Beth McGrath Fitness Model Interview and Photos

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The best thing about being into fitness is that it makes you personally responsible for your health and wellness, which we all truly are. So many maladies and illnesses are entirely preventable by eating healthy foods and exercising on a regular basis. Taking care of ourselves requires discipline and self-control, which is not always easy.


Beth McGrath – Fitness Model Statistics

  • Name: Beth McGrath
  • Age: 39
  • Height: 5″9′
  • Weight: 135
  • Hair: Brown
  • Location: Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex

Beth McGrath – Fitness Model Interview

Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I am a 39-year-old mother of four, married to a Naval Reserve F-18 pilot. My children range in age from 18 to 9, and are all very active in sports and school activities. My husband also has an aviation company that specializes in aircraft acquisition and parts distribution. We have enjoyed living in the Dallas/Fort Worth area for the past 8 years.

I have a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling and am working towards a Master’s Degree in Kinesiology. I am the Group Fitness Director for Powerhouse Gym, located in Weatherford, TX. I teach an average of 6 classes a week, in a variety of formats, such as Turbokick, Group Power, Cardio, Strength/Toning, HiLo, Chair, and Ab classes. I am also an adjunct Kinesiology instructor at Weatherford College and teach 3 classes per semester. I thoroughly LOVE both of my jobs and feel very lucky to be in a position that allows me to help people reach their fitness goals and achieve better health.

I have been involved in the fitness industry since I was 19 years old, when I earned my Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology at North Georgia College and University. I have always been athletic. I participated in Cross Country and Track as a high school student, which naturally segued into teaching group fitness classes. I began teaching weight training classes about 4 years ago in the group fitness environment and thoroughly loved how it toned my physique and made me stronger.

I started competing in NPC Figure Competitions in July of 2007, after a year of adding weight room training to my workout schedule. I had never lifted heavy before, so it was a serious learning experience. I found that coupling heavier weight training with cardiovascular activity can elicit fantastic results when done correctly and consistently. When I began competing, I also had to adjust my food intake and increase my protein intake. What I have found is that safe resistance training, a variety of cardiovascular activity and clean diet CAN yield the results we are all looking for.

My downtime is spent with my family, watching my kids play sports or preparing meals that are healthy. I do enjoy reading fitness articles, petting my two cats and try to spend time each day just sitting still (which I should do more often).

Skills & Certifications:

  • AFAA Group Fitness Primary Certification
  • ACE Personal Trainer Certification
  • BTS Group Power Certification
  • Les Mills Bodypump Certification
  • Powder Blue Productions Turbokick Certification
  • Powder Blue Productions PiYo Certification
  • Physicalmind Institute Pilates Certification
  • Yogafit Level I Certification
  • Silver Sneakers
  • CPR
  • AFAA Mat Science Certification
  • IDEA Personal Trainer Member
  • National Physique Committee Member

Competition History:

  • 2007 Oklahoma Classis & Central Classic, NPC Figure Competition
  • 5th Place Master’s Division, over 35
  • 7th Place, Tall Class
  • 2007 Europa NPC Figure Competition
  • 5th Place Class F (tall)
  • 5th Place Master’s Division, over 35

How did you get started in the fitness modeling field?
I am new to the modeling industry. I was approached by several independent photographers during my second NPC Figure Show and decided to go ahead and try it out. I had a great time and found the entire experience a lot of fun and challenging all at the same time.

What is the #1 thing you like best about being into fitness?
The best thing about being into fitness is that it makes you personally responsible for your health and wellness, which we all truly are. So many maladies and illnesses are entirely preventable by eating healthy foods and exercising on a regular basis. Taking care of ourselves requires discipline and self-control, which is not always easy.

What has been your biggest accomplishment in the fitness field?
To be seen as a role model to women who are trying to juggle husband, children, job, and self-care. I only started competing about 6 months ago and am especially proud of the fact that I have had 4 children, work full-time and can hold my own with the rest of the girls on stage! If I can do it, ANYONE CAN! You have to commit to setting your physical and mental health at the top of your list of priorities.

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 am very new to this industry and am not entirely sure what the best advice is here, I would like to know the answer to this question for myself! However, from my limited experience, I think it is good advice to get your face ‘out there’ so that you can accumulate as much exposure as possible.

