Amateur Bodybuilder of the Week: Rachelle Cannon

Amateur Bodybuilder of the Week: Rachelle Cannon! - Pics and info and more!
  • Name: Rachelle Cannon
  • E-mail: rachelle@rachellecannon.com
  • Age: 29
  • Where: Washington, D.C.
  • Height: 5'2"
  • Weight: 123
  • Years Bodybuilding :2
  • Favorite Bodypart: Legs and back
  • Favorite Exercise: All of them, except for Ab work!
  • Favorite Supplements: Probiotics, Whey Protein

How Did You Get Started?

First and foremost, I changed my mental self body image. One day in 1998, I woke up and realized that with my stature (short and muscular) I would never have the body and the look of a model on the cover of all the glam magazines (Cosmo, Elle, Glamour, etc.) no matter how hard I tried with exercise and diet. That same day, I mentioned my "revelation" to a co-worker and he asked me, "Why don't you get into bodybuilding? You have a great physique for it." I laughed extremely hard at him and said, "Yeah right!" I had so many misperceptions about women who bodybuild, and it was bad enough that I already felt like I looked too "masculine" with the size I did have.

I had been active in sports my whole life (swimming, track, and dancing - tap, jazz, ballet) and coupled with genetics, I just always carried a lot of muscle mass...and the older I got, the more I wanted to start hiding my muscles. Nonetheless, that very afternoon, my co-worker introduced me to Mike, another co-worker who just earned his natural pro card. He lent me a tape of a show he did in the past so I could see what bodybuilding is really about, then offered to train me for a couple months for a novice show.

I was amazed at the results and I learned that my body was acceptable the way it was, I didn't have to try to be "skinny" to look feminine. I was still quite nervous; as this was the first time I ever wore a bikini (other than as a child) in front of ANYONE! Needless to say, I quickly began to understand and have an appreciation of the sport and felt like I finally found my niche; it was a world that rewarded people for looking strong and healthy.

What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?

The K.I.S. principle, keeping it simple. Lifting heavy for 3-4 sets, performing 3-5 different exercises (depending on the body part), for an average 8-12 rep range (higher reps for abs, calves, and back extensions). I lift 5 days a week, large muscle groups once a week, but in the past I have done them twice a week, mixing in some super-sets. Sometimes reps for all body parts increase as I get closer to a contest.

I perform low-intensity cardio for longer durations, in part due to some injuries that prevent me from doing any kind of sprint work. I start out with cardio 3 days a week for 30 minutes, then bump it up to 5 days a week, and then gradually to 45 minutes and then an hour for 5 days a week first thing in the morning. As I get closer to a contest, I perform cardio twice a day (the 2nd session taking place after my last meal). I perform low-intensity cardio for longer durations, in part due to some injuries that prevent me from doing any kind of sprint work. I start out with cardio 3 days a week for 30 minutes, then bump it up to 5 days a week, and then gradually to 45 minutes and then an hour for 5 days a week first thing in the morning. As I get closer to a contest, I perform cardio twice a day (the 2nd session taking place after my last meal.

What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?

  • 5-6 meals every day - eaten every two-three hours.
  • 3/4 - 1 gallon of water every day.
  • Quality Proteinnned tuna in water, chicken breasts, egg whites, lean turkey breast), Complex Carbs at 2-3 out of my 5-6 meals (brown rice, Old Fashion Oatmeal, Ezekiel bread), healthy fats (Flaxseed Oil, natural peanut butter) and fibrous carbs (green veggies) at 4 out of my 5-6 meals.
  • On non-weight training days, complex carbs are cut back some as I train for a show.

    What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?

    Probiotics, they really keep my GI tract healthy for optimal digestion, optimal nutrient absorption, and immune function. Healthywize Multi-Vitamin, Sea Kelp, Digestive Enzymes, and Glutamine.

    Why do you love Bodybuilding?

    Number one: I enjoy it and have fun with it! I love having a goal outside of my job to work towards. I love being on stage to display my hard work and to use my creativity/dance background when performing my individual routine. Secondly, I love the sense of personal accomplishment. While it is a competitive sport in nature, I am never disappointed with the results of the show because I learned early on to be proud of myself for improving every time I step on stage. Thirdly, it keeps my body very healthy. It's way too easy to be lazy in this world, and way too convenient to eat anything and everything, especially when it's cheap and you can get it super-sized.

    The discipline to stay away from sugar and processed foods, to eat small frequent meals throughout the day, to drink lots of water and take valuable supplements, to get ample rest (sleep), and to exercise on a daily basis, ALL help me reduce, if not completely eliminate, all major risk factors for coronary heart disease.

    I'm able to maintain the best cholesterol levels I've ever had, maintain a high metabolism, keep my blood pressure optimal (below 120/80) and my resting heart rate low (below 60), avoid being overweight or obese, and keep stress relatively low.

    In a sense, I refuse to become a statistic. Lastly, I like how my body looks sculpted. I'd be lying if I didn't mention that I like how the outside looks, too! I like my curves and I feel sexy! I can fit my clothes well and be confident about having a solid, firm body.

    What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

    I want to earn my Pro Card within the next couple years. I also hope to become more of a role model and inspiration for other people to lead healthy lives, especially females I am in the process of starting my own business in that area. I am also trying to become more active with assisting other competitors with their posing routine I love choreographing.

    What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?

    Maintain balance in your life! It's one thing to have passion for the sport. And it's true that in a sense, it becomes what you live, breathe, and eat for 3 or 4 months...but you still shouldn't let it consume you to the point where you become obsessed. Many competitors become obsessed with collecting trophy after trophy. Some competitors miss out on enjoying life in general and can neglect some of the most important things in life: family, friends, God, etc.

    Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?

    My favorite bodybuilders are ones I know personally (all but 2 of them are in my local area) - ones who have a great personality, are unselfish about sharing their knowledge, engage in friendly competition, and have positive energy about them.