Carla is a personal trainer and group-exercise instructor from Hampshire, UK. As well as gaining a BSc in Sport Science, she graduated in 2011 with an MSc in Dance Science from the prestigious Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Dance and Music. Carla has had a passion for all things fitness and dance from a young age, and after joining her first gym at the age of 18 she was hooked on training, especially attending fitness classes. Carla now has started entering competitive fitness modelling to add another string to her bow.
When did you start training and what motivated you to start?
I started going to fitness classes when I was 18. My first ever class was a BodyJam class and I loved it so much I remember thinking there and then I wanted to train to teach that one day. So instead of pursuing Dance studies at university I decided to research health and fitness and enrolled on a sports science degree course. This was completely alien to me at first, as I had never (and still have never!) played any sport in my life. I didn’t even really enjoy P.E at school, although I was incredibly active with my dancing regularly and going to various fitness classes I knew I wanted to work in the fitness industry and saw sports science as a great way to gain my teaching and personal training qualifications alongside it.
What does your typical diet look like?
I’ve always made sure to have a full breakfast every morning. My mum drummed it into me to never leave the house without breakfast growing up, so I could never go without it now! I’ll usually have porridge with a little honey to sweeten, a banana and a coffee. I’m not a big meat eater so will substitute with PHD diet whey shakes throughout the day. My second meal mid-morning consists of a shake usually accompanied by a handful of Brazil nuts. Lunch is generally steamed veggies, an apple and a shake. Mid-afternoon usually a couple of rice cakes with some peanut butter and a coffee. Evening meal is either chicken/fish or lean mince with veggies. I’m trying to stay low-carb whilst leading up to the next comp. I’ve found the biggest changes to my body whilst staying strict to it, but if I’m feeling rough with it, I generally know to add a small portion of wholegrain rice or pasta with my evening meal.
Do you have cheat days / meals?
I generally only have a cheat meal rather than a whole day once a week. So if I know For example I’m going to have a carb heavy meal for lunch I’ll try balancing out my dinner by just sticking to animal protein and veg for dinner.
Do you drink alcohol?
I never drink during the week and even when the weekend comes round I don’t really feel the need to drink alcohol. I will have the odd glass of wine for special occasions and meals, but seeing as I tend to teach fitness classes at the weekend I would never run the risk of feeling hungover the next morning whilst teaching! As well as that being incredibly unprofessional I would never do that to myself or subject my class members to a mediocre workout due to not feeling one hundred per cent.
Do you use many supplements?
I currently use PHD Diet Whey and have been using it for about a year. I love the diversity of flavours they have and the fact the product fills me up and can curb those sugary cravings that I get is a massive bonus! I’ll also use the PHD 2:1 Recovery post workout. Leading up to my last competition, I started using Grenade Thermo Detonators and was really pleased with the effect it had on my body fat reduction leading up to the comp.
What does your typical training routine look like?
Leading up to my first competition, I only started training for it about 8 weeks before. As I teach about 15 fitness classes on a weekly basis, such as BodyJam, BodyBalance, BodyPump, spin and Pilates, over-training is something I really need to avoid happening. The first three weeks or so I sort of dived in head first and over did it, and ended up running myself into the ground, needing 10 days off training to recover. So I find I don’t really need to do any specific extra cardio training as I get a minimum of 60 minutes a day through my classes. I have a really basic split routine of Day 1: Legs, Day 2: Chest/Back, Day 3: Triceps/Biceps/Shoulders which I cycle. Although I have 2 days off teaching per week I don’t have a designated day off training, and will judge it on how I’m feeling.
Do you have any inspirational figures you look up to?
I really admire girls such as Michelle Brannan, Dannii Levy, Emma Louise Burrows, who have combined fitness modelling with their personal training and have carved out really successful careers for themselves in health and fitness.
Have you ever competed? Tell us a bit about it?
I took part in the Miami Pro UK Championships in April in Ms. Bikini and Miami Pro Europeans in June in both Ms. Bikini and Fitness Model categories. These have been my first competitions and although I didn’t place I had the most incredible time. I enjoyed the whole process, the changes to my diet and training leading up to the day, the differences in my body I started to see, and particularly meeting some incredible ladies backstage who were in the same boat as me. It really gave me the confidence to challenge myself where I hadn’t ever done so before. I also took part in the POTW Live at BodyPower this year and was amazed to come 3rd out of all the competitors on the Saturday! It was mostly guys competing so it was a fantastic boost for me. Was really happy with my PHD goodies I received too!
Where do you see yourself in the future?
In the future I’d love to continue competing and be working as a part-time fitness model.
Where did you hear about Physique Of The Week?
Came across the competition just through browsing facebook.
What do you think about Physique Of The Week?
I can’t believe I won Physique of the week! It has been a great confidence booster for me. In such a competitive industry such as fitness modelling, competitions like these are a great way to initiate your networking and self-promotions skills and to get your name and face out there!
If you could give our readers one piece of advice what would it be?
If there is even a little bit of you that wants to try your hand at fitness modelling I’d definitely recommend to go for it! What I have found is relentlessness and perseverance can pay off and if you have an idea of where you’d like to go, who’s to say you can’t make it?!
What is your strongest body part? And how do you train it?
Aesthetically my favourite body part are my shoulders and traps. As I teach a lot of Body Pump, my whole body is always getting extremes of endurance on some days as well as my high weight/low reps sets on other days. With my shoulders I usually superset overhead presses, lateral Dumbbell raises and rear delt raises.