Fitness Amateur Of The Week: Andrea Traded CrossFit For Bikini Glory!

CrossFit built Andrea Maguire's strength foundation but couldn't provide the curves she needed. Get the spot-on lifting plan she used to transition into NPC bikini competitions!


How did your fitness
journey begin?

My journey began in 2007 at age 23 when I was out drinking and eating nearly every night. I didn't exercise because I didn't have to. I stayed thin and thought skinny was healthy. Something changed that year. I started packing on weight and saw photos of myself at a holiday party. That was the first time I noticed my bad choices reflecting on my midsection.

I didn't know where to start. I ran track in high school but was lost in the weight room. I found my first fitness mentor, Michael Munn, at my job. He constantly carried around blender bottles, MHP pudding, and ate multiple times per day. I walked up to him and asked, "How do you do it? How do you eat like that?"

Michael ate clean regularly, which was foreign to me considering I lived on cheese and cotton candy. He said that I didn't need to eat poorly and I could make the decision to change. The distinction between food I want and food I need is a mindset that stayed with me. Michael pointed me to a gym membership and and I haven't looked back since.

"Your training should match your goals. I adjusted my workout style to ready myself for competition."

I started with group fitness classes, boot camps, and cycling classes. I liked the atmosphere when I became a regular. Someone always noticed when I was missing from fitness classes which held me accountable. I tried to stay consistent and maintain a gym schedule of 3-5 days per week, but my endurance eventually stalled and I wasn't challenged anymore.

I switched to CrossFit workouts in 2011 and learned to lift weights, which I enjoyed. I learned the foundational movements like cleans, presses, deadlift, and snatch. I spent two and a half years doing CrossFit and watched my body change from skinny to strong. I loved CrossFit and wouldn't trade the experience for anything, but it didn't deliver the ideal body that I wanted.

In 2013, I signed up for an NPC bikini competition. I watched every video I could find and read helpful articles on After learning about competitions, I needed to find someone who knew what they were doing and started working with trainer JJ Henry at J's Fit Factory in Fayetteville, North Carolina. I had more than 24 percent body fat and had to be ready for a show in 10 weeks.

At Fit Factory, I learned my second cardinal rule: Your training should match your goals. I adjusted my workout style to ready myself for competition. My diet completely changed and I started eating 5-6 meals per day with at least one gallon of water per day. For the first time, I saw results from my weight training and watched my body transform.

How did your passion for fitness emerge?

Fitness has become my way of life. I love to see my body change and find it fascinating that I can create the body I want. If I'm having a poor day, I go to the gym and instantly feel better after a workout. Fitness is contagious. I strive to get better every time I hit the stage.

What or who motivates you to live healthy?

I motivate myself and have the support from my husband, teammates, and trainers at J's Fit Factory. I've learned along the way to not rely heavily on other people for motivation because I'm the one who must put in work to get where I want to be. I always handle life one day at a time to keep perspective.

"I want to become an IFBB bikini pro and stand on the Olympia stage shining bright!"

Where did you go for inspiration?

I look to pros for inspiration. When I read interviews from pros across all divisions, it takes my feeling of isolation away because I know that they went through it a thousand times and I'm not alone. This mindset pushes me through tough days.

What are your future fitness plans?

I want to become an IFBB bikini pro and stand on the Olympia stage shining bright!

What is the most important fitness tip?

Make the choice to change your life, get healthy, and become unstoppable. No one will give you a handout. It will be difficult for others to understand, but you must believe in yourself and never doubt your ability to succeed.

Who is your favorite fitness competitor?

Lindsey Renee has curves for days! I appreciate her for embracing the curves and carrying lot of muscle.

How did help you reach your goals? is my personal Wikipedia for bodybuilding. Faced with a question on protein or supplementation, I type it in the search box on the site and get supplied with endless knowledge. I love the message boards to read opinions and reviews of other competitors. The articles help when I'm looking for new movements and recipes.

Andrea's Favorite Gym Tracks

Katy Perry
(Feat. Juicy J)
"Dark Horse"
Lana Del Ray
"Summertime Sadness (remix)"
Hot Water Music
"Drag My Body"
Ellie Goulding
Competition History
  • 2013 Gold's Classic - 2nd Place Bikini Open Class C
  • 2013 The Mid-Atlantic Classic - 1st Place Bikini Open Class D
  • To JJ Henry, Pops, Whitney, and Brandi of J's Fit Factory
  • To Cherry Bombs Attitude Gear for making fine-tuning my competition suits
  • To Rico Allende photography for making me look beautiful and strong
  • To Michelle Wilson, my go-to makeup artist who's available on the East Coast for your competition and photography needs
  • To my husband Adam for washing countless amounts of Tupperware, surviving through contest prep, and kicking me out of bed at 4 a.m. to get to the gym