I always feel more motivated to boost my exercise routine when I am around those who work so hard to stay in shape. So I was thrilled to run into fitness model, Jamie Eason, recently at the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, Ohio. She's bright, buff, and beautiful... but she hasn't always been in tip top shape. The former Houston Texans NFL cheerleader is now a spokesmodel for BodyBuilding.com. She talks to FatFighterTV about her workouts, her struggles, and the health scare that got her to change her diet and exercise for good.
Jamie Eason: Quick Stats
Weight: 106 - 112 lbs.
FatFighterTV: What are your biggest accomplishments?
Jamie Eason: My biggest accomplishments thus far are graduating college with a bachelor's degree, buying my first home, becoming an Oxygen cover model and winning the title of World's Fittest Model in 2006.
FFTV: When were you a Houston Texans NFL Cheerleader? And for how long?
JE: I was a Houston Texans NFL Cheerleader in 2001. I only cheered that one year.
FFTV: What are you working on right now?
JE: I shoot for magazines on a monthly basis and represent BodyBuilding.com as a full-time spokesmodel. This year I am focusing on producing a fitness video.
FFTV: Have you always been in good shape?
JE: No, I was more of what I would call "skinny fat". I have always been a healthy weight, but there was no tone to speak of. Though I was fairly active in dance and sports, I ate poorly and my skin texture appeared pudgy in some areas and lumpy in others.
FFTV: How… and why did you get started in weight training?
JE: Growing up I always felt the same pressures that most girls face to be pretty and accepted by my peers. I always struggled with my body image, though I was never really overweight. After my stint as a Texans Cheerleader ended, returning to a fairly sedentary lifestyle and changing to a desk job really took a toll on my body. I gained some weight from poor eating habits and lack of exercise. The cellulite was creeping up, yet I couldn't find the motivation to get to the gym. It took a breast cancer scare to really wake me up and realize that I was not as healthy as I should be. Thankfully, early detection and a lumpectomy prompted a visit to a nutritionist and ultimately led to my stepping foot back into a gym. It was a struggle at first to stay consistent, but with help from both a nutritionist and trainer, 6 months later, my body had really transformed.
FFTV: Do you enjoy weight training?
JE: Yes, I love it! Weight training, in my opinion, is really the fountain of youth. The endorphins that are created from really exerting yourself pushing and pulling weight, can really revitalize you. It not only reduces stress but adding muscle to your physique makes you stronger, more nimble and ultimately makes you look better.
FFTV: What is your typical workout schedule?
JE: I have had a hectic travel schedule lately, so I just recently started heading back to the gym with more consistency. My current workout routine is as follows:
MON: Back: (increase weight on each set)
Pull-ups 5 X 5 (slow and controlled)
Single Arm Dumbbell Rows 3 X 10
T-bar Row 3 X 10
Seated Rows Close-Grip 3 X 10
Lat Pull-downs 3 X 10
CARDIO: warm-up at 3.5 MPH for 3 - 5 minutes, 20 minutes of sprints at level 9, 30 seconds on and 30 seconds of rest
TUES: Shoulders: (increase weight on each set)
Seated Dumbbell Press 3 X 10
Side Lateral Dumbbell Raises 3 X 10, last set is a drop set (ex. 15 lbs. for 10 reps, 12 lbs. for 10 reps, and 10 lbs. for 10 reps)
Seated Rear Delt Flyes on Machine 3 X 10, superset with front barbell raises 3 X 10
Dropset of Lateral Raises with Cables 3 X 10
CARDIO: 40 minutes on stepmill at level 8
WED: Legs: (Quads & Calves)
Seated Leg Extensions 1 X 20 (light), 3 X 10, last set a drop set
Smith Machine Squats (narrow stance) 3 X 15, or last set to failure
Leg Press (feet in center of platform) 3 X 15, or last set to failure
Walking Barbbell Lunges, superset with adducter machine 3 X 20, progressively increase weight
Standing Calf Raises 3 X 20
Seated Calf Raises 3 X 15 (pause at the top)
CARDIO: 1 mile run
