Amy Sutter Athlete Profile

Amy Sutter recently won her first female bodybuilding competition.
Amy Sutter

Quick Stats

  • Amy Sutter
  • 1970
  • Greenville, SC
  • 5'1¾"
  • 111 lbs
  • 1
  • Arms
  • Preacher Curls
  • Glutamine

Your Background

Competition History

  • 2010 NPC Stewart Fitness Bodybuilding Championships placed 3rd in the Light Weight category and 2nd in Masters category (September 18, 2010).
  • 2010 The Big Shott Classic October 23, 2010. Novice competitor. 1st Place Overall.

Each workout is an effort to chisel.What is your background and how did you get started in bodybuilding?

I’ve been “into” fitness since my senior year in college and took that to the next level, after graduating, by obtaining my Group Fitness Instructor Certification (1993-Present) through the American Council on Exercise (A.C.E.), among other fitness certifications: kick boxing (1999-2003), personal trainer (2003-2005) through the International Sports Conditioning Association (ISCA) and indoor cycling instructor certification through the Nautilus Institute (2009-Present). I currently maintain the A.C.E. Group Fitness Instructor and indoor cycling instructor certifications by obtaining continuing education credits every two years. So, I’ve trained both aerobically and weight trained since 1993.

I’ve always been intrigued with competitive bodybuilding, viewing the body as “sculpture”, and finally pursued it seriously. I followed a recommendation to contact a husband and wife team whose expertise is competition preparation, Jim and Marie Ann Newman, owners/operators of Custom Fitness ( located in Greenville, SC. Both have competed in bodybuilding and Marie Ann (A.K.A “Mo”) is currently an IFBB professional figure athlete and fitness model.

I signed on as a member of their “Dream Team” in preparation for my first competition mentioned above. The entire experience was INCREDIBLE! I documented the process and transformation on a blog that I created –, which includes my story, the transition process, recipes, results and pictures.

Why do you love bodybuilding?

I love bodybuilding because I equate it to a sculptor creating a masterpiece, each workout is an effort to chisel and define, revealing the underlying muscle structure. Of course the “fuel plan” that accompanies the workout is critical to the “unveiling” of that muscle. I love the creative aspects associated with designing workouts and developing new recipes that keep the “fuel plan” extremely tasty, while keeping the eats squeaky CLEAN too!


What is your training philosophy?

First and foremost make it fun and full of variety! If you get “stuck in a rut” your results will too. The body adapts quickly to routine movements, therefore continuing to change exercises is critical to keep shocking the muscles so that they will be “inspired” to breakdown and build up.

Since I’m just entering my first “off season”, my training routine has yet to be completely established and will evolve as it begins, after my October 23rd competition. However, I am not without some direction regarding how to formulate my training regimen. Based on recommendations from my Custom Fitness Trainers along with the judges’ feedback I received after having competed in my first competition, the 2010 NPC Stewart Fitness Bodybuilding Championships, I know I need to focus most of my efforts on legs, lats and glutes. I have also learned that I am going to need to back off on the amount of cardio I have been doing and increase circuit weight training sessions for those efforts to pay big dividends.

training: First and foremost make it fun and full of variety!

What's a good workout routine that has given you results?

  • Monday - Shoulder Blast, Abs and Cardio.
  • Tuesday - Biceps, Triceps, Abs and Cardio.
  • WednesdayLegs, Glutes, Abs and Circuit Cardio.
  • Thursday - Chest, Abs and Cardio.
  • Friday - BackAbs and Circuit Cardio.
  • Saturday - OFF.
  • Sunday - OFF - Stretching.
Shoulder Blast and Abs
Exercise Notes
Shoulder Blast

A superset of frontal raises, bent arm lateral raises, upright rows, extended arm lateral raises, ½ “T” raise and “Full T” raises.

3 sets of the exercise mix, 15 reps of each exercise in the mix….45 seconds rest between sets.

Best to start off with light weight dumbbells 5lbs and then increase weight if shoulders aren’t burnin’.

