Brittany Findlay IFBB Miss Fitness Australia Athlete Profile

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  • Age:

    22
  • Height:

    165cm
  • Chosen Sport:

    Fitness Modeling
  • Years Training:

    5
  • Off-Season Weight:

    60kg
  • Competition Weight:

    53kg
  • Competition Records:

    • 2014 IFBB Australian Championships - Ms Fitness Australia 1st Place
    • 2014 IFBB Victorian Champioships - Ms Fitness Victoria 1st Place
  • Training Information:

    We are very excited to have you join Team MassiveJoes! Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you came to be interested in fitness modeling?

    I was never an overweight girl growing up, but I always admired fit girl inspirations on social media. I had some of them set as the wallpaper on my mobile phone but never really thought to myself that I could be like them as I wasn’t really into health and fitness at an early age. I loved my late nights with my friends, and my naughty foods!

    I suffered from a very serve mental illness for many years and one day I woke up and out of the blue I asked my Dad if he could take me to my local gym. He looked at me in complete shock! I ended up spending 2 hours at the gym just swtiching between all the machines. It took me into a complete different head space where all of my problems escaped my mind. I fell in love with the gym and never looked back.

    I went home, jumped on the internet and started researching different ways I could adjust my diet to improve my physique. As I progressed and learnt more and more my gym addiction spiralled out of control (but in a good way, of course!). I went and enroled in study to become a personal trainer and completed my Master Trainer Certificates 3 & 4. I knew this was it, I had never been so determined and motivated!

    I went to a lot of fitness expos, met a lot of different people but never thought to myself that I should compete. My training went on, and my progress just kept getting better and better. A lot of people started questioning why I wasn't competing. Then one day I thought to myself "I may as well give it a go!".

    The first time I stood on that stage was the proudest moment of my life! Nothing could wipe the smile off my face!

    Ever since then, bodybuilding and fitness modeling has become my lifestyle; to strive to better myself and to inspire others to do the same.

    How would you describe your training philosophy? Have you tried many different training methods in the past? 

    I started off my fitness journey as a cardio bunny. Now I have a love/hate relationship with cardio! I love the results that cardio produces, however I hate doing the actual cardio activity.

    When I was introduced to weight training it was an automatic strive for progress; to go heavy and increase my overall strength and personal bests each and every workout.

    I never really had a personal trainer when I first began my fitness journey, it was all YouTube and learning from watching others in my local gym. Doing this for a good 6-8 months alone I found myself progressing so much, which lead me to study in the industry and seek to better myself.

    Although I was studying and training every day, I found my body began to plateau so I invested in my first coach. From that day on my training methods really haven’t changed. I just keep learning more and improving my knowledge and techniques in different exercises. 

    What is your current training split that will enable you to achieve your new goals?

     

    Day

    Exercise

    Sets x Reps

    Monday






    Cardio: 20-30min (AM)


    Back & Abs (PM)

    Back: Because I train back twice a week I like to alternate between one workout focused on my lats and outer back and then another workout focused on middle and lower back. I always start off with 1 warm up set per exercise and complete 4 working sets with the last working set utlising a drop set until failure. I like to range between 4-6 different exercises. 

    Abs: You can never go wrong with cable crunches, and leg raises. I don’t go overly crazy on my abs, I just always rep it out and always make-sure I get a full squeeze on every movement. I stick between 15-30 reps per set and about 5-6 working sets per workout.

    Tuesday






    Cardio: 20-30min (AM)


    Shoulders & Calves (PM)


     

    Shoulders: Shoulders is one of my favourite muscle groups to train! I always start off with warm-up movements to get blood flow in all 3 heads of the delts. I like to start off with internal and external rotator cuff movements with light dumbbells as well as light front and side lateral raises to ensure my delts are properly warmed up to prevent injury.

    I always like to make sure I hit all 3 heads of the delts, starting with focusing on the front of my delts and working my way around to finish with my rear delts.

    My whole shoulder workout usually has about 5-6 different exercises; typically I'll use 2 big compound movements and 4 isolation movements. My rep range is always between 12-15 reps for 4 working sets per exercise. 

