Personal trainer. Mother of 3. Domestic goddess. Gym addict. That's how the iron angel, Pamela Jones describes herself. She placed second in her first fitness bikini contest, and third in her first figure competition, and is one of the most popular fitness personalities on the Internet. Pamela is also a Muscle Ink model.
Muscle & Strength: Pamela, you are a mother of 3 and in such incredible shape. What are your secrets? Every mom right now is looking at your picture and asking, how can I look like her? How can they look like you? What does it take?
Pamela Jones: Ok steve...here ya go... It definitely takes dedication. It requires attention to the foods you put in your body. You need to eat foods that fuel your body, and speed up your metabolism. It's important to cut sugar and white flour from your diet. They have no nutritional value and only slow down your metabolism and causes your body to store fat rather than burn it. Also the right amount of protein is a vital factor in having a great lean body with great muscle tone.
I drink two protein shakes per day. One pre-workout and one post-workout. I suggest 1 gram of protein per body weight to get the adequate amount. I also eat lean cuts of meat such as sirloin which is packed full of protein and aminos. Chicken and vegetables are a main staple. Also tuna and salmon are great choices. I also love boiled eggs and cottage cheese.
Now for the second part to how I stay in shape. I do 45 minutes of cardio 5 days a week at a high intensity. I lift heavy as I can 5 days per week splitting upper and lower body parts this way I continue to grow in strength and burn fat. I stay away from alcohol too since I have found it ruins my gains. I drink a gallon of water per day. I take a multivitamin for active women. Extra vitamin C, fish and flax oil. I promise if your faithful and true to yourself in the gym and what you choose to eat, you can have the body you want.
Muscle & Strength: As a mother, how does your nutritional approach influence what your children eat? Do they find what you eat to be plain and boring, or to they eat more healthy because of you? Most mothers would say, my kids only want to eat mac and cheese and chicken nuggets...
Pamela Jones: As a mother who is always concerned about my own nutrition I'm even more concerned about my children. I was taught by my Mother who was a natural supplement distributor and a very clean eater as well as a fitness enthusiast how important it was to not consume certain foods so my health would remain optimal. This list had items such as sugar, white flour, and fried foods and foods colored with food coloring. I follow these rules with my own children.
I pack their lunches with healthy subs on whole wheat with healthy cuts of lean unprocessed meats and all the healthy fixings. They have fruit and salads and cold bottled water. I would not want my kids to eat the food offered by there school. They lack nutrition. My kids never find my food dull or boring. As a matter of fact the love eating healthy and have been doing it since they started eating as babies.
I also never bought baby food, but always steamed fresh veggies like broccoli and carrots and pureed them myself. I always have fresh salsa in the house because they love to eat my salsa that is packed with antioxidants I might add...with baked home made chips. I'm a healthy chef and my family is healthy because of it. We're never sick and stay at healthy weight. That's my responsibility as a mother to teach my children proper nutrition and eating habits.
Muscle & Strength: How has your mother influenced how you approach supplementation? And what supplements do you use?
Pamela Jones: I learned at a very young age from my mother's teaching, probably 12 years old, that it was hard to get the proper nutrition from food alone. Although we ate clean and natural way back in the 1980's. I was still aware that I needed a daily vitamin with all the RDA's being met. As I child I was never sick - and I do mean never. Nor was my mother or my other family members.
I know for a fact this is due to the vitamin supplements I have taken since I was young. Right now I take a woman's active formula daily with all the RDA's and some extra minerals for women. I take extra calcium, extra C. I also take fish oil, and flax seed oil. I take aminos. I take a chondroitin as well for my joints and flexibility. I drink two-three protein shakes per day always sure to get 1 gram per body pound. I also take a hair skin and nail formula as well as my b-6 and b-12. I take chromium picolinate to keep blood sugar levels normal.
Muscle & Strength: Are there any supplements that you feel are highly underrated?
