Black Women Bodybuilding Presents: Mykal Harris
Tell us about yourself
- Name Mykal Harris
- Age 27
- Height 5’4
- Weight 160
- Occupation: Bartender, Yoga Teacher, Personal Trainer
Give us a brief backstory on how you got started on your fitness journey/lifestyle.
(Mykal) I had always lived an active life growing up. I played basketball and danced. When I quit dancing after my junior year of college, I began to notice a few extra pounds. But things got worse when I moved to Murfreesboro. I was working at a restaurant, stressed from school, and put on 20+ lbs in 6 months. I didn’t even recognize my body anymore. So I changed my diet, hired a personal trainer, began doing hot yoga, and it became a lifestyle.
What struggle did you run into getting started or staying motivated to continue towards your goals?
(Mykal) I work in the restaurant industry, so I am always around delicious food. I struggle with anxiety and depression, so eating out of impulse and stress is sometimes a problem. Lastly, it’s possible to burn yourself out on the lifestyle. At one point I was training several people, teaching yoga, teaching group classes, and attempting to train for a competition. I got sick of seeing the inside of the gym, and had to take a step back. Now, that I don’t live in the gym, I look forward to my workouts every day.
What advice do you have for those struggling with motivation to reach their goals or continue with a healthy lifestyle?
(Mykal) Never stop looking for motivation. Get on Pinterest or Instagram, scroll photos, and save inspiring images or quotes. Find a workout partner or someone to hold you accountable. Get into a routine, but make it enjoyable, and try new things. Celebrate your progress, and remember how you felt before you began. I was miserable when my diet slipped and I stopped being active. I was more exhausted, I didn’t like the way my body looked and felt. Remember what made you get started.
What is your approach to Diet/Nutrition and the role it plays in reaching your goals?
(Mykal) Nutrition is everything. I often tell people who ask me for advice to start there. If you changing your whole life seems to overwhelming, start with trying to eat better. I cannot achieve the body I want or feel like I want, while eating trash. I like to keep my meat intake down and eat a lot of fresh fruits and veggies. I strive to drink a gallon of water every day, and I opt for seafood over chicken. Beef and pork are rare. Eating this way gives me the energy to execute my busy lifestyle and my workouts.
What is a typical day of eating like for you?
Breakfast: Oatmeal or fruit (apples/bananas)
Snack: Protein shake after a workout
Lunch: Black beans or 6oz fish/chicken and steamed veggies with brown rice, vegan chili,
Snack: Raw fruits/veggies and yogurt, or a smoothie, sometimes another shake
Dinner: 6oz protein (preferably salmon!), steamed/roasted veggies or a big salad
Snack (if necessary): Grapes or yogurt and granola
What is your training schedule like and how do you split your workouts?
(Mykal) When training for competition, I do a different body part each day. During the off-season, I enjoy full body workouts and mixing cardio and weights.
Warm Up: 10 minutes of cardio on the stairs, the elliptical or running
4×10-12 Back squats
4×10-12 Glute kickbacks
4×10-12 Lying leg curls
5-10 minutes Walking Lunges
3×20 Hanging leg raise
Favorite body part to train?
(Mykal) Legs! Legs! Legs! Glutes, hammies, quads. I could do legs every day!
Can we get a sample of your workout playlist?
(Mykal) I don’t have one. I subscribe to Pandora One. If I’m lifting, I like Young Money, Future, or Rick Ross Radio. Anything to make me feel like a badass. If I’m doing cardio, I like pop music like Ke$ha or Katy Perry.
Do you take any supplements? If so what do you take?
(Mykal) I sometimes take a fat burner called TNT for energy, because I can’t take pre-workout. Otherwise, I just use vegan protein powder. My coaches will be giving me supplement regimen during competition training. This will include a multivitamin, probiotic, omega 3,6,9, and the fat burner.
What are your staple fitness products for you?
(Mykal) Headphones, arm band, and gloves. I don’t like a lot of extra stuff, I’ll lose it!
Favorite food/Cheat meal?
(Mykal) Definitely pizza or sushi
One interesting fact about you?
(Mykal) I study foreign languages for fun.I have a B.A. Spanish, studied Portuguese for a year, and took a semester of Japanese and Italian for elective credit, and spent most of high school devoted to Latin.
Anything else you would like to share with us?
(Mykal) Never give up. My health and fitness journey has not been a straight shot. I have regressed and had setbacks. It happens. Someone once told me never compare your private life to someone else’s public life. So while social media is a great place to find inspiration, it only tells the story a person wants you to see. So if you fall off the wagon, get back on. If your diet slips, pick it back up. If you don’t know your ultimate goal, just keep moving and you will find it. All the pieces eventually fall into place, if you keep working.
To keep up with Mykal and learn more about her upcoming Vlog/Blog called MelaYoga follow her on instagram @themelayogi