I made a lifestyle change at the age of 30 years old. I stopped the YO-YO dieting, permanently lost the unhealthy weight and lifestyle I was living. I became a new woman and six years later followed my heart and became a certified personal trainer. I got started in the fitness modeling because I needed a new goal. I wanted to be a positive role model to women my age. Hopefully inspire and motivate women to continue training and eating clean and not just feels BUT look years younger.
Marla Arndt – Fitness Model Statistics
- Name: Marla Arndt
- Height: 5’3″
- Weight: 115
- Date of Birth: June 2, 1961
- Hair Color: Brown
- Bust: 34
- Waist: 25
- Hips: 34
- Location: Guelph, Ontario
Marla Arndt – Fitness Model Interview
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
My story is like that of many other women who have struggled with weight and body image issues. From the age of 15, I struggled with my weight. A struggle I CREATED!! At 5 foot 3 inches and a healthy 110 pounds, I decided I needed to lose a few pounds. I’m not sure why I felt I needed to lose weight, perhaps it was my body changing and becoming more of a woman. First it was a 5 pound loss that I quickly gained back. THE DIETING CYCLE BEGAN! Within a year of starting my first diet I had gained 15 pounds. For the next 15 years I traveled on the YO-YO weight train! I continued to gain and lose the same 30 pounds over and over again. I tried every crazy fad diet possible. As far as working out was concerned, I would start something but never follow through. I also would try any weird fitness gadget that promised quick results!
When I became pregnant with my first son, things changed. I focused on eating healthy to nourish my growing baby inside me. After the birth of my son I changed my way of thinking. Instead of trying to lose weight I focused on getting healthy. I started a walking program which was something that was easy to do. I also ate a balanced diet but allowed myself to still eat food I enjoyed. Guess what??? I no longer had trouble controlling my weight. I continued to workout and keep a fairly healthy lifestyle. When I became pregnant with my second son I seemed to have more energy and an easier pregnancy. Within months of his birth I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight. I no longer struggled with my weight but felt I wasn’t making the desired changes in my body shape.
For my thirtieth birthday, I gave myself the best present…I HIRED A PERSONAL TRAINER. With her knowledge and motivation I made unbelievable changes! I continued with my fitness program and soon found out I was expecting my third! I worked out up until delivery, making modifications to my training near the end of my pregnancy. After the birth of my third son my body was in better physical shape than before I had any children! I became so passionate about health and fitness that I decided to make a career change.
I became a certified personal trainer and began my business, FRAMEWORKS FITNESS. I am always setting new and exciting goals for myself, something I try to instill in my clients. Anything is possible if you set your mind to it. When I first began my journey into fitness I could barely run a mile. I can’t tell you the feeling of accomplishment I felt when I crossed the finish line of my first marathon!
This past year I set a new goal to enter into the world of fitness competition. I worked very hard following a strict training program. At the age of 46, I entered a regional fitness competition and placed first in the masters fitness model category. I went on to compete in the Nationals and placed fourth in my category and am now a WNSO PRO masters fitness model. I have not only changed my life for the better but I have also helped many people embrace a healthy lifestyle for the past 10 years. I want to share my knowledge and enthusiasm to help guide YOU on your fitness journey and find the joy and empowerment of permanent change.
My purpose for sharing my life and pictures with you is to inspire you to change. We all know creating a healthy body is achieved through a balance of good nutrition, exercise, wise choices and consistency. I know first hand how hard it is to feel out of control. As a trainer, I will give you all the guidance, encouragement and support you need to make positive changes for a lifetime.
How did you get started in the fitness modeling field?
I have had a variety of occupations! I think of myself as a “Jack of all trades” and a MASTER of some! I am a hairstylist and makeup artist by trade. Owned and operated two restaurants and ten years ago finally made the career choice that is the most satisfying, becoming a personal trainer. I made a lifestyle change at the age of 30 years old. I stopped the YO-YO dieting, permanently lost the unhealthy weight and lifestyle I was living. I became a new woman and six years later followed my heart and became a certified personal trainer. I got started in the fitness modeling because I needed a new goal. I wanted to be a positive role model to women my age. Hopefully inspire and motivate women to continue training and eating clean and not just feels BUT look years younger.
What is the #1 thing you like best about being into fitness?
I love the way I feel. I feel strong and empowered.
