How Did You Get Started?
My sister had bought a copy of Oxygen Magazine and had left it on the coffee table. I picked it up to 'flip through' and ended up 'being inspired'. I was hooked from that day, building a spare room into a home gym. I researched everything there was to know about the sport online.
I attended the 2005 Jr. National's all by myself, sitting in awe as I watched the show. I went home that night with a goal to make it to that stage one day. Little did I know it would be exactly 1 year later that I would accomplish that goal.
I found out that Chicago had a show in December of that year, the 2005 Midwest Ironman. My goal was to 'not place last'. I took 3rd out of 4 that night. I was doing all of my research online for training & diet. I decided to do 2 more shows in IL in 2006. The Mid-IL in April and the IL State in May.
To my surprise, I qualified for Jr. National's at the IL State. I decided to do Jr. National's, realizing it was a huge mistake after the fact. I did not place, but it was a great learning experience for me. I decided that it was time to hire a nutritionist and join a real gym if I was going to make it any further. That is what I did.
Elena Seiple took over my offseason diet and she also brought me into Jr. USA's and Jr. Nationals' in 2007. At the end of 2007, I met my now fiancé, whom also happened to be a nutritionist. After 6 months of a long distance relationship, he moved to Chicago with me.
I took 2008 off to focus on my career; I was going through the Cook County Sheriff's Training Academy. I was still training hard and Nate had taken over as my nutritionist. After seeing the outcome of Figure in 2008, I decided that I would switch to bodybuilding. I had worked so hard for the muscle I had put on and I was not willing to sacrifice it to compete in Figure.
I competed in the 2009 Western Michigan taking 1st in the Open Middleweight Class and the Overall, and I also did the 2009 Midwest Ironman, taking 1st in the Open Middleweights, winning both the Overall Title and the Most Symmetrical Award.
What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?
I change it up consistently.
Offseason I like to try different programs that I read about online. I have used DC Training and FST-7 in the past. I am currently finishing up the 5/3/1 Program. I like to train as heavy as possible in the offseason. I am doing minimal cardio and it is always post-workout.
Pre-Contest I like to train 5-7 days a week. 1-2 body part/s a day and high volume, doing post-workout cardio. I train before work, so I have to do post workout cardio as opposed to AM cardio. I like to do 1 body part a day because it then allows me to fit in all of my cardio, as it increases the closer I get to a show.
Here is what my week looked like at 6 weeks out from the Western Michigan:
Day 1: Shoulders/Calves/Cardio
What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?
My fiancé does my diet and it changes on a week to week basis, depending on how I look, not by how much I weigh. He uses a carb cycling approach, and determines the carb amount by what body part is being trained on that specific day.
I have tried every diet there is to try and my body responds the best to carb cycling. It is the only diet I have tried that allows me to hold all of my muscle while losing fat at the same time.
Here is what my diet looked like 6 weeks out from the Western Michigan:
What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?
Why Do You Love Fitness?
I love the challenge, both mentally and physically. I love being a motivating factor for others who are just starting out. Bodybuilding has changed my life. I am healthier, inside and out...what's not to love about that?!
What Motivates You To Follow A Healthy Lifestyle?
Knowing how much greater I look and feel following this lifestyle is all the motivation I need! Although when I am having a rough day, it is my support group that I count on, to motivate me. I am grateful for my team of loved ones that are behind me 110%!
What Made You Want To Achieve Your Goals?
Most importantly, I wanted to become healthier on the inside. I was not taking care of my body before I started lifting weights. Once I started seeing results, it was to achieve the 'vision' I wanted my physique to become. Now that I have made this a lifestyle, my goal is to bring a better package every time I compete.
What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?
I plan on doing the 2010 NPC USA's and the 2010 IFBB North American's.
What One Tip Would You Give Other Fitness Competitors?
Be consistent, train from the heart, and train with a vision!
Who Are Your Favorite Fitness Competitors/Bodybuilders?
What Features Do You Use On Bodybuilding.com?
I frequent the Bodybuilding.com Store for all of my supplements. I keep up on new supplement research and new training/diet methods in the Supersite. I also belong to the forums. I have yet to start a BodySpace (Facebook is enough to keep up with), but plan to in the near future.