Over 40 Amateur Of The Week: Swole Model

Shannon left her career of 17 years to become a personal trainer after falling in love with strength training. Her goal is to help others reach their fitness potential!

Name: Shannon Jackson
E-Mail: shannydsl@vianet.on.ca
BodySpace: Shannyj
Age: 41  Height: 5'2 1/4"  Weight: 125 lbs
Location: Fort Frances, Ontario Canada
Years Competing: 3

Q
How Did Your Fitness Journey Begin?

Finding it hard to shed the last few pounds of baby weight, I started lifting weights after the birth of my second child. I was new to the gym and started by taking a few classes just for women and running short distances. I eventually increased my distance to complete a full marathon. I continued lifting weights as part of my cross-training program.

I started seeing great results to my physique from strength training and enjoyed it very much. In 2008, I decided to leave my career of 17 years to become a personal trainer. My love for fitness grew rapidly. I wanted to expand my knowledge and help others reach their goals. At the same time, I wanted to take my weight training to another level. I loved working out every day, but I needed another goal to push myself further.

I read and collected all kinds of fitness magazines and envied the women who competed. After researching what was involved to compete in figure, I decided to hang up the running shoes and hire a personal trainer who specialized in contest prep. I first consulted with a trainer to see if I could possibly compete at that level. I wanted the challenge to develop a better physique so I could get up on that stage. I competed before I turned 40 and won my very first figure competition.

What Workout Regimen Delivered The Best Results?

I found that a five-day split works well for me with six days on and one day off. I train 1-2 muscle groups per workout and switch my routine up every 3-4 weeks. I keep my body guessing with supersets, trisets, and cardio intervals.

Day 1: Legs/Cardio
    • Bike Bike

      Bike

      5-10 minute warm-up

Triset

    • Alternating Dumbbell Reverse Lunges Alternating Dumbbell Reverse Lunges

      Alternating Dumbbell Reverse Lunges

      3 sets of 15, 12, and 12 reps
    • Stiff-Legged Deadlifts Stiff-Legged Deadlifts

      Stiff-Legged Deadlifts

      3 sets of 15, 12, and 12 reps
    • Seated Leg Press Seated Leg Press

      Seated Leg Press

      3 sets of 15, 12, and 12 reps
    • Bike Bike

      Bike

      3 minutes

Triset

    • Hack Squats Hack Squats

      Hack Squats

      3 sets of 15, 12, and 12 reps
    • Hip Abduction Machine Hip Abduction Machine

      Hip Abduction Machine

      3 sets of 15, 12, and 12 reps
    • Seated Leg Press Seated Leg Press

      Seated Leg Press

      3 sets of 15, 12, and 12 reps
    • StairMaster StairMaster

      StairMaster

      3 minutes

Triset

  • Lying Hamstring Curls Lying Hamstring Curls

    Lying Hamstring Curls

    3 sets of 15, 12, and 12 reps
  • Walking Dumbbell Lunges Walking Dumbbell Lunges

    Walking Dumbbell Lunges

    3 sets of 15, 12, and 12 reps
  • Seated Leg Press Seated Leg Press

    Seated Leg Press

    3 sets of 15, 12, and 12 reps
  • Post-Cardio Intervals Post-Cardio Intervals

    Post-Cardio Interval

    15 minutes


Day 2: Back/Chest
    • Elliptical Elliptical

      Elliptical

      5 minute warm-up

Superset

    • Straight-Arm Pull-Downs Straight-Arm Pull-Downs

      Straight-Arm Pull-Downs

      3 sets of 12 reps
    • Close-Grip Pull-Ups Close-Grip Pull-Ups

      Close-Grip Pull-Ups

      3 sets of 12 reps

Superset

    • Incline Single-Arm Dumbbell Press Incline Single-Arm Dumbbell Press

      Incline Single-Arm Dumbbell Press (shown two-handed)

      3 sets of 12 reps per arm
    • Single-Arm Dumbbell Rows Single-Arm Dumbbell Rows

