What is your background?
I am currently a sophomore at Texas State University with a major in Physical Therapy. I am also in the process of becoming a certified personal trainer. I am somewhat new to the fitness industry but I have always been an athlete. I went to a junior college playing both volleyball and basketball and the experience was phenomenal, but of course I ended up transferring to better my education. Though I am considering trying out for the basketball team at Texas State. I am undergoing training at the moment to compete in my first NPC competition next year and I am so anxious!
How did you get started in the fitness field?
It all started on Instagram, I would see famous girls who are sponsored athletes (for example my role model Michelle Lewin) and they all had such amazing bodies! The hard work and dedication they put into themselves really inspired me and made me want to change my lifestyle. I always thought I could eat whatever I wanted to because I would workout but came to realize I would show no progress with my eating habits so I was determined to change.
What is the #1 thing you like best about being into fitness?
Though my eating habits are still in progress and becoming a lot better, I love the way my body feels and I feel so energized every day. I’m always excited trying a new workout and just looking for improvement every single time. Being into fitness is a challenge with a lot of hard obstacles coming at me, but with the right mindset and determination nothing will stop me.
What has been your biggest accomplishment in the fitness field?
Competing wise, I don’t have an accomplishment just yet because I am still in training, but my goal is to earn my pro card in either my 1st or 2nd competition and I am determined to reach that goal!
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?
In my opinion starting out with an agency would be the best fit because they would help you find the right photographers you need to shoot with to build your fitness portfolio. Being with an agency, a lot of photographers will go and look for models within the agency to see who they would like to work with and to also build up their experience as well.
Please describe a typical day for you. What is your daily routine like?
A typical day for me would be to make breakfast in the morning, pack food for lunch and a snack since I am on campus the majority of the day and I refuse to eat fast food. I gather up all my stuff and head to class. Once I finish with class, I usually head out to the gym around 6pm on the university and workout for about 2 hours, go home, cook dinner, shower, and study for about 2-3 hours. Some days I will have a sorority event so I’m pretty busy every single day but always find time for the gym.
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? The Tabata routine inspired by the famous Brendy Scheerer is my favorite routine to do within a 20 minute time period (or can be extended if you wish to repeat more than 4 times) when I need a quick fat and calorie burning workout I do this one. It consists of:
HIIT Round 1: Repeat 4 times
Butt Kickers: 20 seconds; Rest 10 seconds
Squat to Press (advanced: with 5-20 lb dumbbells): 20 seconds; Rest 10 seconds
How much weight (pounds) should I focus on losing every week? What is a safe amount to make sure I keep it off?
The safe amount of weight to lose every week would be 1/2 to 2 pounds a week.
What are some of the best foods to eat before and after my workouts to build lean muscle and lose fat? Nora Tobin is SHAPE magazine fitness editor and a nutrition specialist. When I first started getting into the fitness field I was clueless on what to eat so I did my research and when I came across her article I followed her advice on what I should eat which is making major improvements with my body so I highly recommend it!
Things to eat before a workout:
Brown rice (1/2 cup) with black beans (1/2 cup).
Small sweet potato with steamed or lightly salted broccoli in olive oil (1 cup).
Banana with almond butter (2 tablespoons).
Multi-grain crackers (10) with hummus (3 tablespoons).
Oatmeal (1/2 cup) with berries (1 cup), sweetened with stevia or agave.
Apple and walnuts (1/4 cup).
Things to eat after a workout:
Protein shake made with half of a banana, one scoop of protein powder, almond milk, and hemp seeds (excellent protein source).
Salad with roasted chickpeas (1/2 cup), light olive oil and vinegar.
Sautéed or steamed vegetables (1 cup) with non-GMO tofu (1/2 cup).
Quinoa bowl (1 cup) with black berries (1 cup) and pecans (1/4 cup).
Multi-grain bread (2 slices) with raw peanut butter (2 tablespoons) and agave nectar.
Burrito with beans (1/2 cup), brown rice (1/2 cup), guacamole (2 tablespoons), and salsa.
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.
Fruit. Fruit, and FRUIT! I myself also have a problem with cravings for sweet and salty foods, but when I do crave it I go buy pineapples, apples, strawberries, bananas, mangos, and many other types of fruits and just make a giant fruit bowl. BUT, when I am craving actual sweets I go to the frozen desserts, only 100 calories in a pint, and it’s sugar-free! By far the best alternative ice cream I have tasted!
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?
Beef is important for building lean muscle due to its protein content, cholesterol, zinc, B vitamins and iron content. Here are some key foods to include:
Milk (fat free)
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?
