About-Muscle.com talk with NPC Bikini Competitor Holly Bricken, a well known and published Fitness Model sponsored by Optimum Nutrition.
Could You Tell Us A Bit About Yourself And How You Got Involved In Fitness?
I started getting into fitness during college when I began working for a personal training company. With all the necessary tools readily available to me, I jumped at the opportunity to take things to another level and got serious about training. After graduation, I landed a full-time job teaching kindergarten and the gym and healthy eating was placed on the back burner while I tried to excel in my new career path. Five years ago, I decided to make the leap into a full-blown lifestyle change and haven’t looked back since. This new way of healthy living has me enjoying life to the fullest
What Helps You Stay Motivated?
Being a fitness model and sponsored athlete makes it a necessity to stay in shape year round. You never know when you’ll get that call to shoot or make an appearance an a fitness Expo. Plus, I like the way training hard and eating clean makes me feel! As an extra bonus, I get a lot of email from fans telling me how I’ve motivated or inspired them, so knowing that other people look up to me for motivation definitely helps me stay motivated.
What Does Your Workout Look Like?
I currently train 7 days a week, alternating body parts and cardio exercise. I do each body part one day, then add in an extra day of shoulders and legs as my extra workouts. I love the way a sexy pair of shoulders looks and my legs are the most underdeveloped body part so they get extra worked!
Here is an example shoulder workout:
What Sort Of Rep Range Do You Use?
8 – 12 is my general rep range. I feel like this range helps me maintain my muscle without putting on too much mass. I will on occasion do extra sets with lower reps and higher weight just to mix things up a little. This is a great way to keep your body guessing and improve growth.
Free Weights Vs Machines What Do You Feel Are The Pros & Cons and Which Do You Prefer?
I prefer free weights simply because I feel that using them makes you focus on form more. Plus, with free weights you know the real weight you’re using. So many machines say one weight, but feel totally different. I do however like using hammer strength machines from time to time.
What Mistakes Did You Make When You First Started As A Newbie?
I feel like I’ve been really cautious and realistic since starting my journey into the fitness industry. The one thing I learned from competing is that you have to do it because you love it – not because you think you will win.
How Often Do You Perform Cardio?
I do a lot of cardio – 7 days a week.
Being a runner, I have a low resting heart rate, so I always start my workouts with a 45 min run or a stint on the StepMill. Some people suggest cardio post weight training, but I’ve found doing cardio first gets my heart pumping and keeps things going strong throughout my workout.
When I have a contest or photo shoot coming up, I’ll throw in a couple extra afternoon cardio sessions, which usually involve sprints.
Which Do You Prefer and Why… Steady State Cardio Or HITT Cardio?
Well I do sometimes, it just depends on my goals at the time. The idea of cyclical bulking is to help keep you leaner overall and take advantage of favourable metabolic swings.
What Are Your Personal Thoughts On Fasted Cardio?
I’ve done fasted cardio before, but since my body has gotten use to eating small meals throughout the day, I like to start my mornings will a small meal. It gives me more energy and makes me train harder.
What Does Your Diet Look Like?
I try to eat 6-8 small meals throughout the day. I always combine a protein with a carb, except with at bedtime, when I drink a Casein shake. For say dinner my meal might look like this:
5 .oz baked chicken
1/2 cup brown rice or 4 .oz sweet potatoes
4 .oz peeled cucumber
3-5 .oz broccoli or carrots
What Do You Find Gives The Best Results When You Are Cutting?
My body reacts really well to cutting fats from my diet (even all natural peanut butter, almond butter, and avocados) as well as intervals.
How Do You Deal With Cravings?
It’s normal to crave things. If you didn’t I would probably wonder if you were really human. For me, I ask myself if it’s worth it. Will the three minutes of pure satisfaction be worth the hiccup in my desired results.
If I really, really, really want something I’ll have it, but in moderation.
What Activities and Hobbies Do You Enjoy When You Are Away From The Gym?
I love traveling. I’m always on the go:) I need a cot at the airport just to save on drive time. If I’m not traveling I can usually be found poolside with friends or boating on our lake. If it’s outdoors and active I’m there!
What Are Your Favourite Supplements?
With new products constantly coming out, my favorite products tend to change from time to time. Right now, my go to list includes:
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey
– French Valilla Creme Flavor
Optimum Nutrition HydroWhey: Post Workout
– Cookies & Cream Overdrive
ABB PurePro RTD Cans
– Cookies & Cream Flavor
Optimum Nutrition Casein: Before Bed
– Cookies & Cream or Cookie Dough
Optimum Nutrition Amino Chewables
– Lemonade Flavor
ABB Speed Shot: Pre Workout
– Twisted Lime Flavor
Optimum Nutrition Amino Energy
(or Amino Energy Chewables)
Optimum Nutrition Opti-Performance Pack
Optimum Nutrition CLA & Mega Fat Burners
(only when getting ready for a show or shoot with meals)
Optimum Nutrition Glutamine and L-Carnitine
What Is Your Favorite Workout Music?
Right now I’m listing to Pandora during my workouts. My iPod stopped working so I turned to my phone for music. The station is usually set to Benny Benassi Radio, DJ Chuckie Radio, Tyga radio, or.E-40 Radio. Gotta throw some rap in there sometimes!
What Is Your Greatest Achievement?
I would have to say there are two achievements that I think are my greatest thus far. 1. Getting my sponsorship with ON/ABB and 2. Being featured in the June 2012 issue of Muscle & Fitness Magazine. Ask me next year and hopefully I’ll tell you it’s a new cover!
What Is Your Favorite Quote?Winners never quit and quitters never win - Vince Lombardi Click To Tweet
What Do You Love About Competing?
Probably the camaraderie between the athletes. We’re all there competing, but we share similar interests and know the work put into getting into phenomenal shape for each show.
What Are Your Plans For The Future?
I’m a big believer is setting goals and taking the steps necessary to achieve them. Right now, I’m putting a lot of focus on my competitive running and modeling. My plans are to run four half marathons, compete in two NPC bikini competitions, and shoot with two magazine I’ve had my eye on for quite some time now.
Who Are Your Favorite Athletes, Bodybuilders and Fitness Models?
Awesome question! There are so many people in the industry that I look up to. As a role model, Monica Brant is probably my #1 choice. After attending her FEM Camp, I made the jump into making fitness my life. She’s one of the sweetest people I’ve met.
And for models, well.pretty much any of the women in the industry who are pushing themselves to greatness. It takes a determined person to make it in this industry. It’s almost a sisterhood and all these women possess amazing qualities I look up to.
If Someone Wants To Connect With You How Can You Be Contacted?
You can connect with me on the follow networks: