Black Women Bodybuilding Presents: Sonja Price Herbert

Tell us about yourself

  • Name Sonja R. Price Herbert
  • Age 48 years young
  • Height 5’3
  • Weight 128 
  • Occupation: Pilates Instructor Badass/Founder of Black Girl Pilates

Give us a brief backstory on how you got started on your fitness journey/lifestyle.

(Sonja)  I started working out in junior high but mostly to help with my depression. I was mostly lifting weights and running. During the early part of my 20s, aerobics classes were still in so I would follow the videos. I knew that I wanted to do something in fitness but was not sure how to begin. I found Pilates first and fell in love so I got certified. I also cross train a lot with kettlebells, barbell training, yoga etc.

What struggle did you run into getting started or staying motivated to continue towards your goals?

(Sonja) Honestly, depression has been a deterrent but once I was up I was good. There have been many times where depression won the battle however, I would allow myself time to bounce back. I know that working out makes me feel better so I would end up doing something even if it’s yoga. I also have a group of three friends who keep me motivated and work out a lot. We talk every day and do park workouts in the summer.

What advice do you have for those struggling with motivation to reach their goals or continue with a healthy lifestyle?

(Sonja) Be real with what YOU can do. Give yourself a break when you just don’t feel like it. It’s totally ok. I believe in being real with yourself and your feelings. Find a supportive group of friends who believe in you and being healthy. My squad has been a Godsend and also understand what its like to be unmotivated.

What is your approach to Diet/Nutrition and the role it plays in reaching your goals?

(Sonja) I allow myself to eat something if I’m craving it. I try my BEST to do the 80/20 but sometimes its looks like 20/80 lol. As I have gotten older there are things that I have developed sensitivities too like kale, some fruit, tomatoes etc. so I do stay away from those foods.

What is a typical day of eating like for you?

(Sonja) Breakfast HAS to happen. I big breakfast person and have lately been a pancake junkie. My favorite is Bob’s Red Mill because it is all organic, natural ingredients and owned by the original owner. The employees also have stock options in the company as well. My lunch is typically a good mixture of protein, veggies, and a good carb. Now that does not always happen and plus as a Southern I like dessert sometimes. Dinner is pretty much like lunch but not as heavy because I get home after 8pm most nights.

What is your training schedule like and how do you split your workouts?

(Sonja) My workouts are much different than when I was competing which was done in splits. Now that I am not competing this is what it pretty much what it looks like:

  1. Pilates on the reformer – intermediate and some advanced work; handstand/walkover practice on the ladder barrel and handstands up against the wall – Monday/Wednesdays
  2. I attend a Calisthenics class at my gym Revolutionary Fitness whenever my scheduled allows on Wednesdays but will also do some calisthenics/KBs outside once its warmer.
  3. Yoga is usually on a Sunday for about an hour and half.

Favorite body part to train?

(Sonja) Upper body because I used to have weak upper body.

Can we get a sample of your workout playlist?

(Sonja) I love old school so:

Forget Me not -Patrice Rushen

This is How We Do it – Montell Jordan

Children’s Story – Slick Rick

Push It – Salt N Pepa

Baby I’m A Star – Prince

Little Red Corvette – Prince

Poison – Bell Biv Devoe

Supersonic – JJ FAD

I Go To Work– Kool Moe Dee

Do you take any supplements? If so what do you take?

(Sonja) I only take a multivitamin, iron, and glucosamine, Omega 3,6,9.

What are your staple fitness products for you?

(Sonja) Perform better mini bands, kettlebell, sandbag, magic circle, Pilates Toe exerciser

Favorite food/Cheat meal?

(Sonja) Mac and cheese, biscuits.

One interesting fact about you?

(Sonja) I was a Social Worker for almost 20 years.

Anything else you would like to share with us?

(Sonja) I have two amazing children who are athletes. My 24 year old daughter is a former dancer turned sprinter and my 18 year son is also sprinter. Both of my brothers were athletes in high school but I was not. My youngest brother is an amazing Group Exercise instructor in Dallas, Texas. He teaches Hip Hop and athletic training classes. I recently, started Black Girl Pilates which is platform specifically for Black Pilates Instructors to share ideas, struggles and successes within the method.

For information on whats new with Sonja check out her social media pages below!

Facebook: Commando Core Fitness

IG: Commando Core Fitness Black Girl Pilates 

Twitter: @SonjaRHerbert

Black Women Bodybuilding Presents: Dawn Wallace

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Tell us about yourself

  • Name Dawn Wallace
  • Age 34
  • Height 5’3
  • Weight 158
  • Occupation: School Bus Driver and Certified Personal Trainer

Give us a brief backstory on how you got started on your fitness journey/lifestyle.

