How did you get started with bodybuilding?
My son passed away in a tragic back yard accident in the spring of 2006 at the age of four.
We are not born with or taught the skills to cope with tragedy. There are multiple choices that include over eating, alcohol and drugs. I was counseled by a wise person to embrace something that I was passionate about. I chose physical fitness. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of my son but I had to make a decision as to whether I wanted to be a survivor or a victim.
I frankly felt the need to get a fresh start. I initially used exercise and fitness as grief.
Therapy, but it has now morphed into a rewarding career. I am a personal trainer at a private gym in Salt Lake City called Universal Swell. I recently competed in the Fitness America competition in Las Vegas and won first place in the tall figure division. Competing was one of the most rewarding and difficult things I have done from the standpoint of training and self discipline. I am just about to turn 35 years of age and am admittedly still searching for what I want to do with my life but I know it will involve physical fitness and approaches to health and well being. We have a saying on our refrigerator that says, “In the end everything will be OK. If it’s not OK…then it’s not the end.” No ones life is a fairy tale but the ups and downs are easier to take when you allow yourself the personal satisfaction of being in shape.
Where does your motivation come from?
My motivation comes from my son. I feel the only way to honor his legacy is to live life to its fullest and strive to give a 100% of myself in all that I do.
What is your training philosophy?
Training for me is a combination of things that requires motivation, hard work, consistency, dedication, patience and perseverance. Whether you are exercising to create a healthy life style or to compete in an athletic event, your training program requires an organized and systematic approach. I train each muscle group on a weekly basis in order to create a proportionate, toned and balanced physique. My clients and I have active life styles and my philosophy is to train hard in the gym so that we can enjoy the things we like to do outside of the gym. Aging is inevitable but my philosophy is to get everything out of life that you can by staying in shape.
If you have to pick only 3 exercises, what would they be and why?
- Lunges – I feel like lunges are a girl’s best friend. Hitting not only my glutes but also my thighs and hips.
- Chin-ups/Pull-Ups – I think a pull-up is one of the hardest exercises to perform but I love how I can isolate my lats which is the largest back muscle and the most responsible for that dramatic V-taper.
- PushUps – I love that I can hit my chest, shoulders, arms and core all at the same time. The bonus is it’s an exercise that can be performed any where.
When trying to cut down do you prefer to use HIIT or just normal cardio?
I prefer to use HIIT training. I love that it’s fast, furious, and effective at shedding the fat.
What is your philosophy on nutrition?
Nutrition to me is all about clean eating. It is about putting only the most nutrient rich foods into your body to create your ultimate physique. Nutrition is key in shaping ones physique. I strongly believe you are what you eat. I eat six small meals a day in order to keep my metabolism running efficiently. By eating this way not only have I created a lean, healthy body but also I know I am doing right by my body.
What are your favorite meals?
I love salmon, sweet potatoes and grilled vegetables. I love oatmeal and nut butters. Favorite cheat food? I love great wine and chocolate. I really love anything with sugar even though I know how bad it is for me.
What supplements do you use that give you great results?
I don’t take a lot of supplements. I use whey protein when I don’t have access to natural food.
Monica Brant, Cory Everson, Alicia Marie, Ava Cowan and Mary Lado.
The quote I find myself repeating frequently is:
Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying “I will try again tomorrow.”
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