About-Muscle.com interview the Female Terminator Rosie Chee. Rosie is a fitness model, writer and experienced cycling champion with a passion for health and fitness.
Could You Tell Us A Bit About Yourself And How You Got Involved In Fitness?
I have been involved in sport for as long as I can remember. However, my athletic career really started with cycling: In my first year of competition, I won all but one National title for my age-group, going on to represent New Zealand in international events such as Junior Track Worlds (where I placed in the Top 10 in all my events), continuing to win multiple New Zealand track and road Championship titles throughout my cycling career.
I first started resistance training a few months before the Junior World Track Cycling Championships - under the guidance of the NZ Academy of Sport and a military trainer. When I left college, I moved and entered the real world, I still kept training and going to the gym, despite taking time out from cycling competition. The gym that I used was full of the top NZFBB male bodybuilders, and on a sudden impulse, encouraged by them, I entered the regional Figure competition for fun, the guys helping me out with diet and training, and for the first time in my life I saw my body do things that I had been told before were impossible for me (cyclists’ resistance training is performance orientated, not for aesthetics). Despite retiring from cycling during my degree, I continued training, my lifestyle still that of an athlete, although my training focus has changed over the years, with my concentration now more on health and fitness than anything else.
What Helps You Stay Motivated?
Motivation is not a factor. Whether I feel like it or not, I do it. The primary reason I train so hard - aside from the fact that I used to train for 30-40 hours a week when I was a competitive cyclist - is because I HAVE to; training is the only thing that seems to allow my body to function close to “normally” physiologically without me having to resort to prescription medication/drugs - I have a blood disorder where my red blood cells can only carry TWO instead of the usual four oxygen molecules, and if I don’t train hard and push myself, I can’t breathe properly and have other health issues.
I want to be a living, breathing example of what CAN be done if you want it badly enough; to make a difference in others’ lives; inspire them, give them faith, hope, courage, and belief in themselves and their ability to succeed; to get them to constantly push themselves to new heights; setting goals and achieving them, aiming higher once those goals are accomplished.
It’s about being better than I was yesterday. Having a vision and not being afraid to take the risks required to make it a reality. Knowing what I want and no matter what happens, persevering, never “settling”, not making excuses but pushing forward, holding nothing back, forever testing myself and challenging the “impossible”, finding a way to MAKE it happen! NEVER stop striving to be the BEST that you can be! Think like a Champion! Train like a Warrior! Live with a Purpose!
What Does Your Workout Look Like?
Monday: HIIT Cardio + Shoulders/Hamstrings + Stretch 20-30 mins
Tuesday: Cardio 10 mins + Arms/Abs + Stretch 20-30 mins
Wednesday: HIIT Cardio + Stretch 20-30 mins
Thursday: Cardio 10 min + Full-Body + Stretch 20-30 mins
Friday: HIIT Cardio + Shoulders/Arms/Abs + Stretch 20-30 mins
Saturday: Cardio 20 min + Stretch 20-30 mins
Sunday: Day Off
What Sort Of Rep Range Do You Use?
I usually train with 3-15 reps, reps dependent on the body-part or specific day of my training split. That said my sets and reps change based on my goal - although I generally recomp and lift as heavy as I can (heavier weight for fewer reps for me personally means improved strength, gains in or maintaining muscle mass, and keeping a lower body composition) for whatever reps I have set myself, using 30-60 seconds recovery between sets/supersets/trisets/giant sets.
Free Weights Vs Machines What Do You Feel Are The Pros & Cons and Which Do You Prefer?
Free weights and machines each have their own pros and cons, many dependent on how experienced a trainee is. Just a few (not limited to those listed):
PROS - start out with correct form and technique (instead of moving from machine weights to free weights and having to relearn everything), better for performing functional movements, better for improving posture, can do a wider variety of exercises with free weights than machine weights.
CONS - increased risk for injury if form or technique is bad (i.e. beginners who do not have any instruction before starting out), etc.
PROS - safer and more “stable” (especially for beginners who do not have proper instruction starting out), can allow one to lift heavier later in a session if muscles are already fatigued, less ability to “cheat” than if using free weights, can give one an “idea” of what the appropriate free weight exercise will feel like (although not completely, since going from a machine weight to a free weight exercise is not the same, with movement often different), good for use when cannot do the “equivalent” free weight exercise (i.e. if rehabilitating an injury, etc.).
