Muscle Revolution! Rosie Chee Talks To M&S
What is your athletic background, and how did you get involved with athletics and fitness?
I have been involved in sport as long as I can remember. However, my athletic career really started with cycling: In my first year of competition, I won all but one National title for my age-group, going on to represent New Zealand in international events such as Junior Track Worlds (where I placed in the Top 10 in all my events), continuing to win multiple New Zealand track and road Championship titles throughout my cycling career.
I first started resistance training a few months before the Junior World Track Cycling Championships – under the guidance of the NZ Academy of Sport and a military trainer. When I left college, moved and entered the real world, I still kept training and going to the gym, despite taking time out from cycling competition. The gym that I used was full of the top NZFBB male bodybuilders, and on a sudden impulse, encouraged by them, I entered the regional Figure competition for fun, the guys helping me out with diet and training, and for the first time in my life I saw my body do things that I had been told before were impossible for me (cyclists’ resistance training is performance orientated, not for aesthetics). Despite retiring from cycling during my degree, I continued training, my lifestyle still that of an athlete, although my training focus has changed over the years, with my concentration now more on health and fitness than anything else.
Ironically, one of the reasons I train so hard – aside from the fact that I used to train for 30-40 hours a week when I was a competitive cyclist – is because I HAVE to; training is the only thing that seems to allow my body to function close to “normally” physiologically without me having to resort to prescription medication/drugs – I have a blood disorder where my red blood cells can only carry TWO instead of the usual four oxygen molecules, and if I don’t train hard and push myself, I can’t breathe properly and have other health issues.
Therefore, it has become more important than ever for me to learn to listen to my body and try to find balance in my lifestyle, or else everything – not just my fitness – suffers.
What do you love most about fitness and exercise?
Although I have competed in a couple of figure competitions (once, for a laugh and something different, when I was having a break from cycling, in 2004; and in my first Pro-Qualifier in 2010), I do not “compete” per se, and do not consider myself a competitor – my focus in the fitness industry is not really on competing. I am an ATHLETE – there IS a difference. This is my LIFESTYLE.
What were the major milestones that gave you that “extra” motivation boost?
I have overcome a lot in my life and my fitness journey has been one not without struggles and trials. Going from being a competitive athlete to not being one, admitting an unusual eating disorder, facing suicide, recovering from a devastating back injury (that crushed my cervical spine and caused permanent scoliosis) in 2004, overcoming Chronic Fatigue in 2008-2009, gaining 25 pounds over a period of ~3 months (during another bout of Chronic Fatigue, not training, my diet “normal”) when I first arrived in the US, having lengthy forced time out from multiple injuries in 2011, and dealing daily with a hereditary blood disorder (where my blood can only carry two instead of the normal four oxygen molecules), I have learnt to walk that fine line between extreme and progress, having accomplished what many have persistently told me is ‘impossible’ – albeit everything I have done and will continue to do is not by my strength alone, but as a testament to God’s Glory.
The most significant/greatest “achievements” re “milestones” for me on a personal level, though, are:
- Being able to function “normally” without the aid of prescription medication – my red blood cells can only carry two instead of four oxygen molecules, making breathing difficult for me, being constantly anemic, as well as many other physiological anomalies caused because of this condition.
- Building up my deltoids and arms, not once, but THREE times (without training legs), in the last year – not long after the first, I was out with a refractured left wrist, after which I returned to training and had rebuilt the lost muscle mass back BETTER than pre-injury in 10-12 weeks, only to be out from training and lose it all again 12-13 weeks after returning to training, losing it all over again, coming back and painstakingly rebuilding it all for a third time, more than before in ~10 weeks.
- Being given my own motivation/inspiration column in World Physique Magazine and WPM Women, giving me a platform to be able to inspire and empower others to believe and have faith in their abilities and to go after their dreams and goals.
- Maintaining a body composition under 9.5% bodyfat for the last year, especially given that I do not “diet”, have had a lot of time out due to multiple injuries, and the last few months being some of the most disruptive and destructive of my life.
- I’m just thankful to still be here, really (especially after a freak car accident in mid-April 2012, where I walked away unscathed, later told that I should have been dead!), and to be able to use my experiences and knowledge to help inspire and motivate others and empower them to a better and higher way of living (it is so motivating and inspiring to me to receive emails from not just those I know, but also strangers, encouraging me and saying how I have “helped” them)!
What keeps you motivated?
