About-Muscle.com Talk with Bry Jensen, A fitness model who lives, eats and breathes fitness. She is a MAGNUM sponsored athlete, a bikini competitor, and kickboxing instructor.
Could You Tell Us A Bit About Yourself And How You Got Involved In Fitness?
My name is Bry Jensen, I am 22 years old and I live in Vancouver BC. I live, eat and breathe fitness and strive to exemplify a life of health and wellness. I am a professional fitness model, writer and sponsored athlete, a bikini competitor, a kickboxing instructor and I am now completing my BCRPA certification to be a personal trainer as well. I LOVE to be busy!
I grew up with an interest in activity. As a child, I was involved with swimming, dance, gymnastics, figure skating and martial arts, just to name a few. However, during my childhood I acquired a limiting lung problem – I have diminished lung capacity as a result of scar tissue caused by a whooping cough lung tear. This has has made activity extremely difficult. As a result, my teen years were increasingly sedentary, to the point where at 19, a good flight of stairs left me winded and woozy. I have also dealt with extreme insomnia from a very young age, and with no physical activity in my life, it was draining. It was then that I decided I needed to make a change if I were to continue with a high-energy life. So I began my fitness pursuit in July of 2009, and in a very short time, I had not only changed my health, my strength and my body, but I had developed a life long passion for what I was doing!
What Helps You Stay Motivated?
Motivation is everywhere! Everytime I look in the mirror, I am reminded of how far I have come, and how far I can go with the way I look. Every time I lift a weight or start cardio, I am reminded again of how much strength I have gained, and how much stronger I could be!
However, when I find myself struggling with motivation, I am mindful of my accountability in terms of every single person that I am striving to be an example for. I am so motivated by everyone who has honoured me with the title of inspiration; I think about every person who has written to me on my website, facebook, and elsewhere with a story of triumph, or a dream of a future goal, I think to every person busting their butt in the gym or trying a new piece of advice I may have given, and the bottom line is I simply can’t let them down. When I can’t get going just because I know I deserve my hard work, I get going because I MUST continue to set an example!
What Does Your Workout Look Like?
I lift in a 6 day split that incorporates legs and shoulders twice a week (my weak areas). My current split looks like this:
What Sort Of Rep Range Do You Use?
In the off season, my main focus is on building new muscle to sculpt my physique, so I train with sets of 8-10 reps. I may lift 6-8 reps if I feel that a body part is weak and needs more attention, but I feel that the 8-10 zone is where I achieve the greatest muscle fatigue with the cleanest, safest form. When I start my 12 weeks out, I want to have the most definition and tone to the muscle mass that I have built, so I lower the weight slightly and go for 10-20 reps. This allows my body to adapt to something new, while burning and carving out any excess fat.
Free Weights Vs Machines What Do You Feel Are The Pros & Cons and Which Do You Prefer?
I incorporate both into my workout routine! I personally prefer free weights because there is a greater variety of exercises and weight combinations that can be achieved, but I do like the constant tensions of the machines, particularly when using cables. However, being such a small person, I find that it can occasionally be a pain to adjust a machine to comfortably fit my size and still get the full range of motion.
What Mistakes Did You Make When You First Started As A Newbie?
Thinking that it was possible to out-train a poor diet! This is a mistake nearly everyone makes in the beginning, not understanding the crucial importance of clean eating. If you’re exercising, you’ll just burn any excess sugar or calories off, right? Wrong! In order to see the results that you dream of, you need a strong nutritional foundation that will fuel you properly for workouts and your day to day action.
How Often Do You Perform Cardio?
I incorporate at least 4 30 minute cardio sessions into my week, double that if I am in competition prep or getting ready for a large photoshoot. The cardio sessions are done HIIT style, and can range from cardio machines (especially the stair climber), to kickboxing, plyometrics and boot camp drills.
Which Do You Prefer and Why… Steady State Cardio Or HITT Cardio?
