2013 Bodybuilding.com FIT USA Champion: Caryn Nicole Paolini

Caryn's petite frame contains serious fitness firepower that propelled her to become Bodybuilding.com's 2013 FIT USA Fitness Model Champion!

Q
How Did Your Fitness Journey Begin?

I participated in competitive gymnastics and cheerleading throughout childhood and loved it. As a kid, my parents instilled in me the importance of healthy eating habits. I was the kid in the lunchroom nobody wanted to trade snacks with because my lunchbox was stocked with carrot sticks, apple slices, and bran muffins. I hated it at the time, but I'm grateful now.

I enjoyed working out, but never understood the importance of nutrition to maintain a healthy lifestyle. In college, I struggled to maintain healthy eating habits, which caused my weight to seesaw for years, from not so flattering highs to unhealthy lows. When I was introduced to fitness at the competitive level, I began to understand what my body was capable of when fed and trained properly.

When I finished graduate school, I moved into my own place and secured my dream job working in an elementary school as a school psychologist. All was well, except for my health and body image. I've always been a person who likes to set challenges and goals. I set many goals geared toward my education and career path, and worked hard to achieve them.

In January 2012, I committed to train for my first competition. I trained on my own for the first 10 weeks with support of friends who competed and used resources from Bodybuilding.com. Three weeks out from my first competition, I was introduced to Staci Boyer, a coach of Team FAB, a competition training team. I became a team member and Staci fine-tuned my nutrition, training, and posing. Without Staci and the support of my teammates, I wouldn't have achieved the accomplishments I have thus far.

I competed in my first show in April 2012 and knew the moment I stepped on stage that I belonged. Fitness changed my life in many ways. It gave me confidence to believe in myself and taught me how strong I am physically, mentally, and emotionally. It's my ultimate passion and goal to share my story and experiences with others to be a source of motivation, inspiration, and support.

I feel fortunate and blessed for the opportunities, friendships, and experiences that fitness and competing brought into my life, including being chosen as this year's Bodybuilding.com Fit USA Winner. Fitness is a journey, not a destination. I look forward to discover what lies ahead.

What Fitness Regimen Delivered the Best Results?
Day 1: Legs
  • Barbell Squat Barbell Squat

    Barbell Squat

    5 sets of 8 reps
  • Stiff-Legged Barbell Deadlift Stiff-Legged Barbell Deadlift

    Stiff-Legged Barbell Deadlift

    5 sets of 8 reps
  • Plie Dumbbell Squat Plie Dumbbell Squat

    Plie Dumbbell Squat

    5 sets of 8 reps
  • One Leg Barbell Squat One Leg Barbell Squat

    One Leg Dumbbell Split Squat (Shown w/ Barbell)

    5 sets of 8 reps
  • One-Legged Cable Kickback One-Legged Cable Kickback

    One-Legged Cable Kickback

    5 sets of 8 reps
  • Lying Leg Curls Lying Leg Curls

    Lying Leg Curls

    5 sets of 8 reps
  • Butt Lift (Bridge) Butt Lift (Bridge)

    Butt Lift (Bridge)

    5 sets of 8 reps
Day 2: Back/Delts/Cardio
  • Step Mill Step Mill

    Step Mill

    30 min
  • Pullups Pullups

    Pullups (Assisted)

    5 sets of 8 reps
  • Dumbbell Shoulder Press Dumbbell Shoulder Press

    Dumbbell Shoulder Press

    5 sets of 8 reps
  • Low Pulley Row To Neck Low Pulley Row To Neck

    Low Pulley Row (Underhand)

    5 sets of 8 reps
  • V-Bar Pulldown V-Bar Pulldown

    V-Bar Pulldown

    5 sets of 8 reps
  • Side Lateral Raise Side Lateral Raise

    Side Lateral Raise

    5 sets of 8 reps
Day 3: Legs/Cardio
  • Jogging-Treadmill Jogging-Treadmill

    HIIT Cardio

    30 min
  • Dumbbell Step Ups Dumbbell Step Ups

    Dumbbell Step Ups

    4 sets of 12 reps
  • One Leg Barbell Squat One Leg Barbell Squat

    One Leg Barbell Squat

    4 sets of 12 reps
  • One-Legged Cable Kickback One-Legged Cable Kickback

    One-Legged Cable Kickback

    4 sets of 12 reps
  • Thigh Adductor Thigh Adductor

    Thigh Adductor

    4 sets of 12 reps
  • Thigh Abductor Thigh Abductor

    Thigh Abductor

    4 sets of 12 reps
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: Chest/Biceps/Triceps/Cardio
  • Step Mill Step Mill