Motivation is not a factor. Whether I feel like it or not, I do it. The primary reason I train so hard – aside from the fact that I used to train for 30-40 hours a week when I was a competitive cyclist – is because I have to; training is the only thing that seems to allow my body to function close to “normally” physiologically without me having to resort to prescription medication/drugs – I have a blood disorder where my red blood cells can only carry two instead of the usual four oxygen molecules, and if I don’t train hard and push myself, I can’t breathe properly and have other health issues.
I want to be a living, breathing example of what can be done if you want it badly enough; to make a difference in other’s lives; inspire them, give them faith, hope, courage, and belief in themselves and their ability to succeed; to get them to constantly push themselves to new heights; setting goals and achieving them, aiming higher once those goals are accomplished.
It’s about being better than I was yesterday. Having a vision and not being afraid to take the risks required to make it a reality. Knowing what I want and no matter what happens, persevering, never “settling”, not making excuses but pushing forward, holding nothing back, forever testing myself and challenging the “impossible”, finding a way to make it happen! Never stop striving to be the best that you can be! Think like a champion! Train like a warrior! Live with a purpose!
What are your future goals, dreams and plans?
I have several professional goals, but they all come down to this: building on what I have done and accomplished so far, I want to increase my exposure in the fitness industry and get into an influential position to be a positive fitness role model, establishing myself firmly in the fitness industry as a “Triple Threat” re writer, trainer, and model/athlete; building a “brand” with name recognition; using myself as an example that anything is possible if you want it badly enough; to inspire, motivate, and educate men and women on health and fitness as a faith and lifestyle, changing the wrong mindsets on women and training and supplementation, and helping others achieve their health and fitness goals.
My career objective really sums all I want to do up: to be an inspiration to, and instill in males and females alike, an energy and passion for sport, health and fitness. To help others achieve their sporting, health and/or fitness orientated goals; providing quality and effective support and motivation for them in the pursuit of their goals, whilst educating them on how to make positive lifestyle choices and changes to improve their quality of life to keep getting the desired results.
I want to be a role model for women to look up to. Women need to be better educated on the importance of using resistance training to achieve their body and fitness goals. Training with weights should neither intimidate nor scare them. I would like to see the many wrong mindsets among and about women and weight training be replaced by correct information and healthy attitudes. I also want to drive home the fact that one does not have to starve or live on an endless diet to get and stay lean, and lead by example that “diet” is a lifestyle nutrition plan that can be maintained and adjusted as required.
What does your current training and split look like, and what do you like most about it?
There is no “one size fits all” plan your training program should be individualized specifically for you, for your goals and needs, no matter how unconventional it is or how “wrong” it appears to anyone else (if it is right for you, it can never be “wrong”). This is a very important principle, and I don’t just apply it to my Clients, but to myself as well, designing and structuring all my training programs for me specific to me – that is one reason you don’t see “Legs” in my training program (notes below), when they are perhaps the “most important” body-part and squats one of the “best exercises” that one “should” do.
Currently my training schedule is:
- Monday: HIIT Cardio + Shoulders/Hamstrings + Stretch 20-30 min
- Tuesday: Cardio 10 min + Arms/Abs + Stretch 20-30 min
- Wednesday: HIIT Cardio + Stretch 20-30 min
- Thursday: Cardio 10 min + Full-Body + Stretch 20-30 min
- Friday: HIIT Cardio + Shoulders/Arms/Abs + Stretch 20-30 min
- Saturday: Cardio 20 min + Stretch 20-30 min
- Sunday: Day Off
I generally do not do any specific work for my legs as my lower body overwhelms my upper body – if I train legs, I gain muscle mass despite what I do and more muscle in my legs is not what I want or need. Any Legs work (i.e. Full-Body days) I do plyometrics, bodyweight, or deliberately use lighter weights for.
An example week of training for me (all examples of actual training sessions – from the week 7-13 May 2012, actually, so a little out of sync some days):
|HIIT Run: 4 Min Jog, 12 x 20 Sec Sprint/10 Sec Easy, 10 Min Jog|
|Stretching – 11 minutes|
|Shoulder/Hamstring Supersets – 30 Sec Rest Between Supersets|
|Behind the Neck Press||5||12, 10, 10, 10, 10|
|Bent Over Reverse Dumbbell Flyes||5||12, 10, 10, 8, 8|
|Seated Overhead Barbell Press||5||8|
|Front Plate Raise||5||8|
|Single Arm Dumbbell Lateral Raise||6||10|
|Side to Side Plyometric Bench Jumps||6||30|
|Post-Weights Cardio: Recline Bike 20 Min @ 107-100 RPM|
|Stretch 10 Min|
|HIIT Running: 4 Min Jog, 40 x 20 Sec Sprint, 10 Sec Easy, 4 Min Jogging|
|Stretch 27 Min|
How often do you perform cardio?