I am a HIIT-er through and through! Not only are your sessions shorter, and more intense, this method allows me to push harder for a shorter period of time before getting a recovery period, which is easier on my lungs. (I have a serious lung condition where scar tissue limits my air capacity). I am not a huge fan of cardio because of this condition, so the HIIT method ensures I get the cardio I need, without making it a chore that lasts all day.
What Are Your Personal Thoughts On Fasted Cardio?
I am really not a fan, and believe that you should always prime your body for a workout with proper fuel in order to get the most out of your efforts. I never push as hard or feel as successful when I haven’t eaten before cardio – there is just nothing there to BURN! Considering that your body is already in a catabolic state from sleeping, I do not feel that the potential muscle loss is worth the marginal additional fat burning that fasted cardio gives.
What Does Your Diet Look Like?
I get my lean protein in chicken, turkey and eggs because I do not eat seafood, and maybe once every two weeks I add some red meat in a lean flank steak or extra lean ground beef. I incorporate vegetables or salad into every meal that I can, and consider my veggies to be ‘free foods’ I can eat without measuring. My favourite carb sources are brown rice and yams – I could eat yams every meal every day and never tire of how good they are. Finally, I put either hot spice, sauce or hot peppers on everything I eat! Usual day looks like this:
Do You Bulk and Cut Or Do You Stay Lean For The Whole Year Round?
Lean year round – I focus on recomping (building muscle and losing fat simultaneously). In my opinion, being fit is certainly not about yo-yoing your body, which is why I maintain within 1-3 lbs of my stage weight even in off season. Three years into seriously working out, and I am still within 10 lbs of where I started, though my composition has changed dramatically! While there is no denying that everything gets a special boost of intensity before a big photoshoot or event, I eat and train to maintain my body for LIFE.
What Do You Find Gives The Best Results When You Are Cutting?
Because I maintain my body in a certain condition, my cutting is short and intense, but not very dramatic. My winning combo is eating lean and clean with turkey and broccoli, cardio twice a day, and lifting in the higher rep range. If I am taking a fat burner to give myself that extra help, I opt for a natural fat burner like L-Carnitine, Green Tea Extract or Rasberry Ketones — or something that combines these, like Magnum Heat!
How Do You Deal With Cravings?
I have two major craving busters in my arsenal: sugar free gum, and tea. The warmth of hot tea often staves off a growing appetite and leaves you with a greater sense of satisfaction and wellbeing, and the sugar free gum can satisfy the need to chew on something while giving you some sweetness!
I am also a firm believer in indulging responsibly. There is nothing wrong with having the rare treat that you dream/drool about; in fact, indulging every now and then can enhance your ability to stay on track with your diet because you do not feel as though you’re being deprived! It is just a matter of deciding when is the right moment to indulge, and making sure it doesn’t happen more than it really should.
What Supplements Do You Use?
I think simplicity is success! The more natural my results, the better I feel about them! I therefore focus on the basics:
– A good protein powder (Quattro) to facilitate muscle growth and provide adequate nutrition to sustain my level of intensity
– BCAA’s for better muscle growth and leaner gains
– Glutamine to prevent muscle catabolism and to aid in recovery
– Multivitamin (MAGNUM Loaded) and a B12 tablet (I am B12 deficient)
What Activities and Hobbies Do You Enjoy When You Are Away From The Gym?
First and foremost, I love to travel! I am a wanderluster to my core, and I take any chance that I have to go somewhere new. As a result, a lot of my hobbies are things I do while travelling, such as surfing or sampling/cooking exotic cuisine. When I am at home, I love to read, write, experiments with crafts or foods, watch historical films, game , or go out and be socia (You’ll often find me at the local tea bar).
What Are Your Favourite Supplements?
As a MAGNUM sponsored athlete, I have been blessed to represent a company that has a high-qualty (pharmaceutical grade) product line that fufils the full expanse of my supplemental needs. Naturally, they are my favourite!
What 3 Exercises Have Contributed The Most To Building Your Physique?
