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Posted 12 August 2011 by CutAndJacked.com

CutAndJacked.com Interview:


Courtney Prather

Congratulations on becoming the 2011 bodybuilding.com fit body competition winner tell us about your journey, and what it took to win?

Thank you!! Winning that competition was my proudest moment so far since making the decision to compete. Bodybuilding.com is such a force in the industry and I was so honored to be a part of it. I diet and train very hard for any competition that I enter but I really just tried to be myself on that stage- and it paid off!

What’s the toughest aspect of this fitness lifestyle and how do you overcome it?

Personally, the hardest part of consistently following a fitness lifestyle is the diet. I have always worked out and been athletic but admit I was a bit of a foodie. Planning meals ahead of time and preparing food for an entire week is essential since I also work a full-time job. When people make poor diet choices it is usually because it is convenient and readily available. Making clean food in advance and packing it for the day makes it convenient and takes the guesswork out of eating. I heard this quote once, and I constantly remind myself of it whenever I am tempted to cheat: “Nothing tastes as good as being fit feels”. Also, I stopped calling it a “diet”! That has such a negative connotation and implies it is a temporary way of eating. I choose to eat clean; it is a lifestyle not a phase.

We know consistency is key, what tips would you give to anyone struggling to stay consistent?

I like to set short term goals to stay on track. It’s easy to justify slipping a little from diet or training if you don’t have short term goals or milestones to hold you accountable. Knowing that I am 4 weeks out from a show or have a photoshoot planned helps me stay focused. Once I make a milestone, I set another and refocus towards my new goal.

Do you count calories or weight your food?

Not anymore! In the beginning, it is important to track what you eat and measure your food so you can really see what you are putting in your mouth and have a starting point to make adjustments to. I was obsessive with keeping journals and measuring food for about the first 6 months. But now I can tell you how many calories are in all the foods I eat off the top of my head and can portion out ½ cup of this or 5 oz of that like a pro haha! The only food group I occasionally measure is my complex carbs because the last few weeks before a show it is crucial to be exact with those while cycling. But like my trainer, Ryan Bentson, says…”No one ever got fat off lean protein,” I eat as much of that as I need. ☺

Are you or have you ever been a cardio bunny and avoided the free-weight section?

I am embarrassed to admit that I was a cardio bunny, its true! Occasionally I would pick up a 5 lb dumbbell but was so afraid to really weight train because I didn’t want to get “bulky.” I think that is the most common misconception about training amongst girls, and I was guilty of it too! Ladies, trust me…don’t be afraid, the changes I have seen in my body are mainly due to lifting and the increase in lean muscle mass as a result.

How long do you spend in the gym during
a typical workout?

Since I work a full time job, I split my days and do 45 min of cardio in the AM and about 1 hr to 1 hr and a half of weight training in the PM, 6 days a week.

What are you most proud of?

I am most proud of the changes I have made to my physique and the improvement in my self esteem as a result. I made a commitment almost a year ago to live a fit, healthy lifestyle and sticking to it is rewarding both physically and emotionally!

What’s the longest break you’ve had from training?

Since I started seriously training the longest break I have had is 10 days while I was in Thailand after my first competition. I tried to find a gym when I could but it just wasn’t the same intensity level. I came back and had a lot of work to do! Although I think that was due to the insane amounts of Pad Thai and not the missed workouts. ☺

Who are your favourite, athletes or fitness models?

Amanda Latona and Jamie Eason are two of my favorite fitness models. I really admire how down to earth they are despite all the success; I hope to follow in their footsteps!

What types of cardio have worked best for you?

I have a very petite structure so my biggest focus is adding muscle. For that reason, I mainly do steady state cardio on the stair climber or incline treadmill and keep my heart rate around 65-75% of max. I need to preserve my muscle while still burning fat!

What is your training routine like?

What does your diet consist of?

I generally have a daily diet that looks like this:

Meal 1: ½ Cup of oatmeal, egg whites
Meal 2: 4 - 5oz of lean protein (chicken, fish, lean ground turkey) and lots of veggies
Meal 3: 4 - 5 oz of lean protein, veggies, 4oz of sweet potato or brown rice
Meal 4: 4 - 5 oz of lean protein, lots of veggies
Meal 5: 4 oz chicken and big salad
Meal 6: (If I am still awake) egg whites

My diet can change as I get closer to a show and I carb cycle as well, but my day to day diet is pretty consistent with the example above.

What supplements would you use/recommend if any?

I keep it pretty simple and take a daily multivitamin, Vitamin C, glutamine and BCAAs.

What 3 tips would you give to any woman wanting to get a feminine, CutandJacked physique like yours?

  1. Be consistent with the diet! Winning the mental battle of avoiding temptation and keeping the diet clean is #1. People always ask what I do for my abs, the truth is- nothing! I just eat clean all the time- no amount of crunches will make up for bad eating habits.
     
  2. Do your research! I spend a ton of time online finding blogs with great recipes, tips from other models, or learning from the people I look up to in the industry. Eating clean does not have to be boring, so don’t torture yourself! Finding clean alternatives for some of my old favorites has helped keep me sane and consistent.
     
  3. Don’t do it alone. If you don’t have a trainer or a workout buddy, go online! Bodybuilding.com and Bodyspace are great places to start to connect with others with similar goals and tons of sample diet and workout plans. I have learned so much from others, that it saves a lot of trial and error and can get you to your goals quicker!

   

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