      Single-Arm Dumbbell Rows

      3 sets of 12 reps

Superset

    • Incline Dumbbell Flyes Incline Dumbbell Flyes

      Incline Dumbbell Flyes

      3 sets of 12 reps
    • Barbell Front Raises Barbell Front Raises

      Barbell Front Raises

      3 sets of 12 reps

Superset

    • Low Cable Flyes Low Cable Flyes

      Low Cable Flyes

      3 sets of 12 reps
    • Incline Fly Holds Incline Fly Holds

      Incline Fly Holds

      3 sets of 90 second holds

Superset

  • Reverse Flyes Reverse Flyes

    Reverse Flyes

    3 sets of 12 reps
  • Plank Rows Plank Rows

    Plank Rows

    3 sets of 12 reps


Day 3: Cardio/Core
  • Bike Bike

    Bike

    5 minute warm-up
  • V-Ups V-Ups

    V-Ups

    4 sets of 25 reps
  • Ab Wheel Roll-Outs Ab Wheel Roll-Outs

    Ab Wheel Roll-Outs

    4 sets of 25 reps
  • Planks With Knee Tucks Planks With Knee Tucks

    Planks With Knee Tucks

    4 sets of 25 reps
  • Oblique Cable Twists Oblique Cable Twists

    Oblique Cable Twists

    3 sets of 25 reps
  • Step Mill Step Mill

    Step Mill

    15 minutes
  • Jog Jog

    Jog

    15 minutes


Day 4: Arms/Delts/Cardio
    • Jog Jog

      Jog

      5 minute warm-up

Triset

    • Arnold Shoulder Press Arnold Shoulder Press

      Arnold Shoulder Press

      3 sets of 12 reps
    • Reverse Curls Shoulder Press

      Reverse Curls To Shoulder Press

      3 sets of 12 reps
    • Skull Crushers Skull Crushers

      Skull Crushers

      3 sets of 12 reps
    • Skipping Intervals Skipping Intervals

      Skipping Intervals

      2 minutes

Triset

    • Dumbbell Lateral Raises Dumbbell Lateral Raises

      Dumbbell Lateral Raises

      3 sets of 12 reps
    • Lying Biceps Curls Lying Biceps Curls

      Lying Biceps Curls

      3 sets of 12 reps
    • Dumbbell Overhead Press Dumbbell Overhead Press

      Dumbbell Overhead Press

      3 sets of 12 reps
    • Skipping Intervals Skipping Intervals

      Skipping Intervals

      2 minutes

Triset

  • Upright Wide-Grip Rows Upright Wide-Grip Rows

    Upright Wide-Grip Rows

    3 sets of 12 reps
  • EZ-Bar Biceps Curls EZ-Bar Biceps Curls

    EZ-Bar Biceps Curls

    3 sets of 12 reps
  • Triceps Straight-Bar Press-Downs Triceps Straight-Bar Press-Downs

    Triceps Straight-Bar Press-Downs

    3 sets of 12 reps
  • Walk/Jog Intervals Walk/Jog Intervals

    Walk/Jog Intervals

    20 minutes; 1 minute jog, 30 seconds walk, repeat


Day 5: Legs
    • Bike Bike

      Bike

      10 minutes warm-up
    • Dumbbell Squats Dumbbell Squats

      Dumbbell Squats

      3 sets of 12 reps
    • Lying Leg Curls Lying Leg Curls

      Lying Leg Curls

      3 sets of 12 reps
    • Negative Step-Ups Negative Step-Ups

      Negative Step-Ups

      3 sets of 12 negative reps (per leg)
    • Safety Squats Safety Squats

      Safety Squats

      3 sets of 12 reps (feet close together)
    • Hip Abduction Machine Hip Abduction Machine

      Hip Abduction Machine

      1 set of 75 reps

Superset

    • Standing Calf Raises Standing Calf Raises

      Standing Calf Raises

      4 sets of 10 reps
    • Standing Calf Raises With Static Holds Standing Calf Raises With Static Holds

      Standing Calf Raises With Static Holds

      4 sets of 30 seconds, rest 1 minute

Superset

  • Seated Calf Raises Seated Calf Raises

    Seated Calf Raises

    4 sets of 10 reps
  • Seated Calf Raises With Static Holds Seated Calf Raises With Static Holds

    Seated Calf Raises With Static Holds

    4 sets of 30 seconds, rest 1 minute
  • Leg Extensions Leg Extensions

    Leg Extensions

    3 sets of 10 reps
  • Negative Leg Extensions Negative Leg Extensions

    Negative Leg Extensions

    3 sets of 10 reps
  • Cable Glute Kickbacks Cable Glute Kickbacks

    Cable Glute Kickbacks (shown without cable)

    3 sets of 10 reps
  • Incline Walking Incline Walking

    Incline Walking

    10 minute cool down (10-12 percent incline)


Day 6: Cardio/Core
  • Bike Bike

    Bike

    5 minute warm-up
  • V-Ups V-Ups

    V-Ups

    4 sets of 25 reps
  • Ab Wheel Roll-Outs Ab Wheel Roll-Outs

    Ab Wheel Roll-Outs

    4 sets of 25 reps
  • Planks With Knee Tucks Planks With Knee Tucks

    Planks With Knee Tucks

    4 sets of 25 reps
  • Oblique Cable Twists Oblique Cable Twists

    Oblique Cable Twists

    3 sets of 25 reps
  • Step Mill Step Mill

    Step Mill

    15 minutes
  • Jog Jog

    Jog

    15 minutes


Day 7: Off

What Nutrition Plan Fueled Your Body?

