How old are you, where do you come from and what do you do day to day?

I’m 20 years old, I live in Surrey (near the south east coast) and I’m a personal trainer out of a 24hr “The Gym” so my day to day lifestyle normally consists of being there for most of it or if not you’ll find me training!

What was your lifestyle like before getting into fitness?

I’ve always had quite a sporty background from quite a young age, when I was little I started Swimming 3x a week so spent most of my evenings after school either studying or training. When I grew up, I still was swimming but more, so I only had weekends to socialise with my friends from school. When I went to college the workload got more intense so I decided to stop swimming when i finished my AS level exams!

How did you get into fitness and how did you get into competing?

I got into fitness when I was quite young as i’d always enjoyed sport from a young age. I started going to the gym a few times a week whilst I was still at college, but because I didn’t really know much about what I was doing, for the first few months I just stuck to doing cardio. I then learned a little more about diet and fitness regimes from overhearing some of the PT’s chatting to other members in the gym, and I started to add some leg resistance machine training into my workouts.

At that point, I remember being about 17 and thinking I knew everything about training and that what I was doing was going to make me have legs like a Victoria Secret model. But in reality, I was over-training and my legs were constantly fatigued from training them everyday. I decided to start training properly with a couple of my friends that trained there in the evenings. I began to learn more about fitness and training my whole body, and it felt great! I started to see massive changes in how my body looked and decided that I wanted to take my passion for training into being a PT.

I took the course with Fitness Industry Education in Southwark (they’re great btw!!!) and various people mentioned that I should compete. I never really liked the idea of it at first but after a few hours of YouTube research and being nosy on Instagram, I decided that I’d try it. I started off with a coach and we worked together for about 6 weeks – but then I decided to continue by myself and I self-prepped for my last two shows!

What is your approach to diet? What do you eat on a daily basis to stay in shape?

As i’m a personal Trainer my approach to diet is probably very stereotypical, but from also competing I can see that there are different ways you can diet. I try and “practice what I preach” and eat as healthily I can all the time… But anyone I work with will know that I have a major sweet tooth and love a cake!

I think when you have a goal in mind or you want to lose weight it’s not about starving yourself, it’s not about cutting carbs out and eating a carrot stick and a lettuce leaf for your lunch and dinner. You can’t live off that! Your body needs food to function properly so I think all these ‘fad diets’ – the likes of Herbalife and Juice Plus for example, might work in the short term… But in the long run can you really sustain a healthy diet from that? I think it’s all about eating smaller portions, more often, with the right foods in a balanced meal!

My personal diet varies as to whether i’m in Season or Off-season. If i’m in off season like i currently am, i like to add some variety into my diet, I like to eat lots of red meats and foods like potatoes and pasta and I love my veg so I’ll always eat lots of that. I’ll typically eat red meat or chicken/turkey with sweet potatoes, quinoa or brown rice with veg.

In my competing season my diet will change slightly so I’ll try and cut out the fatty red meats – I don’t eat fish or eggs so my diet normally consists of chicken, with sweet potatoes, brown rice or quinoa and veggies. I won’t give too much away… but typically when training for a show i’ll cut down on carbs and up my protein Intake. Because I don’t east fish or eggs I use supplementation to keep my protein levels high, which I cut out 2 weeks before show day and eat a tonne more meat to keep my water levels down.

What is your approach to training? What does your current workout plan look like?

As mentioned previously when I started training I always thought that if you wanted to have good legs for example, you had to train them frequently to see changes. How wrong was I! Training isn’t about spot reducing fat, training the whole body will make you functionally stronger, you’ll find things in everyday life easier and generally feel better in your own body. Exercising releases endorphin’s (the happy hormone) So i believe that Training frequently is great for your body!

