Alycia Charchuk Fitness Model Interview and Photos

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Alycia Charchuk – Fitness Model Statistics

  • Name: Alycia Charchuk
  • Height: 5’6″
  • Weight: 132 lbs
  • Date of Birth: August 9, 1977
  • Hair Color: Brown
  • Bust: 36
  • Waist: 27
  • Hips: 35
  • Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Alycia Charchuk – Fitness Model Interview

How did you get started in the fitness field?
As a child, I enjoyed a variety of sports which led me to discover my love for figure skating at the age of nine. I began training before, during and after school to compete in figure skating. Because of my dedication and hard work, I placed in the top three in numerous skating competitions.

My family moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina, when I was 16 years old. The lack of arenas put an end to figure skating as I was unable to train at the same level I had in Vancouver. I attended and graduated Lincoln International High School in Argentina, and at the age of 18, my family and I moved back to Vancouver. I studied Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) at The International College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and received my degree to become a doctor of TCM after four years of study.

After giving up skating and becoming a mother of two beautiful children, Rory and Alexis, I was motivated to reclaim my active lifestyle. It was then when I acquired a gym membership, and on a regular basis, made working out, eating healthy and positive living a part of my new lifestyle.

In 2006, I met my wonderful husband, Dr. Stewart Charchuk. I moved to Calgary soon after and we were married in 2009. While a member at Goodlife Fitness, I began working with a personal trainer, Aaron Wiebe. This introduced me to the world of competitive fitness, which reinforced my love for competition. Since finding fitness, I have remained dedicated and continued to compete when the opportunity arises. My first competition was the Alberta Fall Classic in November of 2008 where I placed first in the figure medium category and second overall. Some of my other achievements include placing second in the figure category at WBFF in 2009, and third in bikini model category in FAME in 2010.

I feel privileged to gain new friends and supporters through my fitness network, as well as being blessed to receive unconditional support from my friends and family. This is just the beginning of my fitness journey and I hope to further myself in the industry to become a role model for others. I aspire to one day obtain my Pro Card and with dedication and hard work it will no doubt become a reality.

  • Alberta Fall Classic Nov 1, 2008 Figure Medium – 1st, 2nd overall
  • WBFF 2009 Figure Medium – 2nd
  • Fame 2010 Bikini Model – 3rd
  • WBFF 2010 Fitness Model contestant

What is the #1 thing you like best about being into fitness?
alycia-charchuk-7The #1 thing I like best is the new people I meet every day through fitness that live the same positive, motivated lifestyle like myself. They are always there to give advice and understand the dedication it takes to keep fit. ”First You Make an Attitude Then Attitude Makes You”. Positive attitude can do wonders. It can make possible what is seemingly impossible for the others. There is an intimate link between success & positive attitude. Your mind is a machine of thoughts and ideas. If you so not fill it up with positive, inspiring and motivating thoughts, it will turn into a jungle of negative thoughts.

What has been your biggest accomplishment in the fitness field?
My biggest accomplishment in the fitness field has been to be able to be a role model to other people who would like to live healthy lifestyles and also my children. They have increasingly wanted to eat more nutritious foods and keep exercise a big part of their life. Kids need inspiration to get up and move, especially those not comfortable playing competitive or team sports. They need role models. As parents, you can no longer rely on P.E. teachers to do the job since they’re being cut by struggling school districts. It’s up to you.

The good news is it’s easy to be your child’s fitness role model. It’s important to speak positively about your own exercise regimen around your kids. Your words and sentiments are powerful. Statements like, “I’m dreading my workout today” are just as influential as ones like “I can’t wait to break a sweat today.” Choose the right one. You also want to be knowledgeable about the latest studies on health and fitness, and impress your kids with the facts. They may roll their eyes and act disinterested, but they will see that you find the subject important enough to spend time learning about it. Give your kids the opportunity to witness you enjoying exercise, whether it’s exercise done with friends, your spouse, or on your own.

What is the best way to get started in the fitness modeling industry? Should I just contact the photographers directly or should I use an agency?
I think starting off by writing a biography and keeping your stats at close hand for when you need them. Also, get some photos taken of some well known photographers. A diverse collection is good to have, such as your competition body, head shots, and “off season” photos as well. Then I would contact agencies and give them your portfolio.

