For Rachel Johnson, trying to accomplish superhuman tasks is not so much an objective as a way of life. Rather than being pushed by some type of internal demons, she is merely motivated by a desire to realize her potential in as many areas as possible. A confessed type-A personality, Rachel finds herself busy all of the time. I want to continue to try and be super-woman without the nervous breakdown, Rachel says. Fortunately, Rachel’s psychological profile is very sound (although her Rorschach tests do indicate a slight preoccupation with chicken breasts and egg whites).
Rachel has set her sights high, but she is no aimless dreamer, balancing goals with steel pragmatism and reality. Still, she admits to an incessant hunger, refusing to settle for less than the best. A relative newcomer to fitness competitions, Rachel has yet to reveal her full potential. She finished 6th in her first show (2001 NPC Indianapolis), but out of 30 competitors. She suspected that she was ‘too lean’ an oxymoron in fitness if there ever was. In her subsequent event, the Mike Francois Classic, in Columbus, Ohio, Rachel jumped to 3rd. Just a month later, Rachel competed at the Central States Figure Championships in Columbus, Indiana where she dominated, winning her class and the overall. Quick passage to the top, huh?
Rachel is the business manager, personal trainer and nutritional counselor at Executive Edge Fitness, a private personal training and nutritional counseling center in an upscale suburb of Indianapolis.
She says, We educate people of all ages and athletic ability on the fundamentals of training, nutrition and discipline, but we are unique because we help them mold it into their own healthy lifestyle.
She combines knowledge and her ability to serve as an inspirational role model to help others reach superman (or superwoman) status.
Of course, there are times when the journey seems long – especially if I get too out of shape in the off-season. For me, having a large long-term goal is great, but I stay motivated by setting smaller 4-6 week goals along the way. Keeping all of my favorite fitted outfits in close range also helps keep me focus on my goals.
I also continue to remind myself that no one makes me compete. I compete and train and diet because it is what I want to do and what I love to do. It’s a long journey, so remembering why I began this life in the first place helps me put things in a positive prospective.
Everyone runs into obstacles, when preparing for shows – and of course we all have times that we want to cheat. Making sure that my food is prepared helps me deal with the hurdle of hunger. Stay strong when the urge to cheat hits! I spend a couple of hours just making sure that my food and shakes are always ready. Preparation is the key to any success. In bodybuilding – fitness, gee, if your food isn’t ready, you aren’t ready!
Committing to a show drives me. Unlike many fitness competitors, I tell everyone I’m preparing for a show so that I am 100% accountable to myself and all my close family friends and clients.
Rachel before and after
THE ROAD FORWARD
Rachel has always been athletic. In high school, she competed in volleyball, basketball and softball. She says, I learned basic weights. But, nobody taught me proper technique – or why we even needed to weight train. None of my high school coaches had too much knowledge about weight training.
Rachel got a full-ride scholarship to play four years of Division I volleyball at Morehead State University after high school. There, she learned the specific components of building strength, power, speed and endurance. Rachel graduated, ‘summa cum muscle’, oh yeah, while earning a bachelor’s degree in advertising and communications.
Rachel began her post-college career as an account manager at a full-service advertising agency, her passion for fitness, directed her elsewhere.
Soon enough, our Super Babe was a ‘body executive’ at Executive Edge Fitness and soon making her foray into NPC Figure. Actually, friend and co-worker, Joe Mobareki, (a local sage in all things fitness-oriented) prodded Rachel to compete. Joe also introduced her to the world of Beverly (smart guy, that Joe).
Rachel’s first step in preparing for a show is to visit Beverly to get a jumpstart. They take a personal interest in helping people reach goals. We all need to be accountable to someone, Rachel says. To know that there is someone depending on us and holding high expectations for us – someone we respect and don’t want to let down. The fact that everyone at Beverly believed in her enough to freely share their time and knowledge gave her more motivation to do her best. After visiting Beverly, Rachel spends the next day planning her workouts, cardio, supplements and nutrition for the next four months. I enjoy spending a whole day breaking down my competition prep into four-week schedules, she says. Many things change and have to be altered along the way, but I like to plan for the ‘big picture’ and use short-term goals along the way to keep me motivated.
