Amateur Fitness Competitor of the Week: Tara Thatcher

Amateur Fitness Competitor of the Week: Tara Thatcher! - Pics and info and more!

How Did You Get Started?

Growing up, I was always involved in sports. In high school, I was involved in swimming, speed skating and track. In the summer I was part of a swim club. After attending community college, I joined the Marine Corps. I was a 5811, which is Military Police. While I was in the corps, I was introduced to strength training. I had always been very good at cardio, and now I was given something new to challenge myself with.

After I got home, I started working as a personal trainer in a local gym. One of the other trainers suggested that I should compete in figure or fitness. I had no idea what she was talking about! So, she took me to watch a local bodybuilding show. When the figure girls got on stage I was awed by their beautiful, muscular physiques. I decided that I would get up on that stage! So, I started training hard, lifting heavy. I attended Jen Hendershott's Phat Camp in March of 2006. I met so many wonderful women there! I also learned some great new workouts, posing, and nutritional information. And, of course, I got to meet Jen Hendershott! I was a little start struck at first, but she was great! So down to earth, and really nice. Then in June of 2006, I did get up on that stage! I was hooked!

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Competition History:

  • 2006 NANBF Natural Mr/Ms Minnesota - 1st place, figure tall class
  • 2006 NPC Mr/Ms Minnesota - 5th place, figure tall class
  • 2007 NANBF Natural Mr/Ms Minnesota Invitational - 1st place, figure tall class

What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?

For my last competition I did a 3 day workout split. Push (Chest, Shoulders, and Triceps), Legs, and Pull ( Back and Biceps). I also did 40-50 min of cardio 6 days per week.

Arrow On Season Sample Week:

    Monday: Push day ( Chest, shoulders, triceps), and 30 min cardio
    Tuesday: 45 min cardio, or 30 min cardio and 20 min plyometrics
    Wednesday: Leg day, and 30 min cardio
    Thursday: 45 min cardio
    Friday: Pull day ( Back & Biceps), and 30 min cardio
    Saturday: 45 min cardio
    Sunday: Off

For my off season, I have started doing 3 total body workouts per week, supersetting with plyometrics to keep my heart rate up. With 30 min of cardio 5 days per week.

Arrow Off Season Sample Week:

    Monday: Total body workout, supersetting with plyos, 30 min cardio
    Tuesday: 30 min cardio
    Wednesday: Total body workout, supersetting with plyos, 30 min cardio
    Thursday: 30 min cardio
    Friday: Total body workout, supersetting with plyos, 30 min cardio
    Saturday: Off
    Sunday: Off

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What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?

Eating clean! Carb-cycling for pre-contest. I cut out all protein shakes and bars and only eat whole foods at 12 weeks out. I eat 6-8 meals per day. Every 2-3 hours. I usually stick with chicken breast, tilapia, egg whites, and low sodium tuna for protein. Carbs are usually brown rice, oatmeal or rice cakes. Lots of green veggies, especially broccoli and asparagus. Fats from MCT oil, Udo's oil, flax meal and natural peanut butter. I always pre cook my meals for the day, pack them in tupperware and load them in my cooler. That way there is no excuse for eating something I shouldn't!

For off-season I love fresh fruits, vegetables and freshly prepared meals. I usually stick with 5-6 meals per day, every 2 1/2 to 3 hours. I love to cook, and watch the food network channel obsessively! Chicken, extra-lean turkey, extra-lean ground beef, 1% milk fat cottage cheese, eggs, tilapia, and high quality protein powder for my protein sources. For carbs I eat oatmeal, Ezekiel bread, Ezekiel cereal, brown rice, rice cakes, and black beans. I also enjoy grapefruit, blueberries, and strawberries. For fats I use MCT Oil, organic natural peanut butter, Udo's oil, and flax meal. I eat a lot of green vegetables too, mainly spinach, asparagus, zucchini, and broccoli.

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While in my off season, I treat myself to 1-2 cheat meals per week. I really love pizza, steak, and blizzards! Oh, funny, did I forget to mention, CHOCOLATE!

What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?

I LOVE BSN NO-Explode! I take 1-2 scoops before my workout. It gives me great pumps and lots of energy! It gets me ready to give it all I've got! I also use Syntha-6 protein powder. My favorite flavor is Mochaccino, but they are all dangerously delicious! I take SciVation Xtend during and after my workouts for the glutamine and amino acids.

Why do you love Bodybuilding?

I love feeling strong, and confident. I love competing, being on the stage, it is just so much fun for me! I feel such a sense of accomplishment, after dieting and training. There is nothing better! I love being in the gym, where nothing else matters. I love the rush I feel when I get a good pump! This is the one body that I have been given, I want to take care of it, and push it to it's natural limits! I love a challenge.

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What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

As far as competing, I am qualified for Natural USA's in October. I will be there! I am pursuing my WNBF Figure Pro Card! My personal goal is to improve my physique for every competition that I do. I would also love to obtain sponsorship from a reputable supplement/fitness company! I want to get into some fitness modeling. Being in Oxygen magazine. Being featured as fitness competitor of the week has been a goal of mine for some time now. Thanks for helping me achieve it!

What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?

Always have a great attitude, and have fun with what you are doing! Surround yourself with positive people who support and encourage you. Sometimes we are so focused on the destination, that we forget to enjoy the journey!

Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?

My new favorite pro is Sonia Adcock! Valerie Waugaman, Davana Medina, Monica Brant-Peckham, Jen Hendershott, Jelena Abbou, Jamie Eason ( she is the total package, such a sweetie), Allison Frahn, Amy Llinas, and JulieAnn Kulla!

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