Abs Adjustable incline bench. Straight, left and right - 40 reps each. Reverse incline, extended leg raises – 40 reps. Set bench at challenging incline. (I set at highest rung and use 10lb ball).
Arms and Abs
Exercise Sets Reps
Preacher Curls 3  
Dumbbell Curls 3  
Cable Curls 3  
Tricep Cable Pressdowns 3  
Dumbbell Kick Backs 3  
One Arm Overhead Tricep Extension 3  
Cable Crunch on Exercise Ball 3 Straight, Left & Right 30
Legs, Glutes and Abs
Exercise Sets Reps
Smith Machine Squat 3  
Hack Squat (Superset w/Calf Raise) 3  
Calf Raise 3  
Stiff Leg Deadlift 3  
Hanging Knee Raise 3 40
Decline Sit Up 3-4 20
Chest and Abs
Exercise Sets Reps
Bench Press (Superset w/Push ups) 3  
Wide Arm Push Ups 3  
Reverse Incline Bench Press (Superset w/Push ups) 3  
Narrow Arm Push Ups 3  
Pec Dec 3  
Dumbbell Pullovers 3 15
Cable Crunches 3 Each Direction 30
Back and Abs
Exercise Sets Reps
Seated Cable Row 3 15
Lat Pull Down 3 15
Low Row Machine 3 15
High Row Machine 3 15
Pull Ups 3 15
Knee Pull Ins 3 40
Side Twists 3 100

Carbs should be kept to a minimum.Cardio schedule:

  • Monday - Run 5.3 miles outside.
  • Tuesday - 30 min wave machine w/sprint intervals. 2.5 min decent pace / 2.5 min sprint (5 sprints total).
  • Wednesday - Overhead barbell lunges / scissors-leg jump squats / imaginary chair isometric holds. 1 to 2 min hold on imaginary chair exercise. Rotate through exercises as fast as possible, while maintaining good form.
  • Thursday - 1 hour spin class.
  • Friday - Jump rope / reverse lunge front kicks / suicides. 3 to 4 sets - 2 to 5 minutes jumping rope, 10 to 15 reverse lunge front kicks and suicides. Cycle through the exercises without resting. Rest 40 seconds between sets.
  • Saturday - OFF
  • Sunday - 1 hour stretch – Entire body from head to toe…literally. 

If you have to pick only 3 exercises, what would they be and why?

  1. Close Grip Bench Press – Works chest and triceps.
  2. Hack Squat – Works quads, hamstrings and glutes.
  3. Pull Ups – Works back and biceps.

What is the best training tip you can give to others?

Don’t OVER DO IT! Incorporate rest into the mix. (I should probably take more of my own advice)


What is your philosophy on nutrition?

The “FUEL PLAN” is the KEY component to obtaining muscular definition. The fuel plan design should incorporate whole food sources of protein, carbohydrates, and fats. The protein category should consist of egg whites, chicken breasts, fresh, preferably wild and mostly white varieties of fish, including white albacore canned tuna packed in water.

Carbohydrates should be kept to a minimum in the form of high fibrous content sources such as sweet potatoes, brown rice and breads made with organic sprouted whole grains (i.e. wheat, barley, millet, spelt, brown rice, and lentils) and seeds, the likes of amaranth, flax, pumpkin, quinoa and sunflower. Fat intake in the form of nuts, nut butters, avocado and extra virgin olive oil, or coconut oil

Give us a typical day in your off season diet:

Again, my “off-season” is under construction and will be evolving. But I plan to increase my caloric intake, add back low-fat dairy and one or two more fruits per day, concentrating on maintaining clean sources of fuel.

Give us a typical day in your diet (contest prep):

  • Breakfast: 7 egg whites with sauteed veggies (spinach, onion, mushrooms, & salsa), 2 slices turkey bacon, half of an Ezekiel bread cinnamon raisin English muffin and black coffee.
  • Meal #2: 1- 7 ounce can of albacore tuna packed in water drained and then blended with hot sauce, chili garlic sauce, curry, celery seeds, black pepper, lemon juice and one tablespoon of low-fat mayonnaise, which is then poured onto a bed of mixed greens and garnished with grape tomatoes. I finish the meal off with approximately 12 raw, whole almonds, dusted in a mix of sugar-free/fat-free cocoa and cinnamon. Water to drink.
  • Meal #3: 6 ounces of grilled chicken (lightly seasoned with a spice blend), cut up into small pieces, mixed with 3 ounces of cooked quinoa and poured on top of a bed of romaine lettuce accompanied by halves of mini red, yellow and orange bell peppers, a few spears of pickled okra, and salsa. Water to drink. 
  • Meal #4: 6 ounces of baked tilapia (spice blend seasoned) with roasted onions, garlic, eggplant, tomato, and Brussels sprouts. Water to drink.
  • Meal #5: 6.5 ounces of baked Mahi Mahi (spice blend seasoned) fish with grilled onion, red bell pepper, mushrooms  and sauteed spinach. 1 Granny Smith apple sliced into thin slices dusted with cinnamon. Water to drink.