CONS - give the individual too much “reliance” on the machine, etc.
I personally prefer free weights (this is where I started - I’m very old school with my training, although it IS Unconventional) and rarely use machines - the only machine weight I use is Rear Flyes. That said, everyone is different and needs to do what is best for THEM - there is nothing wrong with doing a combination of free weights and machine weights, and doing so can give a well-rounded training programme!
What Mistakes Did You Make When You First Started As A Newbie?
I was very lucky, both in starting out training (re: cycling) and in the gym (re: weights) to have the best of the best [in New Zealand] as my coaches, trainers and mentors, my training always individualized to my goals and needs, proper form and technique always stressed, etc., and everything that I did I knew WHY (which is why I do this with my own clients - Everything in your training programme should have a PURPOSE, and if it has none, then get rid of it). That said, I have learnt many things over the years about my body and could have done things differently during certain periods, especially with regards to scheduling time out from training throughout the year - since not allowing myself more than a week or two a year off training was, I believe, a huge contributing factor to my initial bouts of Chronic Fatigue.
How Often Do You Perform Cardio?
5-6 days a week
Which Do You Prefer and Why... Steady State Cardio Or HITT Cardio?
I prefer HIIT - simply because my body requires INTENSITY for optimal function. That, and even when I DO steady-state cardio, my heart rate is generally always above 80% of my maximum heart rate.
What Are Your Personal Thoughts On Fasted Cardio?
It is personal preference - studies have shown that it has no additional benefits than doing cardio NON-fasted. I have done both fasted and unfasted cardio (more in my cycling days) and I definitely prefer the former - in fact, I prefer to do ALL my training in a fasted state, as my body feels the best that way, and my performance is no different than if I was training unfasted.
What Does Your Diet Look Like?
I don’t “diet” I am not a dieter and never have been. I believe that one should NOT “diet”. One’s diet should be a LIFESTYLE, NOT a temporary plan that they use, adjusting their caloric intake based on their goals and needs of different phases.
Nutrition has always been the one area where I have not had much discipline, my diet honestly what most people call a perpetual “cheat”, going completely AGAINST the “norm” and of what is “acceptable” - so much so that most people do not actually believe me when I tell them what I DO eat like (until they see it for themselves!) Until the last few months (since all my injuries at the end of last year), nutrition has not played as much of a role as my training in my conditioning, past experience showing me that "dieting" as others diet does NOT work for my body (if you read past updates in my online Fitness Journal - link at the end - you will see this confirmed), and I do not use any specific "diet", instead listening to my body and adjusting my nutrition (as I do my training) as required, with my macronutrient ratios and calorie intake changing on a day-to-day basis, albeit averaging out at my Maintenance of 4,300 calories daily.
I adjust my nutrition on a weekly - sometimes even daily - basis, dependent on my progress towards my goals of that phase, my diet a specific adaption for me, amalgamating nutritional methods and principles taken from various nutritional protocols. My diet could probably best be described as Lean Gains, without being strictly Lean Gains, since the only thing I do that is part of the protocol really is the 16-hour fasting period with an 8-hour feeding window, adapting everything else to be specific for me, so that it is "perfect" for what I want and need.
Do You Bulk and Cut Or Do You Stay Lean For The Whole Year Round?
I do not cut or bulk (left to its own devices, regardless of nutrition and/or training, my body perpetually recomps), and stay lean all year round, maintaining between 8-10% bodyfat, and for the last year have maintained between 7.8-9.5% bodyfat. However, henceforth, I am aiming to maintain under 9% bodyfat, closer to 8%, since my body feels the best this way.
What Do You Find Gives The Best Results When You Are Cutting?
I don’t bulk or cut... That said, even when I AM trying to lean up a little more, my nutrition does not change much from what it usually is... Re: training, doing 20 minutes of post-weights cardio works effectively (albeit, this is part of my “Maintenance” Training), and I add in 3-4 second cardio sessions a week...
How Do You Deal With Cravings?
I don’t. I generally just eat what I want when I want - which yes, is VERY Unconventional, but works for my body (although working on improving this so that my nutrition is more HEALTH orientated and COMPLIMENTS my training to work WITH my body).
