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Cheryl Frost Interview

Ingrid Barclay on Wednesday, 16 September 2015.

Cheryl Frost Interview

Name:  Cheryl FROST

Occupation:  Comp coach and nutrition coach (I've just sold my gym so I can focus on what I am most passionate about and what I love the most, using my knowledge and experience to help women be extraordinary and achieve their greatest potential. So many have so much untapped potential.

Gym Training at: Goodlife Mt Gravatt. Brisbane

Number of Comps Done: 16 comps. I've been competing for 12 years. I love how this sport not only achieves a great physique but it focuses your mind, and is an incredible vessel for developing discipline and self-improvement. I've been blessed to have the opportunity to compete in five international championships (Brazil, Italy, Korea, Malta and France)

· 2015 – 2nd WFF PRO Universe Show – La Ciotat FRANCE
· 2015 – 3rd NABBA World Titles – MALTA
· 2015 - OVERALL FIGURE CHAMPION – NABBA Southern Hemispheres
· 2015 – 1st Open Figure Class 1 NABBA Southern Hemispheres and
· 2014 – 1st WFF UNIVERSE – Superbody – KOREA – PRO CARD awarded
· 2014 – 2nd – NABBA Figure Class 1 Southern Hemispheres
· 2013 – 3rd – NABBA Worlds – Montecatini – ITALY
· 2013 – 2nd NABBA – Southern Hemispheres
· 2011 – NABBA Worlds – BRAZIL
· 2011 – 2nd – NABBA Southern Hemispheres
· 2010 – 1st - NABBA Southern Hemispheres
· 2009 – 1st – INBA – Tall figure open
· 2008 – did not place (spent a season also doing adventure racing!)
· 2006 – 1st –INBA – Tall figure open
· 2005 – 2nd INBA - Figure
· 2003 – 3rd – INBA Novice

How would you describe your current physique?  Well I'm off season...... J So I'm enjoying increasing my calories to increase my metabolism so it will put me in a better place when it comes time to diet in 2016. The years have taught me the importance of loving being strong as much as being lean, loving being healthy as much as being chiseled. We never reach perfection so improvement is something to constantly strive for. Hmm I think I avoided that question J I would love to think I could be described as strong, powerful, muscular and athletic! That's what I tell myself anyhow J

Could you describe a typical training regime that you have used to prepare for a show? Heavy. Consistent. Good form. My regimes constantly vary as long as I achieve progression and periodization.

Fav body part?  Shoulders and abs

Least fav body part?  Back – so much improvement still needed.

Most favorite exercise to perform?  Bench press – I feel strong and powerful when I press! Though I may have been indoctrinated by my husband who is the bench press king.

Describe a typical diet that you have used to prepare for a show?  Well......this is my favorite topic. I have been dieting for shows for the last 13 years. I have always dieted the typical "bodybuilding" hardcore way. Copious chicken/tuna and broccoli/beans and tons of cardio. I would arrive show day, depleted, exhausted, depressed, malnourished and metabolically damaged and then generally rebound.

This year I started to question mainstream comp prep nutritional strategies and began following the research of leading endocrinologist, Ray Peat and his associates. For the first time in 13 years I prepped doing no cardio and I ate an additional 600 calories a day. I achieved my best conditioning and muscularity and I was healthier and more energized. My diet was a "pro metabolic" diet and I used nutritional strategies focused on keeping me hormonally balanced, food to increase metabolism (thyroid production), reduce cortisol and insulin and balance estrogen.

I used the same approach with my comp athletes and all experienced the same spectacular results. By actually understanding why we eat certain foods, and how nutrition effects our cell metabolism, muscle growth and fat burning and keeps hormones balanced I achieved a faster metabolism, and felt the best I have ever felt. I know what it is like to prep with 2 hours a day cardio and eating 900 calories with no carbs. Never again. There is a better way.

This year I won the figure overall champions at the NABBA Southern Hemispheres, placed 3rd at the NABBA Worlds in Malta and 2nd at the WFF universe PRO show. I ate pro metabolic food right up to show day. Every day I ate fruit (ripe tropical fruit), honey, milk, gelatin, coconut oil and potatoes with butter, and of course fish, grass-fed beef and eggs.

Sugars from fruit and honey will actually spare protein and protect muscle. They are far more effective than protein in preventing muscle degradation. When you don't have enough sugar (natural sugars), cortisol will raise your blood sugar, at the expense of your lean muscle – breaking muscles, bones and glands down to find glucose to maintain life. Coconut oil is pro metabolic and gelatin balances the inflammatory and degenerative response we have from a diet high in muscle meat (and tryptophan)

Are you currently training to compete again? What are you doing differently this time?  Yes. Competing is ultimately about self-improvement. I don't necessarily want to be "bigger" so I'm training with shape and symmetry and my weak body parts in mind.

Share with us one of your interesting or best stories of your competing overseas....and what it is like competing internationally?

Exciting. Exhausting. Inspiring. Spectacular. Standing on stage with amazing women from all over the world – quite often none of us speak the same language yet there is a bond that is shared from our shared experiences. We all understand the journey, we all appreciate each other's efforts, and there is mutual respect and admiration. My last show I stood on stage with champions from Russia, France, Italy, Brazil, UK, Sweden and Africa. I have made so many friends. At world championships you feel like a movie star, posing for photographs, signing shirts it's all so surreal!

Competing overseas requires precision planning, you can't leave anything to chance. If I'm staying in a hotel I pack my George Foreman and kitchen scales and upon arrival in the country I go straight to a grocery store to buy containers and my supplies. Before I leave home I research where the food stores are and make sure I can access them, otherwise I pack all I need. I always carry extra with me otherwise I stress I'm going catabolic!

