HOW DID YOU GET STARTED WITH FITNESS/BODYBUILDING?
From a young age, I was always active between playing sports and enjoying outdoor activities. I really began to take it seriously when I got on the Florida State University Track and Field team.
I knew if I wanted to reach my goals, I’d have to apply serious dedication not only at practice, but also to what I was eating and drinking as well. Once I graduated, I wanted to continue to compete so I took up road races and triathlons. Such sports also take a lot of fine-tuning workouts as well as diet, so my interest in all aspects of fitness has greatly increased.
Name: Erin Simmons
Weight: 135 lbs
WHAT MOTIVATES YOU, WHERE DOES YOUR MOTIVATION COME FROM?
I like to self-motivate. I use goals that I want to accomplish to push me further every day. For every main goal that I have for myself, I break down sub-goals in order to create milestones for myself. I think this is very important because having one big goal can sometimes make it too big, too monumental, and too intimidating.
A lot of my fans have a huge goal of losing 100 or even 200 pounds! That can seem overwhelming at times. But if you break it down to something achievable, in this example, perhaps 10 pounds each month, then that main goal becomes surmountable with just a little patience
. An added benefit is the motivation you get as you begin to reach your small goals and begin picking up speed towards your big goal.
WHAT’S YOUR TYPICAL WORKOUT AND DIET LOOK LIKE?
For specific examples of my diet and workout plans, see my blog!
WHEN TRYING TO CUT WHAT TYPE OF CARDIO DO YOU PREFER? I.E HIIT OR STANDARD CARDIO?
I don’t really “cut”, since I’m not a bodybuilder and I don’t show. I like to keep myself functional in a variety of sports, so I keep my training “multi-purpose”. As far as getting leaner and burning off extra fat, I am a strong supporter of long, low intensity cardio. This stance is backed by science, as I’ve outlined in my article: The Science of Burning Fat (http://erinsimmonsfitness.wordpress.com/2012/01/20/science-of-burning-fat/).
I’m not sayin HIIT won’t burn the fat, it certainly will, but low intensity cardio burns the greatest percentage of fat. So if you want to burn fat without breaking down muscle as well, LIIT is the way to go. Personally, I incorporate both: I have long, low intensity cardio days as well as high intensity, Crossfit-type circuits. In my opinion, balance is key.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE MOMENT SO FAR IN FITNESS?
It would probably have to be the first time I put on my Florida State uniform and stepped out on the track to compete. That feeling is so much bigger than anything I ever experienced in high school. Knowing I was representing myself, my teammates, and all the past and present students and athletes of the university is really an exhilarating feeling. I can only imagine what athletes feel like at the Olympics!
WHO IS THE MOST INSPIRING PERSON TO YOU IN REGARDS TO FITNESS AND IN GENERAL?
I have two role models in fitness: Dara Torres and Madonna Buder. Both show a great example of what “no excuses” looks like. Dara has been competing her whole life and has been able to maintain a very high level of training even after having kids and a family. This is often an excuse people use for not working out anymore, but she flies in the face of that. Also, Madonna Buder, also nicknamed “The Iron Nun”, is the oldest woman to have competed a full Ironman triathlon within the time limit.
In fact, she has finished 325 triathlons, with over 40 of them being full Ironman distance, and she didn’t even start training until the age of 48! So between these two women, I find a lot of inspiration in the fact that they have both been able to dedicate themselves to their sport regardless of challenges that age, family life, or career paths may have presented.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE PRE AND POST WORKOUT MEALS?
A lot of my workouts are in the morning, so my go-to breakfast before getting started is a little sandwich I make from whole wheat waffles and peanut butter. I usually pair it with some sort of fruit (orange, banana, apple) and a glass of water.
Afterwards, I usually drink a protein shake and eat a high carb breakfast of oatmeal, granola, or cereal. Before afternoon workouts, I usually eat a fruit and nut bar or trail mix as well as half of my protein shake. After my workout, I drink the other half of my protein shake. Sometimes I also eat a high protein snack like hummus, but that depends on how close I am to dinner.
ANY ADVICE FOR BEGINNERS GETTING INTO FITNESS?
Expect to work hard. As much as advertisements would like to make you believe that they have that “magic diet/workout/pill”, they don’t. Unless you count hard work and diligence in your diet as magic.
Expect road blocks. Again, things don’t come easy. There will be days you want to give up, or injuries that get you down. Just let the past be the past and come back swinging.
Expect the “haters”. If you accomplish something above average, those who are below average will always want to bring you down to their level. So do it for yourself, not others, because if you do it to try to please others you will never succeed in pleasing everyone. The only person whose opinion matters is yours, so make goals that are right for you and go after them, regardless of the naysayers.
WHAT TYPE OF MUSIC DO YOU LISTEN TO IN THE GYM?
It just depends on my mood, it can vary from Nickelback to Journey to Ke$ha to Eminem!
HOW DO YOU MEASURE YOUR PROGRESS?
I measure my progress with my ability to meet goals. And the way goals are measured are by performance. I’m able to view my performance at competitions and races. I can only view performance, though, by testing myself often. So whether that’s pushing my max in the weightroom, running a race, or getting a body fat measurement, I try to keep a schedule of events so that I can tell if I’ve made progress. In short, you have to set a goal, work towards a goal, provide yourself with opportunities to meet that goal, and evaluate yourself when you do. Then move on to the next one!
FUN QUICK QUESTIONS FOR OUR READERS
Favourite color? Blue
Favourite food? BBQ
Favourite TV Show? Sorry to be boring, but I don’t watch TV shows!
Favourite movie? My most watched movies are probably Lord of the Rings, Taken, and The Help. Random I know!
Favourite Band/Singer? AC/DC
Do you have any pets? A mutt, a fish, and a snake!
I’ll end with a favorite quote of mine by Madonna Buder (the “Iron Nun”) that leaves no room for excuses: “Well, you know, as long as God is giving you your health, there’s no reason to stop”.
HOW TO REACH ERIN SIMMONS: