Fitness Amateur Of The Week: Jacqueline Thomas

When an injury sidelined Jacqueline from ballroom dancing, she looked to bodybuilding to help her heal. She returned stronger than ever!

Name: Jacqueline Thomas
E-Mail: Jax1087@yahoo.com
BodySpace: Jax1087
Age: 25  Height: 4'11"  Weight: 108 lbs
Occupation: Ph. D Student/Biomedical Engineer
Location: Chicago, IL
Years Competing: Since 2009

Q /
How Did You Get Started?

At an early age I loved being active and I joined any sport team that would take me. From hockey and basketball to dance and gymnastics, I kept myself busy and out of trouble all through my adolescent and college years. Working out was always fun and seeing the older female athletes with such great muscle maturity inspired my own goals to gain strength and build muscle.

In 2007, I started personal training to help pay off college debt and I found myself immersed in the bodybuilding community without even knowing it! About 30 competitors happened to workout at my gym and I began noticing the phenomenal physiques and work ethic of these athletes.

During that time I was also involved in Latin ballroom dancing. Unfortunately, I dislocated my knee during rehearsal and was injured for several months. Taking this hurdle was hard, but I looked to the weights to help ease the stress and hopefully regain strength. Not only did my knees heal without permanent damage, but I was able to make incredible gains in strength as well as size. The next year I was encouraged by friends to compete and show off my hard work and that's exactly what I did!

During my last year in engineering school (with finals and all) I prepped for the 2009 Collegiate Nationals. Watching the master figure and bodybuilding competitors during Master Nationals opened my eyes to such amazing talent and dedication. Ever since I have been hit with the competing bug! This is my third year as a figure competitor and I love it! I hope to improve with each show I do and express to other girls the importance of staying active and having fun!

What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?

Workout plans that include a wide variety of movement and strength have helped improved my overall physique as well as kept me excited about heading to the gym day in and day out. My workouts generally consist of one body part per day ranging from heavy to moderate weights with some cardio-type incorporated at the end of weight training; it's always intense and more importantly always fun!

I have included an example of a week's workout scheme I typically follow, of course I always change up something but this gives you an idea of the types of movements I use to improve my physique for competitions. I lift depending on how my body feels that day. I stay usually between 6-15 reps for 3-6 sets - instinctual training is key in this sport, so always listen to your body!

Note: Don't let the cuteness fool you, this girl can lift!

Day 1: Legs

Superset

  • Leg Extensions Leg Extensions

    Leg Extensions

    4 sets of 10 reps
  • Narrow Stance Bodyweight Squats Narrow Stance Bodyweight Squats

