I started working out at the local gym to lose weight, but quickly became interested in bodybuilding. I’ve competed 3 times, and progressed to fitness modeling this year, when I was approached by a photographer. It feels great to be appreciated for the way my hard work and dedication has paid off. My biggest accomplishment was getting on stage for my first figure competition and placing second. Finding something that I finally love and can really focus my energy on has been very rewarding.
Melissa Jesmer – Fitness Model Statistics
- Name: Melissa Jesmer
- Height: 5’5″
- Weight: Pre Contest 116 lbs, Off Season 125 lbs
- Hair Color: Dark brown
- Bust: 36
- Waist: 25
- Hips: 35
- Location: Cornwall, Ontario, Canada
Melissa Jesmer – Fitness Model Interview
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I was born and raised in the small town of Cornwall Ontario. I work full time at a busy Salon. In my spare time my hobbies and interests are weight lifting 5 days a week, cooking and reading a good book. I started going to the gym to lose weight but quickly became interested in body building. I’ve competed in three figure competitions, with great results. Now I’m starting to focus my career on fitness modeling. I’ve really enjoyed the photo shoots I’ve done and have received great feedback from the photographer’s l have worked with so far. My goals are to promote fitness products in my modeling career, and to obtain sponsorship to continue in body building competitions.
How did you get started in the fitness modeling field?
I started working out at the local gym to lose weight, but quickly became interested in bodybuilding. I’ve competed 3 times, and progressed to fitness modeling this year, when I was approached by a photographer.
What is the #1 thing you like best about being into fitness?
It feels great to be appreciated for the way my hard work and dedication has paid off.
What has been your biggest accomplishment in the fitness field?
My biggest accomplishment was getting on stage for my first figure competition and placing second. Finding something that I finally love and can really focus my energy on has been very rewarding.
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?
Take the initiative to promote yourself. Take every opportunity to gain as much exposure as you can. If the photographer is someone you know and trust, by all means ask him/her for help in building a portfolio. If not then go with a reputable agency in your area.
Please describe a typical day for you. What is your daily routine like?
A typical day for me is waking up to my alarm at 6:40AM, taking my shower and having my coffee. I eat my breakfast a protein pancake with almonds. Breakfast is a must as it’s the most important meal of the day. It affects your energy levels throughout the day and gets your metabolism going. I then pack my lunch and I’m off to work. I have my second meal at 10:30AM a protein shake and lunch at 1:00PM. I finish work between 3PM and 4PM. At this time I go home, eat meal 4, change for the gym and then I’m off to train. After my workout is my time to relax, either watch a movie or surf the net. I finish my last meal of the night a protein shake and almonds. I turn in usually between 10AM and 10:30PM. Goodnight
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?
Any form of cardio will do for example the treadmill on incline, stair climber or an incline bike as long as you concentrate on keeping your heart rate anywhere from 130-150 heart beats per minute for 30-45 minutes. Perform cardio 4-5 days a week.
How much weight (pounds) should I focus on losing every week? What is a safe amount to make sure I keep it off?
You should not lose anymore then 2 pounds a week as this a safe amount to ensure you keep the weight off that you have worked so hard to lose. Losing more than 2 pounds a week could mean the loss of lean muscle mass.
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?
Sixty minutes prior to a workout eat a meal that consists of lean protein, mono unsaturated fat and complex carbohydrates. After your workout it is important to eat within 30-40 minutes after training. Again eat a well balanced meal consisting of lean protein, mono unsaturated fat and complex carbohydrates. If you wish to take supplements this is what I recommend:
- Start with a good multivitamin.
- Green tea extract: to promote fat loss and suppress appetite
- A good quality protein powder: to increase your protein intake
- Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s): which promotes body fat reduction, cardiovascular health. For example: Fish oil (each soft gel capsule contains 180mg EPA and 120mg DHA)
- Sesamin: increases oxidation of fat which acts as a fat burner, it has also been shown to decrease fat storage.
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.
