Fitness Amateur Of The Week: Nicole Aristides

This former cardio bunny started to hit the weights and found herself on the WBFF stage!

Dance and gymnastics carried Nicole through her younger years, but resistance training helped her reach a mature level of fitness. She first found out about real training by signing up for the Jamie Eason LiveFit trainer, but now she builds her own workouts.

Girly magazines can only take you so far. Excuses can only last so long. Once Nicole cleaved herself from these stereotypical tropes, she was able to discover the kind of fitness athlete she wanted to be. Read on to learn about her path to the WBFF stage.

How did your fitness journey begin?

I was part of a gymnastics squad from the age of 6, which then led me into dance. Being involved in the dance industry, I became familiar with the pressure of looking a certain way. I saw many girls make themselves physically and mentally ill from the pressure.

I grew up with grandparents who owned a typical Greek restaurant in London. My family members are all absolute 'feeders'—which made it hard for me to watch what I was eating. I wanted to have a good body for dance, so I decided to exercise more rather than diet.

I started to educate myself on what I should do in the gym and slowly developed more love for the gym than dance. I bought fitness magazines rather than girly magazines—unlike all of my friends or family. I was a typical cardio bunny when I first started training, but I was so intrigued by the fit-looking women on magazines. I wanted muscle, so I started getting into weights.

I have short limbs and knew my body would look better with some muscle. I was never going to be skinny and didn't want to be. I was happy with how my body was changing without dieting, and to be honest I had no education in nutrition. It wasn't until I developed eczema that I had to look into nutrition.

I learned I could control health and fitness, so there were no excuses. It opened my eyes and made me want to help people and change their lives the right way. I decided to be a personal trainer and I started to educate myself even more. I wanted to do it the right way, unlike many dancers around me.

What fitness regimen delivered the best results?

Nothing changed my body more that weights. It gave me the best results! I base my programs around what I think are the four most important exercises: squat, deadlift, pull-up, and an upper-body push exercise. I vary my program when I am training for something in particular—like a competition—with more accessory exercises, different rep ranges, and a variety of cardio.

The bikini category is all about firm, feminine curves. I added shoulder and glute workouts using supersets during my prep so my waist would look smaller.

The bikini category is all about firm, feminine curves. I added shoulder and glute workouts using supersets during my prep so my waist would look smaller. I keep my rep ranges around 10-12 and use lower rep ranges for the bigger lifts at the beginning of my session to keep my strength up. I enjoy slow, steady jogs for mental rather than physical benefits. I will only do this once or twice a week. I find intervals more beneficial for me. I enjoy single-leg work; it helps me focus more on the muscles I am working.

Day 1: Lower-body push and abs
1

Back squat

5 sets of 5 reps
Back squat Back squat

Superset
2

Reverse lunge

4 sets of 12 reps per leg
Reverse lunge Reverse lunge

Sumo squat

4 sets of 12 reps
Sumo squat Sumo squat

Superset
3

Side lunge

4 sets of 12 reps per leg
Side lunge Side lunge

Walking lunge

4 sets of 12 reps per leg
Bodyweight Walking Lunge Bodyweight Walking Lunge

Superset
4

Hanging leg raise

4 sets of 8 reps
Hanging Leg Raise Hanging Leg Raise

Reverse curl

4 sets of 12 reps
Reverse curl Reverse curl

Day 2: Upper-body pull and intervals
1

Neutral-grip pull-up

5 sets of 4-5 reps
Neutral-grip pull-up Neutral-grip pull-up

2

Wide-grip lat pull-down

4 sets of 10 reps
Wide-grip lat pull-down Wide-grip lat pull-down

3
Neutral-grip seated cable row Neutral-grip seated cable row

4

Cable rear delt fly

3 sets of 15 reps
Cable Rear Delt Fly Cable Rear Delt Fly

5

Hill sprints or row intervals for cardio

10 sets of 30 seconds work/30 seconds rest
Hill sprints or row intervals for cardio Hill sprints or row intervals for cardio

Day 3: Rest/Cardio
Day 4: Lower-body pull and abs
Core activation, glute activation, lower back and hip flexor mobility.
1

