How did you get started with bodybuilding?
For me, bodybuilding and fitness never even crossed my mind until the summer of 2008. Up until about 10th grade I was always in great shape and I could eat whatever I wanted (and I did) and not gain a pound. That eventually caught up with me and I went from 110 pounds to about 135 pounds by the end of that year. For my petite frame 135 pounds was in no way flattering. A couple of years passed and my insecurities grew to the point where I hated my body and hated myself. I developed an eating disorder in 2007 and ended up hospitalized the summer of 2008 weighing 98 lbs. This is when I finally realized that I was destroying my body, and I knew it had to stop. There was no way I would let myself gain the weight back in fear that I would end up right back in the hospital with another eating disorder so I decided to keep the weight off, but this time I would do it the right way.
I began lifting weights and educating myself on clean eating. At first I was terrified of the “6 meals a day thing” but after about two weeks I started to see positive changes in my body and have not looked back since.
Where does your motivation come from?
My motivation comes from actually seeing the results of my hard work. One thing that has really helped me stay motivated is taking pictures of myself. Sounds a little weird, but seriously! I have photos of myself when I first started working out, and I had absolutely no definition, I was “skinny fat”. For the past 2 years since I have been training, my body has completely transformed! I took photos of my body regularly and even made a little “progress collage” of pictures. When I look at it, I can’t even believe it is all the same person! A year and a half ago I was so uncomfortable with my outer appearance, I dreaded bikini weather!
Working out has completely changed my confidence level, I actually like what I see in the mirror for once!
What workout routine has worked best for you?
Training one muscle group per week and having 2 rest days for recovery. I have also had to learn the hard way with doing too much cardio. (I am just telling you what works for me and the results that I’ve seen with my own personal body). When I was doing an hour of cardio before my workouts I wasn’t gaining any muscle, and I was actually “softer” looking. So I ended up ditching the cardio before my workouts and just added in some plyometrics in between lifting and results came fast. I was able to add a bit more muscle size and wasn’t looking so “soft”. Again this is what worked for me, and everyone is different. I think it’s important to know and understand your body and do some trial and error to see how your body responds to different kinds of training to workout what is best for you.
- Monday: Chest/Triceps
- Tuesday: Back/Biceps
- Wednesday: Legs
- Thursday: Rest
- Friday: Shoulders
- Saturday: Biceps/Triceps
- Sunday: Legs
If you have to pick only 3 exercises, what would they be and why?
- Pull ups – They work your arms, back and shoulders all at the same time especially your lats when doing wide pullups
- Squats – Ultimate exercise for a complete lower body workout
- Lunges – Because my legs have a mind of their own and if I didn’t do lunges they would be like toothpicks
What is your diet like?
I eat clean year round, every day except for special holidays or my birthday. And yes people give me a hard time, yes I get picked on, yes I get the stink eye at restaurants when I try to order plain chicken with no salt or marinades but it’s all worth it in the end.
- Meal 1: Water, 5 egg whites, 1/2 cup oatmeal 1 or 2 cups of coffee
- Meal 2: Water, protein shake
- Meal 3: grilled chicken breast, green beans
- Meal 4: Water, protein shake with an apple and peanut butter or a homemade protein bar
- Meal 5: Bison steak, 1/2 sweet potato, green beans
- Meal 6: 6 egg whites and some fat free cottage cheese (6th meal is only when needed)
When trying to cut down do you prefer to use HIIT or just normal cardio?
I prefer HIIT workouts over normal cardio. I’ve seen better results by cutting out normal cardio before my workouts and keeping my heart rate elevated throughout my lifting routines.
What is your supplementation like?
I take a multivitamin, a preworkout supplement if I need it, glutamine, BCAA’s and whey protein.
“The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.” – Unknown
Photography: Satio Photography & Eikona Photography