I've been playing sports and been active my whole life, but it wasn't until college that I was introduced to weight training combined with clean eating (to fuel fitness goals) that I really saw results and fell in love with the lifestyle. I couldn't get enough at that point and have been learning and training ever since!
Constantly having a personal goal helps on a long-term scale, but for day to day: I'm motivated by people I have helped; by messages of how I've inspired them. It's such an honor and pushes me to keep going to help more and more people stay healthy and motivated. Other than that, I keep pictures of fitness models (some of them are friends) that inspire me on my fridge, I'll check in with the profiles on Instagram that inspire me, I'll talk to my best friend (who's also a trainer and model - we motivate each other all the time), listen to great up-beat music, and honestly? God. When I'm lacking strength, God renews it.
I have to be honest - as always - I hate cardio. I'd rather stick to my clean eating, cheat it less, lift heavier in the gym with less rest time, and do more plyos than do steady-state cardio for hours a week. I do sprints though. They're more challenging and take less time, so I don't even see them as "cardio" really - So I guess HIIT is the answer to your question. HIIT (sprints and plyos) work the best for me. :) Challenging, strengthening, stamina, and fat-blasting. I've always been an athlete. I love training like one.
ALL NATURAL, non-allergenic, GI friendly. It's basically paleo with a side of sports nutrition for recovery and lean mass preservation. LOTS of veggies, brown (and white) rice, lean protein and oats basically. During contest prep it's strict with a few added condiments, but when I'm not competing, It's about 80-90% strict with wiggle room for meals with friends (still healthy choices) and social drinks ;)
I really don't crave anything other than chocolate... if I don't keep it in my house, I don't think about it. I only struggle at friends’ houses or parties where there's a buffet or appetizer spread. I love trying a little of everything...in those cases, I only have one small plate and try a small piece of the best looking things, then control my self. :) Again however, if I'm in prep mode, I'm very disciplined.
Rack Deadlift, Box Jumps, Single Arm Dumbbell Snatch
If the exercise I'm doing is something I can do with headphones and a wire attached to me then always. I switch between my "Black Keys", "Childish Gambino" and "Disturbed" Pandora stations usually...sometimes I'm in a "Rihanna" mood, and once in a while I'll check out the "Etta James" or "Jason Aldean" stations too :)
I'm currently doing a combination of strength and power training using 1RM percentages and increasing them every week for 3 weeks, then drop down for a 'deload' week to refresh the CNS. I lift 5 days a week, heavy for 3-4 sets, then do a volume set of 1 exercise for 10 sets (on the minute for 10 min) then 2-4 more exercises for 2-4 sets of 10-15 each, and finish with a plyo circuit for 10-20 min.
Always and absolutely. Long term? God willing, I will launch my foundation, and take Cause Fitness principles of holistic health, fitness and nutrition 're-education' world wide as an ambassador and fitness personality. I will host and lead seminars and retreats, and participate in missions trips to bring healthy relationships to people in need of the simplicity and magnitude of love, and speak to young people on behalf of healthy body image and self-confidence. I want to write a book, write music, start a movement, host a talk show or something similar, and basically share love through the talents and vehicle I was given via the fitness and entertainment industries. Short term: I want to win my PRO card this year in order to build my audience, spread confidence and encourage women backstage and anywhere in the competition world. I also want to land another cover this year and expand my Virtual Training program for Cause Fitness into more of an exclusive phase coaching program. I just moved to Los Angeles in July of 2012, so my short-term goals all have to do with establishing myself as a brand and personality in this new city and being open to any possible opportunity for growing and positive experience.
My purpose and identity. I love Jesus and what took me my whole life to realize is that the creator of the Universe truly LOVES me and has a plan for my life. So I've come to understand that it's not just that "everything happens for a reason" but that "everything happens for a reason and that reason is the purpose I was created for". All the opportunities I've been given, all the doors that have opened, or closed, they have all been part of God's plan to place me where I am right now in his perfect timing so that even bigger and better things can be done through me by God. I'm nothing special, but I'm a tool that God can use for incredible change and amazing love. No matter what the days and years ahead hold, I am confident and totally at peace knowing that. I know, also, that God uses the desires of our hearts (our passions) in that plan. So I know that my love of fitness isn't meaningless, my passion for nutrition and it's work in the body is going to be used for good, and my outgoing-people loving, fiery, quirky, and energetic personality was given to me for the purpose of being a conduit for the passions and gifts I was given so that I can share them effectively. It's incredible. So incredible that I want to help others find their purpose!
I was genetically "gifted" with an ecto-upperbody and an endo-lower body (aka pear shape). It's been a lot of work to keep my body proportionate, and my lower body conditioned while not losing too much in my chest/shoulders at the same time. Body sculpting is truly an art and an act of patience. It's taken years to get where I am now, and I'm truly excited about where that is...but more excited to know that I can be even better in the years to come!
I used to go by scale, then it was scale and mirror, and now, since I've been training with PR's and 1RM %'s, it's been so fun (not to mention motivating) to measure progress through performance improvements too. Now, my scale weight only fluctuates between 2-5 pounds give or take, and I now base progress on mirror and performance.
Too many to name really, because I know I'll leave people out (so many inspire me!), but here are a few: Jamie (Eason) Middleton (beautiful inside and out), Amber Elizabeth Dodzweit, James Ellis, Mike Dolce, Amanda Jarstad, Matt Christianer, Ingrid Romero, Jacquelyn Kay, Apolo Ohno, Lance Armstrong, Hope Solo, Allyson Felix, and my own dad (triathlete and Masters swimmer) and Grandma (senior olympian gold medallist swimmer).
Bio-Energetix. They're the best product I've found for all-natural, research and evidence based sports nutrition supplementation. I recommend taking a multivitamin and fish oil daily. Other than that, a quality whey protein supplement is HIGHLY recommended. I take the Bio-Energetix MULTI, PRE, POST and occasionally SUSTAIN (which is an all natural hydration and recovery drink mix...like an all-natural superhuman sports drink).
Assess your body's strengths and weaknesses and train to sculpt like an artist, for proportion, symmetry, and aesthetics as well as overall healthy conditioning. Ex: I know my legs and butt need the most work, but my quads tend to like to 'take over', so I train lower rep, higher volume glutes and hamstrings, but rarely focus on quad-specific exercises. They get enough work with my other leg exercises. Also, my arms and chest get really lean, and hold muscle easily, so I rarely train them specifically. Rather, I focus on heavy back and shoulder work and they get enough work while helping with the larger muscle groups.
Rachel Elizabeth Murray
Born 1983: Weight: 129 Height: 5'7