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I know many competitors come from a sports background but I am not one of them. Long story short, I was living a destructive lifestyle at an early age, went to rehab when I was 20 years old and after that is when I started lifting weights because I wanted to turn my life around and be healthy. Weightlifting changed my life and has been my passion ever since. Two years after I started lifting weights, I saw Mary Lado at the gym where I trained and knew that I wanted to look like her. I did my first show later that year in 2006.
The best way for me to stay motivated is by having a certain goal to focus on, such as a competition. And I cannot stress enough the importance of having a good attitude. When it comes to dieting and competing, the mental aspect is huge and your attitude will either set you up for success or failure. I stay positive and surround myself with people that also have positive energy.
I do 20-45 minutes of fasted morning cardio when I am prepping for a show depending on my conditioning. This will either consist of incline treadmill walking or the step mill which are both great for tightening up the hams and glutes.
My favorite would have to be weighted sled pushes which I do twice a week. I recently incorporated this into my training and I enjoy it because it is challenging.
I do not have any favorite healthy recipes. I tend to eat the same foods and I will keep it simple. But if I happen to be craving something specific then I will eat it on my designated cheat day. I think it is fine to do this in moderation.
Here is a sample of my diet during contest prep:
Non-Training Day Menu
Training Day Menu
My coach is a huge proponent of weekly cheat meals so that helps me keep my cravings in check. My weekly cheat is almost always a burger. It will either be a peanut butter bacon burger or a burger with barbeque sauce and bacon. I also have a weakness for anything sweet and I am borderline obsessed with French macarons.
I really like seated military press for shoulders because I think it is a great exercise for overall mass development. I think deep squats are awesome for building bigger glutes when executed properly. I think pull ups are a great back developer and can also be done with many different variations.
I like pretty much everything. Avenged Sevenfold, Shakira, Third Eye Blind, Pearl Jam, Metallica and everything in between.
My current training consists of working out each body part once a week except for legs and shoulders which I will do twice a week. I also have two days off from lifting. Most of my training is heavy with an aim of around 8 reps but no more than 10. I will also incorporate 5 second negatives on certain exercises just to switch things up a bit from time to time.
My future short term goals are to win a pro show and qualify to compete at the Olympia. My long term goal outside of competing is to go back to school for a doctorate degree in anesthesia.
My most proud gym related moment would be placing 1st in class B figure at the 2013 USAs and earning my IFBB pro status. Outside of the gym, I am most proud of recently earning my bachelor’s degree in nursing.
An obstacle for me has been trying to balance my competition life with being a full-time nursing student. I tried my best to balance everything but at the same time knowing that school will always come first.
I use the mirror, scale and performance to gauge my progress. And additionally, how my clothes fit.
I am a big fan of Kai Greene because he is so passionate about bodybuilding and he comes across as being very humble. I also really admire Dana Linn Bailey and Nicole Wilkins because they are both classy and awesome role models for women.
Amino Acids are a must for me whether I am off-season or getting ready for a competition. During the off-season they will assist in building muscle and will also help to keep those muscle gains when dieting. My intraworkout drink consists of BCAAs, Glycofuse and Strive which maximizes muscle growth during training. If I am getting ready for a competition, I will combine caffeine and Yohimbine prior to my morning fasted cardio. The caffeine is for a boost and the Yohimbine works very well at leaning down the lower body trouble areas for women. Lastly, I am very picky about which protein powder I use. I put my protein powder in my oatmeal so it has to taste awesome. My two favorite protein powders on the market are Muscle Gauge Nutrition and Divine Nutrition, both in the cinnamon bun flavor. I also really like Physique Enhancing Science Select protein in the snickerdoodle flavor.
The best advice I can give someone just starting out is not to compare themselves to anyone else. Strive to be better than your former self every time you compete. This is a long process that will challenge you and teach you discipline. The secret to results is being consistent with diet and training.
Year of birth: 1983 Weight: 110 lbs (contest) Height: 5’1”)
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