What were the major milestones that gave you that "extra" motivation boost?
After 3 years of partying hard in college, I woke up one morning after an exceptionally crazy night with a pounding headache, mysterious cuts and bruises all over and the rolls of my beer-gut squishing together. I realized “I can’t do this anymore”. In that instance, I decided to drop my negative, unhealthy lifestyle and create a new one.
I immediately went out and joined a local gym, threw out all of the horrible junk food in my kitchen and re-evaluated my priorities. No matter how many stupid things I did in college, the fact that I learned lessons from them and was able to take them and change them into something positive, makes them all worth it.
What keeps you motivated?
Honestly, the wonderful messages I get daily from my Tumblr followers are more motivation than I could EVER ask for. Hearing how much I have helped and motivated them overcome their ED’s and develop healthy habits means so much to me. It makes all the time and effort I put into my own health, as well as my blog, all worth it.
Who were your heroes growing up and how did they help inspire you to get involved with fitness and weight training?
My brother and my dad were definitely the ones who inspired me to get involved in fitness. I grew up around bodybuilders thanks to my dad. He took me to the Iron Man Pro Invitational ever since I was a baby. When I was able to hold a camera, he had one in my hand every year photographing the show. I was so intrigued and fascinated by the elite athletes I saw on that stage.
I was proud of all my dad had accomplished in the fitness world. My brother got into fitness well before I did. I was so proud of him for all the hard work he put in to achieve his goals. Seeing that made me want to make HIM proud of ME, the same way I was so proud of him.
What are your future goals, dreams and plans?
I want to further my post-grad education in psychology, specifically as it relates to eating disorders as well as behavioral neuroscience. In the fitness world, I think it would be fun to try my hand at competing or perhaps fitness modeling.
But mainly, I want to inspire as many girls as I possibly can to create healthy habits and a healthy sense of self. That is what my blog is dedicated to and I hope to continue to educate and motivate my followers!
What does your current training and split look like, and what do you like most about it?
My current training split is:
- Monday – Legs
- Tuesday – Delts
- Wednesday – Cardio
- Thursday – Back & Biceps
- Friday – Legs
- Saturday – Chest & Triceps
- Sunday – Rest
Which do you prefer, and why…stead state cardio or HIIT?
I PREFER steady-state cardio, because I enjoy zoning out and enjoying some time with my music. However I believe HIIT has given me better results as far as maintaining muscle while leaning out.
What are some of the most common mistakes made when someone is trying to build muscle and/or get ripped?
Not getting enough sleep and not eating properly. Honestly these are huge. Too many people spend hours at the gym and hundreds of dollars on supplements and they completely forget that sleep and proper nutrition are the most important part of the equation! Of course training is crucial to building muscle, but many people forget that muscle is built OUTSIDE the gym through proper diet and plenty of sleep.
What are some of the biggest training mistakes you’ve made?
At first, lifting too light and doing too much cardio! Later on it turned into too many exercises/sets/reps and not enough recovery between body parts. I guess you could say I went through the full spectrum of newbie mistakes.
I’m still learning, but I feel as though I know now what I’m doing for the most part. However, as with everything in life, there is always more to learn!
Which workout has worked best for you?
When I discovered the glories of free weights, my life was forever changed! Haha. But honestly, my workouts primarily consist of dumbbell and barbell bearing exercises with the occasional cables and machines thrown in. I feel like the stabilization required with free weights gives me a better workout because it requires more muscle fiber activation.
What are your best tips for getting ripped and shredded abs?
Clean up your diet. No matter how many crazy, intense ab workouts you do, you will not be able to see all of your hard work if you have a layer of fat covering them! No amount of crunches will whittle away abdominal fat, PERIOD. Clean up your diet to “get abs”.
What advanced training techniques work well for you?
I use a lot of supersets, drop sets and slow eccentric techniques during my workouts to increase the intensity. I’m not one for long breaks, so these keep me moving and working at a pace I enjoy and has proven beneficial in the development of my physique.
What does your post-workout nutrition and supplementation look like?
My post-workout supplementation consists of a whey and casein protein shake and a small serving of simple carbs, usually rice cakes. About 30 minutes later I’ll have my morning eggs and old-fashioned oatmeal. It’s my morning ritual and I find comfort in having the same thing every day.
How do you prepare meals? Do you cook daily or cook for the week?
I cook in bulk two times a week to keep life as stress and hassle-free as possible! I make my meat and veggies, weigh them, and separate them into individual Tupperware containers. I store them in the fridge (and any excess in the freezer). That way when I’m rushing out the door in the morning to get to work, I don’t have to worry about what I’m going to make or what kind of options will be available once I’m there!
Some of my favorites to make ahead of time are salads (sans dressing so they don’t get soggy of course) and chicken with mixed vegetables.
What are your favorite cheat meals and foods?
Oh dear, where to begin! I adore sushi, Mexican food, pasta and pizza... but I have a seriously strong sweet tooth which is my biggest weakness! I love anything chocolate, you name it; cake, candy, cookies, doughnuts, cupcakes! The list is virtually endless!
Thankfully I have found ways to clean up some of my favorite “cheats” so that I don’t feel deprived.
What are some of your best diet, nutrition and supplementation tips for someone who wants to look good and get ripped?
Find a way of eating that you can stick with for the LONG TERM. In other words, don’t try crazy fad diets. By making healthy, clean eating a lifestyle, it will be so much easier to reach your goals! Health is a marathon, not a sprint!
What are your favorite meals and foods?
I enjoy my morning eggs and old-fashioned oatmeal with Stevia and cinnamon. I also love chicken, salmon, yams and Ahi tuna.
Workout music – Don’t care, or MP3 player?
I love listening to music while training. My playlist ranges from death metal, to hip hop, to dubstep to pop! I’m not picky... if it has a good beat and motivating lyrics, I like it!
If someone wants to connect with you, where can you be found?
- Tumblr - http://muffintop-less.tumblr.com/
- Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/MuffinTopL3SS
- Twitter - @MuffinTop_Less