Issue #125


by Juan Carlos Lope

20 Questions with Cover Model Amanda Brast

Video Interview with Amateur Bikini Amanda Brast

Amanda Brast, Sarah Park, Valerie Garcia Giovanoli, Lexi Berriman & Tahiti Cora

Video Interview with Pro Bikini Meghan Duncan

Hair Tip of the Month
by Lindsay Fowler

Video Interview with Amateur Bikini Assunta Catalano


20 Questions with Cover Model Amanda Brast

Amanda Brast

1) Please introduce yourself? What makes you special? Who is Amanda Brast?

Wife, mother, step-mother, fitness enthusiast, woman of faith. I have a big heart and just about anything to do with our Soldier's, animals or kids can make me cry. I'm petrified of spiders but for a short period of time I had a pet snake. A small boa constrictor. I love to travel, read and be on the beach. Just in the sun really, it doesn't have to be a beach. I hate scary movies,  I prefer comedies. I like to shoot guns, my .45 is my favorite. Celebrity crush, Dwayne Johnson

2) Please tell us a bit about your family, friends and surroundings? 

I've been married almost 6 years to my wonderful husband. I'm  fortunate because I have a very small circle but they are so supportive and very 'chase your dreams'. I  have a pretty small family one brother and my mom is temporarily living with us while she finds a new house. Most of my family is in Arkansas and Oklahoma so, its a small crew here in Texas.  And my friend are scattered all over the Houston area so it can be challenging to get together. Thank God for social media =)
3) How did you start competing in bikini? 

After I had my daughter I started working with a personal trainer, a little worried about how I would bounce back. I was lucky and it didn't take me long, and six months later I was in the best shape of my life and started following fitness closer and just thought it was something I could do

4) What is your personal policy (not what the judges want) about conditioning and muscularity when coming into a show? Soft or hard? 

I just want my muscles showing, my veins poppin and my waist small. I just try to look the absolute best I can. Not too hard, but I definitely lift heavy weight so I think that will show.

5)  What is your idea of what judges want in a bikini competitor? Do you think judges are clear enough with competitors about how they want you on stage? It seems in Europe they are very clear unlike in the USA and now in Canada things are confusing.

I've tried for three shows to figure out what the judges want. When I think I know, they go another direction. I saw a funny meme that said: Bikini, where judges want you to be lean, except not lean and they want you to have some muscle, except not have any muscle. I feel like that kind of sums it up. I know that legs, and glutes and a tiny waist are ideal for a bikini girl but I feel like that's all I know. lol

6) For the next shows what do you think you need to work on physique-wise/conditioning-wise? If anything! 

I will continue focusing on my glutes, building strength and roundness, I would like my shoulders to be a little rounder and of course bringing in my waist.

Amanda Brast

7) What is your typical training routine in the gym (per day, include sets and reps!) How much cardio do you do before a show?

 After years of training my workout routines can be summed up in one phrase 'maximum effort, maximum gain, minimum time' I always use circuit training and work opposing muscle groups in the same routine alternating muscle groups within the individual circuits. Muscle group combinations are: back and triceps, shoulder and biceps, legs and abs, glutes and light legs. I add plyometrics (box jumps, split jumps, sprints etc.) to my lower body routines. Example: Shoulder bicep day I would have one circuit where I do shoulder press, incline dumbbell curls, bent over dumbbell flys and then cable rope curls. No rest in between sets. Three rounds. I don't chit chat and text when I work out. If I'm doing an odd set circuit I'll throw in some abs to ensure the previously worked muscle group gets rested. For legs, each circuit will be front of the leg followed by back of leg. No rest. Heavy days are obviously worked in a different fashion. My favorite glute exercises are machine and cable kickbacks, weighted glute bridges. I also like single leg press and various types of squats. The one constant I try to keep in my routines is change! Never the same routine. Once you get comfortable doing the same thing repeatedly so does your body and it doesn't work to your advantage. My wonderful husband helps with the change up in my routines. And I do add a trainer to the mix here and there to get a totally different perspective

8) What is your pre-contest diet? (per day, 1 week before the show)

Lots of chicken, egg whites, oatmeal and rice. I keep my carbs for my morning meals. I try to keep my protein around 100-125 grams a day and during contest week I cut out meal replacements drinks and try to stick with the basics. I also cut out fruit, sugar and dairy.

