Hilary Hagner Interview

Today’s QA post features a veteran of the stage and fitness world. Hilary Hagner from Houston Texas was gracious to answer a few questions I had regarding her career, her workout regimen, tips and tricks to get the body she wanted. If you have any questions for her please comment below. Here we go!
 
 

What made you decide that you wanted to be involved in the fitness industry?

I struggled with my weight as a kid. I got made fun of in elementary and junior high so much that I developed the nickname “Jumanji” (in reference the to the over-sized animals in the movie). The frustration with my weight led me to an eating disorder in high school and college. As a cheerleader for the University of Houston, I could no longer keep up with the training demands. My mind and body simply could not keep up. So, I went to see a Nutritionist. She taught me how to FUEL my body rather than just FEED it. I started training harder and got the body I always dreamed about. It led me to want to help others reach their full potential as well.

 

How long did it take for you to achieve your current physique?

YEARS! It took a long time for me to correct the bad habits that I had developed with food over the years. Back in 2001, I discovered Monica Brant in an Oxygen Magazine. I knew RIGHT THEN AND THERE that I wanted more muscle and to compete in Figure. It took until 2009 (after having two kids) to finally step on stage and compete in Bikini. I got 2nd place at my first show!! That gave me the confidence I needed to continue to shoot for my ultimate goal which was the Figure category. Just last year I stepped on the Figure stage for the first time and got 2nd place again! It has taken 10 years to get the physique of my dreams but it was worth the wait.

 

What is your most gratifying aspect of being in the fitness industry?

I can remember how great it felt when I was first taught how to lift weights and how to eat properly. I was liberated. I felt like for the first time that had control over my life and my future. To see people learn and be inspired to make themselves better for their families, work and etc is just one of the ways I feel so fortunate to do what I do.

 

What is your favorite feature?

Legs. I was blessed genetically with lean, cut legs. Now if only my upper-body would step it up! ;)

 

Briefly take us through a typical day in your life. A few sentences is all I need.

Wake-up at 5am. Shower, Get Dressed and Make-up. I eat Breakfast and read my Daily Devotional by 6am. Drop my kids off at school at 7am. Work 8am-5pm. I train anywhere between 6-8 clients a day. I workout with weights for 1 hours and do 45-60min of cardio (all within my work hours). I get home by 6pm which right when my kids are dropped off at home and I prepare dinner. I strive to ALWAYS sit down at the table with the kids for dinner so we can chat and enjoy each other. Then its book and bedtime by 8:30pm.

 

What foods should I really focus on if my goal is fat loss?

I like that this question is asked what you should I “focus on” and not “get rid of”. The keys is balance, portion control, and moderation. Most people make the mistake of thinking that they have to get rid of all the things they love when really you can keep all those things but research how to eat them “cleaner” or eat them at the right times and of course measure out the right portion. When I’m not getting ready for a photo shoot or competition I have 1 cheat meal a week. Rather than going nuts at a local burger joint, I pull out my CLEAN EATING MAGAZINE and find 1 delicious meal that my family will love and a dessert that is rich and mouth-watering. I head to the grocery store and sometimes get help from the kids. They also enjoy cooking with me. They really enjoy it and I found that its a great way to get your “picky-eaters” to venture out a bit. LAST THING, because I allow a cheat meal once on the weekend, I eat EXCEPTIONALLY good during the week. No slip-ups!

 

In your opinion what are your top 5 fat loss tips that you recommend?

  1. Balance. You’ve got to balance Clean Eating, Cardiovascular, and Weight-Bearing Activity.
  2.  Fuel your body every 3 hours. Its the only way to keep you metabolism revved.
  3.  Drink lots of water. Keep your system cleansed.
  4.  No carbs in your last meal. Big rule for me to staying lean.
  5.  Stay away from the processed foods. Aka Anything in a box!

 

In your opinion what are your top 5 fitness tips that you recommend?

