By: Monica Brant

I am intrigued with the changes that you have made in your physique. Obviously your determined personality and genetics play a role. I am hoping that you will share the diet and training changes you made to create such definition and hardness without the bulk. What has kept you going?

Determination is the key word here. Through all the years of my competitions what has worked the best is consistent training and diet, and getting the proper rest. One of the most important tools that has helped me fine tune my physique is my journal.

This enables me to refer back to previous years of training and competitions and then make appropriate adjustments. It isn't just one or two changes that I have made throughout the years, but a combination of everything that has ended up being the right prescription for obtaining my physique goals.

Remember that everyone is different and will need different routes to their own goals, staying consistent and learning about your body will help you reach those goals faster!

I have been working out for five years and have recently toyed with the idea of fitness modeling. My family and friends think I should go for it, so I've decided to build a portfolio. Who should I send it to? Is sending out promotional packages the right approach or do you have a different suggestion?

A portfolio is a great way for you to show off to both agents and potential clients. You will need two books, one for your selected agent and one for yourself. Using laser technology will help with your costs. You should also have a 5X7 card made featuring your best shots- a headshot, swimwear, and one of you in your workout attire. You can design the card with more shots, but keep it limited so the actual images are large enough to view.

Your agent will send out the cards to their appropriate contacts. You may also send out the cards to any company that interests you. Be sure to send a professional note along with your card with contact info. Be safe and send your pager # or better yet, your agent's number. Be sure to send your best shots as many others are doing the exact same thing!

You can find the addresses of the mags in the front few pages and sending your info to an editor, owner, marketing, and even the creative designer will be best. You could even send a few to different people that way more than one person will see you! Find supplement companies address on the containers (or website) and send your info there too.. never know when Universal Nutrition is looking for another fit body!

I am constantly on the go. I can barely manage two or three meals per day. I know I need to eat more often, but how can I fit 5-6 meals into my workday?

Realistically it takes 180 days to changes a behavior into a new habit, so be patient! First, get organized by making a list of priorities with food preparation as number one. Include preparing meals, packing them in containers and storing them in a cooler. Start slowly by adding a fourth meal. Devise a plan to prepare meals the night before, so if your morning doesn't go as planned you are still food safe!

I assume you are not training for competition... In that case I believe you can do with 3 meals and 2 snacks and be just fine! For example:

Breakfast - 6 egg whites, 1 yolk, serving oatmeal with soy milk and cinnamon
Snack - Yogurt and nuts
Lunch - Chicken sandwich on whole wheat, small salad with oil/vinegar
Snack - 2 scoops Specialized Protein Fitness (by Universal Nutrition) with Flax 1000 gel-caps
Dinner - Halibut/Orange Roughy filet with small red potato, and veggies-or no starchy carbs if late.

See how fast 5 small meals adds up? You can substitute many other items in too.. be creative and have fun seeing the results of your work and diligence!

In one article I read you said you quit training your legs due to them being overpowering your upper body. I am interested to know if this helped you become more proportioned and if ceasing leg training will cause muscle atrophy or make the leg muscles susceptible to fat deposits.

I believe when you totally stop training any body part the stimulus for muscle tone is no longer available. So ceasing leg training altogether would cause muscle atrophy and possibly fat deposits too. YUCK! So with that in mind, I need to clarify that even though I tried the route of not training my legs with weights I was still running in soft sand for cardio, running stairs, and doing gymnastic training which involves the entire leg.

I believe it was good for me to see that I maintained my genetic muscle development with proper diet of 1 ½ gram of protein per body weight. I did focus on upper body and feel that it has "caught up" to my lower half! I only did this for about 9 months - I started weight training again but did have to be very careful not to overtrain while I was preparing for shows.

Having a knowledgeable trainer helped loads! Now that I am no longer competing I still weight train legs very high rep and low weights, sometimes with no weight at all. Lunges, squats, sissy squats, leg kicks, jumps can all be done with no weight and work miracles! Don't forget the running! One of my favs for staying

Is high intensity or low intensity best for fat burning? I am so confused which will get me leaner faster? Which exercises are best too?

All of the above! Personally, I enjoy doing both. I try to base my cardio on the day at hand and what else I am going to do. For example, if I am training legs I would wait and do my cardio. Which would be the treadmill at a slow pace and high grade after my workout. This would enable me to train legs hard and then do an easy walk after while my body is in the fat burning mode!

If I was going to train shoulders, I would try to get my cardio in first thing in the morning before breakfast... which would consist of soft sand running with some intervals-say 6-10/ 30 second sprints. If I am only doing cardio for the day and my legs aren't too sore then I would run for an hour doing some walking kicks, plyometric jumps, and again some interval sprints during the hour or sometimes 1 ½ hour session. I feel both types of cardio are affective for fat burning and should be done. If you can not run inside or outside, then I suggest you use a stairclimber or bike and do interval sprints on those.

Wearing a heartrate monitor will help you rapidly see where your heartrate is without having to stop and try to take it manually. Knowing this, you will better be able to see the differences in your high/low intensities and not be as inclined to cheat by going to slow during your sprint! Mind you everyone is different, but I keep my low rate at 135 and my high at 180. If I am doing sprints, I keep my heartrate above 170. You should experience the burning sensation in your lungs when you do intervals! Don't be afraid of them... enjoy them and do plenty!!!

*Work It*