What got you started in the fitness lifestyle?
My journey began when I fell in love with running as a young kid. My actual fitness lifestyle that I currently have though did not set fire until I was first exposed to the bodybuilding industry in the summer of 2011. I have played many sports in my life, but nothing has given me as much satisfaction as competing has. There is something about working hard for a personal goal that is so fulfilling!
Where does your motivation come from?
My motivation comes from first trusting that there WILL be amazing results, second seeing results, and third having others not only compliment me on my hard work, but really open up about how inspirational I am to them. Being a good example is ten times more powerful than giving good advice! This is what keeps me going to continue to improve! I make short goals for myself that are achievable, and build on them towards bigger goals. I keep my future wide open for myself, because anything is possible! The joy is definitely in the journey, because when I can achieve goals I feel great! If I just train my hardest for one show, and then drop the fitness lifestyle completely, the pride from my hard work simply goes away. That is why I instead choose to take on fitness as a lifestyle; continually working towards new personal achievements. It is this positive outlook on life that keeps me going!
Have you competed in any fitness competitions?
Yes! I placed 2nd in bikini tall in my first competition, which was a Fitness America Pageant with Musclemania in New York in the fall of 2011. I placed 9th in my second bikini competition with the WBFF in Rhode Island the following week. My third show was also with the WBFF in Connecticut in April of 2012. In June of 2012, I competed in the OCB and placed 3rd in bikini. In July of 2012, in another OCB show, I placed first in my class, won the overall, and won best bikini presentation as well! It was an amazing experience, and I was awarded my Pro-Card for the IFPA! I am now a couple weeks away from competing in the Arnold Amateur, which will be my first NPC show. I love competing not only as a personal achievement, but also to network and meet other fitness junkies!
What are your next goals?
I have done three photo shoots, so my next goal is to be featured online or in a magazine with shots from one of my photo shoots. This year in 2013, my goal is to compete in my first Pro-show for the IFPA, and to compete in a local NPC show as well. I am taking my own fitness to the next level to maintain as much muscle during this year on stage as I can! I worked hard during the off season, and want to bring a different package to the stage! With this success I hope to bring fitness modeling fully into my life as a side career. I have put tons of work into it, and I am ready to see what it now brings me! I am currently going back to school to become and nutritionist, and would love to work with people of all types, from those with diabetes, to professional athletes.
What is your training routine like?
I train 5 times a week, each day working a different body part. I split the days up by chest, back, shoulders, legs, and arms. I like to also incorporate a sixth day into my training that is a total body workout. This is usually a cross fit style workout, boxing, or a yoga class if my body needs to wind down. I like to listen to my body, and continue to try new things to confuse it! I love for instance changing a regular box squat to a sumo squat on a leg day after not doing it for a month. I feel sore for days! I make my workouts fun by trying different positions and mixing things up. Each day I warm up for 10 minutes, then lift about 12 – 18 total sets of 4 – 6 different exercises. I end my workout with some cardio; either intervals or steady cardio, again mixing it up for my body!
Have you had to overcome any obstacles to get where you are today?
I have had to overcome several obstacles! They have only made me stronger in who I now am today. The first obstacle was having my family and friends accept my new lifestyle. With this came some strange “looks” from acquaintances as well, mostly commenting that building muscle was not for women. Once adjusted to this, I then had to overcome a rough off season which included me not only taking classes, but also filling two positions at work. I was very busy and overwhelmed, but had to push myself that I want to keep improving, and can’t give up! I am proud that fitness is now a part of my life, and I plan to keep it that way!
What’s your preferred form of cardio?
My preferred form of cardio is to run outside in the hot sun and breathe the fresh air! Since of course I do not have the pleasure of warm weather year round, I also love to do plyometric sets in the gym, which is what especially makes a difference when I want to shred a couple pounds leaning out.
What does your diet consist of?
My diet has changed from when I first started training to today. Through research, experience, and proper coaching, I am committed to keep a steady BMR, so that I do not have to eat a very low calorie diet in order to stay lean. I try to maintain muscle and shred fat while giving my body the nutrients it needs. Having a healthy mind is just as important to me as having a fit body. This is why I am passionate about nutrition! My favorite meal of the day has always been breakfast. I can literally make pancakes taste great with any ratio of fat to protein to carbs that I need to start the day! I love trying ingredients like coconut flour, fresh pumpkin, cottage cheese, eggs, different types of protein powder, almond flour, coconut oil, and even spinach! My supplements change based on my schedule of competing, but in general I incorporate BCAAs, creatine, and glutamine around my workouts, and multi-vitamins, fish oil, and probiotics into my nutrition.
Do you bulk/cut or stay lean all year?
I cut to be very lean for shows, but maintain a lower body fat from the spring to the fall. During the holidays, which is basically from Thanksgiving until New Years, I take time to enjoy foods that I love with my family and friends, while keeping a balanced diet and lifting heavy to build muscle. It is nearly impossible to be lean all year round without losing any muscle, and still be sane! I take this on as a lifestyle, but do not let it control my life completely.
Do you listen to music while working out?
ALWAYS!! I usually listen to techno and hip hop. That always keeps me going! Anything that I could dance to in a club is coming out of my iPhone or Motorola heart rate monitor watch. I love hitting the bar not to drink at, but the bar that you lift!
What are you most proud of?
I am most proud of winning my show in July, where I achieved my lowest body fat % of 7.5%, rocked the stage, and was awarded my Pro-Card!!!
Are there any athletes, fitness models or bodybuilders that inspire you?
There are MANY fitness models that inspire me. I follow them on Facebook, and now follow more of them on my new addiction of Instagram! Seeing pictures of other fitness models’ progress, the food they eat, and quotes they post inspire me! I can’t wait to go to the Arnold in a week to actually meet many of these people! Just to name a few that inspire me, are WBFF Pro Ashley Horner from bodybuilding.com, Keley Byers from bodybuilding.com that will be competing in the height class above me, a coach of mine and oxygen magazine cover model WBFF Pro Lindsay Messina, IFBB Pro Nicole Nagrani, WBFF Pro Chady Dunmore, and Christina Halkiopoulos!
Any tips for readers who want to get a physique like yours?
If you want to achieve the best physique you can, you need to start now! Your future self will love you for it! You are certainly lapping everyone on the couch! The first few weeks of dieting and training are the hardest! You put in so much hard work, and sometimes do not see results right away. Your body has to adjust, and it is just plain difficult! Once you get over this hump though, it gets easier as you get stronger, and becomes extremely fulfilling. You must believe in yourself and trust that it is all worth it. Nothing is impossible, for the word itself says I’m Possible!
Want to learn more about Elizabeth?
- Instagram: @lizcalabro
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Liz-Calabro-IFPA-Bikini-PRO/
- Website: www.team-stacked.com/archives/trainers/liz-calabro
Photo Credits: LHGFX Photography