Please describe a typical day for you. What is your daily routine like?
6am-up with kids eating breakfast, and getting ready for school and work; 715am-car pool 3 of the 4 kids to school with a variety of their friends; 8am-eat snack; 815am-to the gym for strength training session with trainer or workout partner 3 days a week, the other 2 mornings per week I am teaching group fitness classes at Powerhouse Gym, in Weatherford, TX; 1015 eat again; 11am-teach undergrad Kickboxing PE class; 12pm-teach undergraduate Pilates PE class; 2pm-eat again; 215pm-in home personal training session with client; 315pm-pick up kids from school carpool; 430pm light snack; 6pm eat and go to soccer or football practice til 8pm; 930pm-eat egg whites; 10pm fall down! This is my typical day, sometimes there is more running around with work and family commitments, but at a minimum, this is what my typical day looks like.

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?
There are really two options here to maximize your time in a cardio session, of course available time and environment will dictate what the options truly are. Plyometrics twice a week are an excellent option if you are limited on time and want to burn some serious fat while toning and creating separation in the legs. I would recommend a 15 to 30 minute session of squat jumps, tuck jumps, jumping jacks, plyo pushups, using a bench to jump up AND off of, jumping rope, etc. There are many possibilities here, but plyos are a must in my workout program. The anaerobic energy expenditure allows you to burn calories AFTER your workout, so you are able to create even more of a deficit. The other option is to hop on your treadmill and walk at a very steep incline of at least 10+ at a pace that allows your heart rate to rise but remain manageable. Stairs are also ideal for walking up and down if you are desperate for something to do in an office environment-put a backpack on with some heavy books or a gallon jug of water in it and get to it.

How much weight (pounds) should I focus on losing every week? What is a safe amount to make sure I keep it off?
You should be able to safely lose 1 -2 pounds of weight per week. Any more than that is water and is useless when it comes to long-term weight loss. If your weight loss is gradual, the odds of keeping it off are greater than if the weight loss is drastic and a shock to the body. Successful weight loss is measured by being able to keep it off for a year-which is much more likely if the loss is gradual as opposed to crash dieting.

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?
I have exclusively used Beverly International products and have had great success. With each meal I take 1 Lean Out, 3 Mass Aminos, 3 Liver Tablets, and 2 Muscularity. Twice a day between meals I take 2 Keto Musclean, 4 GH Factor and 5 – 8 Muscle Synergy tablets. Before bed I take 3 Bev ZMA tablets and 500mg of L-Carnitine. Before cardio I take 1500mg of L-Carnitine and before strength training I take 1500mg of Glutamine. The Beverly protein powders, ultimate muscle protein and muscle provider are also staples in my diet. I use 2 scoops of one protein powder, mixed with 1 TBSP cream and 10oz Eggwhites International egg whites for a shake every afternoon for my snack. I add about another 8 ozs of water. They mix well, taste good and are easy on the stomach. I also eat a power crunch bar for my am snack because they are low in sugar and sodium and taste wonderful.

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.
In order to stave off cravings, you must do several things. First, if you don’t buy it, you wont eat it. Do not bring tempting foods into your home, the kids will survive without eating junk food. If it is in the cupboard and you are feeling weak, it is just too easy to deviate. Clean all the junk out and stick to a healthy food list when you go grocery shopping. Trust me, the kids will adjust or they will go hungry! Just kidding, they will not starve because there are not Oreos or Cheetos in the cupboard. It is good for them to get off those foods as well. The other way to avoid bingeing is to keep busy and to eat ALL of your food on your plan. If you are eating 6 ozs of lean ground turkey, than eat all of it. Becoming starving hungry is not an option if you are following a weight loss plan. You can’t allow yourself to get to that point. You must eat the right foods at the right time. We cheat when we are beat down, dead dog tired and when we don’t have the right foods prepared and ready to eat. Plan ahead! Depending on your progress, a weekly cheat meal may be indicated, but this is something that is determined on an individual basis.

Sugar is highly addictive. The majority of women I work with have expressed an addiction to sugar. As women, we are hard wired for it, we get tired because we are overwhelmed, over tasked and tired out and sugar gives us a quick fix so we can keep going. Personally, I love sugar. If I even have a little, that part of my brain becomes reactivated and I have to play serious mind games and exercise extreme self-discipline to get back off of it. The best way for me to handle sugar is to avoid it all together. When I indulge, the desire just becomes greater and stronger and that much harder to walk away from.

Drinking crystal light will help with the cravings. I know some girls who will eat sugar-free jello, too. My best recommendation is to just stay away from it because it will only become more difficult to kick later.