What Supplements Do You Use?
I use a lot of supplements, actually. That said I use them because they work for ME specifically and everything in my supplement regime has a PURPOSE. I pretty much have all my supplements covered, and knowing what works best for my body, do not often use products outside of those anymore.
My “staple” supplements are:
* I cycle AnaBeta* and Erase Pro* in and out (or if I run out of anything and have to wait for more - like in the case of Recompadrol none being available from the manufacturer until the end of April), but the rest are pretty much staples.
It would depend on the person, their goals and needs, training experience, nutrition, supplement usage and knowledge, plus individual factors, etc. before I would make a recommendation on what supplements - if any - to use.
What supplements I highly recommend are dependent on the circumstances, the individual in question, their goals and needs, and will change for everyone; the same goes for what supplements I recommend to be avoided by people. For example, a beginner, male OR female, NEVER needs to use anything but the basic staples of creatine, multivitamin, good fats, protein, and BCAAs (depending on one’s body mass, only a creatine and multivitamin may be necessary, since many females can get enough good fats, protein, and BCAAs from their NUTRITION) - I don’t recommend using anything else until they have built up a solid training base, since NUTRITION AND TRAINING are what are going to get them results!
Another example is that there are a lot of supplements that I use that I would never recommend other females use, unless they are experienced trainees who know what they are doing, and are aware and knowledgeable on the benefits and potential detriments of such supplements. One thing I do NOT recommend for females however, even though it is often done, is hormonal usage, and I would never recommend hormonal products for females, period.
One thing that should always be taken into consideration when looking at supplements and deciding on what to use or what not to use is this: Will this product be beneficial to my body and help me with my goals and needs? EVERY product one uses should have a PURPOSE (like everything done in training) - if it does not, then it has NO place being used (or done).
What Activities and Hobbies Do You Enjoy When You Are Away From The Gym?
In no particular order
Writing - Fitness/lifestyle, I am a columnist for several industry magazines, contribute articles to various bodybuilding and fitness websites, and write a daily Motivational.
Reading - I have loved to read as long as I have loved to write, and it is a nice escape (fiction) or educational experience (research).
Research - Whether for personal reasons, to add to knowledge and skills, or for an article.
Watching anime and movies - Top anime include Code Geass, Gurren Lagann, Helsing Ultimate, Trinity Blood, and X...Top movies include Azumi, Sherlock Holmes, Stardust, The Myth, and The Prestige...
Fitness and Management Consultant - I do a lot of pro bono “consulting” in this area, as well as manage my time helping out and contributing to several bodybuilding and fitness forums.
Strength and Conditioning Coach - I have coached athletes for various sports including cycling, muay thai boxing, sprinting, and triathlons.
Modelling - This is an aspect of the fitness industry that I have recently become involved in, and I enjoy it because it has allowed me to embrace the woman inside, challenges me, is something different, and another avenue I can use to help re exposure to influence as many people as possible.
Travelling - I have a wanderer’s spirit and love exploring new places.
Eating - I love to eat, LOL.
Spending time with friends/family - Life is too short to NOT let the people whoa re dear to you know it and there is not greater way of showing that than making and spending time with them, IMO.
What Are Your Favourite Supplements?
#1 Equal: Applied Nutriceuticals IGF-2
IGF-2 was my first favourite product ever, not only assisting me in gaining muscle mass whilst simultaneously allowing me to stay relatively lean) maintaining 8-10% bodyfat even at ~4,300 cal/day!), but improving recovery and completely eliminating DOMS, aiding with better sleep. IGF-2 is also the ONLY Growth Hormone booster that works WITH my body.
#1 Equal: MusclePharm Assault
Assault was (and still is) the FIRST and only preworkout product that I have ever used where I am FUNCTIONAL AND see results with the RECOMMENDED dosage, withOUT having to stack it with multiple stimulants. Definitely the inclusion of Suma Root in Assault makes the difference (I am still using the original version - although soon to finish my last tub of it and going to start on the newest formulation of Assault) - adaptogens work wonders for my body.
#1 Equal: PES Erase
Erase is not just my #1 testosterone booster, but if I had to say it, the #1 product I would not want to be without)- not just because it is an excellent recomp product, but because of all the benefits re joints, sleep, and drying out, etc. I have with it (if there ever is a “magic” product, it is Erase).
