Body Transformation: Packing Fitness Onto A Full Plate

Jennifer had so many activities, tasks to do each day, she lost time to care for herself. See how she cut 23% body fat in her own home, and got on stage!

Name: Jennifer Hennessey
Email: fitvetjenhen@yahoo.com
BodySpace: drhennessey

Jennifer Hennessey Jennifer Hennessey
AGE 33
HEIGHT
5'1"
WEIGHT
128 lbs
BODY FAT
36.6%
WAIST
28.63"
HIPS
39.5"
THIGHS
22.75"
AGE 33
HEIGHT
5'1"
WEIGHT
109 lbs
BODY FAT
13%
WAIST
23.83"
HIPS
35"
THIGHS
19.13"

Why I Got Started

I don't give up when I commit to something. So when I found myself feeling insecure and hating that physique looking back at me in the mirror, I felt a sudden determination to make a change. I wanted to develop the best body I've ever had. I felt ashamed that I had given up on me, on keeping my body healthy and in shape.

Each day I live a somewhat extreme life as a daywalking mom/wife with journalism and equestrian hobbies, and at night I work as an emergency veterinarian (yes, sacrificing rest and appropriate sleep). Somewhere between undergraduate studies and baby #2, I began neglecting my body and as result I felt self conscious and insecure. I, as most women, wanted that incredible body seen in fitness magazines.

Unfortunately, I fell into unhealthy habits of indulging on junk food and living off fast food. I dedicate my life to "going above and beyond" so just getting fit was not going to be enough motivation to encourage me to "stick with it." I, again like many women, have tried sudden crash diets, crazy diet trends, and commercial exercise plans…and failed each one as I felt they weren't working and I didn't see the result I needed.

In December of 2010, I finally decided to make the change. I was completely ready for the challenge and the commitment to build an awesome, strong body. I purchased a home boot camp video series as my starting plan. I did not want to sacrifice time from my kids to work out and did not want to join a gym for fear of intimidation.

I have always been active but with sports included showing horses, cheerleading and tumbling. I had never trained with weights or with the purpose of bodybuilding. When I was researching fitness and diet info online in December of 2010, I came across a picture of Figure Pro Erin Stern and suddenly fell in love with the sport of Figure. Figure competing now fueled my motivation to work out and to eat well. It gave me the drive I needed to push myself to work out and seek professional nutritional coaching.

Like many career moms, I live a hectic and stressful life and Fitness/Figure allowed me to create a new challenge for myself. I knew from researching figure/bodybuilding online that I was in for some huge obstacles including strict meal plans, the challenge of finding time from my busy day to prep and pack food, and then I needed to find the time to be consistent at my workouts.

The more I set my mind to the goal of Figure competitions, the more I intended to show the world that this mom, veterinarian, wife and veterinary journalist could defy odds. I fully committed to the clean eating while maintaining a rigorous training plan in order to achieve an extraordinary physique.

I had every excuse to not succeed yet felt there was not a good enough excuse not to try. I wanted to make my family proud and become a positive role model for my kids.

How I Did It

As my New Year's resolution for 2011, I began the 90-day program which allowed me the comfort of my home for training and allowed me to train alongside my kids. I had never really worked out in a gym setting or lifted weights so was grateful for a chance to learn workout techniques without sacrificing time with my family and without the intimidation of a gym setting.

With the help of Dr. Chase Banks, my nutrition plans were designed for me to help meet my goals and prep for the stage (starting in Feb). His stringent plan, consistent with the standard bodybuilding diet regimen, had me cooking and prepping foods every free moment I had. I would come home from being at work all night, workout, play with my kids, prep meals, workout with my kids, then pack food, shower and go back to work! I was eating lean protein, clean foods and eating every 2-3 hours.

In order to keep consistent on my diet, I had to pack my food for 17 hours at a time to have enough to eat at work. My nurses, at first unsure of this crazy fitness plan I was on, quickly developed a great team attitude and helped me grab meals and watch the clock for mealtimes in between seeing sick and injured pets.

I decided to compete in my first show in April, just 8 weeks after starting my nutrition plan. I followed the boot camp program and added morning fasted cardio and track work to get my body stage ready. Though I have never even felt comfortable in a bikini around family or friends, I somehow developed an alter ego that helped me overcome anxiety and fear of embarrassment in order to get up in front of judges and strangers that April!

