How did you get started?
I had been an athlete my whole life, but didn’t begin weight training until I was 15 years old. After school one day, my older brother brought me to the gym for my first workout. I had no idea what I was doing, but I fell in love with it almost instantly. I liked the idea that the harder I worked, the better my results would be. I also enjoyed the challenge and sacrifice of dieting and training when most of my friends were out partying. I continued working out regularly and educating myself, and eventually gained a sound knowledge of health and fitness.
What your diet consists of and why?
I have found the best results on my own version of the caveman diet. The theory behind this type of eating plan is you don’t eat anything man made or processed. I get most of my carbs from fruits and vegetables, my protein from lean meats, fish, and eggs, and my fats from nuts, fish, and avocado. The reason I follow this diet is that it helps me stay lean for shoots year round and since it’s all-natural, my body feels great. Of course, on Sunday’s I’ll have a cheat meal- either pizza or buffalo wings- but most of the time I stick to my diet.
What supplements do you use?
I usually have a whey protein shake after my workouts and that’s about it when it comes to supplements. I have used pre-workout supplements and fat burners in the past, but I prefer to keep my body as natural as possible. One of my favorite pre-workout drinks is a black iced coffee. It is an amazing natural fat burner and helps dull muscle pain during intense weight training sessions. Although it is not a commercial supplement, it works wonders. Give it a try!
Example of diet
A sample day of my diet would look like this. Throughout the day I drink approximately one gallon of water.
- Meal 1: 5 Egg Whites & 1 Whole Egg Scrambled, 1 Cup of Blueberries, I Cup of Black Coffee
- Meal 2: 1 Can of Solid White Albacore Tuna, 1 Cup of Celery
- Meal 3: 8 oz. Chicken Breast, 1 Cup of Broccoli, 1 Small Baked Sweet Potato
- Meal 4 (Post Workout): 1 Gatorade, 2 Scoops of Whey Protein Mixed with Water
- Meal 5: Salad with 8 oz. Chicken Breast & Mixed Vegetables
- Meal 6: Handful of Raw Almonds, 1 Cup of Low Fat Cottage Cheese
What does your current work-out routine look like?
I am currently training with weights 5 days per week, and performing cardio and abs workouts 3 days per week each. I train one body part each day, and make sure I get at least two rest days per week. I keep my rep ranges between 8-12 reps for most exercises. Sometimes I’ll do heavy sets of 5 reps, and light sets of 20 reps- it’s important to constantly change your plan so your body doesn’t adapt.
What are your max lifts?
I personally feel that maxing out is more of an ego driven practice than something that actually gets you results. My current workout plan emphasizes exercises with moderate weight so I can feel the muscles working and prevent injury. However, when I was a freshman in college I had some pretty heavy lifts for my legs. I remember squatting 455 pounds for 4 reps, 405 for 10 reps, 315 for 26 reps and 225 for 46 reps.
What’s your opinion on the run of the mill “Bulk & cut” way of training?
If you’re a bodybuilder, then I’m sure it works. I just don’t believe in that kind of training. I don’t think it’s particularly healthy to put your body through such a high amount of stress on a consistent basis. As a professional fitness model, I need to be in shape all year long, not just for the night of a show. The bulk and cut routine is definitely something I steer clear of.
What music do you listen to when you’re training?
When I’m training I love anything with a great beat. I listen to mostly hip hop, so artists like Eminem, Dr. Dre, DMX, and Lil Wayne are always on my workout playlist.
How do you stay motivated?
I’m definitely a very self-motivated person, but like anyone else there are times when I feel my motivation waning. I find that taking a week off from training is enough to help me regain motivation and feel refreshed.
Another great way to stay motivated is to always set new goals. Seeing progress will help keep you focused.
Free Weights vs Machines, what are the pros and cons and which do you prefer?
There are certainly benefits to both, but the clear winner is free weights. Free weights are great because of the sheer variety of moves you can do with them. Plus, the movement with free weights is natural, not in a fixed pattern like a machine would be. Another benefit of free weights is that you will be using core muscles to stabilize your body while performing the exercise, which will burn extra calories and improve your core strength. I feel that free weights should take up a majority of your weight training sessions. Machines have their benefits as well, but they are more specialized. Machines are great when you are trying to overcome an injury, because the motion is on a fixed path. They are also useful when performing drop sets or supersets because you can change weights with the change of a pin. They are also beneficial to use towards the end of your workout or when you are going to failure on an exercise- if you can’t complete the final rep you are less likely to be inured. A final benefit of machines is that there is constant tension in your muscles throughout the entire range of motion. With a cable curl, for example, at the top of the movement you will still have tension in your biceps, but you won’t with a dumbbell curl. It is important to utilize the specialty benefits that machines provide, but make sure your workouts are built around primarily free weight exercises.
Who is your favourite bodybuilder, strongman or powerlifter?
Arnold Schwarzenegger is hands down my favorite bodybuilder. He is the greatest of all time in my opinion, and he has done so much for the sport. Arnold was a big inspiration for me when I first started and still is.
If you could give someone any advice, what would it be?
The best advice I can give to someone is to be patient. Everyone wants results immediately, and when they don’t look like a fitness model overnight many give up. Understand that results take time, consistency, and countless hours of hard work so enjoy the process and don’t get discouraged.