#2: MusclePharm Shred Matrix
I don’t use Shred Matrix as a “fat burner” per se, but for all its other beneficial properties. Not only is Shred Matrix the ultimate and most COMPLETE fat loss product IMO, but it would compliment anyone's nutrition and training for ANY body goal!
#3: PES Alpha-T2
Alpha-T2 makes a noticeable difference to my progress, without any changes in nutrition or training, and works WITH my body instead of against it, like all the other thyroid boosting fat burners I have tried in the past.
MusclePharm MuscleGel Shots (Key Lime flavour)
I cannot say enough about MuscleGel Shots - although they are slightly pricier than protein powder, for the ease and convenience of the product and the fact that protein powder now upsets my stomach, alongside BCAAs, they are my exclusive chosen source for protein.
AI Sports Nutrition RecoverPRO (Red Raspberry flavour)
BCAAs are a STAPLE product in my supplement arsenal. With a hint of sweet tartness, Red Raspberry RecoverPRO is my #1 product re flavour!
What 3 Exercises Have Contributed The Most To Building Your Physique?
In no particular order:
1. Behind-the-neck Barbell Military Press - I first started noticing real delt development and progress after adding these into my training programme.
2. Hammer Bicep Curls - both heads of my biceps have developed since adding these to my training programme.
3. Single-Arm Lateral Raises - my lateral delts have become more “capped” since adding these into my training programme.
What Is The Most Common Training Question People Ask You The Gym?
Males: Either “What supplements should I use to gain muscle (points to a specific area)?” or “How do I get rid of my love handles/lower belly?”
Females: Either “What can I do to help me lose x pounds?” or “What exercise is good for building up my butt?”
What Is Your Greatest Achievement?
I have overcome a lot in my life and my fitness journey has been one not without struggles and trials. Going from being a competitive athlete to not being one, admitting an unusual eating disorder, facing suicide, recovering from a devastating back injury (that crushed my cervical spine and caused permanent scoliosis) in 2004, overcoming Chronic Fatigue in 2008-2009, gaining 25 pounds over a period of ~3 months (during another bout of Chronic Fatigue, not training, my diet “normal”) when I first arrived in the US, having lengthy forced time out from multiple injuries in 2011, and dealing daily with a hereditary blood disorder (where my blood can only carry two instead of the normal four oxygen molecules), I have learnt to walk that fine line between extreme and progress, having accomplished what many have persistently told me is impossible’ - albeit everything I have done and will continue to do is not by my strength alone, but as a testament to God’s Glory.
The most significant/greatest “achievements” for me on a personal level, though, are:
1. Being able to function “normally” withOUT the aid of prescription medication - my red blood cells can only carry two instead of four oxygen molecules, making breathing difficult for me, being constantly anaemic, as well as many other physiological anomalies caused because of this condition.
2. Building up my deltoids and arms, not once, but THREE times (withOUT training Legs), in the last year - not long after the first, I was out with a refractured left wrist, after which I returned to training and had rebuilt the lost muscle mass back BETTER than pre-injury in 10-12 weeks, only to be out from training and lose it all again 12-13 weeks after returning to training, losing it all over again, coming back and painstakingly rebuilding it all for a third time, more than before in ~10 weeks.
3. Being given my own Motivation/Inspiration column in World Physique Magazine and WPM Women, giving me a platform to be able to inspire and empower others to believe and have faith in their abilities and to go after their dreams and goals.
4. Maintaining a body composition under 9.5% bodyfat for the last year, especially given that I do NOT “diet”, have had a lot of time out due to multiple injuries, and the last few months being some of the most disruptive and destructive of my life.
5. I’m just thankful to still be here, really (especially after a freak car accident in mid-April 2012, where I walked away UNscathed, later told that I should have been dead!), and to be able to use my experiences and knowledge to help inspire and motivate others and empower them to a better and higher way of living (it is so motivating and inspiring to ME to receive emails from not just those I know, but also strangers, encouraging ME and saying how I have “helped” them)!
What Do You Love About Competing?
Although I have competed in a couple of Figure competitions (once, for a laugh and something different, when I was having a break from cycling, in 2004; and in my first Pro-Qualifier in 2010), I do not “compete” per se, and do not consider myself a competitor - my focus in the fitness industry is not really on competing. I am an ATHLETE - there IS a difference.
