Amateur Fitness Competitor of the Week: Monica Brennan

Amateur Fitness Competitor of the Week: Monica Brennan! - Pics and info and more!
  • Name: Monica Brennan
  • E-mail:
  • Age: 24
  • Where: California
  • Height: 5' 6"
  • Weight: 130 Lbs., Contest: 115 Lbs.
  • Years Bodybuilding :1
  • Favorite Bodypart: Abs, Biceps And Triceps
  • Favorite Exercise: Back And Legs
  • Favorite Supplements: Lipo 6

How Did You Get Started?

I started boxing at the age of 12 at the Bellmore kick boxing academy in New York. I hired a personal boxing coach and trained under one on one instruction for about 11 years. Throughout this time I became really interested in the weight lifting that my trainer and I would do. I obtained my first gym membership at the age of 15 and that experience is the framework for who I am today. I got really involved and began researching all that I could through magazines and books.

Soon after I started to bring my friends to the gym and I would help them obtain their fitness goals. I moved from New York to California in October of 2004 and went shopping for a new gym almost immediately. The move was such a big change in my life and I ended up gaining 25 lbs. I am so grateful for that experience now, because I am really able to relate to clients who have issues with weight loss. I lost the weight soon after.

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What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?

Since I have weight trained for so long I have built a lot of mature muscle, so I don't have to do loads of cardio before a competition. My routine is to train 1-2 body parts per day with 2 off days during the week. I train biceps and triceps together, back, chest, shoulders and triceps together and one day just for legs. Biceps and triceps have always developed pretty easily.

My arm workout is usually like this:

The hard part for me has been the development of my legs, especially calves. I have found that once I become comfortable training a difficult body part, I begin to really embrace it. For example, I used to hate training back. I made myself do it every week, religiously. After about 2 months it became one of my favorite workouts.

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What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?

I try and stick to my pre-competition diet year round. I mainly stick to high protein, minimal carbohydrates and almost no fats. I eat a lot of chicken, fish, steak and egg whites. I like to partner those meats with yams, broccoli, brown rice and salads with a little non-fat dressing. I don't believe a pre-competition diet is balanced but it is better to try and keep your nutrients in it, until about 2-3 weeks out. For snacks I have found rice cakes and "better then butter peanut butter" from trader Joe's. Regular peanut butter has a little too much fat for me. I also have an addiction to trident bubble gum to ward off cravings for sweets.

What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?

Lipo 6 has helped me keep steady energy without crashing. Some times ill drink a nos-xplode by worldwide, before a workout for a pump and mental acuity. I also find that my body responds well to BCAA, CLA, L-Glutamine and ZMA.

Why do you love Bodybuilding?

I love seeing what lengths I can take my body too, physically. Most importantly is the way I feel after I am done training. My tension is relived and I deal with reality in a much more manageable way. I have always trained just to feel better for that day, never for the end result. I started to look at the results more when I began competing and that was the next step for me. Working out is the best stress reliever and problem solver that I have found. Since finding out that weight training is my strong point in life, I have focused and put a lot into it.

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What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

I would like to continue to build on my weak points and I would truly love to become a professional figure competitor within the next few years. I would also like to do some work as a fitness model in some of the big magazines like Oxygen and Muscle and Fitness- Hers.

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What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?

Have fun! I like to remember that I worked long and hard for the day of the competition. That day is when I finally get to present all of my hard work. I try and remember that so I avoid getting nervous. I would also suggest not getting ready too early in the morning. There are about 3-4 hours between check-ins and when the figure girls get to present themselves so it's better if you can meet other competitors and relax during that time. Also, some people eat a little sugar then some other's eat too much. At the last show I went to, I ate too much sugar and it became visible when I was onstage.

Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?

First and foremost, Arnold Schwarzenegger is my favorite. Also Monica Brandt- Peckham, Jay Cutler, Amanda Savell and Amy Peters.