Get to know Monique Lopes – Owner of MoniqueFit, lifestyle coach, nutritional advisor and sponsored bikini athlete. (Also, check out her ‘Bloom & Blossom’ fitness challenge starting soon, with 6 and 10 week sign up options if you’re in need of a workout make-over)
Do you get help from a nutrition coach?
Throughout most of the year I just do my own thing when it comes to eating and training. When I choose to compete, coach Vic Alley guides my prep for Bikini competitions.
Do you eat the same way on rest days?
Yes, I do. I train most days of the week, so the only thing I wouldn’t have on a rest day is my “pre-workout” meal.
What have you found has been the easiest way to stick to a diet, other than sheer will power.
I cannot and will not eat dull and bland food. I love cooking and exploring different flavours. What really works well for me is changing how I prepare my meals. I absolutely love flavouring my foods with fresh garlic, fresh lemon, herbs and chilli, and I often use other vegetables such as red onions to add different flavours and textures. I love changing up my vegetable combinations – grilling, roasting, frying. Keeping things varied prevents boredom. I also love adjusting recipes to make them suit my goals at a particular point in time. Variety is also key.
Her time in the gym
What do you do on the tough days, when motivation levels are low?
I have really great discipline. A really great uplifting song and a little dance in my living room is often enough to get me in the mood for my workout. If that doesn’t work, I go to the gym anyway and run for 10 minutes. Usually by minute 5 my body is awake and in the mood to sparkle. Often changing the workout to something you enjoy more helps a lot!
Do you change your approach to training from time to time?
Yes, I do. When I am not preparing for a competition I just have fun with my training. While I focus on certain aspects and areas I feel need extra work, I mostly focus on the pure enjoyment of exercise. I love how I feel after a great workout. When I compete my approach is more specific to the “aesthetics” of the body.
What are you loving right now?
I am absolutely loving my lower body workouts. I love adding lots of plyometric movements . Full-body HIT workouts are also my go to mood boosters as well. I love a great workout that leaves your body completely fired up.
Monique’s Yay or nay
Long steady rate cardio? Sometimes – I like it as an active recovery
Oats in the morning? Nay – I am gluten intolerant, so I’ve never been one to be able to enjoy a yummy bowl of oats
Training in a crop top? Yay!!! Lately I’ve been more and more confident to do so, and I love it. I also love seeing another woman rock one and look super confident!
Burpees? Yay, yay, yay a thousand times over! I love this complex movement as it targets the entire body and gets your heart rate up super fast
Gym selfies? Yay! Sparkly selfies are so much fun. Also, gym selfies act as self-motivation and are also a confidence boost.
Pre-workout nutrition? Yay! This fuels the body for optimum performance during your workout.
Intra-workout nutrition? Yay! I love my BCAAs! These keep me going!
Post-workout nutrition? Yay! You have to replenish the energy you have just used to smash your workout!
Grilled hake? Nay… I don’t like hake
Fat burners? Nay! I am super sensitive to caffeine – it makes me super anxious
Deadlifts? Nay… this movement tends to make my midsection thick, unless they are stiff-leg deadlifts that target the hamstrings and glutes – those I love!
CrossFit? Yay, to an extent. I love the intensity and style of the workouts, but it doesn’t really focus on overall aesthetics
Sports massage? Yay! Absolutely amazing for recovery and general relaxation
Cheat meals? Yay! They keep you sane and also allow you to enjoy social time with friends and family.
Early morning training time? Yay! I love morning workouts, but not before 6:30am
Training partner? That depends. I mostly enjoy training alone. I really love just focusing on me, but workouts with my mom are really fun and motivating, too
Running? Yay, if you enjoy it. I enjoy how it makes me feel… FREEEEEEE
Social media? Yay. It allows you to share your story and your adventure, and it gives you the opportunity to inspire someone else to chase their dreams and goals
Active rest? Yay… this is the category into which my steady cardio falls. Otherwise I take relaxing walks with my pets outside. I love this! PHYSICAL and MENTAL rest.
EMS, tried it? Nay, I don’t like it.
Always believe in yourself and understand that you are truly worthy of your best. See a health and fit lifestyle as an adventure. Embrace it – fall in love with it and fill it up with things and people you absolutely love. Never compare yourself to others and always set some time aside to acknowledge all of your little and big victories. Always SPARKLE!
Feature photo by Richard Cook / Sean Levitt
Author: Tanja Schmitz
Founder and Editor of Fitness Magazine. You’ll find her behind her computer or on her bike, dreaming up new ways to improve or create content for you.