What Are Your Plans For The Future?
I have several professional goals, but they all come down to this: Building on what I have done and accomplished so far, I want to increase my exposure in the fitness industry and get into an influential position to be a positive fitness role model, establishing myself firmly in the fitness industry as a "Triple Threat" re Writer, Trainer, and Model/Athlete; building a "brand" with name recognition; using myself as an example that anything is possible if you want it badly enough; to inspire, motivate, and educate men and women on health and fitness as a faith and lifestyle, changing the wrong mindsets on women and training and supplementation, and helping others achieve their health and fitness goals.
My Career Objective really sums all I want to do up: To be an inspiration to, and instil in males and females alike, an energy and passion for sport, health and fitness. To help others achieve their sporting, health and/or fitness orientated goals; providing quality and effective support and motivation for them in the pursuit of their goals, whilst educating them on how to make positive lifestyle choices and changes to improve their quality of life to keep getting the desired results.
I want to be a role model for women to look up to re fitness. Women need to be better educated on the importance of using resistance training to achieve their body and fitness goals. Training with weights should neither intimidate nor scare them. I would like to see the many wrong mindsets among and about women and weight training be replaced by correct information and healthy attitudes. I also want to drive home the fact that one does NOT have to starve or live on an endless diet to get and stay lean, and lead by example that "diet" is a LIFESTYLE nutrition plan that can be maintained and adjusted as required.
Who Are Your Favorite Athletes, Bodybuilders and Fitness Models?
Monica was my first “fitness” role model. When I was having a break from cycling and dabbled in bodybuilding (for fun) she was the woman that most inspired me through her discipline and dedication. I have always been quite muscular in my lower body, but Monica was what made me want to add muscle to my body, and work on making my upper body proportional to my lower. When I think of this arena Monica is the “First Lady”.
Not only is Ava’s career truly inspirational, but she is a genuinely beautiful person. She moves from strength to strength as a person and an athlete, always getting better and better. I have much respect for WHO she is as a person...IMO, Ava has the perfect female physique. She inspires me to take my physique to the ultimate level possible for me, and every time I see her Gaspari Fat Loss Cycle ad I am remotivated with my conditioning and striving to be leaner than ever and the best that I can be!
A perfect balance between muscle and femininity, Jamie was the woman who first inspired me to consider [fitness] modelling (being the same height). She inspires me not just because she has had so much success in so little time, but because she is REAL. She’s not afraid to put herself out there and take risks, strong enough to stand up for what she believes in, and does her best to inspire others. Jamie also inspired me to compete seriously (once I had retired from cycling) and to compete in the Natural Federations.
Wife, mother and grandmother, Gina is a motivation and inspiration to all, proving that no matter how old one is, age is NOT an obstacle to achieving and maintaining the body of your dreams. Writer, trainer, model, and athlete, Gina is a huge source of knowledge, only willing to share it to help others achieve the best lifestyle they possibly can, and GoFitness is a model for what I ultimately want to be have and be doing with my own exercise physiology clinic.
Not only is Obi a wealth of experience and knowledge, but he is very humble, never seeking to glorify himself and his accomplishments, only wishing to do what he can to encourage, motivate, and educate others to a better lifestyle. Having overcome many challenges in his fitness career, Obi leads by example, showing others what can be done when you put your mind to it, regardless of how “impossible” anyone else says it is. I have learnt a lot from Obi and am truly grateful to know him.
Ben is “living proof” that if you “stay strong, always believe, never give up...dreams can come true”. Ben is faith, courage, determination, humility, strength - a true testament to God’s glory. “What I know today...anything can happen, dreams come true, and miracles occur daily. Belief is power beyond measure. Second Chance, make yours count!” Ben is a great mentor and role model for me, inspiring me to step out in faith and take the risk, to always do my best.
Knowledge, experience, achievement, all summed up in one word: LAYNE. Layne is Layne - no other explanation is needed!
If Someone Wants To Connect With You How Can You Be Contacted?
Rosie Chee MuscleRevolution: http://www.rosiesmusclerevolution.com
Anabolic Minds: http://anabolicminds.com/forum/member.php?u=4296
Photo Credit: Dan Ray