WO Interview ► Megan Donnelson
Weight: 132-135 lbs (Off-season); 122-125 lbs (Competition)
Height: 5′ 3 3/4″
Zodiac Sign: Pisces
Location: Bradenton, FL
Years Training: 4
Professional Affiliations: National Physique Committee (NPC)
Describe what an average day in your life is like.
I’m currently in prep for NPC Figure Nationals taking place in November, so much of my day is spent training, doing cardio, practicing posing, and prepping meals. Typically I begin my day with cardio, because I don’t love cardio and it’s best for me to get it done early. In the afternoon I train in the gym, and usually finish up my workout with another short cardio session. Throughout the rest of my day, I catch up on emails, experiment with new recipes in the kitchen, and try to rest when I can.
Free weights or machines? What’s your preference?
The majority of my weight training is done with free weights and cable machines. When training with free weights (including cable machines), you can incorporate more unilateral training which helps to work out imbalances in your muscles. As a result, you will attain a more symmetrical physique. In addition, free weights require you to utilize stabilizing muscles whereas a weight machine will constrain you to a specific, fixed movement. I love training with cable machines as well. Not only do they provide many of the same benefits as free weights, but they also contribute a constant resistance again the muscle you are focusing on, making your muscle work harder on the eccentric (downward) movement.
What is your favorite workout and body-part to train?
My all-time favorite body-part to train is LEGS! Leg workouts are always the most challenging, most exhausting, and most rewarding. There is never a day when I train legs and don’t feel like I’m going to puke or pass out at some point. It’s the most amazing feeling.
I’m a girl who loves the old-school, basic bodybuilding exercises, so squats and deadlifts are two of my staples… and I have the glutes to show for it!
What does your cardiovascular routine consist of? How often?
When I am not in competition prep, I do minimal cardio – 30 minutes (max), 3 times a week. It is more important for me to focus on weight training and maximizing muscle gains at that time. Now that I am in competition prep (5 weeks out from Nationals), I will do anywhere from 40-60 minutes of cardio 4-5 days a week. I like to avoid LISS (Low-Intensity Steady State) Cardio as much as possible, and stick to more HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) including plyometrics.
We all experience days when we’d rather stay home and skip out on a Workout. What keeps you motivated and focused?
My goals and the expectations I set for myself are what keeps me focused! There are days when I feel fantastic and staying on track is effortless! Those are the easy days. Everybody would be healthy and fit if it were always that easy. Often times there are more difficult days than easy ones, and that’s when you have to decide just how bad you want it. It’s always easier to crash on the couch in front of the t.v. when you’re tired, rather than motivating yourself to get to the gym. It’s always easier to pig out on crappy food, rather than have the discipline to make healthier choices. This is why it’s important to set goals for yourself to stay on track. I would never be satisfied with a “normal” sedentary lifestyle. I find no challenge in that. I thrive on challenging myself to consistently work on improvements, to better myself.
What supplements do you use? (If any.)
- Whey Protein Powder – I use this mainly pre/post-workout because it’s a fast absorbing protein and gets into your system quickly.
- Casein Protein Powder – Take a scoop of this right before bed because it’s a slower digesting protein.
- BCAA (Branched-Chain Amino Acids) – First thing in the morning (especially if doing a.m. fasted cardio), pre/post-workout, and before bed.
- Glutamine – Post workout (cardio and weights), and before bed for muscle recovery.
- CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) – Take this with each meal to aid in fat reduction.
- Creatine – Cycle off and on.
- Multi-vitamin – Take each morning!
What are your current fitness goals?
As I prepare to head into the NPC Figure Nationals just 5 weeks from now, my main goal is to bring my best physique to the stage in hopes to earn that IFBB pro card. As far as future competition goals, I will base them off of my upcoming results at Nationals. Aside from competition, I am constantly setting short-term goals for myself, working towards making improvements in my physique.
What do you listen to when you workout?
I listen mainly to techno, house music, and reggaeton. I have a lot of Tiesto, Kaskade and Benny Benassi on my iPod.
What are you doing when you’re not working out?
I’m such a beach girl! When I’m not at work or in the gym, you can almost always find me biking, paddle-boarding, swimming, or soaking up sunshine with my husband on the beach. I also love to spend my time hiking through a nearby nature preserve and bird sanctuary!
What’s your favorite motivational quote?
“I believe that the definition of definition is reinvention. To not be like your parents. To not be like your friends. To be yourself.”
Connect with Megan Donnelson: