Posted 13 December 2012 by Interview:

Essence Monet IFBB Figure Pro


How/when did you get started in training
and living a fit lifestyle?

I was always an athlete starting from a very young age. I was always outside playing, riding my bike, rollerblading etc. It was until I got a little older that I was allowed to play in sports. I have played tennis, softball, basketball and even ice-skating. But basketball and track really stuck with me and I continued to pursue those two sports throughout high school and into college. However, during my freshman year in college I suffered a major knee injury that required surgery. I was pretty much was out after that happened and decided that I was just going to focus on school and rehabilitation of my knee. I started dabbling in weightlifting but nothing serious until early 2006. I had recently gotten out of a very abusive relationship and found solace in the gym. I continued to lift and learn my way around the weights and machines and loved the results that I was seeing. I finally decided after a suggestion from a local show promoter to get ready for a figure competition and see if I would like it or not. Well needless to say I was hooked after and continued to pursue the sport. Its been a journey ever since and... a journey that I don't regret being on.

How do you stay motivated?

I keep myself motivated through my family and friends that support me. But also the people that tell me that I am an inspiration to them, keeps me going as well. I never thought that I would be able to inspire anyone, but when I started lifting and competing it just happened! So, I am grateful for that and the drive to always be better than my last show motivates me as well. It's always a challenge but when I see the improvements being made, it is all worth it in the end.

What types of cardio have worked best for you?

HIIT training has worked the best for me. I like HIIT (high intensity interval training) because I get the most out of my cardio and it seems to go a lot faster for me and that is a plus! And even just running for a few miles has worked, as long as my knees don't give me issues.

Do you have a favorite healthy recipe?

I think the only real recipe that I like is the only one that I can cook because I am terrible at it. I like protein pancakes because it starts me off the right foot and it's like having a treat first thing in the morning.

What does your diet consist of?

My eating is so basic when I am getting ready for a show and off-season. It is your usual chicken, steak, fish and vegetables and complex carbs, protein shakes and everything in between. However, I live in Chicago and quite frankly it is hard saying no to some of the delicious food out here. I like to eat!! And my coaches know that too, but I try to make it a point to not go cray cray and blow up like I have before. So, instead of eating for two like I use to, I will eat clean as much as possible and have my little cheats here and there so I can keep my sanity.

How do you deal with cravings for junk foods,
sweets and salty food?

During off-season that's easy, I eat it! But it's usually during my prep that I have the most cravings so I try to drink water or I will eat something that isn't going to throw me off. It gets rough sometimes but it happens to the best of us.

What are your top 3 favorite exercises?

Any Back, Bicep and Shoulder exercises

Do you listen to music while you train?

I absolutely listen to music! I freak out if I forget my headphones and find myself begging people to use theirs if I have forgotten mine or I just go buy a cheap pair. My playlist includes Rihanna (love her!), Staind, 2 Chains, Kanye, Jay-Z, A Perfect Circle, Chevelle and a host of other great artists. Music is essential for me to have a great workout.

What is your training routine like?

My training routine can vary from week to week depending on what I need to work on. I am doing Volume training right now (time under tension) and it is already kicking my ass! I switch up my training every few weeks. Sets are set at 4 right now and the reps are at 10-15 for upper and higher reps for my legs. I do separate muscles areas and give everything 2-3 days of rest. My legs get a full week of rest and I only hit specific parts to make sure that they don't blow up on me. Cardio is always a must so since I am rolling into prep season right now, I get in at least 30-40 minutes and after this weekend I will bump it up to 45-60 minutes. I like to get somewhat of a head start on cardio, because it really does help me keep the weight down and keeps me focused.

Do you set short and long term goals?

I do set goals but there are mostly just to improve after any show. My more important goals involve my actual life outside the sport. I try to keep in mind that this is just a hobby.

What are you most proud of?

I am most proud of the gains I have made over the last 6 years and looking forward to seeing what the future has in store for me in this sport. I am also proud of myself for going after my dreams in life and I am still looking to achieve some of those.

Have you had any obstacles or setbacks towards achieving your goal physique?

The only setback I think I have had are my legs. I ran track and they have always been pretty beefy. So, lucky for me my genetics have allowed me luxuries and I don't even touch them half the time because they have practically built themselves throughout the years.

How do you measure your progress?

PICTURES!! I hate the scale and mirror because my body goes through so much and it's always hard to tell. Don't get me wrong I still use the scale, but pictures are the best way for me to see where my progression is and what still needs to worked on.

Who are your favorite, athletes or fitness models?

I love Brian Urlacher from the Chicago Bears. His drive and motivation is always great to watch. He has always been up there on the list for me.

What supplements would you use/recommend if any?

Optimum Nutrition and Muscle Eggs

What 3 tips would you give to any woman wanting to get a feminine, CutandJacked physique like yours?

  1. Stay motivated! Don't give up just because you don't see results right away. It takes a while but if you keep your eye on the prize you will get there.
  2. Trust and believe in yourself!!  This isn't an easy thing to do, but the benefits of looking and feeling great are the best rewards :)
  3. As always forget about the haters, because you must be doing something right if people are hating on you and what you are doing for yourself.

Essence Monet IFBB Figure Pro

Stats - Height: 5"9, Year of birth: Dec 5, 1984

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