    Calves: Everybody’s worst nightmare! Luckily I have good genetics for calves so I usually only train them every fortnight with shoulders, but I never look forward to that drive home!

    I believe with calves being such a small muscle group that gets used every day you need to do lots of reps and lots of sets but there is no need to do 10,000 exercises! I usually stick to 3 exercises which are alternated between standing, seated pushing and seated lifting. I always put my toes on 3 angles with every set - toes out, toes straight, toes in.

    Wednesday






    Cardio: 20-30min (AM)


    Legs: Hamstring & Glute Focus (PM)

    Because legs are such a large muscle group you need to be able to put 110% into every session for growth. This is why I break my legs up into 2 workouts per week. Wednesdays I focus on the back of my legs and train hamstrings and glutes. 

    Hamstrings: Hamstrings is always different for me. I like to go weeks without repeating the same movement and shock my body with new movements. I always do my seated and laying hamstring curls but I could go weeks without standing single leg curls. Stiff leg deadlifts are always involved but never the same way each week, whether it be with a barbell, smith machine, dumbbells or on the hack squat machine - I always switch it around. Keeping tension on the muscle is a huge factor for me. I keep the rep range between 12-15 reps and do 4-5 working sets.

    Glutes: My glutes are very dominant so I don’t particularly focus many exercises on them. I like to finish off with 2 glute exercises such as kick backs (either on the assisted machines or cables), hip thrusts, back extensions, or sumo deadlifts. My rep range is between 15-20 reps per working set, with 4 working sets per exercise.

    Thursday






    Cardio: 20-30min (AM)


    Rest Day/Recovery Day (Massage & Infrared Sauna)

    Such an important day, but every gym junkie’s worst nightmare!

    Everybody needs to let their body recover - it is so important to allow your body to grow and repair. This is why I dedicate Thursdays to recovery, which also happens to be my busiest day in my business. Rest day doesn't necessarily mean “do nothing day” - I more so like to call it my “recovery day” for the fact I go see my massuese and pay a visit to the infrared sauna. I always keep my nutrition the same on my recovery day - the only thing that does change are my pre, intra and post-workout shakes which I don’t need to take.

    Friday







    Cardio: 20-30min (AM)


    Back & Biceps (PM)

    Back: Because I focus on my lats and back width at the start of the week I like to put more focus on my mid and lower back at the end of the week, but I always finish off with 1-2 exercises focusing on width too. On this day I do a lot of under-grip, closer grip, and rowing movements with a rep range of 12-15 reps with 4 working sets and a lot of squeezing on the concentric phase of each movement. 

    Biceps: Tension! Burn! Squeeze! 3 words that MUST be used when training biceps. I am always switching biceps around with different angles, whether it be seated, standing, laying, decline... There is such a variety! Each workout I try to involve each one of these angles and use different equipment each time. My rep range is between 12-15 reps and I always do a lot of drop sets until failure.

    Saturday






    Cardio: 20-30min (AM)


    Chest & Triceps (PM)

    Chest: This is something very new to me as I haven’t really trained chest in the past, but now adding this into my training program I am seeing a lot more core strength and upper body strength through other muscle groups. I use a lot of incline pressing and flying movements which help the front of my delts also. My rep range is between 12-15 reps and I perform 4 working sets of around 4-5 different exercises. 

    Triceps: I like to involve every grip movement in my triceps workouts - underhand grip, overhand grip, pushing, dips and overhead movements. Drop setting is my favourite when it comes to triceps. Although the pain is often excruciating, I make sure I go hard and get a good pump as my triceps respond well to high volume.

    Sunday






    Cardio: 20-30min (AM)


    Legs: Quads Focus (PM)

    My favourite day of the week!

    I am a very quad dominant girl and I am very strong through my quads. Quads on Sunday is usually after a cheat meal the night before so I am full of calories and ready to work hard! Sunday is also my day off work and the end of the week so I love to finish it off with a big long heavy workout.