What has been your biggest accomplishment in the fitness field?
Well, I have a few! First of all it has to be how I completely changed not only my body but my health. Second would be the positive changes I have helped my clients achieve with their health and wellness. It is one thing to help people lose weight and feel better about themselves BUT even more gratifying is teaching them to make permanent lifestyle changes. Personal accomplishments would have to be training and running marathons and of course placing first at my very first fitness competition at the age of 46!
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 think it is important to enter a fitness competition. Feeling confident on stage in front of hundreds of people will definitely help prepare you when having to deal with agencies and photographers.
Please describe a typical day for you. What is your daily routine like?
I am an early bird! I wake up and enjoy a cup of coffee, which sure helps prepare me for a morning workout. I am busy with my personal training business and am in my studio training sometimes 10 clients a day! I am a mother of three teenage boys and that keeps me busy as well! I need to be pretty organized in order to run not only my business but my household. I somehow squeeze in grocery shopping, cleaning, laundry, and errands. Falling asleep at night is pretty easy!
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 am really into functional training and using your own body weight to challenge yourself. Squats and lunges done properly at a good pace can really get ones heart rate racing! A circuit workout is amazing as well as adding in plyometrics. Talk about “bang for the buck”!
How much weight (pounds) should I focus on losing every week? What is a safe amount to make sure I keep it off?
I believe 1-2 pounds per week is a safe long lasting approach to permanent weight loss. However, that being said, by changing your mindset from losing weight to “getting healthy” I feel is the safe way. Focusing on weight loss is not the answer to permanent change. I believe eating a clean diet(with some room for “fun”), working out regularly and getting proper sleep is the way to go. Everyone can follow a restrictive diet and lose weight but the hard part is keeping 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?
It is so important to fuel your body properly before and after a workout. I think what you take in and when, will give you the best results. Having a little something before a workout gives you the energy you need to push yourself to the max. There is a window of opportunity 30-60 minutes after a workout to refuel your body. A high glycemic carb and a source of protein is needed. Eating frequent small meals is another great way to keep the metabolism working and burning!
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.
Cravings hit every now and again! I eat clean all the time. It is a way of life for me. If I have a salty craving I make the best choice possible. Instead of chips I will eat air popped popcorn with some seasoning. If I really want something I have a small amount so I never feel like I am deprived. By eating frequently and “clean” it really does keep the cravings at bay. It is important to find a balance that works for you. I like to eat the best I possibly can all the time but do enjoy “healthy” treats and beverages in moderation. Red wine is healthy you know!
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?
In my fridge I always have, egg whites, cooked chicken breast, cut up veggies in a container, a big bowl of salad, fresh fruit, all natural peanut butter, flax oil. In the pantry, tuna, oatmeal, yams, rye bread, balsamic vinegar. Always read label when grocery shopping (not just the big bold heading that says light and healthy). Read the true facts. When shopping stick to the perimeter of the store where you find all the fresh fruit, vegetables and meat products.
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?
I wouldn’t waste any time and do it on your own! Your best bet is to hire a personal trainer and get a proper assessment and have a program designed just for you! Read, learn and pay attention to what you put in your body! If your budget doesn’t allow for a trainer, than be wise and take an approach that is not overwhelming and unattainable. Small baby steps and working out properly is the way to go. Make a plan, set goals be realistic and keep a food and workout journal!
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?
You are the customer, so order the food the way you want it. Most restaurants now will accommodate your needs. Ask how things are prepared and change things up like dressing on the side or no fries but steamed vegetables. Watch for hidden calories in sauces and beverages. Go ahead order dessert, but share with a friend. Plan, plan, plan. Stay away from the bread basket and always have a few glasses of water while waiting for your meal.
What exercises do you recommend for getting a bigger, rounder and fuller butt?
I love using my own body weight for many of my lower body workouts. A variety of squats and lunges is the best way to go. Adding weights is a bonus! Making that mind muscle connection and using proper form really make the difference between an okay workout and a super sculpting session!
What is the most challenging thing you deal with about consistently staying in top shape?
I am never really affected with challenges to stay in shape. It is just a part of my life to workout and eat healthy. However, that being said, when I am training for a competition I do need to step up my training and follow a strict diet. It is frustrating when life events take place and food and alcohol are part of the function. It does create a bit of a challenge when I want to enjoy like everyone else.