Rachel could not rave enough about her experiences with Beverly. Let’s face it, she says, although there are many wonderful people in the industry, there are also many shady people as well. You have to be careful whom you trust in the fitness world. I know in my heart that Beverly has my personal best interest at heart. They want to help me reach my goals in a safe and healthy manner. Someone on the staff is always there to answer questions. That is NOT the case anywhere else.
I actually crave Ultimate Muscle Protein. I like to drink shakes, use it for pudding, make crepes or pancakes and sometimes I just eat it dry out of the jug. The only problem is that it is so good that I want to eat too much of it. I want a bite here or there and I can’t do that because the calories will add up.
Rachel adds,It helps curb my terrible sweet tooth and not feel so deprived(All bodybuilders must defeat sugar temptations).
Rachel sums up her feelings about Beverly in one statement: Beverly produces real results. You know, they don’t brag great, they are great.
STAR BRIGHT Beautiful and incredibly fit, we expect Rachel to have a fast track to success. But more than a superbod she is also a woman of intelligence and drive, striving to expand beyond the narrow perspective society tries to place on “pretty girls.” She is passionate about her career and determined to be balanced both in career and her personal life. She is intent to NOT ignore her strengths (or weaknesses)! (Hey, seriously –– any company looking for a great spokesperson, go no further!)
Foremost in Rachel’s arsenal are:
Ultimate Muscle Protein
Read more about: Lean Out | Super Pak | Ultimate Muscle Protein
Lean Out is great for shedding fat. I take Lean Out almost all year long. I notice a great difference in my lean muscle to fat ratio and my metabolism. Even when I am not eating as clean as normal, I believe Lean Out helps me keep my bodyfat under control.
For non-stop energy, Rachel makes religious use of Beverly’s vitamin multi-paks. They help to increase my energy levels, keep me from getting colds and sick, help with my strength, endurance and recovery and it even helps my skin, She notes.
Troublesome Legs Training
Rachel says her lower body is somewhat slower to respond, so Body Muscle decided to have her share her priority leg training secrets:
I train and work at Executive Edge Fitness and occasionally at Gold’s Gym. Since my legs are my trouble spot, during contest prep I do morning cardio sessions, usually 45 minutes to an hour. I switch it up between the recumbent bike, the stepper and the treadmill at an incline. I also try to run sprints and stairs two to four times per week.
I train for 4-5 five days/week for 40-45 minutes and finish with about twenty minutes on the bike. I end the night with 30-40 minutes on the bike about three or four days per week. In terms of calories, I shoot for 4,000 – 5,000 calories burned per week. I have to do several sets and exercises to help attain the leanness that I want in my legs. (Although I still haven’t quite achieved it yet, I get better each show). Every few weeks I change up the order, the exercises, the super-sets, etc.
My leg day:
Squats 3 x 8-10 reps (with a 90-second rest between sets)
Leg Press 4 x 12-15 reps (with a 60-second rest between sets)
Sissy Squats 3 x 10-12 reps
Leg Extensions 3 x 10-12 reps (with a 60-second rest between supersets)
Walking Lunges 4 x 20-24
Standing Calf Raises 4 x 15-20 (with a 90-second rest between supersets)
Leg Curl 3 x 12-15 reps
Seated Calf Raises 3 x 15-20 reps (with a 90-second rest between supersets)
In the off-season I take a couple of weeks and train a little easier and relaxed, but besides that my training doesn’t differ a lot. Cardio is definitely more relaxed. I GRADUALLY decrease my cardio to 30-40 minutes in the morning and sometimes 20 minutes after training.
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