We talked with Yasmine Rawls in May, 2020.
Hi! Tell us about yourself and your training
Hey!! My name is Yasmine (Yaz-meen). I’m from the Sunshine State!!! I’m 25 years old. By day I am a Physical Education Teacher and outside of that I’m a professional fitness model and a personal trainer.
I have been an athlete my entire life. Competitively I played Soccer, Football, Softball, FlagFootball, ran track and I was a Cheerleader in college.
I have a beginning dance background in Ballet & Step and I served as a Dynasty Dancer in my high school’s marching band!
My athleticism landed me the acknowledgement of my high school’s “Most Athletic Female” for the Class of 2012.
I continued my journey as an athlete in a different playing field now as a Pro Natural Bikini Competitor!
Describe a typical day of training
A typical day of training usually involves me going to work and using my lunch break for cardio and then after work I go to the gym and weight train.
When I’m on prep I do fasted cardio early in the morning, train and then more cardio after the workout.
I separate my workouts Shoulders, Chest & Back, Arms (biceps/ triceps) and then I have Leg day and Glutes days.
The length of my workouts depends on the day but I can honestly spend up to 3 hours in the gym in one session when I train with my Coach at BBL Fitness and between 1 and 3 hours on average training alone.
I love, LOve, LOVE working chest, back and shoulders. If someone were to ask me my favorite body part (aesthetically speaking) I’d most likely say my back.
I used to train between 5 and 6 days a week especially during my competition season. My competition Coach is Loleta Riley in Pembroke Pines, the owner of BBL Fitness.
When I first started competing I would go train with her and some of my teammates whenever I could but for the most part I train alone.
It’s funny because I’m a “people person” and having been an athlete for so long, coming from team sports like football, soccer, softball and even track, I always trained in groups and I loved it.
The motivation and the push that comes with training with others is amazing but the sport that I’m now in as a Bikini athlete is a little different!
I mostly train at my local gym and the majority of the people there don’t have the same intentions as I do with fitness during competition season.
I’ve found by experience and through observation, if I work with them I’ll find myself standing around talking and taking unnecessary breaks between sets so its better that I stay to myself and handle my business.
My dad and brothers are powerlifters though. They’re really the only ones I can train with at the gym I workout at but even with that, their intentions and training style is different so it puts me back at square one lol SOLO!!! I get my workout in and go eat!
How do you keep going and push harder?
I keep going by looking back and seeing how far I’ve come with the belief that “I’m not finished yet” .
One thing that’s huge for me is faith. Without it I dont know where I would be. I hold onto EVERY OUNCE of what I believe God has promised for me especially as an athlete with a special call.
When my motivation is low I acknowledge my feelings, I trade the negatives thought with positive reinforcement, I listen to motivational speeches, I pray and I get back on track pressing towards the mark.
Many people would be suprised to find that 70% of the time I pray (talk to God) and listen to full sermons while I’m working out.
The other 30% is split between Silence, Motivational Speeches and Music. I think I’ve been able to remain an athlete for so long by the grace of God.
I’ve learned that this is a lifestyle and not a race against time or a competition against anyone else. I’ve learned to be patient with myself and my journey.
I’ve learned that in the process of trying to do things and chase my dreams, I’m the one being done by God. And what I mean by that is, my prep for competition in hind sight was and is ALWAYS more about the internal work God is doing within me.
Preparing me for a greater cause, molding me and growing me mentally, spiritually, and physically. Every prep brung forth internal changes.
He’s cultivating me. He’s creating the masterpiece he had in mind when he thought of “ME”. I like to tell people. ART CANNOT BE RUSHED! And that’s how I view this process or journey as an athlete.
I am the work of God’s hands in every situation, I cannot be rushed, my results cannot be rushed, my recovery cannot be rushed, my gains cannot be rushed. Everything is right on track.