You do not want to jump straight into an intense workout for the fact that your body is not used to physical activity. Walking about a mile or 2 will be a good start, then gradually go to jogging. You can also hit the weights as well but start off with what you can lift comfortably then you may gradually increase the weight as weeks go by. Remember, you have to start somewhere so be patient.
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?
Grilled chicken salad, or even a steak with steamed vegetables. Most restaurants will have those on the menu and it’s the best route to go!
What exercises do you recommend for getting a bigger, rounder and fuller butt?
My favorite workouts to do for lower body would probably be squats with 3 sets of 10 reps, 8 reps and then 6 reps. 10 reps being light weight, for 8 reps add 5-10 pounds and for 6 reps add another 5-10 pounds. Weighted lunges are also a good way to get your booty bigger by using a weight you are comfortable with and once you’re adjusted to it you may increase the weight. Cardio also helps lift your butt and helps to firm it up. Deadlifts help with the hamstrings as well as your glutes but there are different techniques and you can have stiff legged deadlifts to workout your hamstrings or you may also bend your knees to help target your butt as well! I personally like to do one set of stiff legged, one set of bent knees and the last set stiff legged (deadlifts).
What is the most challenging thing you deal with about consistently staying in top shape?
Probably college because my major is physical therapy so I am always busy studying and sometimes do not have time to go to the gym because of all the exams I have. If I do not have time during the day, I make sure to do a little ab workout right before bed!
Please describe your normal diet. What do you eat in a typical day to stay in shape?
Breakfast: Eggs and toast or some days I have a banana if I’m in a hurry.
Mid-Morning Snack: Greek yogurt.
Lunch: Sushi or a grilled chicken salad.
Mid-Afternoon Snack: Turkey sandwich on wheat bread.
Dinner: Grilled chicken with steamed vegetables.
What type of exercises do you include in your routine to stay in shape?
Strength Training Exercises: I superset all my workouts with at least 10 second breaks to keep my blood flow pumping. That could be from squats to lunges to bench press, deadlifts, dumbbell exercises, back exercises, etc.
Cardio Exercises: 20 minutes on the Stairmaster or I run 2 miles with AB circuits after.
Additional Training: Hot yoga.
How does your family and friends react to and deal with your strict fitness lifestyle (dieting, eating out, workouts, parties)? Both of my parents were athletes in high school so me staying into fitness and sports really makes them proud to know I still continue to keep myself healthy and fit. I know with whatever I do they will always support me because they are the competitive type and see so much potential in me.
What are your top 5 tips for losing unwanted body fat?
1. Dieting (swap fruits for veggies, lean meats).
3. Exercise daily.
4. Take the right supplements.
5. Stay focused and set a goal.
What are your top 5 tips for gaining lean muscle mass?
1. Adequate intakes of protein.
2. Consume red meat, white meat, and fish in bulk sizes.
3. Overload on the carbs (bread, pasta, rice, oatmeal).
4. Heavy lifting.
5. Sleep (give your muscles time to recuperate and grow).
What is the most important thing you recommend for staying motivated on a fitness plan and truly making a healthy lifestyle change?
Surround yourself with positive people with the same goals as you. I could not tell you enough how important it is to have people backing you up 100%. It makes you want to push even harder to become a better person and to better yourself.
What is your training routine like?
Monday: Leg day (leg press: 3 sets of 10 reps with heavy weight, squats: 3 sets of 10 reps increase weight by 5 lbs each set, walking lunges: 6 times up and down the gym floor, leg lifts with a strap on my ankle for 6 sets of 10 reps with light weight).
Tuesday: Chest and biceps (bicep curls: 3 sets of 10 reps, inclined pushups, bench press for 3 sets of 10 reps).
Wednesday: Cardio day (Stairmaster, treadmill, sauna).
What type of nutritional supplements do you currently use and which ones do you recommend for a beginner getting started on a fitness program?
H3 Lipo from Complete Nutrition. It controls my appetite and really helps burn more body fat. I recommend it to people starting off since it was the first fat burning supplement I have ever used and did wonders for me!
What is your favorite healthy food or meal you really enjoy eating? Also, what is your favorite cheat meal or food you like to indulge in from time to time?
My favorite healthy meal would probably be grilled chicken with Flavor God chipotle seasoning with grilled asparagus broccoli and sweet potatoes. My favorite cheat meal would probably be a large pepperoni pizza! My excuse is “Oh, it’s okay since I have cardio day tomorrow”!
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