Amazingly, I stepped on stage at 114lbs and 19% body fat and placed 3rd in bikini and 5th in figure! The experience was just the rush I hoped it would be…I was hooked. I planned my next competition for August which would be the official show of transformation completion. In order to keep my body from plateauing with the same workout routine, I joined the YMCA gym and consulted 1-2 times/month with a personal trainer.

I added more track work and worked out 2-3 times per day while varying my workout plan and increasing weight with lower reps to continue improving my physique. I also continued to study the sport and develop an understanding of posing and researched how the Pros trained. If you are going to be an elite athlete, one must then keep the mindset and training of an elite athlete. The weekend before my 2nd show, I did 2 depletion workouts with Dr. Banks that forced me to exert all I had.

We trained with bleachers, sprints, ropes and he kept me pushing my endurance and strength until I could push no more. I was ready. With the support of family, friends, and coworkers, I competed in the Optimum Nutrition Lone Star on August 20, 2011. What an incredible day! All of the hard work paid off! I was named both figure and fitness model champion, as well as received the Rising Star Award and was crowned the newest athlete for Michael David Photography's I Decide campaign!

The journey to transform was complete and I had officially become a Figure competitor within 8 months!

Supplements

Morning:
Morning & Evening:
Midday:
  • CLA

    CLA

    3 softgels

Midday & Pre Workout:
Pre Workout:
  • BSN Endorush RTD

    BSN Endorush Xtreme Strength RTD

    ½ bottle

Post Workout:
  • BSN Cellmass

    BSN Cellmass

    1 scoop

Before Bed:

(On the 4 nights that I sleep, don't take it at work)

Diet

Meal 1:

Meal 2:

  • salmon

    Salmon w/ 0.5 tsp Sea Salt

    3.5oz

  • cucumber

    Cucumber, peeled, raw

    2 cups

Meal 3:

  • Ground Turkey

    Ground Turkey

    4oz

  • black beans

    Black Beans, boiled

    2oz

  • Pico de Gallo

    Pico de Gallo

    2 tbsp

  • yam

    Yam, baked

    3oz

Meal 4:

  • Tuna

    Tuna, solid white in water

    3oz

  • mustard

    Yellow Mustard

    2 tsp

  • onion

    Onion, chopped

    3 tbsp

  • spinach

    Raw Spinach

    3 cups

  • tomato

    Tomato, diced

    .5 cup

  • Apple Cider Vinegar

    Apple Cider Vinegar

    2 tbsp

Meal 5:

  • Chicken Breast

    Chicken Breast

    4oz

  • almonds

    Almonds

    1oz

  • asparagus

    Asparagus Spears, boiled

    8

Meal 6:

  • Egg Whites

    Egg Whites w/ 2 tbsp Pico de Gallo

    5

  • red pepper

    Red Pepper

    .5oz

Meal 7: Overnights at work

  • Ground Turkey

    Ground Turkey

    3oz

Training

Day 1: AM Cardio, PM Legs/Back Circuit, Abs/Yoga

AM: Fasted Cardio

    • Elliptical Trainer Elliptical Trainer

      Elliptical Trainer

      45 min

PM: Legs/Back Circuit - Perform 1x

    • Bodyweight Squat Bodyweight Squat

      Bodyweight Squat with Bosu

      1 min max reps
    • Dumbbell Lunges Dumbbell Lunges

      Dumbbell Lunges (Bodyweight)

      1 min max reps
    • Dumbbell Step Ups Dumbbell Step Ups

      Dumbbell Step Ups

      1 min max reps
    • Hip Extension with Bands Hip Extension with Bands

      Hip Extension with Bands

      1 min max reps
    • Flat Bench Lying Leg Raise Flat Bench Lying Leg Raise

      Flat Bench Lying Leg Raise

      1 min max reps
    • Standing Dumbbell Calf Raise Standing Dumbbell Calf Raise

      Standing Single Leg Dumbbell Calf Raise (Bodyweight)