You can see from the example above of a training week for me what I do for cardio. I prefer HIIT – simply because my body requires intensity for optimal function. That, and even when I do steady-state cardio, my heart rate is generally always above ~80% of my maximum heart rate. Having done 30-40 hours a week training when I was cycling, predominantly doing miles on the bike seven days a week, what I do now re training overall feels like nothing, and my body needs to do cardio at least 5-6 days a week.
As with resistance training, any cardio done should be specific to you, your goals and needs, and what works best for you, whilst also taking into account personal preferences.
Do you supplement your weight training and cardio with any other physical activities?
My training includes a lot of things. I used to do a lot outside of my training, such as hiking, rock-climbing, kayaking, etc., but not so much anymore.
How often do you change your training routine, and do you periodize your training?
Every session each consecutive week is different from the one the week before, whether it be change in exercise and/or order, sets done, reps used, etc. – you could say I use a form of linear periodization (now that I am not competing in cycling). As for the training program I am currently using, I am doing this because it is what has worked best for me as far as deltoid and arm development (ever since having to rebuild my delts up twice).
Sets and reps change based on my goal – although I generally recomp and lift as heavy as I can (heavier weight for fewer reps for me personally means improved strength, gains in or maintaining muscle mass, and keeping a lower body composition) for whatever reps I have set myself, using 30-60 seconds recovery between sets/supersets/trisets/giant sets.
What are your thoughts on fasted cardio?
It is personal preference – studies have shown that it has no additional benefits than doing cardio NON-fasted. I have done both fasted and unfasted cardio (moreso in my cycling days) and I definitely prefer the former – in fact, I prefer to do ALL my training in a fasted state – so my cardio is predominantly done this way – except for my second session (usually an evening run 2-3 times a week) – as my body feels the best that way, and my performance is no different than if I was training unfasted.
What are some of your best training tips for someone who just wants to look good and ripped, but doesn’t want to compete?
Make sure your goals are smart goals and that you let others know of them, to provide a measure of accountability.
Individualize training! Don’t look at what so-and-so does and copy that, but set your training program up specifically for you.
Don’t “diet”! Find the nutritional protocol that works for you, constantly adapting and adjusting it (as you should your training), so that you keep making progress and getting results in the direction of your goals.
How important is progression of weight in some form, in the muscle building process?
I believe that it is important – you constantly want to be pushing yourself if you want to progress, and lifting as heavy as you can for the reps you have set yourself in any given session is something that I believe everyone should do for the best results. As I noted in my article, Training for Muscle Growth: Physiological Adaptations to Resistance Training and Lifting Weights to Maximize Mass, “Progressive overload must continually occur in order to induce adaptations and changes resulting in muscular hypertrophy. Progressive overload can be achieved through several methods, including increasing the intensity of exercise or resistance/weight used while staying with the same set and rep range, increasing the volume by increasing the number of sets and/or reps at the same or higher weight, changing tempo and training velocity, rest periods, etc. (Fleck & Kraemer, 2004).”
What are some of the most common mistakes made when someone is trying to build muscle and/or get ripped?
- Lack of correct nutrition – for all but a rare few, nutrition is the determining factor in whether or not they are successful in achieving their muscle accretion and/or fat loss goals.
- Not training appropriately for their goals – if building muscle is desired, there are general guidelines to follow re training; if fat loss is desired, then pretty much any training is going to work, not the commonly used higher reps with light weights (and there really is no need for that IMO).
- Too many isolation exercises – the basics are the best; compound, mult-joint exercises are going to give the best results, and what works best for building muscle also works best for fat loss.
- Relying on supplements too much – supplements are not the “answer” to achieving your goals, especially if you are a beginner, and should only be used to supplement your nutrition and training.
- Lack of individualization – just doing what everyone else is doing is a sure way to fail, since not everyone has the same individual factors to take into consideration and responds differently to everything than another; everything you do from your nutrition to training, no matter how unconventional, should be specific to you.