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?
Ground turkey, sweet potatoes, green vegetables, tuna, tomatoes, egg whites, power crunch bars, Beverly International protein powders (internet only), rice cakes, almond butter, peanut butter, flax nut butter, olive oil, heavy cream, spray butter pam, spray butter, Mrs. dash seasonings and marinades, crystal light drink mix and hard candies (for when you just need something sweet), paul newman salad dressings, green salad fixings, brown rice and white potatoes.

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?
Create small achievable goals that will allow you to document and observe your improvement. It helps to find someone to help hold you accountable, such as a trainer or a workout partner. Eat 5 times per day and plan your meals in advance, don’t shop when you are hungry. Start with baby steps, doing shorter workouts when you first begin to avoid burnout and injury. Allow yourself to build endurance; don’t try to lose all the weight in your first few workouts. Be consistent and positive-your body hears every word you say. Make exercise and self-care a priority in your daily routine, schedule it in advance if you have to so it becomes as important as going to work or attending a scheduled appointment.

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?
Communicate to your server that you are looking for a lighter fare meal. I think your safest bet is a Caesar salad with the dressing on the side, chicken breast across the top, minus the cheese and croutons. Just keep in mind that you want to eat ‘simple’ meals. Avoid casseroles, blended foods, gravies, toppings, etc. The operative word here is simple.

What exercises do you recommend for getting a bigger, rounder and fuller butt?
Squats, lunges, cable kickbacks, donkey kicks w/ leg weights, step ups and plyometric jumps are all suitable for shaping and toning the buttocks.

What is the most challenging thing you deal with about consistently staying in top shape?
Staying true to eating healthy and avoiding sugar. For me, getting on sugar (eating it only makes you want more and more) is the most destructive thing I can do. Even though I am insanely busy with family and work, I find time to workout and do cardio. My situation is different because I teach group fitness and PE classes, so I am getting cardio and extra strength training above and beyond my workouts for competing in Figure. I have to be careful of becoming overtrained and ‘strung out.’

Please describe your normal diet. What do you eat in a typical day to stay in shape?
This is an example of what I eat for contest prep until I am 2-4 weeks out for a competition.

  • Breakfast: ½ cup oatmeal or cream of rice, 4oz Eggwhites International
  • Mid-Morning Snack: power crunch bar or ½ labrada bar
  • Lunch: 4-6 ozs lean meat (chicken breast, ground turkey, or can of tuna), ½ cup brown rice or sweet potato, ½ cup vegetables
  • Mid-Afternoon Snack: Beverly International Shake made with 2 scoops of Ultimate Muscle Protein or Muscle Provider or Ultra Size, 1 TBSP cream, 10ozs Eggwhites International
  • Dinner: 4-6 ozs lean meat, 1 cup vegetables or 1 cup salad, or a half cup of each
    PM Snack: 6ozs Eggwhites International scrambled with salsa

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

  • Strength Training Exercises: I do a variety of exercises for each muscle group, typically it changes each time I workout so I don’t do the same thing twice in a row. I tend to superset everything, that is, go exercise to exercise with minimal rest in between.
  • Cardio Exercises: A blend of kickboxing classes, treadmill walking at a brisk pace at an extremely high incline and boot camp style group fitness classes.
  • Additional Training: I teach Group Power, Turbokick, abs and butt classes, and Yoga/Pilates during the week-which all contribute to my workout program.

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

1. Regardless of the exercise you perform, stick to low weight and high reps. For example, pick a weight that allows you to complete 30 reps with the last 5-8 reps being very challenging. You are looking for endurance style strength training as opposed to mass building strength training.

2. For triceps, I do tricep dips in a roman chair AND on benches, tricep pushups, narrow grip bench press, kickbacks and my personal favorite, pushups with your feet on a bench.

3. For biceps, Seated dumbbell curls, cable curls, burnouts with a band, cable bicep curls

4. Always super set and train with weights in a circuit style workout

5. Cardio is of utmost importance because we cannot spot treat to lose the unwanted fat that is deposited on our bodies. Cardiovascular activity will burn the unwanted fat, probably on your upper body first, than you stomach, then your legs and lastly, your glutes.

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

1. Drink a lot of water, you should never experience the sensation of thirst, that means you are already dehydrated because our bodies are not hard wired to cue us as we approach that point. Once we are thirsty, we are in a fluid deficit.

