A:I began training for track at age thirteen, trained as a pro and Olympic hopeful for 2.5 years. Spring 2008 I pulled my right hamstring, and drained from injury and disappointment I decided to hang up my spikes and walk away from the sport. I took about a year off, no training, no clean eating, no goals anywhere in sight. I’m great with kids, so I began working as a teacher, but I was not happy and became more and more miserable day by day. I started back training because I needed to get back on the track and my body missed the burn! In Florida, I worked as a trainer at Gold’s Gym and was very successful at helping others attain their fitness goals, so I decided to find my niche again back home in Atlanta by forming boot camps. The more I became successful at helping others- women, men, and kids accomplish their goals- the more this brought me into another world, the world of bodybuilding and physique competition!
Q:What's the hardest thing about being a USA Track and Field Athlete?
A:The hardest thing is knowing you are 1 of many of the best out of hundreds of athletes. There is so much talent in track and field and you'd better be ON, all the time. Mentally, you have to very strong, confident, and unbeatable because this is where it starts. Typically, there are only 8 lanes at Championships and if you want one of those slots, you have really got to earn it. Unlike bodybuilding, where it is subjective, track is objective all day, everyday. It is completely on you whether you cross the finish line first or last.
Q:When did you decide that you wanted to become an IFBB pro?
A:2011, 2 years after competing on a smaller stage. I figured, if I were going to be cutting calories and waking up extra early in the morning to get cardio in, that I might as well do it for the big leagues. Besides, I am so accustomed to training on a world-class level in track, that I wouldn't know anything else. Even to this day, I have a hard time not going to the track because the training is what feeds my soul. When I became more interested and deeply rooted in sport, I did more research, and I knew that was exactly where I needed to be.
Q:Describe your pre contest eating routine...
A:I eat 6 times daily. My first meal starts around 7:30 or 8 am and ends around 7:30 or 8pm. If I am hungry and night, I eat on some veggies and a little bit of protein. I eat every 2-3 hours and I keep my times pretty consistent so that my body will remember and respond efficiently. I try to stay away from shakes for they bloat me. If I use protein powder, I use an isolate, so that it is in and out. The key for me is to stick to green, fibrous carbs with every meal. They are free calories and good for you. When I have a crazy workout, I treat myself with a couple of slices of watermelon or a UMP Cookies and Cream Protein shake. Typically, I stop this about 3-4 weeks out and I stay pretty strict and on time.
AM Training (light cardio or a 20 min run)
7:30 oatmeal with raisins, 4 egg whites
10:30 4oz chicken with a small kale salad or romaine salad
1:30 4oz salmon with grilled zucchini and mushrooms
4pm 12 almonds with a small apple
PM Training (HIIT or a specific muscle group)
6:00pm 1 scoop of Dymatize Elite Protein Powder for a Shake
*on a hard workout day, I add few slices of watermelon*
8:30pm 3 egg whites and broccoli
Q:What does your weekly workout routine look like?
A:SLEEP, EAT, TRAIN.... REPEAT!
Monday-Saturday, I train cardio mostly on the track, a trail, or inside at least 1 hour a day. 1 day a week I'm at the stadiums.
Monday- Total body
Thursday- Active Rest (Pool or Hot Yoga in the afternoon or evening)
Friday- Back and Light Legs Again
Saturday- Total Body (Plyos and BW circuit) in the am, I train cardio right after and I’m done for the day. Takes about 1.5-2 hrs
Q:Favorite cheat meal?
A:Contest Cheat: chicken wings and sweet mashed potatoes with pecans.
OFF Season Cheat: I can eat frozen yogurt everyday.
Q:Who do you credit as being your greatest inspiration?
A:Erin Stern in Bodybuilding because our stories are one in the same. We are both track girls and she is consistent, and seems to have so much fun. In the end, that's what its all about! Kellie Wells in track, she is my good friend that I respect so much and I am so proud of. She has made her 1st Olympic team this year and is on her way to Beijing!! She has come so far. Just google her and see for yourself!
Q:One thing you could change, what would it be?
A:My mind constantly being in motion. I just need it to relax sometimes instead of always wanting go or wander. I can sometimes wear the weight of what's going on in my world (the people I work with everyday, my family, and loved ones) on my shoulders. So the greatest, most beautiful parts of me are what wears me out, but thats life and I'm working on it!!
Q:Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
A:Hopefully, I will be married by then, a successful business woman, an Olympia and/or Arnold figure champion title under my belt, a PR of 11.2 in the 100m dash, and one of the most notable african american female fitness gurus of all time!
Q:Do you have any website, Facebook, Twitter or blog links for the people to get in contact with you or just learn more about you?
Facebook: Tissilli Brandi /TissFit(Tissilli B.)
About me: www.about.me/tissillibrandi
Interview done by Elliot Rivera for HealtHaven LLC