[photo credits: Dallasolsen.com]
Today, Emillie-Jean Bisgrove-Cole enlightens us with what it takes to succeed in the fitness industry and how to handle the many ‘curve-balls’ that life so often throws in our direction…
What sparked your interest in training and how did you get started as a PE teacher, personal trainer, fitness model and competitor?
Emillie-Jean Bisgrove-Cole: I began weight training when I was about 15-16 years old for two reasons. Firstly, I suffered from a lot of lower back pain and secondly, I grew up as a very ‘skinny’ teenager and never felt confident in my own skin, and I knew back then that having more muscle made you heavier so I was determined to give it a go!
Ever since then I’ve always wanted to explore the human body more deeply. After years of training and watching my body change, grow and give back my self-esteem I also knew that I wanted to pass on my love for fitness and help to educate and encourage a healthy future for everyone.
My ambition was to inspire women to achieve their goals and help them to understand that being fit and healthy can be one of the most fulfilling and rewarding habits we can have. However, it was clear to me that the way to inspire and fully educate females was to provide them with the right tools at a younger age, just like how I was inspired as a teenager. This was when I decided that my goal was to become a Health and Physical Education Teacher in Secondary Schools.
In my last few years of university I set myself a goal to compete in a figure competition and since then I have been so lucky to gain sponsorship from a number of companies and things have taken off from there!
The biggest mistake I made when I first started training was not lifting heavy enough and listening to people when they would tell me that weight training would make me a man.
I see that you had back issues growing up – how did you overcome this set back?
Emillie-Jean Bisgrove-Cole: Yes, I did! I was told by a number of doctors that the lower back pain and headaches I was always getting was because I had a curvature in my spine. So the first year or so my training was predominantly exercises to strengthen my lower back. Now, my back is one of the strongest parts of my body and I feel no pain! I’m a happy girl!
What‘s the most important thing that has kept you motivated over the years?
Emillie-Jean Bisgrove-Cole: Clint, I am very goal orientated. I am a strong believer in finishing what I start and not stopping until the job’s done, and done to the best of my ability. Setting constant goals that are both long term and short term are what keep me motivated and focused.
What mistakes did you make when you first started training?
Emillie-Jean Bisgrove-Cole: The biggest mistake I made when I first started training was not lifting heavy enough and listening to people when they would tell me that weight training would make me a man.
Growing up as a skinny teenager I always dreamed of having an athletic build and of course when you’re young you listen to people who you think are older and wiser. This always dampened my spirits and I could never achieve the results I wanted because of silly misguided information.
The best thing I could have done was study the human body and prove them all wrong.
What are some of the other writers, models and fitness leaders that have inspired you?
Emillie-Jean Bisgrove-Cole: The first fitness model I ever saw was Jamie Eason and I loved how feminine she was while still being muscular! Then I came across Jodie parker (Australian IFBB Champion) and was so inspired, it was what made me want to start competing. Another huge role model of mine is Lindy Olsen, such a humble person who never stops encouraging others.
I debunk a lot of gimmicks and scams on this site. Is there anything fitness related that you’ve fallen victim to yourself and wasted your money on in the past?
Emillie-Jean Bisgrove-Cole: I’m very lucky never to have fallen victim or waste money on such things.
What physical feature or key milestone are you most proud of?
Emillie-Jean Bisgrove-Cole: The physical feature that I am most proud of would have to be my upper back. I guess training it since I was younger has paid off.
My proudest moment however was last year when I was featured on the front of Oxygen Magazine and can proudly say I am an Australian Oxygen Cover model.
How long do you spend in the gym during a typical workout and how many days a week do you train?
Emillie-Jean Bisgrove-Cole: I normally spend about 1.5 -2 hours in the gym depending on what body part I am training and what condition I need to be in.
Find what suits your body because what works for someone else might not work the same for you.
What does your training routine look like?
Emillie-Jean Bisgrove-Cole: At the moment I am prepping for a show so my routine looks something like this:
Day 1: Shoulders and abs
Day 2: Quads and calves
Day 3: Back and triceps
Day 4: Hamstrings and calves
Day 5: Biceps and shoulders (volume training)
Day 6: Rest
Day 7: Rest
Cardio: Fasted cardio every morning
What is your diet like? Do you stick to a particular strategy (such as IF, Paleo, Low-Carb etc)? What’s your approach?
Emillie-Jean Bisgrove-Cole: I’ve done a couple of comps now and my coach is very good at picking the foods that suit my body. During comp my food mainly consists of lean protein, essential fats and fibrous vegetables. In my off season I tend to lean more towards a moderate-high carb diet.
Are there any KEY diet or training tips that you adhere to and would recommend?
Emillie-Jean Bisgrove-Cole: Do it because you love it and if you love it you will never struggle to keep going. Find what suits your body because what works for someone else might not work the same for you.
How do you deal with cravings for foods you know you shouldn’t be eating?
Emillie-Jean Bisgrove-Cole: Clint, lucky for me I have always been a very plain, boring eater. This works so great while prepping for a show. However, I am human and on the odd occasion I do get an a craving here and there. I prevent this by eating regularly, eat protein with every meal and filling up on green vegies to keep me fuller for longer.
What supplements do you use if any? If not, why not?
Emillie-Jean Bisgrove-Cole: WPI protein, L-Carninte, Glutamine, BCAA’s, multi vitamins, fish oil, magnesium and zinc.
What’s next on the horizon for Emillie-Jean Bisgrove-Cole?
Emillie-Jean Bisgrove-Cole: At the moment I am focussing on my next three comps for March and over the next couple of weeks I will have my website up and running to help others achive their fitness goals too.
Thanks for your time Emillie-Jean, is there anything you’d like to add?
Emillie-Jean Bisgrove-Cole: Late last year I filmed my first training video, you can check it out below…
Onseason (62kg/136lb), Offseason (66kg/145lb) / 173cm (5’6”) / 23 years old
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