Kristy Ratcliff Fitness Model Interview and Photos

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Kristy originally began working out to lose weight 10 years ago. Then she discovered how important diet was to her endeavor. She became very interested in nutrition and its role in a healthy lifestyle. In fact, she even obtained a BS in nutrition before entering medical school. She noticed all the great changes in her physique by applying her knowledge in fitness and nutrition. She became leaner, more muscular, and felt better in general. Kristy is driven to be a positive example for others and to provide information on healthy nutrition and proper training to help others experience amazing results with their fitness goals.

Kristy Ratcliff – Fitness Model Statistics

  • Name: Kristy Ratcliff
  • Height: 5’4
  • Weight: 120
  • Hair Color: Blonde
  • Bust: 34
  • Waist: 24
  • Hips: 35
  • Location: Arizona

Kristy Ratcliff – Fitness Model Interview

How did you get started in the fitness modeling field?
I originally began working out to lose weight 10 years ago. Then I discovered how important diet was to my endeavor. I became very interested in nutrition and its role in a healthy lifestyle. In fact, I even obtained a BS in nutrition before entering medical school! I saw all the great changes in my physique by applying my knowledge in fitness and nutrition. I became leaner, more muscular, and felt better in general. In my quest for learning more about health and fitness, I also consulted magazines such as Oxygen and Muscle and Fitness. When I saw the models, I thought “I could do that!” But most importantly, I wanted to be a positive example for others. Help others do what I did in 10 years, but in a much smaller time window! I want to provide information to form healthy perspectives and aid in eliminating some of the fallacies that the media instills in the community.

What is the #1 thing you like best about being into fitness?
It makes me feel great! Working out is a great stress reliever and one of the most refreshing parts of my day.

What has been your biggest accomplishment in the fitness field?
I won the “Bikini Diva’s” division at the LA Natural competition in July 2005 represented by the INBA, a natural fitness and bodybuilding organization.

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?
Get out there! Compete, go to shows, go to vendor fairs, audition for fitness-related commercials, videos, print work, etc. Talk to people and get involved with the industry. I started with personal training and have learned about supplements, competitions, auditions, and lots of other things. The more people you talk with related to this field and the more you involve yourself with personally, the better chances you have of being “discovered”. Keep yourself in top shape to be able to take advantage of opportunities as they come your way!

Please describe a typical day for you. What is your daily routine like?
My day is never typical. However, Monday through Saturday I lift weights for about an hour with a different body part each day whenever my schedule allows. Day 1 Chest, Day 2 Back, Day 3 Legs, Day 4 Arms, Day 5 Shoulders, Day 6 Calves. I also do abs between sets every other day. Cardio is 7 days a week and separate from the weightlifting. So that is the second visit to the gym on days 1-6. I also maintain the workload of a 3rd year med student and work 2 jobs! With all this I also try to get 6-8 hours of sleep each night!

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?
Many are good including the treadmill (on an incline for extra intensity), stationary bikes, elliptical machines, and stairmills. The best exercise is one that you enjoy enough and are physically comfortable with that will allow you to work intensely and consistently each workout. I prefer to do all of them to break the monotony of long cardio sessions and to have a more cross-training effect. For example, with a 30-minute routine, I will do 10 minutes on 3 different machines.

How much weight (pounds) should I focus on losing every week? What is a safe amount to make sure I keep it off?
It is recommended that 1-2 pounds each week will provide safe and permanent weight loss if you maintain your diet and exercise regimen.

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 supplement with 2 grams of glutamine immediately after each workout. But that is about it. The other results I get from “timing” my food. You will want a light meal of complex carbohydrates and lean protein before a workout (weightlifting) and another light meal of carbohydrates and lean protein after a workout. I like to use complex carbs like whole grains and either low-fat protein shake or lean meat (fish, chicken, etc) before a workout for sustained energy. After the workout I use simpler carbs such as fruit and a low-fat protein shake for faster refueling. For an optimal insulin response that is beneficial for gaining lean muscle, I try to have the post-workout meal within 1 hour of completing the workout.
Other things to keep in mind are getting at least 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight, 1 gram of carbohydrates per pound, and only 30% of calories from good fats such as olive oil, fish oils, flax seeds, and almond butter.

