Amanda Latona IFBB Bikini Pro Interview

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  • Age:

    37
  • Height:

    165cm
  • Chosen Sport:

    IFBB Bikini Pro
  • Years Training:

    18
  • Off-Season Weight:

    60kg (134lb)
  • Competition Weight:

    56kg (124lb)
  • Competition Records:

    10 Time IFBB Pro Bikini Champion

    • 2014 IFBB Greater Gulf Pro Bikini Championships: 1st Place
    • 2014 IFBB Pittsburgh Pro Bikini Championships: 3rd Place
    • 2014 IFBB Bikini International Championships: 3rd Place
    • 2013 IFBB Sacramento Pro Bikini Championships: 1st Place
    • 2013 IFBB Bikini Olympia: 6th Place
    • 2013 IFBB Greater Gulf Pro Bikini Championships: 1st Place
    • 2012 IFBB Sacramento Pro Bikini Championships: 1st Place
    • 2012 IFBB Border States Pro Bikini Champioships: 1st Place
    • 2012 IFBB Bikini Olympia: 7th Place
    • 2011 IFBB Sacramento Pro Bikini Championships: 1st Place
    • 2011 IFBB Titan Pro Bikini Championships: 1st Place
    • 2011 IFBB MuscleContest Pro Bikini Championships: 1st Place
    • 2010 IFBB Sacramento Pro Bikini Championships: 1st Place
    • 2010 IFBB Dallas Europa Pro Championships: 1st Place
  • Training Information:

    How much time do you spend training per day? Does it change when preparing for a competition? 

    I spend about 1 - 2 hours training with weights 4 - 5 days a week throughout the year. When I am preparing for a competition, I train 6 days a week (always 1 total rest day), still 1 - 2 hours of weights 4 - 5 days a week but I also add cardio 3 - 6 days a week depending on where I'm at and how I am looking. If I am doing HIIT cardio and it's a shorter weight session, I will do cardio right after weight training. If it's a longer session, I will do it separately on that day, so most days during contest prep I am working out twice per day.

    What is your overall training philosophy? Why do you choose to train this way?

    I like to keep my body guessing. I choose to train this way because I feel it encompasses all styles of training. Some days I lift heavy, some days I lift lighter, some workouts have short rest periods, some days I will train in a circuit, sometimes even boot camp! I incorporate drop sets, super sets, giant sets, pyramids, pre exhaust, .. I use HIIT cardio, cardio in between sets… I am ALWAYS doing something different every workout. Your body adapts... you have to keep it guessing.

    What is your current training split?

    This is an idea of my current routine. For me every workout is different and I keep a log to make sure I'm not repeating exercises.

    I typically will stick to 4 - 5 exercises for each body part, working 3 - 4 sets of 10 - 15 reps.

    Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
    Back / Rear Delts / Calves Hot Pilates / Boot Camp Cardio (AM) / Legs (PM) Cardio (AM) / Shoulders, Abs, Calves (PM) HIIT Cardio Boot Camp (AM) / Legs (PM)

    Do you believe training for women should be different? Why or why not?

    Not really. As far as lifting, I lift heavy and like a bodybuilder as well as an athlete. I incorporate bodybuilding sets and reps as well as athletic training such as sprints, drill and ploys. I don't think women need to train traps, chest or heavy arms. That's just my personal preference and opinion. It also depends on what look you're trying to achieve. I've been training for years and years and I don't think I ever need to do arms or chest again! I know a lot of guys may get jealous hearing that! Haha! I also think women should pay particular attention to training their lower body with focus on the glutes. Lots of isolating the glutes!

    Women are often frightened to use heavy compound movements. Do you personally use heavy movements in your training? What movements, why or why not?

    I love heavy everything to be honest, even in my isolation training. If you're lifting, lift heavy. That's been my motto for years and I preach it to all of the women that ask me for training advice. Of course, going back to my rule of "keep the body guessing", I frequently add in higher rep sets to mix things up. I love heavy squats, dead lifts and pull ups, but don't really do any heavy bench presses.

    What is your preferred type of cardio when trying to lose bodyfat? How does this fit into your daily routine?

    Definitely HIIT cardio. Everything on an incline, and anything with resistance. HIIT gives the most bang for your buck, keeps you burning fat AFTER your training session, and allows you to lose body fat while sparing muscle loss which is key. My cardio is also glute focused, so I do step mill with kickbacks, stepper, arc trainer at max resistance, spin bike with resistance and other similar forms of cardio. If I have a shorter weight session on any particular day, I will do HIIT post-workout. Otherwise, I will do it separately to my weights workouts.

