Fit Team Member Spotlight: Tyra Rickman

Working in customer service taught Tyra Rickman that, with fitness, she has the ability to change lives. Read her story and get her plan!

Tyra Rickman grew up riding horses and doing chores on a ranch in Oregon. She came to Idaho to play collegiate basketball, but after getting her feet wet in the weight room she became a personal trainer. We're happy that this passion led her to our doors, where she helped to change the lives of real people as one of Bodybuilding.com's customer service reps.

Now Tyra's talents have moved her into merchandising and onto the competitive figure stage. See how she inspires others through her work ethic in the office, on the stage, and in the weight room. Tyra is a triple threat!

Q
Please tell us what you do in your merchandising position!

I request promotional banners from vendors and assist with promotion quality assurance. I ensure that all promotions run on time, are built right on the site, and that we have enough stock for promotions to run.

Merchandising is cool, because you get to talk with all the vendors about promotions and what you're going to do for the customers. However, you don't have that one-on-one customer interaction, which I miss.

What did you learn from your CS position that helps you in merchandising?

I answered emails, phone calls, and honestly, I helped change people's lives. In our customer interactions we were allowed to talk about those things. We're not just trying to sell people a product. There's no thought in the back of your mind asking, "How can I upsell this person?"

When you start from the bottom, you see how everything trickles down. In merchandising, if a banner we throw up on the site is incorrect—say, a "buy one, get one free" is supposed to read "buy two, get one free"—that little change can cause a lot of stress for a customer service rep.

It humbled me in that position. I constantly make sure everything is correct before I put it on the site. I could only get that perspective from working in customer service.

What sort of background do you have in athletics and fitness?

I grew up on a ranch in Oregon, so exercise was instilled from the beginning—whether I liked it or not. My family rode horses, hunted, and played backyard gravel basketball games. I didn't have much choice but to be a tomboy. Most tasks performed around a ranch lifestyle aren't exactly feminine.

I played volleyball, softball, track, and tennis in high school, and then I went on to play basketball at the College of Idaho. After college, I was a personal trainer for two years, and then I began my career at Bodybuilding.com. Recently, my yearning for competitiveness brought me to compete in natural figure competitions. I don't stay idle for long.

"I grew up on a ranch in Oregon, so exercise was instilled from the beginning—whether I liked it or not."

Which is more important to you: strength or aesthetics?

I believe that with strength comes aesthetics. When I think of strength I don't think of this term solely in physical terms. Strength comes in both physical and mental forms.

Since I switched my overall training to aesthetics, I realized that in order to create a more aesthetic look, you have to be extremely strong mentally. You have to be disciplined with your diet and exercise program, and that can be taxing mentally. But, put it all together, and aesthetics are your reward.

How does the Bodybuilding.com environment influence your health, fitness, and appearance goals?

This is a unique environment. We're all on the same page as far as changing lives and living a healthy lifestyle. Recipes, supplements, and exercise routines are constantly exchanged and are the focus of the majority of the social conversations around here.

The best experience for me was the time of the companywide transformation challenge.

The 2014 challenge—my first—conveniently ran at the same time I was training for my first figure competition. The challenge completely changed my outlook on this company. It created team unity among all my coworkers. I loved having someone to share in my challenges. Many of us experienced the same hardships that come with creating change in your life. It was nice to know I wasn't the only one.

It is easy to stay on track when most of your coworkers participate. It gets competitive, though! I love the healthy competition this creates.

It takes guts to put yourself on display out on the stage. How do you find the balance between being confident and critical?

That's a huge feat, to put yourself out there. I mean, that's me! It's not a project I worked on; it's who I am—my body. You have to disconnect with that, because it's easy to be hard on yourself, based on what the judges have to say.

I compare it to performance in basketball. How I compete simply reflects my performance. The judges can tell you to make your shoulders bigger, or to be leaner in some areas. It's a game. Your assignment is to figure out what works best for you. Not everyone is going to be the same.

Look at it logically. Your body isn't who you are as a person, and the judges aren't judging you as a person. They are judging you on your aesthetics.

"The judges can tell you to make your shoulders bigger, or to be leaner in some areas. It's a game. Your assignment is to figure out what works best for you."

What is your favorite feature on the Bodybuilding.com website?

Fitboard! I'm a huge advocate of this feature.

How is the gym environment in our building different from others?

This is a welcoming community. You see people you know, and everyone is respected because everyone is in it for the same reason.

Sometimes in other gyms, women get scared by the big guys in there lifting. They push you around a little. At Bodybuilding.com, nobody is going to look down on you if you're just trying to change something.

When I was a personal trainer, I'd see my clients' lack of self-confidence. They didn't want to seem like they didn't know what they were doing. As soon as they started seeing changes and their body started becoming more acceptable to them, they seemed happier, and they realized they could do this. That's when they come out of their shell and realize they can lift with the guys.

When did you break that threshold?

"I am blown away when someone tells me I inspired them to better themselves. Most of the time I just do it for me, but I do want to inspire other people."

In college I was an athlete, so we were shown how to properly lift without hurting ourselves. Once I had that knowledge base, I became more confident. I wanted to become a trainer and teach other women and expand their knowledge. Once I transitioned into weightlifting and aesthetics training, though, I had that "aha" moment when I learned how to do a power clean.

Do you think the Olympic lifts are more empowering than other movements?

By far, yeah. The power clean is such a powerful movement! It's a big attention draw in the gym. The Olympic lifts are also kind of scary, because if you do them wrong you can hurt yourself. The process of learning the big lifts is empowering for women.

How does a fit person convince an unfit person to change?

I've helped a few people along the way and am blown away when someone tells me I inspired them to better themselves. You don't necessarily talk to people about those things. Most of the time I just do it for me, but I do want to inspire other people.

I would never want someone to follow the same path as I do, though. Everyone is different. No one person is going to have the exact same results from eating the same food or having the exact same exercise routine as I do. Injuries, allergies, and other factors come into play. That said, obtaining a healthy lifestyle is a lot easier than you think. Subtle changes and differences can create a world of difference.

To convince someone to change their lifestyle I would list the positive changes this lifestyle created for me. You can tell someone the reasons to change a thousand times and explain how important it is, but this will do nothing until that change is ready to come from within.

When someone reaches out to you, they are ready. Then, they just need the confidence boost and knowledge base to do it. Until then, lie in the weeds, wait for that initiation, and then flood them with benefits.

Tyra's Top 5 Gym Tracks

  1. Hungry: Rob Bailey
  2. Kraddy: Android Porn
  3. What I Live For: Rob Bailey
  4. Sail: Awolnation
  5. Pass the Courvoisier Part II: Busta Rhymes

Tyra's Offseason Training Regimen

  • Rest 60-90 seconds between sets
  • Reps change every week: alternate 5, 8, 10
Day 1: Back/Biceps


Day 2: Shoulders/Calves


Day 3: Chest/Triceps


Day 4: Rest Day

Day 5: Legs


Day 6: Back


Day 7: Rest/Cardio 4 Times Per Week
HIIT: 15 minutes



Tyra's Nutrition Plan

I drink at least one gallon of water every day.

Meal 1: 6 a.m.
Meal 2: 9 a.m.
Meal 3: 12 p.m.
Meal 4: 3 p.m. (Pre-Workout)
Meal 5: 6 p.m. (Post-Workout)

Tyra's Supplement Program

Where to begin? C'mon, I work at Bodybuilding.com!



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