      1 min max reps
    • Bent Over Barbell Row Bent Over Barbell Row

      Bent Over Barbell Row

      1 min max reps
    • Reverse Grip Bent-Over Rows Reverse Grip Bent-Over Rows

      Reverse Grip Bent-Over Rows

      1 min max reps
    • Seated Cable Rows Seated Cable Rows

      Seated Cable Rows

      1 min max reps
    • Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown

      Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown

      1 min max reps
    • Close-Grip Front Lat Pulldown Close-Grip Front Lat Pulldown

      Close-Grip Front Lat Pulldown

      1 min max reps
    • Hyperextensions (Back Extensions) Hyperextensions (Back Extensions)

      Hyperextensions (Back Extensions)

      1 min max reps
    • Hanging Leg Raise Hanging Leg Raise

      Hanging Leg Raise

      2 sets of 15 reps
    • Exercise Ball Crunch Exercise Ball Crunch

      Exercise Ball Crunch (front, left side/right side)

      1 set of 50 reps, 1 set 25 reps each

PM: 1 hr Yoga class

Day 2: AM Cardio, PM Legs/Hams/Glutes

AM: Fasted Cardio

    • Jogging-Treadmill Jogging-Treadmill

      Jogging-Treadmill

      45 min light jog and incline walk to bring HR down to cardio range as needed

PM: Legs/Hams/Glutes

    • Leg Press Leg Press

      Leg Press

      3 sets of 15 reps
    • Leg Press Leg Press

      Single-Leg Leg Press

      3 sets of 15 reps
    • Dumbbell Lunges Dumbbell Lunges

      Dumbbell Lunges

      1 set of 50 reps, each leg

PM: Circuit - Repeat 3x

  • Lying Leg Curls Lying Leg Curls

    Lying Leg Curls

    15 reps (standard) + 5 reps (quads lifted off bench) + 5 reps (45 degrees)
  • Leg Press Leg Press

    Reverse Leg Press

    20 reps
  • Thigh Abductor Thigh Abductor

    Thigh Abductor

    3 sets of 20 reps
  • Sled Push Sled Push

    Sled Push

    4 sets length of parking lot, jogging every other pass
Day 3: AM Shoulders/Triceps, PM "100's"

AM: Shoulders/Triceps

    • Upright Barbell Row Upright Barbell Row

      Upright Barbell Row

      3 sets of 15 reps
    • Reverse Machine Flyes Reverse Machine Flyes

      Reverse Machine Flyes

      3 drop sets of 15 reps
    • Side Lateral Raise Side Lateral Raise

      Side Lateral Raise

      1 set of 20 fast reps, 1 drop set to failure

Superset:

    • Triceps Pushdown Triceps Pushdown

      Triceps Pushdown

      3 drop sets of 15 reps
    • Arnold Dumbbell Press Arnold Dumbbell Press

      Arnold Dumbbell Press

      3 drop sets of 15 reps

Resume normal sets; reps:

    • Lying Triceps Press Lying Triceps Press

      Lying Triceps Press

      3 drop sets of 12 reps
    • Push-Ups - Close Triceps Position Push-Ups - Close Triceps Position

      Push-Ups - Close Triceps Position

      2 sets of 6 reps

PM: "100's" Circuit - Perform 1x

  • Dumbbell Lunges Dumbbell Lunges

    Dumbbell Lunges

    100 reps
  • Dips - Triceps Version Dips - Triceps Version

    Dips - Triceps Version

    100 reps
  • Pushups Pushups

    Pushups

    100 reps
  • Bodyweight Squat Bodyweight Squat

    Bodyweight Squat

    100 reps
  • Side Leg Raises Side Leg Raises

    Side Leg Raises

    100 reps, each side
  • Leg Lift Leg Lift

    Leg Lift

    100 reps
  • Standing Leg Curl Standing Leg Curl

    Standing Leg Curl

    100 reps, each leg
  • Jackknife Sit-Up Jackknife Sit-Up

    Jackknife Sit-Up

    50 reps
Day 4: Cardio Only
  • Trail Running/Walking Trail Running/Walking

    Trail Running/Walking

    2 miles, moderate pace pushing my kids in the stroller
Day 5: AM Back/Rear Delts, PM Core

AM: Back/Rear Delts

    • Jogging-Treadmill Jogging-Treadmill

      Warm-up: Jogging-Treadmill

      8 min (w/ Jumping Jacks)
    • Pullups Pullups

      Pullups

      3 sets of 10 reps
    • Seated Cable Rows Seated Cable Rows

      Seated Cable Rows

      2 sets of 15 reps, 1 drop set of 15 reps

Superset:

