Name: Vanessa Tib
Height: 5′ 2
Residence: New York City
Weight: 106 Lbs
Occupation: Registered Nurse & Fitness Model
Cover of Natural Muscle Magazine, Cover of Iron Man Magazine, multiple features in Planet
Muscle Magazine, published fitness article in FitnessX Magazine, feature in Fitness Gurls Magazine, World
Physique Magazine – Swimsuit Edition feature, multiple fitness products commercial features.
When did you get started with fitness?
My involvement in fitness didn’t occur until I was 22 years old. I started working out after picking up a fitness magazine and being inspired by the strong women featured within. I continued to work out- on and off- for years, but only making slight changes to my physique. With my busy schedule at school and a full-time job, my training was left on the back burner. It wasn’t until after graduation from nursing school in 2008, and a more predictable working schedule, that I was able to buckle down and dedicate the time needed to achieve the results I desired. I joined a gym, and started eating healthy.
I knew I couldn’t continue to eat certain things if I wanted to get lean and add more muscle. I would train five to six times a week, concentrating on mainly lifting weights, but performing cardio three times a week for about 30-45mins as well. I completely changed my body in six months.
The extra pounds came off and, as a result of my hard work. I had now built some muscle and developed that so desired “six pack”. I posted some pictures on my social media pages and people started suggesting I do a professional photo shoot. I took their advice and it wasn’t up until the moment that I had ever considered getting into fitness modeling. Things took off very quickly for me. I became published on the cover of Natural Muscle Magazine and in Planet Muscle Magazine from the results of my first shoot. I’m still working as a full time Registered Nurse and continue to train 5x a week. I love seeing the positive changes in my physique and I’m very excited to see what else is in store for me in this fitness industry that I love so much.
What drives you to be so fit?
I love seeing my body evolve and become stronger and healthier as a result of eating healthy and training hard. Seeing my progress it’s what keeps me motivated.
What has been the hardest obstacle for you to overcome?
Life can be tough and challenging at times. I come from a working class, humbled, loving, family and we didn’t have much. I started working at the age of 14. Growing up and going to school in a new country without knowing the language was extremely tough in my younger years. I faced a lot of challenges and I would have never thought I could be where I am today. I’m definitely proud of myself for going to college and becoming a nurse. I love my profession because it gives me the opportunity to help someone in need. Not everyone can say they helped saved a life each day! I’m also very grateful for the many opportunities and the constant support I received from people as a fitness model. I truly believe this is what I was meant to do!
What is your favorite body part to train?
I don’t think I have a favorite body part to train because I love to train it all period. I’m a strong believer that we must pay attention to our body as a whole and train each body part with the same enthusiasm. I’m always excited as soon as I walk into the gym no matter which body part I’m training for the day.
Do you incorporate much cardio into your training?
Not at all, I’m a weight-training girl. I have put a lot of long hours in the gym lifting weights and value my hard earned muscles greatly. If I do cardio is for no more than 30mins 3x a week and I usually just warm up for 10 minutes before training. In the summer I do enjoy being outdoors and take advantage of the good weather by going for a quick run or to climb some stairs. But I mainly do it for the enjoyment of taking in the fresh air rather than for the cardio itself. I don’t knock it though; you have to do what you love and what makes you happy. If you are a runner good for you, but remember to also incorporate some weight training into your routine to build those muscles and get that tight, toned and defined physique so many desire.
Could you tell us about your current training program?
For the most part my workouts consist of heavy weight lifting. I train 4-6 times a week, ideally for 1.5-2hrs each time. I like to train complimentary muscles together, like Back/Bi’s, Chest/Tri’s, Legs, Shoulders/Abs and I may add a couple of mins of cardio some days. Weight training does wonders for your body. You can shape it and tone it to your liking and that’s what I love the most about it. You can fine-tune your physique depending on your goals. My goal is to add more lean muscles so I lift as heavy as I can while always maintaining good form.
Never put yourself at risk of getting hurt by lifting heavy weights if that means comprising your form. Always train smart!
What does your diet look like?
