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?

(Mykal)   Ideally,

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.

Example:

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

3×20 Abductor/Adductor

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 

 

Black Women Bodybuilding Presents: Letimicia Fears

 Meci front

Tell us about yourself

  • Name Letimicia Fears
  • Age 27
  • Height 5’4
  • Weight 135
  • Occupation: Graduate student/teacher

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

(Letimicia) I played sports in high school but definitely fell off in college. I didn’t start going to the college rec at all until my senior year of college when I got the wild hair up my butt to run a half-marathon lol I didn’t know what I was doing at all, just running on the treadmill until I began experiencing knee pain.  I slacked off a lot but started incorporating weightlifting into my workouts in 2013 because I decided I wanted to build my glutes and get stronger.  In 2014, I began following Marcus Jennings, better known as @Superhumanyogi on IG and began taking his power yoga classes, as well as working out with weights.  This lead to me meeting and practicing with S. Renee Watkins, b.k.a. @IAmReneeWatkins and practicing hot yoga.  During this time, I was transitioning to vegan diet and yoga really helped with that process. As of now, I am a member of M.A.D.E. Fitness, where I’m able to attend boot camps, power lifting classes and participate in running challenges. I am in the best shape I’ve ever been in my life!

 

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

 (Letimicia) I did not know what I was doing at all! So I wasn’t really seeing any results so I wasn’t motivated.

 

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

(Letimicia) My advice would be to switch it up and keep yourself interested.  Try some different classes, join a running group or try a vegan diet for a week.  I think keeping yourself challenged is important as it will keep you mentally engaged and you can see how your body reacts to different workouts.

Yoga pose

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

(Letimicia) I have been vegetarian/vegan for the last two years, that’s proven to be diet enough. I do not count calories or anything like that but I do eat to match my activity level for the day. My metabolism is pretty fast so I eat a lot and I make sure to have at least one fruit smoothie with plant based protein every day.

 

What is a typical day of eating like for you?

(Letimicia) I have at least one fruit smoothie with protein a day.  Besides being a vegan, my diet is healthy but not very strict. My breakfast is usually fresh fruit and cereal. I don’t eat fast food at all. I cook a few times a week and eat that for lunch and dinner.  I make sure to include a protein like beans, quinoa and soy-free meat alternatives or grain meats and I have at least one kind of vegetable, sometimes two.  And If I want dessert, I have dessert.

 

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

(Letimicia) I workout 6 days a week. I run twice a week, boot camp/power lifting 3 days a week and yoga at least once.

 

Favorite body part to train?

(Letimicia) Lower body is my favorite to train! I love seeing how much more I can squat as I get stronger.

 

Can we get a sample of your workout playlist?

(Letimicia) I’ve been listening to a lot of Chance the Rapper lately, he’s awesome to run to! But usually I listen to a lot of girl power R&B: Erykah Badu, Ledisi, Solange, Missy Elliott, TLC. If I’m lifting heavy, I like gangsta rap lol Tupac can power you through anything!

rock climb

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

(Letimicia) I take Double X by Nutrilite regularly as well as their Joint Health Twist Tubes for knee support.

 

What are your staple fitness products for you?

(Letimicia) I always make sure to have my XS Intense Pre-Workout Boost and XS Energy Bars! They get me through tough workout and long days!

 

Favorite food/Cheat meal?

(Letimicia) My favorite food is chocolate so decadent desserts are my weakness! I tell myself that I’m balancing it out with the water and fruit lol

For more information on the supplements that Letimecia takes visit her site at www.amway.com/CMIe