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February 20, 2016

Q/A With Monica Brant

Fitness First USA

Q: I am intrigued with the changes that you have made in your physique, Monica. Obviously your pre-determined personality and genetics have played an important role. I am hoping that you will share the diet and training changes you've made to create such great definition and hardness, without the bulk.

A: Determination is the key word here. Through all of my competitive years, what has worked best is consistency. Consistent training, consistent diet, and getting proper rest consistently. My journal is one of the most important tools I use to help me fine-tune my physique. It enables me to refer back to previous years of training and competitions, then make appropriate adjustments in the present. 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 follow different routes to their own goals. Staying consistent and learning about your body will help you reach those goals faster!

Q: 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?

A: A portfolio is a great way to reach both agents and potential clients. You will need two books, one for your selected agent and one for yourself. Laser technology will help with your costs. You should have a 5 X 7 card made featuring your best shots: a head shot, swimwear, and one of you in your workout attire. You can design the card with more shots, but keep it limited so that 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, along with a professional note and contact info. Be safe and send your pager number, or better yet, your agent's number. Make sure to send your best shots, as many others are doing the exact same thing! You can find the addresses of magazines in the front few pages, and sending your information to an editor, owner, marketing and even 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' addresses on the containers (or website) and send your information there too. You never know when companies like Universal Nutrition will be looking for another fit body. Good luck!

Q: 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 or 6 meals into my workday?

A: Realistically, it takes 180 days to change an old behavior into a new habit, so be patient! First, get organized by making a list of priorities, with food preparation as number one. Prepare meals in advance and pack them in containers or store 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: (1) breakfast (6 egg whites, 1 yolk, serving of oatmeal with soy milk and cinnamon; (2) snack (yogurt and mixed nuts; (3) lunch (chicken sandwich on whole wheat, small salad with oil and vinegar; (4) snack (2 scoops Specialized Protein For Fitness along with Flax 1000 gelcaps, both by Universal Nutrition); and (5) dinner (halibut/orange roughy filet with small red potatoes and veggies, or no starchy carbs if you're eating late). See how fast 5 small meals add up? You can substitute many other items too. Be creative and have fun seeing the results of your hard work and diligence!