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👋 Hi! Tell us about yourself and your training
Hi! I’m Rachel Rose, a commercial model and former NPC Bikini competitor.
I moved to Detroit in 2017 to pursue my second business degree in Advertising. I began resistance training in 2014, in an effort to combat a binge eating disorder I developed in my first semester of college.
Building such an unhealthy relationship with food impacted every aspect of my identity. It was my first thought in the morning, and my last thought at night. It affected my social relationships, and dominated every conversation I’d have.
All the while I was rapidly gaining weight. I sought out weight lifting as a means to gain control of my physical and mental well-being.
Resistance training both saved my life and inspired my journey. Now, I love to lift regularly to clear my mind, but I also enjoy backpacking, rock climbing, and any sort of active adventure that tests my limits!
⏱ Describe a typical day of training
I’m really passionate about functional fitness, so I love incorporating creative, challenging HIIT workouts for myself. I prefer push/pull splits and believe RECOVERY and FORM are your two best friends.
I care so much more about low weight, high frequency when building appropriate form and strengthening each muscle that should be engaged, big and small. In the past my routine was working out 6 days a week for approximately 2.5 hours, but post-competition I work out 3-4 times a week and try to maintain an active lifestyle outside the gym.
After workouts, I take my 310Nutrition plant-based protein! It’s a super clean COMPLETE protein that tastes great and mixes well.
I believe in maintaining a healthy, balanced lifestyle diet instead of a bulking/shredding cycle now that I have taken a step back from competitions.
I was vegan for about 2.5 years, and now I enjoy a fairly flexible pescatarian diet, incorporating 5 different COLORS in my diet per day (raw food colors) and 3 colors per meal.
This was a recommendation by my doctor to ensure I was eating a variety and getting sufficient nutrients! I like to train at gyms that have a close-knit community, where frequenters are treated like family and encouraging each other, even if their training styles/competition preferences are different!
I prefer bodybuilding gyms over CrossFit type environments.
👊 How do you keep going and push harder?
Getting to the gym is the most important part. Setting small, realistic goals for myself if I ever fall off has helped me stay consistent and build a positive relationship with the routine.
I like to work out in evenings because I use the gym as my stress relief, but some people prefer mornings! It’s all about finding the right rhythm for you and getting in tune with your goals, while being honest about your not-so-productive habits.
The first month or so of building a new routine is brutal, but now the gym is my sanctuary, and easily the best part of my day! Life can be unpredictable and chaotic, whether it be work or traveling.
I actually enjoy vacation workouts, especially to warmer climates I feel so motivated to get active and jump back into my happy space. I allow more flexibility in my diet while traveling, such as more fruits and natural sugars.
Being flexible and adaptable in your routine, while still maintaining discipline is key to longevity.
🏆 How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
I am focused on incorporating more than just bodybuilding into my active lifestyle. I think it’s important to focus on a variety of hobbies and exploring new adventures, where you get to enjoy your newfound strength, coordination, and balance!
Bodybuilding is and will always be my first love. Outside of fitness, I model professionally, so staying fit and maintaining an ideal body image is important because it helps me develop a niche in my market. The future looks bright!
🤕 How do you recover, rest and handle injuries?
A day before my first NPC competition, I headed to the gym to get started on my evening workout. I really didn’t want to get my cardio done, so I figured I’d do it before my lifting regimen.
Bad idea. 10 minutes into sprints, I pulled my psoas from not properly warming up. I called my coach, who was screaming CLEARLY not happy that I didn’t follow the workout plan as instructed.
She said that my sprints were designed to be done after my workout because my muscles were specifically warmed up after my lifts to prevent said injury!
I struggled to walk and wondered if I would make it on stage the next day. I did, thankfully, but the injury persisted and affected my workouts for years.
That’s when I discovered Bowen work. Bowen is an Australian bodywork that uses cross-fiber stimulation and minimal-touch myofascial release to stimulate the body’s self-healing response.
