How did you first get started in the bodybuilding/fitness game?
I started when I was 23 years old because I was very unfit and unhealthy and I decided I needed a change. I started working out at home with videos, then I decided to take the extra step and get my first gym membership. I learned how to exercise with the help of Oxygen Magazine and the women kept me so motivated!
Was there a defining moment that got you to start training at a whole different level?
Yes, when I finally decided to start training for my first competition, I started working extra hard with heavy weight training and extra cardio. I cleaned up my diet even more and went hardcore for 12 weeks.
What are the top 2 ways you keep motivated?
1. I love the fact that my body changes every year and I want to continue seeing results.
2. I enjoy the fact that I am a role model and want to continue to inspire and motivate others.
In your opinion what is the biggest hurdle you or most people have to overcome in regards to their fitness career and goals?
The biggest hurdle is getting yourself noticed! There are so many men and women out there with the same goals as I have and they all have amazing physiques. The tough part is trying to make yourself stand out in the crowd.
Why do you think some people are able to overcome this hurdle, but others are not?
I think some people just reach their goals quicker than others, and others like myself have to really work at it. The ones who don’t reach their goals are the people that gave up. I do not blame them for giving up because getting on covers of magazines or in a magazine is so tough, especially when there are literally millions of others that want the same thing.
If you had to ratio the importance of training, diet and rest, what would the percentages look like and why? (e.g. 20% training, 30% diet, 30% rest)
I think its 80% diet if not more, I would like to say 20% training but there is no room left for rest which is important too. Diet is so important and as a personal trainer, I see the same people in my gym for years now and they are busting their butts but not making any progress. Unfortunately some people think that they can eat whatever they want if they work out hard for 2 hours, but this is definitely not the case.
How useful do you think supplements are? Do you use supplements?
I take glutamine and BCAA (branched chain amino acids). I have found them very important and helpful with my training. I train very hard and do a lot of plyometrics and stairs which are hard on my knees, and if I do not take glutamine everyday I will definitely feel it. Ever since I started taking BCAA in 2009, I have noticed gains with my muscle mass and I wish I started earlier. I don’t take protein powder because I rather eat real food.
What is your current top supplement?
Its a tie between BCAA and glutamine. I don’t have a specific brand, but I usually take Maxx Essentials Glutamine powder and Ultimate Nutrition BCAA capsules.
In general what does your current training routine look like?
I usually train back and shoulders 3x per week because I need to put on some size in those areas, also I train chest and arms 1-2x per week and heavy legs once per week. I also run stairs 1-2x per week and I like to do sprinting intervals on a high incline once per week. Sometimes I will have a workout with just plyometrics and skipping, gets my heart rate right up there!
What is your current diet routine?
I have been basically on the Paleo diet for a few months now and I love it! I eat lots of veggies and a lot of greens, berries, apples, cherries, avocado, whole eggs, peanut butter, olive oil, chicken, salmon and tuna. I do eat yams and sweet potato because they are natural and clean carbohydrates. I cannot eat red meat because my body has a hard time digesting it, and I recently developed a tree nut allergy so I cannot eat almonds anymore which used to be my favorite. I also love making lots of recipes with ground flax like muffins and bread, no flour of course!
How do you feel about ketogenic diets and extreme diets in general?
Extreme diets to me is when calories are low and I don’t agree with that. I have seen what low calorie diets for a long period of time has done to people’s bodies and even their minds. It is extremely dangerous and harmful to the body and I do not recommend this to anyone.
How did you get those awesome arms of yours?
My arms developed very quickly! I just lifted heavy and they shaped up fast. My dad has good arms so must be genetics
How did/do your family and friends feel about your training?
Actually this is a very touchy topic for me. My family thought I was going through a phase at first, then they thought I was not eating. I don’t think they understood what I was really doing, and sometimes I still think they don’t.
Can you give us a brief summary of your competition history?
2008 Fame West 9th place fitness model, 7th place bikini
2009 Fame West 5th place figure physique
2009 WBFF BC Championships 4th place figure short
2009 Fame Canadian Nationals 5th place figure physique, 2nd place fitness model
2010 Fame West 2nd place figure physique, 5th place muscle model
2010 BCABBA Western Canadians 4th place figure short
2010 WBFF Alberta Championships 1st place figure short
2010 BCABBA Sandra Wickham Fall Classic 4th place figure short
2011 IDFA 2nd place figure physique
2011 WBFF Alberta Championships 7th place figure short
Going to take a break for a while!
What are your fitness/bodybuilding plans for 2011?
I did 2 shows already and did not feel good about my placings, so I decided I need to take a long break and come back strong either end of 2012 or spring of 2013.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 20 years?
In 5 years I see myself with a private gym in Vancouver, BC. Also I see myself writing a lot about fitness and health for magazines, this is one of my biggest goals right now. In 20 years I see myself basically doing the same thing, but probably something bigger.
Who is your favorite fitness model/bodybuilder? (other than yourself!)
Monica Brant and Jaime Eason. Jaime has my dream job!
Describe what you see when you look at yourself in the mirror every morning!
Ripped arms, veins and abs.
What did your physique look like before you started training?
Very soft, no muscle, lots of body fat on my small frame.
Do you feel that you are treated differently because of your physique and fitness goals?
Not really. I used to have people that thought I was weird, but now I find people more accommodating with my diet when they invite me over for dinner.
If you could tell a fitness noob just one sentence of advice, what would it be?
Hire a trainer! Don’t try to figure things out on your own if you can learn fast and get faster results.
What is your all time favorite workout song?
I don’t really have one, I change my mind all the time! I really like listening to Pit Bull and Black Eye Peas.
What is your favorite quote?
Fear is what stops you, courage is what keeps you going ~unknown
What do you feel is the best type of cardio for yourself and why?
HIIT(high intensity interval training) I get bored of steady state and I feel this is the only way I get a good workout.
What is your favorite cheat meal?
I don’t really have a favorite right now, but I like to eat chocolate.
If you were to upload your arms to our muscle voting site (http://vote.ratemyarms.com/) right now, what do you think you would rate?
Not sure, maybe 7?
Outside of training and dieting how do you like to spend your time?
I like to spend time at home with my husband and cat, and I like to go for walks. I also like to come up with new healthy recipes.
What is the dumbest thing you yourself have done or witnessed in the gym?
Good question, I probably have done lots of dumb things that I don’t remember right now. Dumb thing I have seen recently is someone doing cardio wearing their sunglasses. What is the point?
What is your favorite body part to train? What about your least favorite?
I love training back and legs, and fortunately I do not have a least favorite, I like it all!
What is the one question you hate hearing the most? (e.g how much do you bench?)
Are you starving? I really hate that!
The RateMyArms team would like to thank you greatly for taking the time to do this interview. Do you have any last words for our readers?
Never too late to get healthy and fit! Keep reaching for your goals, train hard and eat well and the rest will follow =)
Photo Credits: Twixpix, Larry Niven, Sharla Pike Photography and Fine Photography