Holly Bricken Talks To Muscle And Strength

What is your athletic background, and how did you get involved with bikini and running?

I’ve always loved all things fitness, but have never been a competitor until now. Four years ago I decided to take my love for health and fitness to another level and make it my full-blown lifestyle. After attending Monica Brant’s FEM Camp in 2010, I started laying out my 1 year, 3 year, and 10 year goals, which were focused on fitness and modeling.

The part I love the most about this sport is meeting new people and watching your body as you take it to new levels you didn’t know were possible. On the opposite side, it’s hard to mentally acknowledge that no on can be in competition shape year round. We tend to strive for perfection and perfection doesn’t exist 24/7/365. I never knew about post competition blues until after my first competition.

What do you love most about competing?

One of the things I love most about competing is seeing the dramatic changes you can make to your body when you put in hard work and determination. Also, in a competition setting it’s amazing to see the camaraderie among the athletes backstage. Yes, we all want the same thing, but we also have so much in common. How could we possibly not get along?

What are your future goals, dreams and plans?

My future goals are long and lofty. At this point in my fitness career, my objectives have turned to training, competing, and modeling as I look toward my dream of inspiring and motivating other athletes through my strong images online and in print.

How often do you perform cardio?

I make it my goal to do at least 45 minutes of cardio a day at least six days a week, but I aim for seven if I have time. My three go-to cardio workouts are distance runs, intervals, and stairs. Depending on what I’m training for, the time and intensity are adjusted accordingly. When training for a race, I focus on distance runs. When trying to burn fat, I incorporate distance, intervals, and stairs into my cardio routine.

What are some of the most common mistakes made when someone is trying to build muscle and/or get ripped?

The most common mistake I see made when someone is trying to build muscle and/or get ripped is not getting enough protein in his or her diet. With so many forms of protein available, getting enough protein should be easy if you’re mindful of your dietary intake. I always advise 1.0 to 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight for someone looking to build muscle.

Do you have any gym, muscle building or fitness pet peeves?

My number one pet peeve at the gym is not wiping down the equipment after using it. Not only is it disgusting to go use a machine that has someone’s sweat or hair grease on it, it is extremely unsanitary. Staphylococcus is one of the most common infections in gyms and can be easily avoided with a simple wipe-down after your set.

Second pet peeve – throwing weights. This does not make you look more muscular or make you stronger! My thought is if you can’t carry the weights back to the weight rack to re-rack them, they’re too heavy for you to use. Throwing weights bends the handles, which in turn makes them unusable to others.

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