Step ups – There is no doubt in my mind that Step ups are in majority responsible for turning my butt , which I felt was an aesthetic weakness, into my number one show stopping asset on stage! I cannot count how many step ups I did while preparing, and I can’t vocalize how much I hate them, but for the results they gave me, I will do them FOREVER!
Cable Lateral Raises – Nothing is sexier to me than a great set of round shoulders, and this has always been my major goal. I started to incorporate cable raises after I watched a video of Nicole Wilkins training her shoulders, and I was so inspired by the intensity! It has made a huge difference, in very short time.
Pull Ups – I started doing pull ups very early when I started working out, and as a result, I have always had a strong back. Learning this exercise right from the get go was a blessing for all the load bearing exercises I would do in the future.
What Is The Most Common Training Question People Ask You The Gym?
“How can I get rid of bellyfat?” I get several private messages a week asking about this!
It is crucial to remember that if you are not seeing results in your abs, you cannot simply target your abs to spot reduce or see improvement, because strong abs are a reflection of overall consistency in exercise AND diet! ABS ARE MADE IN THE KITCHEN! If you want to see your abs come out of hiding, your diet must be low in sugar, salt, saturated fats and simple carbs (up to and including fruit). Your exercise plan must involve balanced weight training with an engaged core, and enough consistent cardio to keep the metabolism running high.
I will say it as many times as needed, ripped abs are a mark of consistency and intensity; while there is NO magic solution, hard work gives results!!
What Is Your Favorite Workout Music?
Oh I have such an unusual variety of music on my iPod for training – from Medieval Sconce and Burlesque Jazz to Epic Metal and Trance, I like a little bit of everything. I’d say that the majority is really high energy rock.
What Is Your Greatest Achievement?
All my life, I have struggled with a very severe lung con-pdition that has limited and almost restricted me entirely from an active lifestyle. At one point, walking up a single flight of stairs was enough to leave me winded and woozy. Working against this condition to become as strong and fit as I have is undoubtedly my most significant accomplishment, and something that I continue to challenge daily.
What Is Your Favorite Quote?
I have a personal motto that has become my inspiration and my encouragement in everything I do:
“Embrace fire, and love the burn!” I feel that this quote embodies the essence of who I am – a fiery, passionate person who tackles challenges and dreams alike with the same burning intensity! If you can embrace the motivational fire within, you are capable of anything.
What Do You Love About Competing?
The gratification that comes with the tremendous changes and improvements you can make in just 12 weeks! There is no greater feeling than turning one of your greatest aesthetic weaknesses into a strong asset, and then getting to show it off on stage. For me, competing is always about personal progression, and it will never matter where I place as long as I am able to continue to use the experience to make major changes.
What Are Your Plans For The Future?
As a newly sponsored athlete, I hope to make the most out of the opportunity that I have been given! I want to be able to attend big fitness events such as the Arnold, the Olympia, the Toronto Pro Show, etc, to be able to connect with my fans and get to meet more of them in person, and I want to make my mark on the world of fitness media (magazines, etc), so that everyone knows this fiery redhead!
Outside of the fitness world, in the next year I will start working on my Masters Degree in History, specifically Italian Renaissance, and I hope to move on to my PhD in the same. And to travel more!
Who Are Your Favorite Athletes, Bodybuilders and Fitness Models?
There are so many inspirational people in the fitness world, but the people I idolize and admire the most are Jamie Eason, Pauline Nordin, Dana Linn Bailey, Ana Delia De Iturrondo, and Andreia Brazier. When it comes to males, I greatly admire my fellow MAGNUM teammates James Ellis and Mike O’Hearn, and the surfer Kelly Slater. He’s amazing.
If Someone Wants To Connect With You How Can You Be Contacted?
I’m on almost every social media site with the username ‘BryJensen’, but I am most active on:
Thank you very much for your interest in me, and as always, I would like to thank my fans for their constant amazing support and positive feedback!