Amateur Fitness Competitor of the Week: Dawn Howard

Amateur Fitness Competitor of the Week: Dawn Howard! - Pics and info and more!
  • Name: Dawn Howard
  • E-mail:
  • Age: 32
  • Where: Durham, North Carolina
  • Height: 5' 5"
  • Weight: 125 Lbs., Contest: 116 Lbs.
  • Years Bodybuilding :1
  • Favorite Bodypart: Back
  • Favorite Exercise: Triceps
  • Favorite Supplements: Lean Body RTD protein shakes

How Did You Get Started?

I've always been in good physical condition and always exercised on a regular basis, but it has been mostly cardiovascular exercise. Throughout my earlier years I never lifted many weights.

Then I started to do more weightlifting when I would workout. The more weightlifting I did the more results I started seeing. My physique began to change and so did my goals. I realized that I really enjoyed what I was doing and that I could be competitive in the sport. This has become a new lifestyle for me and I lifestyle I love having.

What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?

When I am getting ready for a show I will lift lighter weight with more repetitions and even do some circuit training the last couple of weeks before the show. During the off season I am always trying to put on more size so I will lift heavy weight and low reps.

I have a training partner so I always have someone to push me and someone to spot me so I can keep pushing myself. I keep my cardio fairly low in the off season, just enough to keep up my cardiovascular health, 30 minutes 2-3 times/week.

I find by keeping my cardio low in the off season that when I began getting ready for a show my body shows more of a response to the increased cardio. When I am preparing for a show I gradually up my cardio each week until the time of the show. The last couple of weeks prior to the show I will get up at 4:45 am and do an hour of cardio before I even start my day.

Here is my workout schedule:

When It comes to doing cardio I find myself doing the treadmill most of the time since I have one at my home, but I try to switch it up as much as I can. During the training season I commit myself to running the steps at the Duke Stadium once a week. That is my most intense workout.

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What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?

I try to maintain a clean diet throughout the year. Of course, there are occasions off season when I indulge. My contest diet needs to start between 10-16 weeks prior to a show just depending on how far I am from my contest weight which I try to stay within 10 pounds of.

I typically will do 5-6 meals per day. Usually 6 meals until about 6 weeks out then I cut it to 5 meals and get rid of the last meal of the day. Also at about 6 weeks out I start doing low carb days. I will fluctuate between low carb and high carb days to keep my body guessing.

I increase my fat intake on the days I do low carb. I cut out all protein shakes about 2 weeks prior to the show. As far as liquids go, its coffee and water only (1 gallon a day), no alcohol, no diet sodas. Occasionally, I will treat myself to a glass of crystal light.

Here is a sample of my contest diet:

    Meal 1: 1/2 cup oatmeal, 5 egg whites, 1 yolk, 1 cup coffee & Splenda, 1 flax seed tablet
    Meal 2: Myoplex low carb protein shake, 1/2 apple, 1 tbsp. natural peanut butter
    Meal 3: 4 oz chicken, 1/2 cup brown rice
    Meal 4: 6 oz tuna, 2 plain rice cakes w/ 1 tbsp natural PB
    Meal 5: Lean Body Protein shake (post workout meal)
    Meal 6: 4 oz chicken or 6 oz white fish, 10 asparagus spears, 1 flax seed tablet

What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?

I love the Lean Body Low Carb Protein shakes by LaBrada. I also believe in taking flax seed oil and a multivitamin twice a day.

Why do you love Bodybuilding?

Fitness makes me feel great and it sets me apart from most ordinary people. I love looking good and feeling good. I like it when my physique stands out in a room full of people. And most of all I just like being healthy.

What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

My goal, of course, is to obtain my pro card. I have competed in two shows this year. I am currently training for an upcoming competition. On October 29, 2005 I will be competing in the OCB Battle at Blacksburg. After that I will continue to train hard and prepare for next year where I hope to accomplish more of my goals.

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What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?

Be dedicated and be patient. Results don't come overnight. It takes a lot of time and dedication to do this sport. My philosophy is, "If you perform your best on stage, you are already a winner." I am a single mother and work full time so I know how hard it is to train and balance everything else in your life.

Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?

I have to say I am most inspired by my workout partner, Ceyonne Jones, WNBF Pro Bodybuilder. Without her I would not have made the huge gains that have gotten me where I am today. I also have a lot of admiration for WNBF figure pro, 2003 world champion and my good friend, Lisa Brewer. Some of my other favorites are Amy Llinas whom I just met this year and Alicia Denson whom I don't know but I think is awesome.