Please describe a typical day for you. What is your daily routine like?
My typical day is waking up at 7 a.m. and getting my kids ready and out the door for school. I’d then make my way to the gym to do an hour of cardio. My work schedule is from 10-3 so that I can be home by 3:30 for my kids after school. I’d then scoot off to the gym for an hour of strength training. Dinner and homework follow and then finally BED!! Lol. Close to competition I fit in another hour of cardio somehow.

I don’t have that much time during the day to workout, so I really want to burn major calories in a short amount of time. What is the #1 “bang for the buck” cardio exercise I should do to burn serious calories?
Interval and plyometric training. Interval training is any type of cardiorespiratory training that involves short bursts of high intensity work, followed by rest or lower intensity work. The goal in interval training is to bring your heart rate up to a high intensity, let it recover for a short time, and then elevate the heart rate again. You continue this pattern for the duration of the workout.

alycia-charchuk-9Plyometric training is training that focuses on fast, explosive movements, such as doing a squat jump. The goal of plyometric training is to improve athletic ability. Consistent plyometric training trains nerve cells, and toughens tissues. This means that you are training your body to generate as much force as possible in the shortest amount of time, resulting in a greater ability to jump higher, throw a ball farther, run faster and hit harder. Interval training not only burns more calories than a general cardio workout, but it also will get you fit cardiovascularly faster than any other method of exercise, by training the heart to recover in a shorter amount of time.

Plyometric training boosts metabolism more than any other type of training and it also will help to tone muscles faster, because of the type of eccentric and concentric movements that you perform during this type of training. Interval training is important if you would like to get in shape as fast as possible, or if you would like to improve athletic performance, such as becoming a faster runner.

Just as interval training improves athletic performance, plyometric training improves performance also. Both of these training types will burn the most amounts of calories in the shortest amount of time. They will also boost your metabolic rate during your workout routine. So, if you are short on time, and would still like to get a full, hard workout in during your day, interval training and plyometric training is the way to go.

How much weight (pounds) should I focus on losing every week? What is a safe amount to make sure I keep it off?
To successfully lose weight, you must carry out a plan that balances the calories you eat every day with your activity and exercise. Ideally, dieting should be done by eating a nutritionally balanced, low-calorie diet and increasing physical activity. Although there are many programs advertised to help you lose weight, the only proven long-term and safe method is to burn more calories than you consume.

This is achieved either by reducing the caloric intake (eat less food or healthier food) or by increasing the energy expenditure (exercise more). Often, behavior modification techniques like eating smaller portions are used to help control eating habits. Once the weight is lost, these habits can be modified slightly for weight maintenance.

One pound of fat contains approximately 3,500 calories, so to lose one pound a week, a person should consume approximately 3,500 fewer calories per week. This can be done by reducing the daily intake by 500 calories per day (500 x 7 days will provide a deficit of 3,500 calories per week). To lose 2 pounds per week, a deficit of 1,000 calories per day is required.

If this seems impossible, remember that physical activity also contributes significantly to weight loss. The deficit of 500 to 1,000 calories can come from a combination of increased physical activity and reduced intake on a daily basis.

What type of food or supplements should I take before and after my workouts to help me see results in gaining lean muscle and losing fat?
Having a post workout protein shake is good. Include in your diet some fish oil and multivitamin.

How do you deal with cravings for junk foods, sweets and salty food? I can stay on a diet for maybe a few weeks but I eventually get really bad cravings and binge on snacks and fast foods.
alycia-charchuk-8When you get the cravings is when your will power must kick in. Give it a few days and the cravings will go away. I drink diet pop when I have a craving for sugar and it helps. Also, some cravings only last a few hours and then they go away themselves. Meditation also helps.

I’m trying to create a healthy shopping list to stick with. What are some of the main foods I should include to maintain a lean and muscular physique?
Egg whites, extra lean ground beef, boneless and skinless chicken breast, oatmeal, lots of veggies, pineapple, apple, bananas, white fish to name a few.

