I’ve been addicted to extreme sports since I was a child. I was a gymnast, a horse vaulter (gymnastics on horseback), a Muay Thai kickboxer, and a track athlete throughout my school years. If there was a sport that got my adrenaline pumping you could guarantee I wanted to be involved. I started lifting weights as a teenager when my parents began taking me to the gym with them. However, I didn’t get serious about weight lifting until after I graduated high school. I needed to find another sport that challenged me on the inside and out. Weight training and competing in fitness filled that void. Fitness is one of the most intense yet rewarding sports I’ve ever participated in!
Absolutely not! I’m definitely not a cardio queen. While I do love a good HIIT session, nothing beats the rush I get from lifting heavy in the weight room.
I typically spend about an hour to an hour and a half in the gym.
I have eclectic taste in music. One day you might catch me listening to Nine Inch Nails, and the next I’m trying to sing to Adele. Typically, on my heavy lifting days I love hard rock, but during cardio I love high-energy beats.
On my playlist right now:
Nicki Minaj & David Guetta - Turn Me On
Flo Rida - Good Feeling
Rihanna - We Found Love
Bassnecta r- Lights
Powerman 5000 - When Worlds Collide
Three Days Grace - Animal I Have Become
Lil Jon & LMFAO - Outta Your Mind
Breaking Benjamin - Breakdown
Deadmau5 - Sofi Needs a Ladder
Eminem -‘Till I Collapse
Lil Wayne - Drop the World
Rihanna - S&M
The Dropkick Murphys - I’m Shipping Up to Boston
I had to take at least 10 months off of training after suffering a disc herniation in my spine.
I’ve hit a couple of obstacles along my fitness journey. My first major hurdle was a back injury. It was a huge struggle for me both mentally and physically. I suffered an L5 S1 disc herniation, and lost feeling in my left leg. The injury challenged me on a daily basis for several years, but in a way I’m thankful for the experience as it’s made me one hell of a tough competitor.
My second setback…I’m actually dealing with it as we speak. I partially detached a tendon in my right hamstring during my fitness routine at Team Universe in July, and I’m currently going through physical therapy. I haven’t trained legs for months! While it’s been a huge challenge, I try to stay positive and focus on what I can train. One thing’s for sure, I won’t let this injury stop me from reaching my dream of becoming an IFBB Pro. Mark my words!
I am very proud of competing on a national stage as a fitness competitor despite the obstacles I’ve faced along the way. When I initially injured my back I was told I would never be able to train in the gym again. One of my doctors literally said “choose a new hobby.” Not only did I prove him wrong, and I’m training again, but I’m also proud to say that I now have back flips in my fitness routine. After years of patience and hard work, I healed my back conservatively, and instead of “choosing a new hobby”, I chose to continue to lead a healthy lifestyle. I’m also proud to say that I’m now a sponsored athlete with All American EFX! I’m a certified NATURAL FREAK!
Outside of the gym, I am proud of my amazing family! In recent years, I’ve helped my parents lead healthier lifestyles. They now both lift weights in the gym, they focus on clean eating, and they even drink protein shakes! I love it! I am also proud of my sister, and thankful to be a part of her incredible fitness journey too. She’s lost more than 30 pounds, and she now competes in figure! My family inspires me on a daily basis, and it’s an incredible feeling to be able to share my passion with them.
Write down your goals and put them in a place where you can see them. If you don’t write it down, it’s easier to find an excuse or let your goal fall into a dark space in the back of your mind. Tell a friend about your goals, and reward yourself with non-food items (like a massage, new running shoes, etc.) when you reach milestones. Focus on positive thinking, and when you’re having a bad day and you fall off track, don’t beat yourself up about it. Tomorrow is a new day, and you have the power to make good choices.
If I’m craving something, I try to distract myself. I typically do something active or chew gum and drink water. I also believe in cheat meals, and I indulge a little once a week. By the time I finish my cheat meal, I’m over it, and ready for another week of clean eating.
My favorite athletes are my coaches! My figure coach and nutritionist, IFBB Figure Pro Kristi Tauti, and my fitness coach, IFBB Fitness Pro Tami Ough, are both amazing women. They lead incredibly busy lives, maintain family life, are top-notch athletes, and inspire many along the way…including me! Fellow competitors are also a huge source of inspiration for me. It takes a lot of guts and hard work to make it to the stage!
I LOVE high intensity interval training. I live close to a college, and I love mixing interval sprints on the track with running stairs. Not only does this type of cardio make my heart beat out of my chest, but it also conditions my legs. If I don’t have access to a track, I work on my love/hate relationship with the step mill.
My workouts are always evolving as I like to keep it interesting, and keep my body guessing. I typically lift five to six days per week. When lifting heavy I hit 10 to 12 reps, and three to four sets, but this can vary depending on the day and the body part. On high volume days my rep range sits between 15 to 20. I participate in four to five cardio sessions every week for about 20 to 30 minutes. My cardio schedule may increase or change depending on my competitive season. When I’m in competition prep I’ll practice my fitness routine two to three times per week for one hour. My routine typically counts as my cardio, which certainly beats a treadmill any day! I also make sure to work on my gymnastics skills for about an hour at least once a week. Doing so allows me to tap into muscles that I don’t typically use while lifting weights in the gym. This, of course, was my routine before my leg injury:
Weight Training Split (I may include two rest days depending on my energy level)
Tuesday: Back & abs
Wednesday: Shoulders (heavy weight)
Thursday: Legs & abs (lighter weight, plyometrics or fitness-routine specific exercises)
Friday: Chest, Biceps, Triceps
Saturday: Shoulders & abs (lighter weight, plyometrics or fitness-routine specific exercises)
Sunday: Legs (heavy weight)
I eat complex carbohydrates including oatmeal, sweet potatoes, and brown rice. I combine carbs with lean protein like chicken, turkey, lean beef, and more chicken. I love to eat vegetables and fruits (fruit is limited in competition prep). I eat healthy fats like peanut butter. I also like to get a little crazy and eat dairy food items every now and then.
• K-Otic- This is the best pre-workout product out there! K-Otic jacks me up without the crash, and helps me push through my workouts with intensity regardless of what kind of day I’m having.
• NF Whey Protein- I love mixing this in things like oatmeal or protein pancakes!
• GlutaZorb- I take this post workout and before bed for muscle recovery, and overall immune function. A staple in my supplement routine.
• Karbolyn- If you haven’t tried this, you’re missing out!
• Kre-Alkalyn- This is a buffered creatine monohydrate. It’s helped me build a lot of muscle in my improvement seasons over the years, but it doesn’t bloat me so I can take it during competition prep.
• Joint Rehab- As a fitness competitor, taking care of my joints is a must!
• Omegas, Vitamin D, Multi-Vitamin, Calcium
Competition Ready Weight: 128,
Improvement Season Weight: 135
Height: 5’5 ¾ “