I started off as a self-proclaimed cardio queen. I came from the “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” era. My only goal in my early 20s was to burn calories and be thin. I eventually fell in love with lifting weights, but I didn’t know how to do it optimally at the start. I was doing more classes and circuits and a lot of junk volume. I dabbled in competing but I truly didn’t have enough training experience or muscle to be successful in doing so.
In recent years, I have optimized my time in the gym (and my nutrition) so I am training less but getting more strength and muscle.
The biggest challenge in my journey was that I was doing too much overall exercise and going too extreme with food restrictions. I thought the more days per week and the more workouts, the better. I thought that the cleaner my food was food, the better the results I would get.
As the age-old quote says: less is more. Quality > quantity. This is especially true for training.
Women’s fitness coach
Share your unique training/coaching methods?
I always tell my clients that anyone can have a good plan “on paper”. It’s executing it properly that’s the real game changer, which is the whole benefit of having a coach VS a DIY plan.
This is why I not only give my clients the right game plan (training and nutrition) for their goals, but I actually ensure they execute it successfully. This means training with proper form and intensity, which I review extensively in my client check-ins.
I train 4-5 days per week. I hit the glutes, legs and shoulders 2-3 x during that split as they are the areas I want to grow the most.
I am currently beginning a Lean Out phase so I am in a deficit of 1550 calories
Daily creatine and protein powder post-workout
Do you prefer to take and recommend all natural (no sugar, no artificial colors/flavors/sweeteners) supplements or supplements with artificial flavors and sweeteners? And Why?
I go for no added sugars or flavours in general. Sweeteners don’t bother my digestive system so I don’t worry about them. I do believe that whole foods-based ingredient are best for optimal health.
Please describe the importance of mental health
Mental health is of utmost importance to me. I have had depression and anxiety since I was a child (diagnosed at 12). Taking all the vitamins in the world, training daily, and eating all the healthy foods mean nothing unless you’re taking care of what’s between the ears.
Stress and mental health issues left untreated affect every other area of your life. I am a huge advocate for therapy – I go weekly.
If you could ask Status Fitness Magazine Editor in Chief Rodney Jang any industry question, what would that be?
What qualities do you look for when selecting athletes to represent your magazine?
Status Fitness Magazine runs model searches across North America including the largest one at the Arnold Classic for the Status cover. As part of the Status family, you will receive a special participation invite. How excited are you for this opportunity?
What does the future hold?
My goal is to show as many women as possible that you don’t need to live in the gym or deprive yourself of fun memories with your family to be successful with your fitness goals. I want to help them bypass my mistakes, like living in a Lean Out phase forever and get better results faster by building muscle earlier on.
My personal goal is to be on the cover of a magazine!
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned?
Too many to count. But I take them all as blessings…you grow through what you go through. Even if it stings at the time. One that stands out is that nobody will do the work for me. If I didn’t like my results in the past, I needed to look in the mirror, and not blame external circumstances.
What does success look like for you?
Success means that all areas of my life are aligned with my values. I bring the same effort to my business, my family, my self-care, my fitness – all of it.
My family is of utmost importance to me, so true success means more time with them and more quality connection with my kids.
Connect with Tijana: IG