What are your favorite 5 muscle building exercises and why?
The exercises that have contributed the most in building up my physique, in no particular order (and please note that there are not the exercises I would recommend as “the best exercises for muscle building”, but are specific to me, as my body is different than most in how it responds to anything):
- Behind the Neck Barbell Military Press – I first started noticing real delt development and progress after adding these into my training program.
- Hammer Bicep Curls – both heads of my biceps have developed since adding these to my training program.
- Single Arm Lateral Raises – my lateral delts have become more “capped” since adding these into my training program.
- One Arm Dumbbell Rows – only added these into my training program in the last few months actually and have noticed definite benefits (especially since my favorite back exercises – Supinated Close-Grip Pull-Ups and Barbell Bent Over Rows – have been causing my left wrist distress).
- Supinated Close-Grip Pull Ups were the first exercise that really gave me development in my back.
For anyone else – individual factors aside – the top exercises (eight instead of five) for building muscle I would give are the squat, deadlift, power clean, bench press, reverse bent over rows, pull-ups, military press, and dips.
What are some of the biggest training mistakes you’ve made?
I was very lucky, both in starting out training (re cycling) and in the gym (re weights) to have the best of the best (in New Zealand) as my coaches, trainers and mentors, my training always individualized to my goals and needs, proper form and technique always stressed, etc., and everything that I did I knew why (which is why I do this with my own clients – everything in your training program should have a purpose, and if it has none, then get rid of it). That said, I have learnt many things over the years about my body and could have done things differently during certain periods, especially with regards to scheduling time out from training throughout the year – since not allowing myself more than a week or two a year off training was, I believe, a huge contributing factor to my initial bouts of chronic fatigue.
What are the most underrated and overrated muscle building exercises?
That is going to be very dependent on the individual in question and their specific needs (i.e. physiological, injuries, etc.).
Which workout has worked best for you?
There are many different things that have worked best for me – all at different stages in my life and re different training phases and goals. I train the way I do currently because it is the best for my body right now, especially after everything it has been through in the last year.
What are your best tips for getting ripped and shredded abs?
Train smart. You do not need to spend excessive time doing exercises for your abs – make sure your nutrition and training are targeted at fat loss, and that, when you are lean, you have the muscle mass to show.
What does your post-workout nutrition and supplementation look like?
From a post I made earlier this year when asked: “…just to give you an idea of what a “typical” meal looks like for me (pretty “clean” aside from the chocolate – last night’s post-training meal was more “dirty”), this is my post-training meal from tonight (two meals previously consumed already today)…
- Finished Training at 2136 (took 2 caps Recompadrol + 1 cap AnaBeta + 1 gram Vitamin C).
- 2156: 320 grams Willy Wonka Chocolate Fantabulous Fudge Bar (1,600 calories, 168g carbs, 16g protein, 96g fat) with 200 grams Blue Diamond Whole Natural Almonds (1,142 calories, 43g carbs, 43g protein, 100g fat).
- 2225: 1 cup Tazo Zen Green Tea (with 2 caps of AnaBeta).
- 2236: 1 cup Royal Basmati Rice (600 calories, 140g carbs, 12g protein, 0g fat) with 85 grams Oscar Mayer Real Bacon Bits, hickory smoke flavor (300 calories, 0g carbs, 36g protein, 18g fat) with 1 tablespoon 5th Season Parsley Flakes (all negligible) with 1 pinch McCormick Oregano Leaves (all negligible), followed by 1 large granny smith apple (62 calories, 14g carbs, 1g protein, 0g fat), followed by 440 grams Chobani Greek Yogurt Non-Fat, vanilla flavor (340 calories, 36g carbs, 44g protein, 0g fat). Finished eating at 2259.
Approximate total calorie and macronutrient breakdown from that single meal post-training: 4,044 calories (going from food labels, but if calculating from grams re macronutrients, comes out at 4,138 calories).
…And this was last night’s post-training meal (after two meals already that day):
- Finished training at 2047 (took 2 caps Recompadrol + 1 cap AnaBeta + 1 gram Vitamin C).
- 2158: 2 Twix Caramel Milk Chocolate Cookie Bars, 8 ounces Dark Chocolate Raspberry M&M’s, 200 grams Blue Diamond Whole Natural Almonds, 5 Jimmy Dean Turkey Sausage Links, 1 large Domino’s pizza with Philly steak, pineapple, cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese, and extra marinara sauce (added on parsley flakes and oregano), 16 Domino’s parmesan bread bites, 1 cup Tazo Zen Green Tea. Finished eating at 2300.
