What is your athletic background, and how did you get involved with fitness and bikini?
When I came to the states in the summer of 2005, I had experienced a weight gain of 20 lbs within 3 months while I was staying at a college dorm and eating cafeteria food. I started going to the gym and started working out to lose weight. Eventually I got into fitness more and more, and decided to become a fitness instructor at the University of Texas at Arlington.
While I was working as a fitness instructor, I realized how fitness and wellness are important in our lives. After I graduated from UTA, I worked as a Graduated Assistant for Fitness and Wellness for two years at the Texas State University while I was working on my masters in Business Administration. I fell in love with fitness while I supervised fitness programs at the university and obtained several national fitness instructor certifications including a personal trainer certification.
I am from South Korea where being skinny is the symbol of a women’s “beauty”. I was considered “chubby” in my country and I never wore shorts because I had big legs and people would make fun of my figure. I even thought I was fat and I was not happy with my figure. But everything has changed when I got in the U.S. I heard that my legs were amazing many times and it totally changed my point of view about the “real” beauty.
Being healthy and being fit one of the most important things in our lives. However, many women, especially where I’m from, are scared to gain too much muscle and they refuse weight training. I decided to become a fitness model to inspire others to live a healthy lifestyle through exercise and proper nutrition. While I wanted to become a fitness model, one of my co-workers told me about a bodybuilding show and I decided to compete at the bikini division.
What do you love most about competing?
I not only LOVE being on a stage and showing off my body after all my hard work, but also love inspiring others to live a healthier life through exercise and proper nutrition. There is no better feeling than when you know you can help others. I love when people say “Minsoo you are my role model” or “Minsoo, you are my inspiration.”
Also I love being an artist. Yes, I am an artist. I sculpt my body and make it beautiful.
What were the major milestones that gave you that “extra” motivation boost?
The most motivating milestone was when I got the Bikini Overall Champion title at my 2nd show. After I decided to compete, I told myself I would be the champion and in my heart, I truly believed it. I trained hard and pushed myself everyday. I dedicated 110% to winning.
At my first competition, I got 4th place and I was so disappointed. But I didn’t give up. I trained harder, and one month later, I gained the overall champion title at my second competition. This was not an easy journey but nothing worth having ever is.
Minsoo GoWhat are your future goals, dreams and plans?
My next challenge is to be the best Asian fitness model since there are not many well known Asian fitness model and change the beauty standard in Asia continental.
What does your current training and split look like, and what do you like most about it?
I split my training in three ways. Legs and abs, back and chest, shoulders and arms. I stay on the simple and basic skill. The perfect form and knowing the correct skills are more important than how much weight you can lift.
How often do you perform cardio?
The first thing I do every morning is a 60 minutes of steady state cardio on an empty stomach. I do fast walking around my neighborhood. Make sure you have both hills and flat land. My second cardio is right after my weight training. It’s usually 30 minutes and they are usually high intensity interval training.
I make my own cardio workouts everyday and do something different. For example, I love tabata training which is 4 minutes of intense interval training/circuit training. Another of my favorite workouts is squat jumps.
Which do you prefer, and why…stead state cardio or HIIT?
If I have to chose one, I would chose steady state cardio because it’s easier! However it’s important to do both steady state cardio and HIIT for the best result. HIIT is one of the fastest ways to lose weight and gain fitness.
What are some of your best training tips for someone who just wants to look good and get ripped?
Diet, diet, diet. (Assuming that the person is working out.)
What are your best tips for getting a flat stomach and
Unfortunately, there is no way you can get a nice 6 pack by ONLY doing an abs workout such as crunches. It’s not an easy way, but you need to
stay on a healthy diet and do cardio workouts to burn fat. I love doing basic crunches but make sure you do them the right way. Slow is better and use your abs not your neck. Any variations are great as well.
What are your favorite cheat meals and foods?
My favorite cheat foods are almond butter with whole grain bread, red wine, and BROWNIES!
What are your favorite meals and foods?
I am a meat lover. I can eat any kind. I love chicken, beef, port, lamb, duck, fish… I have to eat vegetables when I eat meat. I can eat any vegetable and I try to eat a variety of vegetables. I used to eat rice everyday and with every meal, which shows you how much I love CARBS! Can you tell? Yes, I LOVE FOOD!
What music do you listen to while workout out?
I have to have music while working out! Much of my workout playlist is fast and upbeat pump up music. When I do HIIT, I prefer to listen to the music with no lyrics – mostly fast beat and something that gives me power.
What are some of your favorite motivational quotes?
“If you lose money you lose less; if you lose honor you lose half; if you lose health you lose all.” – Unknown Korean
“There are no limits. There are plateaus, but you must not stay there, you must go beyond them. A man must constantly exceed his level.” – Bruce Lee
“Life rewards action.” – Phil McGraw
“Be willing to sacrifice who you are for what you could become.” – Donbg
“Never, never, never give up.” – Winston Churchill
“Unless a man undertakes more than he possibly can do, he will never do all that he can.” – Henry Drummond
“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” – Frederick Douglass
More quotes are available on my blog!
If someone wants to connect with you, where can you be found?
Become a fan on my Facebook!
What attracts you to the natural side of sports and competition?
I’m very proud of being a natural athlete. I put my effort and time to become the best I could be. It’s not an easy journey, but because I EARNED it, it’s worth much more. the natural side of sports and competitions reward people like me. I can tell anyone that I AM 100% NATURAL!
Favorite activities and hobbies you enjoy when away from the gym?
I LOVE eating. I sometimes say I workout to eat. Haha. I love camping, photographing, dancing, and traveling.
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Muscle & Strength: Congrats on your recent second place finish at the 2010 Yorton Cup. Can you tell us a bit about your expectations going into that show, and how you feel the show turned out for you? Cleveland Thomas: Thank you for the congrats, but I expected to do much better. One week out [...]
TRAINING: Training twice a day everyday for this fight When and why did you start training for fighting? 1998…..it just looked like fun What ranks and titles have you held? WEC 170-pound champ, Viking fight 185-pound champ Do you have any heroes? All the solders overseas right now What does it mean for you to [...]
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