    I usually stick to 4 exercises, but every quad day is different. To begin I always warm up with 2 sets of leg extension for 20 reps then work my way down to 12-15 reps with fast and slow trigger movements holding at the top of the movement.

    Whether it be squats, hack squat, leg press, single leg press, lunges with dumbbells or barbells, every week each workout seems to get harder and harder, but I love watching the weights get stacked on! Glutes are automatically involved in my quad days as they are very dominant so I feel them a lot with every pressing or squatting exercise I do.

    All rep ranges are from 12-20 for 4-6 sets per exercise. I also do a lot of supersets - mainly with walking lunges.

     

    What is your favourite and least favourite muscle group to train and exercise to perform?

    My favourite and least favourite muscle groups are always changing. One week I may love training back but then 2 weeks later I end up hating training back. I do seem to always like training quads though, and I hardly ever like training calves and abs as they can get a bit boring.

    Do you have a preferred repetition range, or do you vary it based upon how close you are to a show? 

    I do vary my repetition range slightly based on which season I am in, what muscle groups I train and which areas I need to grow and condition. But I usually stick to between 12-15 reps per working set. 

    What role does cardiovascular exercise play in your regime? How frequently do you perform it, and do you have a favourite method of such?

    I like to perform some kind of cardio every morning in my off-season to start off my day, whether it be brisk walking on the treadmill or outdoors, or even on the stairmaster.

    In my on-season I usually alternate between different cardio machines as I find this betters my conditioning. Stairmaster would have to be my favourite though in both my on-season and off-season. Over the weekends I like to enjoy my outdoor cardio. 

  • Dieting/Supplementation Information:

    What is your philosophy surrounding diet and nutrition? Does this philosphy vary much between on and off season?

    Nutrient timing is important to me because it works in conjunction with your body's natural hormone production. At certain times during the day your insulin sensitivity is at its highest and your muscles are more receptive at absorbing carbohydrates. As an example, during training and immediately post workout your body is more receptive to insulin and the influx of carbohydrates.

    Insulin is a very powerful storage hormone. It takes the glucose in your bloodstream and shuttles it to the cells that need it. Ideally we want carbohydrates around training to support muscle tissue and performance. 

    When your insulin is elevated, your body is unable to mobilize fatty acids so it is unwise to purposefully raise insulin outside of training. If your muscles and liver are full of glycogen, they will not be able to store any additional glucose. During this scenario, insulin takes excess glucose, converts it to fat, and stores it in various places on your body so that it can be used for energy later.

    The goal is to keep insulin low throughout the day so you want to be very mindful of when you eat carbohydrates. Carbohydrates have the biggest influence on your insulin levels, followed by protein, and then by fats which have very little effect on insulin levels. 

    If you can limit your carbohydrates so that you are only eating them during the periods when your insulin sensitivity is at its highest, you will make your goal of losing fat a whole lot easier. Your pre-workout meal is a great time to get in some carbohydrates and some much-needed energy for your workout. Your post-workout meal is the time when your insulin sensitivity is at its highest, and it’s a great time to implement nutrient timing principles. 

    Here are my tips & tricks for carbohydrate timing:

    • Eat the majority of your carbohydrates post workout. This meal should consist of protein and carbohydrates. 
    • Your remaining carb-less meals should consist of protein, healthy fats, and fibrous veggies. Planning your meals this way enables you to get all the benefits from the 3 macronutrients (fat, carbs, and protein). 
    • Nutrient timing is your answer to successful fat loss. By eating your carbohydrates at specific times of the day, you enable your body to remain in a fat burning state for a longer period of time.

    Do you include any ‘cheat meals’ or ‘refeeds’ during your preparation for the stage? What is your favourite cheat meal, and what advice would you give to others to ensure they get immediately back on track after indulging in one?

    Cheat meals... every dieter's favourite meal of the week! Yes, I am a strong believer that cheat meals need to be involved in your lifestyle, but when it comes to competition preparation time my head goes down and it's all about focusing on my goals. I do cut them out during the majority of my contest prep, however if my coach allows me to have one then I will do so, keeping in mind I send my coach progress photos at least once a week.