What does your off-season bulking (eating) plan look like?
I do not “cut” or “bulk”, and left to its own devices, my body perpetually recomps, and I allow it to. My diet does not change and stays fairly constant. The only time it really changes are the 3-4 days before a photoshoot.
How do you prepare meals? Do you cook daily or cook for the week?
I prepare my meals daily.
Do you believe recomping is possible (gaining muscle while losing fat), and if so, is it as difficult as most people think it is?
Recomping is absolutely possible – I should know; my body does it naturally without me having to “try” to do it. No, I do not believe that it is as difficult as people think, but I do believe that you must go about it the right way for your body. For the majority of those who want to recomp, their nutrition is going to be the predominant factor in determining whether or not they are successful, since almost any kind of training is going to work well (although heavy lifting and shorter recovery periods are “best”, IMO).
What are thoughts cycles of bulking and cutting for non-competitors who just want to look good?
Whether one “bulks” and “cuts” is their personal preference, but staying relatively lean and slowly adding muscle mass (if more is desired) is the best way to go, IMO.
What are your favorite cheat meals and foods?
I love food in general and cannot give a specific “cheat” meal/food, as it is constantly changing – I do not limit myself, and ‘cheating’ happens every other day (as evidenced my meal examples given below).
Favorite “cheat” foods include Spagalini’s chicken and cranberry pizza, Coco’s chocolate silk pie, and marzipan.
What are some of your best diet, nutrition and supplementation tips for someone who just wants to get ripped?
- Your diet should be a lifestyle plan, the only thing that really changes being caloric intake based on your goals and needs of different phases of training and/or periods of life.
- Don’t look at what everyone else is doing; instead make sure that your nutrition is specific to you, regardless of how against the “norm” it is.
- Find a nutritional protocol that your body feels the most comfortable with, but also that you see progress with; work with your body, not against it.
What are your thoughts of niche diet approaches like the Paleo Diet, Adkins Diet, Keto Runs, the Warrior Diet, Intermittent Fasting, etc.?
I don’t “diet” I am not a dieter and never have been. I believe that one should not “diet”. One’s diet should be a lifestyle, not a temporary plan that they use, adjusting their caloric intake based on their goals and needs of different phases.
Nutrition has always been the one area where I have not had much discipline, my diet honestly what most people call a perpetual “cheat”, going completely against the “norm” and of what is “acceptable” – so much so that most people do not actually believe me when I tell them what I do eat like (until they see it for themselves!) Until the last few months (since all my injuries at the end of last year), nutrition has not played as much of a role as my training in my conditioning, past experience showing me that “dieting” as others diet does not work for my body (if you read past updates in my online Fitness Journal – link at the end – you will see this confirmed), and I do not use any specific “diet”, instead listening to my body and adjusting my nutrition (as I do my training) as required, with my macronutrient ratios and calorie intake changing on a day-to-day basis, albeit averaging out at my maintenance of ~4,300 calories daily.
I adjust my nutrition on a weekly – sometimes even daily – basis, dependent on my progress towards my goal/s of that phase, my diet a specific adaption for me, amalgamating nutritional methods and principles taken from various nutritional protocols. My diet could probably best be described as Lean Gains, without being strictly Lean Gains, since the only thing I do that is part of the protocol really is the 16-hour fasting period with an 8-hour feeding window, adapting everything else to be specific for me, so that it is “perfect” for what I want and need.
How important is carb cycling when trying to cut fat and retain muscle?
It depends on the individual. That said, carbohydrate (and calorie) cycling is an extremely effective nutritional protocol for leaning out or making lean gains.
Do you focus on specific macro (PCF) levels/percentages while cutting and bulking?
What does your current supplementation plan look like?
I use a lot of supplements, actually. That said I use them because they work for me specifically and everything in my supplement regime has a purpose. I pretty much have all my supplements covered, and knowing what works best for my body, do not often use products outside of those anymore.
My “staple” supplements are:
- Alpha-T2: 2 caps first thing and 2 caps early afternoon.
- AnaBeta*: 2 caps ~30 min pre-resistance training, 1 cap immediately post-resistance training, 1 cap with post-training meal, and 1-2 caps with a meal later in the day.