I don’t count my macros and I also don’t weigh my food. I like to keep things simple. You have to find what works for you, if you like counting everything more power to you. I have managed to do just fine by just watching my portions and choosing healthy foods for my meals. Here is a sample of my daily meals:
Meal 1: 3 egg whites, with a light wheat toast.
Meal 2: 0% fat free plain Greek Yogurt with a couple of blueberries
Meal 3: Baked Tilapia or Salmon with 1/2 cup of brown rice and steamed veggies.
Meal 4: Post workout protein shake and 1/2 banana.
Meal 5: Grilled Chicken breast with steam veggies.
Meal 6: Protein shake, or one cup of fat free plain cottage cheese.
I also drink green tea through out the day.
Do you Take Any Supplements?
Supplements should be just that, a way to “supplement” any deficits in minerals and vitamins that you may not be obtaining from your diet. Your goal should be to eat a variety of healthy and nutritious foods to obtain the majority of your minerals and vitamins naturally, and use supplements sparingly to fill the gap in areas you may be lacking.I want to point out that I am not a sponsored athlete and that is the main reason for not talking about specific brands. Here is a list of the supplements I typically include in my diet:
Multi Vitamin – Being deficient in any one of the essential vitamins your body requires will hinder the efficiency of chemical reactions in the body, such as the breakdown and digestion of proteins.
Calcium – Calcium is essential to maintaining total body health. Your body needs it every day not just to keep your bones and teeth strong over your lifetime, but to ensure proper functioning of muscles and nerves.
Vit D – Encourages the absorption and metabolism of calcium and phosphorous thus helping to form and maintain strong bones.
Omega3’s – Fish oils is one of the few substances known to lower concentrations of triglycerides (fatty substances) that pose a cardiovascular risk, in the blood. They can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
BCAA’s – Essential amino acids are the building blocks for healthy muscles, skin, nails and other body tissues.
L-Glutamine – Can minimize breakdown of muscle and improve protein metabolism, and help in muscle recovery.
Whey protein powder – Whey is an abundant source of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), which are used to fuel working muscles and stimulate protein synthesis.
Casein protein powder – Casein protein is a slow digestive protein usually taken before bedtime to prevent catabolism while you sleep.
A pre-workout energy drink – Can provide energy and nutrients designed to enhance endurance, strength and the pump achieved during a workout.
If you could start back form the first day you started training would you do anything different?
I would have to say no. I have trained hard from the beginning and have made so much improvement in my physique. I still love training, love how I feel and how I look. I don’t think I would change anything I have done so far.
What is your biggest “Fitness” accomplishment?
I have had so many wonderful opportunities in the small amount of time I have been in the industry but, I would have to say being on the cover of Natural Muscle Magazine after my first professional photo shoot was a great achievement for me. I had only been training for a year before that happen, so it was definitely a dream come true. Another great achievement for me was just more recently being featured on the December 2011 Cover of Iron Man Magazine along my friend Dan Decker. I’m not a fitness competitor, nor a sponsored athlete and have managed to do so much and work with so many great people in the industry, definitely thankful to the people who believe in me and who have given me a chance to promote living a healthier and more fit lifestyle.
Is there anyone in the fitness industry that you look up to?
There are many great motivational women in the industry but my favorite by far is someone I’m thankful to call a friend, Jamie Eason. She is always trying to help others by sharing her knowledge, not only in regards to fitness and nutrition, but life in general. She is caring, sweet, compassionate, funny, and very down to earth, which I personally consider to be the characteristics of a truly beautiful person inside and out. She is definitely someone to look up to. I think more people should be like her.
Final Advice For Readers?
Learn how to be your own best friend. A lot people including myself tend to be extra hard on ourselves. You have to remind yourself no one is perfect. You do have to train hard, eat healthy and continue to be hungry for improvement, but don’t put yourself down if you are not seeing the results you want, don’t compare yourself to others. We are all different, and we don’t always respond the same way or at the same rate others do. But, don’t let that deter you from your goals, learn to celebrate the positives, and focus on your achievements. Changes take time and you must learn to be patient. If you are not seeing results training 3x a week then train 6x. Your hard work will pay off, stay at it!!!
– Vanessa Tib