Sandra Augustin – Fitness Model Statistics
- Name: Sandra Augustin
- Height: 5’1″
- Weight: 108
- Date of Birth: n/a
- Hair Color: Auburn (sometimes blonde, black, brown)
- Bust: 36
- Waist: 22
- Hips: 34
- Location: Sacramento, California
- Website: SassFitness.com
Sandra Augustin – Fitness Model Interview
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I am a 20-year (plus) veteran to the fitness industry. I am the owner of SASS Fitness, a personal training business serving an all female clientele in the Sacramento area, as well as the owner of a virtual personal training website for women. In addition to owning my own business, I am a Master Trainer for 24 Hour Fitness and a MET-Rx sponsored Fitness Competitor. In these capacities, I travel nationwide for competitions in fitness, extreme obstacle courses and personal appearances representing MET-Rx/Pure Protein/Worldwide Drinks and as a 24 Hour Fitness Master Trainer, I instruct continuing education fitness classes for other 24 Hour Fitness group exercise instructors.
How did you get started in the fitness field?
I grew up dancing ballet, tap and jazz. When I got into high school, my natural progression was cheerleading. During my first week in college (CSU Long Beach), I walked past the gym where a class called “Learning to Teach Aerobics” was in session and I thought, “I can do that.” I petitioned the class, fell in love with aerobics, and have been teaching group exercise classes ever since.
As for fitness competitions, I had a few friends from the gym who pioneered competitive fitness (Debbie Dobbins, Laurie Donnelly, and Alphie Newman), who inspired me to compete and helped me find competitions in my area (it was long before the Internet!!!)
What is the #1 thing you like best about being into fitness?
Just like anyone else, I have those days that I don’t want to get out of bed and go to work. However, I have yet to have a day that I was sorry I went to work. No matter how bad my mood is, or how cranky I am from dieting, I always feel better once I start moving around. So, what I like best about my career in fitness is the way it makes me feel at the end of the day.
What has been your biggest accomplishment in the fitness field?
As far as being a fitness competitor, my biggest win was at the Women’s Tri-Fitness World Championships in 2005. There were 165 competitors, and I won the overall! However, I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish that goal if it hadn’t been for my MET-Rx sponsorship. I have been sponsored by MET-Rx for the last 7 years, and my career as a competitor would have ended 7 years ago if they hadn’t signed me; the cost of travel, entry fees, costumes, posing suits and supplementation was becoming financially cumbersome.
As a personal trainer and group fitness instructor, I have some amazing clients who have lost half their body weight and transformed their lives in ways I could have never imagined. Although their weight loss and strength gains are not my accomplishments, they mark my most proud moments in the fitness industry.
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?
You don’t need an agency! I recommend preparing, and entering a fitness, figure or bikini contest. About a month before the contest, contact a few photographers, send them some pictures, and ask if they are going to be at your contest. This should start a dialog, and if they like your look and personality, they’ll ask you to shoot with them-if they are going to be at your contest.
Please describe a typical day for you. What is your daily routine like?
On Monday/Wednesday I train my clients from 9AM – 2PM, workout for myself from 2-3PM and return to my clients from 5:30-7:30PM. Tuesday’s and Thursday’s are my “office work” days. I spend the morning answering my clients’ phone calls, e-mails and questions from my website. From 11:15AM-12:15PM I teach an indoor cycling class at 24 Hour Fitness, then I go back to “the office”. At 5PM and 6PM I go back to my PT gym where I instruct CrossFit type conditioning classes. On Friday’s I teach a Senior’s Fitness class at 24 Hour Fitness and then I train “Legs”. During the weekends, I hold free, outdoor running classes for my clients, their friends and family. On Saturday, we meet at a ten-story parking garage where we practice running “hills” and stairs-lots of stairs! On Sunday, we meet at a high school where we practice sprint drills to work on speed and form. I only train my clients 4 weeks/month; so, if a month has 5 weeks, I take it off. This allows me to work in competitions, family vacations, and MET-Rx events. (The only bummer about being a personal trainer is, the clients hire you, personally. They don’t want a substitute.)
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?
Run stairs! Whenever I travel, I find a hotel, parking structure or condominium high-rise with at least 10 floors. I’ll run 10 floors, ten times. The first, third, fifth (all odd) times I run up, I’ll hit every step. The second, fourth, sixth (all even) times I run up, I’ll hit every other step. Occasionally, I’ll have to make do with a shorter structure, and I’ll do my “drop and give me 5” routine. With each floor, I’ll alternate between 5 burpees, 5 push-ups, 5 squat jumps and 5 plunges (alternating power lunges).
How much weight (pounds) should I focus on losing every week? What is a safe amount to make sure I keep it off?
Ugh, I hate that question! It really depends on where you are starting at, how old you are, are you lactating, etc. There are so many variables that there is no one, single answer. For example, my expectations for my clients who are 100 pounds overweight and working out for the first time are different from those who are working off their last 5 pounds. With that said, I always recommend taking a slow approach; the longer it takes to come off, the longer the rebound effect will be if you go back to your old, bad habits. I insist that all my clients give themselves 6 months to prepare for a contest, wedding, reunion, or “unveiling”. With this 6 month process, I demand perfection with their diet, with one cheat meal per week-whether they want it or not. I also insist that they eat this meal outside the home-this way there are no leftover temptations. Even though I generally have only 5-10 pounds to lose before a contest, I start 6 months out with my strict diet and training, but with really high calories. This allows me to keep my calories high all the way until the last 4 weeks, and I usually end up eating no less than 2,000 calories for my last week. I’ve tried the 4 week, 6 week and 10 week diets with no cheat meals, but my rebound and water retention is twice as quick and my post-competition bingeing gets out of control.
