International Transformation Of The Month: Aussie Builds Body To Soothe The Mind

Learn how Simone beat back depression and anxiety, added muscle to her underweight frame, and found a life that's happier and healthier.

Name: Simone Collins
Email: simi_collins@hotmail.com, BodySpace: SimiMonique
Country: Australia

Simone Collins Simone Collins
AGE 23
HEIGHT
5'7"
WEIGHT
88 lbs
BODY FAT
N/A
AGE 26
HEIGHT
5'7"
WEIGHT
125 lbs
BODY FAT
14%

Post To Fitboard

Why I Got Started

At first, I just wanted to improve my health. I wasn't taking good care of myself: I was stressed, anxious, and depressed. I wasn't eating as much as I should have been. My doctor told me I needed to put on weight, so I decided to get healthy as I gained the necessary weight.

I started training at Doherty's Gym City, where I met my first trainer and mentor, who also happened to own the gym. He trained me once per week and showed me how to use the free weights and machines. I became interested in bodybuilding, especially because I was training at one of Australia's best-known bodybuilding gyms. I went to a few shows, helped out backstage, and decided to give it a shot!

How Training Changed My Life

Training at Doherty's Gym City lit a spark in me—I really loved training and the way it made me feel. I felt like I had finally found my true passion!

I realized the results I was getting in the gym were not only physical, but also mental and emotional. I was getting healthy again. I looked great, but above all else, I felt great. My depression, anxiety and stress levels dissipated. It wasn't just my body that was changing. I also found that training made it much easier for me to eat properly. I learned to trust food again.

I was making positive improvements in the rest of my life as well. I really felt I was growing as a person. I have so much more self-confidence now, and I feel so happy and healthy all the time. I competed in my first figure competition this March and placed fourth! I had such a great time and I definitely want to keep competing and work toward earning a pro card with the IFBB.

If someone told me three years ago what I would be getting on a bodybuilding stage, I would never have believed them. The gym turned my life around—no, it saved my life! I am so thankful to have found my passion in training. I'm eternally grateful to all the staff and members of the gym, who have always been so supportive and encouraging.

Supplements that Helped Me Succeed
Morning
  • Sunwarrior Rice Protein

    Sunwarrior Rice Protein

    1-1/2 scoops (30g)

During Workout
After Workout
Evening
  • Sunwarrior Rice Protein

    Sunwarrior Rice Protein

    1 scoop (36g)

The Diet that Made Me Healthier

I have been vegan for about three years now, and vegetarian since I was a 13-year-old. When I started training, many people suggested I would do better eating meat. Regardless of my goals, I didn't want to sacrifice my morals and way of life. So I took it as a challenge to build muscle as a vegan. I did a lot of research and designed my diet to work with my goals.

At times, I felt like I was my own experimental subject! But I'm glad I stayed true to myself. I'm proud of what I've managed to achieve without meat or dairy.

I'm not into counting calories or sticking to a plan, but I generally eat the same way every day: every 2-3 hours, or when I feel hungry.

Meal 1
  • oats

    Oats (or quick oats or oat bran)

    1/2 cup

  • wheat bran

    Wheat Bran (or oat bran)

    1/2 cup

  • chia

    Chia Bran

    1/4 cup

  • Sunwarrior Rice Protein

    Sunwarrior Rice Protein

    1-1/2 scoops (30g)

  • blueberries

    Blueberries

    1/3 cup

  • milk

    Almond Milk

    1 cup

Meal 2: Snack
  • almonds

    Almonds or Brazil Nuts

    45g

  • coffee

    Coffee w/ Almond Milk

    1 cup

Meal 3
  • tempeh

    Tempeh Tofu, Seitan, Lentils, or Nutmeat

    200g

  • Steamed Vegetables

    Steamed Vegetables

    Unlimited

  • Leafy Greens

    Leafy Greens

    Unlimited

  • salsa

    Salsa

    2 tbsp

  • Nutritional Yeast

    Nutritional Yeast

    2 tbsp

  • dulse flakes

    Dulse Flakes

    1 tsp

Meal 4: Snack
  • almonds

    Almonds or Brazil Nuts

    45g

Meal 5: Pre-workout
Meal 6: Post-workout
  • Sunwarrior Rice Protein

    Sunwarrior Rice Protein

    1 scoop (35g)

  • rice cakes

    Rice Cakes

    4-5

Meal 7
  • tempeh

    Tempeh Tofu, Seitan, Lentils, or Nutmeat

    200g

  • Steamed Vegetables

    Steamed Vegetables

    Unlimited

  • Leafy Greens

    Leafy Greens

    Unlimited

  • salsa

    Salsa

    2 tbsp

  • Nutritional Yeast

    Nutritional Yeast

    2 tbsp

  • dulse flakes

    Dulse Flakes

    1 tsp

Meal 8: Snack

Protein Mousse:

    • Sunwarrior Rice Protein

      Sunwarrior Rice Protein

      1 scoop (35g)

    • chia

      Chia Bran

      3 tbsp

Add water slowly and mix to get a smooth, creamy consistency.