  1.  Consult with a fitness expert before trying anything new. You want to make sure that you have proper form so you don’t injure yourself.
  2. Know your goal. If you want to add muscle to your physique then keep your cardio exercise low (15-30min). If your goal is fat loss then you may require 45-60min of cardio.
  3. Mix it up. There are plenty of Books and Magazines with a ton of information on exercises to target specific body areas. As long as they are for your fitness level, give them a shot and see if you want to add them to your routine.
  4. Listen to your body. If your are getting major “red flags” take a step back and think about WHY you are not feeling great about the exercise.
  5. PLEASE don’t think that you can’t get the body of your dreams just cause you don’t do Crossfit, Boot camp or any other intensive training program. Right where you are with the body you have, and the abilities you’ve been given YOU can reach your goals by finding the workout program that is tailored to you. MY promise!

 

Many women are afraid of weights as they believe it will make them ‘bulky’ Please set the record straight!

Ha! I love this one. I always find it so funny how women will carry a 50lbs purse and/or baby bag yet they want to workout with 3-5lb dumbbells. It is extremely difficult for women to gain muscle because we don’t naturally produce enough testosterone in our bodies. I love how weight training has helped sculpt my female clients arms over the years. I focus on shoulders, back and BUNS to give them the perfect symmetrical look…aka…makes their waist look smaller! ;)

 

What did you do to stay motivated and not slip up, dealing with cravings, sweets, etc..? If you did slip up how did you manage to bounce back and continue on your journey?

During my contest prep, I like to think that I have a light twitch. Once I am in contest prep mode I just turn off all the cravings and thoughts of slacking off. Obviously thoughts pop in my head but I just remind myself of my switch. Prayer also helps A LOT. I read a Daily Devotional every morning and I ask for God to keep my heart and mind fixed on Him so Im not focused on the things of this world. In addition to that, I know that when I’m competing that I have a lot of people that look up to me. I like to take myself through such an extreme that they will say to themselves, “if she can do THAT, I can definitely commit to going to the gym 4-days a week”. Or something along those lines.

 

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

In 5 years I hope to have published 2 books (working on them right now). I hope to have made it on a least one Fitness Magazine Cover. Be an NPC Professional Figure Competitor. Hopefully in 5 years I will be on the Arnold and Olympia stage.

 

Any shout-outs you’d like to give? And where can we find you on the internet?

www.HilaryHagner.com is my site and I would like to say thank you to Adam Dunin for giving me to opportunity to hopefully inspire a few more people to get MOVIN’ and EAT CLEANER!!! I’m very honored to be asked to do the interview!

Thanks Hilary!

Alyssa Michelle Agostini Interview

Welcome back to Project Arnold.com Today’s QA post features Up and Coming Northeastern Fitness Model Alyssa Michelle Agostini. Alyssa was kind enough to answer a few questions that I had for someone in the fitness industry. Have a read and let me know what you guys think and if there are any questions you’d like to ask please feel free.
 
 

What made you decide that you wanted to be involved in the fitness industry?

Fitness is my passion! I have always been involved with sports and working out, and have dreamed of becoming a fitness model. With my background in athletics, fitness was the perfect fit for me! In December of 2011 I decided to take my fitness and athletic abilities to another level. I began training to compete for the WBFF Eastern Championship, June 2nd, and placed 2nd in my first competition!

Now I have absolutely fell in love with the sport of competing, and with my drive and determination there is no stopping me until I make it to the top!

 

How long did it take for you to achieve your current physique?

I actually struggled with my weight my whole life. Up and down depending on which “diet” I tried, and once you stop the diet plan, your results vanish! It took me approximately 13 weeks of strict dieting and regular training to get to my competition physique.

 

What is your most gratifying aspect of being in the fitness industry?

Helping others. I truly love to help people. I get pride out of people saying that I inspire them to do better. It’s an amazing feeling to hear people say they are proud of you.

Also, from a personal aspect I would say the results! Who doesn’t love to see their body transform into something they have always dreamed.

 

What is your favorite feature?

I love my legs. I am a former sprinter for my high school track team and have always had muscular legs, but with the right training I sculpted and leaned out my legs to the right size to compete!

 

Briefly take us through a typical day in your life. A few sentences is all I need.

I eat 5 times a day and also work full time, so those that say they can’t diet because they work – that is not the case! I hit the gym right after work for an hour of cardio and an hour of weight training. Planning your day, from meals to workouts is key to a successful body!

