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Amateur Fitness Competitor of the Week: Mandy Polk

Amateur Fitness Competitor of the Week: Mandy Polk! - Pics and info and more!

  • Name: Mandy Polk
  • E-mail:
  • Age: 20
  • Where: Memphis, TN
  • Height: 5' 4"
  • Weight: 135 Lbs., Contest: 120 Lbs.
  • Years Bodybuilding :3
  • Favorite Bodypart: Smile
  • Favorite Exercise: Back
  • Favorite Supplements: Lipo-6 by Nutrex and Protein.

How Did You Get Started?

I was a competitive cheerleader in high school, and just like there is an off season for fitness and bodybuilding, cheerleading has an off season as well. I decided to go to the gym as a way to stay in shape during my cheerleading off season, and it became a habit after that. I actually began to like it more than cheer.

One day, I was reading a friend's Oxygen while I was on the elliptical machine at the gym, and I saw a picture of a fitness competitor from a photo shoot where they were wearing a blue wig and had an American flag across their chest.

They were in phenomenal shape for that shoot. I said to my friend Maria (owner of the magazine),"I don't know who that woman is or what she does, but I want to find out, and I want to do that." That was the summer before my senior year of high school. Instead of going to Florida with my friends for spring break that year, I went to Columbus, OH to get my routine choreographed by Jenny Hendershott. I started my first contest diet the week before my high school graduation.

What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?

I'm still finding what works best for me since I haven't been at this for a long time and I'm fairly young. I train under Mike Davies, which started before my preparation for the 2005 Team Universe.

He currently has me doing cardio 5 mornings a week and 4 evenings a week, along with weight training 3 times a week. The weights are heavy and hard with about 45 seconds in between sets. My split changes as do my exercises. I have never done the same workout twice.

I will say that I built my foundation with basic, heavy, free-weight movements, and I ate without a fear of becoming "too heavy." Because workouts were very intense (I've squatted up to 285 lbs. with good form), and my meals were frequent, I did not gain very much fat at all.

Now, the focus is on making improvements, getting harder for shows, and gaining muscle maturity. I also enjoy cardio kickboxing with Anthony Travis, and jogging.

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What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?

I eat eight small meals a day, each with protein. Some of the meals are protein and fat, others are protein and carbs. Here is a sample day:

arrow Sample Meal Plan (1 day):

    Meal 1- grits and glutamine
    Meal 2- 6 egg whites and 1/2 cup broccoli
    Meal 3- 3 oz. tuna and 10 asparagus spears
    Meal 4- protein shake
    Meal 5- 1/2 grapefruit
    Meal 6- (post workout) glutamine, 6 egg whites, and 1/2 cup oats
    Meal 7- protein shake
    Meal 8- 5 oz. chicken

What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?

I haven't used or relied on supplements for gains, just intense training, adequate rest, and great nutrition. Supplements are just that, supplements. I wouldn't bother using anything besides a multivitamin until your diet and training is on point and you are in tune with your body, knowing exactly how it will respond to small changes here and there

That said, I use flax oil for essential fats,Designer Whey, Women's Ultra Mega Multivitmain, glutamine, and MSM for joint health. Also, it's good to supplement calcium.

Why do you love Bodybuilding?

I love fitness because I am living my dream!! Competing may not make you rich and famous, but it is a fun opportunity to perform and spread positive energy to other people through the lifestyle that I lead. I love being onstage, I love training, and for the most part (yes there are times when I want some cake or cheese), I love eating clean. Being healthy is an awesome benefit to participating in this sport and/or lifestyle.

What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

I plan on competing at the Atlanta Nationals in November. The experience of being on stage with all those amazing athletes is an honor, and the memories I take home are worth the trip and preparation it takes to be there. However, it is a goal of mine to earn a pro card at some point, and competing on the Olympia stage would literally be a dream come true.

Contest History:
2005 NPC Nationals - 4th place

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What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?

Do not be afraid to eat!!! Some women cheat too much, others are afraid of food. You have to find the balance that works best for your body if you are serious about seeing the most results you can. I am a reformed overtrainer and undereater.

This past year, I would eat four very small meals a day, and do tons and tons of cardio in an effort to get leaner. It worked up to a point, but then I struggled just to maintain that look. I actually stayed soft because of it. Mike gave my diet an overhaul.

It made no sense to me that I would eat 8 times a day, with more food at each sitting (or sometimes driving, walking out of the gym, getting ready for work, etc.), and get leaner... but he was right. I will never do that to myself again. Your body is an incredible machine and you have to give it top quality fuel for it to run its best.

Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?

Jenn Hendershott, for her outstanding attitude and for helping me with my routines. Julie Childs, for encouraging me when I first started. Angie Semsch, because she is so personable and friendly, and can do amazing handstand-pushups! Kim Klein is always super helpful at all of the shows.

Julie Lohre is an absolute sweetheart, and an outstanding athlete, competing in figure with a torn ACL because she couldn't do fitness, and placing fourth in her first pro show, what a woman!! Also, Amanda Savell, Elaine Goodlad, Davana Medina um... Okay, I like everybody in the sport. If I've met you, your name should be here. There are too many awesome ladies in this arena.

As for bodybuilders, Arnold is the best ever, and I also like Dexter Jackson and Markus Ruhl.. but my very personal favorite is my boyfriend, NPC competitor Ryan Chastain.

I also want to thank CeeJay of CJ's Elite Competition Wear, she is so good at what she does and makes the best suits for fitness, figure, and bodybuilding. Not only do they look incredible, but they will make you look like dynamite on your big day. Check her out at Thank you, CeeJay!!!