THRS: CARDIO of Choice for 40 - 60 minutes
FRI: Arms, Chest & Abs: (with active rests, works best with a partner)
Seated Incline Dumbell Press 2 X 10, followed immediately by alternating dumbbell curls 2 X 10, and finally incline dumbbell flyes 2 X 10 (all performed in succession)
*immediately begin jumping rope while partner performs the same routine (about 2 minutes) and then repeat the above exchanging alternating dumbbell curls with skull crushers or dips 2 X 10 (so 4 sets in all)
Cable Flyes 2 X 10, followed immediately by cable bicep curls using straight bar 2 X 10
*immediately begin mountain climbers while partner peforms same routine (about 50 mountain climbers) and then repeat the above exchanging cable curls with cable tricep pushdowns 2 X 10 (so 4 sets in all)
Roman Chair Leg Raises 3 X 10
Alternating Bicycle Crunches 3 X 25
SAT: Legs: (Hams, Glutes & Calves)
Seated Leg Curls 1 X 20 (light), 3 x 10, last set a drop set
Smith Machine Squats (wide leg stance) 3 X 15, or last set to failure
Leg Press (feet high on platform) 3 X 15, or last set to failure
Stiff-legged Deadlift 3 X 15, or last set to failure
Lying Leg Curl 3 X 10, last set to failure
Seated Calf Raises 3 X 10 with pauses at the top, superset with calf presses on the leg press machine 3 X 20
CARDIO: 1 mile run
FFTV: How hard is it to look that good?!!
JE: Unfortunately, it's not easy! If it were, everyone would look fit all the time. People need to realize, women especially, that what you see in magazines is not only enhanced with Photoshop, but many models are photographed around contest time or the women have trained specifically for the shoot. I will be the first to admit that even with my best efforts, stress and hormones alone, will add 8 to 10 pounds of water weight that are sometimes unavoidable before a shoot. It is very difficult to achieve the perfect look we see in magazines, and nearly impossible to maintain it for any length of time. Age, hormones and genetics are all big factors. However, I can say with great certainty that a consistent healthy meal plan and weight training routine can drastically improve your appearance.
FFTV: Are there days when you don't want to workout? How do you overcome that?
JE: Yes! This happens quite often. I have learned to do many of my workout routines at home so that I can't use time or not wanting to "get ready" as excuses. The key is to get in a few short workouts during the day that really exert some serious effort. I will turn on my favorite TV show and literally finish a routine in 15 to 20 minutes. I try and do that twice and when I do, I feel really good. I always try and tap into that feeling when I'm not in the mood to exercise or I've had a challenging day. As for actually going to the gym, get a buddy. Really push one another to make the commitment and show up.
FFTV: Weight training can be intimidating. What is a good way for beginners to get started?
JE: Take a buddy with you to show you around the gym, or better yet, pay a trainer for a few weeks until they have shown you 3 to 4 exercises for each major muscle group in the body and you feel confident performing them on your own. Also, buy the latest fitness magazines and really educate yourself on why you are doing each exercise. It will help you squeeze the proper muscles and get the most benefit from your workout.
FFTV: A big reason people don't workout is they don't have time. Any advice?
JE: Yes, stop making excuses! There are opportunities to add exercise everywhere. When you run the microwave at home, do some jumping jacks or run in place until the time is up. When given an option at work or in an office building, always take the stairs. Also, do lunges or squats while brushing your teeth and for Pete's sakes, quit circling the parking lot to get a closer space. Park a reasonable distance away and walk.
Jamie also dishes about nutrition to FFTV - foods she avoids, her splurges, and her grocery list!
And check out her Plyometrics Workout video. You can do the exercises just about anywhere. All you need is a deck of cards… and a lot of stamina!
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