- Name: Amanda Hicks
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Age: 26
- Where: North Carolina USA
- Height: 5'5.5"
- Weight: 130lbs On-Season 140lbs Off
- Years Bodybuilding :2
- Favorite Bodypart: Back
- Favorite Exercise: Calves
- Favorite Supplements: Whey Protein and NO Vapor
How Did You Get Started?
I started lifting in my second semester as a college freshman (2003), after gaining over 20lbs of fat during my first semester and feeling horrible about myself. I was able to lose only some of the fat I put on, but I did gain some serious muscle. That's when I learned how much potential my body had for bodybuilding and had thoughts of competing some day. Dieting wasn't easy in college, and I didn't watch my diet enough to see truly dramatic results from training.
After starting grad school in 2006, I didn't make any time for weight training. I did cardio only twice a week, so I gained weight and lost a significant amount of lean muscle mass. Feeling really depressed about the way I had let myself go, I decided to get back into training. Once I had moved to North Carolina to complete my PhD at UNC Chapel Hill in 2007, I decided I needed to get back to training as I had in college - but actually watching my diet for once. I put back on all the muscle I had lost, dropped all the fat I had gained since high school, and felt good about my body.
I was finally healthy - likely healthier than I had ever been up until that point. That wasn't enough. I got the bug to compete in September of 2008 and entered my first contest in June 2009.
What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?
I switch my workouts up every 4-6 weeks to keep my body guessing and the gains progressing. Therefore, my reps, sets, and exercises change immensely from month to month. When I'm cutting, I do 1.5-2 hours of moderate-low intensity cardio every day.
- Incline Dumbbell Bench: 4 Sets Of 8-12 Reps
- Cable Cross Over: 4 Sets Of 8-12 Reps
- Dumbbell Flat Bench: 4 Sets Of 8-12 Reps
- Rope Pushdown: 4 Sets Of 8-12 Reps
- Overhead Dumbbell Extension: 4 Sets Of 8-12 Reps
- Dips: 4 Sets Of 8-12 Reps
Tuesday: Abs/1 Hour Cardio
- Pull-Ups: 4 Sets Of 8-12 Reps
- Reverse Grip Pulldowns: 4 Sets Of 8-12 Reps
- Dumbbell Row: 4 Sets Of 8-12 Reps
- Hammer Curls: 4 Sets Of 8-12 Reps
- Incline Curls: 4 Sets Of 8-12 Reps
- Preacher Curls: 4 Sets Of 8-12 Reps
Thursday: Abs/1 Hour Cardio
- Front/Lateral/Bent Dumbbell Raises: 4 Sets Of 8-12 Reps
- Shrugs: 4 Sets Of 8-12 Reps
- Upright Row: 4 Sets Of 8-12 Reps
- Calf Raises: 4 Sets Of 20 Reps
- Squat: 4 Sets Of 8-12 Reps
- Leg Extension: 4 Sets Of 8-12 Reps
- Leg Curl: 4 Sets Of 8-12 Reps
Sunday: Abs/1 Hour Cardio
What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?
A typical day cutting:
As I get closer to the show, I cut out any dairy or fruit I may have been eating, and all protein bars. I try to limit wheat products as well. In off-season, I'm much looser with my diet, but still maintain healthy eating habits while keeping my protein intake high (150-220 g).
What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?
Why do you love Bodybuilding?
I love fitness because it keeps me goal oriented, and I thrive on setting and reaching higher goals. The benefits that come along with being fit are seemingly endless. Confidence, health, strength, stress relief and a general sense of well being are just some of the rewards of pursuing fitness.
What Motivates You To Follow A Healthy Lifestyle?
Being healthy is the most important thing to me because without health, we have nothing. We are only given one body in this life, and we need to respect it while at the same time living a fulfilling life. Balance is key, and it keeps me motivated to always be striving to achieve better health/conditioning.
What Made You Want To Achieve Your Goals?
When I realized how out of shape I had become after starting graduate school, I knew that I needed to do something before it got out of control. Once I got back into a routine, I started to feel good about myself, and going to the gym was like a drug for me. No matter what mood I was in walking into the gym, with in minutes, I forgot all of life's stresses and felt good. Endorphins are wonderful things!
What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?
I plan to push my body as far as I possibly can to become a successful figure competitor. I have dreams of one day earning my pro card, but I am currently pursuing a doctorate in genetics and molecular biology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Now more than midway through my program, I hope to defend my thesis within the next few years. After my doctorate is awarded, I honestly don't know where life will take me. My heart seems set in the fitness/health industry, but switching directions seems like a waste of my doctorate. I'm keeping an open mind as to career choices, but fitness will always be a huge part of my life regardless of where life takes me.
What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?
Keep pushing to improve each day, not only in the gym, but in all aspects of life. Although you may never be satisfied with what you achieve, try to enjoy your accomplishments. And remember that it's the fight that makes us stronger.
Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?
Rachel McLish is by far my favorite female bodybuilder. I admire her not only for her physique and beauty, but also because she was a pioneer in women's bodybuilding.
What Features Do You Use On Bodybuilding.com?
I use the Body Stats and Progress Pictures to keep an eye on my progress. Being new to figure competitions, I haven't yet learned how to critically judge my physique from day to day. Looking at my progress photos makes it easier for me to better gauge my progress. I'm a very analytical person as well, so the charts and graphs help me to visualize my progress. I also read many of the articles to obtain new workout ideas and healthy recipes.