2. Sleep at least 8 hours a night. Your body burns fat at night while you are sleeping.

3. Eat lean! Only eat healthy fats, like those found in olive oil, flax oil and your fish.

4. Do cardio 4-5 times per week for at least 30 minutes, regardless of the kind you choose to do, i.e., you need to be sure to do different kinds of cardio. Sticking with the same exercise will cause you to reach a plateau and hinder your results. Here is an example: Monday-45 min on treadmill, incline 15, speed 3.6; Tuesday-30 minute kickboxing class; Wednesday-20 min stair climber, 20 min bike; Thursday-30 min treadmill, alternating running/sprinting and walking; Friday-step aerobic class

5. Remember! The only way to lose weight is to input less and output more. Translation: burn more calories than you take in or you will not have positive results

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

1. In order to gain lean muscle, you must lift weights and participate in a strength training program.

2. Your body must have protein to make muscle, so adequate protein intake is essential. As far as the types of protein, eating leaner cuts of meat and fish will better help you meet your goals. Ground turkey (93% fat or higher), tuna, tilapia, halibut and orange roughy are examples of leaner protein sources.

3. Begin a program/routine and stick to it. It will take at least 4 – 6 weeks to see results, so allow yourself the time to make positive changes to your physique. It will not happen over night. Patience is required.

4. Get off all the starchy carbs, bad fats and sugar

5. When planning your weight lifting sessions, consider using the FIT principle: frequency of exercise, intensity of exercise and time of exercise. Schedule and plan your workouts BEFORE you get to the gym so that you don’t waste time.

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

1. Find a friend or trainer to keep you motivated.

2. Set realistic, achievable goals. Schedule your workouts into your day just as you would appointments or work commitments.

3. Plan and prepare your meals several days in advance, carry a cooler with you to avoid having to buy food on the run.

4. Keep a diet/exercise log. Document your food intake (time, amount, selection, etc.) and your workouts. Being able to review your progress and commitment to eating healthy will only reinforce itself. Also, looking back to check your progress is the best indication of being a step closer to reaching your goals.

5. Don’t be hard on yourself if you miss a meal, eat a bad meal, skip a workout, etc. You have to get back on track immediately. Be aware that once we mess up our healthy eating and workout program, it becomes exponentially more difficult for us to get refocused and get back on track the longer we postpone it. That little voice inside your head says, “I already messed up, so what is one more piece of pizza going to do?” It is not too late, just get it together. The hardest thing about getting to the gym is putting your shoes on. Once your shoes are on, you are committed to going. It is the time leading up to that moment that can halt your commitment to your workout program.

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

  • Monday: Legs, teach yoga class. Legs would include 12 – 15 sets of exercises with 10 – 30 reps each. A set could also be timed, as opposed to counted, such as one minute of kettle ball squats
  • Tuesday: 30 min of kickboxing, 60 minute group power class, hour yoga class, and then shoulders, back and biceps. All sets are supersetted, with minimal rest in between sets.
  • Wednesday: 30 min butt class, 30 min cardio class, 30 min toning class, 30 min kickboxing class, 30 min pilates class
  • Thursday: legs again, chest and triceps; followed by an hour yoga class
  • Friday: 30 min ab class, 60 min kickboxing class, 30 min kickboxing class, 30 min pilates class
  • Saturday: Off, until I am about 3 weeks out from a competition, than an hour of walking on the treadmill, if necessary, dependent on body fat
  • Sunday: Off, until I am 3 weeks out from a competition, than an hour of walking on the treadmill, if necessary, dependent on body fat

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. CARDIO-the most important ingredient on this list regarding losing belly fat.

2. Weighted AB exercises, such as the crunch machine or holding a weight/dumb bell to your chest and doing crunches

3. Give equal attention to the lower back so that there is symmetry between both sides of the body. Low back extensions would be an example of a complimentary back exercise to concentrated abdominal work.

4. Reduce your stress level. High stress causes your body to secrete cortisol, which is a major contributor to belly fat accumulation.

5. Practicing a variety of yoga poses and pilates movements to empower the abdominal muscles as well as create strength in the supportive muscles to the core.

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

1. Weighted donkey kicks and plyometric exercises (squat jumps, ski jumps, tuck jumps, jumping up on a bench, jumping off a bench, side jumps on bench).

2. Butt kickbacks on the machine (the leg presses behind you, toe down, heel up), leg extension and leg press machines, and my fave, the deadlift.

3. Lunges of any and all varieties-walking lunges, stationary lunges, lunges on the box (one leg up on box), jumping lunges, side lunges-all with
dumbbells.

4. Squats of any and all varieties-single leg, wide stance, squatting low, pulsing squats, traveling squats while stepping to the side, kettle ball squats.

5. Bench step ups with knees, front kicks, and abductions with dumbbells.

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