first place and comparing yourself to other competitors, and when this happens, whether you get first or last, you wind up feeling empty. Be happy with what goals you achieve and everything else is just icing on the cake.

Set attainable goals. Set short and long-term goals, and measure yourself only against your own progress.

I also strongly believe in mental training. I have greatly improved my stage presence with this easy, yet overlooked piece of the puzzle. Many competitors don't realize it, but negative talk and thoughts become a natural part of us being human and it takes work and a good coach to get you past these thoughts and teach you to use the positive to your benefit--and give you the edge!

Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?

Monica Brant--not only does she have a kickin' body but she has been able to take her success and market her way into everyone's home! Jen Hendershott--she seems to just put it all out there, have fun and not care what any one thinks. Tanji Johnson--she is one ball of fire!