Rachel is a three-time National Physique Committee (NPC) overall figure champion, all by unanimous decision. A certified performance fitness trainer and nutritionist specialising in energy metabolism, Rachel is known around the industry as ‘Fit Chic’ for her commitment to educating people on proper health and nutrition.
1. Describe yourself in 3 words?
Energetic, spontaneous and of course, FIT!
2. How do you stay healthy and fit with your busy schedule?
Plan, Plan, Plan! I plan my meals and workouts around my training schedules with my clients. When I’m travelling, I make sure I carry healthy, portable foods with me such as oats, nuts and tuna. Yes, I have been known to pull canned tuna out of my purse! No excuses when it comes to healthy eating, you have to discipline yourself and make it happen.
3. What is a your exercise routine?
A typical week involves four days of 45-minute strength training sessions (using free weights such as dumbbells and kettle bells in functional, multi-joint exercises. Medium weight, high repetitions to keep my muscles defined and toned), 5-6 days of 30-60 minute cardio (interval training, plyometrics, and running stadium steps outdoors). I incorporate yoga/flexibility training at least three times a week, in which I’ll do both static and dynamic movements.
4. How would you define fitness?
We all know athletes are fit and fit individuals are generally healthy. Aside from sport, true fitness is functional; it should allow you to perform daily activities more easily, in a bio-energetically efficient manner. Having the agility to carry a load of laundry up the stairs, the upper body strength to carry your child on your arm or carry multiple bags of groceries effortlessly and the ability to walk briskly through the airport to catch a connecting flight. These are tasks we face in a typical week. Maintaining my fitness allows me to utilize less energy and accomplish more in my day, thus improve my quality of life. I enjoy helping others reach optimal fitness, so that they too can become ultimate Fit Chics! (Men can be fit chics too, in my book!)
5. What was the greatest challenge you faced in your career?
Training for Kentucky Muscle Pro-Am figure fitness competition while working 13-14 hour days. My training involved morning and evening workouts, totalling three hours a day. Balancing work, time with clients, planning nutrition meals, and travel took a toll on my body, I barely had time to sleep! Fortunately, I had the support of family and friends, which gave me the strength I needed to make it through the long days. I ended up winning my competition by unanimous decision, taking home two trophies -1st place and overall! Lesson learned? Never underestimate the power of a support system! Always make sure you have someone cheering you on towards your goals!
6. Have you been to the UAE?
This will be my third time back in the UAE for a health and fitness event. Most recently, I was there to co-host an International Women’s Day fitness event with Laila Ali. I’m excited to share my nutrition and fitness knowledge with the Emirates and strive to continue to inspire people to live fit, healthy, and happy lives!
7. What is your favourite Kobe moment?
When he promptly stood up after he fell from tearing his Achilles this past season. A true champion rises even when he can’t get up. Looking forward to seeing him back in action next season.
8. What is your number one workout tip?
Be consistent. And also, don’t compare yourself to others. Instead, compare yourself to a past version of yourself; it will give you more motivation to keep pushing to your goal. When you get discouraged, you can gain hope by realizing all the progress you’ve already made!
9. If you were stranded on a deserted island, what three things would you like to have with you?
iPad (equipped with family & friends’ photos, my fav books, and fab music), yoga mat and nail polish. You’ve always got to have a fabulous mani pedi! (my fans on Instagram, you know what I’m talking about! ;)
10. If we came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare for us?
Stir-fry! I love veggies, so I’d prepare a nice colourful stir-fry mix of red, yellow and green bell peppers, broccoli, mushrooms, and purple onions. Additionally, I’m a fan of the great American burger. Instead of beef, I’d increase the fibre content of the meal by making a spicy black bean burger, on a toasted whole wheat bun. The heat from the spices helps the body burn fat. And to satisfy your ‘sweet tooth’, I’d make baked sweet potato fries topped with my favourite herbs. More fibre, less impact on blood sugar levels. Mmm, Mmm, delish!
11. What advice would you give to kids about achieving their goals?
A goal not written down is only a wish! If you plan to succeed, you must learn to plan! Put the pen to paper and write down your goals!
12. If you could pick one highlight of your career, what would it be?
Obtaining my masters degree in biochemistry and energy metabolism and winning my 3rd NPC figure fitness championship.
13. What was the best piece of advice you ever received?
Not advice but quote. One of my favourite quotes that gets me energized is actually from Kobe. He said, "Everything negative -- challenges and pressures -- they are just an opportunity for me to rise." Sometimes when I’m extremely tired when I’m training; I recite this quote, and then push myself that much harder to finish my reps/sets. In doing so, I become a stronger person—physically and mentally. Kobe Bryant is a true inspiration in helping me to achieve my goals, on and off the fitness stage!