I was always an athlete starting from a very young age. I was always outside playing, riding my bike, rollerblading etc. It was until I got a little older that I was allowed to play in sports. I have played tennis, softball, basketball and even ice-skating. But basketball and track really stuck with me and I continued to pursue those two sports throughout high school and into college. However, during my freshman year in college I suffered a major knee injury that required surgery. I was pretty much was out after that happened and decided that I was just going to focus on school and rehabilitation of my knee. I started dabbling in weightlifting but nothing serious until early 2006. I had recently gotten out of a very abusive relationship and found solace in the gym. I continued to lift and learn my way around the weights and machines and loved the results that I was seeing. I finally decided after a suggestion from a local show promoter to get ready for a figure competition and see if I would like it or not. Well needless to say I was hooked after and continued to pursue the sport. Its been a journey ever since and... a journey that I don't regret being on.
I keep myself motivated through my family and friends that support me. But also the people that tell me that I am an inspiration to them, keeps me going as well. I never thought that I would be able to inspire anyone, but when I started lifting and competing it just happened! So, I am grateful for that and the drive to always be better than my last show motivates me as well. It's always a challenge but when I see the improvements being made, it is all worth it in the end.
HIIT training has worked the best for me. I like HIIT (high intensity interval training) because I get the most out of my cardio and it seems to go a lot faster for me and that is a plus! And even just running for a few miles has worked, as long as my knees don't give me issues.
I think the only real recipe that I like is the only one that I can cook because I am terrible at it. I like protein pancakes because it starts me off the right foot and it's like having a treat first thing in the morning.
My eating is so basic when I am getting ready for a show and off-season. It is your usual chicken, steak, fish and vegetables and complex carbs, protein shakes and everything in between. However, I live in Chicago and quite frankly it is hard saying no to some of the delicious food out here. I like to eat!! And my coaches know that too, but I try to make it a point to not go cray cray and blow up like I have before. So, instead of eating for two like I use to, I will eat clean as much as possible and have my little cheats here and there so I can keep my sanity.
During off-season that's easy, I eat it! But it's usually during my prep that I have the most cravings so I try to drink water or I will eat something that isn't going to throw me off. It gets rough sometimes but it happens to the best of us.
Any Back, Bicep and Shoulder exercises
I absolutely listen to music! I freak out if I forget my headphones and find myself begging people to use theirs if I have forgotten mine or I just go buy a cheap pair. My playlist includes Rihanna (love her!), Staind, 2 Chains, Kanye, Jay-Z, A Perfect Circle, Chevelle and a host of other great artists. Music is essential for me to have a great workout.
My training routine can vary from week to week depending on what I need to work on. I am doing Volume training right now (time under tension) and it is already kicking my ass! I switch up my training every few weeks. Sets are set at 4 right now and the reps are at 10-15 for upper and higher reps for my legs. I do separate muscles areas and give everything 2-3 days of rest. My legs get a full week of rest and I only hit specific parts to make sure that they don't blow up on me. Cardio is always a must so since I am rolling into prep season right now, I get in at least 30-40 minutes and after this weekend I will bump it up to 45-60 minutes. I like to get somewhat of a head start on cardio, because it really does help me keep the weight down and keeps me focused.
I do set goals but there are mostly just to improve after any show. My more important goals involve my actual life outside the sport. I try to keep in mind that this is just a hobby.
I am most proud of the gains I have made over the last 6 years and looking forward to seeing what the future has in store for me in this sport. I am also proud of myself for going after my dreams in life and I am still looking to achieve some of those.
The only setback I think I have had are my legs. I ran track and they have always been pretty beefy. So, lucky for me my genetics have allowed me luxuries and I don't even touch them half the time because they have practically built themselves throughout the years.
PICTURES!! I hate the scale and mirror because my body goes through so much and it's always hard to tell. Don't get me wrong I still use the scale, but pictures are the best way for me to see where my progression is and what still needs to worked on.
I love Brian Urlacher from the Chicago Bears. His drive and motivation is always great to watch. He has always been up there on the list for me.
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Essence Monet IFBB Figure Pro
Stats - Height: 5"9, Year of birth: Dec 5, 1984
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