1. How and when did you get interested in fitness and training?
As a child I was overweight and far from athletic. Because of that, during high school and college I became very obsessive about keeping my weight down, but I was always going about it the wrong ways- yo-yo dieting and trying every fad diet out there, trying to restrict calories and doing hours of cardio. Then in my junior year of college I began working the front desk at a gym where I began learning about fitness from the personal trainers- and everything just started to click for me. I started reading magazines like Muscle & Fitness Hers, Oxygen,and Fitness RX for Women and can remember thinking, “I want to look like THESE women!” I realized that by eating frequent clean, balance meals and lifting weights I could get my body into the kind of shape I wanted in a healthy, positive way. Fitness quickly became my passion and in 2008 I got certified as a Personal Trainer and began working with clients. From that point on I knew I wanted to work in fitness for the rest of my life.
2. How do you stay motivated to train and eat healthy?
I often remind myself WHY I live a fit lifestyle: because I am so much happier and more successful in all areas of my life when I look and feel my best. Giving into food cravings only lasts a few minutes… but feeling confident and happy with your body lasts 24/7. I love the saying “Nothing tastes as good as being fit feels!”
3. Did you make any mistakes as a beginner dealing with training, nutrition, or both?
I think that fitness is an ongoing learning process. I have competed in 11 shows to date and I’m still constantly learning new things about my body and figuring out what works and what doesn’t. Everyone is different, so I think the biggest mistakes people can make is getting into a fitness rut and always doing the same thing, or following one person’s advice blindly without ever giving other things a try or figuring out what works for YOU. Big mistakes I made over the years have been not taking in enough calories, overtraining, or not lifting heavy enough.
4. What training routine has given you the best results?
My body responds best to training as heavy as possible 5-6 days/ week with a moderate amount of cardio. My split/ routines change all the time but I’ve seen great results whenever I’ve used a 3-day rotation for my split; either Chest/ Shoulders, Leg/ Glutes and Back/ Arms or Back/ Shoulders, Legs/ Glutes, and Chest/ Arms. I like to hit body parts 2x/ week so these rotations allow me to do that, and also allow me to work in rest days when I need them.
5. What three exercises would you consider to be your favorites?
Barbell squats, stiff legged dead lifts, and dumbbell side lateral raises.
6. What form of cardio do you usually perform?
I mix it up with distance running, sprints, the Cybex Arc Trainer, the Stepmill, and incline work on the treadmill.
7. What is an example of your daily diet?
I eat 6-7 meals and snacks throughout the day with a balance of lean proteins, carbohydrates and healthy fats. The staples of my diet are egg whites, chicken, turkey, fish, lean red meat, MET-Rx Ultramyosyn Whey Protein Powder, sweet potatoes, oats, brown rice, olive oil, and almond butter. I also eat tons of green vegetables and drink at least a gallon of water every single day.
8. What three nutrition tips could you give our readers that you have found most useful?
- Eat a small meal or snack every 2-4 hours throughout the day. This revs up your metabolism and keeps blood sugar levels stable.
- Your daily diet should be mostly made up of of whole, nutritious foods. You want to eat food that is unprocessed or as close to it as possible.
- Drink 3-5 liters of water every day. This is so important to help your body function properly and makes a HUGE difference in your body composition, your skin and in your strength and energy levels.
9. Which physical feature are you most proud of?
I would say my glutes. That is the area that is always the most work for me pre-contest, but I am very proud of the progress I have made through the past few years.
10. What supplements do you use if any? If not, why not?
Absolutely… I couldn’t recover properly from my intense training without my supplements. I am proud to be a Team MET-Rx Athlete, and use all their products, as they are the gold standard in sports nutrition. Pre-contest I supplement with: Liquid L-Carnitine 1500, Thermal Infusion X2, Active Woman Multivitamin, CLA Myoleptin, Super Joint Guard, L-Glutamine, BCAA 2200, ZMA, and the Ultramyosyn Whey Protein, all by MET-Rx and available at www.metrx.com.
11. Who are your favorite bodybuilders/models/athletes?
As a Team MET-Rx Athlete I’m fortunate to get to work alongside some amazing athletes who are also truly great people… Marcus Haley, Nicole Wilkins, Kevin English, Nicole Nagrani have all inspired me and helped me along my fitness journey.
I really look up to athletes with longevity and versatility in the fitness industry. Frank Sepe, Shannon Dey, Greg Plitt and Jamie Eason are fitness icons I respect and admire so much for making a name for themselves in the industry and branching out in different directions. I aspire to do the same thing with my career. I want to go far beyond being just a competitor or model, and work in fitness through many different ventures.
12. Do you listen to music while you work out? If so what kind?
Always! I like a mix of alternative, hip hop, dance, pop and dubstep for my workouts. Favorites include Lil Wayne, Skrillex, David Guetta, The Cataracs, Rage Against the Machine, The Prodigy, Usher, Drake and Flux Pavilion.
13. What time of day do you prefer to train? Why?
My favorite time to do cardio is first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Fasted cardio is controversial in the fitness world, but I supplement with BCAA’s before beginning to prevent my body from going catabolic. I just love the feeling of working up a good sweat and getting those endorphins pumping to start the day! I prefer to do my lifting with 1-2 meals in, during the late morning or early afternoon. I have a hard time training late in the day, anytime after 4pm, so I make sure its all done before that time.
14. What last three tips would you give to our readers to help them reach their fitness goals?
- Believe in yourself. Whether you are looking to change your body or do well in a competition you have to believe in your heart you are capable and deserving, and truly believe you will succeed!
- Be patient… Nothing worthwhile comes easy! Learn to appreciate the small changes you make and stay focused. Remember this is a lifestyle, and the people you see with killer bodies work hard at it 365 days a year.
- No matter how hard you work in the gym you will NEVER see the results you are looking for without proper nutrition. Whether your goal is gaining muscle, toning up or losing weight eating right is so key!
A big thank you to my sponsor MET-Rx– the best there is in sports nutrition! Special thanks to my chiropractor, Dr. Ryan Braverman, my website designer of TTW Designs, and my coaches Shannon Dey and Rob Rosetti and all of Team Bombshell. Thank you to my family, friends, clients, and fans for all the support and encouragement. And thank you to ShutUpAndTrain.com for featuring me on your site!
Justine can be contacted for Personal Training and Nutritional Coaching by email at: Justine.Fitness@gmail.com
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Photos are the work of Spiro Angelo Photography, Alpha Design Photography and Andrew Nicholson Studios.