Name: Nikki Leonard
Location: Edmond, OK
Weight: 125 Lbs
Occupation: Crossfit Athlete
When did you get started with fitness?
I can’t really say I STARTED anywhere with fitness because I’ve been playing sports for as long as I can remember. I did gymnastics as a young girl. I played basketball, soccer and ran track in high school. I played soccer through college. And I walked on to my college lacrosse team having never played the sport in my life and became a starter.
I got my start in bodybuilding and bikini competitions when I was done with college soccer and was looking for a new physical challenge. Playing all those sports engrained a desire for competition and getting on stage helped me get the fix.
How do you stay so motivated? What drives you?
I’m a life-long competitor, so nothing gets me going like a new challenge. Whether I’m in the weight room, crossfit gym or on the field of play, I’m always trying to get my mind and body to places I haven’t been before. In crossfit, there are lots of ways to challenge yourself – whether it’s a new exercise, trying to beat your personal record or completing a circuit in a certain amount of time – and that is probably why I’ve been drawn to crossfit so passionately.
I also love hearing other people’s stories of obstacles that they have overcome. People hit me on Kik (Nikkirica) and Instagram all the time telling me about the latest workout that they’ve completed that they couldn’t do two weeks ago. It feels so good to hear that, and it always give me the motivation to know that just because something looks impossible now, doesn’t mean I can’t get through it.
What has been the hardest obstacle for you to overcome?
It is difficult to master the technique necessary to excel in crossfit. I’ve been into Olympic-style lifting for years, but the technique required to properly perform something like a snatch or cleans requires way more concentration than someone would think. My strength is there, but technique, not so much. With time and practice I have gotten better. But, I still get frustrated easily and because I am so driven to get it perfect I won’t stop until I do.
What does your current training schedule/program look like?
For the past two months my training schedule has been ALL over the place working out at Crossfit 405 in OKC. I train 5-6 days a week. I just completed a 5 week Strongman program which consisted of very heavy lifting and pushing your body and mind to its limits. This was done every Wednesday and Sunday. On Monday, Tuesday, Thursday I would work Technique with lesser weight and also get a WOD (workout of the day) in after to elevate my heart rate and test my endurance. On a normal day I will warm up with body weight stuff like air squats, push-ups, pull ups, anywhere from a 400m-1 mile run/row. I will then work in technique and then strength like back/front squats, push press etc. The WOD will either be an AMRAP (as many round as possible in the time given) or rounds for time. Today’s WOD was 4 Rounds for time of 7 Power Cleans, 5 Push Press, 3 Muscle Ups.
Give us a breakdown of your daily diet.
DISCLAIMER: I am a Freak of Nature. Since my Metabolism is so fast and Crossfit is so physically taxing I try to consume as much food as possible! I will physically shrink if I do not keep up with my diet. I eat A LOT of protein and A LOT of carbs. I include greens like zucchini, asparagus, kale and sometimes broccoli. I have maintained a schedule of eating every 3-4 hours, which is what keeps my metabolism so fast, besides my intense training schedule. However, I am not consistently eating the same foods. I eat a lot of eggs, beef, chicken and also eggplant for my proteins as well as one to two protein shakes a day. Rice, oatmeal, peanut butter, yogurt, red potatoes all find their way into my diet as well.
Do you take any supplements to reach your fitness goals
I use the Alpha Female Stack from Shredz. I also take BCAA’s from Cellucor as well as Fish Oil.
What is your single biggest “Fitness” related accomplishment?
I can’t pin point just one thing. I think as a whole with my fitness career throughout my entire life no matter how much something sucked or I didn’t like, I have never quit a sport or given up on reaching a goal. My dad as a child engrained in me to never be a quitter no matter how much I hate something. Each year of my life I have consistently gotten better and that is what fuels me to keep going. I find the challenge in everything and I go for it because giving up to me is one of the worst things you could ever do in your life.
Is there anyone in the fitness industry you look up to?
In Crossfit, Andrea Ager is someone who I look up to. She’s been competing in crossfit for a few years and she’s done so many amazing things. She had only been doing crossfit for a year and she made it to her first Crossfit games. She’s one of the fiercest competitors in the sport, man or woman, and I’m definitely trying to get to the games and kick some serious butt like she did. I also really look up to Christmas Abbot and Camille Leblanc-Bazinet. They both are really badass top Crossfit competitors.
Name a fitness “Myth” that just isn’t true no matter how many times you hear it?
Women who lift heavy won’t lose weight.
Tips for our readers to achieve their fitness dreams?
Get out there, be active and take charge! Face tough obstacles head on and stay positive! Every day is a battle, but the only person you are battling is yourself. It’s all just one big mental game. Overcome your fears and wean out all the negative crap that weighs you down. At the end of the day I want people to be happy with who they are.
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” –Mahatma Gandhi