We talked with Mandy Harbin in June, 2020.
Hi! Tell us about yourself and your training
I am Mandy Harbin and I am a 33 year old mom of 3. I am from Georgia but moved to Alabama three years ago with my now husband, Stephen. I am a Product Owner for a medical software company, I work from home 40 hours a week and also an online coach.
I only started training in April 2018 for my first competitions. I fell in love with the sport and haven’t stopped since. I was a competitive cheerleader growing up.
I currently have all my food sponsored by Prestons in Troy AL. I asked for my Miami competition if they would provide the chicken (even offered to pay) and then a sponsorship aspired from there.
I love that with bodybuilding you meet so many new female friends. I keep in touch with them and some I talk to several times a week. And we are each other’s competition 🙂
Ha, so I hear it all the time “its only one bite”, “its only one drink”. People just do not get that it’s not just one for us, we cannot have it.
Describe a typical day of training
I GO HARD, 100 %, all in, everyday! (except my one off day)
Typically, I work back twice a week. Quads and hamstrings are separate days and chest, shoulders and triceps are together. I do steady state cardio 6-7 days a week. And HIIT 3-4 days a week with steady state. I usually train weights for an hour – 1.5 hours. I have hired Autumn Cleveland as my coach this year.
Off-season, I keep it clean and stay pretty lean so that I can ease into prep.
My gym had the roof torn off so I have been training at a local rec gym here where I live. Really missing the other gym bad. It is definitely built for bodybuilders.
I take pre-workout and beta-alanine pre-workout, I take BCAAS during workout.
I love working shoulders, I feel like I am watching them get bigger. I also love working glutes. I use an Apple Watch to track all my workouts. And I use the Trainerize app to track training goals.
In my gym bag, I have: Plastic forks, gum, gloves, belt, elbow wrap, knee wraps, ankle straps and lip gloss. 🙂
How do you keep going and push harder?
I usually don’t have an issue going to the gym, with three kids, it’s my quiet space. I like to log my weight and reps each time and try to beat them on that movement the next time.
Sometimes I can’t because I am not feeling as strong but I sure as heck try. I keep going because I know there is always someone out there working just as hard for that #1 spot.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
I am FANTASTIC. I love my foods right now (currently 13 weeks out).
I love my training. I plan to get my pro card this year, 2020 and have a pro debut in 2021.
Just gonna keep killing it everyday until i get to where i want to be but honestly i will never be finished. I love the sport.
I would also tell my younger self to learn more about nutrition and lifting, as a teenager and adult I didn’t really eat great nor go to a gym and I could’ve been so much farther in my bodybuilding career if I had.
How do you recover, rest and handle injuries?
Thankfully, I have not had any serious injuries, of course we can all get fatigued and be sore and that can be tough in itself. I make sure to try to get at least seven hours of sleep a night, in bed by 10:30. Usually up pretty early around 6 am.
I use Taurine for cramps that might keep me up at night. I also love NuEthix products and use most of them everyday. Please use my discount code Mandy10.
How is your diet and what supplements do you use?
Since I am in prep, I am on a prep diet from my coach. Still eating tons though. six times a day too. I love it. Lots of protein and lots of carbs!!! I am getting a little over 2000 calories a day right now (13 weeks out).
I am eating about the same as I did in the past off-season but my next off-season, I plan to have more now that I know my body can handle it.
If there are social events, I usually will take my food where I go if I know there aren’t options that I can have. When I have a high carb meal I use nuethix.com/GDA-Max (Code Mandy10).
I currently do not get a cheat day but I do get 50 extra carbs now and then. I try to eat every two to three hours. I do stay pretty lean the whole year but I do add about 20-25 lbs in the offseason.
I have a cup of coffee every morning to start my day. I also use MyFitnessPal to track all my food, even when they are the same thing everyday.
What has inspired and motivated you?
Tiffany Chandler and Autumn Cleveland. They were the first competitors I started following when I started my journey two years ago.
I love a few podcast:
- Real Bodybuilding Podcast
- Physical Culture Radio
- The Excellence Cartel
I use Spotify in the gym and have an array of music. I am really liking the station Yung Skrrt – Hit it right now.
The best advice I have ever been given was “Bring a better you each time” And that is ALWAYS my plan.
Advice for other people who want to improve themselves?
Start by researching what it is and if you really want to compete. It takes a lot, physically and mentally. I think some people can under eat and over do cardio and you need food to fuel your body. A lot of people just don’t eat the right foods.
I am still learning every day new workouts and how to make the gym fun. I am not a fan of the same repetitive routine in the gym. I want it to make me sore and know I was doing the work.
Are you taking on clients right now?
I am completely full with clients right now. I specialize in online-only clients for weight loss and training. I have worked with competitors as well but I love working with lifestyle clients and helping them hit one small milestone at a time, plus I help them with tracking and learning how to count macros so they can be successful without me.
Where can we learn more about you?
YouTube: Mandy Harbin