    • Barbell Rear Delt Row Barbell Rear Delt Row

      Barbell Rear Delt Row

      3 sets of 20 reps
    • Straight-Arm Pulldown Straight-Arm Pulldown

      Straight-Arm Pulldown

      2 sets of 20 reps, 1 drop set of 20 reps

Resume normal sets; reps:

    • One-Arm Dumbbell Row One-Arm Dumbbell Row

      One-Arm Dumbbell Row

      3 sets of 14 reps

PM: Core

  • Jogging-Treadmill Jogging-Treadmill

    Warm-up: Jogging-Treadmill

    8 min (w/ Jumping Jacks)
  • Plank Plank

    Weighted Plank (on Bosu)

    3-4 sets to failure
  • Exercise Ball Crunch Exercise Ball Crunch

    Exercise Ball Crunch

    3-4 sets to failure
  • Plate Twist Plate Twist

    Plate Twist

    3-4 sets to failure
  • Flat Bench Lying Leg Raise Flat Bench Lying Leg Raise

    Flat Bench Lying Leg Raise

    3-4 sets to failure
  • Reverse Crunch Reverse Crunch

    Reverse Crunch

    3-4 sets to failure
  • Air Bike Air Bike

    Air Bike

    3-4 sets to failure
  • Mountain Climbers Mountain Climbers

    Mountain Climbers

    3-4 sets to failure
Day 6: AM Cardio Circuit, PM Arms/Shoulders

Warm up: 10 min air squats, plies, step touches, repeaters, leg lifts, kicks

Circuit: Perform 1x

    • Sit Squats Sit Squats

      Sit Squats

      20 reps
    • CleanStanding Military Press

      Clean and Press

      20 reps
    • Freehand Jump Squat Freehand Jump Squat

      Freehand Jump Squat

      20 reps
    • Shoulder Press - With Bands Shoulder Press - With Bands

      Shoulder Press - With Bands

      20 reps
    • Leg Press Leg Press

      Leg Press - Right Leg

      20 reps
    • Standing Biceps Cable Curl Standing Biceps Cable Curl

      Standing Biceps Cable Curl

      20 reps
    • Leg Press Leg Press

      Leg Press - Left Leg

      20 reps

Cardio: 10 min press steps, L-steps, knees, knee repeaters, hams, ham repeaters on inclined stepper + 8-inch level

Circuit on tall stepper box: Perform 1x

    • Leg Press Leg Press

      Leg Press

      20 reps
    • One-Arm Dumbbell Row One-Arm Dumbbell Row

      One-Arm Dumbbell Row

      20 reps
    • Pushups Pushups

      Pushups

      20 fast reps
    • Front Dumbbell Raise Front Dumbbell Raise

      Front Dumbbell Raise

      20 fast reps

Cardio:

    • Step Mill Step Mill

      Step Mill

      10 min

Circuit: Perform 1x

    • Barbell Side Split Squat Barbell Side Split Squat

      Barbell Side Split Squat

      20 reps
    • Dumbbell Lunges Dumbbell Lunges

      Dumbbell Lunges

      20 reps
    • Bench Dips Bench Dips

      Bench Dips

      20 reps
    • Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown

      Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown

      20 reps
    • Flat Bench Cable Flyes Flat Bench Cable Flyes

      Flat Bench Cable Flyes

      20 reps
    • Front Raise And Pullover Front Raise And Pullover

      Front Raise And Pullover

      20 reps

Cardio: 10 min jazz square, alternating low jacks, low jack repeaters

Circuit: Perform 1x

    • Barbell Side Split Squat Barbell Side Split Squat

      Barbell Side Split Squat

      20 reps
    • Dumbbell Lunges Dumbbell Lunges

      Dumbbell Lunges

      20 reps
    • Cable Rope Overhead Triceps Extension Cable Rope Overhead Triceps Extension

      Cable Rope Overhead Triceps Extension

      20 reps
    • Dumbbell Bench Press Dumbbell Bench Press

      Dumbbell Bench Press

      20 reps

Cardio: 10 min bunny hops, power mambos, Charleston's, pivoting mambo cha-cha

Circuit: Perform 1x

    • Dumbbell Bicep Curl Dumbbell Bicep Curl

      Dumbbell Bicep Curl

      20 reps
    • Bench Dips Bench Dips

      Bench Dips

      20 reps
    • Seated Bent-Over Rear Delt Raise Seated Bent-Over Rear Delt Raise

      Seated Bent-Over Rear Delt Raise

      20 reps
    • Butt Lift (Bridge) Butt Lift (Bridge)

