I was always extremely athletic as a child, and carried the same passion for exercise throughout my life. I started to workout in the gym when I was 19 years old. I loved the look of the fitness models and I think my first visual impression that really hit me was Linda Hamilton in “Terminator”. I loved her arms! I was fortunate to have a friend who had competed and she started taking me to the gym. I was amazed at how quick my body responded and I have been competing in fitness contests ever since.
Cara Thien Fitness Model Statistics
- Name: Cara Thien
- Height: 5’7
- Weight: 126
- Hair Color: Blonde
- Bust: 36 C
- Waist: 26
- Hips: 34
- Location: Delta, British Columbia
- Website: www.carathien.com
Cara Thien Fitness Model Interview
How did you get started in the fitness modeling field?
I was always extremely athletic as a child, and carried the same passion for exercise throughout my life. I began working out in the gym when I was 19 years old. I loved the look of the fitness models. I was fortunate to have a friend that had competed and I asked her to teach me! I continued working out on my own until I was 26, that’s when I met Shaun. I began training with him and instantly I began to see tremendous gains that I was unable to obtain on my own. I’ve had two children since then and I continued to see Shaun throughout the pregnancy’s. Wow, now that was an experience! I was always in great shape all my life and now here I was pregnant. What to do? Good thing that those hormones are just enough to make me crave the gym. After the second child, I decided to take on the challenge that I had never dreamed that I could attain. We sat down and set out some goals for my first fitness competition. I was in shock and amazement. I had always loved to watch the women on TV, but never once thought that I could do that. I went through the process and found myself on stage! If you can imagine, fear had not let me try this, well that and my perfectionism, not to mention no gymnastics or dance experience at all. I can’t tell you how amazing it felt! I worked so hard and it did not matter where I placed, just that I had achieved my own personal goal. That is what it is all about for me. Challenging myself and working harder on overcoming any obstacles that I encounter to be the best me I can be.
What is the #1 thing you like best about being into fitness?
I love the lifestyle. It is a real challenge to eat well, train consistently and the people in this business are so positive!
What has been your biggest accomplishment in the fitness field?
- WNSO Fitness Open – BC – 3rd Place
- WNSO Fitness Novice – BC – 3rd Place
- Fitness Model in Body Talk
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 have been approached by different photographers, some with great intentions and others not so great, I usually deal with them on my own. I treat it as a business and as in any business I am direct and do my research on the company or the photographer that is involved. I review past work and decide if I want to be involved if I do I review the offer and decide what I would require to participate.
Please describe a typical day for you. What is your daily routine like?
- 6:00 wake up
- 6:30 get children up/make breakfast
- 7:30 dress and go to drop the kids at school
- 8:30 home to pick up my youngest Dylan
- 9:00 Dylan at childcare/hit the gym
- 11:00 prepare lunch for Dylan and I
- 12:00 lunch
- 12:30 tidy house/ study for personal training course
- 3:00 pick up kids
- 4:00 snack for kids
- 5:00 Brayden karate/Montana art class
- 6:30 dinner
- 8:00 conditioning /stretching class
- 9:30 bed
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 Training in your Max Heart Rate Zone
How much weight (pounds) should I focus on losing every week? What is a safe amount to make sure I keep it off?
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?
½ hour after always eat protein and clean carbs or a shake
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.
I get creative with my food recipes. My newest addition is splenda and mustard! It’s great for veggie dips or on chicken!
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?
Chicken and red meat twice a week and fish lots of veggies!
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?
Review portion size, start a journal to see what your really eating vs. what you think your eating. After one week, review your habits and begin to make changes. Eating 6 small meals per day is ideal (every 2-3 hours) and ensure you eat clean carbs and protein.
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?
Ask for a special order and pray! I always ask for asparagus, spinach or cauliflower/broccoli and a protein of my choice but prefer to only eat out on cheat days as you can not be guaranteed of the actual cooking method.
What exercises do you recommend for getting a bigger, rounder and fuller butt?
Squats, leg press, walking lunges in that order
What is the most challenging thing you deal with about consistently staying in top shape?
Time. There is never enough time!
Please describe your normal diet. What do you eat in a typical day to stay in shape?