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?
MET-Rx has a product called Amp’d that all my clients and I love; my clients call it their “go-go juice”! It’s a powder that you mix in water and start drinking 30 minutes before your workout and sip during your workout. After my workout, I have an apple to replace my muscle glycogen, and to hold me over until I get home for my next meal.
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.
MET-Rx has some great tasting protein and meal replacement bars that take care of my sweet tooth. I also find that knowing I have a cheat meal at the end of the week, I’m able to stay on my diet-I do much better with short-term goals.
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?
My shopping list rarely varies from: chicken breast, extra lean ground turkey, egg whites, oatmeal, corn tortillas, flank steak, tuna, brown rice, quinoa, oatmeal, rice cakes, blueberries, apples, mixed vegetables, sugar-free apricot jam (to glaze chicken), mustard (for tuna), peanut butter.
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?
If you can afford a personal trainer, get one! Some trainers, like me, offer small group classes that can make your experience a little easier on your wallet. Ask for a 1400 calorie meal plan the you can live with-for life!
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?
Super simple! For breakfast, scrambled egg whites are easy to find, as well as oatmeal. Be sure to insist that the eggs are scrambled “dry”. For lunch, ask for a green salad with grilled chicken on top; but make sure you withhold the dressing; most restaurants have balsamic vinegar or salsa that you can sprinkle on top for flavoring. Grilled fish or flank steak with fresh vegetables are great dinner options.
What exercises do you recommend for getting a bigger, rounder and fuller butt?
Squats, step-ups, and reverse lunges will add volume to even the flattest derrière!
What is the most challenging thing you deal with about consistently staying in top shape?
Injury or illness. As a fitness competitor, and a naturally clumsy person, I am constantly getting injured from trying new tricks, over-training old ones, or tripping on the curb. I only seem to get “out of shape” or gain weight when I’m not able to perform my “normal”, everyday activities.
Please describe your normal diet. What do you eat in a typical day to stay in shape?
- Breakfast: Oatmeal with ¼ cup blueberries, coffee with 1 scoop of MET-Rx whey protein powder mixed in.
- Mid-Morning Snack: MET-Rx Protein Plus bar.
- Lunch: 6 oz. chicken breast, 1 cup cooked brown rice/quinoa or chicken tacos.
- Mid-Afternoon Snack: 1 cup cottage cheese, 2 rice cakes with 2 teaspoons of PB.
- Dinner: Turkey meatloaf, turkey chili, flank steak, mixed vegetables.
What type of exercises do you include in your routine to stay in shape?
- Strength Training Exercises: Push: shoulder press, lateral arm raises, reverse flyes, chest press/flyes (flat), incline chest press/flyes. Pull: pull-ups, barbell bent-over rows, 1-arm rows, seated rows, lat pull, pull-overs. Legs: squats, lunges, step-ups, leg press, leg extensions, hamstring curls
- Cardio Exercises: I teach 2 cycle classes per week, plus 2 running classes per week
- Additional Training: I love CrossFit Conditioning classes! Two days per week, I instruct conditioning classes where we do barbell and kettlebell snatches, cleans, push-presses, deadlifts, high-pulls, burpees, swings, intertwined with push-ups, mountain climbers, box jumps, suicides, and more!
What are the top 5 tips (specific exercises, diet advice, etc) you recommend for developing toned and defined arms?
1. Push-ups (especially with narrow hand placement)
3. Dips (bench and parallel bars)
4. Bicep curls
5. Low fat diet
What are your top 5 tips for losing unwanted body fat?
1. Exercise! Any type of movement will be beneficial.
2. If you are already dieting, change your foods without decreasing calories or changing fat/protein/carbohydrate ratios. If you are not dieting, find a professional to create a meal plan you can live with.
3. Change your mode of cardio (from cycling to running, from running to rowing, etc.).
4. High intensity exercise program.
5. Fat burners
What are your top 5 tips for gaining lean muscle mass?
1. Heavy weight, low repetition training program.
2. Supplementation (creatine and glutamine) .
3. Train each body part only one time per week.
4. My favorite-lots of quality sleep!
5. Be patient-with consistency, it will come.
What are the top 5 tips you recommend for staying motivated on a fitness plan and truly making a healthy lifestyle change?
1. Set short-term goals
2. Enter weight loss competitions
3. Participate in small group fitness classes with like-minded participants
4. Enter fitness/figure/bikini contests mini triathlons (I don’t recommend marathon training if you are looking to gain muscle or lose fat-while it might be great for improving cardiovascular fitness, it won’t help to increase your long-term metabolic rate)
5. Attend a fitness/figure/bikini competition
What is your training routine like? (Please include a few details – training split, sets/reps, exercises, types of cardio, etc.)
- Monday: Push (for contest prep I run 2 miles with my dog before work)
- Tuesday: Cardio-cycle class (for contest prep I workout with my Tu conditioning class)
- Wednesday: Pull (for contest prep I run 2 miles with my dog before work)
- Thursday: Cardio-cycle class (for contest prep I workout with my Tu conditioning class)
- Friday: Legs
- Saturday: Stairs-1 hour
- Sunday: Off
- Note: I always train as heavy as possible, 6-10 repetitions and no more than 6 exercises.
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. Diet! If your midsection is your problem area, your diet will be of the utmost importance.
3. Stability training will force you to incorporate your abdominals and other core muscles.
4. Total-body exercises (burpees, push-ups, CrossFit programs).
5. High intensity training will cut the last, hard to get fat.
What are the top 5 tips (specific exercises, diet advice, etc) you recommend for toning the thighs, hips and butt?
3. Reverse lunges
4. Running stairs/sprinting
5. Find a professional to prepare a healthy diet you can live with