Posted 31 December 2011 by Interview:

IFBB Bikini Pro Heather Nappi

Weight: Competing: 123. Offseason: 127 Height: 5’6

What sparked your interest in training?

I attended my first NPC event in May 2010, which sparked my interest in possibly competing. Since I have been an athlete my whole life I figured I would try out a new sport. I hired Nicole Wilkins for my first 3-month competition prep and she helped me lose over 20 pounds to compete in my first show. When I stepped on stage for the first time I loved it and knew I was hooked. When my contest prep ended with Nicole, I joined and currently train with Team Bombshell.

Are you or have you ever been a cardio bunny
and avoided the free-weight section?

NEVER!! I am a cardio bunny, but I always hit the weights—I love it. Women should definitely weight train. Cardio is important but weight training is just as important if not more. Women are afraid of getting “bulky” if they weight train, but this is not true. Hitting the weights will help tone and shape your muscles, whereas if you just do cardio alone you will lose weight but will not have that toned physique. Also, the more muscle you have the more calories you burn and what woman does not want that!

How long do you spend in the gym during
a typical workout?

On a typical day my weight training will take anywhere from 30-40 minutes and then I will usually do an hour of cardio. If I am close to a competition I will go back later that same day for a second session of cardio, which is also an hour.

Do you listen to music while you train?

YES!!! Music definitely helps pump me up and get me through my workouts, especially on the days where I am lacking energy. Some of my favorite tunes are: Flo Rida, Good Feeling; Jay Z and Kanye West, Watch the Throne; and DJ Khaled, All I Do is Win.

What are you most proud of?

I am definitely proud of changing my lifestyle and becoming a healthier and happier me. I am also proud to say that I accomplished this while being a full time law student and I just graduated from Thomas Cooley Law School with my Juris Doctorate this past September. Mostly, I am proud that my story has inspired and helped others to go after their fitness goals.

What’s the longest break you’ve had from training?

Break? What is that? Just kidding. After a competition I usually take 3-4 days off from training to give my body a break. That is about as long as I can go. However, I have learned that taking these breaks are essential especially when you are prepping for shows that are few weeks apart.

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

I believe that we all have obstacles when going after our goals, nothing in life that is worthwhile comes easy. For a competitor or even someone trying to lose weight, hitting a plateau is always frustrating. Sometimes I hit a plateau if I compete in shows that are a few weeks apart. Luckily, my trainers switch up my diet and training to help prevent this but sometimes it is inevitable. If switching up your diet and training does not work maybe your body is telling you that you just need a break for a couple days. Sometimes taking a break helps more than it will hurt.

We know consistency is key, what tips would you
give to anyone struggling to stay consistent?

1. Stick to a plan: having something written down, whether it is your diet and/or training will help keep you on track and prevent distractions.

2. When it comes to consistency in your physique switching up your training and/or diet or pushing yourself harder at the gym may help keep that consistency or even take you to the next level.

3. Do not get discouraged. We all mess up sometimes. Forget about it and move on. If you dwell too much on it, it may hinder your progress.

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

If I have a craving I will drink a lot of water or hot tea to try to fill up my stomach. I drink hot tea because sometimes I just need a little flavor to satisfy my craving and that usually does the trick. If you cannot keep the cravings at bay, choose a healthy snack rather than going out and binging on junk food. It will satisfy the craving without hindering your progress like binge eating would.

Who are your favorite athletes or fitness models?

The athletes I looked up to when I was training for my first competition were Jamie Baird, Nathalia Melo, and Nicole Wilkins. Even though I have earned my pro card I still look up to these inspirational women. Since I play volleyball, Misty May and Kerri Walsh are two of my favorite athletes as well.

What types of cardio have worked best for you?

I have found that weight training, plyometrics, and high intensity interval training work best for me. Not only does it tone and shape my muscles but all three involve cardiovascular exercise. However, what works best for one person may not work for another so stick to what works for you.

What is your training routine like?

Monday: Glutes/Quads
Tuesday: Chest/Shoulders/Triceps
Wednesday: Hamstrings
Thursday: Back/Biceps
Friday: Glutes
Saturday: Cardio only
Sunday: off

I currently do cardio six days a week but this will change
once my competition season starts.

What does your diet consist of?

My diet usually consists of 6 small meals per day. Each including a lean protein (like fish, chicken, or turkey), a complex carb (brown rice, sweet potato, etc.) and a green veggie (spinach, peas, green beans, etc.). My diet will usually change a bit, as I get closer to a competition.

What supplements would you use/recommend if any?

A lot of women ask for my opinion on fat burners. What I suggest is find out which one works best for you since everyone’s body reacts differently. Whey protein is also great when you are on the go and cannot grab a meal, but do not make it too much of a habit. Lastly, taking your basic vitamins and minerals is a must and will keep you healthy during your competition prep.

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

1. Dedication and hard work: Stick to a plan and follow it daily. Anyone can train, but sticking to your meal plan is the hardest part. Abs are not made in the gym but in the kitchen. This is a lifestyle.

2. Do not be afraid to weight train: weight training will not get you “bulky” but will help tone your muscles and give some shape to your physique.

3. Treat yourself to a cheat meal: one cheat meal per week will not hurt you (yes only one!). Having a cheat meal will actually shock your body so it is good to sit down, have a nice meal, and enjoy yourself. This will also give you something to look forward to.

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