- Name: Corey Suzanne Jackson
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Age: 31
- Where: Austin, Texas
- Height: 5'4"
- Weight: 113 Lbs.
- Years Bodybuilding :1
- Favorite Bodypart: Back
- Favorite Exercise: Legs
- Favorite Supplements: GROW! Low-Carb MRP; IDS Total Recovery L-Glutamine with MSM; HDT MicroPure.
How Did You Get Started?
I am a 31-yr-old mother of two young boys. I started training in March 2001, with Body-for-Life. I had always been overweight and overfat. I was constantly seeking the right formula for weight-loss success, but never finding it. In March 2001, my 5'3" frame weighed approx. 165 lbs. with approx. 34% bf. I was suffering from a chemical imbalance and on prescription antidepressants and sleep aids. Shortly after the beginning of my first challenge, I was able to throw all the drugs away--proper nutrition and intense cardio and weight-training had set me free! I've celebrated my 30th and 31st birthdays in the best shape of my life, and looking forward to 32 in even better form!
I train at home--always have. I started in my living room with a few light sets of fixed dumbbells, a pair of 20 lbs. adjustable dumbbells (purchased at Target!) and old running shoes. My "bench" was a table leaf, draped with a towel and held between two kitchen chairs. Since, my husband and I have built a well-equipped home-gym in our garage, that I affectionately call "GymDiva." LOL! I love to wake the day with intensity, either running the streets of my neighborhood, or lifting in my garage. It's "my" time, while everyone else still sleeps, the time that it's just me and my goals alone in a room, ready to dance!
In the beginning of 2002, I noticed that my results had plateaued with me in a size 8, at approximately 19% bf. Although I was extremely thankful to be at that level of health and fitness, I knew by looking in the mirror that I wanted MORE! I was blessed to meet Pam Brown of Customized Physiques through the online community LeanandStrong.com. She was just starting her training business, and I was more than anxious to start her soon-to-be famous "Camp Pam B." program! I worked with Pam originally for 8 weeks; during that time I lost 14 lbs. of fat, and gained 4 lbs. of muscle! I went from a tight size 8 to a loose size 5/6. The day I went shopping to replace my entire oversized wardrobe, I automatically gravitated to the size 12 racks, because that's where I had shopped my entire adult life; but I left the stores in shock and glee, with bags full of clothes HALF the size I used to wear!
I started competing last year as a means to take my fitness to the next level. I came to the stage at the beginning of this month, in my second-ever Figure Competition, weighing 113 lbs. and 8% bodyfat. I had to replace my wardrobe yet again, this time with size 2s! The confidence, inner peace, and joy I've gained from this lifestyle are things I desire to share with anyone and everyone and will never turn my back on. For several years prior to finding BfL, I wandered, not really experiencing direction in life or passion for living. I was happy, but somehow, not satisfied. Since beginning this journey, I've come alive! I've found new direction, daily passion for health and helping others, and the satisfaction of setting and achieving ever-higher goals. Competing became a means to an end: to become the best ME I could be!
I tell people regularly who think there's no way they could transform their bodies and health that it's never too late. Everyone has the spark within themselves to effect a tremendous, positive change. All it takes is finding that spark, and choosing to fuel it so that it becomes a raging inferno! Not everyone has to compete, but everyone should find the thing that ignites their spark to be their absolute best, always striving to be better.
What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?
Gosh, I've cycled through several different splits, and they've all worked very well. Once my body adapts, I try a new plan! I always lift with MUCH intensity, and I always lift to failure, whether it be in a pyramid stack, heavy-weight/low reps, or light-to-moderate-weight/high reps. This year I worked a 12-week periodization cycle that enabled me to add a good 5-7 pounds of muscle. Currently I am training one body part a day, followed by 30 minutes of cardio, 6 days a week. My schedule is as follows:
- Monday: Chest
- Tuesday: Back
- Wednesday: Shoulders
- Thursday: Arms
- Friday: Abs, extended cardio (45-60 min)
- Saturday: OFF
- Sunday: Legs -- I so love leg day!
What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?
What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?
The above supplements work together very well for me. When I'm working to add muscle as I am currently I add creatine and GROW! Low-Carb MRP. When I'm cutting for competition, I take both of those supplements out and use only whole foods. When it comes to fat loss, I think the most overlooked and most crucial "supplement" is at least one gallon of pure water daily. While prepping for competitions, I've developed a habit of consuming 1.5-2 gallons of water every day. It helps to keep the body cleansed and in fat-loss mode rather than in fat-storage, mucked-up mode!
Why do you love Bodybuilding?
I love to be able to wake up daily and push myself further than the day before. I love to reach further than my current place and always pursue my ultimate potential. Honestly, I love everything about preparing for a competition! That's not to say it's not difficult--it's the most strenuous, taxing pursuit I've ever taken on. Nor is it to say that I don't ever doubt myself or ever wonder WHY on earth am I doing this?! I'm human, and have the same doubts, fears, and questions that every other competitor experiences at one time or another. But I love what the journey makes of me. I love to walk up to the barriers and the limitations in my life and give them a good push, just to see if they'll move or even come tumbling down! Invariably, they do, and I grow into a stronger person for it.
What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?
My next competition is October 25, when I'll participate in Fitness America's Ms. Bikini Texas Pageant. After that, my future is wide open, with no firm plans for competitions! I hope to establish a fitness and fashion modeling career. I would love to write a book and teach others, to share the motivation that came alive in me and allowed me to overcome so much. I also plan to pursue certification with the ISSA, so that I can help others achieve the freedom that I've found in my life through vigorous fitness!
What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?
If you ever fondly entertain the idea of competing, DO IT! Never have to ask, "What if?" And do it, not for the glory or for the hardware--all that passes away; take on competition for the journey, for what the process of becoming your best makes of you. Always shoot for the moon, because even if you miss, you'll land among the stars. (Cliche, I know, but oh so fitting!)
And above all, determine DAILY to find joy in the journey. If it's not fun, then don't do it. But remember always that you have the choice to MAKE it fun and fulfilling for yourself; nobody or nothing else can do that for you.
Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?
Fitness: Rebecca Lee, because I identify with her so well as she also comes from an overweight background to grace the stage. I love to watch Kelly Ryan in action -- she puts on an exciting routine! And I admire the mental and emotional strength it took her to be liberated from a well-established eating disorder, to go on and become so healthy. There are the veteran beauties, Cory Everson and Monica Brandt; no list would be complete without their names. In Bodybuilding, I truly look up to my mentor, coach, and friend Pam Brown. She was featured here as an Amateur Bodybuilder of the Week last summer! What amazing inspirations she and her husband, Jim, are to me and many others, and I am proud to know them.