Background / Bio
I grew up in Oshawa.
I was always interested in athletics with soccer being my first choice. I played right into the college level. Not only was I playing soccer for my college but I also was in Recreation Leadership program which lead to a placement with The Metro Centre Y.M.C.A where I first started in my fitness career.
After my placement I was hired with the Y.M.C.A my strength as a Group Fitness Instructor or in those days as an “Aerobics Instructor” really grew. I taught at various clubs over the years.
It truly was a great stepping stone for me.
I also worked in corporate fitness where I ran various Wellness programs and Fitness Centres for large corporations. This is where I then added a Personal Training certification with the Canadian Personal Trainers Network, along with various other certs. My passion grew for working one on one with people.
I then took my own training to the next level when I first competed in Fitness Modelling in 2003. I continued to compete in various federations lastly working through to the World Qualifier for Master Bikini in 2014. Along the way I trained many men and women for various physique competitions with great success in results which I found extremely rewarding!
Before I was as educated in the early days of competing I ran into some health issues with my hormones specifically my adrenals and thyroid. Healing from my own health issues with guidance from Naturopathic Doctors and more Integrative medicine, lead me to become in very interested in Holistic Nutrition.
I finally in more recent years went back to school at CSNN to become a Registered Holistic Nutritionist. Today I spend time guiding people to “Shine from the Inside out!” with Healthy Transformations focusing on Mind, Body and Spirit.
What inspired you to get into bodybuilding?
I was inspired back in the day by the women on Oxygen magazine.
I was also inspired when I watch 2 friends from my gym in 2002 compete in Fitness at a local show.
I knew I didn’t have the gymnastic background to do that but as soon as a fitness model class came out, I was in.
How did you do in your first show?
My first show was FAME 2003 I believe I was 31st out of about 125 in my class haha.
They didn’t divide into height classes back then. It was crazy!
Not everyone tanned properly or knew how to pose.
I am sure to watch today would be very comical.
However, I wouldn’t change a thing I caught the bug for the stage and so much happened for me in the following years which modeling opportunities and a increased personal training business.
What gets you going? More importantly, what’s keeps you motivated to keep going?
Feeling good, the endorphins you get from a workout session as well as it being an amazing stress reliever really motivates me.
Adding music to my training whether my own music or in a group setting I am even that much more inspired.
I can’t lie fitting my clothes and feeling esthetically good motivates me too. It is just not the only motivator like it probably once was.
What is your personal fitness routine in an average week?
For years I did various 4 and 5 day split routines when I competed. In the last year I have been doing more less a 3 day split of Chest, Shoulders, Triceps, Lower Body and Back and Biceps. I include as well about 3 conditioning type workouts at Orangetheory Fitness where I also coach.
I like feeling athletic and this mix really works for me right now, but it is always changing.
What do you think about popular fitness trends like Crossfit and Orange Theory?
I think people should use fitness trends like Crossfit or Orangetheory if it motivates them, they are seeing results, it works for their body and they are staying injury free.
Consistency is a major key to having success with your fitness so I say try new things and do what works for you!
If you had a weak body part how would you bring it back up?
I have brought weak body parts back up with myself and clients by training them twice a week, focusing on solid form with progressive overload and/or really varying training protocols.
I always incorporate things that haven’t been done before or in a while whether it is drops sets, tempo changes, German Volume training or incorporating more rest example a pullback week.
It really depends are where I am at in my training.
What does a typical day of meals look like for you?
My typical day of eating changes all the time depending on my goals.
But here is a recent example:
Lemon water and graded ginger first thing in the AM
Meal #1: Spinach Omelet or a Protein Smoothie which includes: scoop of protein powder, coconut or cashew milk, tsp chia seeds, tbsp.almond butter or coconut oil
Meal #2: A small handful of nuts or cup of berries with kefir
Meal #3: A large Mixed Green Salad with Organic Salmon or Chicken and oil and apple cider vinegar dressing
Meal #4: Post workout whey Protein Shake made with usually a nut milk and coconut water – depending on the workout I sometimes add a bit more carbohydrates here or in a pinch eat a protein bar.
Dinner is generally 4 oz of Protein and Mixed veggies with some organic butter or tsp olive oil including somedays some root vegetables like squash or sweet potato *on occasion I will go with a vegetarian meal.
Evenings I try to include a Greens Drink – powder supplement or cold press juice that I purchase.
Which is more important, diet or exercise?
Both are so darn important.
But there is no doubt diet is number 1 for remaining lean.
As the old saying says “ You can’t out exercise a bad diet!”
What advice do you give to people trying to break into the Fitness Industry / Competition?
First off, if you are looking to do your first show, hire an Experienced Coach in the area of competition.
It will save you from a lot newbie mistakes.
One thing people need to know is you don’t necessarily need to compete to break into the Fitness Industry.
It is only one avenue to network and connect with people. Also keep in mind winning one show doesn’t mean you automatically will be on the cover of a Fitness Magazine and or be sponsored by a leading Supplement company. However, it can be a great catalyst.
Use the experience to network with other competitors, supplement companies sponsoring the show, get photos done while in peak shape and make the most of the experience.
To break into the Fitness Industry live the life authentically and seek out a top industry photographer to get some images to help market yourself whether it is for promo work, ads, or to enhance your person Personal Training business.
This is a great first step.
What do you think is the most overrated exercise in the gym? Most underrated?
The most overrated exercises are probably core moves.
People tend to seek out new ab moves all the time. Your core is engaged in all the compound moves like Squats and conditioning exercises like Sprints as well.
I feel there is more value for most to spend your time with the compound moves then over doing the isolation exercises.
I think Single leg movements are underrated.
Exercises like single leg squats, Bulgarian split squats, step ups.
We all have a weaker side and I find this helps us reach our athletic potential.
When cutting, down do you prefer to use HIIT or just normal cardio? What’s your favorite cutting exercise?
HITT cardio for sure! I find it is better for fat loss.
The more intense your workouts, the more energy you will expend to assist with the recovery after the workout and your body will continue to burn calories longer then if you just did a steady state cardio session.
I try not to overdo cardio, unless I am preparing for something like a shoot or show as our bodies adapt to it quickly and you just end up needing more to see results.
I like to mix it up with sprints (my fav), rowing, sled work or a weight circuit.
What is your supplementation like? Any particular favorites?
This really varies for me.
I for sure use more if I am preparing for a show or a shoot.
Currently my supplements are pretty simple: Fish oils, a multi vitamin, Renew Life probiotic, VegeGreens by Progressive and ATP Protein Powder.
If you were starting over right now, what would you do differently?
If I was starting my body transformation journey and /or Show Prep now, I would definitely not over train. I learned the hard way.
I would train smarter and with less volume then I initially did.
However, I really wouldn’t’ change a thing to be totally honest.
Going through all I did gave me a lot of insight and knowledge that I now can share first hands with clients.
They were very good lessons.
What’s the best training advice you’ve ever received?
Listen to your body and include restorative activity.
Favorite cheat meal?
I am not religious about a “cheat meal” anymore. Those days are done. I have one if I feel I need it.
When I do have it, I tend to have more of a healthy carb up meal.
I do enjoy something chocolate, what woman doesn’t, right.
Even now I tend to make or look for healthier options of these. I just find it is easier on my gut and has fewer side effects.
What has been your biggest accomplishment in the fitness field?
I feel my biggest accomplishment has been the number or people I have transformed in a healthy way over the years, just getting people to lead healthier lives.
This has however included many top placing Bikini, Figure and Body Building Athletes.
As far as me personally with competing, I did compete at the World Qualifier for Masters Bikini but truly pales in comparison to helping others
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