In this weeks QUESTions With, we talk to Alyssa Lemus. Alyssa recently competed in her first Bikini Competition after transforming her physique. You can read about her amazing transformation here. Alyssa is a full time student at the University California of Irvine studying to get a Public Health Sciences degree. She loves to write and you can also find her a thttp://payfitnessforward.blogspot.com where she shares fitness and health information.
What nutritional information have you learned that most people don’t know?
Most people really haven’t figured out that nutrition and diet is 85-90% of the results you get, you can spend hours in the gym but will NEVER see results with a poor diet. You can’t out train a bad diet.
What training information have you learned that most people don’t know?
When it comes to cardio and weight training I learned that variety is key. Your body is really smart it starts to catch on to your training and will eventually stop working so you have to switch it up. Never stick to the same old routine. If you’re always on the treadmill try the StairMaster or if you mainly train with dumbbells try using the cable machines you’d be surprised at what a difference these changes can make on your physique.
What are the three things you see people doing in the gym that bother you most?
1. Talking on the phone while working out; this is YOUR time people leave your life behind for a bit and get fit!
2. Not using a towel to wipe down a machine
3. Not letting me workout in between someones sets when they are taking forever.
Whew! So glad I got that off my chest.
What are your three biggest nutrition pet peeves?
1. People who don’t read nutrition labels; you have to read labels to know what you are really eating.
2. People who don’t drink enough water; water keeps you full between meals and believe it or not being hydrated helps you perform better in the gym.
3. People who tease me for always eating clean; I respect and never judge other peoples eating lifestyle so in return I only want the same.
What is a quote that you live by?
“Those who do not find time for exercise will have to find time for illness.” – Earl of Derby.
I love this quote because life is not just about working out and having a good diet to look good on the outside, a combination of these two is about being heart healthy and living a healthy long life for you and your family.
Who is your inspiration?
My parents for sure! They always believe in me. Anytime I tell them that there is something new I want to learn, try or succeed in they always tells me, “you can do it, you can do anything you want.” They always remind me of how proud they are of me and what I have accomplished in life.
Who or what got you started?
I’ve come a long way. I used to be about 40 lbs overweight and I got started because I really just wanted to not be tired walking one flight of stairs and because I was overweight I was always tired with anything I did. Also, my mother is a breast cancer survivor which put me at high risk. I knew I needed to start making my life healthier and better. A healthy diet turned into a love of weight training and clean eating and now I can’t stop. I’m always looking for new things to keep me challenged.
What is one piece of advice you give to new lifters?
A piece of advice for the ladies, you will NOT get bulky by lifting weights, I promise you. For the men, when you first start getting into weight lifting still incorporate cardio in addition to your weight lifting, it’s not only good for your heart but it will help keep your body fat down so your growing muscles can show.
What is one piece of advice you give to seasoned lifters?
The more experienced of a lifter you are the more your body will try to fight you so switch up your workouts, I can’t stress that enough. I know even seasoned lifters get frustrated with goals they are trying to reach. Don’t give up and keep reaching for your goal if you give up then you will NEVER get there, if you keep going then you will eventually reach your goal.
What’s your goal for the rest of 2011?
1. Gain more muscle mass in my legs and arms. 2. Be sponsored by a protein supplement company. 3. Complete my NESTA personal training certificate so I can start sharing my nutrition and training knowledge with others.
What body part do you struggle with the most, and what have you done to overcome the problem?
The body part I struggle with the most would have to be my arms, I actually lift really heavy (6-8 rep range) but it never shows. I got past this struggle by incorporating an extra day of arms (shoulders/triceps/biceps) in my workout routine and this seemed to fix it, my shoulders were the first to show. Sometimes you may come to find that certain body parts need to be payed attention to a little bit more.
What does your typical diet consist of?
In general I eat:
– 6 times a day (morning, mid morning, lunch, mid lunch, dinner, late dinner).
– Protein (turkey, chicken, fish, tofu, protein powder, etc) and vegetables at every meal.
– A little bit of healthy fats at every meal (avocados, nuts, flax seeds, olive oil).
– Slow digesting carbs (sweet potato, oatmeal, oat bran, etc) based around the times I’m going to be most active.
For the times I can’t get to a real meal protein powders and bars are great for me. As a full time student and worker I am always on the go. I always carry a Quest bar in my purse (chocolate brownie- to die for!) since it’s a lo-carb bar I can eat them anytime even when I won’t be most active, besides I am a major sweet tooth and they help me with my sweet cravings.