How did you get started with bodybuilding?
I have always been physically active most of my life from high school sports to taking aerobic classes. It wasn’t till I was 23 years old that I hired my first personal trainer and learned how to lift. I was addicted from the get-go. I loved how my stick figure reshaped and transformed into a shapely woman. I also love feeling strong and bodybuilding has taught me to be disciplined and to push past my own physical limits. At the time I was in college to become a registered nurse, I ended up changing my degree to became a physical fitness specialist.
I knew I wanted to help people, but it didn’t click until I started lifting, I knew that this was what I was meant to do in life. It felt natural for me. In the meantime, I got certified in nutrition and became a life coach as well. Helping others achieve their best physical and mental shape has been so rewarding for me. I love my job.
Where does your motivation come from?
My motivation comes from different sources every day. Sometimes it is a client of mine, other times it could be a photoshoot or competition, or a motivational saying that will speak to me, or a beach vacation with the hubby, or even my own personal goal. I have to have some type of motivation to keep me going forward.
It also has to come from within oneself to keep going on an everyday basis. It becomes addicting in a good way that it just becomes a habit.
What workout routine has worked best for you?
Wow, that’s a hard one. I change up my routine depending on my goals. If it is my off season I like to lift heavy and do basic bodybuilding moves sectioning off body parts per day combined with HIIT cardio. This helps me put on more lean muscle. If I need to be really lean, I will do compound movements combined with plyometrics and TRX suspension training with HIIT. I have a very open mind when it comes to training. Every trainer has their own style and theories on why you should do this or that. I love hiring other trainers for their expertise and I am a firm believer in continuing education as well. I think it makes for a well rounded trainer.
Weekly Weight Training Split –
- Day 1: Back/Chest/Plyos/Step ups
- Day 2: Abs/Cardio
- Day 3: Legs (large muscle groups and plyos)
- Day 4: Bi’s/Tri’s/Delts/Cardio
- Day 5: Legs (little muscle groups)
- Day 6: Cardio
- Day 7: REST
Day 1: Back/Chest/Plyos/Step ups
Higher reps this week to target the little muscle fibers and keep it more cardiovascular.
- Pull ups 4 sets/ 20 reps
- 15 jump squats
- Push ups 4 sets/ 20 reps
- 15 burpees
- Lat pull downs 4 sets/ 20 reps
- 25 bench step ups on each leg with 5 lbs ankle weights on
- Machine chest press 4 sets/ 20 reps
- 25 step ups each leg with 10 lbs. ankle weights on
Day 2: Abs/Cardio
- 4 mile run
- 25 bosu ball crunches 4 sets
- 25 half bicycles on bosu ball 4 sets
- 25 medicine ball crunches (laying in a crunch position, legs in air, medicine ball in hands and reach to your toes)
- 25 hanging leg raises with legs straight 4 sets
- Bicycles (endurance-for as long as you can)
- Plank (endurance-for as long as you can)
- 1 mile run
Day 3: Legs
- 10-15 minute cardio warm up is essential for legs!
- 25 Squats (Can be machine, barbell, or hack squats) 3 sets
- 25 plie squats with no with immediately after 3 sets
- 15 jump squats 3 sets
- 25 Walking lunges (Body weight with weights in hands) 3 sets
- 20 stationary lunges on each side immediately after 3 sets
- 20 jump lunges 3 sets
- 25 Hamstring curls (Machine) 3 sets
- 25 Ball hamstring curls on swiss ball 3 sets
- 25 Calves (Machine) 3 sets
- Jump rope or jump in place for one minute
Day 4: Bi’s/Tri’s/Delts/4 miles
- 10 minute cardio warm up.
- Dumbbell bicep curls 4 sets/25 rep
- Band bicep curls (Should feel a great burn) 4 sets/25 rep
- Dumbbell lateral shoulder raises 4 sets/25 rep
- Band lateral raises (targets little muscles for a great burn) 4 sets/25 rep
- Cable tricep pull downs 4 sets/25 rep
- Band kickbacks (Burn baby burn!) 4 sets/25 rep
- Dumbbell shoulder press up 4 sets/25 rep
- Band presses up 4 sets/25 rep
- 1 mile run
Day 5: Legs (Little muscle groups)
- Lying down on side- (do both sides)
- Side leg lifts 4 sets/25 reps
- Inner thigh leg lifts 4 sets/25 reps
- Leg circles forward 4 sets/25 reps
- Leg circles backward 4 sets/25 reps
- On all fours- (keep core tight, do not let hang)
- Fire hydrant leg lifts (yes, like a dog! LOL) 4 sets/25 reps
- Leg raises 4 sets/25 reps
- Glute squeezes (leg at 90 degrees and squeeze glutes as you push leg up, keep foot flexed, bring leg down again)
- Fire hydrant/glute squeeze combo (each leg) 4 sets/25 reps
- Laying on back – Floor bridges (lay on back, knees up, feet on ground, squeeze butt at top on contraction)
- One legged leg lift (you are laying on back in floor bridge position, take one leg and lay it flat on floor, lift leg up and bring it back to the floor)
- Adductors – Machine 4 sets/25 reps
Day 6: Cardio
- Pick 3 different machines and do 20 minutes on each.