      Butt Lift (Bridge)

      20 reps
    • Dynamic Chest Stretch Dynamic Chest Stretch

      Stretching/Cool down

      5 min

PM: Arms/Shoulders

Superset:

    • Dumbbell Shoulder Press Dumbbell Shoulder Press

      Dumbbell Shoulder Press

      3 sets of 15 reps
    • Front Dumbbell Raise Front Dumbbell Raise

      Front Dumbbell Raise

      3 sets of 15 reps

Superset:

    • Dumbbell Bicep Curl Dumbbell Bicep Curl

      Dumbbell Bicep Curl

      3 sets of 20 reps
    • Alternate Hammer Curl Alternate Hammer Curl

      Alternate Hammer Curl

      3 sets of 12 reps

Resume normal sets; reps:

  • Tricep Dumbbell Kickback Tricep Dumbbell Kickback

    Tricep Dumbbell Kickback

    3 sets of 15 reps
Day 7: Track & Field Work
    • Trail Running/Walking Trail Running/Walking

      Warm up: Jog

      400 yds
    • Trail Running/Walking

      Bleachers Run

      15 steps up, 15 steps down
    • Trail Running/Walking Trail Running/Walking

      Sprint

      150 yds
    • Trail Running/Walking Trail Running/Walking

      Walk

      100 yds
    • Trail Running/Walking Trail Running/Walking

      Stride

      200 yds

Circuit: Repeat 4x

    • Dumbbell Lunges Dumbbell Lunges

      Dumbbell Lunges

      50 yards
    • Trail Running/Walking Trail Running/Walking

      Backwards Walk

      50 yds
    • Trail Running/Walking Trail Running/Walking

      Sprint

      50 yards
    • Fast Skipping Fast Skipping

      Backwards Skipping

      50 yards
    • Trail Running/Walking Trail Running/Walking

      Sprint

      50 yards max effort
    • Trail Running/Walking Trail Running/Walking

      Walk

      200 yds
    • Trail Running/Walking

      Bleachers Run

      15 steps up, 15 steps down
    • Trail Running/Walking Trail Running/Walking

      Walk

      200 yds
    • Trail Running/Walking Trail Running/Walking

      Stride

      100 yds
    • Trail Running/Walking Trail Running/Walking

      Sprint

      50 yards max effort
    • Trail Running/Walking Trail Running/Walking

      Walk

      400 yds
    • Trail Running/Walking Trail Running/Walking

      Sprint

      50 yards max effort
    • Trail Running/Walking

      Bleachers Run

      15 steps up, 15 steps down
    • Tire Flip Tire Flip

      Tire Flip

      10 flips

Cool Down:

  • Trail Running/Walking Trail Running/Walking

    Walk

    800 yds, stretching in between

Suggestions For Others

First goal - new body, complete. Second goal - become a Figure competitor, complete. What's next? I aim to help encourage, inspire and motivate other women, particularly working moms, who feel they have no options to improve the body they are less than happy with.

I aim to prove that it is possible to become lean and fit if you commit to yourself and stick with a plan, no matter how challenging. I want to influence others to be unstoppable. Nothing can hold me back and I want to help others feel that same way about themselves.

I have continued to set new goals which include becoming a sponsored athlete, fitness model and writer, as well as a Figure Pro Athlete. Are these next set of goals easy? No way…therefore I will just push harder and will not give up.

Don't give up on any goal, no matter the odds against you and always give everything you do 110% effort! If aiming to be more fit, first ignore the scale and focus on how you feel. Allow time for change - at least 4 months as a realistic time frame. Don't be discouraged if results take months to obtain because it will happen if you stick with the plan.

Be focused and consistent while resisting influences (stress, peer pressure, depression, exhaustion etc). Keep your mindset positive and avoid negative thoughts or statements about yourself. Believe you are the strong, beautiful, athlete you want to be and you will succeed.

Photographic Credit:
Michael-David, Michael-David Photographs