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 chew gum! It sounds small, but it helps to curb the craving for something sweet after a meal. It also keeps your mouth busy. Also, allow yourself a day each week to have some of your favorite things. It seems to me that after I have busted my butt all week, it is a little treat that I enjoy and I never seem to want to overindulge when I think about all the hard work I have done to that point. I don’t exactly condone diet sodas, but they are also a good alternative to the sugary counterpart. Watch the caffeine though and make sure to get lots of water each day. At least 2-4 liters. Finally, a good salty alternative is low-fat popcorn (without trans fat and hydrogenated oils) and sweet potato chips. They give you the sensation that you are snacking and are more nutritious than fries or crackers and other salty snack choices. It is important to use portion control (1 serving) and eat your treats slowly. Enjoy them and stay away from mindless munching that can happen while watching a show or movie on TV.

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?
Canned salmon or tuna, lean beef and/or chicken, broccoli, egg whites, raw oats, whole grain bread (at least 4 grams of fiber per slice and no trans fat), apples, carrots, fresh or frozen berries without sugar added, dark green veggies like spinach lettuce, brown rice, protein bar low in sugar and high in fiber (with at least 15 grams of protein per bar), stevia sweetener, whey or soy or brown rice protein powder, diet soda, and the list goes on! These are some of my staples. I don’t buy anything that is processed such as cereal, crackers, cookies, or anything otherwise made with white flour and/or sugar. I use diet sodas in moderation (1-2 weekly at most) and limit natural sweeteners such as honey.

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?
The most important thing is to get moving and do it at least 5 times per week. You should be making a significant effort with whatever type of exercise you choose. This means your heart rate should be up, you are sweating, and the workout is way above and beyond your normal movement throughout the day. If you have a gym membership, ask for a tour to become familiar with the equipment and learn how to properly use it. Cardiovascular exercise should follow any weights that you do in the same workout because you will need more energy to lift heavy objects. Choose weights that are difficult enough to only complete 12-15 repetitions per set. If you could push that weight all day long and your muscle never feels fatigue, you aren’t providing what you need to develop a lean physique. Without access to a gym, you can do pushups, situps, dips (on the edge of a chair or couch), or invest in resistance bands or free weights. Take a brisk walk, skate, or ride a bike for 20-30 minutes for cardio work. If weather does not permit, jumping jacks, jogging in place, jump rope, or dancing are great cardio alternatives!

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?
Stay away from creams and sauces that are not indicated to be low in fat. Grilled or broiled meats and veggies (without butter) are your best bets. Or a salad with a lowcal/lowfat dressing and lean protein in it works too. Skip alcohol and other sugary drinks like juices and flavored teas, and of course, try to avoid dessert or only have a couple bites and share it with someone.

What exercises do you recommend for getting a bigger, rounder and fuller butt?
Squats, lunges, and deadlifts are the best exercise I know for this. Use a weight that you can complete 15-20 repetitions in each set with great effort. Complete 3 sets of each exercise.

What is the most challenging thing you deal with about consistently staying in top shape?
Avoiding sugary foods. I have an unruly sweet tooth!

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

  • Breakfast: oatmeal pancakes and cup of coffee
  • Mid-Morning Snack: (usually on the go!) Organic Vegan Protein Bar
  • Lunch: 6 oz salmon and finn crisps (natural rye crackers) with slices of one green apple
  • Mid-Afternoon Snack: rice protein with pineapple juice
  • Dinner: spinach salad, ginger dressing, 1 TBS flax seeds and 8 oz lean beef

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

Strength Training Exercises:

  • Monday – bench press, dips, chest fly, French press, crunches
  • Tuesday – lat pull, seated row, underhand dumbbell row, straight- arm pulldown
  • Wednesday – leg press, walking lunge, glute raise, ab/adductor
  • Thursday – bicep curl, overhead tricep extension, hammer curl, reverse tricep pressdown, concentration curl, tricep kickbacks
  • Friday – shoulder press, lateral raise, front raise, upright rows
  • Satburday – standing calf raise, seated calf raise, angled seated calf raise
  • Note: Crunches, obliques, and leg raises on the roman chair every other day

Cardio Exercises: 10-15 minutes each day of resistance stationary bike, 10-15 minutes of elliptical machine at highest incline or stairmill, and 10-15 minutes of fast walking on treadmill at 7.5 incline