Regardless of what you’re training for, whether it’s Functional training or Strength Training, High weight and Low Reps or Low Weight and High Reps you’re still making an impact on your body. As i’m currently not competing and enjoying an Off-season, My workout plan is more relaxed. I’m currently on a Strength Programme to build my muscles up so they’re strong for January 1st when I will start cutting again. (My next competition is 24th April at Portsmouth Guildhall if anyone’s interested in watching!!).

My daily workout will consist of:

  • 5/6am Early morning Cardio (time depending whether I have a 6am client)
  • 2 hr Break in the day/after work i’ll train in my split routine, (EG: Monday back and biceps, Wednesday Legs etc) I’m lifting heavy at the moment, trying to build up as much strength as possible before I cut body-fat!

How do you stay motivated?

Good question! I actually have girls or guys at the gym i work in quite frequently asking if I get bored doing 45 mins of cardio every morning, or do I feel like i ‘can’t be bothered’ some days and Yes, of course i do but so does everyone that competes! If you know everyday you have to get up at 5am when your partners still asleep to go to the gym and do a 45min fasted cardio session, everyone is going to have days when they don’t want to go. Thats part of it!

I know lots of the other Bikini girls and have a great Social Media feed, as we are all in the same boat even just flicking through photos or videos keeps me motivated. YouTube videos of previous competitions have always worked for me, they’re normally 10mins long and it makes you excited and motivated to get there!

Looking at your past pictures of how you looked on show day is a good one, definitely gets you motivated to be better and get back to that shape! Next season i’m going to bring a 100% better package to the stage so I’m going to try and aim to compete at the Arnolds, British Championships and Amateur Olympia… chasing that Pro Card!!

What three things are most helpful for staying on track?

Thats a tricky one – i find that many different things work for me. I’d say the main three are probably:

  • Stay focused – don’t let your friends distract you from what you’re doing, It sounds bad…. But if you’re more happy to go on a night out instead of training when you’re in Prep… you obviously can have a social life but If training isn’t put 1st then your head really isn’t in it.
  • Keep your eye on the end prize – Keep your goals in mind, if it’s to compete on an International Stage you want, keep your goals realistic.
  • Don’t let anyone tell you you’re not good enough – If you put your 100% best into it and work hard you can’t go wrong!!

What changes with your diet and training when you’re getting ready for a competition?

I think I’ve probably already covered this in another question.. (oops!) but normally when i enter my competing Season i’ll adapt my diet beforehand so i know exactly what i need to eat. Oats are the best breakfast all year round in my opinion so they always stay!! I’ll add in Protein/Meals at extra points throughout the day, so i’ll be eating every 3 hours.

I’ll cut out the cheats and treats, i’m quite good at staying on track (unless it’s a cake or something sweet) so this isn’t normally much of an issue for me, it’s only 12 weeks of your life before you can have a few days of eating whatever! Veggie and Fruit intake stays high throughout as these are essential to keep me nice and strong! Things will then change from that a few times as the prep gets closer to the end.

Training wise, when i enter my competing season I’ll be up at 5/6am everyday (this is the same in my off season) but i’ll do Fasted Cardio so i’ll not eat before a 45min session. I’ll do a Weights session from my split and then every other day (or more) i’ll add an Ab Workout in to keep them nice and strong! I’ll then do another 45min Cardio session in the evening/after work before bed. I like to do Plyos, HIIT training and also Low Intensity Cardio to change it up so I don’t get bored! Again, this will change a few times before comp day!

What are your goals for the future?

Good Question. In terms of my Personal Training career – within the next year/18 months i want to build up my business so that i’m training around 5 clients a day (or more) and eventually open up my own gym. I also love the Managerial side of things – So want to develop my career to a Managerial role.

In terms of my Competing Career – I love it, there’s no better feeling than stepping on stage, looking good, in front of hundreds of people! I’m definitely going to be competing in at least a few more seasons, the aim being to compete on an International stage within the next year and win my IFBB Pro Card within the next couple of years. Tough goals – But i’ll work hard! Watch this space!