Dealing with food cravings can be hard on anyone starting a diet. Since I have eliminated all processed foods and refined sugars from my diet I no longer experience cravings. However, if you find it difficult to stick with a diet for any length of time, then I would suggest replacing white refined sugar with a sweetener such as splenda or stevia. Sweeteners can be used for baking or as a topping on fresh fruit. There are quite a few sugar-free products on the market such as sugar-free pudding which may help to control your cravings and not feeling to “guilty” about eating. Remember there is no such thing as a diet fix. It’s a lifestyle change that has balance and consistency.
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?
ShapeFit has a great list of healthy foods to choose from!
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?
Here are ten tips to getting started on the right track:
1. Consult a physician before starting any new exercise program.
2. Eat smaller frequent meals. Eating 4-6 smaller meals will increase your energy levels throughout the day and keep your metabolism at a fast pace.
3. Find the time to eat a well balanced breakfast upon rising by incorporating an adequate amount of carbohydrates and protein, this will ensure to kick-start your metabolism and start the fat burning process.
4. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. I like to mix a packet of crystal light to add variety/flavor.
5. Limit your intake of simple refined sugar.
6. Limit the amount of saturated fat that you eat each day. Concentrate on incorporating more monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats into your diet. Examples include: avocados, nuts and flaxseed oil.
7. Reduce your carbohydrate intake as the day goes on. Eat most your complex carbohydrates within the first 2 meals of the day. Stick to fibrous carbohydrates such as broccoli, asparagus and spinach for the remainder of the day.
8. Avoid eating to failure.
9. Make an exercise plan, start slowly working your way up.
10. Set realistic goals and have a positive attitude!
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?
Eating out can become dangerous if you are not prepared. Here are a few options for the next time you come across this situation.
- Old fashioned oatmeal with cut up fresh fruit, sweetener is an option.
- Scrambled egg whites with whole wheat toast and fresh fruit.
- Grilled chicken salad with fat-free dressing.
- Grilled halibut or salmon, brown rice and steamed vegetables.
- Any salad combo with fat-free dressing and lean protein.
- Grilled chicken or lean sirloin, baked potato, side salad or steamed veggies.
- Keep in mind portion control is the key.
What exercises do you recommend for getting a bigger, rounder and fuller butt?
SQUATS! , SQUATS! , SQUATS! , walking or stationary dumbbell lunges.
What is the most challenging thing you deal with about consistently staying in top shape?
For me it is all about staying motivated, setting realistic goals and monitoring my progress.
Please describe your normal diet. What do you eat in a typical day to stay in shape?
This is a typical off season diet. During this time my aim is to gain lean muscle mass. I eat lean sources of protein and all of my complex carbohydrates are eaten within the first 3 meals of the day. My caloric intake is around 2000-2500 a day depending on my activity level.
- Meal 1: 8 egg whites, ¾ cup oatmeal, fresh fruit blended to make a protein pancake served with a hand full of nuts.
- Meal 2: Chicken tortilla wrap with avocado and a fruit.
- Meal 3: Lean protein, complex carbs (brown rice, yams) avocado or nuts and green vegetables.
- Meal 4: Protein shake, almonds and green vegetables
- Meal 5: Protein shake with almonds.
- Note: I also drink water and crystal light throughout the day.
What type of exercises do you include in your routine to stay in shape?
My training schedule all depends on what I’m trying to achieve. When I’m looking to gain lean muscle mass, my routine consist of 5-6 sets per exercise with 6-10 repetitions. I train each major muscle group once per week while hitting the smaller one’s (calves and abs) two to three times a week. As I get closer to a competition my routine does change every few weeks depending on my progress. It varies anywhere from 3-4 sets with a 10-20 rep range per exercise. Here’s an example week of weight training:
- Sunday – Back & Abs
- Monday – Chest & Calves
- Tuesday – Legs & Abs
- Wednesday – Off
- Thursday – Biceps & Triceps
- Friday – Shoulders & Calves
- Saturday – Off
- Note: I perform cardiovascular exercise after each weight training session.
