How did you get started in bodybuilding and fitness? Competition? And was there a defining moment that got you to start training at a whole different level?
Well it was started by accident really, I owned a gym and used to go to all the shows up and down the country, selling bodybuilding clothes, and I used to love watching the ladies competing. The class that really looked like my sort of thing was the fitness category, so watching the girls I thought I would love to have a go at this. Anyway at one of the shows I was approached by one of the judges and he said I would do well if I got ready for a show. The problem was I didn’t train, so I thought I would train and see how I looked. Well, I trained pretty hard and that’s when I found out I had good genetics and great abs, which seem to appear from nowhere and haven’t gone since. So, 9 months later I competed in my 1st competition and won! Obviously after winning the British I knew I had to step up my game for the Universe. I had to improve on my physique, because in this game, it’s all about constantly making improvements from the last comp.
What are the top 2 ways you keep motivated?
I’m motivated to do what I have to with diet and training because I know I’m going to be on stage with some of the best figure athletes in the world. At this level when you have that to think about you know it’s GAME ON. Another motivation is seeing all my kids watching me compete and them being proud of their mum.
What was the biggest hurdle you had to overcome in your career thus far?
I’ve had a few hurdles along the way in my fitness career. One mainly is that I find it hard to build muscle on my petite frame and keeping it on is an ongoing battle, with my super fast metabolism. Eating so often just seems to fuel it more so I also have to keep my carbs high on a diet, something which would be rare for a lot of athletes in this game whilst competing. Another hurdle I have had to face was whether I would compete again after the birth of my twins because I had a pretty rough road and spent the last 10 weeks of my pregnancy in a wheel chair. I had to see how I would be after the twins and also to see if I got my figure back and more importantly if my trade mark abs would come back. And the answer to this was, with hard work and dedication, YES!
In your opinion what is the hardest part about being a pro athlete figure competitor?
The hardest thing for me being a figure athlete and fitness model is the strict food regime. Even in my off season it’s strict in order to keep my muscle, because as soon as I don’t eat properly I start to lose weight rapidly, which isn’t good especially when you have spent so long building it up. Also managing my time with kids, family, gym, competing etc.
If you had to ratio the importance of training, diet and rest, what would the percentages look like? (e.g. 20% training, 30% diet, 30% rest)
If I had to ratio between diet, training and rest I would have to say for me 50% diet 25% training 25% rest.
How useful do you think supplements are? Do you use supplements? What is your current top supplement?
For my busy lifestyle and tight schedule my supplements are a major part of my day and diet, as I don’t have time to stand and cook a lot. I’m also always out and about so I do rely heavily on protein shakes. I use Inner Armour IsoMaxx whey protein, I also take my daily multi vitamins and minerals by Inner Amour. I take glutamine and BCAA’s before and after training.
What is your current training routine?
My training changes regularly to keep shocking the body; this is how my training stands at the moment:
Day 1: Shoulders and triceps
Day 2: Back
Day 3: day off
Day 4: Legs
Day 5: Chest and Biceps
Now your probably thinking “she doesn’t train her abs,” this isn’t true as I train them every training session by keeping my core super tight in all my exercise. Because my abs are so developed I only train them directly once every 2 weeks, which keeps them toned and defined without being too over developed.
What is your current diet routine?
My diet at the minute is my building diet. About 350g of protein throughout the day with 250g of carbs and 25g of fat.
- Whey protein
- 4 low fat pancakes or 50g oats
- whey, 10g casein and maltdextrin
- Tuna/chicken beef mince gluten/wheat free pasta and salad
- whey, casein and maltdextrin
- Chicken, steak, Salmon, gluten free pasta and salad
- Whey, casein or 6 egg whites
How did you get those awesome arms?
Well my arms have been hard to grow, but since I changed trainers he has given me a diet that suits me and I have seen mass gains overall, but especially on my arms. I have also stepped up my training massively too.
How did you get back in such amazing shape after having twins?!