During my off-season I keep my maintenance diet clean and with a good balance of lean protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. During my contest prep/leaning phase, carb cycling worked well for me to lose body fat and maintain muscle mass. I did a five-day cycle of higher carbs on day one, consisting of fibrous carbs (broccoli, green beans, and asparagus) and sweet potato, brown rice, and oats. Then I lowered the intake each day until I ended on day five with no carbs. I made sure to drink 3-4 litres of water daily

Off-Season/Maintenance ///
Meal 1
Meal 2
  • BioX Performance Nutrition Xtreme Power Whey Isolate

    BioX Performance Nutrition Xtreme Power Whey Isolate

    1 scoop

  • Oats

    Oats

    1/4 cup

  • Banana

    Banana

    1/2 banana

Meal 3
Meal 4
Meal 5
Meal 6: Pre-Workout
  • BioX Performance Nutrition Xtreme Power Whey Isolate

    BioX Performance Nutrition Xtreme Power Whey Isolate

    1 scoop

  • Oats

    Oats

    1/4 cup

Meal 7: Post-Workout
  • BioX Performance Nutrition Xtreme Power Whey Isolate

    BioX Performance Nutrition Xtreme Power Whey Isolate

    1 scoop

What Supplement Schedule Gave You The Greatest Gains?
Morning
Afternoon
Bedtime
  • BioX Performance Nutrition Xtreme Power Whey Isolate

    BioX Performance Nutrition Xtreme Power Whey Isolate

    1 scoop

  • Glutamine

    Glutamine

    5 grams


How Did Your Passion For Fitness Emerge?

Being fit is a lifestyle that I have grown accustomed to. I know the effect it will have on my future health. Controlling and knowing your body is empowering. It's not an easy lifestyle to maintain, but commitment and dedication make it possible.

What/Who Motivated You?

My motivation to follow a healthy lifestyle comes from many people: my clients, family, friends, and others in the fitness industry (Julie Bonnett and Emily Stirling, who trained me). But most important is myself. As a personal trainer, I'm a role model for health and fitness. I practice what I preach. I certainly couldn't expect to help others reach their goals if I didn't lead the lifestyle also. How I feel after a good workout motivates me to train and push myself to new levels.

Where Did You Go For Inspiration?

I'm not a quitter. When you say you're going to do something, do it. I wanted to take my training to another level, but I needed a goal to push me. My goal to compete in figure didn't come easy. I had to lose more than 20 pounds of body fat, develop muscle mass, transform my physique, and get up onstage. Staying focused and disciplined through diet and training helped me achieve my goal of stepping onstage.

What Are Your Future Fitness Plans?

I had a great competition experience at the Ontario Provincial Championships in Toronto, Ontario, this year. The experience surpassed my goals and expectations. I started out wanting to try one show and have now done four. At this time in my life, I'm not sure what the future holds for me competition-wise. I want to pursue my personal training career and become qualified in nutrition and wellness. Training to compete takes 100 percent dedication. Sometimes I feel other important areas of my life are left on the back burner. During the off-season, I want to improve on areas that need it and build more mass so when the time comes to hit the stage again I'll be ready 100 percent.

What Is The Most Important Fitness Tip?

"Winning a trophy merely collects five minutes of pride and a shelf life full of dust. But giving 100 percent and finishing what you started is irreplaceable confidence in yourself." - Unknown

Because this sport is so subjective you must be in it for yourself and only yourself.

Who Is Your Favorite Bodybuilder/Fitness Athlete?

I have many, but the two most important people who I look up to are Julie Bonnett and Emily Stirling. These amazing athletes brought me to levels I never knew I could be at through inspiration, motivation, and hardcore training.

How Did Bodybuilding.com Help You Reach Your Goals?

I typically go onto the forums and read the workout articles. I love looking through pictures for inspiration and motivation. Bodybuilding.com is a great site with everything you need and more.

Competition History

I have competed in four figure competitions and exceeded my goals and expectations each time. I compete in women's figure open and women's figure masters and have been to the Ontario Provincials twice. Stepping onstage and realizing that I accomplished something amazing is overwhelming and a win in itself.

Photographic Credits: Chris V. Linton - Muscle Insider

Trainer Credits: Julie Bonnett of Contestprep.ca and Emily Stirling

Thank You: To my husband, family, and friends for believing in me, bearing with me, and helping me reach my goals and accomplishments.

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