I’m about 35 pounds overweight. I have never started an exercise program and really don’t know where to start. What tips can you give me to get started on the right track?
Make long term goals and break them down into short term goals. Taking it one day at a time makes it not so overwhelming. Make sure you’re prepared with some good cardio music, a water bottle to keep you hydrated and some proper shoes.

I tend to eat out most of the time and really don’t know what healthy foods to order from the menu. What tips do you recommend for eating out at restaurants to make sure my diet will not suffer?
When ordering, always ask for all sauces on the side. A lot of hidden calories are in the sauces. Before your meal even comes to the table, ask the waiter to put half in a takeout box. Usually the meal size is double what you need to consume. Drink a lot of water with your meal to fill you up and chew your food slowly.

What exercises do you recommend for getting a bigger, rounder and fuller butt?

  • Squats
  • Dumbbell Lunges
  • Straight Leg Dead-lifts
  • Lying or Seated Leg Curls
  • Wall Squats
  • Back Extensions
  • Ski Squats.

What is the most challenging thing you deal with about consistently staying in top shape?
I’d have to say the diet. I love to eat and sometimes think that because I have to stick to a certain diet, that I’m deprived of the foods that give me pleasure. I then need to remember that I’m eating for nutrition and that healthy, nutritious food can taste good too if you use the right seasoning and low-calorie sauces.

Please describe your normal diet. What do you eat in a typical day to stay in shape?

  • Breakfast: egg whites, oatmeal
  • Mid-Morning Snack: protein shake, apple
  • Lunch: chicken breast and veggies
  • Mid-Afternoon Snack: white fish and veggies
  • Dinner: chicken breast and veggies

What type of exercises do you include in your routine to stay in shape?

  • Strength Training Exercises: full body workouts
  • Cardio Exercises: treadmill, elliptical, Stairmaster
  • Additional Training: boot camps

What are the top 5 tips (specific exercises, diet advice, etc) you recommend for developing toned and defined arms?

#1. – Drink Water
alycia-charchuk-10Drinking water can both help you lose weight and help you appear thinner. Bodybuilders have been using water as a means to pump up their muscles days before a contest as it can sometimes aid in the illusion that your arms are tight. As to whether this works or not, I’m not sure. I am sure, however, that drinking water has so many health and fitness benefits that you would be a fool not to drink more of it!

#2. – Cardio Like a Maniac
If you want to get toned, defined and thinner arms then you need to increase your training intensity. You need to make your cardio workouts explosive and you need to put those underworked arms and legs under some full on stress (in a healthy way).Instead of doing the usual bike ride or treadmill run try to do a few sessions of hill sprints, wind sprints, boxing, etc. per week. You will notice a huge difference.

#3. – Jump Rope.
Jumping rope or skipping will boost your arms progress by miles. They get a great workout while doing cardio – what could be better? You will notice increased weight loss, increased muscle definition and you can do as much or as little of it as you like depending on how thin you want your arms. Use this tip well!

#4. – Split Your Weights Routine
Many women do a full body weights workout each time they go to the gym. What I mean by this is they go to the gym three times a week and each time they work out every major muscle group.

This is fine but it has problems. The main problem is that if you work out every muscle group every time you will not be able to stress it as much as you would if you were only working one or two muscle groups out. You don’t have enough time.

So, if you want to tone your arms up then you should try splitting your workout so that you train your biceps and triceps on their own day so they can be put under the maximum amount of work possible.

#5. – Eat Natural
I have been really into natural foods this year. Eating natural foods like fruits, vegetables and good meats will help you tone your arms. I have noticed that I lose weight automatically when I go all natural and this aids in the toning process.

Remember, to tone your arms you need to remove as much fat as possible off of your entire body. One of the best ways to kick this process along is to eat naturally.

What are your top 5 tips for losing unwanted body fat?

1. Take your daily protein intake high. Proteins are necessary if you want to build muscles. Do you know the more muscles you have the more fat you burn.

2. Drink at least eight glasses of cold water every day and drink your water from a bottle instead of a glass.

3. Drink two glasses of water before each meal. This is a little trick you can use to give your stomach a full feeling. But don’t skip your meals.

4. It is better to eat five or six little but healthy meals through the day. This way your metabolism will become more active and you will burn fat faster.