As an athlete, we constantly strive to break the cycle of injury, recovery, and re-injury. Bowen is the first modality that has successfully disrupted the continuous loop and helped me to improve my performance and release tension-patterns in the body that were holding me back.
I even got certified as a Bowen practitioner so that I could understand and help fellow athletes!
The most important thing to do to avoid injury is to PRIORITIZE RECOVERY WORK. Foam rolling, yoga, Bowen, massage, and saunas/steam rooms are all very effective at releasing the body of necessary toxins and stretching the muscles.
Trigger point therapy, and traditional foam rollers are my favorite pre and post-workout.
As for recovery and efficiency supplements, I like to keep it minimum and natural. I prefer to get most of my nutrients in a calculated, whole-food diet.
I take CLAs, BCAAs (I like bodytech’s), magnesium, green tea capsules, and most importantly, LOTS of water and 8-9 hours of sleep each night.
🍎 How is your diet and what supplements do you use?
Maintaining my mental health and a positive relationship with food is my #1 priority these days. I respect individuals who commit to competition lifestyle long-term, but each person’s story is different and their dietary needs reflect that.
I have done intermittent fasting on a 90% plant-based diet for the past 2 years, following a strict vegan diet. Intermittent fasting has allowed me to eat more intuitively, as well as not feel guilty about the volume in my meals (ya girl likes to eat).
I no longer count calories, but instead I pay attention to the macronutrients I’m getting from my foods and keep a consistent regimen while cooking at home.
I love eating out! Who doesn’t? In American culture, we tend to see eating as a competition, and there’s an intuitive race to finish our food and clean our plate. I no longer “race” to finish my meals, I eat slowly, listen to my body, and stop eating when I’m full.
Leftovers or later snacks are my new best friends! Who doesn’t want to enjoy more food, for longer?
Your body wants to work with you, and building an awesome intuitive relationship with your cravings enhances its ability to do so.
Cravings are happening for a REASON, so when they do occur, I try to identify: is this an emotional craving, or what nutrient am I missing?
I am not so Strict on monitoring my sweet tooth after years of NO sugar (yes, even fruit) in a competition diet. Small amounts of natural sugars are our friends! I LOVE Honey and raw sugar over other sweeteners, it doesn’t disrupt my energy levels as much.
👍 What has inspired and motivated you?
I have been inspired by so many bad-a** fitness women and men in this industry! My coaches, online influencers, and fellow local gym-rats have motivated me and helped me feel part of ths sacred community.
Nikki Blackketter is someone who especially inspires me, because when I was deep in my training she was my #1 trainer inspiration. I feel she has also kept active and shifted her relationship with fitness in a way that reflects my journey as well.
I am all for seeing people evolve and fall in love with themselves in each chapter!
✏️ Advice for other people who want to improve themselves?
Build a solid emotional relationship with yourself. Love where you’re at right now, and don’t focus on becoming “improved”. Focus on becoming evolved. All of you is beautiful.
Injecting positivity into your mindset and your training will make the experience that much more enjoyable, and will actually help you achieve your goals quicker.
I can’t stand when I see men who mansplain form to me getting “creative” with the cable machines in a way that torques their spine. What muscle are you working out?! Are you trying to throw your back out?
That being said, I think it’s wrong to judge someone else’s training while in the gym and give unsolicited advice. ESPECIALLY if you are not a certified PT, this perspective you have may not be ideal for the individual and cold potentially injure them.
🤝 Are you taking on clients right now?
It is my summer goal to finally get my NASM certification! I have been so lucky to have coaches and trainers who are comprehensive, and explain the science of why certain workouts are effective and the ins-and-outs of bikini training.
Although I’ve learned a lot of technical advice for my personal journey, I look forward to applying this knowledge to help others as a certified PT!
📝 Where can we learn more about you?
My Instagram is my most active profile, let’s connect! @aquarianroses.
💬 Rachel Rose quotes
Rachel shares some great, motivating insights in this interview. Feel free to share these quotes on your Instagram, Pinterest and so on 😍