    I personally love my naughty foods, I am a HUGE peanut butter fan, and I do love my burgers, pancakes & pizza but I do believe it's all in the mind and having strong willpower to fight cravings is a must. In my off-season I always stay very strict during the week, sticking 100% to my diet without fail. I weigh all my meals to the gram whilst one day on the weekend I love to go out with my family and friends for dinner and dessert and wake up the next day back at it.

    Personally, dieting doesn't bother me. It's the progress I am addicted too, it's the results I love to see. It's the energy and the healthy fit feeling I love most! When people say to me it's so hard to diet I always say to them it's about how badly you want to reach your goals. It's about the determination, the dedication and the sacrifices you are willing to put in to get to where you want to be at the end of the day. You do need to enjoy life, and it's okay to cheat occasionally to benefit yourself psychologically and assist your metabolism, but always remember there's a track you need to follow to reach your goals, so once that meal is done it's back into routine!

    What does your current supplementation regime look like? How does it differ from that of your competition regime, and which three supplements do you believe to play the biggest role in helping you lean out for a competition?

    Supplements are so beneficial in bodybuilding and body sculpting for a number of reasons. I personally use quite a few supplement year round and they don't change between both on and off-seasons. The supplements I take are all tailored to my body, so what works for me, may or may not work for somebody else. 

    I have suffered with digestion issues my whole life... unfortunately protein powders and my stomach do not work well together. The supplements that I have in my diet comprise of a lot of aminos and recovery supplements. Every morning I like to start my day on a empty stomach with my probiotics , after 20 minutes of that settling I have a shake which contains EAAsBCAAsGlutamineCreatine, Glycine, Vitamin C & Greens Powder

    I usually utilise many of the same supplements at different times through the day. Pre-workout, intra-workout & post-workout my supplements are all quite similar and look like this:

    Pre-workout: EAAsBCAAs, Glycine, Creatine & Citrulline

    Intra-workout: EAAsBCAAsBeta-AlanineCreatine & Vitargo

    Post-workout: EAAsBCAAsGlutamineCreatine, Glycine & Greens Powder.

    For me, this is what works! I see great results and these supplements do not cause me any stomach distress. I usually wait about 20-30 minutes after my post-workout shake before eating my post-workout meal. 

    As well as taking powdered supplements, I do have a lot of vitamins in my diet which I take with meals. All of my vitamins are also customised for my gut issues. I use Poliquin vitamins as well as the ATP Science products throughout the day which do wonders for my health & energy levels.

  • Personal Information:

    We know that competition preparations involve tailoring all aspects of your life to accommodate for the dietary and exercise requirements necessary for making it to the stage. How do you balance your fitness lifestyle around your work and family commitments?

    To become successful in this industry I am a strong believer that you should never completely change your lifestyle. If you want to be successful and do it for many years, you need to be able to have a balanced lifestyle and learn how to enjoy the little and big things in life whilst also having your dreams and ambitions involved. 

    How important is sleep during your contest prep? How many hours should athletes be getting every night, and what tips do you have to ensure you get a good night’s sleep?

    Sleep is very important as it is the time your body has to recover for the next day. If you have a bad sleeping pattern, you are going to feel very fatigued and not be rested enough to put in 110% the next day. I believe that a healthy amount of sleep is 7-8 hours per night. 

    What other interests do you have outside of bodybuilding & fitness modeling? How do you like to spend your free time?

    Outside of bodybuilding I work full time running my own personal training business which I absolutely love! My passion for helping others achieve their goals and chase their dreams is what motivates me - knowing I am changing someone's life. If I am not working I love to spend quality time with my family, whether it’s going out for dinner, or just sitting on the couch, their company and presence means the world to me. 

    Is there anything else you would like to leave us with?

    See Beyond The Impossible 

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brittany.findlay.10

    Instagram: @brittanymfindlay

    Brittany Findlay Facebook:  http://blievebfit.com.au/

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