It’s like I have a personal hypeman “Keep going Yaz, you can do it, you will be all God has called you to be” #MoreThanAnAthlete lol and “You must finish the marathon!”
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
Today I am amazing. Though we are quarantined and life is looking quite different for everyone, I’ve been given the gift of Life and for that I’m grateful. I have been RESTING
The future includes welcoming any opportunities God has for me in and outside of the bodybuilding world. I must say, I used to fill up vision boards with goals and plans for what I wanted to do and accomplish but on my journey I’ve come to the understanding that sometimes no matter what I say the future holds, there’s already a plan designed for me to walk in.
I think alot of my “future planning” in the past had to do with reaching to achieve or obtain things that would make me feel like “someone” in this world or give me a sense of belonging but the reality is I’ve been that “someone” the whole time even back when I was writing all those future plans.
So now my future this go around looks like living and allowing. I’m going to keep doing what I enjoy and continue on my journey to Ms Olympia which I know is ultimately preparing me for another crown!
How do you recover, rest and handle injuries?
After my first 2 years of competing, I learned the importance of listening to your body. Where normally I would’ve worked out 5 or 6 days a week, pushing through any fatigue or pain, I now follow my body’s request to rest.
If I have to take a week off, I will. If I only get 3 days of training in, it’s fine! Even if I’m on prep, I do what best for my body because competing is just a branch on my lifestyle tree.
For me it’s about longevity! I’ve found that listening to my body is key for rest, for injury prevention and results on and off stage.
I’ll never forget the break I took after my first 2 years of competing. I was out of the gym for almost two months and when I came back EVERYONE was telling me how healthy and well rested my body looked.
I COULD FEEL what they were expressing and I knew it was from the release that took place during my rest. The lines and physical improvements I was working so hard for during my season, freely came through after during that time of rest.
If I would have forced myself to continue “grinding” without that break my body probably would’ve soon forced me to take a break in whatever way and my results would’ve been stunted.
The resting, recovery period is so important especially for athletes that are 100% natural. Listen to your body just as I have learned to listen to mine.
As for injuries, if you do become injured, see that as a sign for the need to rest. Allow it and then move forward in due time.
How is your diet and what supplements do you use?
My diet is pretty conventional however, I tend to give my body what it’s asking for. If my body desires only vegetables for the week, that’s what I’ll eat. If my body decides we don’t want meat for a month or two, then Adios Meat!!!
This is a lifestyle for me so I don’t force myself to strictly cling to one way or another, I listen to my body. Even as a bikini competitor, I’ve found that not forcing myself to stick to a specific meal plan still works for me.
My meal choices on and off prep are all in the clean eating realm. So if I’m on or off prep I don’t have to stress out about what I’m going to pick at a restaurant if I go out to eat or if I get invited to an outing.
If I’m on a strict prep I actually walk into the restaurant with my food because I carry my meal prep with me in my 6Pack Fitness lunch bag.
Nothing stops me from attending gatherings or going out to eat! If I’m on prep and I happen to not have food with me, I make the obvious best choice on the menu and enjoy my time.
Most times it ends up being a grilled chicken salad if they have it or I’ll put together my own if they have salad mix and chicken on the menu! Fun fact: I love grilled chicken salads!
While we’re on the topic of “diets” shout out to my mom. I’d like to think I naturally make “healthy choices” because that’s how I was raised!
My mom was really into making sure we ate well portioned, nutritionally balanced meals. I didn’t grow up eating “junk food”, fried foods or greasy foods.
Even the majority of our snacks were healthy and she was always moderate with seasonings and sugar. I feel like she was preparing me to become who i am without truly knowing who i was going to be!
I’d say the biggest challenge for me when when I first started competing was having to repeat the same exact meals. Honey, I was like, No sir, No ma’am! This is NOT the gag! Lol!
I got used to it over time but I definitely intend on switching to “flexible dieting” in my next upcoming season.
As for supplements, all of my supplements come from Women’s Best! Their products work well for me so I have stuck to them for the past few years.