    Narrow Stance Bodyweight Squats

    4 sets of 15 reps
  • Walking Lunges Walking Lunges

    Walking Lunges

    4 sets of 100 feet
  • Leg Press Leg Press

    Leg Press

    3 sets of 12 reps
  • Squat Squat

    Squat

    6 sets of 6 reps

Superset

  • Leg Curl Leg Curl

    Leg Curl

    3 sets of 15 reps
  • Stiff Legged Deadlift Stiff Legged Deadlift

    Stiff Legged Deadlift

    3 sets of 10 reps


Day 2: Chest
  • Dumbbell Flat Bench Dumbbell Flat Bench

    Dumbbell Flat Bench

    4 sets of 12 reps
  • Dumbbell Pull-Over Dumbbell Pull-Over

    Dumbbell Pull-Over

    3 sets of 8 reps
  • Incline Machine Press Incline Machine Press

    Incline Machine Press

    3 sets of 15 reps

Superset

  • Cable Crossovers Cable Crossovers

    Cable Crossovers

    4 sets of 10 reps
  • Weighted Push-Ups Weighted Push-Ups

    Weighted Push-Ups

    4 sets of 12 reps

Superset

  • Decline Press Decline Press

    Decline Press

    3 sets of 10 reps
  • Decline Flyes Decline Flyes

    Decline Flyes

    3 sets of 10 reps


Day 3: Shoulders

Superset

  • Front Raise Front Raise

    Front Raise

    4 sets of 15 reps
  • Close-Grip Push-Ups Close-Grip Push-Ups

    Close-Grip Push-Ups

    4 sets of 12 reps
  • Dumbbell Shoulder Press Dumbbell Shoulder Press

    Dumbbell Shoulder Press

    3 sets of 10 reps
  • Lateral Raise Lateral Raise

    Lateral Raise

    4 sets of 6 reps
  • Reverse Pec Deck Reverse Pec Deck

    Reverse Pec Deck

    3 sets of 15 reps

Superset

  • Upright Rows Upright Rows

    Upright Rows

    4 sets of 12 reps
  • Bent-Over Lateral Raise Bent-Over Lateral Raise

    Bent-Over Lateral Raise

    4 sets of 15 reps
  • Shrugs Shrugs

    Shrugs

    3 sets of 10 reps


Day 4: Plyometrics Circuit

Circuit 1: Repeat 2-3x

  • Backward Lunges Backward Lunges

    Backward Lunges

    4 sets of 30 reps
  • Jump Squat Jump Squat

    Jump Squat

    4 sets of 30 reps
  • Wide Stance Squat Wide Stance Squat

    Wide Stance Squat

    4 sets of 30 reps
  • High Knee Raises High Knee Raises

    High Knee Raises

    4 sets of 30 reps

Circuit 2: Repeat 2-3x

  • Planks Planks

    Planks

    4 sets of 30 reps
  • Leg Raises Leg Raises

    Leg Raises

    4 sets of 30 reps
  • Bicycle Crunches Bicycle Crunches

    Bicycle Crunches

    4 sets of 30 reps

Circuit 3: Repeat 2-3x

  • Jump Lunges Jump Lunges

    Jump Lunges

    4 sets of 30 reps
  • Burpees Push-Ups Burpees Push-Ups

    Burpees Push-Ups (shown without push-ups)

    4 sets of 30 reps
  • Toe Taps On Box Toe Taps On Box

    Toe Taps On Box

    4 sets of 50 reps
  • Jump Lunges Jump Lunges

    Jump Lunges

    4 sets of 30 reps
  • Burpees Push-Ups Burpees Push-Ups

    Burpees Push-Ups (shown without push-ups)

    1 sets of 10 reps
  • Toe Taps On Box Toe Taps On Box

    Toe Taps On Box

    1 set of 100 reps


Day 5: Back
  • Pull-Downs Pull-Downs

    Pull-Downs

    4 sets of 15 reps
  • Dumbbell Rows Dumbbell Rows

    Dumbbell Rows

    4 sets of 10 reps
  • Deadlift Deadlift

    Deadlift

    6 sets of 6 reps
  • Pull-Ups Pull-Ups

    Pull-Ups

    4 sets of 20 reps, all 3 grips

Superset

  • Seated Cable Row Seated Cable Row

    Seated Cable Row

    3 sets of 10 reps
  • Pull-Downs Pull-Downs

    Pull-Downs

    3 sets of 15 reps
  • Hyperextension Hyperextension

    Hyperextension

    4 sets of 20 reps


Day 6: Arms
  • Hammer Curls Hammer Curls

    Hammer Curls

    4 sets of 10 reps
  • 45 Degrees Incline Supine Curl 45 Degrees Incline Supine Curl

    45 Degrees Incline Supine Curl

    3 sets of 12 reps
  • Preacher Curl Preacher Curl

    Preacher Curl

    4 sets of 12 reps

Superset

  • Straight Bar Curl Straight Bar Curl

    Straight Bar Curl

    3 sets of 8 reps
  • Triceps Extension Triceps Extension

    Triceps Extension

    3 sets of 12 reps
  • Triceps Push-Downs Triceps Push-Downs

    Triceps Push-Downs

    4 sets of 15 reps
  • Skull Crushers Skull Crushers

    Skull Crushers

    4 sets of 10 reps
  • Triceps Dips Triceps Dips

    Triceps Dips

    4 sets of 15 reps


Day 7: Plyometrics Circuit

Circuit: 1 round

  • Jump Rope Jump Rope

    Jump Rope

    10 minutes
  • Box Jumps Box Jumps

    Box Jumps

    6 sets of 30 seconds
  • Mountain Climbers Mountain Climbers

    Mountain Climbers

    6 sets of 30 seconds
  • Sprints Sprints

    Sprints

    10 sets of 100 feet
  • Running Stairs Running Stairs

    Running Stairs

    2 sets of 50 steps
  • Floor Crunches Floor Crunches

    Floor Crunches

    50 reps
  • Decline Bench Crunches Decline Bench Crunches

    Decline Bench Crunches

    50 reps
  • Leg Raises Leg Raises

    Leg Raises

    50 reps
  • Calf Raise Calf Raise

    Calf Raise

    6 sets of 30 reps
What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?