Additional Training: stretching after each workout

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

1. Workout you upper body with weights at lest 4 times per week (for example, arms, chest, back, and shoulders done on separate days)

2. Complete 12-15 repetitions and 2-3 sets per exercise

3. Keep intensity high, if the weight is too easy after completing 10 reps, up the weight on the next set

4. Decrease body fat so that muscles are visible!

5. Stretch between sets and after workouts to ease muscle soreness and the ability to complete more than one upper body workout each week (as noted on #1)

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

1. Don’t skip breakfast

2. Make sure to have a lean source of protein at each meal

3. Consume 20-35 grams of fiber each day and drink at least 2-4 liters of plain water each day

4. Don’t eat the majority of your carbs before bed or after 6pm

5. Consistently perform cardio and weight training 5 days each week

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

1. Eat at least 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight

2. Eat 30% of calories each day from fat and less than 10% from saturated fat

3. Eat quality carbohydrates such as fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains breads, oats, etc. Stay away from processed crackers and snacks, white sugar, and flour

4. Don’t starve yourself! Eat enough to support exercise and recovery as well as your basal metabolic needs.

5. Workout each body part once per week with weights

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

1. Keep a journal to monitor your progress or discover where setbacks occur and note ways to avoid them

2. Keep pictures of healthy fitness role models up on the fridge and other areas you visit frequently throughout the day

3. Make a goal for to work toward. This could be an ideal bodyweight, completing a marathon, participating in a fitness contest, etc.

4. Reward yourself for progress. This could be a day of shopping, a spa treatment, a massage, a night out, a road trip, but try not to make it a food reward.

5. Find a companion to work with that has similar goals or is supportive if your efforts

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

Monday: Chest

  • Dumbbell press x 8-10 reps x 3 sets
  • Dips x 10-12 reps x 3 sets
  • French Press x 10-12 reps x 3 sets
  • Cable Fly x 8-10 reps x 3 sets
  • Cardio is an additional and separate workout this day for 40-45 minutes

Tuesday: Back

  • Lat Pull x 8-10 reps x 3 sets
  • Seated Cable Row x 6-8 reps x 3 sets
  • Underhand Dumbbell Row x 6-8 reps x 3 sets
  • Straight Arm Pulldown x 8-10 reps x 3 sets
  • Cardio is an additional and separate workout this day for 40-45 minutes

Wednesday: Legs

  • Leg press x 15-20 reps x 3 sets
  • Deadlift x 15-20 reps x 3 sets
  • Glute Raise x Drop Sets of 10 reps each x 3 sets
  • Quad Extension x Drop Sets of 10 reps each x 3 sets
  • AB and Adductor x Drop Sets of 10 reps each x 3 sets
  • Cardio is an additional and separate workout this day for 40-45 minutes

Thursday: Arms

  • Bicep Curl x 6-8 reps x 3 sets
  • Tricep Extension x 6-8 reps x 3 sets
  • Hammer Curl x 6-8 reps x 3 sets
  • Reverse Tricep Pushdown x 6-8 reps x 3 sets
  • Concentration Curl x 6-8 reps x 3 sets
  • Tricep Kickback x 6-8 reps x 3 sets
  • Cardio is an additional and separate workout this day for 40-45 minutes

Friday: Cardio 40-45 minutes

Saturday: Shoulders and Calves

  • Reverse Military Dumbbell Press x 6-8 reps x 3 sets
  • Front Raise x 6-8 reps x 3 sets
  • Lateral raise x 6-8 reps x 3 sets
  • Upright Rows x 6-8 reps x 3 sets
  • Rear Fly x 6-8 reps x 3 sets
  • Standing Calf Raise x 6-8 reps x 3 sets
  • Angled Calf Raise x 6-8 reps x 3 sets
  • Seated Calf Raise x 8-10 reps x 3 sets
  • Cardio is an additional and separate workout this day for 40-45 minutes

Sunday: Cardio 40-45 minutes

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. Drink plenty of water

2. Don’t eat processed sugar and starch

3. Eat 20-35 grams of fiber each day

4. Do 30 minutes of cardio at least 5 times each week

5. Do abdominal exercises every other day

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

1. Lunges

2. Squats

3. Deadlifts

4. Cardio 30 minutes at least 5 times per week

5. Drink lots of water

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