What is your athletic background, how did you get involved with figure and bikini?
Was the ultimate tomboy growing up and involved in all sports including cheerleading, basketball, golf, cross country, and softball which I earned a scholarship to college on. It wasn't until I finished college that I got a membership at a local gym. Seeing changes that we all face as we get older I knew it was time to kick it in the gym. I was just your typical gym rat who did a lot of aerobics classes and cardio but never doing much free weights.
I was approached by two trainers to see if I had ever thought about competing with my first reaction being "NEVER!!!" I didn't want to bulk up which was my initial vision of bodybuilding. Soon after a snow skiing accident led me to ACL surgery and this is where my story begins, which was filled with recovery, determination and setting the ultimate goals.
What do you love most about competing?
The thing I love the most...that adrenaline rush you thought you would never have after the fun school years filled with sports and comradery.
What were the major milestones that gave you that "extra" motivation boost?
The biggest was rehab from ACL surgery. Learning how to walk again was very difficult and I knew I had to push myself to get back into great shape. My very first trainers, surrounding myself with people in the fitness industry that I could relate to and top fitness models.
What keeps you motivated?
Setting GOALS...never too big or small for me. If I set goals its that sense of accomplishment that keeps me going.
Who were your heroes and how did they help inspire you to get involved with fitness?
Jamie Eason, was who I was introduced to in a calendar, motivated my decision to get started in the fitness industry. She is still my idol today and I have had the honor of getting to know her personally as well. Lori Harder is another inspirational leader for me too. Not only do I adore working with her at the big events such as the Arnold and Olympia but she is an amazing cook, competitor and just an all around respected fitness model.
What are your future goals, dreams and plans?
After 10 years of working in the flooring industry as an interior decorating, fitness was something I did on the side and now I am preparing to move from my home town of 26 years to pursue fitness full time. Complete online training services, one on one personal training, continuing my position as a Bodypump and Zumba instructor and many more ideas to come that I cant wait to share one day!!!
What does your current training and split look like, and what do you like most about it?
I am currently training with Cathy Savage Fitness which consists of weights and cardio that build speed, endurance and strength. I group muscles together working them 4 days and week and cardio five days a week. Diversity is key in training and Cathy Savage training defines that. My body is constantly being shocked and my muscles continue to advance in the direction I need to shine on stage.
How often do you perform cardio?
5 days a week mixing up high intensity and low intensity. Every week I try to do a totally different cardio set to keep my body working in different ways and the biggest thing so it doesn't get boring.
Do you supplement your weight training and cardio with any other physical activities?
I am a Bodypump and Zumba instructor so I definitely get a great workout there but I love my 2 nights a week of Yoga. Of all the craziness with my schedule, yoga zones me out to relax and release any stress.
How often do you change your training routine, and do you periodize your training?
Change is GOOD!!! As I quoted earlier, the body can get use to the workout and that's why we hit a plateau. Even if it's the smallest like adding or taking away weight, or adding pushups at the end of each set. Anything to change up what you're used to doing.
What are your thoughts on fasted cardio?
Definitely not a believer in fasted cardio. Water and food equals energy. You have to get the body hydrated along with some carbs before for time released energy. I never do any workout without taking in food and water at least 30 minutes prior.
Which do you prefer, and why…stead state cardio or HIIT?
HIIT for sure. Gets my heart rate up and down which burns calories and fat quicker.
What are some of your best training tips for someone who wants to get ripped, but doesn’t want to compete?
Eat clean, incorporate at least 3 days of cardio a week along with weight training.
Do you have any gym or fitness pet peeves?
Probably the only two things for me are music and machine hogs. I love loud music even though it may bother others, but music gets my adrenaline up, making it energetic and setting the tone for a great workout.
What does your post-workout nutrition and supplementation look like?
I eat 6 meals a day consisting of protein, veggies, carbs, good fats and fruits. Of course they are portion controlled but I like to diet with healthy foods and just multivitamins. That's why I love working with Cathy Savage Fitness.
What does your off-season eating plan look like?
My off season weight only fluctuates about 5 pounds so I still love to eat clean but I add a little more carbs to the plan.
What does your cutting diet plan look like?
Limiting carbs on specific times of day, incorporating more protein, limiting sugar and adding different workout routines to go with the diet. They go hand in hand.
How do you prepare meals? Do you cook daily or cook for the week?
Sundays are usually my days to cook all food. But I get up 30-45 minutes prior to normal wake up to weigh food and box them up for a full work day, that way your in the zone and doesn't open the door for cheating yourself.
What are thoughts cycles of bulking and cutting for non-competitors who just want to look good?
Long term it's not the healthiest route to choose. The body couldn't handle the nutrition incorporated with withouts.
What are your favorite cheat meals and foods?
I crave PANCAKES!!! My Facebook fans, friends and family know this is my weakness!!! That's why I am all the time posting healthy recipes for pancakes...hehe. Keeps me motivated to stay away from the "bad" ones.
What are your thoughts of niche diet approaches like the Paleo Diet, Adkins' Diet, Keto runs, the Warrior Diet, Intermittent Fasting, etc.?
I think they only work so long. My personal opinion: stick to the BASICS. Proper portions of protein, fruits, veggies, and carbs and make it a lifestyle change.
What are some of the biggest training mistakes you’ve made?
OVERDOING it... I am probably not the only one with this problem. We get it in our head that we have to kill workouts and dieting harder when all we have to do is balance our meals with the workouts the right way
What does your current supplementation plan look like?
What are your favorite meals and foods?
I love my breakfast! Oatmeal, egg whites, any fruit, Ezekiel bread. My favorite to to combine different things so I can make some pretty crazy meals! Hehe.
How important is nutrient timing for performance and/or building muscle?
HUGE! When not taken properly it can destroy an effective workout and create problems such as rest, health, etc.
Workout music – Don’t care, or MP3 player?
Pandora "Chemical Brothers radio" for cardio, Latin for Zumba classes I teach, heavy metal or alternative for weights. I am a music freak and it pushes me through an aggressive or light workout.
What are some of your favorite motivational quotes?
Those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.
"Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” - Vince Lombardi.
If someone wants to connect with you, where can you be found?
www.brookenicolefitness.com or FACEBOOK: Brooke Nicole Fitness http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/brookenicolefitness.
Do you have any tips for someone who is looking to compete in your sport?
Go for it! The biggest thing is hire a good trainer! That's what I did which has got me to where I am now! Always search the top competitors and study them. They are the top for a reason.
What attracts you to the natural side of sports and competition?
Determination, overcoming fear, discipline, appreciation for food, I can go on and on...these are just a few words that describes my attraction.
Favorite activities and hobbies you enjoy when away from the gym?
Love adventure races consisting of mountain biking, running, surprise obstacles, decorating, of course manicures/pedicures, chillin with my friends!
Movies and TV shows you’ve enjoyed recently?
The Office, love dance shows, this season of American Idol, I am all about funny movies and suspense.
Funniest thing you’ve seen at the gym recently?
Watching people use equipment and form. You can see some pretty "off the wall" moves. I did have a lady in my Zumba class go straight into split form and busted some moves...the biggest highlight for me as an instructor
Which college or professional sports teams do you root for?
Alabama Football baby! Even though I'm moving to Arizona my heart will always be for Bama.