Deadlift

5 sets of 5 reps
Barbell Deadlift Barbell Deadlift

2

Romanian deadlift

4 sets of 10 reps
Romanian Deadlift Romanian Deadlift

Superset
3

Single-leg deadlift

4 sets of 12 reps
Single-leg deadlift Single-leg deadlift

Side step-up

4 sets of 12 reps
Side step-up Side step-up

4

Seated leg curl

4 sets of 12 reps
Seated Leg Curl Seated Leg Curl

Superset
5

Hanging leg raise

4 sets of 8 reps
Hanging Leg Raise Hanging Leg Raise

Reverse curl

4 sets of 12 reps
Reverse curl Reverse curl

Day 5: Upper-body push, triceps, and intervals
1

Arnold dumbbell press

4 sets of 8 reps
Arnold Dumbbell Press Arnold Dumbbell Press

2

Dumbbell Bench Press

4 sets of 10 reps
Dumbbell Bench Press Dumbbell Bench Press

3

Seated triceps press

4 sets of 8-10 reps
Seated triceps press Seated triceps press

4

Triceps push-down

4 sets of 12 reps
Triceps push-down Triceps push-down

5

Hill sprints or row intervals for cardio

10 sets of 30 seconds work/30 seconds rest
Hill sprints or row intervals for cardio Hill sprints or row intervals for cardio

Day 6: Glutes
1

Curtsey lunge

4 sets of 12 reps
Curtsey lunge Curtsey lunge

2

Single-leg back-elevated glute-bridge

5 sets of 10 reps per leg
Single-leg back-elevated glute-bridge Single-leg back-elevated glute-bridge

3

Cable kick-back

3 sets of 12 reps each leg
Cable kick-back Cable kick-back

4

Weighted glute-bridge

3 sets of 20 reps
Weighted glute-bridge Weighted glute-bridge
Ex. note: 10 second hold on last rep.

Day 7: Rest

What nutrition plan fueled your body?

I eat differently most days. For each meal, I try to make sure I have a source of protein and vegetable or fruit. I eat at least every four hours. This stops me from overeating and helps me keep my cravings down.

I love food, so I try to keep it interesting. One way which I find works for me is manipulating my carbohydrates and fats. I have higher-carb and lower-fat days, then lower-carb and higher-fat days. This allows me to enjoy carbs and fatty meats—which I love in moderation.

Below is an example of a high-carb, low-fat day.

Meal 1
Omelet

Egg: 1


Egg Whites: 2


Kale: 1 cup


Coconut oil: 1 tsp


Meal 2

Chicken: 80 g


Whole-meal wraps: 2


Asparagus: 1 cup


Meal 3

Jamie Eason whey protein with water: 2 scoops


Banana: 1


Meal 4

Turkey mincemeat balls: 100 g


Sweet potato: 1 medium


Vegetables: 2 cups


Meal 5
Chocolate oats

Oats: 1 cup




What supplements gave you an edge?

I try to get most of my nutrients from actual food; however, there are some supplements I recommend.

With first meal
With second meal
With third meal

Greens supplement: 1 tsp with water



With fourth meal
With fifth meal

Greens supplement: 1 tsp with water



How did your passion for fitness emerge?

My passion for the fitness industry started to emerge more when I completed my degree and got a career in the industry. I started training more frequently and learned more about nutrition. My body started to change, and training became a huge part of my life.



The body is an interesting thing and I love feeling strong and healthy. I also use training as a way to clear my mind, to help me make decisions, and keep focused. Since competing, I have seen many opportunities in the fitness world!

What or who motivates you to live healthy?

My biggest motivators are my clients, but it also keeps me motivated to be a role model for my family and friends. The benefits from being healthy keep me training and eating well. I want to still be lifting when I'm a grandma!

Where did you go for inspiration?

I'm lucky to have lovely friends and family! When I was feeling tired or unmotivated during competition prep, seeing them and having a laugh really helped!

What are your future fitness plans?

My future plans include improving and progressing with my physique. I hope to compete again and would love to represent a fitness brand I respect in the industry.

What is the most important fitness tip?

Train smart, ask yourself why you do what you do, and always listen to your body!

Train smart, ask yourself why you do what you do, and always listen to your body!

Who is your favorite fitness competitor?

Oh I have lots! To narrow it down, the first two fitness models I came across were Andreia Brazier and Jamie Eason. I love how they make muscle feminine and share their stories and progression with everyone.

How did Bodybuilding.com help you reach your goals?

Bodybuilding.com was one of the first sites I looked to when I decided to compete. I used the Jamie Eason LiveFit program as a template. It opened my eyes to fitness.

Nicole's Favorite Gym Tracks


2Pac
"Hit 'Em Up"
2Pac
"Runnin' (Dying To Live)"
J. Cole
"Born Sinner"
Mary J. Blige
"Just Fine"
2Pac
"Hit 'Em Up"
2Pac
"Runnin' (Dying To Live)"
J. Cole
"Born Sinner"
Mary J. Blige
"Just Fine"


Competition history

  • WBFF London 2014