Posted 05 July 2012 by Interview:

IFBB Pro Rachael Labender


How and when did you get started with training?

I took a weights class in high school and fell in love with lifting weights! I continued to do what I knew in the gym as well as purchasing tons of infomercial exercise DVDs (what's up Billy Blanks!) until my sophomore year in college when I saw a friend getting amazing results from her trainer. So I decided to go to that gym (BYB Fitness) and sign up! Seeing competition and modeling pictures of clients on the walls inspired me to start prepping for my first bikini show in July 2010. I've been training and competing ever since!

How do you stay motivated?

I set meaningful goals and make sure that I keep my mind, body, and spirit in balance. Having balance is key for avoiding burnout and staying motivated. Which, to me, means to always do things that make you happy. Making workouts fun by hiring a trainer and going outside works well for me. To stay motivated on my diet, knowing I want to perform my workouts well and have energy is motivation enough! Whenever I find myself in a funk, I talk with a loved one and they help me put my head back on straight ;)

What types of cardio have worked best for you?

HIIT! It's the only kind I enjoy and it works the best. Steady state works, but I hate it by itself. I only do it after I train. I like to run outside whenever I'm not training... Hiking, track drills, trails. I also like to dance around my room lol.

Do you have a favourite healthy recipe?

Any variation of a protein pancake because it's easy and awesome! Lately my favorite is 4 whites, 1/2-cup wheat bran, stevia, cinnamon, and (the best part) topped with PB2 and sugar free syrup. I cook it fritatta style because I suck at flipping.

What does your diet consist of?

It varies, but right now it's..

  • Breakfast: 4 whites, 1/2-cup wheat bran, 1 tbsp PB2. Sometimes a few berries
  • Snack: banana, shake
  • Lunch: 4oz protein, 1/2cup carbs, veggies
  • Snack: 6oz Greek yogurt (or a shake if I'm working)
  • Dinner: 4oz protein, veggies OR a casein shake with 1 tbsp PB2
  • Snack: Shiritaki noodles or veggies

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

Cry! Lol just jokin.. I try to get my mind to stop thinking about it by reading or something. When that doesn't work, I can get pretty creative in the kitchen. There's nothing a little stevia and cinnamon can't fix ;)

What are your top 3 favourite exercises?

That is such a hard one because there are SO many I love! But if I had to choose 3 they would be... Squat variations, pull-ups (specifically, to "in da club"), and burpees.

Do you listen to music whilst you train?

Music is a must! I'm always freshening up my ipod with new music. It gets me excited to do work! I love anything with a great beat. Right now my jam is Snapbacks and Tattoos.

What is your training routine like?

Right now I train 3-4 times a week with my trainer and we do high reps and mostly plyos. Emphasizing glutes and hams always.. Sometimes we throw a little WOD action in there which I LOVE because the time pressure makes me go nuts. Whatever we do, it's always HIIT style to keep me burning fat... Reps go until I cry. Rest is enough to grab a sip of water. Then I'll do about 45min post cardio. When I'm not training with him I will do sprints at the track or go hiking. I usually take Sundays completely off. When I'm prepping for a show I add in morning cardio everyday before breakfast.

A sample of one of my fat blasting glute workout (when I train myself):

  • Warm up
  • 3 sets of traveling squat jumps down a hall
  • Circuit 1- 3 rounds
  • Smith machine single leg deadlift- 10 on each leg
  • Out and in squat jumps-30
  • Single leg press- 10 each leg
  • Hip abduction- 30
  • Jump rope/run on treadmill for 2 min
  • Circuit 4 - 3 rounds
  • Single leg squats- 20
  • Out and ins squat jumps w/box-30
  • Leg press half reps- 20
  • Hip adduction- 30
  • Jump rope/run for 2 min

Do you set short and long term goals?

Yes, goals keep me focused and motivated! My constant goal is always to be better than I was yesterday. Short-term goals are shows, photo shoots, vacations etc. Long-term goal is to live to be at least 100. My current goal is to be ready for the Phoenix Suns dance team tryouts! I'm SO excited!!

What are you most proud of?

I'm most proud of my independence and ambition. I am definitely a go-getter! My most proud accomplishment in this industry is winning my pro card at my very first show at the 2010 USAs and seeing my trainer freak out in the audience. Very surreal and amazing moment in my life! Also, representing and CytoSport as a sponsored athlete is such an honor. I am blessed to be a part of their teams so early in my career!

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

Yeah... life! Stress and dealing with it in the wrong ways a.k.a stopping caring about my diet and training because I have so many other things going on. Then all of a sudden, boom you're ten pounds heavier than you want to be. THAT is an obstacle in and of itself in your mind. Never ever give up!

How do you measure your progress?

I always go by the mirror and performance. If I went by the scale I would have
a heart attack lol.

Who are your favourite, athletes
or fitness models?

Pauline Nordin for her diet, discipline, knowledge, and hilariousness. My new fave is celebrity trainer Ashley Conrad because I feel like we have the same training principles and style.

What supplements would you use/recommend if any?

Whey isolate, fish oil, multi, vitamin c, vitamin d3 + calcium, antioxidants, and probiotics.

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

Be patient, set a meaningful goal so deep that your heart feels it everyday,
and surround yourself with love.

Rachael Labender

Year of birth: 1987, Weight: 117, Height: 5'2


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