My twins are now 2yrs old now and it was hard getting my body back to a professional standard again. But I was very determined that I would get my bikini back on and compete again. I am so determined because I wanted to prove to myself that I can do it again, but also make my body even better than it was before. I seem to have done just that, but like any pro athlete I’m still working on areas that I struggle with.
How did the pregnancy effect your fitness goals?
Like most female athletes who are pregnant, they think and hope they will be able to continue with their training and keep a healthy pregnancy. Unfortunately for me that wasn’t the case. As like most pregnancies there was the morning sickness. With having twins (which I didn’t know at first) the morning sickness is worse, so it was morning, afternoon and evening for the 1st couple of weeks that I didn’t feel great enough for the gym. I thought it would pass soon and I would get back to the gym for my training shortly. But unfortunately, it didn’t ease and then 7 weeks into my pregnancy I found out I was having twins! Well I was shocked and excited it was twins but, I knew my training probably would have to be put on the back burner. To cut a very long story short it wasn’t an easy pregnancy and I spent the last 10 weeks in a wheel chair, so by this time I thought my competing days had ended.
The twins arrived early by 4 weeks and very healthy and shortly! After this my body was a completely different shape and I could see how the twin pregnancy had taken its toll; my muscle mass was completely gone, so when I was able to get back into the gym I had to go back to basics and do it very slowly, as I had an emergency c-section. 3 months into my training my tummy was flat and abs were coming back again nicely, so I started to up the training a little and it progressed from there. My weight went up nicely and my shape started to come back too (thank god for muscle memory). So I got a new trainer/coach, Nathan at www.probodeez.com, to give me advice and set a new nutrition plan out to start to gain some muscle. I set myself a goal and worked to that and then set out a new plan and here is were I am now; in a better shape than I was before!
Who is your favorite fitness model/bodybuilder? (other than yourself!)
My favorite fitness model is Monica Brant, she has an awesome body and is also a nice person. We have competed together on numerous shows. My favorite bodybuilder is Phil Heath, another nice person with time to speak to fans and athletes.
Describe what you see when you look at yourself in the mirror!
Describe what I see in the mirror…hmmm, when I look in it I think, “OH DEAR!” That’s what I think lol! But no seriously when I look in the mirror I see a mum.
If you could tell a fitness noob just one sentence of advice, what would it be?
I’m quite realistic and if a noob asked me some advice I would say: “set yourself a goal and reach it, don’t let anything stop you and when you reach your goal set a new one higher than the last.”
What is your favorite workout song?
My favorite song, well I have a lot I train to, and it may sound cliche but my top song has to be Eye of the Tiger; it just seems to push me through a hard set.
My favorite quotes are “I think pink is a boy’s color” and “boys smell of poo, throw rocks at them”. LOL, I have these quotes on t-shirts.
How do you feel about ketogenic diets?
What do I feel about ketogenic diets? Well personally I wouldn’t do a diet like that, as my body doesn’t do well with no carbs and I would probably faint. In my opinion I feel a well balanced diet is like a chain, you need to have all the links for it to work properly without messing up your insulin pattern. So protein, fats and carbs complete the chain, if one of these key ingredients is taken away this is where the problem starts. Yes you do lose weight doing a ketogenic diet, but as soon as you start to introduce carbs, naturally you will swell as your body has to adapt to tolerating carbs again.
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?
If I was to upload my arms to your site I would give myself an 8 out of 10.
What do you like to do outside of training and dieting?
Outside of the gym and dieting I love going out and eating good food in quality restaurants and going to the cinema and taking my babies out to the zoo and exciting places.
What is the dumbest thing you have done or witnessed in the gym?
The dumbest thing I have done and still do in the gym is fall over dumbbells, walk into machines and trip over my own feet, I am very clumsy lol. The dumbest thing I have seen someone else do is extreme stretching, at one point I thought they may put their back out, it looked like strange dancing, which I found quite amusing whilst doing cardio. And talking about cardio I don’t have a favorite, but I do prefer the cross trainer over all the others.
What is your favorite body part to train? Your least favorite?
My favorite body part is my back and my least favorite is legs, due to all the injuries I’ve had over the years.