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Amateur Fitness Competitor of the Week: Tami Lynn Ough

Amateur Fitness Competitor of the Week: Tami Lynn Ough! - Pics and info and more!

  • Name: Tami Lynn Ough
  • E-mail:
  • Age: 30
  • Where: Prineville, Oregon
  • Height: 5' 3"
  • Weight: 128 Lbs., Contest: 118 Lbs.
  • Years Bodybuilding :4
  • Favorite Bodypart: Chest and Quads
  • Favorite Exercise: Chest
  • Favorite Supplements: Muscle milk (cookies and cream), BCAA's, Redline by VPX.

How Did You Get Started?

In the spring of 1995, the owners of the gym where I worked out approached me with the idea of competing in this "new" thing called fitness competitions. There was going to be a Ms. Fitness Oregon pageant along with a local bodybuilding contest.

I entered it having no idea what I was doing. I ended up placing 2nd and had a ball! I entered the WA Ironman later that year and placed 2nd also. I set my sights on Team Universe in August of 1996. I didn't even place, but learned so much. I competed along side Suzie Curry (who went on to win the overall).

Soon after, in the spring of 1997, I found out I was pregnant with my first child. I gained and then lost 50lbs, then got pregnant 13 months later. Again, gained over 50lbs and thought I would never compete again. When my son was 3 (in 2003), I felt it was finally time for a comeback!

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What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?

I am a firm believer in High Intensity Training (HIT), based on theories developed by Mike Mentzer in the 70's. I lift weights only once or twice weekly. My sessions are extremely intense and take me to complete muscular failure. I do one exercise per body part, and I go heavy enough to fail at 8 to 12 reps.

Then my lifting partner will help me rep out until I can no longer hold the weight on the negative either. When I do two sessions per week, I divide up my body parts as such:

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arrow Training Week

    Sunday: Back, biceps, abs
    Wednesday: Shoulders, chest, triceps

    I only work my legs using my body weight (lots of lunges, and plyometric type exercises). I do leg work on a day between my other workouts. I do daily cardio sessions first thing in the morning before breakfast 7 days a week. Pre-contest - I begin doing twice daily cardio sessions at about 8 to 10 weeks out (depending on how much fat I am carrying).

My cardio sessions in the morning consist of lower impact cardio like elliptical, stationary bike, and walking on an incline. My evening sessions are more intense (because I have had food throughout the day). I usually run the high school's track, or run stairs at the local football stadium (sometimes both).

I work my fitness routine 3 to 4 days a week pre-contest. I usually do it mid morning, and I do one full run through then work on individual segments of it. I also practice the mandatory moves every night in my living room before bed:) My kids think I am crazy at times...

What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?

I used to design my own diets when I started back in 2003. I had good results, but felt I needed more muscle and just couldn't gain the size that I wanted. I contacted fitness pro Tanji Johnson in October of 2004. She set me up with her nutritionist Pete Grubbs in Bellevue, WA.

Together, he and Tanji had created a fitness/figure/bodybuilding team called "Team Evolution". I began having Pete put together all of my diets. I love being held accountable to someone else for them. After starting on Pete's diet, I discovered that I had been severely restricting my calories on my own diets. I immediately started putting on lean muscle.

In the first month on Pete's diet, I gained 4 lbs of lean and lost 5 lbs of fat! I was taking in at least 3500 calories at the time! It was very hard to finish all the food that he told me to eat. I get to have cheat meals twice a week up until 4 weeks out from a contest, then I only get 1 cheat meal until 2 weeks out - then no more until after the contest.

My diet mainly consists of oatmeal, yams, chicken, turkey, egg whites, salad, salmon, and green veggies. I take in 2 protein drinks a day up until 8 weeks out from a contest. Then I get all my calories from whole foods.

What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?

1) Muscle Milk: I love this protein drink. Every single flavor I have tried is incredible! Cookies and Cream is my personal favorite. One thing my nutritionist has taught me is to not be afraid of fat. Muscle milk has 18g of fat per shake, but it has relatively low carbs. I always cry when I have to stop drinking it at 8 weeks out. Ha ha ha!

VPX Redline

2) Branch Chain Amino Acids: when I get closer to contest, I take these in between my meals to promote a positive nitrogen balance in my body (which helps to spare muscle wasting when you are dieting down).

3) Redline by VPX: I have so much more endurance for my cardio sessions if I take my Redline. I have to be careful and not take it too late in the day though - or I won't sleep till way after midnight.

Why do you love Bodybuilding?

I love the challenge. There is nothing better than stepping on stage knowing you look the best you have ever looked in your life. No matter where you place, you are a winner! I love setting goals - making a plan - and achieving what I set out to do. Doing fitness competitions has empowered me to know that I can do whatever I set my mind to. I always want to be a positive role model for my children and future competitors.

What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

Most of all, I want my pro card! But realistically I would like to place top 3 at a national show. I am training now for Fitness Nationals in November. Even though I want my pro card, I just want to better my physique each time I step on stage.

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Next on my agenda is to become a certified personal trainer. I want to train others to compete in fitness and figure contests. I feel like I have learned SO much over my years of competing and I want to share that knowledge.

Competition Record

    2005 Team Universe, Fitness, 6th place, medium class
    2005 Emerald Cup, Fitness short class, 1st and overall
    2005 Emerald Cup, Figure, 5'3" class, 5th
    2005 Oregon Ironman, Fitness, 1st
    2005 Oregon Ironman, Figure medium class, 1st

    2004 Oregon Ironman, Fitness 1st
    2004 Oregon Ironman, Figure medium class, 1st
    2004 Emerald Cup, Fitness short class, 4th

    2003 Washington Ironman, Fitness 1st
    2003 Seven Feathers, Fitness, 1st
    2003 Seven Feathers, Figure medium, 1st

    1996 Competed at Team Universe Nationals in NY
    1995 Washington Ironman, Fitness, 2nd
    1995 Ms Fitness Oregon, 2nd

What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?

NO EXCUSES! Everybody has hardships in their life, if you want something bad enough - you will do what it takes to get it. I get so tired of hearing women complain that they have no time to work out or eat right. If I can do it, anyone can do it. Motivation starts within.

Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?

I love Tanji Johnson, not only for her incredible physique, but for her compassion for others and her love of the sport of fitness. She is a great person inside and out. I have to give props to the fitness competitors who first influenced me in this sport: Mia Finnegan, Carol Semple Marzetta, and Kelly Ryan.

I must have watched my tape of Kelly's first Fitness America Pageant a million times. Kelly has an incredible stage presence. I have had the honor of watching her perform live - it is inspiring!

Through competing the last few years, I have met some of the most incredible women! I love the camaraderie that we have back stage. We only see each other a few times a year - but we are instantly the best of friends!

These are the women that really inspire me, they are just like me. They have husbands, kids, jobs, school, training... and they keep it all together. We have no sponsors, we are there because we love the sport. They all have my utmost respect.