9) How do you go about dropping your water before the day of the show? How much water do you drink the day of the show. Please be specific. 

I take my water down to a half gallon about 2 or 3 days and start using a diurectic about 4 days out. Show day I drink a small amount when I eat and sip only when I'm thirsty.

10) What motivates you to train/diet and compete? Are there any competitors you looked up to? 

I've loves seeing the changes my body has made. Every time I think, this looks good or I'm content with where I am I'll see somebody that I think looks better and that gets me saying, OK time to get back to work! It's not about not being happy with my body, its about always striving to be better. 

I LOOOOVE Amanda Latona, I got to meet her and husband Steve Kuclo at the Arnold this year and I was totally star struck! haha I wanted to say a few things but I just couldn't speak. And they were incredibly nice, so that always makes you feel like you're looking to the right people. Down to earth. I'm also a big fan of Paige Hathaway, Brittany Taylor Callie Bundy and Nicole Wilkins.
11) Please tell us an interesting experience you had at a show recently, be it a fun thing or something rather not so fun?

 I did the Phil Heath which was the biggest NPC show in history so that made for a long day. You know bikini girls always go last. I didn't get on stage until late and  I was out of food, operating on 5 hours sleep and was exhausted. But to say that I competed in the show, being the biggest ever, was a memory I'll always have.

12) What is your personal opinion about the figure, fitness, bodybuilding industry we are in? Anything you would like to see changed? 

I think its very motivating. I think it can be a hard life, its a lot of wear and tear on your body, injuries, and travel and cost. Man, it gets expensive! But I think that's what helps keep the people doing it, its a passion for fitness and the love of lifting. If it makes you happy and feel good about yourself, keep doing it.

Amanda Brast

13) What has been your hardest challenge to overcome either in your personal life or competing career?

Time. There's never enough! Especially when you have a husband and a toddler, somebody always needs your time and it can start to make you feel selfish but, you have to have something that you do for yourself. Something that makes you happy, or you won't be able to take care of those that need you.

14) Did you make any changes to your contest prep for your last show? Water intake, carbing up, etc...

I didn't do as much cardio as I should have.  I felt like I was in better shape this show than my previous two but I think if I would have added that in I might have done better. I was really focused on gaining and keeping mucscle so I focused more on sprinting and interval training and kind of shyed away from steady-state cardio. I'm still learning and now believe a balance of both is probably best. Something new something different each go round
15) What do you think of bikini division?

I think it's great.  Obviously I love it or I wouldn't be doing this but, it's interesting to me to look at the  women that are competitors or pros and just see how different their bodies are and they've won and excelled in this so, I think its something you have to just keep working on. Don't give up, keep posing and keep smiling =)
16) What are your favorite foods to eat right after you compete on a Saturday night?

Bread w/butter, red wine, chocolate a good plate of pasta 
 17) Please tell us about how you were raised and did you have any interesting experiences while growing up?

My dad was in the oil business so I moved quite a bit. originally from Oklahoma, we lived out in the country which was great. wide open fields, four wheelers, dirt bikes, lots of animals.  I lived in New Mexico for awhile which was beautiful. You could not ask for more perfect weather. In my opinion anyway. Then it was Arkansas, and he started working internationally (which he still does) before we finally settled in the Houston area. I DID NOT want to move here, and I just knew I was going to hate it. I Love Texas.  It's my home.

Amanda Brast

18) Do you have an athletic background? Gymnastics, soccer, volleyball or what? 

I was somewhat active when I was young, started in t-ball and also ballet. Volleyball and dance in junior high. As I said I moved around a lot and was pretty shy so I didn't jump right into athletics. But working out and being healthy is something that's always been a part of my lifestyle.
19) What is a typical day in the life of Amanda Brast ? From waking up to until going to bed?

I'm usually awakened by a kick or a smack from my daughter haha then it's up and at em, get ready for the gym come home, eat, shower, hang out with her until nap time. If its a good day I'll be able to nap too =) then after nap it's full on mom, I try to take her for a run or a bike ride, weather permitting. We feed the ducks and play then it's bath time and bed. Never without watching Frozen. 
20) What is your current occupation? Please tell us more about it, what do you specifically do in your job?

I'm currently a stay at home mom and NPC bikini competitor. I spent 5 years in finance so this is definitely a change. Less stressful. Well, having a two year might compare to the same stress level haha           

Back to Issues


© 2004-2012 HardFitness Design All right reserved.