    Step Mill

    30 min
  • Bent-Arm Dumbbell Pullover Bent-Arm Dumbbell Pullover

    Bent-Arm Dumbbell Pullover

    5 sets of 8 reps
  • Triceps Pushdown - Rope Attachment Triceps Pushdown - Rope Attachment

    Triceps Pushdown - Rope Attachment

    5 sets of 8 reps
  • Pushups Pushups

    Pushups

    16 reps
  • Incline Dumbbell Press Incline Dumbbell Press

    Incline Dumbbell Press

    5 sets of 8 reps
  • Tricep Dumbbell Kickback Tricep Dumbbell Kickback

    Tricep Dumbbell Kickback

    5 sets of 8 reps
  • Pushups Pushups

    Pushups

    16 reps
  • Decline Dumbbell Bench Press Decline Dumbbell Bench Press

    Decline Dumbbell Bench Press

    5 sets of 8 reps
  • Standing Biceps Cable Curl Standing Biceps Cable Curl

    Standing Biceps Cable Curl

    5 sets of 8 reps
  • Pushups Pushups

    Pushups

    16 reps
  • Dumbbell Flyes Dumbbell Flyes

    Dumbbell Flyes

    5 sets of 8 reps
  • Incline Dumbbell Curl Incline Dumbbell Curl

    Incline Dumbbell Curl

    5 sets of 8 reps
  • Pushups Pushups

    Pushups

    16 reps
Day 6: Quads/Calves/Shoulders
  • Leg Extensions Leg Extensions

    Leg Extensions

    5 sets of 8 reps
  • Barbell Walking Lunge Barbell Walking Lunge

    Barbell Walking Lunge

    4 sets of 12 reps
  • Seated Calf Raise Seated Calf Raise

    Seated Calf Raise

    4 sets of 16 reps
  • Standing Calf Raises Standing Calf Raises

    Standing Calf Raises

    4 sets of 16 reps
  • Barbell Shoulder Press Barbell Shoulder Press

    Barbell Shoulder Press

    5 sets of 8 reps
  • Standing Front Barbell Raise Over Head Standing Front Barbell Raise Over Head

    Standing Front Barbell Raise (on Incline)

    5 sets of 8 reps
  • Side Lateral Raise Side Lateral Raise

    Side Lateral Raise

    4 sets of 8 reps
  • Seated Bent-Over Rear Delt Raise Seated Bent-Over Rear Delt Raise

    Seated Bent-Over Rear Delt Raise

    5 sets of 8 reps
  • Upright Barbell Row Upright Barbell Row

    Upright Barbell Row

    5 sets of 8 reps
Day 7: Back/Cardio
  • Jogging-Treadmill Jogging-Treadmill

    HIIT Cardio

    30 min
  • Low Pulley Row To Neck Low Pulley Row To Neck

    Low Pulley Row (Underhand)

    5 sets of 8 reps
  • V-Bar Pulldown V-Bar Pulldown

    V-Bar Pulldown

    5 sets of 8 reps
  • Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown

    Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown

    5 sets of 8 reps
  • Pullups Pullups

    Pullups (Assisted)