What are the top 5 tips (specific exercises, diet advice, etc) you recommend for developing toned and defined arms?
1. Clean up your diet.
2. Perform cardio 4-5 days a week.
3. Train biceps and triceps with a 12 to 15 rep range.
4. Bicep exercises such as:
- Barbell curls 3 X 12-15
- Dumbbell curls 3 X 12-15
- Hammer curls 3 X 12-15
5. Tricep exercises such as:
- V-Bar Cable Push Downs 3 X 12-15
- Dumbbell Overhead Extensions 3 X 12-15
- Dumbbell Kickbacks 3 X 12-15
What are your top 5 tips for losing unwanted body fat?
1. Eating a well balanced breakfast is very important to get your metabolism going.
2. Eat smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day.
3. Perform 30-45 minutes of cardiovascular exercise 4-5 days a week along with resistance training.
4. Limit the amount of refined sugar and saturated fats.
5. Supplement with a quality fat burner.
Note: You have to set short and long term goals it won’t happen overnight. It is important to be prepared and consistent.
What are your top 5 tips for gaining lean muscle mass?
1. Eat smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day this is a must no matter what your goal is.
2. The use of supplements such as creatine has given me good results in gaining lean muscle mass.
3. Cardiovascular exercise should still be performed, after your training. It is essential for supplying oxygen to your muscles for maximum growth.
4. To add lean muscle start with 6-10 rep range and 4-5 sets for all lower and upper body work.
5. Drink plenty of water before, during and after exercising.
What are the top 5 tips you recommend for staying motivated on a fitness plan and truly making a healthy lifestyle change?
1. Have a positive attitude and believe in your ability to succeed.
2. Learn to set realistic goals.
3. Form a plan in order to achieve your goals.
4. Monitor your progress.
5. Stay on track and stick with a program.
What is your training routine like? (Please include a few details – training split, sets/reps, exercises, types of cardio, etc.)
This would be a typical training routine for me. I alternate abs and calves every other day.
- Flat Dumbbell Press, 4 X 6-8 Reps
- Incline Dumbbell Press, 4 X 6-8 Reps
- Cable Crossovers, 3 X 10-12 Reps
- Push Ups, 2 X 20 Reps
- Dumbbell Curls, 4 X 6-8 Reps
- Preacher Curls, 4 X 6-8 Reps
- Hammer Curls, 3 X 10-12 Reps
- V-Bar Cable Push Downs, 4 X 6-8 Reps
- Overhead Rope Cable Extensions, 4 X 6-8 Reps
- Bench Dips, 3 X 10-12 Reps
- Squats, 4 X 6-10 Reps
- Stiff Legged Dead Lifts, 4 X 6-10 Reps
- Leg Extensions, 4 X 6-10 Reps
- Leg Curls (sitting or lying), 4 X 6-10 Reps
- Dumbbell Military Press, 4 X 6-8 Reps
- Front Lateral Raise, 4 X 6-8 Reps
- Side Lateral Raise, 4 X 6-8 Reps
- Reverse Flyes, 3 X 10-12 Reps
- Lateral Cable Pull Down, 4 X 6-8 Reps
- High Row, 4 X 6-8 Reps
- 1-Arm Row, 4 X 6-8 Reps
- Shrugs, 4 X 6-10 Reps
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. Clean up your diet I can’t stress this enough.
2. Add cardio to your routine.
3. Supplement with a quality fat burner.
4. Per form abdominal/stomach exercises. (5 sets of 25 reps 4 times a week)
5. Drink plenty of water.
What are the top 5 tips (specific exercises, diet advice, etc) you recommend for toning the thighs, hips and butt?
1. Clean up your diet get rid of processed and refined foods.
2. Add 30-45 minutes of cardiovascular exercise 4-5 days a week.
3. Squats! Squats! Squats!
4. Walking or dumbbell lunges
5. Supplement with a quality fat burner