  • Dark Chocolate Squares

    Dark Chocolate Squares

    3

The Training that Made Change Possible

I cycle my training, aiming for 1-2 rest days per week. Workouts often fall on different days of the week. I don't have specific rest days—I just take them as I need them. Typically, I don't do any cardio.

Day 1: Legs
    • Barbell Squat Barbell Squat

      Barbell Squat

      5 pyramid sets
    • Hack Squat Hack Squat

      Hack Squat

      3 sets of 12 reps
    • Leg Press Leg Press

      Leg Press

      3 sets of 12 reps
    • Dumbbell Lunges Dumbbell Lunges

      Dumbbell Lunges

      3 sets of 12 reps, each leg
    • Stiff-Legged Barbell Deadlift Stiff-Legged Barbell Deadlift

      Stiff-Legged Barbell Deadlift

      3 sets of 12 reps

Superset

    • Thigh Abductor Thigh Abductor

      Thigh Abductor

      3 sets of 12 reps
    • Thigh Adductor Thigh Adductor

      Thigh Adductor

      3 sets of 12 reps

Superset

  • Standing Calf Raises Standing Calf Raises

    Standing Calf Raises

    3 sets of 20 reps
  • Calf Press Calf Press

    Calf Press

    3 sets of 20 reps
Day 2: Shoulders/Abs
    • Dumbbell Shoulder Press Dumbbell Shoulder Press

      Dumbbell Shoulder Press

      3 sets of 12 reps
    • Side Lateral Raise Side Lateral Raise

      Side Lateral Raise

      3 sets of 12 reps
    • Front Dumbbell Raise Front Dumbbell Raise

      Front Dumbbell Raise

      3 sets of 12 reps
    • Upright Barbell Row Upright Barbell Row

      Upright Barbell Row

      3 sets of 12 reps

Superset

    • Cable Rear Delt Fly Cable Rear Delt Fly

      Cable Rear Delt Fly

      3 sets of 12 reps
    • Upright Cable Row Upright Cable Row

      Upright Cable Row

      3 sets of 12 reps

Superset

  • Ab Roller Ab Roller

    Ab Roller

    3 sets of 1 min
  • Ab Crunch Machine Ab Crunch Machine

    Ab Crunch Machine

    3 sets of 1 min
Day 3: Rest
Day 4: Back
    • Rack Pulls Rack Pulls

      Rack Pulls

      5 pyramid sets
    • One-Arm Dumbbell Row One-Arm Dumbbell Row

      One-Arm Dumbbell Row

      3 sets of 12 reps, each arm
    • Lying T-Bar Row Lying T-Bar Row

      Lying T-Bar Row

      3 sets of 12 reps

Superset

    • Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown

      Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown

      3 sets of 12 reps
    • Seated Cable Rows Seated Cable Rows

      Seated Cable Rows

      3 sets of 12 reps

Superset

  • Straight-Arm Dumbbell Pullover Straight-Arm Dumbbell Pullover

    Straight-Arm Dumbbell Pullover

    3 sets of 12 reps
  • Straight-Arm Pulldown Straight-Arm Pulldown

    Straight-Arm Pulldown

    3 sets of 12 reps
Day 5: Arms
  • Dumbbell Bicep Curl Dumbbell Bicep Curl

    Dumbbell Bicep Curl

    3 sets of 12 reps
  • Incline Dumbbell Curl Incline Dumbbell Curl

    Incline Dumbbell Curl

    3 sets of 12 reps
  • Reverse Barbell Curl Reverse Barbell Curl

    Reverse Barbell Curl

    3 sets of 12 reps
  • Cable Hammer Curls - Rope Attachment Cable Hammer Curls - Rope Attachment

    Cable Hammer Curls - Rope Attachment

    3 sets of 12 reps
  • Lying Triceps Press Lying Triceps Press

    Lying Triceps Press

    3 sets of 12 reps
  • Triceps Pushdown Triceps Pushdown

    Triceps Pushdown

    3 sets of 12 reps
  • Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press

    Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press

    3 sets of 12 reps
  • Cable One Arm Tricep Extension Cable One Arm Tricep Extension

    Cable One Arm Tricep Extension

    3 sets of 15 reps, each arm
Day 6: Rest
Day 7: Repeat Legs

Suggestions for Others

Always believe in yourself and follow your dreams, no matter how far-fetched they seem. Stay true to yourself and don't let anyone else talk you out of anything.

Whatever you want to accomplish, do it because you love it and because it enriches your life. Don't do it for anyone else. If somebody doubts you, don't listen—prove that person wrong!