5. Green tea is also a good way to lose body fat fast. Beside burning body fat green teal also helps you to prevent cancer and heart disease.

alycia-charchuk-12

What are your top 5 tips for gaining lean muscle mass?

#1. Weight Train
Weight training involves the use of equipment that enables variable resistance. This resistance can come in the form of “free weights” like barbells and dumbbells, machines that use cables or pulleys to help you lift the weight and bodyweight exercises like pull-ups or dips.

For anyone trying to gain muscle, several things must be done. One is to train with heavy weights. Using heavy weights and low reps puts your muscles and nervous system under much more stress, stimulating more muscle fibers, which will cause rapid muscle growth.

#2. Eat More Protein & More Often
Without protein, your body will not be able to build new muscle. Years ago, a higher carbohydrate and lower fat diet was the rage, recommended by professional bodybuilders and trainers. They claimed that this was the only way to eat for muscle gain. Unfortunately, the only people gaining muscle on that type of diet were a genetically gifted few. The rest just got fat.

Carbs serve mainly as energy for the body, while protein provides the necessary amino acids to build and repair muscle. For muscle growth, carbohydrates are not as essential as protein and fats. High quality protein, which the body breaks down into amino acids, should be the center point of all your meals. There are many studies that show intense exercise increases demand for amino acids, which support muscle repair and growth. To build muscle, you should try to get at least 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight.

#3. Take a Multi-Vitamin
If you want to gain muscle, you must make sure that you are not deficient in any vitamin, mineral or trace element that your body needs. I believe that in this day, we absolutely need to supplement our diet with vitamins and minerals.

#4. Take Antioxidants
An antioxidant like Vitamins A, C, E, Glutathione, Glutamine, and Selenium are essential in preventing free radical damage, which is accelerated after the heavy trauma of weight training. Antioxidants protect other substances by being oxidized themselves.

#5. Rest More Often
If you don’t rest, you won’t grow. Your body does not build muscle in the gym, it builds muscle while resting. No diet adjustments will make up for lack of rest. If you train hard in the gym, then you should be resting your muscles as much as possible. If you do not give them time to rest and repair, you will not grow.

What are the top 5 tips you recommend for staying motivated on a fitness plan and truly making a healthy lifestyle change?

alycia-charchuk-111. Set goals. Set both a short term goal, to achieve in three to six weeks, and a long term goal, to achieve over the course of a year. Make sure your goals are achievable enough that they are not discouraging, but high enough that you have an incentive to tie your workout shoes each day. It is also important that your goals are specific and directly related to your specific motivation for exercising.

2. Keep an exercise journal or log. Write down how your exercise is making you feel each day. How is your exercise benefiting your mood, energy levels, quality of sleep, weight, and so on? Do some exercises have more significant effects than others? Chart your progress in regard to your specific goals.

3. Take photos of yourself each month in your workout gear so you have a visual record of your result.

4. Make it fun. Find sports or activities that you enjoy, then vary the routine to keep you on your toes. If you’re not enjoying your workouts, try something different. Join a volleyball or softball league. Take a ballroom dancing class. Check out a health club or martial arts center. Discover your hidden athletic talent. Remember, exercise doesn’t have to be drudgery – and you’re more likely to stick with a fitness program if you’re having fun.

5. Reward yourself. After each exercise session, take a few minutes to savor the good feelings that exercise gives you. This type of internal reward can help you make a long-term commitment to regular exercise. External rewards can help, too. When you reach a longer range goal, treat yourself to a new pair of walking shoes or new tunes to enjoy while you exercise.

What is your training routine like? (Please include a few details – training split, sets/reps, exercises, types of cardio, etc.)