- Hit it hard for each 20 minute machine.
- Example – Step mill, treadmill, elliptical
Day 7: Rest
Marzia Prince Photoshoot By Per Bernal
If you have to pick only 3 exercises, what would they be and why?
- Lunges – Because you can do them anywhere. You can do walking lunges, side lunges, reverse lunges, and stationary lunges. They work the major muscle groups of the legs, glutes, and the core. They help you with balance and core stabilization. You can do them heavy or even endurance style. You can also hold them at the bottom of the movement till your legs fry off! Love the burn from isometric contractions. There is so much you can do with lunges. (Sorry, the trainer in me is coming out!)
- Pull ups – Because it works many muscle groups in the back, shoulders, arms, and helps strengthen your grip in your hands as well. You can pull up wide, narrow grip, or even reverse grip. There are so many possibilities with pull ups as well.
- Hanging leg raises – Talk about some killer ab work! Not only do hanging leg raises challenge your core, it challenges you hip flexors and upper quads as well. You can work the oblique’s, the center, and the lower. You can do them with your knees bent or legs straight. I am the woman of many exercises!
As a trainer, I want to know how to work every muscle group and every angle from one exercise.
What is your diet like?
I am vegan/vegetarian/raw foodist. I probably left you confused! This is probably the most difficult thing to explain. I am vegan for the most part due to health issues from strict competition dieting for so many years and food allergies/sensitivities I recently discovered. I do like to cheat every now and then and have cheese which makes me vegetarian for that meal. (Which is a handful of times a year usually after a competition or a shoot.) And I eat about 80% of my food raw. The enzymes of raw food nourish your body in so many ways, I could probably write a book. Bottom line – I take pride in my health and eating this way I also do my part to help the planet and save the animals. It’s a win win situation. I am really big into being eco-friendly these days. This lifestyle has me reborn. I spilled my guts out in the November 2010 Natural Muscle magazine.
- Meal 1: Oatmeal with vegan protein powder & berries with ground flaxseed and multivitamins
- Meal 2: Berry smoothie, a dash of spirulina, filtered water, and vegan protein powder.
- Meal 3: Large salad with veggies, ¾ cup black beans, olive oil/vinegar dressing & sweet potato
- Meal 4: ¼ cup hummus and 2 cups raw veggies
- Meal 5: My fresh enzyme juice (spinach, romaine, celery, parsley, apple, carrots, cucumber, kale)
- Meal 6: spaghetti squash with marina sauce and lentils (YUM!)
When trying to cut down do you prefer to use HIIT or just normal cardio?
Your body gets used to the workload, so you have to increase the incline or speed of the machine often. I like to challenge my body so I will go from inside the gym doing cardio equipment to outside and I like to keep it fresh and new for my body for each cardio session.
What is your supplementation like?
Most of my favorite supplements are Gaspari Nutrition’s. I use their Anavite Multivitamins and I take them with breakfast. After my breakfast settles an hour or so I take SuperPump Max to get me ready for the gym. (Talk about an awesome workout with focus! This is the product my friends!) After my workouts I like to replenish my glycogen stores with a protein shake. Gaspari has a great protein powder called myofusion. Taste delish!
Since whey is one of my food allergies (major GI issues), I have to use a vegan protein powder in its place. (Vegan protein powders are still 20 grams of protein contrary to popular belief.) I do take vitamin C, Vitamin D, Flaxseed, flax oil or coconut oil, calcium, and a shot of wheat grass every day.
Robert Cheeke. He is the world’s most famous vegan bodybuilder. I He is a very fascinating individual! I would love to pick his brain. Anything from nutrition to his journey to saving the planet. Iris Kyle -I have hung out with her many times at the Gaspari Nutrition booth signing autographs together. She looks intimidating, but she is sweet as pie. I love her sense of humor! I can talk with her for hours. She is also very generous.
I am also a huge fan of Greg Plitt, he rocks!
Fitness is not a look, it is a lifestyle – Marzia Prince