  • Dieting/Supplementation Information:

    What is your overall nutrition philosophy? Do you subscribe to ‘clean eating’ or a different approach?

    Definitely clean eating. I just feel you should eat what God put on this earth. I believe in "whole foods" and foods that have one ingredient in them like chicken, fish, broccoli, apples, etc... I am a huge believer in portion control and I eat a high protein, moderate carb diet with healthy fats. I have as many veggies as possible and believe in using food to get your vitamins and nutrients. Of course, I also believe in "cheat meals"... not cheat days or weeks! LOL! They are beneficial as well, not only mentally but physically. No processed foods when you can. Limit sugar and sodium :-)

    What does your typical daily caloric intake and meal plan look like? 

    Meal 1: 4 - 6 egg whites & spinach, oats & cinnamon.

    Meal 2: 115 grams chicken, brown rice, vegetables

    Meal 3: 115 grams chicken, sweet potato, vegetables

    Meal 4: Protein shake, BSN Syntha-6

    Meal 5: 115 grams salmon, avocado, vegetables

    Meal 6: Protein shake, BSN Syntha-6 & peanut butter

    Do you feel women can be frightened to consume adequate amounts of food? How do you help your clients overcome this? 

    Yes. I teach women the importance of building muscle. Muscle speeds up the metabolism and shapes the body giving women the curvy, sexy, athletic look we're after. In order to build muscle you NEED to eat. I take this approach because fitness is a lifestyle that requires food and sleep to allow your body to recover, which is just as important as the training. I hope that by being fit and living fit, women will use food as fuel and for recovery and growth, and not develop any type of eating disorder.

    When you diet for a show, do you cut carbs completely out of your diet? Or do you taper them down?

    I NEVER cut out carbs completely. I do taper them down. It all depends on where I'm at. There have been preps with 2 carb meals and preps where I've had 5 carb meals the whole time.

    Tell us about how you overcome any cravings when dieting. Do you have any favourite foods or recipes that help satisfy those cravings?

    There are times when I actually have zero cravings. When I cut something out completely, I actually stop wanting or craving it completely… Thank God. However, I do get them like anyone else and when they're bad ..they are BAD!! My most craved food is chocolate/peanut butter (see my Instagram posts where I'm a self professed Reese's fanatic! LOL!). My cure for cravings are flavoured coffee and sugar free flavoured coffee creamer. For the Reese's fix, I take 1 scoop of chocolate flavoured Syntha-6 Isolate (this has less calories than regular Syntha-6 so I switch to it during prep) and I add 1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder (no sugar and only 10 calories) a little organic stevia, and 1 tablespoon of natural peanut butter. I mix it up with just enough water or unsweetened almond milk to make a pudding then freeze it for 20 minutes. Works every time!

    What is your favourite clean meal?

    I am the biggest fan of a big bowl of salad with grilled chicken on top – I have this most days!

    What is your favourite cheat meal?

    Oh my….all of them. But I'd have to say a cheeseburger on a pretzel bun, fries and a dessert. Maybe a pint of Ben & Jerry's ice cream or frozen yoghurt with EVERY topping!

    What Are Your 3 Favourite Supplements And Why?

    BSN Syntha-6 – I love mixing the Banana flavour with fat free organic milk and a banana... YUM!

    BSN Amino-X – I use this immediately after training for recovery. I love all the flavours but my favourite is Green Apple.

    BSN N.O.-Xplode – I FREAKIN love this product! The taste is addictive - I literally can't stop drinking it! And the energy is amazing!

    When preparing for a contest do you measure everything that goes into your mouth, or do you prefer to eat food portions based on how you ‘look’ and ‘feel’?

    I definitely measure everything. Of course that depends too on if my weight is down, then yes, I may have an extra rice cake. I am very organized and when I diet it's almost robotic. It makes it easier for me and takes the guesswork out of it.

    Also, this year I have had the absolute blessing to have a FOOD SPONSOR! Fuel UP Food literally sends my food directly to my door and it has been THE BEST THING EVER!!!!!  I don't even have to weigh anything, it's all pre-made and weighed and divided up for me. They are a HUGE help and you guys should check them out!

  • Personal Information:

    What led you to compete as a fitness model? Do you plan on competing in any other fitness related activities?

    I actually started out as a singer. I had a 3 record deal; 1 group (with Britney Spears as the original member) and 2 solo recording deals. I was given a gym membership to stay in shape and work on singing and dancing at the same time. I fell in love the day I stepped foot in the gym. It's just ALWAYS been an instant passion of mine. I also LOVE to perform and be on stage, so competing to me is taking my 2 passions, the stage and fitness, and fusing them together. I'm not really thinking of competing in any other fitness related activities. I'll stay where I'm at for now ;-)

    What do you hope to achieve in the next 5 years? What action will you take to achieve this?