Monday: Chest

  • Flat Bench Press, 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Incline Bench Press, 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Peck-decs, 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Pullovers, 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Abdominals:
  • Abdominal Crunches, 5 sets of 15
  • Reverse Crunches, 5 sets of 15
  • Tuesday: Shoulders
  • Barbell Shoulder Press, 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Lateral Raises, 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Bent-over Dumbbell Laterals, 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Abdominals:
  • Abdominal Crunches, 5 sets of 15
  • Reverse Crunches, 5 sets of 15

Wednesday: Back

  • Chin-ups, 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Lats Pull downs, 3 sets of 15 reps
  • T-Bar Rows, 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Deadlifts, 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Abdominals:
  • Abdominal Crunches, 5 sets of 15
  • Reverse Crunches, 5 sets of 15

Thursday: Legs

  • Front Squats , 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Leg Press, 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Leg Curls, 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Calf Raises, 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Abdominals:
  • Abdominal Crunches, 5 sets of 15

Friday: Arms

  • Biceps:
  • Standing barbell curl 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Dumbbell curl on incline bench 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Reverse grip EZ bar curl 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Triceps:
  • Close grip bench press 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Lying tricep extension (skull crushers) 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Tricep dips 3 sets to failure
  • One arm tricep extension (dumbbell) 3 sets of 15 reps
  • One arm push down 3 sets of 15 reps

Saturday: Buttocks

  • Bodyweight Squats 3×15
  • Bulgarian Split Squats 3×15
  • Y-Squats 3×15
  • Prisoner Squat 3×15
  • Reverse Lunge 3×15
  • Step Ups 3×15
  • One Leg “Get Ups 3×15

Sunday: Rest

What are the top 5 tips (specific exercises, diet advice, etc) you recommend for losing fat around the stomach and developing a toned and defined midsection?

1. Do 30 minutes of aerobic exercise daily. Brisk walking or jogging is great low-cost exercises to do, but anything that you enjoy and that gets your heart rate up is fine. Shoot for at least 3-5 times per week at a minimum.

2. Do whole body workouts 2-3 times per week such as yoga (strenuous) or Pilates or a weightlifting program. These types of exercises will build muscle, increase metabolism, and make losing fat easier

3. Hold your stomach muscles in during the day whenever you can think of it. This will strengthen your abdominal girdle and create a flatter stomach.

4. Sit up straight and pull in your stomach muscles when sitting. You might want to create physical reminders to do this such as a post-it note at your desk or a loose rubber band around your wrist.

5. Stretching. Take breaks throughout the day to do back bending stretches that will stretch out your stomach muscles and keep them from becoming shortened which is not good for your stomach or your back.

What are the top 5 tips (specific exercises, diet advice, etc) you recommend for toning the thighs, hips and butt?

#1. Kickbacks
One of the best ways to tone the glutes is with a backward leg raises. How to? Stand straight up and add some ankle weights for resistance and keep your legs straight and just kick your legs back slowly. Repeat at least 15 times. Try to do at least 4 sets. Keep your knees straight.

#2. Lunges
These are east just use light dumbbells and take step forward and bend the knee down and then step back into standing position and then do the same move with the opposite leg. Complete 10 repetitions with both legs with 4 sets.

#3. Squats
Use dumbbells and just bend at the knees do the same number of reps and sets as the previous exercise.

#4. One Leg Squats
yes the same as a squat but with one leg. Keep your balance and go as low as you can. Same number of sets and reps

#5. The Bridge
lie down on your back and bring your knees up with feet flat on the floor. Now bring your body up like a bridge. Your pelvis should be facing the ceiling with your back arched. Hold this position with the glutes tight for as long as you can then repeat the action at least 3 times. This will really help tighten that backside.

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3 Comments

  1. I try to ask a lot of different people this looking and I’m looking forward to hearing what you have to say. When you have a very bad back (4 perforated discs) and desperately want to lose weight, especially around the stomach, what do you recommend a person can do to to succeed in doing this quickly and safely? I appreciate your response.

    • ShapeFit

      Hi Diana – Since you have an existing back condition, the first thing we highly recommend is to contact your doctor or back specialist before starting any type of exercise routine in order to make sure you’re safe and that you don’t re-injure the area. The best way to reduce fat from all over the body (stomach, etc) is to focus more on cardio exercise and your diet versus individual abdominal exercises. These two areas are your quickest route to a lean and firm stomach. You might try to incorporate a basic walking program when you’re first starting out and see how that feels on your back. Along with cardio, your diet is extremely important when your goal is fat loss. Cut back on starchy carbs later in the day and focus on eating a lean protein source at every meal throughout the day. If you have any specific abdominal exercises you want to include in your fitness program, make sure to run these by your doctor first just to be on the safe side.

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