How did you first get started in the bodybuilding and fitness industry?
My current boyfriend Barrett is a competitive bodybuilder and personal trainer. He took me to a local show and I fell in love with Figure. He put together a nutrition and workout plan for me; I stuck to it, and did my first Figure competition May 2010.
For Powerlifting, I was lifting with a friend who was training for a bikini competition and she was doing conventional deadlifts. I had never done conventional deadlifts as part of my Figure training, only stiff legged and rack deadlifts. She said she was training to deadlift in an upcoming RPS Powerlifting meet, it sounded like fun. I went home, Googled the event, and signed up. I had 6 week to get ready!
What are the top 2 or 3 ways you keep yourself motivated?
In the short term, a clear goal is the key. I have the next meet or competition on my calendar. I know what I’m training for, I have a training program designed for the event and I will be at my peak for a specific date. I also have a detailed nutrition plan that supports this goal. When I finish something, like the powerlifting meet I completed on September 8th, I schedule the next thing. I bought a plane ticket to Phoenix, AZ for RX Muscle Bros vs. Pros 12 competition, three days later. Even for those 3 days I felt a little off not knowing what my next goal was.
Long term I want to be healthy and enjoy being comfortable in my own skin. I don’t want to go back to being a size 16, out of shape, and unhealthy like I was at my heaviest. I’ve struggled with my weight since middle school. I used to go to the gym to “burn calories” and try to “lose weight.” I was never consistent and regarded it almost as a punishment, like you’d better go workout to burn off that pizza! But when workouts and nutrition are structured to make me stronger and a better athlete it’s so much more positive. I look forward too it, I love it! And for the first time in my life I’ve been able to maintain a healthy weight long term.
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)
It would be hard to put a percentage on it and all are important. Nutrition (diet) is #1, but training with intensity, and recovery and rest play a huge part. I’d also add that managing stress is another important component.
How useful do you think supplements are? Do you use supplements? What is your current top supplement?
Supplements have their role in training, absolutely. I use several supplements regularly including a multi-vitamin, calcium supplement, some omega 3s, a probiotic, and creatine. Those are my staples. I also use whey protein post weight training and casein protein before bed depending on occasion. I also enjoy coming up with new recipes using protein powder. It’s good for so much more than shakes. I’ve made some pretty awesome desserts that were basically all protein.
In general what does your current training and diet routine look like?
My routine is always changing depending what I’m training for and how close I am to the date of the next competition. At this exact moment I’m training for RX Muscle Bros vs. Pros 12 “double trouble.” “Bros” are regular gym rats like you and me who compete against “Pros” from bodybuilding and strongman. The double trouble refers to squats and deadlifts. The competition is for the maximum number of reps of squats and deadlifts using your own bodyweight (for me about 135 lbs). The winner is the one who does the most reps of each combined. So I’ve been training 3 days a week. One upper body day fairly high rep, and the other two days I superset squats and deadlifts or focus on one or the other. It’s a crazy number of reps and the complete opposite of powerlifting where I do 1-5 reps sets or Figure where I target 8-12 rep sets. It’s exhausting but I’m loving the change up!
*Rebecca won first place in the RX Muscle Bros vs. Pros 12 “Double Trouble” on Saturday, October 20th, 2012! Congratulations!
My nutrition is at maintenance. I’m trying to be as strong as possible without gaining bodyfat. I eat 6 meals a day and have the majority of my carbs pre and post workout. I keep the foods clean and unprocessed. Lots of protein and veggies.
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?
Haha. I have no idea. I never really prided myself is have great arms. My legs and my back carry the most muscle. I guess there’s one way to find out!
How did/do your family and friends feel about your training?
My boyfriend is obviously very supportive and my biggest partner in all this. And it’s wonderful that we share a love of the weight room and also have a personal training and nutrition consulting business together. The rest of the world seems to be getting used to the idea that this is what I’m passionate about and I have no intention of stopping any time soon. I’ve worked hard and enjoyed some success along the way and the naysayers and critics seemed to have been silenced, for the most part, in the process.
Can you give us a brief summary of your competition history?
- NPC Lehigh Valley Figure Championships 2010 – 2nd place Figure B
- NPC PA State Figure Championships 2010 – 1st place Figure B and Overall Figure champion
- NPC Nationals 2012 – Tied for 16th (aka did not place)
- NPC NJ Gold’s Classic Figure 2011 – 1st place Figure B, 1st place Masters Figure, and Overall Champion
- NPC East Coast Classic Figure 2011 – 2nd place Figure B, 1st place Masters Figure
- NPC Eastern USA championships 2011 – 3rd place Figure B, 2nd place Masters Figure
- RPS Barno-Newman Classic Powerlifting 2012- 1st in 132 lb raw women’s sub master
- USAPL PA State Championships 2012 – 1st in 132 lb raw open female, broke the PA state record for the squat with 256 pounds.
- RX Muscle Bros vs. Pros 11 – Bodyweight deadlifts and half bodyweight curls for max reps. I was the female champion with a combined total of 107 reps, 71 and 36 reps respectively.