They have amazing protein flavors and their bcaas taste like a treat in a jar and I love the way they treat their supporters and customers!
What has inspired and motivated you?
I’m inspired by my ability to ignite change by the Grace of God. My intentions have always been to motivate and inspire other people.
I grew up seeing people in the world and even some family members struggle with various health issues and obesity and I wanted to make a change.
At such a young age, I didn’t really see how I could start making a change so the natural reaction was to head in the opposite direction and I became the change I wanted to see.
I then followed up with becoming a trainer when I reached the appropriate age and later on a P.E. Teacher in hopes of reaching the youth and inspiring them to grow up walking in the direction of change.
Advice for other people who want to improve themselves?
My advice to anyone looking to improve themselves is to FOCUS on their personal canvas (self) and NEVER get sucked into the “comparison” game.
Whether it be on social media looking at other fit people or in the gym looking at other people. Comparison is the prerequisite for insecurity and it comes from a sense of lack.
Whether it be a lack of identity, purpose or lack of confidence in who you are and the life you have been given. Please say no to comparison!!!! Lol No NO NO!!!
No matter what your goals are, I encourage you to not compare your appearance or your journey to anyone else’s.
It’s okay to set goals and to ADMIRE the results of other people. It’s okay to feel INSPIRED by someone else’s results but it is NEVER okay to compare yourself and then work towards becoming the person you compared yourself to. FOCUS ON YOUR CANVAS.
Many people become discouraged or quit because they put so much energy into becoming someone else and aren’t seeing the results they expected to see.
You can completely overlook your own results and miss the joys of your journey because you’ve compared yourself to someone else and allowed their body to consciously or subconsciously become “the standard”.
Now you’re looking for your body to reach that “standard” not realizing whatever it was, is not what’s meant for you and then you become unhappy, unmotivated and uncomfortable with yourself. No Sir, No Ma’am! Say no to comparison!
I see this happen all the time with folks working towards someone else’s shape, butt size, ab definition, etc.
Your only job on this fitness journey, is to grow and be the goal! You have your own canvas! Being the goal requires focusing on what YOU can become without judging yourself based on the standards you’ve set observing other people or the standards society has set.
If you want a flat stomach, don’t say “I want a stomach like *whoever*”, say “I want a flat stomach”. Work towards it and love it at every step of becoming where you see it going. That may be with or without abs. It may be a 4 pack or an 8 pack.
No matter the outcome you’ll be able to freely acknowledge it, love it and continue working towards that goal without the pressure or distraction of trying to become “the standard” that is someone else. I hope you understand what I’m saying.
Are you taking on clients right now?
I released a general fitness program with live virtual group training 3 times a week for $10 Monthly. You can find that at patreon.com/prettymuscles. I will soon be launching my online weightloss program soon!
I specialize in Weightloss and Transformations. My training style is a little different from most trainers. I believe fitness is a combination of the mind, body and spirit so I approach training with a balance of all three in mind.
Because of this results can begin immediately it’s just a matter of which area the immediate results are in. Usually those results begin in the mind and physical results are soon follow within the first 2 weeks of training and nutrition IF the person is fully committed on their end. It’s a process!
The most common question I get is “what can I do to get rid of my stomach without changing what I eat?” To which I’d respond, “You can become disciplined”.
With a question like this I can immediately see the lack of balance (mind, body, spirit) and work that needs to be done mentally before they even begin the journey of midsection weight loss.
9 times out of 10, if the person that asks a question like this doesn’t do the mental work, they’ll end up back in the same exact situation later on after they’ve reached their goals and reversed all their hard work.
They end up back at the same point, proposing the same question again with a story of what they “used to be” or how they “used to look” attached because they did the physical work but not the mental or spiritual work.
Where can we learn more about you?
My website (www.pretty-muscles) is currently under construction but I can still be found via Instagram and YouTube.