I absolutely LOVE the puffy egg white veggie cloud that I’ve created

What are your favorite meals and foods?

My favorite meal is breakfast! I absolutely LOVE the puffy egg white veggie cloud that I’ve created, for which the recipe and pictures can be found on my blog (, accompanied by 2 slices of turkey bacon and half of an Ezekiel bread cinnamon raisin English muffin! YUMMY! Next to that would be my “Salito Trainito” – translation = clean mexican salad – another one of my creations featured on the blog.

Favorite cheat food?

“Cheat” is not in my vocabulary, neither is “diet” for that matter, because they both carry a heavy negative connotation. Every so often I allow myself to have a meal that includes some of my favorite treats. The meal is a “reward” for putting in the effort to eat clean. Plus, this meal serves up a major purpose. It reboots the body’s metabolism enabling it to shed more fat! It’s a win–win!

What's the best nutrition tip you could give to others?

Eat clean whole food sources: chicken, fish, high fibrous carbohydrates and lots of fresh veggies, keeping powdered protein/protein bar meal replacements to a minimum – when in a bind where you are not able to prepare a full-fledged meal.


What supplements do you use that give you great results? How do you use them?

  1. Creatine – Pre-workout – energy boost.
  2. Glutamine - Post workout - recovery.
  3. Arginine – Pre-workout and at bed time – increases the NOS to increase “pump” during workout, but also a good source of recovery.

What brands do you think are offering the best products at the moment?

I have used “Body Force” (glutamine), “Iron-Tek” (creatine), “Applied Nutrition” (green tea fat burner), and “Earth Fare” (L-arginine) all of which seem to keep me ready and energized to train.

What do you think is a good off-season muscle-building stack?

Clean “fuel plan” is the critical component. Intaking whole food sources of protein.

What do you think is a good pre-contest/fat loss stack?

Primarily the CLEAN fuel plan - not the supplements...though I add a green tea fat burner and calcium to my supplement mix of creatine, glutamine, and arginine.

“Cheat” is not in my vocabulary, neither is “diet” for that matter.

Advice For Others

What are the 3 best tips you'd give to someone thinking about competing in natural bodybuilding?

  1. Solicit the services of a Trainer who knows both the fitness and nutrition requirements specific to natural bodybuilding.
  2. Target a natural competition to train toward as the main source of motivation.
  3. Attend a competition, or two, to learn what competing entails and to see the competition and competitors in action.

What is your best advice for looking your best on competition day?

Focus ALL the effort into the preparation time, train hard/eat clean, so that come competition day you can RELAX! Stress will only raise cortisol levels, which is just bad on so many levels.

How do you stay motivated? What advice would you give to someone who's having trouble staying on track?

The CHALLENGE is my main motivator. In other words, I set a goal in the form of something tangible to work toward – a bodybuilding competition for instance. Knowing that I have four tiny triangles to “fit into” on a given day is a SERIOUS source of motivation.

The advice I would offer to “stay the course” is to set obtainable (realistic) goals, surround yourself with positive/encouraging people, envision success daily and make the process FUN! The last thing anyone would want to do is make the experience a “legalistic battle”.

Future Plans

What shows have you got coming up, where can we see you compete?

The Big Shott Classic, October 23, 2010, Charleston, SC.

What would you like to achieve in your natural bodybuilding career?

My FULL POTENTIAL. My biggest goal is to bring major definition to my legs...quads - attain the coveted “Sweep”! And of course balance that out with pretty hamstrings.

Favorite Competitors/Idols

Who are your favorite bodybuilders and idols?

I’m partial to my trainers Jim and Marie Ann Newman (IFBB professional figure athlete and fitness model) as well as my fellow Dream Team teammates!

How Can People Contact You?

How can people contact you?

Through my, and Facebook.

Photo Gallery

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2 Comments+ Post Comment

No Profile Pic
Posted Mon, 07/01/2013 - 16:35

Congradulations on your win.Barry just told me you won your event.You look great,keep up the hard work.

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Posted Sat, 11/13/2010 - 23:01
Jenny Hansen

Amy! This is awesome! I am so happy for you and proud of you! You need to get that cookbook rolling, so I can have all your recipes at my fingertips! You are such an amazing person and an inspiration to everyone! Keep up the momentum and thank you for being you! Luv ya girl! ~Jenny