Shayna Chomko Fitness Model Interview and Photos

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Shayna Chomko – Fitness Model Statistics

  • Name: Shayna Chomko
  • Height: 5’8″
  • Weight: 140 lbs
  • Date of Birth: July 21, 1981
  • Hair Color: Brown
  • Bust: 33″
  • Waist: 27″
  • Hips: 30″
  • Location: Cromwell, Connecticut

Shayna Chomko – Fitness Model Interview

Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I am a 30-year-old high school History teacher and former synchronized swimmer. I was always a very physical and active child with a mother very much involved in the fitness field. I was on a synchronized swimming team from the ages of 9-16. When I stopped swimming my mother directed me right into the gym, and I’ve been there ever since. My mother was, and still is, my main inspiration and individual that has fully supported me and influenced me to live a physically active and healthy lifestyle. While attending college to earn by BS-ED in Secondary Education and Social Studies, going to the gym everyday was my ultimate stress reliever. Today, I am in my 6th year as a teacher, as well as attending Graduate School to earn my Master’s Degree, and the gym is my number one place to be to decompress, distress, and stay healthy. Working out, whether it be weight training, swimming, or running, is a part of my daily lifestyle, and that is exactly what it is, a lifestyle.

How did you get started in the fitness field?
As a child, I was on a synchronized swimming team (ages 9-16). Our team unfortunately lost our coach and I was forced to stop swimming. From that point on I started working out (lifting weights, running, and still swimming). I had to maintain some sort of physical activity and fell in love with weight training.

What is the #1 thing you like best about being into fitness?
The number one aspect of being involved in fitness is the feeling I have when I complete a good workout. The mental “high” I get when I know I have pushed myself to the maximum and have achieved success. Knowing that every minute I put into my workout is an investment in my physical, mental, and emotional well-being and longevity.

What has been your biggest accomplishment in the fitness field?
My biggest achievement has been the transformation I have made with my body, and the knowledge I have gained about my own physical health and body. Further, I also feel incredibly privileged when people approach me at the gym and tell me I inspire them. That is truly a gift. I feel blessed to know my effort to stay fit and healthy is inspiring and motivating others to do the same.

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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 wish I can answer that, however, I am not a fitness model, but rather an eager, young, motivated woman who would love to model and represent the fitness world.

Please describe a typical day for you. What is your daily routine like?
I am up at 5 am with my 2 dogs (Luna, my 170 pound English Mastiff and Tallulah my 100 pound French Mastiff). I teach high school, so my day starts at 7:15 am with 25 teenagers in my room, and ends at about 3:30 pm as they walk out the door with another great history lesson to ponder and reflect upon. I work out from about 5-7 pm every evening. I begin with about 45-50 minutes of weigh training, 10-15 minutes of abs or stretching, and 60-75 minutes of cardio (either running or swimming laps). My day ends about 9:30-10:00 pm with a protein shake and a good book (or an episode of Criminal Minds on A&E).

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?
I recommend an interval training, nonstop workout to keep the heart rate up. That is, a combination of resistance training, body weight movements, and cardio. For example, pushups, sits ups, jump rope, pull ups, lunges, squats, burpees, jumping jacks. Don’t walk into the gym and sit on a Nautilus or cardio machine, NO! Stand up and stay moving! Create a circuit of exercises that you can go through to keep your body moving, keep your heart rate up, and keep those calories burning.

How much weight (pounds) should I focus on losing every week? What is a safe amount to make sure I keep it off?
I would suggest focusing more on your body’s composition (inches, body fat) rather than weight. The weight can come on and off, but really changing your body and improving your health must start with a change of your body’s composition, that is losing body fat, increasing muscle mass, increasing your metabolism, and changing the shape of your body, NOT just numbers on a scale.

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?
Protein, protein, protein! Start your day with protein and fruits, and fiber. Pre and post workout meals must include protein to replenish your body and muscles. Protein is the number one muscle building component. The more protein you are taking in, the more potential you will have to increase your body’s muscle composition, as well as satisfy your hunger. Be sure to incorporate raw fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fiber, and nonfat or low-fat dairy products (cottage cheese, yogurt), all of which contain the vitamins and minerals your body needs for energy, growth, and health.

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.
Be realistic about your diet. Do not completely eliminate any food group. Our bodies need all types of food, for each contains specific vitamins and minerals for our body’s sustainability. Be sure to have healthy snacks on hand that will satiate your cravings, such as fruit, soybeans, edamame, nuts, rice cakes, almond butter. Also, take a look at WHY and WHEN your cravings occur. Maybe it’s not necessarily about the food but more about external stresses occurring during your day.