- Breakfast: oatmeal pancakes! ½ cup of blueberries on top
- Mid-Morning Snack: low-fat yogurt
- Lunch: chicken, rice, salad
- Mid-Afternoon Snack: protein shake or 3 carb bar
- Dinner: chicken and cauliflower
- Optional Snack: 3 egg white omelet with mushroom and onion
What type of exercises do you include in your routine to stay in shape?
Strength Training Exercises:
- whole body workout with cardio interval training in-between
- raised lunges/foot up lunges (superset) 1 min step ups
- db deadlifts/lying leg curls (superset) 1 min step ups
- negative chins/ball roll outs (superset) 1 min riverdance
- pec dec/ball cable side twist (superset) 1 min jumping jacks
- concentration curls/one arm tri ext (superset) 1 min skip
- rear cables/alt crunch/kickouts/ superset 1 min step ups
- Additional cardio prior to contest if necessary, my favorite cardio exercise is rollerblading around Stanley Park! I usually like to find other sources of cardio than just the treadmill and the elliptical trainer.
- Gymnastics, routine conditioning, dance class and yoga throughout the year
What are the top 5 tips (specific exercises, diet advice, etc) you recommend for developing toned and defined arms?
1. Shoulder press/rear delt/front raises
2. Biceps curls / triceps kickbacks. Example: barbell heavy for 8 reps – 40 pounds follow immediately with dumbbell 10 pounds for 20 reps to really get a burn! feels great and looks awesome! do the same for kickbacks superset all 4 exercises for a completed arm workout.
3. Eat well
5. Positive thinking
What are your top 5 tips for losing unwanted body fat?
1. Diet! Stay consistent, eat at the same time every day, 6 small meals and I even go to 8 small meals to shed the last few pounds prior to contest.
2. Cardio – train in the Max Heart Rate Zone! 70 – 90% of MHR (max heart rate)
3. Train heavy – usually I train heavy for 3 weeks and then take a week at 50%
4. Constantly shock your body, change your work outs! specific adaptation is the key!
5. Don’t get impatient! let the miracle happen, one day at a time
What are your top 5 tips for gaining lean muscle mass?
1. Heavy weights
2. Eat enough carbs, protein and fat
3. Eating clean without consuming too much fat will give the desired results with a consistent work out program, and don’t put in too much cardio, you don’t want to eat up the muscle!
5. Positive thinking
What are the top 5 tips you recommend for staying motivated on a fitness plan and truly making a healthy lifestyle change?
1. Goal setting – small achievable goals that you can celebrate!
each 2 pounds can add up quickly! and can be very satisfying every week!
2. Take photos of each week and take measurements,
3. Keep a journal to track your progress, and don’t forget to celebrate the accomplishments and remember, you’re not perfect some days will be better than others, but don’t give up!
4. Believe in yourself – YOU CAN DO IT!
5. Find friends that enjoy the same activities!
What is your training routine like? (Please include a few details – training split, sets/reps, exercises, types of cardio, etc.)
- Monday: legs
- Tuesday: rest
- Wednesday: chest/bi
- Thursday: rest
- Friday: back / tri
- Note: 5 min warm-up prior to work out
Below is a whole body work out that I use to change things up:
- Smith Squats (3 sets of 12 reps)
- Walking Lunges (3 sets of 12 reps)
- Lat Pull Down (3 sets of 12 reps)
- Seated Cable Row (3 sets of 12 reps)
- Bench Press (3 sets of 12 reps)
- Pec DEC (3 sets of 12 reps)
- Shoulder Press (3 sets of 12 reps)
- Lat Raises (3 sets of 12 reps)
- Bent Over Raises (3 sets of 12 reps)
- dB Curls (3 sets of 12 reps)
- Head Bangers (3 sets of 12 reps)
- Crunches (3 sets of 30 reps)
- Hip Lifts (3 sets of 30 reps)
- Stretch Out
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?
2. Hanging leg lifts
4. Medicine ball toss with a partner
What are the top 5 tips (specific exercises, diet advice, etc) you recommend for toning the thighs, hips and butt?
2. Leg press
3. Walking lunges
4. Leg curl
5. Leg extension