    5 sets of 8 reps
  • Bent Over Two-Dumbbell Row Bent Over Two-Dumbbell Row

    Bent Over Two-Dumbbell Row

    5 sets of 8 reps

What Nutrition Plan Fueled Your Body?
Meal 1
  • eggs

    Egg Whites

    4

  • cream of rice

    Cream of Rice

    1/8 cup

  • berries

    Berries

    1/2 cup

Meal 2
  • turkey

    Ground Turkey

    4 oz

  • spinach

    Spinach

    1 cup

Meal 3
  • chicken

    Chicken

    3 oz

  • asparagus

    Asparagus

    3 oz

  • sweet potato

    Sweet Potato

    4 oz

Meal 4
  • fish

    White Fish

    4 oz

  • green beans

    Green Beans

    1 cup

  • sweet potato

    Sweet Potato

    4 oz

Meal 5
  • chicken

    Chicken

    3 oz

  • asparagus

    Asparagus

    3 oz

Meal 6: Post-workout

What Supplements Gave You an Edge?
Pre-workout
Post-workout
With Meal 2
With Meal 3 and 5

How did your passion for fitness emerge?

My passion for fitness emerged through my parents. My mom struggled with her weight as a child and teenager. In her 20s, she decided it was time for change. She hit the gym regularly and overhauled her diet. My dad was an active runner who ran many races and marathons, which I admire because I'm not a runner.

Today, my parents train together in the gym and continue to live a healthy and active lifestyle. They supported me and my passion for fitness since day one.

What/Who motivates you to live a healthy lifestyle?

My passion to inspire others to find happiness through health and fitness is a great source of motivation. I have an incredible support system. I think it's important to be your own source of motivation.

Seeing how far I came and what my body has been capable of gives me the motivation to continue learning and growing in regard to nutrition and training, and staying dedicated.

Where did you go for inspiration?

My Team FAB sisters and coaches inspire and push me to be the best. The women on my team are hard-working full-time students and/or career women, many of whom are also mothers. Seeing my teammates balance the various aspects of their lives and still push themselves to achieve their fitness goals is a huge source of inspiration.

What are your future fitness plans?

I plan to compete in several national shows this summer and in the fall. When school begins, I plan to take a short time off from competing to focus on my career. I plan to attend the Olympia for the first time and will attend many local NPC shows to support and cheer on my teammates at various events.

What is the most important fitness tip?

Staci Boyer of Team FAB has told me to "Trust the process." Don't expect change overnight. Know that progress is a process and that anything worth having takes time. If you stick to it and continue to put in work, changes will come and they will be worth it. If you stay dedicated to the process, your hard work will pay off. Expect setbacks and use them as motivation to make a strong comeback.

Who is your favorite fitness competitor?

I really admire Nicole Nagrani. I met her at the Arnold Classic this year and she was incredibly nice and down to earth. I learned that she's a full-time student pursuing a career in the medical field as a doctor. It's refreshing and inspiring to know how much she accomplished at such a young age.

How did Bodybuilding.com help you reach your goals?

Bodybuilding.com was one of the first resources that helped start my journey. When I began my first contest prep, I wasn't on a team and didn't have a trainer, so I created my own nutrition and training plan based on information and research from friends and Bodybuilding.com.

I relied heavily on Jamie Eason's LiveFit Trainer as a nutrition guideline and followed her workouts for the first 10 weeks of prep until I met my Staci Boyer and joined Team FAB. I'm thankful for the information and guidance I received from Bodybuilding.com.

I found wonderful support and inspiration through BodySpace. BodySpace provides an environment for many like-minded athletes and there's never a lack of support or motivation. My friends and followers on BodySpace inspire me to keep pushing toward my goals.

Competition History
  • 2013 Jr Nationals - 4th Place Bikini A
  • 2013 Bodybuilding.com Fit USA Winner
  • 2013 Arnold Amateur Classic - 1st Place Bikini A
  • 2012 NPC Mid-States Muscle Class - 1st Place Bikini Short Class, Overall Bikini Champion
  • 2012 IFBB/NPC North American Championships - 14th Place Bikini A
  • 2012 NPC Grand Prix- 2nd Place Bikini Short Class
  • 2012 Natural ABA - 1st Place Bikini Short Class
Caryn's Top 5 Gym Tracks

  1. "Killin' It" by Krewella
  2. "I Could Be The One" by Avicii vs. Nicky Romero
  3. "Hot" by Inna
  4. "I Remember" by Kaskade & Deadmau5
  5. "Who Wants To Be Alone" by Tiesto