Amateur Fitness Competitor of the Week: Erin Carson

Amateur Fitness Competitor of the Week: Erin Carson! - Pics and info and more!
  • Name: Erin Carson
  • E-mail: erin@bodybuilders.com
  • Age: 24
  • Where: Richmond, Virginia
  • Height: 5' 2"
  • Weight: 105 Lbs.
  • Years Bodybuilding :1
  • Favorite Bodypart: Abs & Legs
  • Favorite Exercise: Back, Abs, Shoulders
  • Favorite Supplements: Lipo6 Fat Burner (Nutrex Research) And Whey-To-Go Protein (Solgar)

How Did You Get Started?

I have been athletic for most of my life. I started gymnastics when I was three and continued for six years. After gymnastics, I didn't participate in any organized sports until I was 12 when I started playing soccer, which I continued for 2 years. I followed that with 1 year of track, 2 years of diving, and 1 year of rowing in college. After I stopped rowing, I worked out on and off in the gym at school but didn't start working out consistently until about a year after graduation.

Once I was back in the gym, I started lifting weights, spinning, and taking group exercise classes. A few months into my regular gym routine I saw one of the fitness instructors after she did a figure competition. She looked so great that I was inspired to try it. I met my trainer, another fitness competitor, in September of the same year and she started me on a training program in November with plans to do my first competition in April 2006.

I have always had a fairly athletic physique thanks to good genes. I was blessed with defined abs and arms however my legs were then and still are my last body part to show growth or definition. Over the course of my first year training I gained lean muscle and dropped body fat. I am very proud of the physique I have developed over the last year, and I can't wait to see it improve more.


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What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?

I train hard every day because my goal is to gain more lean muscle while maintaining a low body-fat percentage. Going to the gym everyday is relaxing to me, so there is almost never a day that I am tempted to skip a workout. However, if I am feeling really bad and unmotivated in the gym, I'd rather stop working out and go home than have a lazy work-out.

All year round, I lift 5 days per week and do 30-60 minutes of cardio 3-5 days per week, increasing as competition time approaches. I train different muscles in groups with at least 2 days rest before repeating a group.

Arrow Sample Training Program:

    Group A: Shoulders and Chest
    Group B: Back and Abs
    Group C: Legs, Triceps
    Group D: Hamstrings, Calves, Biceps


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What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?

I first started dieting in November 2005 in preparation for a competition in April 2006. After a few weeks, really didn't think I was going to make it, but with the occasional planned cheat day I made it. This is what my competition preparation diet looked.

    Meal 1: oatmeal
    low-fat turkey bacon

    Meal 2: plain chicken breast
    rice

    Meal 3: protein shake

    Meal 4: cod
    baked potato

    Meal 5: protein shake or chicken breast
    small garden salad

    Meal 6: egg whites
    melon

**1 gallon of water**

Treats:
Sugar-Free Jell-O
Sugar-Free Pudding

Post-Competition Cheat Foods:
Pancakes, Bagels, Cheese, Omelets, Pizza, Ice-Cream (Cold Stone is the best!!)

Over the course of my dieting, I experimented with seasonings, but I decided I'd rather eat everything plain, although Mrs. Dash is a great thing to use if you don't like plain food.

What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?

Why do you love Bodybuilding?

I love fitness and figure competitions because they give me a goal. I love having a challenge that I must work at everyday. There is no delayed gratification; I know immediately after my work-out if it was a good one. It's also great to know that I am working towards getting my body in the best shape I possibly can. It's great when I see the changes in my body from my first month working out to the present.


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Additionally, the whole network of people that I have met who embrace a fit lifestyle is amazing. It really helps to have people to talk to who can commiserate with training and dieting woes. During my competition preparation, there were several times that I got discouraged, but after I got on stage the first time, I was hooked. I plan to continue competing as long as I can.

Arrow Competition History:

    Figure Titles
    June 2006, INBF Natural Atlantic Coast: 1st Short Class, 1st Overall (*WNBF Pro-Qualifier)
    April 2006, OCB Core Nutrionals Natural: 1st Novice Overall, 1st Short Class, 2nd Overall
    April 2006, NPA Virginia States: 5th Short Class

What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

2007: Continue competing in figure & begin competing in fitness!

What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?

My advice is to try to stay motivated, and the best way I know to do that is to take pictures of yourself once a month to gauge your progress. At the beginning, you may feel unhappy with your appearance, but after a few weeks and months, if you're training hard, you'll see the amazing progress.

Once you've seen the progress, you'll be all the more inspired to come into the gym and work harder and better. Also, don't let other people get you down. This is a very specialized sport, and most people won't necessarily understand the sacrifices that are required to do well at it. Training and dieting are tough but the finished product is well worth it. Remember if it was always easy and always fun, everyone would be doing it.

Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?

My trainer Pam Willis (bodyspace.bodybuilding.com/PamWillis/), Gina Aliotti, Alicia Marie, Amber Littlejohn, Monica Brant, Jenny Lynn, and bodybuilders Curtis Bryant and Ruben Justiniano.

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