Muscle-munch talks with Gaspari Athlete Alexandra Wilson
How did you get started?
When I left school I did a Hospitality degree, and ended up in the food industry, where I learned a huge amount about nutrition. I’d always been sporty, and like many people, in my mid 20s, I came to a realisation that I wanted to change direction – for me, it was to work in the fitness industry.
I trained as a personal trainer, launched a workplace health consultancy (working with a range of companies to help them encourage their staff to adopt healthier lifestyles, and assess their fitness) which I ran for a few years, and then moved to London to start a personal training business.
I loved what I was doing but then I’ll be honest, I hit a rough patch and I needed to focus on something else to get me through. I’d always been interested in competitive body-building and so back in 2008 I decided to challenge myself by entering Fitness America, which was to take place in Miami in 2009. I had to train hard and transform my body, but I loved it – I found I was in my element.
I did really well – top ten in bikini, and top three in my height category, and things just took off from there really, and I’ve continued competing. It gave me a new perspective, and a new confidence and people in the fitness industry have started to sit up and take notice. It’s resulted in media coverage, sponsorship (from Gaspari) and being the ‘face of’ the new fitness bikini range from Biondi Couture and the new body trainer fitness device from celebrity trainer Mark Anthony. I’ve also just launched my first e-book, available for free on my new website (www.alexandrawilson.com), along with a calendar.
What your diet consists of and why?
I eat around six meals a day – little and often so I stay anabolic and don’t go into a catabolic state, this also keeps my blood sugar levels stable with no spikes and resulting mood swings. I have a high metabolism and I struggle to put weight on, but as any bikini athlete will tell you – you need to fuel your growth and under-eating is just as bad as over-eating. Obviously I eat regularly to give me energy and maintain my strength and fitness in the gym. Like most people in this industry I eat a high amount of protein as this forms the building block for muscular growth, healthy veg, carbs, and a small amount of healthy fats. I make sure to drink 3 to 4 litres of water per day and always have a pre- and post- workout shake on training days
What supplements do you use?
As a Gaspari-sponsored athlete, you won’t be surprised to know I use their supplements. I take Gaspari SuperPump 250 before a workout, and MyoFusion afterwards, plus Anavite and BCAA 6000.
Example of Diet?
- Meal 1: Scrambled egg whites, vegetables and high protein bread and blueberries.
- Meal 2: Learn turkey, houmous and wholegrain bread.
- Meal 3: Fillet steak, brown rice with steamed greens.
- Meal 4: Grilled chicken in wholegrain pitta with salad and avocado.
- Meal 5: Tuna steak or grilled chicken, steamed broccoli and sweet chilli sauce.
- Meal 6: Whey protein shake.
What does your current work-out routine look like?
I tend to maintain a similar training routine all year round – even when I’m not training for a competition this is simply because I want to retain muscle. I do chop and change the content of my programme though so that my body never gets complacent. I will also spice things up with drop sets, pyramids, and altering the tempo.
A typical week’s routine would be as follows, but you can also see one of the routines with photos and descriptions in my e-book. I’ve also put some videos of bodyweight training techniques on my YouTube channel.
Day 1: Back & Biceps/HIIT Cardio.
- Pull Ups: 4 Sets 8-12 Reps
- Chins: 4 Sets 8-12 Reps
- Barbell Bent Over Rows: 3 Sets 8-12 Reps
- Lat Pull Downs: 3 Sets 8-12 Reps
- Cable Lateral Extension: 3 Sets 8-12 Reps
- Incline Dumbell Hammer Curls: 3 Sets 8-12 Reps
- Barbell Curls: 3 Sets 21’s
Day 2: Chest, Tricep & Core.
- Incline Chest Press: 4 Sets 8-12 Reps
- Flat Dumbell Press: 3 Sets 8-12 Reps
- Dumbell Chest Fly: 3 Sets 8-12 Reps
- Dumbell Pull Overs: 3 Sets 8-12 Reps
- Cable Cross Overs: 3 Sets 8-12 Reps
- Tricep Close Grip Bench Press: 3 Sets 8-12 Reps
- Tricep Rope Pulldowns: 3 Sets 8-12 Reps
- Tricep Dumbell Overhead Extension: 3 Sets 8-12 Reps
Day 3: Legs.
- Barbell Squat: 4 Sets 8-12 Reps
- Deadlifts: 3 Sets 8-12 Reps
- Smith Machine Alternate Lunges: 3 Sets 8-12 Reps
- Standing Calf Raises: 3 Sets 8-12 Reps
- Seated Calf Raises: 3 Sets 8-12 Reps
Day 4: Shoulders & Core/HIIT Cardio.
- Barbell Military Press: 4 Sets 8-12 Reps
- Dumbell Lateral Raises: 3 Sets 8-12 Reps
- Rope Face Pulls: 3 Sets 8-12 Reps
- Barbell Front & Rear Shoulder Presses: 3 Sets 8-12 Reps
Day 5: Legs & Back.
- Smith Machine Wide Leg Squat: 4 Sets 8-12 Reps
- Machine Leg Curl: 3 Sets 8-12 Reps
- Machine Leg Extension: 3 Sets 8-12 Reps
- Straight Leg Deadlifts: 3 Sets 8-12 Reps
- Standing Calf Raises: 3 Sets 8-12 Reps
- Lat Pull Down: 3 Sets 8-12 Reps
- Cable Seated Rows: 3 Sets 8-12 Reps
- High to Low Cable Pull Down: 3 Sets 8-12 Reps
- Hyper Extension on Swissball: 3 Sets 8-12 Reps
Day 6: Shoulders, Arms & Core.
- Arnold Dumbell Press: 4 Sets 8-12 Reps
- Cable Lateral Raises: 3 Sets 8-12 Reps
- Bent Over Dumbell Flys: 3 Sets 8-12 Reps
- Alternating Dumbell Curls: 3 Sets 8-12 Reps
- Preachers Curls: 3 Sets 8-12 Reps
- Overhead Cable Rope Extension: 3 Sets 8-12 Reps
- Reverse Grip Cable Press Downs: 3 Sets 8-12 Reps
Day 7: HIIT/Yoga or Rest.
What are your max lifts?
- Barbell Squat: 50 kgs
- Leg Press: 90 kgs
- Straight Leg Deadlift: 45 kgs
- Dumbell Chest Press: 25 kgs
- Dumbell Shoulder Press: 12 kgs
- Lat Pulldown: 30 kgs
What’s your favourite cheat meal?
I love pizza! I also like to treat myself to a glass of champagne now and again!
Who is your favourite bodybuilder, strongman or powerlifter?
I’d have to say Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ava Cowan & JNL. JNL has her head well switched on, she has been there and done it! I also believe she has made a big difference in the fitness industry by encouraging women to push the boundaries and grow. She can be tough but gentle too, she’s straight talking and doesn’t take any nonsense. On top of all of that she’s a mum, a business woman, a friend and so much more. JNL is just truly an amazing woman!
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianne Williamson