Over the last week I was lucky enough to have a few great conversations with Philita Wheeler, a top ten finalist at the 2013 Arnold Classic Amateur Figure Championships and fifth place winner at the 2013 NPC Kentucky Muscle Figure competition and Clean Science sponsored athlete. During this time not only did I learn that she is one of the most genuinely nice people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting, she is an amazingly accomplished fitness professional. Winning Pro Cards at the INBF Cardinal Classic in 2010 claiming first place for Open Short Figure and first place in the Fit Body Division and at the INBF Natural Midwest 2010 taking home the overall title. Read what she had to say to me here:
Rob: What made you want to become a fitness professional?
Philita: Well in high school I ran cross country and Track at an elite level, however, the same old routine was becoming mundane so I decided to embark on a new challenge. It wasn’t until I did my first few shows that I knew this was the path I wanted to take. The challenge of it was a new thrill, something running couldn’t give to me anymore.
Rob: What are your personal fitness goals?
Philita: I want to maintain a healthy physique year round. A lot of competitors gain an excessive amount of weight in the off season in order to “bulk”. While I don’t think being competition lean is healthy year round, maintaining an elite physique is my goal. I want to show the general population you can work a demanding career and still take time for your-self to be healthy. It reflects so much on our youth and people do not even realize it. The future of fitness and health is in our youth and it’s up to us to lead them in the right direction.
Rob: In your opinion, what is the best and the worst thing about going to the gym?
Philita: Best: Stress relief and feeling of accomplishment.
Worst: Ohio winters and sub-zero temps (enough said).
Rob: Do you have a favourite muscle or body part you look for in your romantic life?
Philita: Yes, the heart. I do admire those who take great care of themselves but a stage ready physique isn’t something I look for in someone.
Rob: Cardio is something everyone seems to hate, what is your preferred method of getting your cardio in?
Philita: By far it’s a High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) I crank my treadmill up to it’s highest incline and do 30-45sec sprint intervals for 30 minutes with a minute rest in between. It’s one of the best ways for fat loss and it’s much faster than a draining hour conditioning session.
Rob: Could your share with us one of your favourite workouts?
Philita: On Back/Shoulder day I start with Bent over rows to warm up. I then hit some heavy one arm dumbbell rows (80 pounds) I do 3-4 sets of 10 reps. Next it’s some weighted pull ups followed by some seated shoulder presses. I move to some sort of lateral shoulder raise next (sometimes standing, sitting, or at an incline)—I switch it up to be sure to target all areas of my delts. I then incorporate a rear delt move and lastly I end with weighted hyperextensions. I go pretty heavy in all my moves so by the end of the workout I’m exhausted.
Rob: A lot of people these days spend time counting calories, do you? How do you feel about the idea?
Philita: I only monitor them as a whole while looking at my marcos. It’s not as simple as calories in vs. calories out. There is a lot more science to it than that. I eat clean foods most of the time and as long as I hit my macros I don’t get torn up if I eat a white potato vs a sweet potato. I’m not as restricted as most competitors. I don’t believe in never eating this or that, it leads to excessive weight gain through binging and overeating in the off season. I’ve changed my lifestyle so it’s balanced and flexible. It’s the only way for me. I love what I do and consistency is key.
Rob: What advice would you give to someone looking to improve their physical fitness but is lacking the motivation to do so?
Philita: Find someone you admire in the fitness industry and follow them. Don’t just judge it based on looks; find out what type of lifestyle they lead to obtain their physique. If they have to do cardio twice a day or juice then I wouldn’t want to look up to them to get the body I want. Follow someone with a similar lifestyle to yours so you can see it IS POSSIBLE. Find a fitness buddy to workout with and hold you accountable…or even hire a coach!
Rob: Thank you so much for finding the time to talk to us at The Inscriber and we wish you much success in the future.
Make sure you follow Philita Wheeler here:
Instagram: Philita Wheeler
Facebook: Click here to Like her page!