Today, fitness model, IFBB Pro and healthy chef, Taylor Matheny enlightens us with what it takes to become the number one bikini model in the world…
What sparked your interest in training and how did you get started as a fitness model and IFBB competitor?
Taylor Matheny: I was actually the chef at a private training studio in TX. I would cook competitors meals for the week (all portioned out of course and low sodium)… I thought they were crazy for what they did to their bodies! But I was pulled into my first show and have been hooked since. Now I’m a Pro.
Winning shows opened up the door for the modeling side to come into play. I began working with Dymatize, then Myogenix, Beyond your Nutrition, Nutrition Depot, and Nutrishop to name a few of the wonderful companies I have had the opportunity to work and promote.
I see you are bringing out a cook book soon. What inspired you to make one centred around making tasty meals out of low-calorie foods?
Taylor Matheny: Being a professional athlete, I understand the importance of fueling my body correctly. I wanted to show others how being healthy doesn’t equal being hungry or bland.
What‘s the most important thing that has kept you motivated over the years?
Taylor Matheny: Knowing that this is a lifestyle — it’s not a job or a diet but something I live and something I love to do!
What mistakes did you make when you first started training?
Taylor Matheny: Training and and nutrition have always come second nature to me although we all make mistakes. I just enjoyed learning new things about the many different ways to train dependant on your goals.
Truth is, I’ve learnt that the best abs are made in the kitchen (not from a machine).
What are some of the other writers, models and fitness leaders that have inspired you?
Taylor Matheny: My trainer Ryan Bentson from Zero Gravity Fitness has been a huge part in my life and a major role in where I am today. I am constantly inspired by him and how he has set the standard in this industry.
I see you were Voted #1 Bikini Model in the World in 2012. How has this changed your life?
Taylor Matheny: First off, it is a huge blessing to be recognized as a successful model but to be named #1 in the World was just unreal! However i don’t aspire to be seen as just a bikini model but to be viewed as a top athlete and most importantly a positive role model for healthy living.
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?
Taylor Matheny: I think we have all fallen prey to an ‘ab machine’ of some sort (haha). Truth is, I’ve learnt that the best abs are made in the kitchen (not from a machine).
What physical feature or key milestone are you most proud of?
Taylor Matheny: I would say my biggest improvement has been putting on muscle and size due to proper training and eating since becoming a Pro and competing in the IFBB Pro circuit. Ryan Bentson from Zero Gravity has helped me improve my physique on and off stage through his knowledge of the sport.
…sugar is sugar and I would always recommend avoiding it.
What does your training routine look like?
Taylor Matheny: 6 days a week — Cardio and weight training. Weight consists of heavy training focused on the symmetry of the gltues and back followed by lots of plyometrics. Cardio is steady incline or stair-mill.
What is your diet like? Do you stick to a particular strategy (such as IF, Paleo, Low-Carb etc)? What’s your approach?
Taylor Matheny: I always have a high protein diet with an abundance of fresh vegetables. My Carbs will vary due to carb-cycling (laid out by my trainer Ryan) and the goals for our shows. Carbs include oats, brown rice, sweet potatoes and rice cakes. I eliminate all dairy and sugars, even fruits. Being a chef I never eliminate taste! Even the day of a show you will still find me with something amazing backstage. I never feel deprived or hungry, with my cook book you will be able to eat more and weigh less with healthy recipes.
Are there any KEY diet or training tips that you adhere to and would recommend?
Taylor Matheny: Everyone’s body is different. Learn what you respond to best i.e. carbs or fats, wheat or gluten free. However, sugar is sugar and I would always recommend avoiding it.
How do you deal with cravings for foods you know you shouldn’t be eating?
Taylor Matheny: Simple, I make the foods I eat taste like the foods I shouldn’t eat :).
What supplements do you use if any? If not, why not?
Taylor Matheny: The basic staples — Protein powders, BCAA’s, Glutamine(recovery), CLA/EFA’s/L-carnitine/Omega’s, Multivitamin with my fruits and greens powders.
What’s next on the horizon for you?
Taylor Matheny: Taking March by storm and hitting the Olympia stage for round 2!
Taylor Matheny’s stats
54kg (120lbs) / 165cm (5’4”) / 24 years old
Taylor Matheny’s social circle
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