- RPS Battle of Champions at the Europa CT 2012 – 1st in 132 lb raw open female
- RPS Supreme Iron Warrior Championships 2012 – 1st in 132 lb raw open female, and had a 3 lift total of 715 pounds qualifying me for pro status in RPS Powerlifting. 715 also moved me up in the rankings to 30th for the 132 weight class nationally (per powerliftingwatch.com).
- RXMuscle Bros vs. Pros 12 – Bodyweight Squats and bodyweight deadlifts for max reps. I was the female champion with a combined total of 231 reps, 75 and 156 reps respectively.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 20 years?
For 2013, I’m going to put some focus on Strongwoman training and will be competing in my first Strongwoman competition. I would love to spend the next 5 years chasing/achieving pro status in Strongwoman as well as continuing to climb the ranks of powerlifting. Some where in there I see myself getting back on a Figure stage or perhaps giving the women’s physique division a shot. In 20 years, it’s hard to say but I hope to be one of the hottest 50 year olds around. Who happens to be able to deadlift a crazy amount of weight
Who is your favorite fitness model or bodybuilder? (other than yourself!)
My boyfriend and business partner Barrett. He is the most disciplined person I have ever met. I have learned so much from him about what it means to work hard and not make excuses. He truly exemplifies walking the walk.
Describe what you see when you look at yourself in the mirror every morning!
Hopefully, I see my abs pretty clearly haha. If not, it’s time to stick to the diet. I don’t weigh myself very often but I do use the AM ab check to make sure I’m staying lean. If the lower abs start to disappear, I know I’ve been over indulging or eating some junk that’s making me hold water. Actually deep down I already know, but this visual is a great reality check.
Do you feel that you are treated differently because of your physique and fitness goals?
What is your all time favorite workout song?
Believe it or not, I don’t train with head phones or music. I don’t think it’s safe to go heavy with the weights while there are wires hanging and things clipped to you. When I do cardio at home I’m much more likely to put my laptop on the console and scroll around the internet to pass the time.
What is your favorite quote?
Oh my, I have tons of favorites. Here’s a few that have spoken to me lately. “Losers discuss why they can’t.” “What counts in battle is what you do once the pain sets in.” “Fortune favors the bold.” “Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.” John Wayne. “There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” Colin Powell.
What do you feel is the best type of cardio for yourself and why?
My preferred cardio is no cardio. I stay lean with proper diet. I would love to only train with weights but for overall health I do cardio 3 days a week for 30 minutes.
What is your favorite cheat meal?
Anything that is potently sweet. The kind of foods people say “oh it’s so sweet I can only eat two bites.” I roll my eyes and say give me a break, I could eat the whole darn cake! If it’s buttercream icing I could eat a whole tub. Obviously I don’t do this, but if I’m gonna stray from my nutrition plan with a dessert, it’s going to be the sweetest most decadent one on the menu.
Outside of training and dieting how do you like to spend your time?
I am part owner of a personal training and nutrition consulting business Full Force Fitness and Nutrition. I also love to play around in the kitchen and create delicious, easy, and healthy recipes. My latest side project in our YouTube channel FullForceVideo. I took a class at Apple on video making and have been working on my skills ever since. I started video taping myself in the gym as a way to improve my lifting technique and it just grew from there. I also have two rescue dogs that I love to spend time with. Dogs rock and I’d encourage everyone to adopt their next pet from a shelter.
What is your favorite body part to train? What about your least favorite?
Deadlifts, no contest. Squats are a distant second. I would deadlift every freakin’ day if I could. It’s my favorite lift, I love it, and I love everything about it. Going heavy with 300 lb single reps or repping out with my bodyweight. I love it all. It brings out the beast in me in the gym. I love to deadlift. Did I mention I love deadlifting? Really I do. A lot. Deadlifting is my favorite!
Least favorite to train is abs. I never do isolation exercises (crunches, sit ups etc) for my abs. They get plenty of a workout during full body lifts like squats, deadlifts, and overhead presses. Whether or not I can see my abs is whether or not I’m nailing my nutrition and maintaining low bodyfat. Crunches and planks and whatever else has little to nothing to do with visible abs. So I don’t waste my time with crunches and sit ups.
What is the one question you hate hearing the most? (e.g how much do you bench?)
I could talk strength training, Powerlifting, Figure competitions, deadlifting, and nutrition all day long. There’s no question I’m sick of. As long as the person asking is sincerely interested and not being snarky or insulting, ask away
The RateMyArms team would like to thank you greatly for taking the time to do this interview. Do you have any last words or advise for our readers?
You are quite welcome. Thanks for asking me. My advice is dream big. Then grit your teeth, put your head down, and work your butt off. No excuses. It’s going to take a long time. It’s going to get hard, very hard. And you’re going find yourself way outside of your comfort zone. But don’t quit, that’s when you’re on the brink of something big. Get a knowledgeable coach and surround yourself with as many positive goal oriented people as you can. Give the naysayers the middle finger and keep gunning for number one. It’s yours for the taking. Believe it.
Photo Credits: It’s Bliss Photography