I had the oppurtinity to sit down with model Brandi Roach and get into her head about modeling, training and how she got started in the biz.
Q: Can you tell us about your background ? How you got started in fitness and how you started competing and then transitioning to bikini model?
I began my initial fitness endeavors at 18 – 3 weeks after I graduated from high school to be precise. Originally, I wanted to just prevent the “freshmen 15.” I was happy with my body at 18 and I just wanted to keep it that way. I had great guidance and learned my way around the gym and then eventually started focusing in on diet. Within a year of working out consistently and learning how my body responded to certain workouts/diets, I was hooked. I became more focused and determined to become leaner and stronger. By the time I was 20, I knew I could enter competitions and that became my new goal. I also worked in a gym then, so I had large amounts of encouragement and was able to observe competitors there who taught me the ropes. Over the next few years I’d cycle my body in phases of leaning out, maintenance and muscle building. Once you learn the art of what works best to manipulate your body, it is amazing the transformations you are able to undergo if you have patience and dedication.
I ended up in bikini modeling when I had an unexpected door of opportunity open for me. Being the type who cannot pass up unique opportunities, I took it while I had the chance. I actually had no intentions of getting into the industry. I knew I was photogenic and I had worked hard with my body, but my highest priority was my academic endeavors. This door opened when a friend mentioned me to a company looking for a fresh face. The company flew me out to do a test shoot in Beverly Hills and that’s all she wrote – I quickly put school on a temporary hold as soon as I realized the offer I had in front of me.
Q:Now I talk to a lot of hopeful models and they have no idea where to start. Is it as simple as getting professional pictures done and posting them online or joining model mayhem? How does a aspiring model get more attention?
Unfortunately, it is not as simple as getting professional pictures done and posting them online. However, the more exposure you have, the better your chances are. In my case, I got lucky and later realized how blessed I had been to be at the right place at the right time and to know the right person. In most cases, models have to get maximum exposure before they ever really start getting noticed. My advice to aspiring models is to get involved with every opportunity they can find as long as it doesn’t compromise their morals. Yes, you won’t always get chosen for everything you attempt to get involved with, but it will build experience, get your name out there and make you grow.
Q:How many weeks out do you start training for a lingerie or bikini shoot?
Unlike fitness competitions which take me 10-12 weeks of leaning out to be in tip top shape, photoshoots require less effort. I monitor my diet constantly and stay in the gym consistently. When I travel, I make sure I pack my own goodies (protein bars, healthy snacks, vitamins, etc) and I make sure I can find a gym close by. Like fitness competitions, I still measure out my food daily but unlike competitions I allow myself a “cheat meal” every 7-10 days (usually those cheat meals fall directly after my photoshoot). I have found if I stay clean and consistent 90% of the time, my body will maintain it’s physique. If I notice small unwanted changes, I address them immediately by tweaking things
Q:What was your training like? Was it your typical bodypart split 4-5 day routine or did you focus on specific areas?
I am a firm believer in changing your workouts before your body has a chance to adapt. So my routine is all over the place – but I usually do a 4 day body part split with 3-5 days of cardio. Sometimes I do a 4 day body part split that focuses on volume and sometimes I focus on strength. Then when I really want to throw my body for a loop, I do outdoor workouts (think sleds, sledge hammers, sand bags, pushing cars, etc). I also change up the intensity of my cardio and try not to do the exact same cardio routine every day. I have found for bikini modeling specifically, the high volume workouts are optimal for my body type.
Q:Diet wise, what do you feel works best for your body? Very low carb or timed carbohydrates around your workout?
My diet was probably the hardest thing to figure out. I tried low carb. I tried high carb. I even tried no carb (BIG MISTAKE). Without a doubt, the diet that works best for me is carb cycling. During the competition days, I had to slowly increase my cardio and slowly decrease my calories so not to pull out all of my big guns at once. However now, I am consistent with the calories I ingest (2200-2500) and maintain well there. I take in 1.5-2 grams of protein per pound of body weight. I always eat 5-6 meals a day with most of my carbs being ingested during the AM hours. I usually separate my meals into “Protein/Carb Meals” and “Protein/Fat Meals.” The protein sources for me are lean meats, eggs, protein shakes, etc. My carbs are complex carbs coming from sweet potatoes, oatmeal and green veggies. I’m allowed to have fruit daily as part of my first or second meals and this would have been a big no no during my fitness competition leaning out phases. My fats come from Omega-3 fatty acids such as oils from fish, nuts, flaxseed and Omega-3 supplements. This is the equation of success for me personally – but everyone is different and you can only find your specific formula through experimentation and patience.
Q:What’s next for you Brandi. What projects are you working on?
The project I’m working on next is a project that will take a very long time to complete. I’m going to medical school. I’d like to eventually become a surgeon. I already have my nursing degree so I’ve been exposed to the medical field and I know that’s where my heart belongs. It has always been my dream to be a physician and to help others in their time of need. I would be wasting my talents otherwise. As I mentioned earlier, modeling was a door of opportunity that opened at a great time for me. I was able to take a break in between my bachelor’s degree and medical school to travel and model as much as my schedule permitted. Now it is time for me to continue on with my original goal. I will always love the fitness world and I think I’ll continue to mold myself into a healthy being but it is now time for me to finish what I started