 

What foods should I really focus on if my goal is fat loss?

Eating balanced meals of proteins, carbs and fats, 5 times a day. By eating more often your metabolism speeds up, helping you lose weight. There isn’t a “food” that you should focus on, but more or less eat often and EAT HEALTHY! Make healthy choices with your foods that you put into your body.

 

In your opinion what are your top 5 fitness tips that you recommend?

  • Diet is most important. Being conscious of what and how much you eat is the key to your body success. It doesn’t matter how many hours a day you put in the gym, if you leave and grab an unhealthy meal where will that get you!
  • Give your all into every workout. We have all been there, the days you just don’t feel like going or being in the gym, but remember the goal you set for yourself, and if it means that much to you nothing will stop you from achieving it!
  • Cheating is acceptable. Being able to cheat is telling your body, “good job!” It is okay to have a cheat MEAL but do not make a day of it. Remember do not set yourself back from achieving your goal.
  • Combine weight training with cardio. Doing cardio post weight training is ideal. Your body uses the carbs and calories as energy during weight training. Once that is burned off all that is left is stored fat. Doing cardio at this point will burn your stored fat as energy, therefore resulting in weight loss!
  • Prepare, Prepare, Prepare! I cannot stress the importance of preparation. Knowing what you eat and how much allows for you to understand what is going into your body. It makes you more conscious of the foods you do eat, and ultimately makes you more apt to stay away from bad foods.

 

Many women are afraid of weights as they believe it will make them ‘bulky’ Please set the record straight!

I could not be happier to answer this question!

ABSOLUTELY NOT!

Naturally women do not have the testosterone levels a man does to gain “bulky, massive” muscles. I too thought this until I tried it. Weight training sculpts your muscles and leans them out! With the right training techniques you can sculpt and proportion every part of your body! It is amazing the results you get when you pick up those weights. So ladies, don’t be intimidated by the bulky men and women that are swarming the weight racks! Get in there and grab some lightweights, do reps of 15-20 and feel the burn! Don’t knock it till you try it!

 

What did you do to stay motivated and not slip up, dealing with cravings, sweets, etc..? If you did slip up how did you manage to bounce back and continue on your journey?

I would say keeping my ideal goal in mind. For me it was competing; but if your goal is weight loss or putting on some lean muscle tone, keep that image of what you want to look like in mind and strive for it! Print a picture of a body you want and keep going until you get there!

I never necessarily slipped up because I incorporated a cheat meal. It was once a week, every Friday. It was me telling my body, great job! And every week I’d look forward to my cheat so I never slipped up.

 

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

In the next few months I hope to go Pro for the WBFF as a Diva Fitness Model. I am competing in November in my hometown, Providence, RI.

In 5 years, I hope to be big in the fitness industry. I truly love what I do and want to help others achieve my same success! Doing this on a larger scope would be my ultimate dream.

 

Any shout-outs you’d like to give? And where can we find you on the internet?

My WBFF Family! I’ve met some amazing men and women along this journey.

You can find me on all Social Media sites where I give recipes, workouts, daily tips and more!

Facebook Fan Page: Facebook.com/AlyssaMichelleAgostini

Twitter: @AlyssaAgostini

Tumblr (Fitness Blog): http://alyssa-michelle-fitness.tumblr.com/

OR Email me personally, I answer every one, and love getting questions!

a.michellefitness@gmail.com

Thank you for your time Alyssa, best of luck to you in the fitness world. More interviews coming soon folks, stay tuned and Stay Strong!

Game Changer

There are days when you just feel it. There are days when you just don’t. Today it feels like the former. I felt it. I felt the difference in todays workout. Before I could have compared myself to the greek king Sisyphus who was punished by being compelled to roll an immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down, and to repeat this action forever. This is a feeling MANY have felt and gave up. I chose to push the rock one last time and I was able to conquer the hill which had grown to a mountain earlier.

My workout today was unlike any others. It was at a breaking point and finally it all made sense to me. The intensity and emotion I experienced could be compared to an addicts first taste of a new drug (to put it loosely) This is my new drug! It really is a Game Changer, note the shirt ;) Stay Strong and continue impressing yourself!

I havent sweat this much at the gym in a LONG! time!