A:Born in Nyack, NY and moved over to the NJ side probably around 7-8 years old. I was raised mainly in Fort Lee, NJ but moved around to random places like Ridgefield Park, NJ, Cliffside Park, NJ and Paramus, NJ.. but ended up back in Fort Lee. I moved down to South Florida, (Cooper City, FL first), right after junior year of high school, then lived in Aventura, FL for a bit and now I reside in the Boca/Delray Beach area of South Florida.
Q:What role does fitness play in your life?
A:Fitness IS my life! Lol.. it's what I do for a living, it's what I love to do... I'm in the gym everyday, and when I'm not in the gym I'm on my social media sites preaching about it! I love to educate everyone around the world about it, and how important it is to be healthy and fit to prolong our life span and overall well-being, even if it's walking around the neighborhood for 30 minutes a day, at least there is activity and movement. I believe society in general is getting so caught up in technology that laziness is an effect of it all, I mean we don't even need to vacuum our own floors anymore, we have robots for that! The aesthetic nature is just a bonus from living the lifestyle.
Q:Agreed 100%! Why did you choose the NPC?
A:Well, the main reason is that you have to be an NPC member in order to qualify for that IFBB pro card which is the organization I'd like to eventually turn pro in!
Q:How do you prep, diet wise, pre contest?
A:I usually start dieting 16 weeks out from a show which gives me ample time to be stage ready. The first 4-8 weeks I will begin to cycle my complex carbohydrates in a High-Medium-Low fashion (3 day cycle). I believe that "starving" yourself from the get-go is the absolute wrong way to do things when prepping for a show. You always want to increase activity levels first and see how your body reacts. I believe in feeding the muscles by eating foods to meet and obtain your physique goals, and maintaining and/or increasing cardio levels to cut the fat. You have to learn your body's chemistry, and that occurs naturally over time. Luckily, I had the honor to work with IFBB Pro Bodybuilder Mark Alvisi, he was one of my coaches that helped dial me in for my contests and taught me the ropes of contest dieting. If you start to see no changes in your physique then that's when you start to reduce calories, and maybe reduce carbs, or maybe take away a high carb day and just start to cycle a medium carb day, and two low carb days (for example). However, the closer you get to show time the more depleted you want to become, so calories get very low, as well as carbs. Fats remain low throughout entire contest prep with just incidental fats or supplemented fats like fish oil and CLA. I also ensure to always take BCAAs, glutamine, and L-carnitine throughout my entire prep as well (even on non contest dieting), and multivitamins twice a day!
Q:Give us an example of your workout routine...
A:In the offseason I train heavy, and slow steady aiming for 8-10, or 10-12 reps to build up lean muscle mass, I'm a true believer in drop sets and reverse pyramid sets.. they help build up your strength a ton! While I'm prepping for contest, a majority of my training is in superset fashion to keep the heart rate high, and usually high rep ranges and ending in low rep ranges for the most burn, and calorie burn high!
Q:So, are you shooting for that pro card?
A:Absolutely. I have my eyes on the NPC USA Championships July 2013, which is an IFBB pro qualifier.
Q:What's the hardest part about being a nutritional consultant?
A:Honestly, I don't find anything about it being hard! I love what I do and I enjoy what I do. I'm helping people better their lives and providing counseling for them, helping them learn the rights and wrongs of what they're doing and how they can do it better. Usually all it takes is a little bit of tweaking. There's nothing more fulfilling than that! I take pride in my work.
Q:Describe how being a mom has changed you...
A:Oh I used to be big time party girl, any chance I got you would catch me in the bars and clubs partying hard. I had to grow up really quick when I had my daughter Makenzie.. and I do not regret any of it all!
Q:Friday night,10 pm... what is Nic doing?
A:Well for the past 6 months, I was usually in bed at 9pm during my contest prep.. and a few days later I still find myself doing the same thing! My daughter is my alarm clock at 7am on the dot everyday.. so to be up past 10pm takes away from my beauty sleep! LOL
Q:Where do you see your fitness career in 5 years?
A:I am definitely trying to become a household name with my start up company "Body and Life by Nicola" that I just randomly started up via Facebook one day. I was tired of being a trainer at my local gym, and paying someone else my hard earned cash. I wanted to be my own boss, and make my own rules. I didn't graduate from FIU with a Business Degree for nothing! Lol. So one day, I created a Facebook fan page just to see the reaction I would get, and it was very slow at first but then I discovered Instagram which opened up many more doors for me. I now have clients in other countries like Sri Lanka, Dubai, England.. it's crazy! Right now my main focus is to make my company legit and incorporated, get a website up and running and get to work. I want to be the next Jillian Michaels or Pauline Nordin!
Q:Can you give us your Twitter,Facebook,Instagram, Pinterest,blog and website handles?
A:The one I use the most are Facebook and Instagram. My Facebook page that I update usually daily is www.facebook.com/bodyandlifebynicola; Instagram: @nicola_denise or www.instagram.com/nicola_denise; and I also have a YouTube channel that I will be updating more often now that I am not prepping for contest. I have video blogs up, some training videos and how-to videos. I plan on uploading more videos demonstrating proper form when training, etc.
Interview done by Elliot Rivera for HealtHaven LLC