(Dawn) I got started on my fitness journey/lifestyle after having my first child 12 years ago, Of course I started off with the goal of losing my baby weight and getting back into my pre-baby jeans. I mainly started off doing cardio and focused on a healthy diet. Once I become curious with weights and strength training my passion spiked and I noticed better results. Fast forward to two more kids later, and the passion for fitness increased and it was a feeling that wouldn’t go away. For about 3 years I considered becoming certified as a trainer because I found myself constantly giving advice and tips to family and friends and other members that I would talk to in the gym. I realized that this was my passion it was that thing that excited me and the drive to get out of bed every morning. Fitness changes so much more than the physical it strengthens the mind also. Fitness creates a positive healthy mental and creates so much clarity. So, I finally convinced myself to study and become certified. And that’s exactly what I did, I am a certified trainer through NASM.

 

What struggle did you run into getting started or staying motivated to continue towards your goals?

(Dawn) The main struggle that I encountered during my journey was that i found it hard for me to stay motivated and focused being that I am a single mother of 3 children. My days start at 4:30 am and I’m usually not in bed until 10-10:30 pm, with nonstop errands and life in between. It was a challenge studying, working, and being an active mom of 3. Not only was I physically tired but mentally exhausted as well. The irony is that my 3 children are also what kept me motivated and pushing through the challenges. I want them to know that it is possible to go after your passion and not give up just because it gets hard. We all deserve to live the life that brings us happiness and excitement, the life that we are destined to live. I want my kids to always chase better and be greater. I want my children to see me happy, that truly is what keeps me going. Me being happy with my lifestyle and excited about my career and creating that environment for my kids.

 

What advice do you have for those struggling with motivation to reach their goals or continue with a healthy lifestyle?

(Dawn) For those that struggle with motivation to reach their goals or continue to live a healthy lifestyle, I would say JUST KEEP GOING. Look at the old you and the current you, compare! Not just physically but mentally. How has your mindset changed, how much more energy do you have, how confident and proud are you now versus the old you before you started this journey. Your mental is going to be what makes you and breaks you in this lifestyle. It’s up to you to either go forward or backwards. Honestly, we all have times we feel discouraged or defeated, we lose our motivation and can’t find the drive sometimes. We question if we will ever get to that goal or is it even worth it. We all find ourselves eating junk food a bit too much, and guess what…IT’S OK!!!! There’s not a fitness professional out here that has not gone through this more than once and will continue with this battle, we’re all human. It just gets easier as you go along and you’re able to control your mindset and have your junk food and moderation. You’ll be able to know when enough chips are enough chips, lol. Just get back in the race and don’t be hard on yourself, celebrate your accomplishments and be proud of every step every day!!! This is a hard lifestyle and the fact that you are in it, whether you’re at the beginning, middle, or been in here for years, whether you’ve fallen off one time or 100 times, be proud that you stepped up and are here. Remember to set realistic goals that can be accomplished in a realistic time, and everything will fall into place

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What is your approach to Diet/Nutrition and the role it plays in reaching your goals?

(Dawn) Diet and Nutrition play a huge role in my fitness journey. You can spend hours at the gym, do cardio two times a day, its nothing without a healthy diet. Food is fuel for the body, it’s what keeps us going. Diet and healthy eating are very very important. That’s a peeve of mine is when I see people eating poorly and they think that the gym will make up for it. Don’t get me wrong I have my cheat meals or sometimes I lose to temptation, so I’m not perfect. But I understand how important it is to reaching my goals and staying healthy.

 

What’s a typical day of eating like for you?

(Dawn) My typical day of eating is starting off with breakfast, I NEVER SKIP BREAKFAST!!!! I will have oatmeal (old fashioned oats) with peanut butter and an apple. A few hours later I’ll have a snack, usually a fiber bar or almonds. For my lunch and dinner, I will have whatever I meal prepped. I meal prep on Sundays for the upcoming week. I will have the heavier portion at lunch because I’m still up active and running around like a chicken with my head chopped off lol. And for dinner I have the lighter portion because my day is coming to an end and I’m starting to slow down, so I don’t want too much food in my stomach. I have snack in between my meals. My snacks range from apples, boiled eggs, almonds, yogurt, banana, fiber bars, peanut butter, carrots, tuna fish, kale chips…its so many healthy snacks out there to choose from. And water is VERY important. Get your water in, drink drink drink and drink water.

 

What is your training schedule like and how do you split your workouts? 

(Dawn) My training schedule changes depending on my goals. I train at the same time 85% of the time to keep my body on a schedule. I do cardio about 3 times a week, and strength training 5-6 times a week. I usually focus on two muscle groups at each training session for myself. I will perform 4-5 exercises for each muscle groups with 3 or 4 sets with high reps of 12-15. I love intense training, I don’t stop until I’m exhausted. And once I’m exhausted I will do a burnout exercise just to finish off that tired muscle. a. Leg day may consist of jumping squats, barbell squats, deadlifts, cable kickbacks, abductor exercises, weighted lunges and the burnout could be a kettlebell swing or a pulse squat holding a heavy kettlebell for 25 secs, and I’ll do the burnout for 3 rounds.

 

Favorite body part to train?