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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?
Lean meats (chicken breast, salmon, trout, tuna fish), peanut butter or almond butter. Fruits (apples, watermelon, berries, pears, grapefruit), veggies (sweet potatoes, peppers, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, black eyed peas great source of protein, lima beans, kidney beans, all great sources or protein), nonfat or low-fat cottage cheese, yogurt, fiber (oatmeal, green leafy vegetables) and water (TONS OF WATER)! Almonds, protein powder (for shakes in between meals, pre gym and at bedtime)

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?
Assess your goals, be realistic and start with a positive attitude. Don’t think about it like you are depriving yourself of anything. Approach this time as a time to reinvent your body, your mind, and improve your health and increase your lifespan, and improve your quality of life. Assess your diet, what you eat, when, and why. Plan a time every day you will dedicate to be physically active. What works for you? To start off, maybe its taking a 30 minute walk around your neighborhood. That’s great!Journal everything you eat with details like why and when. This can allow you to take a truthful look at how much and what you are taking into your body every day. Take out your calendar and create a 2 week plan to get started. Write in your daily physical activity for 2 weeks straight and stick to it. Walking, jogging, jump rope, swimming, GET PHYSICAL!

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?
Stick to salads with grilled meats, stay away from the appetizer section and ask what the foods are cooked in (most of the time they are cooked in oils and butter). Also ask for steamed veggies, grilled meats (not fried) and see if you can have a lunch portion since the portion sizes of our meals are getting bigger and bigger and this can be the demise of a good diet plan.

What exercises do you recommend for getting a bigger, rounder and fuller butt?
Lunges, squats, burpees, leg press (with feet close together), hack squats, wall sits, hyper-extensions.

What is the most challenging thing you deal with about consistently staying in top shape?
Allowing myself to take a rest is my biggest challenge. Working out has become a staple component of my every day, although, we are only human and our bodies do need a rest. At least 1 day a week I have to allow myself to relax and stay out of the gym, although I might take the dogs for a walk or take a hike.

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

  • Breakfast: Protein shake (iced coffee, 1 scoop protein, 2 tbsp ground flaxseed, 1 tbsp ground almonds, ¼ cup oatmeal, handful strawberries and blueberries, 1 banana).
  • Mid-Morning Snack: Protein shake, piece of fruit (apple, pear).
  • Lunch: Chicken breast or tuna fish, raw veggies, piece of fruit.
  • Mid-Afternoon Snack: Protein shake (pre-gym).
  • Dinner: Salad with lean meat (chicken, salmon, tuna) or steamed veggies, sweet potato, chicken breast.

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

  • Strength Training Exercises: I workout 2 body parts a day doing with various free weight, nautilus, and body weight exercises. I like to be sure to create a circuit of exercises so that my weight training workout keeps me moving, keeps my heart rate up and calories burning all while increasing muscle composition and burning fat.
  • Cardio Exercises: I love to run, however, for the sake of my body I cannot run every day. I run between 7-9 miles a day, 4 days per week. Two days a week, to complement my running and give my joints a break, I swim 60 minutes each session.
  • Additional Training: I love creating my own interval, circuit training routines. I pick various exercises that will create a high intensity, calorie burning workout. My full body circuit training workout typically includes: jump rope, lunges, jump squats, burpees, pushups, pull ups, sit ups, clean and press and box jumps.

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

shayna-chomko-51. Start with your diet: cut out fried foods and refined sugars from your diet.

2. Create a plan and goal: write down a 2 week realistic workout goal that includes a fitness routine plan for a 14 day period that includes at least 10 days of physical activity. Stick to it!

3. Hit the gym: include a combination of cardio and resistance training. The only way you will develop toned arms and change the way they look is with resistance training.

4. Sample exercises include dumbbell curls, barbell curls, pushups, dips, close grip push downs, one arm extensions, resistance band training (curls).

5. Drink plenty of water, get a good night’s sleep and stay positive. This is your one and only body, so take care of it!

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

1. Start moving! To burn fat you must move your body and burn calories (walking, running, swimming, any cardiovascular activity).

2. Weight training and resistance training! To burn fat you must also change your body’s composition. The more muscle mass you have, the higher your metabolism becomes, and the more fat you will burn. Your body must work overtime to maintain your muscle, therefore your metabolism rises, your body burns fat, and the composition of your body changes (less body fat, more muscle).

3. Assess your diet! Cut out refined sugars, processed foods, saturated fats, soda, fried foods. Include foods like fresh fruits, veggies, lean meats, protein (almonds, peanut butter, sweet potatoes, spinach, chicken breast, fish, cottage cheese, and yogurt).

4. Eat 5-6 small meals instead of 3 large meals. NEVER skip breakfast! Start your day with protein and good carbs (whole wheat bread, oatmeal). To keep your metabolism running, eat frequent small meals and snacks that consists of protein, good fats (almonds/peanut butter) and veggies. This will keep your metabolism constantly working which means it’s constantly burning food for fuel (burning calories and fat).

5. Drink plenty of water. Cut out soda. Yes, that includes diet soda also! Water, green tea or black tea are all great ways of hydrating your body without the unnecessary calories and sugar.

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

1. Assess your diet. Cut out all processed foods, refined sugars, fried foods, soda, sugary drinks, alcohol.

2. PROTEIN! The building blocks of developing and maintaining muscle. Be sure to incorporate protein in all 5-6 meals and snacks. To change your body’s composition and get your metabolism running, be sure to take in about 1 gram of protein for every pound you weigh. So, if you weigh 150 pounds, eat 150 grams of protein per day (divide the 150 grams up into 5-6 small meals of 25-30 grams of protein per meal). To create muscle, you must feed your muscles with protein which are found in foods like chicken breast, ground lean turkey, fish, almonds, peanut butter, cottage cheese, kidney beans, black eyed peas and edamame.

