Been tweeting and facebooking with fitness model Emily Zaler for the past few months. Figured we might as well pin her down (hey now, this is a G rated site) and get her to answer some questions on how she transformed herself.
Q: How did you get involved in training and fitness modeling?
I have been an athlete my entire life. I played division one soccer my first two years of college, before suffering a career ending knee injury. Being the athlete that I am, I had to still be involved in fitness ! I started to get serious about weight training, and fell in love with it how you can completely change your body with weight training!
I got in to fitness modeling only 6 months ago after attending FMI. For all aspiring fitness talent, you NEED to attend the FMI conference in October in LA. I met some very influential individuals who motivated me to go after my dream!
Q: What was the hardest aspect of really dialing in your training and nutrition to get the body you have today. A lot of people reading this workout hard and follow a strict nutrition plan but they can’t get over that “hump” and reach that next level with their body.
For most people, nutrition is the hardest part. You can’t out train a bad diet. Most of your results you get are based upon your diet as opposed to the time spent in the gym. For me, it was realizing that 90% of my results were going to be made in the kitchen, not only the gym!
Q: What type of training split has worked best for you?
I have followed all sorts of training splits over the past two years that I have been seriously training. I have done traditional body part splits, half body splits, high rep, heavy and low rep, tabata protocols, you name it I have tried it!
I believe you can get great results with any training split, as long as you adhere to it. If you are on a set program that includes the principle of progression, you will see results!
Q: Your facebook page says “always in shape”, which is essential for being a successful fitness model. What does a typical days nutrition look like for you? Do you cheat every so often? Once a week?
In this industry, it is vital that you are always in shape! There is no “offseason”. You never know when an opportunity may arise, and you don’t want to miss that opportunity because you are ” out of shape” !
(GREAT point, you should never have to lose fat fast in this industry)
As far as my nutrition goes, I make sure to eat small meals every 2-3 hours throughout the day. Most of my diet is composed of lean protein, veggies, and healthy fats like avocado, natural nut butters, almonds, flax, and coconut oil.
Complex carbohydrates are also very important! My favorites include sweet potatoes and oats!
As far as cheat meals go, I will usually have a cheat meal once every 2 weeks. I have learned that balance is extremely important. Nobody is perfect, not even the industry’s top fitness models. Cheat meals can actually help you with your progress! When you are restricting calories, your metabolism can easily slow down. Having a cheat meal can actually help kick your metabolism back up and help you get even better results the following week with your diet!
In my cookbook, The EZ Whey, I have over 65 recipes I like to call “Clean Eats That Taste Like Cheats”. These are all clean and diet friendly foods that truly feel and taste like cheats! Check out my site at www.theEZWhey.com and www.emilyzaler.webs.com to check it out and order your copy!
Q:How much cardio do you do and what type of cardio?
With my knee injury, my cardio options are limited. I would love to be able to do sprints, plyometrics, etc, but I can’t. I have found the best type of cardio for me to do is the stepmill. I also will do intervals on the spin bike occasionally, or incline walking at the highest grade. As far as the amount goes, it depends. If I have a shoot coming up I step it up a notch. Even though I am always in shape, the few days before a shoot it’s nice to tighten things up. I am a fan of fasted am cardio, but I don’t believe it’s necessary for someone’s progress. I have trained where I do fasted cardio in the morning, and I have also trained where I do all my cardio post workout. I reached my goals both ways. I like to tell people whatever way you will get it done is what matters more than when.
SCI FIT! I am proud to be a Team SCI FIT athlete! I absolutely love Protolyn as well as the whey isolate! They also have a product called “Athletic Pak”, which has all my essential vitamins packaged together for the day, so it’s very easy to make sure I am getting everything I need!
Q:Favorite figure competitor/model?
It’s hard to say one person, because I am motivated by many in the industry! I like Jamie Eason because she is such a sweet person and does not let her success get to her head. I really admire Ava Cowan‘s work ethic, and I admire Mindi Smith‘s figure! There are many others as well ! Also big shout out to my girl Chady Dunmore who is a good friend of mine. Her career is taking off, and it amazes me that she is a mom and able to stay so dedicated!
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