Please describe your normal diet. What do you eat in a typical day to stay in shape?
- Breakfast: Every morning I look forward to my oatmeal protein pancake!
- Mid-Morning Snack: fruit and almonds.
- Lunch: A huge salad with flax oil & balsamic vinegar with a can of tuna & yam.
- Mid-Afternoon Snack: veggies and hummus or all natural peanut butter.
- Dinner: Huge salad (yes another!) steamed veggies and chicken breast or fish.
What type of exercises do you include in your routine to stay in shape?
- Strength Training Exercises: I do a full body workout doing mostly functional training, squats, lunges, push ups, pull ups, etc.
- Cardio Exercises: I used to run, now I mostly speed walk and do incline walking, I do a variety of cardio workouts as well.
- Additional Training: I run an outdoor Boot Camp program and often join in with the group…I cant just stand there and bark out orders! Way more fun to join in and feel how the group is feeling!
I change up my routine all the time! Muscles need change and variety to grow and develop! For a few weeks I will do a full upper body workout twice a week as well as a lower body training day twice a week. I will then change things up and do only a few body parts each day, as in a 5 day split. Working one or two muscle groups at a time is a great way to fatigue the muscle and hit it from all angles by doing a variety of different exercises. On a chest day for instance, push ups with various hand positions, chest press, chest flyes using not only weights but resistance bands as well!
What are the top 5 tips (specific exercises, diet advice, etc) you recommend for developing toned and defined arms?
1. Clean eating is number one. We can workout all we want as much as we want but the hard work will not show without proper nutrition.
2. A variety of “functional” moves. Push ups, pull ups, By lifting your own body weight you become much stronger, allowing you to lift heavier, and able to challenge your muscles more.
3. Cardio is important. I like to think of resistance training as MOULDING the muscles but cardio EXPOSES them!
4. Be consistent. You can’t expect to get great results with a half hearted workout only done once in a while.
5. Work your full arm not just the bicep! To define arms means shoulders, biceps and triceps.
What are your top 5 tips for losing unwanted body fat?
1. Eat clean 80% of the time, this is a lifestyle.
2. Be consistent, it is not about a two week quick fix, it is a lifestyle.
3. Do your cardio.
4. Do resistance training.
5. Change your mindset! Think of it as getting healthy not losing fat!
What are your top 5 tips for gaining lean muscle mass?
1. Fuel your body properly. The type of workout you are doing that day dictates how you refuel
2. Supplement with the right products.
3. Proper rest is important. Not just getting your nightly Z’s but taking days off to let muscles repair and grow
4. EAT CLEAN
5. Mind muscle connection when lifting and working out. Form is so important as well as fatiguing the muscle!
What are the top 5 tips you recommend for staying motivated on a fitness plan and truly making a healthy lifestyle change?
1. Create a goal and write it down. A goal is just a wish if not written!
2. Use a food and exercise journal, it keeps you accountable and you can also look back and see what really works best for your body
3. Your quality of life should motivate. We can’t stop the aging process but we can sure slow it down!
4. Be a good role model for your children. They learn from you!
5. Make that mindset change from the “I need to lose weight” to “I want to be the healthiest person I can”!
What is your training routine like? (Please include a few details – training split, sets/reps, exercises, types of cardio, etc.)
I try to do some form of cardio at least 5-6 days per week. I keep things fresh by changing up the time, distance and intensity. So if I am power walking I sometimes do interval, or incline, or mix it up with running. I do plan ahead of time what I plan on doing that session so I have a goal and stick to it! When doing my weight training as in the split below, I fatigue the muscle I am working by doing a variety of exercises 2-3 sets 8-10 reps. It isn’t challenging coming up with exercises to do! There are so many variations and ways of hitting the muscle!
- Monday: CHEST
- Tuesday: LEGS AND ABS
- Wednesday: BACK
- Thursday: LEGS AND ABS
- Friday: SHOULDERS, BICEP, TRICEPS
- Saturday: I change things up here and do a variety of my own body weight exercises.
- Sunday: OFF
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. Eat clean!
2. Eat clean!!
3. Eat clean!!!
4. Core work
What are the top 5 tips (specific exercises, diet advice, etc) you recommend for toning the thighs, hips and butt?
1. Eat clean
3. Squats lunges and plyometrics
5. Ohhhhh and eat CLEAN!