My first overseas comp (Brazil) I was told to drink one litre of water every hour I was in the air! – the flight was 16hours to Dubai then another 8 hours. This was crazy. We laugh about it now but if you can imagine us boarding the plane with 10 2 litre bottles of pump water. I spent the flight in the toilet.

WE have so many funny stories. My wonderful husband travels with me and I would be lost without him. In Malta we were in a gorgeous inner city gym deadlifting and we were asked to leave ("we don't do those kind of exercises here" – referring to deadlifts and squats – "we only do safe exercises". I was flabbergasted. For the first time in my life I felt like saying..."well that is why we look like we do and you look like you do!". Simon has lots of funny stories of being a competitors companion. He has had to pierce my ears after they closed, do my nails, apply eyelashes, been asked to tan naked random women, stitch my costume, and for a masculine guy this has its challenges!

What's your key supplement that you love and wouldn't skip for the world?  I used to spend a fortune on supplements. I now use real food. I use caffeine, OJ and honey as a pre workout, closer to comps I use L-Glutamine as I believe it's amazing for immunity and I always use BCAAs in my water when I train. They help with my recovery. That's it! But above all sleep, reduce stress, and eat balanced.

How do you stay so motivated?  Ah my other favorite topic. As I always say...it's not about motivation. It's about commitment. If I only trained when I felt motivated then I'd be skipping a lot of sessions. I train and eat well because I'm committed to achieving a goal and I'm committed to this lifestyle. It is a nonnegotiable. I am not always motivated but "cheating" or "quitting" is no longer an option. This is who I am, this is how I live, whether I am motivated or not.

Apart from that I do a lot of work to keep myself in a positive mindset. We are a product of our thoughts and we will ultimately become what we most think about it. I need goals and every morning I wake early and spend the first hour reviewing my goals, reading inspirational material, reviewing my mantras (affirmations). Before I go to bed I record in my journal what I am grateful for, what went well during my day, what didn't and what I can learn from that. Reflection and self-awareness is an incredible process for improvement.

What are your goals for the future?  To continue to improve, would love to do the WFF PRO show in Europe in 2016 and possibly NABBA worlds 2016 Brazil (they are a week apart). To research and learn as much as I can about pro metabolic food and nutrition to balance hormones so that I can share this with my competitors and others so that no one has to experience the misery of severe deprivation or the anguish associated with metabolic damage and rebound weight. To continue to seek balance.

What's your main message that you try to get across to women who train? And indeed women in general.  Find Balance. With food, training, time and your thoughts.

Don't under eat or overtrain.
Trust your body's wisdom. If your well intentioned coach is telling you to do something that is not balanced question it.
DON'T AVOID CARBS. You will downregulate thyroid production and slow your metabolism.
EAT! Eat for health, Eat for strength, Eat for vitality, Eat to make your metabolism optimized.
Don't obsess about your appearance, focus on your strengths, you are more than just a body. The more we focus on our body the more we will obsess about food and the greater the liklikehood we will end up with an eating disorder (sadly been there before).
Food does not soothe. Food is not a reward.
It takes time – if you consistently apply the right principles day in and day out you WILL create something spectacular of your physique. But you MUST be consistent.
Be kind to yourself. Everyone falls off the wagon (even I do), don't beat yourself up, learn from it, understand yourself and jump back on it again.
Be grateful to have the opportunity to do what we do. We are so blessed to be able to train and even more blessed to be able to compete. Never take it for granted. So many can never dream to do this.
Negative thoughts are toxic. Banish them. You will become what you think about. Think positive, empowering, successful, energizing, loving thoughts.
Be purposeful about how you train and what you are trying to achieve. Have a plan. Know what you are doing. Get good advice if you don't know. Keep good form. PROGRESS. Muscle equals Strength. You need to be stronger to have a better shape. It is also about symmetry. TRAIN smart. TRAIN HARD.

What advice would you give to other women looking to get into shape? See above. 

Thoughts on "off-season" versus "on-season"?  In a perfect world we would be "on season" all the time. But we are human. On season is when I tighten the reigns and count calories and start to cut. Off season is about optimizing my metabolism, repairing my body and enjoying more flexibility in life. Training though has no off/on season.

Do you enjoy watching contests as an audience member? If so, what do you look for on the day? I am blessed to judge NABBA/WFF shows. I love this! To be up close and personal to all these athletes who have worked so hard. I never only see chiseled physiques. I see the sweat and tears that has gone into creating this. I see amazing humans that have decided to step out of the realms of mediocrity. But the question, I look for symmetry, hardness, and conditioning, proportion first then if it is close it comes to muscularity comparisons.

Do you have a favorite mantra or philosophy?  As you think so you shall be. You are a product of your thoughts.

What do you like to do outside of training?  I have two great teenage children and an awesome husband. We love mountain biking, gardening, reading, and going away for weekends

Tell us something about yourself that most people wouldn't know. I was a national sprinter at high school and then as a 20 something year old I competed in pole vaulting, then did a season of adventure racing (12 hr. mountain biking, kayaking, and running races – and lost a ton of muscle during this time). I can play the piano, I love painting, I have been in an odd play here and there, I was once a speech and drama teacher and I have a Social Work degree. I worked in child protection politics for 16 years until deciding to pursue my passion and make a difference in people's lives. I have a think for roosters and collect roosters/chooks from every country we visit and display them in my kitchen.

Any final words?  Don't settle for a life of ordinariness. We all have greatness within us. Everyday take one step forward to achieving this.