3. Resistance training is a must! If you want to change the shape, look and composition of your body, you must work it out with weights or resistance bands, or your own body weight. To gain muscles, you must workout your muscles to strengthen them, and be sure to feed them protein so they can re-build and grow!

4. Cardiovascular activity will aid in fat burning. While you are changing your body by doing weight training and resistance training exercises, compliment your workout and burn calories with cardio! Interval training is highly effective. DO NOT do the same cardio workout every day. This is BORING! Your body will get used to the exercise, you will no longer be challenged, and you will stop seeing results. Vary your cardio routine (walking, walking hills or use the incline option on your treadmill, jogging, step mill, elliptical, swimming, stationary bike).

5. Be conscious of your mental well-being. Get a good night’s sleep, stay positive, surround yourself with people who are encouraging your new healthy lifestyle. Be realistic about your goals and stick to them!

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

1. Begin with your state of mind and perspective. You cannot approach your health based on a short term goal (I want to fit into my dress for my cruise, or wear a bathing suit on vacation). NO! NO! NO! This must be an entire lifestyle change for your LONG TERM health and well-being.

2. Think about how much time and effort you put toward cleaning, maintaining your car, or your home, or your apartment. Now, compare that to the time and effort you put toward maintaining the wellness of your body. How do they compare? Do you invest more effort into the “health” of your car than your body?

3. Create a plan and write it down. Keep a daily log of your thoughts, emotions, and food intake. Writing things down has a way of holding us accountable for what we do, say, feel, and eat! Dedicate time to allow yourself to reflect upon your day. Assess your journals and fitness logs. Do you tend to eat more during certain times of the day? Are there certain stressors in your life that you tend to “deal” with by using food? Understanding WHY we eat is just as important as WHAT we eat.

4. Plan a workout routine (resistance training and cardiovascular activity). Write it down on your calendar so that it is scheduled in. If you have time for your hair appointment, nail appointment, or shopping spree then you have time for your workout! Make it happen!

5. Encourage a friend to workout with you. The support can be a good source of motivation to encourage one another. Have fun! Getting physical and being healthy shouldn’t be a daunting task. This is your body, the one and only, so take care of it!

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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, flat dumbbell press, incline dumbbell press, incline barbell press, dumbbell flies. Back (lat pulldown, close grip pulldown, dumbbell rows, pull ups). Cardio (8-9 mile run).
  • Tuesday: Triceps (dips, close grip barbell press, close grip reverse barbell press, close grip push down, close grip reverse push downs). Biceps (dumbbell curls, barbell curls, incline bench dumbbell curls, close grip pull ups). Abs and cardio ( 60 minute swim).
  • Wednesday: REST (I stay out of the gym, but still am sure to spend about 30-45 minutes being physically active, which for me is a brisk walk with my dogs).
  • Thursday: Shoulders (military dumbbell press, barbell press, dumbbell laterals, front raises, close grip pull ups with barbell). Delts (incline dumbbell raises, bent over dumbbell lateral raises). Traps (barbell, dumbbell, smith machine shrugs). Cardio (8-9 mile run).
  • Friday: Legs (walking lunges, leg press, hack squats, squats with barbell, leg curls, extensions, hyper extensions, stiff leg deadlifts, walk sits, jump squats). Cardio (45-60 minutes on the step mill).
  • Saturday: Abs, stretching and cardio (30 minutes of elliptical and 45-50 minutes of swimming).
  • Sunday: Full body circuit training (sit ups, push ups, pull ups, lunges, squats, jump rope, burpees, jumping squats, renegades, walking pushups). Cardio (45 minutes running hills) .

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. Abs begin in the kitchen. Your food intake is about 85-90% responsible for your six pack abs either shining through or hibernating under that midnight snack (layer of body fat).

2. Stress. A high stress lifestyle decreases our immune system, increases cortisol levels (our body’s natural stress coping hormone) and holds onto fat and calories, specifically in our mid-section.

3. Cardio. You need to incorporate full body movements that get the heart rate up and provide an entire body calorie burning workout.

4. Ab exercises. Create a 4-5 exercise ab routine circuit to perform 3-4 days a week. You DO NOT need to do abs every day. Abs are like every other muscle, they need their rest.

5. Vary your ab routine, mix and match different exercises to challenge your body and target all areas of your abdomen (upper, lower, obliques).

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

1. Resistance training: lunges, squats (varying feet position), walking lunges, leg press.

2. Cardio training: running and jogging hills, walking highs, step mill, train on the elliptical working your way up to a moderate resistance level.

3. Get in the pool: doing laps of just kicking with the kickboard is a great way to isolate your lower body. The bonus of working out in the water is no stress on your joints, low impact and its very effective!

4. Deadlifts with a barbell and dumbbells. This is great for the butt and hamstrings.

5. Keep the weight light, but reps high. Vary your exercises, create a circuit routine to complete that will keep heart rate up, burn calories and fat, and increase muscle.

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