- Assault – 1-2 servings ~30 min pre-resistance training.
- Erase: 2 caps early afternoon and 1 cap pre-bed (if using Erase Pro)/2 caps first thing, 2 caps early afternoon and 1 cap pre-bed (if NOT using Erase Pro).
- MuscleGel Shots (Key Lime and Tropical Mango flavors): 1-2 packets daily.
- Recompadrol*: 2 caps first thing, 2 caps early afternoon, and 2 caps pre-bed (currently out of).
- Recover Pro (Red Raspberry flavor): 3 scoops mid-morning and 3 scoops mid-afternoon.
- Shred Matrix: 3 caps first thing and 3 caps early afternoon.
- Vitamin C: 2 grams first thing, 1-2 grams immediately post-training, 1-2 grams early afternoon, 1-2 grams pre-bed, and sometimes 1-2 grams post-meal later in the day.
* I cycle AnaBeta in and out (or if I run out of anything and have to wait for more – like in the case of Recompadrol none being available from the manufacturer until the end of April), but the rest are pretty much staples.
What are some of your favorite supplements and why?
You can find a list of my “favorite/top” products here (with an explanation for WHY): http://www.rosiesmusclerevolution.com/supplements_favourites.htm
- #1 Equal: Applied Nutriceuticals IGF-2 – IGF-2 was my first favorite product ever, not only assisting me in gaining muscle mass whilst simultaneously allowing me to stay relatively lean )maintaining 8-10% bodyfat even at ~4,300 cal/day!), but improving recovery and completely eliminating DOMS, aiding with better sleep. IGF-2 is also the ONLY Growth Hormone booster that works WITH my body.
- #1 Equal: MusclePharm Assault – Assault was (and still is) the FIRST and only pre-workout product that I have ever used where I am FUNCTIONAL AND see results with the RECOMMENDED dosage, withOUT having to stack it with multiple stimulants. Definitely the inclusion of Suma Root in Assault makes the difference (I am still using the original version – although soon to finish my last tub of it and going to start on the newest formulation of Assault) – adaptogens work wonders for my body.
- #1 Equal: PES Erase – Erase is not just my #1 testosterone booster, but if I had to say it, the #1 product I would not want to be without)- not just because it is an excellent recomp product, but because of all the benefits re joints, sleep, and drying out, etc. I have with it (if there ever is a “magic” product, it is Erase).
- #2: MusclePharm Shred Matrix – I don’t use Shred Matrix as a “fat burner” per se, but for all its other beneficial properties. Not only is Shred Matrix the ultimate and most COMPLETE fat loss product IMO, but it would compliment anyone’s nutrition and training for ANY body goal!
- #3: PES Alpha-T2 – Alpha-T2 makes a noticeable difference to my progress, without any changes in nutrition or training, and works WITH my body instead of against it, like all the other thyroid boosting fat burners I have tried in the past.
- MusclePharm MuscleGel Shots (Key Lime flavor) – I cannot say enough about MuscleGel Shots – although they are slightly pricier than protein powder, for the ease and convenience of the product and the fact that protein powder now upsets my stomach, alongside BCAAs, they are my exclusive chosen source for protein.
- AI Sports Nutrition Recover Pro (Red Raspberry flavor) – BCAAs are a STAPLE product in my supplement arsenal. With a hint of sweet tartness, Red Raspberry RecoverPRO is my #1 product re flavor!
What are your favorite meals and foods?
I love food in general and cannot give a specific meal/food, as it is constantly changing – although a roast meal like what was done when I was a child would have to be among the top meals I could ever have (I really miss “Kiwi” food/meals).
Favorite “healthy” foods include fruit – especially tamarillos, raspberries and Granny Smith apples; nuts – especially almonds; kumara and buttercup.
How important is nutrient timing for performance and/or building muscle?
Very important. Most of the time, when one says “I can’t gain”, etc., even though they think they “eat a lot”, they are not eating enough. As far as performance, it is going to depend on the sport, as nutrition is more important for some than others, but it is still important and should not be neglected.
Nutrient timing has an important role, IMO, and I definitely know I feel and look better when I have my meals at specific times, taking into account sometimes WHAT is eaten when as well – for example, I can pretty much eat anything I want if it is my post-(resistance)-training meal, but if I ate that same meal on like a day off or after only having done cardio (which I have done on occasion), I just feel uncomfortable afterwards. Many times though, it takes experimenting with different nutritional protocols to find your personal “sweet spot”.
