About-Muscle talk to Robyn Baldwin, an amateur fitness model, alpha female and magnum sponsored athlete who has been training as a fitness competitor since 2009. She reveals all about her training, diet and fitness lifestyle.
Could You Tell Us A Bit About Yourself And How You Got Involved In Fitness?
I grew up a dancer, formally trained in ballet. In University I lived in the “athletes residence” so I had many friends that went to the on campus gym. I got my first gym membership and started working out by following some of them around the gym. I however, did a lot of cardio (elliptical girl), stretching and very little weight lifting. I became a cheerleader for the Hamilton Ti-Cats in 2004 and then the Toronto Argonauts in 2006. I was always svelte but started noticing small changes as my metabolism changed. Over the years I never really had to watch what I ate. Eventually over the winter of 2008/2009 I started noticing that I was getting “skinny fat”. After seeing Ashley Harrison on the cover of Oxygen in January 2009 I decided if she could do it I could do it.
In February 2009 I decided to train for fitness competitions at the end of the year. I started clean eating, re-vamped my fitness routine and found a passion in training to become a fitness model. Over the past four years I’ve expanded my career as a model and also write for several sites. I was named the Fitness Editor for The Broken Heel Diaries and also try to write as much as possible for my personal blog. I also co-host a monthly video called Mid Month Motivation on YouTube.
What Helps You Stay Motivated?
I love making vision boards and perusing people’s competition and modelling photos on Facebook for an extra kick in the butt.
After discovering Pinterest this year I’ve built a Fitness Inspiration board that I can visit virtually if I need some much needed inspiration in the gym.
What Does Your Workout Plan Look Like?
I like to lift weights in the morning. I’m currently doing a quads/chest split, shoulders, hams/back, arms and then a plyo workout and taking 2 days rest. I’m getting maybe 3-4 days of cardio workouts in as well. I usually hit the gym after work to get my sweat on.
What Sort Of Rep Range Do You Use?
I love variety so some days I’ll train with low reps, high weights and long rest times, or medium reps, medium weight and short rest times and then sometimes high reps, low weight and minimal rest times. It’s always good to keep the body guessing.
What Mistakes Did You Make When You First Started As A Newbie?
I thought I needed to cut all carbs out of my diet. I also thought I needed to take extreme fat burners that caused my heart to race and for me to keel over after taking them. I was so na’ve back then. And that was only 4 years ago!
How Often Do You Perform Cardio?
Right now I’m doing cardio 3 – 4 times a week. Pre-contest it goes up to 5 times.
Which Do You Prefer and Why… Steady State Cardio Or HITT Cardio?
HITT all the way. Unless a really good episode of Say Yes To The Dress is on and then you’ll find me on the bike indulging in reality television marathons!
What Are Your Personal Thoughts On Fasted Cardio?
I like to lift weights in the morning so I always do my cardio after work. So I personally don’t do it.
What Does Your Nutrition Plan Look Like?
I’m always experimenting with clean eating and ensuring I’m getting the right macronutrients in.
Do You Prefer To Bulk and Cut Or Stay Lean Year Round?
I try and stay lean year round so that I’m ready for photoshoots or auditions at a moment’s notice.
How Do You Deal With Cravings?
I try to make sure I eat all my meals for the day so I’m not hungry. I’ll make tea or just go to bed early if I’m having a late night craving. If the craving is during the day I’ll just repeat in my head “It’s not worth it!”
What Do Find Works Best When Cutting?
Because I’m so tired when cutting I hate doing long cardio sessions so I find that interval plyo training keeps me interested and lets me sweat for less amount of time!
What Supplements Do You Use?
I use Magnum Quattro (Protein), Serum (Pre-Workout w/ Creatine), Opus (Pre-Workout No Stimulants), Big C (Creatine), DNA (BCAA), Heat (Healthy Fat Burner) and Loaded (Multi).
What Activities and Hobbies Do You Enjoy When You Are Away From The Gym?
I’m a really big bookworm, slightly obsessive about recording TV shows on my PVR and love going to the movies.
What 3 Exercises Have Contributed The Most To Building Your Physique?
Walking Lunges, Arnold Shoulder Presses and Hanging Leg Raises
What Is The Most Common Training Question People Ask You The Gym?
What’s the easiest way to lose weight? My response is always: There is no easy way. It’s all about choosing a mindset, being dedicated, organized and sticking to it.
What Is Your Favorite Workout Music?
I love top 40, dance, hip hop or reggae music while working out
What Is Your Greatest Achievement?
My milestone fitness achievements to date have been:
1. Competing in my first competition and having the guts to get on stage.
2. My first cover of the ProSystems Catalague.
3. My first magazine workout spread in Best Health
4. My best placing to date as 3rd in Bikini Tall at the WBFF Quebec 2011
5. Signing with Magnum Neutraceuticals
What Is Your Favorite Quote?Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've always imagined. - Henry David Thoreau Click To Tweet
What Do You Love About Competing?
Competing gives me the edge to stay on track with my meals and training. I also slightly love the spotlight so stepping on stage is a rush. I do love the getting dolled up part!
If Someone Wants To Connect With You How Can You Be Contacted?
My friend Eva Redpath and I love filming our monthly video called Mid Month Motivation. We’d love for you to check out our channel and subscribe!