Amateur Fitness Competitor of the Week: Malinda Jo Layman

Amateur Fitness Competitor of the Week: Malinda Jo Layman! - Pics and info and more!
  • Name: Malinda Jo Layman
  • E-mail: liftnbhappy@yahoo.com
  • Age: 28
  • Where: Alexandria, VA
  • Height: 5'6"
  • Weight: 130 Lbs., Contest: 118 Lbs.
  • Years Bodybuilding :1
  • Favorite Bodypart: Biceps and abs.
  • Favorite Exercise: Legs.
  • Favorite Supplements: Optimum Cookies N' Cream Whey Protein, Core Nutritionals, Flax Seed

How Did You Get Started?

Three years ago, I joined a gym and made a spur of the moment decision to include personal training in my membership package. Melissa was assigned to be my personal trainer and within less than a month I was hooked. I loved weight lifting. I loved the positive effect it had on both my mental and physical health.

Melissa encouraged me to do a 30 day challenge at the gym, taking before and after pictures to be judged on a national level. The diet and exercise programs during this time period were similar to those followed when preparing for competition, just not quite as strict and not as long. Although I didn't win the challenge, I looked and felt better than I ever had.

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I was then encouraged to compete. I talked about competing for many months, but that was it. I don't think I knew exactly how to get started.

Finally, after going to a couple competitions, I decided that this was something I needed to quit talking about and actually go out and do. So I started researching figure competitions online and attended a competitor's workshop put on by Alissa Carpio.

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The workshop was a source of invaluable information and support and it gave me that final push I needed to actually go through with it. My first competition was a couple months ago and now I am hooked.

I met some great people, had a lot of fun, and learned a lot about myself and what I am capable of.

What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?

I work each body part once a week, doing 12-15 sets per body part. I really like to keep the reps low, 8-10 per set, so that I can lift heavy. But every couple of months I incorporate a few weeks of higher rep work to change things up.

Additionally, I slightly vary the exercises I do each week. I like to work abs 3 days a week, really focusing on using slower movements, good form, and proper breathing.

When I am not preparing for a competition, I usually do cardio 3-4 times a week, 30 minutes each. This is mostly running, biking or playing tennis. About 3 months prior to competing, I quit running so as to maintain and build more muscle in my legs.

During this time, I usually do less cardio of any type and focus more on intense, fast-paced lifting workouts. I pick the cardio up again (mostly biking and walking on an incline) two months prior to competition: 4-5 days a week, 30 minutes each. I increase cardio yet again one month prior to competition: 5-6 days a week, 45-60 minutes each.

What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?

I dieted for 8 weeks, allowing one cheat meal per week for the first 4 weeks, and always eating 6-7 meals per day. I made sure to get at least 1g of protein per pound of bodyweight, primarily from chicken, turkey, fish, whey protein powder, and egg whites.

How Much Protein Do You Consume?

    1 Gram x Bodyweight / Day
    1.5 Grams x Bodyweight / Day
    2 Grams x Bodyweight / Day
    Over 2.5 x Bodyweight / Day





As for carbohydrates, I mainly ate fresh fruit (post-workout meals only) and complex carbs. Carb choices were further restricted during the last 4 weeks to include only oatmeal, sweet potatoes, and brown rice. No matter how I varied my carb intake, I always kept them in my pre- and post-workout meals.

Green veggies were included with at least 5 meals. Also, I made sure to include healthy fats in my diet: olive oil, natural peanut/almond butter (for me, the best part of the diet!), and flax seed oatmeal. Finally, lots and lots of water and Crystal Light!

What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?

Glutamine, glucosamine, flax seed.


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Why do you love Bodybuilding?

That's an easy one - I love how it makes me feel.

What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

As long as I am able, I will lead a lifestyle that incorporates fitness and exercise. As for competing, I plan to compete again this fall in figure. Next year, I plan to enter an NPC competition.

What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?

It's really about setting a goal for yourself and having the will-power and strength to reach it, then seeing your body in top condition and knowing that you worked hard to get it there.


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You are probably going to be faced with people who will not understand what you are going through (emotionally and physically) or why you are doing it, but stay focused on your goal and keep in mind that you are doing something for yourself that no one can ever take away from you.

Be proud of your accomplishments, enjoy your success, and have fun.

Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?

Honestly, I have no favorites. Now that I know how much hard work goes into competing, I have nothing but respect for those who do it.

That's it! Thanks so much!