Fitness Athlete Valen van Zyl Talks with SportsFuel

in Sportsfuel Articles and Blog
Fitness Athlete Valen van Zyl Talks with SportsFuel
Meet Valen van Zyl, the hottest 5 foot inch fitness Athlete Model from Hamilton, New Zealand. She won 2nd place at the prestigious NZIFBB (New Zealand International Federation of Body Building) competition. She is also a brand ambassador of Sportsfuel and one of the sexiest woman for the month of June according to Star Central Magazine. So,  Let's find out how she get into body building and her story.

Get your pen and paper as she share her tips on having a fit and strong body like hers!

1. How did you get started in your sport?

Growing up, I absolutely hated sport and wanted nothing to do with it. I was more of a 'stay-inside-doing-homework' geek. I had a couple of pivotal moments in my life where I experienced loss, hurt and grief which left me depressed and feeling pretty down in the dumps for a couple of years. For that time, I would tend to turn to alcohol and those unhealthy remedies to make myself feel better.

Once I hit university, I packed on the weight pretty quickly. This made me more unhappy and it wasn't until I met my partner in crime (Shaun), that my life began to change for the better. He introduced me to the gym; he helped me to learn the basics of weight lifting, and how best to structure my workouts to hit my goals. His dream was always to jump up on stage, and I watched him begin to prepare for his first bodybuilding competition, and after much debate, I actually begun to be quite intrigued by the bodybuilding lifestyle. I have now competed in two NZIFBB competitions in the bikini category, my second one coming home with a silver medal and a Nationals qualification, and I'm hooked!

2. What is your favorite workout right now?

The typical girl would usually count down the days to train their glutes, but personally, I have to say that shoulders are my favorite workout. There are so many exercises and variations to do to work and build your shoulders that I can constantly keep it interesting. For the past two competition preparations, I've been working with the infamous Jess Coate, a fitness athlete also who annihilates my glutes and shoulders each week, and I have to say that my workouts with her are also a favorite!

3. How many hours do you train in a typical week?

I pretty much always train 6 days a week unless my body is screaming for a rest. At this point in time, I am doing 30 minutes of cardio a day (just an incline walk on the treadmill) and typically spend about 45 minutes to an hour training weights on these days. When preparing for a competition, this routine is usually what sticks. I never do more than 45 minutes of cardio a day, even when getting close to a competition. I choose to keep doing cardio during my off season as I feel a lot more active and healthier, and doesn't bring any shocks to my body when I'm suddenly incorporating a lot of cardio at once close to a competition. I will have a rest day each week to give my body a day to recover and sleep in, while gaining some energy back to smash another full 6 days of training.

4. What is your favorite food right now?

Does BurgerFuel count? :P Haha. To be honest, I eat the same 6 meals each day, and I am in such a habit of this, that I rarely get sick of them. Probably my favorite meal is mince and kumara. I never get sick of mince and don't feel the need to add any flavoring to it to make it enjoyable, and there are so many different ways you can cook kumara to make it tasty.

5. What do you eat on a typical day?

Breakfast: Protein oats with Prosupps Iso-Whey, with Watties lite peaches.

Meal 2: Apple and ProSupps protein shake.

Lunch: Mince, vegetables, kumara.

Pre-workout: Rice thins with peanut-butter and a protein shake (and usually a coffee too!)

Dinner: Mince, vegetables, kumara.

Supper: Jarrah hot chocolate.

I work with Tarren McCall from Champion Nutrition who sets my meals and controls my portion sizes and alters the amount of protein, carbs and fats whenever she feels is needed depending on how close or how far away a competition is. She ensures that I am always enjoying the foods I'm eating while being able to (usually) have a cheat meal each week if everything is on track. This cheat meal helps me to stay sane, while giving me a respite in my energy to ensure I'm training to my full potential each week.

6. If you could give someone only one piece of advice, what would it be?

Just make sure what you're choosing to do is making YOU happy. Having a healthy lifestyle doesn't necessarily mean you have to gym every day or eat in a calorie deficit. You don't always need a strict goal that you religiously live to. You may just workout simply for the enjoyment. However, having a goal in place reduces the risk of you making excuses. If you're looking to either compete, or make some serious results with your body, I do recommend talking to some sort of coach, nutritionist or trainer who has qualifications or serious knowledge up their sleeve to make sure you are doing things in the healthiest way possible, while also having someone to keep you accountable for your training and eating.

There really are no limits. I have come out of some pretty dark places. Now I am living a lifestyle that I never dreamed would be possible and I'm achieving some pretty remarkable things. It took a bit of patience and hard work, but once you see some sort of result, it becomes easier and you get addicted to wanting more!

7. What supplements do you use?

Since becoming a sponsored athlete of ProSupps, I have been very lucky to try some supplements that I usually wouldn't be able to afford to invest in. Currently, I am taking:

ProSupps DNPX first thing in the morning. This is a fat burner that I use and is a huge help when preparing for a competition and assists in helping me to burn fat, while giving me an energy boost with no crash.

ProSupps Iso-Whey is probably the main supplement I use which is a protein that I drink both by itself when needed and in my oats in the mornings to ensure I am still getting a source of protein in the morning. I used to have a lot of problems last competition with proteins and gave them up altogether as I would become bloated when using certain proteins. Using ProSupps Iso has helped me to rid this problem, has fewer calories, and tastes amazing.

About an hour before my workout, I take two ProSupps NO3 Drive tablets. This again increases my energy levels while helping me to recover quicker after a workout.

Half an hour before bed, I will also have a scoop of ProSupps Crash. I love this stuff! It puts me into a deep sleep, so I'm not waking up throughout the night like I previously was. Sleep is an essential part of training and recovery. This supplement is key for that.

ProSupps AminoX is absolutely amazing. You can buy in a range of flavors so there will always be at least one to satisfy your taste buds. Along with most of the supplements I've mentioned, it aids in muscle recovery and decreases the deterioration of the muscle you work so hard to grow.

Obviously these supplements are not vital to get results or look good. Strict diet and training does all that for you if you're consistent. These are just supplements which do exactly that; SUPPLEMENT a good diet and training routine. If you can afford or have access to supplements like these, they do a great deal in making things a bit easier.

8. What are your goals for the future?

My short term goal at the moment is to do/place as well as I possibly can in the NZIFBB Nationals in October this year. Depending on what happens at this competition will determine other future goals I have, but long-term, I would love to qualify and compete in an international competition and eventually earn my NZIFBB Pro Card as a Bikini competitor. It will be a long, hard, but such a rewarding process.

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