How did you get started with bodybuilding?
I was always active as a young child. When I got to high school, I was more focused on the social scene. When I was about 19 I woke up and realized that I wasn’t doing myself any favors. I was not doing well mentally, physically or spiritually so I decided to make some major changes. I started with yoga and walking, made some changes to my diet and started seeing results. I felt empowered.
I gradually increased my activity level and started adding in different types of exercise eventually leading to weight lifting and I fell in love with it.
Where does your motivation come from?
At one point it was completely external. I wanted a better body. But as my body got stronger so did my mind. I started noticing mental and emotional benefits as well. Now it’s a combination of multiple things. Looking back and seeing how far I’ve come and knowing that I’m not at my potential yet makes me excited to continue to train hard to see how far I can really go.
What workout routine has worked best for you?
Depends on what I’m trying to achieve. To drop body fat I lift heavy and I do a lot of supersets either with plyo’s, exercises for the same muscle group (eg. Bench press to push ups) or a circuit hitting all big muscle groups. I’m constantly moving and working hard.
My routine varies depending on what my focus is but here’s a sample of what one of my most recent routines looked like.
Monday: Legs (Heavy)
- Leg press
- Deadlifts at 80% of my 1rm superset
- Plyometric jump squats
- Plyometric step ups
Tuesday: Cardio/Core Training
- Run 1 = 3.5 miles under 30 min
- Run 2 = 3 miles under 23 min
- Core training
- Assisted pull-ups
- Lat pulls
Thursday: Cardio/Core Training
- Spin + Run
- Core training
- Same run as Tuesday (decreasing time and increasing distance each week)
- Bench press
- Single arm dumbbell bench press
- Long run
- Low intensity cardio
If you have to pick only 3 exercises, what would they be and why?
- Deadlifts – I’m trying to catch up to Lyzabeth .. ? and because deadlifts work multiple muscle groups simultaneously
- Pull ups – I find them challenging and because body weight exercises not only help to improve overall body awareness and strength, they are also more functional, applicable and more easily accessible (ie. You don’t need a lot of equipment to do them)
- Push ups – To keep the routine rounded
What is your diet like?
I recently started seeing a nutritionist and since then I have switched my macronutrient ratios to 40% carbs, 30% protein and 30% fats. As I get closer to competition the carb percentage will go down and fats and protein will go up to compensate and to keep my energy up. I know how many grams of each macronutrient I should be ingesting a day and I split it up over 6 meals.
- Meal 1: 2 eggs, egg whites, toast with butter and coffee with cream
- Meal 2: Tuna sandwich and a hand full of nuts or seeds
- Meal 3: Chicken breast and sweet potato with olive oil and veggies
- Meal 4: Post work out protein shake with fruit juice
- Meal 5: Salmon with steamed veggies or a salad and pasta or rice
- Meal 6: Bowl of bran cereal and a protein shake with almond butter
They say that the pre and post-workout meals are the most vital meals for the day, what do yours consist of?
Pre work out I make sure to get healthy carbs for breakfast and within an hour/ hour and half of my workout as well as a protein and fat. Post work out I generally have Whey Protein powder and fruit juice (simple carbs) and I feel this helps aid recovery well.
When trying to cut down do you prefer to use HIIT or just normal cardio?
Both – I do intervals for speed and to burn fat and steady state cardio for endurance and to continue to build a solid base and work on my mechanics. Right now I’m working on shaving time from my 5 and 10 k runs so I have been doing a lot of hard steady state runs. I do light intensity cardio when my body needs a break and I do intervals at least 2 times a week. I also like to superset my exercises with plyometrics to burn more calories during my lifts.
My supplement list?
- Omega 3’s
- Oil of oregano
- Whey protein
Favorite fitness athletes?
Vanda Hadarean (who I have had the pleasure of working with) and Lyzabeth Lopez (who I got the chance to meet at my last competition! GO WBFF!!) both are inspirations to me.
It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters in the end. Ursula K. Le Guin