Rising Star: Fitness Model & Bikini Competitor Courtney Prather Talks With Simplyshredded.com

How did you get started with bodybuilding?

My first show was in December of 2010 and I began training for it in August. I didn’t really know what to expect as I had never been exposed to a bodybuilding show, but by the morning after the competition, I knew I had to do it again. I played sports growing up and have always been an active person. However, this level of training has changed the way I view fitness. I was the stereotypical cardio queen afraid to lift a weight because I didn’t want to get “bulky”.

I’m glad I got over that fear because now my weight training days are my favorite part!

Where does your motivation come from?

Seeing the transformations in my body is the most rewarding part. Not only is competing the perfect outlet for my competitive drive but I love challenging myself every day. Everyone has their own challenges; be it kids, family, career, school, health, etc that they need to overcome. I have learned that there is no room for excuses; you just have to get it done. Lately though as I have been privileged enough to connect with so many people online, hearing their success stories and that I motivate them actually motivates me!

Being healthy is a life long journey and we are all in it together – I inspire to be inspired.

What workout routine has worked best for you?

I really enjoy a varied workout routine. I mix heavy weight training and plyometrics depending on my immediate physique goals. But I really find that plyometrics is the most effective for my body because of the full body movements and the high intensity of the workout and it is also great if you are short on time!

Full Routine:

Monday: Back/Biceps

  • Dumbbell Bent Over Rows (4 sets x 10-12 reps)
  • Seated Row (4 sets x 10-12 reps)
  • Wide Grip Lat Pulldown (4 sets x 10-12 reps)
  • Neck Pulls w/ Rope (4 sets x 10-12 reps)
  • Hyperextensions (4 sets to failure)
  • Dumbbell Bicep Curls (4 sets x 10-12 reps)
  • Seated Preacher Curls (4 sets x 10-12 reps)
  • 21’s w/ Barbell (quarter curl x 7, mid curl x 7, full curl x 7) 3 sets

Tuesday: Shoulders/Triceps

  • Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press (4 sets x 10-12 reps)
  • Tri-set: Round The Worlds (4 sets x 10-12 reps)
  • Lateral Raises (4 sets x 10-12 reps)
  • Forward DB Raises (4 sets x 10-12 reps)
  • Dumbbell Shoulder Clean (4 sets x 10 reps)
  • Skull Crushers (4 sets x 10-12 reps)
  • Tricep Rope Pushdowns (4 sets x 10-12 reps)

Wednesday: Legs

  • Leg Extensions (4 sets, last set drop set to failure)
  • Lying Hamstring Leg Curl (4 sets, last set drop set to failure)
  • Leg Press (4 sets x 8-10 reps, last set drop set)
  • Dead lifts w/Barbell (4 sets x 8-10 reps)
  • Walking DB lunges ( 3 sets to failure)

Thursday: Chest

  • Incline Dumbbell Press (4 sets x 10-12 reps)
  • Flat Dumbbell Press (4 sets x 10-12 reps)
  • Pectoral Fly Machine (4 sets x 10-12 reps)
  • Cable Crossover Fly (4 sets x 10-12 reps)
  • Decline Pushups (4 sets to failure)

Friday: Glutes/Calves/Abs

  • Walking Lunges to warm-up (2 laps)
  • Step-ups w/ Dumbbells (start on box, only tap toe at bottom) (4 sets x 10-12 reps)
  • Bridge w/ Barbell (4 sets x 10-12 reps)
  • Hack Squats (4 sets x 10-12 reps)
  • Buttblaster Machine (4 sets x 10-12 reps)
  • Calf Raises (4 sets to failure)
  • Ab Circuit: (complete 3 circuits) – 30 sec plank (lifting alternating legs)
  • 30 sec hanging leg raises
  • 30 sec of exercise ball roll-ins

Saturday: Full Body Plyo

Complete 5-9 rounds of the below without resting (i.e.- 5 rounds is 25 min or work, 9 rounds is 45 min)

  • 1 minute Jumping Rope
  • 1 minute Up/downs aka- Burpees
  • 1 minute Mountain Climbers
  • 1 minute Jumping Jacks
  • 1 minute Squat Jumps

Sunday: Rest Day

  • Recovery

What is your diet like?

When I am not in competition season I follow clean eating principles and eat 5-6 small meals a day mainly from lean proteins, veggies and complex carbs. I have the occasional Greek Yogurt and higher carbs during off season and a whey protein shake if I am in a pinch.

Sample Diet:

  • 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 and lots of Veggies
  • Meal 5: 4 oz Chicken and a large Salad
  • Meal 6: Egg Whites (If I am awake)

When trying to cut down do you prefer to use HIIT or just normal cardio?

When I am trying to cut down I prefer HIIT cardio. The high intensity intervals really shock my body as I usually do 30-45 min of steady state cardio during normal training weeks.

What is your supplementation like?

I keep it pretty simple and take:

  • Multivitamin
  • Vitamin C
  • Fish Oil
  • Glutamine
  • BCAA’s

Favorite Athletes?

Since I am a bikini competitor, I look up to Nicole Wilkins, Nicole Nagrani and Amanda Latona, they are definitely my favorite and most inspirational athletes.

Favorite Quote?

“Whether you think you can, or think you can’t…you’re probably right.”- Henry Ford

Photo Credits: 1. Mike Byerly 2. LHGFX Photography 3. Jeff Binns

Bodyspace: www.bodyspace.com/courtneymarie
Youtube: www.youtube.com/courtneyprather