(Dawn) My favorite body part to train would be legs. It’s the largest muscle in our body and it can be intense. And the best part about strength training is that after your workout is completed your body is still burning calories throughout the day, even if you’re sitting on the couch doing nothing. Whereas with cardio, once you are finished you immediately stop burning calories. So, training legs always gives me that burn that I’m looking for.

 

Can we get a sample of your workout playlist?

(Dawn) My playlist can range depending on my mood. I can be playing Fantasia one minute and the next minute I’ll be playing some good old Bone Thugs-n-Harmony lol. So, for me it depends on my mood. I don’t always need that good heavy bass beat with a good flow to get to get me motivated. Sometimes I need to slow quiet soulful sound to get my head right and get me focused. My playlist includes Mary J. Blige, The Game, Alicia Keys, Beyoncé, Bone Thugs-nHarmony, Erykah Badu, Boyz 2 Men, Jay-Z, Mary Mary, Tamela Mann, Nicki Minaj, R.Kelly, Hezekiah Walker, Otis Redding, Yolonda Adams, the list goes on!

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Do you take any supplements? If so what do you take?

(Dawn) I do post workout protein shakes. I like to use these to quickly get protein to my muscles after an intense session. I use the powder ones and make a shake using vanilla whey protein powder, apples, spinach, peanut butter, soy milk, and ice. Sometimes I will add greek yogurt or dark chocolate chips to satisfy my sweet tooth.

 

 Favorite food/Cheat meal?

(Dawn) My favorite food/cheat meal would have to be pizza or a good greasy steak and cheese with extra everything!!!

 

One interesting fact about you?

(Dawn) I love nature. I love nature trails, waterfalls, mountains, volcanos, deserts, rainforests. I love being outside after the rain. The way it feels and smells somehow relaxes me. I love the sound of rain. I like watching the sunset and love looking at the moon.

 

Anything else you would like to share with us?

(Dawn) I love to share my journey and my motivation and just hope that I can help to inspire others and help change a life!!

If you would like to keep up with Fit mom Dawn follow her on IG @queen_fit_mama

 

Black Women Bodybuilding Presents: TAZAMISHA (TAZ) BATTS

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Tell us about yourself

  • Name Tazamisha (Taz) Batts
  • Age 26
  • Height 5’5
  • Weight 163
  • Occupation: Analyst

Give us a brief backstory on how you got started on your fitness journey/lifestyle.

(TAZ) It started back in college, fall 2010. It was a few months away from the Olympia. I went a nutrition shop wanting to buy some protein powder because I was wanting to gain some muscle after having my first child. With my first pregnant I had lost some muscle. Little did I know a quick stop at a nutrition shop would be the change for my health and fitness life forever.

 

What struggle did you run into getting started or staying motivated to continue towards your goals?

(TAZ) My biggest struggle, like most, was the diet. I had working out down pack. I didn’t know how much a diet plays in your journey to lost weight. I just knew working out was the key to all success. What motivated me was just sticking to the plan. I want to see my results if I was to stay true to a diet. The more I kept being consistent the better my results. That was motivating enough.

What advice do you have for those struggling with motivation to reach their goals or continue with a healthy lifestyle?

(TAZ) My advice would be to take it a day at a time. Trying to achieve any goal take hard work and dedication. The moment you start to stress about it is the moment when it will become harder! Take it one workout at a time, one meal at a time, and one day at time.

unnamedWhat is your approach to Diet/Nutrition and the role it plays in reaching your goals?

(TAZ) Diet/nutrition is everything. It’s so hard to teach people that. It takes a good, healthy well balance diet in order to achieve any kind of fitness goal.

 

What is your training schedule like and how do you split your workouts? 

(TAZ) Is running around with kids considered a workout? Training for me is 3 times a week. I do lower body one day, upper body the other day and my last day I try to do a full body with plyometrics.

 

Favorite body part to train?

(TAZ) My favorite part right now is upper body. Just trying to gain some strength back from my 3rd pregnancy. I like to see how my strength has increased over time.

 

Can we get a sample of your workout playlist?

(TAZ) User- No Limit is like a warm up song for me. I’m liking the Bad Boy 20th Anniversary album!

unnamed-2Do you take any supplements? If so what do you take?

(TAZ) I’m not supplementing as much right now. I take a vegan protein shake every now and then. The brand I like is Amazing Grass

 

Favorite food/Cheat meal?

(TAZ) Favorite food is oatmeal. I just love my oatmeal in the mornings. I look forward to breakfast

 

One interesting fact about you?

(TAZ) I love singing but can’t sing

 

Anything else you would like to share with us?

(TAZ) Just have a seat and enjoy the ride. We always want to plan our lives out the way we want them. God had a way at showing us that’s not his plans. It’s been 4 years since my last competition, I use to beat myself up about it. But over those 4 years I have had 2 beautiful girls (2 out of 3). Don’t beat yourself if things don’t go as you plan them. continue to ride this journey in life and keep trying!

If you would like to keep up with Fit mom Taz follow her on IG @tazbatts