    In the next 5 years…geez, LOL! Well, I always say I don't look 5 days ahead yet alone 5 years ahead LOL! My life motto is "take one day at a time". This helps me because I used to look at preps and think "what will I look like 8 weeks out, 5 weeks out etc.." Taking 1 day at a time allows me to focus on that day and give THAT day my absolute best. The Bible says "Give us this day our daily bread"… So, I do it for the day. However, let's see... in 5 years I would liked to have won both the Bikini Olympia and Bikini International, have my own series of mainstream workout DVDs, host a TV show, and then, well you know… fall in love and get married.

    We understand you are an ambassador for BSN, what is your role as a sponsored fitness athlete?

    To bring brand awareness, to share my insight on why I love the brand and their supplements, and to do meet and greets for the supporters around the world. I absolutely love BSN. I have been using their supplements since 2006, 3 years before I was even signed to them! So, it has ALWAYS been a company I have believed in even before I worked with them.

    How do you manage the balance in your life, especially when preparing for a contest?

    Ohhhhhhhhhhh my… balance is the key word here. I have to be honest in saying balance is something that took me YEARS to achieve and something that I STILL work daily to have in my life. Especially when competing. I think what's helped me the most are the following 2 things:

    1) Competing is MY choice. God has blessed me in what I do and with the ability to do what I love for a living, and to reach, help, teach, motivate and inspire people around the world, and for that I am grateful DAILY. That being said, I knew if this was something I was going to do, I wasn't going to let it affect the people in my life in any negative way. Yes it's hard. And at times it gets very hard. However, I do pray for Grace daily to do what I do, Grace being "the ability to do what is normally hard, with ease". I choose to not let the factors of the competing influence my actions…like…"I'm hungry so I'm going to be moody"..or "I have to train so I can't go out or eat out etc...." There's always excuses and that goes with everything we do, or don't do, you choose to NOT let them affect you by choice. It's a choice. So I have to train, yes, and sometimes 2 times a day. If I need to go to an event, or go see a movie, then I get my training in early, just set my schedule to make my training work, no matter what. I always use the hashtag "#noexcuses" and I bring my cooler with me EVERYWHERE. That way I don't have to go home to eat, or heck if I eat out, I'll even bring my food and order a plain salad or steamed veggies with it. That always works with loved ones that just want your company. And heck, it's no fun to be moody, so, just decide, this is what I want to do…and be happy doing it! Enjoy it!

     
    2) Looking at fitness and competing actually as a "lifestyle" other than a "competition diet". Yes you always hear fitness is a lifestyle… but what I have done and RECENTLY that has REALLY helped me, is instead of having an "off season " and gaining a bunch of weight or just indulging too much (come on I LOVE TO EAT and EAT EVERYTHING!! LOL!!) when I'm done with a show, I have 1 or 2 days and just have normal food, I just don't try to eat everything in sight for 2 days like I used to... Then, I go back on my diet. Of course with a little more room for extra food but I add extra healthy food, like fruit or healthy fats, but still weigh food out and bring it with me. and eat several times a day. Then, I add in indulgent meals when I need them but mostly for special occasions. Here's where the balance comes in even more. I will eat good say for 2 weeks, then on my birthday, eat whatever I want… then back on the diet, then here comes date night, and I go out and have steak and wine... and dessert... so, this allows for the balance to be there. Stay on the diet and use the meals for the special times :-) This has really REALLY helped me. I did this this year and not only have I enjoyed the balance I've BEEN looking for, but it also kept me lean all year and I haven't had to struggle in prep like I used to!

    What other sports do you follow outside of bodybuilding?

    American Football, Boxing and UFC

    Do you have a quote that you live by?

    "Do It Afraid"

    Is there anything else you would like to leave us with? (final thought)

    I am sooo beyond grateful to do what I love on a daily basis! And I just hope by what I've experienced and learned that I can help educate and inspire people. Thank you all sooooo much for your continued support! Come follow me on Twitter and Instagram and share my amazing journey with me through words and photos. Go after your dreams. Set goals. Don't beat yourself up. Take one day at a time. Consistency is key. Make small changes…they make a big difference. I live everyday forever grateful…

    Check Out My Website

    www.amanda-latona.com

    Like Me On Facebook

    https://www.facebook.com/OfficialAmandaLatona

    Follow Me On Instagram

    http://instagram.com/amandalatona (@AmandaLatona)

    Follow Me On Twitter

    https://twitter.com/Amandalatona (@AmandaLatona)

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