How Did You Get Started?
I have always been involved in sports and graduated college with a degree in Exercise Science and Athletic Training. I worked for a number of years with athletes and started to miss being competitive myself. I had always worked out and stayed in shape but needed to apply all that training to something and have a focus.
Fitness competition was the answer that I was looking for. I fell in love with the sport and the beauty of the physiques of the girls involved. I decided that I would try a local NPC competition and entered my first show as a figure competitor in July 2001. I placed 3rd in the short class and I was hooked. I then decided to try my hand at fitness and started training for the routine.
I found that I was always strong in the physique rounds but the routine round was where I fell short in. I had a hard time with the gymnastics aspect of it all. The last show that I competed in fitness I was thrilled when I wound up winning the overall figure and took first in my class in fitness, but tore the heck out of my calf!
I decided that I would stick to figure after that! I still love the fitness routines and envy those girls that just rock at them!
What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?
I have always loved to mix up my workouts and try new things that would work best for my body. I have a naturally muscular frame and always joke that if you pour water on my muscles they will grow!
Now because of the amount of muscle that is on my body (especially my lower half) I really don't have to lift to heavy anymore. My biggest challenge has been to bring my lower half down to match my upper half.
I have done this by running sprints and stadium stairs at the track, plyometrics, and circuit training with cardio mixed in. I would have to say training in giant sets has been the best workout for me.
Here is an example:
Repeat this three times, do 5 minutes of cardio and then off to another form of a giant set. It not only hammers the legs but keeps my heart rate up for burning fat!
What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?
The diet has been a tricky and challenging event for me! I have found through trial and error that my body is rather carb sensitive and in order to lean out and stay lean I really need to watch my carbs.
I follow a high protein (1-1.2 grams per body lb), low fat, and low carb diet. My proteins are mostly poultry, egg whites, fish, and occasionally lean red meat. I don't necessarily watch my fats due to the fact that I eat very clean, if anything I have to make sure I am getting enough of the right fats and supplement if I'm not.
My carb choices are primarily oatmeal, sweet potatoes, and brown rice but when I am off season I do let myself indulge a little in pasta, pizza, and sweets. I have a huge sweet tooth so it can be difficult sometimes. I just grab my sugar free popsicles or jello and suck it up!
What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?
For me, gaining muscle has never been a problem, but trying to make sure I get all of my nutrients and that I can recover well has been essential with supplementation. The Max Muscle Vitacell has been a time saver as well as a life saver. It has all of the vitamins and minerals you need as well as glucosamine, green tea, ginkgo biloba, grape seed, and digestive enzymes. I am not taking a bunch of pills to get all I need!! I also love the Max Muscle glutacine, it is glutamine and glycine and really helps with recovery after a tough workout.
Why Do You Love Fitness?
I love fitness for many reasons. Fitness is a lifestyle for me, it keeps me looking good aesthetically, but it also keeps me strong in my mind as well as body. I have a focus and a drive when I am fit and healthy.
I feel that I am a better person for it. I can get so passionate about fitness and how much it can help a person become strong, independent, and driven. I run my own fitness business and I not only focus on trying to make my clients look/feel better but to try to get them to reach into their "inner athlete" (everyone has one, trust me!!), and push to do what it is they never thought they could do.
In this regard, fitness gives them a determination to achieve a goal that they may have never thought possible, and that is the greatest reward!
What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?
I will be competing in the Junior Nationals and USA's and would love to someday get my pro card. I love competing and the focus that it gives me, so I will continue as long as I can! I am also in the works of opening up a private studio that involves personal training and cutting edge aerobic classes that the Phoenix area just doesn't quite have yet.
I plan on offering a place where anyone can find something that they enjoy and will keep their enthusiasm towards staying active!
What One Tip Would You Give Other Fitness Competitors?
I would say to other fitness competitors that in this sport that takes so much self-sacrifice/discipline, determination, and hard work that we need to remember to stay positive and support each other. Fitness, figure, and bodybuilding gives women of all ages a chance to do something that is athletic and rewarding, the last thing we need to do is go against one another. Instead, support and work together to make this sport more recognized and understood.
So keep the attitude positive and remember that if anyone can understand the carb depleted, cardio overdosed, freakishly tanned, and moody women you become, it is a fellow competitor!
Who Are Your Favorite Fitness Competitors/Bodybuilders?
This is a tough one because I have had the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people in the industry. I would have to say my all time favorite is Monica Brant-Peckham. I have met her several times and she is always full of grace and beauty! I got the chance to also meet and hang out with Tanji Johnson at the grand opening of the Max Muscle in Scottsdale, AZ and then watched her win at the Emerald Cup this year. She is awesome and can dance!
But like I said, there are some amazing people in the industry that don't hesitate in offering help and advice. I have been fortunate to meet these people and appreciate all of the hard work that they have done to get to the level they are at.