M&S Talks To WBFF Pro Fitness Model Crystal Cunard

Pro fitness model Crystal Cunard shares her 5 favorite exercises, supplement staples, secrets on getting ripped, and her thoughts on fasted cardio.
Crystal Cunard

Quick Stats

  • Crystal Cunard
  • Winnipeg, Canada
  • WBFF Fitness Model
  • 3
  • 140 lbs

What is your athletic background, and how did you get involved with fitness modeling?

I was a very active kid and played most sports in junior high.  I was never the star of any team I played on but decent enough to make it on all the teams.

In high school I started weight training and I loved it.  I would look through fitness magazines and admire the girls for their determination, focus, and motivation.  Since I’m a very driven and goal orientated person, I knew I wanted to try and compete one day.

Crystal Cunard

Just over two and a half years ago, I finally had a break in my studies and decided to go for it.  Now entering my third year of competing, I’m still in love with the sport, and the industry.  It’s very rewarding to push yourself and test the level of determination and focus you have.  Once you reach the end goal and step on stage, it makes all the hard work and sacrifice worth it!

What were the major milestones that gave you that “extra” motivation boost?

Crystal CunardLast year I was very excited and humbled to receive my Pro status with the WBFF at the Quebec Championships.  To be considered at the level as so many of the girls that I am inspired by, is amazing.  Becoming a Pro and training for my Pro debut this August in Toronto has definitely given me that extra motivation to bring my best.

What does your current training and split look like, and what do you like most about it?

I try to hit each muscle group once a week with the exception of legs which I usually workout twice a week.  My weight training usually takes just over an hour.  I aim for 4-5 days of cardio for 30-45 minutes.

Do you supplement your weight training and cardio with any other physical activities?

I love outdoor activities.  It’s a great way to enjoy the sunshine, have fun and get exercise.  In the summer I enjoy mountain biking, hiking, rollerblading, jogging, and beach volleyball.

How often do you change your training routine, and do you periodize your training?

I get bored quick so I like to change my workouts every two weeks.

Crystal Cunard

What are your thoughts on fasted cardio?

I only do fasted cardio when I’m getting close to competition and trying to lean out.  Most of the time, I’ll have a protein shake before morning cardio.

Which do you prefer, and why…steady state cardio or HIIT?

Crystal CunardI like to mix it up and alternate between lower impact cardio and HIIT.  HIIT training is a great way to switch things up and avoid boredom.  All I need is the right tunes on my iPod to give me that extra energy.

What are some of your best training tips for someone who wants to look good and get ripped?

For anyone who wants to look lean, my advice is to be consistent and fuel your body properly!  It’s hard to see changes in your physique if you don’t put in the work, which is why it’s important to work out regularly and be consistent.

Most people have heard the statistic that approximately 80% of training is diet, and it’s true.  There is no point in putting in the time at the gym if you’re not going to eat properly. Eating clean and including lots of lean protein is key to seeing results.

What are your favorite 5 muscle building exercises and why?

I’m focusing on building my lower body right now, so I’m loving squats, walking lunges and deadlifts to add size and shape to my legs and glutes. Shoulder press is another favorite of mine and has helped me build shapely shoulders.  When I’m training back, I love incorporating pull ups. It’s such a great upper body exercise!

Do you have any gym, muscle building or fitness pet peeves?

My pet peeve at the gym is cell phones.  Leave them in the change room!  I can understand doing cardio and catching up on emails etc., but people who are on their Blackberries while doing weights irritates me.

Crystal Cunard

What does your post-workout nutrition and supplementation look like?

Post workout I always have an isolate protein shake with two scoops of glutamine.  I also either have a banana or add dextrose to my shake.

What does your cutting (eating) plan look like?

When I’m leaning out, I eat every 2-3 hours and consume ~1600 calories per day.  On average my daily eating plan consists of 60% protein, 25% carbohydrates and 15% fats.

Crystal CunardHow do you prepare meals? Do you cook daily or cook for the week?

I prep most of my meals on Sundays and try to do little cooking throughout the week.  I often have protein pancakes for breakfast and find these very easy to make in bulk.  I usually make 2 -3 weeks worth and freeze them.

What are your favorite cheat meals and foods?

My favorite cheat is going out for sushi and enjoying a glass of wine!

What are your thoughts of niche diet approaches like the Paleo Diet, Adkins Diet, Keto Runs, the Warrior Diet, Intermittent Fasting, etc.?

I really don’t agree with fad diets.  My goal is long term health and living a healthy lifestyle.  My advice is to avoid the fads and stick with clean eating day to day.  You’ll look and feel great!

What are some of your favorite supplements and why?

Even before being sponsored, BioX protein was the only protein I used.  BioX is my favorite protein due to its high quality and great taste.  Rocky Road and Chocolate Peanut Swirl are amazing and curb my sweet cravings!

Crystal Cunard

Workout music – what’s on your playlist?

I love my iPod!  If I forget my iPod, it ruins my work out.  Music fuels my workout and helps give me extra energy.

I have different playlists, depending on my workout.  I have songs that push me through a tough weight set, as well as fast paced techno to push me through morning cardio.

If someone wants to connect with you, where can you be found?

Crystal CunardThey can join my fan page at: www.facebook.com/crystalcunardfitnessmodel.

What attracts you to the natural side of sports and competition?

I started competing because I love being active and living a healthy lifestyle.  A healthy lifestyle to me means respecting my body and not using substances that may be harmful to my body and my health.  It’s an amazing feeling when you see what you can accomplish solely from hard work and discipline.

Funniest thing you’ve seen at the gym recently?

Just this morning I saw a tough looking guy sporting a bright pink iPod with an armband.  It put a smile on my face.

Photo Credits:

323Photografix.com, Pink Elephant Photography, Kris Josef

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