MINNIEGOTSKINNIE X SUPER WOMAN
Check out this exclusive interview with our resident fitness queen & TOTAL hot bod’ -Victoria Mandi
(From nutrition tips to workout routines, we’ve literally covered it all!)
When did you first get into fitness?
“I have always done ‘some kind’ of sport. My mum is a PE and Biology teacher, she also used to be my athletics coach. I played volley ball and ballet (and even tried karate) when I was younger.
I first joined a gym around 9-10 years ago and started like most girls in those days; steering clear of all weights, hours on cardio machines and trying my hardest to ‘not get bulky’.
I get bored easily and am very curious, so I started doing my own research on what exercises I should be doing and how to correctly perform them. I also learnt a lot from my boyfriend, books and the internet, I just fell in love with the whole thing!”
Who / what inspires you the most?
“I used to be inspired by and wanted to be like specific people. Like, I used to do everything Ana Delia del Lturrondo posted, she actually inspired me to compete for the first time. Now, I try to be the best version of ME and not like someone else. I am now inspired by people in different ways, like when a client of mine who has 3 children managed to get their diet right, make it to the gym 3 times a week with no excuses, and seeing them work so hard during my sessions to get their last reps out.”
How do you keep yourself motivated to exercise?
“After all this time, I need to motivate myself to have a rest day. Training is part of my life, I genuinely couldn’t live without it. When I go to book a holiday, the first thing I check (after how hot it is) is whether there is a gym or not.
My advice to people that are not so in love with exercise would be to NOT GIVE UP and keep going until you find something that you do enjoy. I think exercise should be enjoyed, and yes, there will be days when it is difficult to get yourself going, but that is when you remind yourself that it is outside your comfort zone that results are created.
I think if you remember this, you will eventually welcome the obstacles and hardship, because you will learn that every time you push past them you get a little better, and stronger, you also prove to yourself that nothing can stop you, you can do anything you set your mind to!“
How important is nutrition to you?
“You can not out-exercise a bad diet, this is FACT. If you stop focusing on only what your body looks like and start thinking of it as this amazing creation of DNA and cells (and remember that what you eat is actually going to become part of it), you realise how important nutrition actually is.
Literally everything you eat and drink is being digested and then carried into your cells. Protein is what makes up 90% of your body, it helps recover your cells. Whether we are talking about repairing your muscles or just recovering from a common cold, without protein – you just can not.
Eating lots of food filled with hidden chemicals and over consuming on alcohol is not the way forward if you wish to be healthy on the inside.
You don’t have to eat totally clean (I’m not talking grow your own veggies) as I believe in flexible dieting, but I am aware of what I put in my body and makes sure I eat according to my goals.”
What’s your typical workout routine?
” I am currently working on building some size on my legs and have recently started CrossFit (I’m really enjoying it!), so I am trying to work on learning some of the many movements that I find challenging, like hand stands, press-ups and Olympic lifts. (Go Victoria!)
I try to have 3 bodybuilding style leg sessions a week (usually a Monday, Wednesday and Friday or Saturday), two of which are glute dominant and one of them focusing more on the “Big Compound Lifts” – What are these? Front and Back Squats, Lunges and Conventional deadlifts. These really work your legs and help to build muscle.
Crossfit wise, I tend to have a whole day (usually a Sunday, Tuesday or Thursday) where me and my boyfriend workout together. I let him program the workouts for these days (as he is pretty ninja) and I just enjoy switching my brain off and have fun learning all the new skills.
I also like to squeeze in an “active recovery day” once a week , this would be random, so either in the gym, doing some abs, maybe some upper-body exercises on machines and cardio, or perhaps another session in the Crossfit Box. It all comes down to what isn’t sore.”
What part of your body do you like working out the most?
“Glutes! I really enjoy all the gymnastics as well at the moment”
And the least?
“I am not cardios’ biggest fan, but I don’t mind HIIT or TABATA. A steady pace for a long time just bores me so much (You will also probably only ever see me run if someone is chasing me!)”
Do you think that living your best life means being fit?
“Yes. Being fit and healthy on the inside will help your mind to be healthy and happy too.”
Is it possible to have the ‘perfect’ body?
“What is perfect? I’m sure if you ask a 100 people, there will be a 100 different answers.
I think a “perfect body” is like a mirage. You can look at someone and think they have the perfect body, and that person will most likely be able to point out things they still want to work on…
This is positive as well as negative, as it is good to always aim to be better and better, but we have to be able to stop and appreciate how far we have come as well…”
If you could give one piece of advice to fitness newbies, what would it be?
“Honestly, I would advise everyone to find a professional coach and invest some money into working with them. Whether it is 4 sessions or a 16 week block, (depending on what you want to achieve). I wish I had started out like that, I would have saved myself time as well as money.
There is so much info out there, it is difficult to choose what is true and what isn’t, what would suit you best and what wouldn’t, everyone’s body is different.
Personal training isn’t a luxury anymore, instead of wasting money trying to buy magic pills and 6 week shred workouts, invest in a good coach who will teach you how to go on alone, help you move correctly and avoid injuries.
Last but not least, we know you love the addition of a Fitness Belt whilst working out. Why would you recommend using one?
“I love the fitness belt because it keeps the heat in which makes you sweat more, which naturally makes you feel extra good at the end of a workout (you know, like you’ve really worked for it!)
Sometimes, our bodies can hold on to a bit of extra water (especially around the waist region) and for us ladies and ‘our time of the month’ (aka the worst time ever) we tend to feel a bit more bloated. The belt helps sweat the excess water out and I’ve found it really helps with the bloating.
I also use it when I’m about to lift heavy weights, it helps to brace your core and keeps your lower-back steady, which reduces risk of injury.”
Thanks Victoria, it’s been fab talking with you and we’re so thrilled to have you as part of our MinnieGotSkinnie team!