Which athletes do you admire any why?
Those involved in “fitness”:
Monica Brant-Peckham: Monica was my first “fitness” role model. When I was having a break from cycling and dabbled in bodybuilding (for fun) she was the woman that most inspired me through her discipline and dedication. I have always been quite muscular in my lower body, but Monica was what made me want to add muscle to my body, and work on making my upper body proportional to my lower. When I think of this arena Monica is the “First Lady”.
Ava Cowan: Not only is Ava’s career truly inspirational, but she is a genuinely beautiful person. She moves from strength to strength as a person and an athlete, always getting better and better. I have much respect for WHO she is as a person…IMO, Ava has the perfect female physique. She inspires me to take my physique to the ultimate level possible for me, and every time I see her Gaspari fat loss cycle ad I am remotivated with my conditioning and striving to be leaner than ever and the best that I can be!
Jamie Eason: A perfect balance between muscle and femininity, Jamie was the woman who first inspired me to consider [fitness] modeling (being the same height). She inspires me not just because she has had so much success in so little time, but because she is real. She’s not afraid to put herself out there and take risks, strong enough to stand up for what she believes in, and does her best to inspire others. Jamie also inspired me to compete seriously (once I had retired from cycling) and to compete in the Natural Federations.
Gina Ostarly: Wife, mother and grandmother, Gina is a motivation and inspiration to all, proving that no matter how old one is, age is NOT an obstacle to achieving and maintaining the body of your dreams. Writer, trainer, model, and athlete, Gina is a huge source of knowledge, only willing to share it to help others achieve the best lifestyle they possibly can, and GoFitness is a model for what I ultimately want to be have and be doing with my own exercise physiology clinic.
Obi Obadike: Not only is Obi a wealth of experience and knowledge, but he is very humble, never seeking to glorify himself and his accomplishments, only wishing to do what he can to encourage, motivate, and educate others to a better lifestyle. Having overcome many challenges in his fitness career, Obi leads by example, showing others what can be done when you put your mind to it, regardless of how “impossible” anyone else says it is. I have learnt a lot from Obi and am truly grateful to know him.
Ben Booker: Ben is “living proof” that if you “stay strong, always believe, never give up…dreams can come true”. Ben is faith, courage, determination, humility, strength – a true testament to God’s glory. “What I know today…anything can happen, dreams come true, and miracles occur daily. Belief is power beyond measure. Second Chance, make yours count!” Ben is a great mentor and role model for me, inspiring me to step out in faith and take the risk, to always do my best.
Layne Norton: Knowledge, experience, achievement, all summed up in one word: LAYNE. Layne is Layne – no other explanation is needed!
Workout music – Don’t care, or MP3 player?
Currently on my playlist: Breaking Benjamin, Chris Brown, Cold, Five Finger Death Punch, Red, Skillet, Sevendust, Tantric, The Exies, and a few songs from random artists. That said, what I listen to depends on my mood on any given day.
What are some of your favorite motivational quotes?
I don’t have a single specific favorite quote, but here are my favorite ones:
- “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:13
- “TRUST in HIM, who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think.” – Ephesians 3:20
- “Look back and thank God. Look forward and trust God. Look within and find God! God closes doors no man can open and God opens doors no man can close!” – John Carter
- “‘For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.'” – Jeremiah 29:11-13
- “Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. IMPOSSIBLE is nothing. How are you going to live your life?” – U.S. Army
- “I succeed because I am willing to do the things you are not. I will fight against the odds. I will sacrifice. I am not shacked by fear, insecurity or doubt. I feel those emotions but I drink them in and swallow them away to the blackness of hell. I am motivated by accomplishment, not pride. Pride consumes the weak and kills their heart from inside. If I fall… I will get up. If I am beaten… I will return. I will never give up… EVER.” – Nike
- “The biggest risk in life is to risk nothing at all.” – Anonymous
- “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 frightens us. Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.” – Marianne Williamson
- “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt
- “It’s not about what you’ve got; it’s about what you DO with what you’ve got.” – Andie West, Step Up 2: The Streets
- “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.” – Steve Prefontaine
- “Never, never, never, never give up” – Winston Churchill
- “Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place, and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done! Now, if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain’t you. You’re better than that!…until you start believing in yourself, you ain’t gonna have a life…Cause if you’re willing to go through all the battling you got to go through to get where you want to get, who’s got the right to stop you? I mean maybe some of you guys got something you never finished, something you really want to do, something you never said to someone, something…and you’re told no, even after you paid your dues? Who’s got the right to tell you that, who? Nobody! It’s your right to listen to your gut, it ain’t nobody’s right to say no after you earned the right to be where you want to be and do what you want to do!…You know, the older I get the more things I gotta leave behind, that’s life. The only thing I’m asking you guys to leave on the table…is what’s right.” – Rocky Balboa
- “Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger
- “Nothing in the world is permanent and we are foolish when we ask anything to last, but surely we are still more foolish not to take delight in it while we have it.” – William Somerset Maughan
- “There comes a time when you have to stand up and shout: This is me damn it! I look the way I look, think the way I think, feel the way I feel, love the way I love! I am a whole complex package. Take me… or leave me. Accept me – or walk away! Do not try to make me feel like less of a person, just because I don’t fit your idea of who I should be and don’t try to change me to fit your mold. If I need to change, I alone will make that decision. When you are strong enough to love yourself 100%, good and bad – you will be amazed at the opportunities that life presents you.” – Stacey Charter
If someone wants to connect with you, where can you be found?