Pamela Jones: Chromium picolinate. You are covering a critical but usually-overlooked nutritional base. You need chromium in order to use insulin as efficiently as possible, but unless you have a bizarre diet, food won’t supply optimal amounts and your multi may not have that much either. Perhaps many people tune out when they hear the word “insulin”, believing incorrectly that insulin is only important to diabetics. But insulin holds the key to a robust metabolism and lean healthy physique for everyone.
If that’s the kind of body you want, with high, sustained energy levels also, then you want to do the same thing diabetics need to do, which is keep blood sugar and insulin levels low and stable around the clock. But you can’t do that unless you’re cutting out the refined carbs and sweets, eating small protein and fat meals 5-6 times a day and getting enough chromium. If you’re dieting and exercising properly but the fat is just not coming off, or if you crave carbs, or if your energy level is up and down all day, make sure you’re not overlooking chromium and vitamin D.
After being more or less ignored for decades, there has been an explosion of interest and research into vitamin D recently. “Vitamin D” actually functions as a hormone in the body. Vitamin D is an important regulator of the immune system and many other vital processes. But you don’t get much from food, and unless you’re out in the sun everyday, you can’t make optimal amounts.
That’s bad news for anyone not taking a vitamin D supplement, since low vitamin D levels are associated with everything from higher rates of mortality to higher rates of cancer. Besides being important biologically, vitamin D is extremely inexpensive, small and easy-to-take. So unless you’re a lifeguard, farmer or otherwise outside every day, you’re either taking vitamin D or overlooking vitamin D.
Muscle & Strength: I heard it mentioned that because of your great conditioning that you are often asked... "Do you workout." How does this attention keep you motivated and focused?
Pamela Jones: Well let's keep it real and honest. I live for the compliments and it definitely is a huge motivation for me. I love attention so that's just another reason to work out harder. I have a lot of people that look up to my fitness status too so that's a big responsibility that I take very seriously. I can't tell you how many times I have been told I'm the reason they keep coming to the gym and that makes me feel so good. It really motivates me on the days I feel like skipping the gym. I know I need to be there for my health and fitness as well as for the others I inspire.
Muscle & Strength: How do you handle cheat meals or what dome call "dirty" food? Do you schedule cheat days? And how flexible is your diet during the "off season"?
Pamela Jones: I do have cheat days if I'm within by desired weight at the time. I cheat once a week. I never eat fast food or serve it too my family. Cheat food for me is usually still pretty healthy. If I'm training for a competition or getting ready for a photo shoot I never cheat. I love peanut butter and jelly as a cheat food and also Mexican food of all kinds. I love a big breakfast with sirloin steak and eggs, potatoes and wheat toast. Those are my favorite cheats. I steer clear of sugar because I deem it my enemy. It makes my skin look bad and my body unhealthy in many ways. I also get headaches if I eat sugar.
Muscle & Strength: You mentioned that you lift heavy 5 days a week. How long have you trained this way, and what advice do you have for women who want to "tone" but simply won't consider using heavy weights and barbell and dumbbell exercises?
Pamela Jones: I have been lifting heavy for about a year and it has really changed my body. I have more muscle and less fat. I'm 110 lbs and I'm lean and muscular. If I gain bodyfat then I tend to look more bulky. Women can't get big like a man and if they do it's because they are taking something to get this way. I tell my clients not to be afraid to lift heavy because it burns fat and builds lean muscle. If a women just doesn't want to lift then I would suggest working out with resistant training. Such as bands.
Muscle & Strength: What are your goals for the upcoming year, and beyond?
Pamela Jones: My goals for the upcoming year are to be spiritually and physically fit. Also to compete in my first NPC show placing in bikini and figure, and earning my NPC pro card. I also want to help my clients and friends meet their fitness goals. I want to continue to get in better shape and become even stronger. I plan on eating very clean so I can have optimum health and also imparting the importance of proper nutrition and exercise to my children and family.