What were the major milestones that gave you that "extra" motivation boost?
I am part owner of a supplement company, Muscle Gauge Nutrition, and announced to my entire company, business associates, and sponsored athletes that I was training to compete. Once I made it official, the accountability was “on” for me to actually do what I said I would. Becoming an example to others gave me the extra motivation boost to see it through when my motivation would wane throughout my competition prep.
What keeps you motivated?
Aside of the personal satisfaction in seeing changes in my figure; I’m a big fan of progress pictures. I take daily progress pictures as my own personal journey and find it incredibly motivating to see such tremendous changes in such a short period of time.
Who were your heroes growing up and how did they help inspire you to get involved with fitness?
When I was 11, my aunt would take me along to Gold's Gym in San Jose, California. I was hooked ever since. She has always been a fitness fanatic and maintains a figure that would make 20 year old's envious for a 46 year old woman. Her ability to keep fit, participate in figure competitions, have a child (and get her pre-baby figure back, and compete again), and just maintain overall health and radiance is an inspiration. Having a role model like this makes working out a no brainer!
Do you supplement your weight training and cardio with any other physical activities?
Outside of the gym, I would supplement my fasted cardio with daily running in the mornings with my pit bull. The companionship and having my running buddy waking me up every day to get the first cardio session done was a great way to mix it up. At least twice a week I would take my HIIT workouts to a high school track and do 200m sprints and 200m recovery repeats with a girl friend. We would actually race each 200m sprint keeping it fun and competitive, while catching up on life during the 200m recovery.
Which do you prefer, and why…stead state cardio or HIIT?
I by all means prefer steady state cardio because I find it to be “relaxing” however; I am firm believer that HIIT is the most effective way to go. Steady state cardio was part of my morning routine during contest prep and HIIT was the evening cardio session. If I only had the time for one cardio session, it was HIIT all the way.
What are the most underrated and overrated muscle building exercises?
Crunches are by far the most overrated muscle building exercises. I worked my abs only 1-2x a week during contest prep and was able to obtain muscle definition simply by eating clean and performing high intensity cardio that utilized my core muscles.
The most underrated muscle building exercise in my opinion is ass to grass squats with light weight and high reps. I would perform these on a smith machine as part of my bonus leg day on weekends and would feel more fatigued after 5-6 sets at no more than 50lbs at 15-20 reps than when I would squat 225lbs for 5-6 reps.
Which workout has worked best for you?
My boyfriend creates my workouts using popular online databases. My favorite and most effective was actually found on Muscle and Strength.com: the 4 Day Power, Muscle Burn Workout Split.
Do you have any gym, muscle building or fitness pet peeves?
Poor form is one of the most awful things to witness in a gym, followed by watching women who think they can spot reduce a specific body part (i.e. doing 1000 crunches once a week is not key to getting a flat stomach). A more systematic approach needs to be taken to fitness and most don’t have the patience and/or wherewithal to seek information that will support real change.
What are your best tips for getting ripped and shredded abs?
It is 100% true that six pack abs are made in the kitchen. Micro-management of food portions is key especially when it comes to carbohydrates. I found it was very easy to underestimate the amount of carbs I was consuming due to a skewed perception of was a serving size actually is. By planning out all my meals and pre-measuring all my servings I saw the most significant changes my body has ever experienced in conjunction with regular cardio and weight training.
What does your post-workout nutrition and supplementation look like?
Within 30 minutes of every weight training session I consumed 2 scoops of Muscle Gauge Nutrition’s Pure Isolate in the unflavored (total of 50 grams of protein). My goal was to reach 125+ grams per day of protein to support lean muscle gains. Since most of my weight training sessions were early evening, I would take another shake of MGN Micellar Casein in Vanilla Bean right before bed and trim down advanced fat burner during the day.
How do you prepare meals? Do you cook daily or cook for the week?
I cook in bulk 2 times a week and cook occasionally throughout the week when I get tired of eating the same foods over and over again. I typically purchase an entire bag of frozen boneless skinless chicken breast, defrost and back in the oven seasoned with fresh garlic, olive oil, and chipotle peppers.
A single bags typically includes 6-7 large chicken breasts. I divide them into 4-6oz portions and include 1 cup of veggies such as kale, asparagus, broccoli, or spinach. My favorite way to prepare veggies is to purchase them fresh from either trader joe’s or whole food and sautéed with olive oil and garlic in bulk.
My favorite complex carbs include brown rice (which is very easy to make in bulk using a rice cooker as well as oven roasted sweet potatoes with olive oil and garlic.
Another great bulk meal is when I purchase a large filleted salmon. This provides about 6, 4-6 oz servings which I cook in the oven and season with salt, ground black pepper, cayenne pepper, and lemon slices. When I do cook sporadically throughout the week it is typically a nice lean steak with vegetables or an egg white omelet of some sort to mix it up.
For convenience, I add Muscle Gauge Nutrition whey protein to my oatmeal for breakfast and take a mid-morning shake, and post-workout shake during contest prep.
What are some of your best diet, nutrition and supplementation tips for someone who wants to get ripped?
To anyone starting a new program, or if you have digressed in your gym schedule, I am a firm believer of gradually adjusting your habits to accommodate a real lifestyle change. I sincerely believe that the “cold turkey” approach to a fitness and nutrition program is setting oneself up for failure because without accommodating for how this routine will fit in with your day to day life, your probability of success with be low. Here are my personal top tips:
- Start consuming whey protein shakes on a daily basis. The most critical element in changing the appearance of one’s physique is the development of lean muscle mass, and those lean muscles are made of protein. You can’t eat French fries and expect to have muscle tone. I use MGN Pure Isolate which is a whey protein that has had all the fats removed by a process called ultra-filtration. In additional consuming protein gives your body a positive nitrogen balance causing your body to utilize fat for energy.
- Pack lunch (Refuse to leave your nutritional choices to the ever evolving circumstances of you day, whether that involves skipping meals or indulging in fast food out of convenience. This is by far the simplest way to stay in top shape.
- Eliminate alcohol (This doesn’t mean forfeiting a social life, however the amount of calories one consumes via social drinking is typically equivalent to 1-2 hours worth of cardio to burn the same amount of calories!)
- Drink green tea (3 cups of green tea per day burns 90 calories)
Which athletes do you admire and why?
When I started my competition prep, my cousin introduced me to Instagram which is a great way to connect with other athletes and fitness models by sharing daily images of progress pictures, workouts, gym life, meals, etc. Through this forum I became a big fan of Melissa Sarah Wee, a truly inspirational and kick-ass personality (Optimum Nutrition sponsored Athlete) that takes no prisoners and is in insane shape, but keeps it real with her daily struggles associate with the sport.
Another athlete I admire is Sophie Guildolin, an Australian fitness model and mother of two who has the most insane figure all year round, not just during competitions. She is by far the most dedicated women I have seen with respect to her diet, workouts, and lifestyle and has the body to back it up. These women are truly inspirational, it was actually an image of Sophie’s abs that inspired me throughout my contest prep for my very first competition.
What are some of your favorite motivational quotes?
“If you have to choose between talent and discipline, choose discipline. Talent is overrated.” – Fred Rodger (advice from my high school art teacher)
If someone wants to connect with you, where can you be found?
- Instagram: @gaugegirl82