Do you have any tips for someone who is looking to compete in your sport?
Although I no longer “compete in a sport”, the advice I would give anyone just starting out in any sport is the same: If you want to be the best, you go to the best – those who have coached the best, been the best in that sport, etc. Make sure that everything you do from training to nutrition, etc. has a purpose and you know what that is. Understand everything you do, learn as much as you can. You should always have a periodized training program, inclusive of training that are more like “mock” or “practice” competitions – if you have to do something in your sport, you should have done it several times before the “real” deal, so that you are prepared for it and know what to do. There are so many more things, but that’s the main things.
What attracts you to the natural side of sports and competition?
I am a lifetime natural athlete – this is a personal decision I made a long time ago. I would rather that I did everything possible to do the best I could without “cheating” than achieve something that caused me to feel ashamed of myself. Although if you use “extras” to help enhance your performance and/or physique you still have to work hard, you have to work harder to compete against such individuals if you are all natural, and there is no greater satisfaction knowing that you did something.
There will always be those who seek to enhance their performance or physique though the aid of “drugs”, but I am not one of them, and to me this is drawing the line for myself.
There are those that have genuine conditions in which “drugs” are used and usage of them is acceptable, but even then, that is still often an individual choice – I say this as an individual with a hereditary blood disorder that is commonly treated with EPO, having refused to use it, allowing my training to “make up” for the fact that my red blood cells can only carry TWO oxygen molecules instead of the normal four. I believe that one can achieve what they want without the use of “drugs” – I am living proof of this – but not everyone is willing to go the hard route or to be patient in order to accomplish their goals or regulate/manage their needs.
Favorite activities and hobbies you enjoy when away from the gym?
In no particular order:
- Writing – Re fitness/lifestyle, I am a columnist for several industry magazines, contribute articles to various bodybuilding and fitness websites, and write a daily Motivational (kept on http://worldphysique.com/women/?author=13, currently https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rosies-MuscleRevolution/110409615728675?sk=notes).
- Reading – I have loved to read as long as I have loved to write, and it is a nice escape (fiction) or educational experience (research).
- Research – Whether for personal reasons, to add to knowledge and skills, or for an article.
- Watching anime and movies – Top anime include Code Geass, Gurren Lagann, Helsing Ultimate, Trinity Blood, and X…Top movies include Azumi, Sherlock Holmes, Stardust, The Myth, and The Prestige…
- Fitness and Management Consultant – I do a lot of pro bono “consulting” in this area, as well as manage my time helping out and contributing to several bodybuilding and fitness forums.
- Strength and Conditioning Coach – I have coached athletes for various sports including cycling, Muay Thai boxing, sprinting, and triathlons.
- Modeling – This is an aspect of the fitness industry that I have recently become involved in, and I enjoy it because it has allowed me to embrace the woman inside, challenges me, is something different, and another avenue I can use to help re exposure to influence as many people as possible.
- Traveling – I have a wanderer’s spirit and love exploring new places.
- Eating – I love to eat, LOL.
- Spending time with friends/family – Life is too short to not let the people whoa re dear to you know it and there is not greater way of showing that than making and spending time with them, IMO.
Tony Mitchell, Walt Ostary, Dan Ray, Gary Miller