My nutrition plan is far from the deprivation diets everyone fears during competition prep. My body hates drastic change, which is why my plan stays fairly balanced all year around. With the guidance of Mike Davies from the Fitness Factory, I have been able to keep eating a moderate amount of carbs, protein, fat, and even sugar while getting ready for shows. The variety of food groups keeps my body and mind happy for workouts, school and work!

I have included a typical day of meals I go through while getting ready to compete.

Meal 1
  • Eggs

    Eggs

    4 egg whites, 1 yolk

  • Oats

    Oats

    1/2 cup

  • Apple

    Apple

    1/3 apple

Meal 2
  • Chicken

    Chicken

    4 ounces

  • Green Beans

    Green Beans

    1 cup

Meal 3
  • Tuna

    Tuna

    4 ounces

  • Green Pepper

    Green Pepper

    1 pepper

  • Yam

    Yam

    3 ounces

Meal 4
  • Tilapia

    Tilapia

    4 ounces

  • Salad

    Salad

    Large salad

  • Almonds

    Almonds

    1 handful

Meal 5
  • Chicken

    Chicken

    3 ounces

  • Avocado

    Avocado

    1/3 cup

  • Strawberries

    Strawberries

    4 strawberries

Meal 6
  • Egg Whites

    Egg White

    6 whites

What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?

With a sensitive immune system and several health conditions, the options for supplements are few for me. Great quality supplements that have proven to help maintain my muscle mass while preparing for shows are a must:

Post Cardio & Post Workout
Post Cardio, Post Workout, & Before Bed
Pre-Workout
Why Do You Love Fitness/Bodybuilding?

Fitness is my de-stressor and motivation in my life. I have a hectic career and school schedule, but when I enter those gym doors I can release any anxiety or frustration from that day. Getting through an intense workout and diet helps keep me disciplined for other responsibilities. Being active keeps me focused, alert, and energized for the rest of my day. Fitness has also brought great people into my life, including my boyfriend! As an athlete in such a demanding sport, having a good support system with people who know what you are going through helps a lot. Moreover, fitness has improved my way of life. I have several health conditions, including problems with my heart and lung, which have been subsided with this active lifestyle. When one thing can bring so much benefit, how can I not love it?

What Motivates You To Follow A Healthy Lifestyle?

Following a healthy lifestyle in hopes of improving not only my way of life but also my loved ones keeps me motivated. I hope my health conscious habits with diet and exercise brush off on my friends and family. At the end of the day whether on stage or on the couch, living and feeling well is all that matters.

What Made You Want To Achieve Your Goals?

My initial reason for staying active and increasing my strength was to improve my health rather than sulk about the diagnosis. Three years later, my cardiovascular endurance has gone up and my energy levels are the highest they've ever been. I always keep in mind the state I started this journey in and I continue to reach my goals with the aspiration to affect the people I love.

What Are Your Future Fitness/Bodybuilding Plans?

I intend to compete on the national level this year; continuing to improve and learn as much as I can about the fitness industry in general. I want to showcase the improvements I have made and be competitive alongside other women with great physiques.

Transformations change more than physical appearance. The change forces those around you to look at you differently as a person.

What One Tip Would You Give Other Fitness Competitors?

Give it your all and you won't ever be disappointed!

Who Are Your Favorite Fitness Competitors/Bodybuilders?

Nicole Wilkins, Erin Stern and Cheryl Brown are my favorite competitors in figure. These women represent class, integrity and some amazing physiques. I look up to the many pro figure athletes for inspiration and insight with this industry. The work ethic, sportsmanship and character I see in these ladies make me proud to be part of the sport.

What Features Do You Use On Bodybuilding.com?

Bodybuilding.com is the one stop shop for everything related to fitness and competitions. From contest pictures to supplements to cute workout gear, I use Bodybuilding.com for everything!

Thank You

I want to send out special thanks to everyone who has supported me throughout all my shows. I really do appreciate my friends and family showering me with tons of love and encouragement each and every day. Particularly, my boyfriend, Mace Oropeza, has kept me going during my weakest moments and my Coach Mike Davies who believed in my potential from the start; with these two men in my corner I am able to fight hard through the challenges faced on and off stage. Thanks for keeping me smiling everyone!

Photographic Credit

Jeff Binns for Muscular Development