👋 Hi! Tell us about yourself and your training
Hello and thank you for the interview! My name is Nyla Fuller. I’m a Canadian bikini fitness competitor, fitness model and business professional (CPA).
I started competing with the NPC bikini division in 2014 while living and studying in the United States. I have since moved back to my home country (Canada) and recently started training with a Montreal-based team (Ludachris Fitness).
The bikini division has continually evolved, and my immediate goals are to add shape and size with a “lean bulk” to improve my weak points.
⏱ Describe a typical day of training
In the mornings, I start with fasted cardio, stretching and foam rolling. The amount and type of cardio varies, but currently I do 15-20 minutes of incline treadmill interval walking/sprinting.
I like to do cardio year-round (bulking or cutting phase) as it keeps my metabolism going, reduces joint stiffness and maintains a level of conditioning for photoshoots.
In the evenings, I lift for 1-1.5 hours. My current training split is legs/glutes/calves three days/week and upper body two days/week. My sets and reps are logged in an app so that my strength progress can be reviewed. When in contest prep, I usually do a second cardio session after weight training.
Some essentials in my gym bag:
- Weightlifting belt, gloves and shoes;
- Neoprene cardio training belt and runners;
- Various strengths of resistance bands and cable ankle cuffs for glute isolation work;
- Pre-workout drink: my favorite now is Allmax Amino-Cuts because it has 127mg caffeine, 250mg glutamine, 500mg L-carnitine and 725mg BCAAs per scoop. It gives me energy and focus without feeling “buzzy”. For bulking, I also add creatine and carb powder;
- Pre-workout carbs and sometimes extra sodium;
- Posing heels for posing practice;
- Post-workout whey-isolate protein shake.
If you spot me in the gym on an upper body day, I’m probably doing Arnold Presses, side lateral shoulder raises or lateral pull downs. My favorite lower body exercises are hamstring curls, hip thrusts, cable kickbacks and hip abductions.
👊 How do you keep going and push harder?
When I feel like quitting, I remember where I started. Everyone needs to have their own personal motivation for training. For me, being diagnosed with health conditions in 2014 was a wake-up call to prioritize a healthy lifestyle.
How I eat and train has a direct impact on the amount and kind of medications I need, how well I feel and the quality of life I will have.
I find it motivational to surround myself with like-minded individuals who want to improve and progress themselves. Working with a coach also increases my feeling of accountability and commitment to goals.
🏆 How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
I recently started training with coach Chris Gurunlian (Ludachris Fitness). Having taken two years away from the competition stage to focus on my home life, career and health, I feel it’s the right time to step up my game!
I’m out to build my best physique possible while prioritizing good health. The division I compete in (bikini) has continued to evolve over the past two years, and Chris is helping me develop my weak areas.
To compete, a person must be able to take criticism and feedback, because on stage the judges will immediately see flaws and imbalances. I know I have a lot to work on!
Our immediate goal is to gain strength and build muscle for a strong, curvy, lean hourglass shape. Depending on how quickly I progress, I could return to the competitive scene as soon as Fall 2020.
Although we’ve just started, I’m already learning new exercises, techniques, and ways of doing things. I’m focusing on lifting tempo and tension, and my strength has increased a lot in the first month. Being coachable means trying new things and learning through trial and error!
🤕 How do you recover, rest and handle injuries?
In my six years of competitive training, I’ve been fortunate to not incur any new injuries. Before lifting heavy, I warm up on the treadmill for five minutes, stretch lightly and perform a few lighter weight sets.
I have several injuries dating back to pre-bodybuilding days that reduce my range of motion and can get aggravated. To manage these, I stretch, foam roll often, get deep tissue massages (preferably weekly) and get chiropractic adjustments as needed. I also modify or avoid exercises that would strain old injuries.
Sleep is important for recovery. I aim for six to eight hours each night and take naps when I can. Each week I take one to two days completely off training to rest and recover. I’m also a fan of Epsom salt baths to help with muscle aches, detoxification and relaxation.
🍎 How is your diet and what supplements do you use?
My nutrition plan varies depending on whether I’m bulking or cutting. To lean out, I’ve consistently found carb cycling to be effective. Currently, I’m starting to “lean bulk” on 2,400 calories per training day.
My meal plan details macronutrients (fats, carbs, proteins) as well as fiber, sugar and sodium content. In a bulking phase, calories will gradually be increased to build muscle and gain a healthy amount of body weight.
My diet is based on clean carbs and proteins, including eggs, lean red meat, chicken breast, sweet potatoes, rice, some fruit, and lots of non-starchy, colorful vegetables.
I also add a “green shake” at breakfast for more easily digestible nutrients. My current favorite green powder product is NovaForme’s Cytrogreens for Athletes.
My plan is rounded out with supplements to ensure I’m intaking enough vitamins/minerals to support muscle repair and growth, have a healthy immune system and achieve good quality sleep. Some supplements that I take are Omegas, zinc, magnesium, glutamine and collagen.
👍 What has inspired and motivated you?
I find it inspiring to see people keep pushing through challenges and tough circumstances. There is always someone out there who has it worse than me, so when I feel like skipping a training session, I remember that I’m lucky to be healthy and able enough to do what I enjoy, which is lifting heavy ass weights!
I also find it motivating to see personal progress and development. I take a lot of progress photos for my coach, and when I look back through them, the development and change is obvious.
✏️ Advice for other people who want to improve themselves?
Figure out what your specific goals are. Find people who have been successful in these things and ask them questions or for tips. Really commit to getting to know yourself and your body – track your food intake using an app like MyFitnessPal, and take notes on how you feel exercising.
Hiring a personal trainer is helpful to learn exercises, form and how to use gym equipment. Working with a coach can guide a person through what to eat, how to train and what supplements to take.
🤝 Are you taking on clients right now?
Currently, I am not taking on clients but in the future this may be a possibility.
📝 Where can we learn more about you?
I hope to see you all on Instagram! @nyla.fitness