June 07, 2017

Name:   Morgan Self
Instagram:   @morganself_
Height:  5'4"
Weight:  currently 140 lbs, but this changes with contest prep versus off-season! I am currently at the start of my prep.

Why did you get started with your fitness journey?
I got started with my fitness journey to feel better about myself. I was the typical self-conscious high-school girl that always thought my body looked worse than everyone else's - I wanted to change that! I started like most girls do, with a lot of cardio and not a lot of food. After college, I was introduced to bodybuilding and competitions, and became exponentially more knowledgeable on both building muscle and losing fat! I have now shifted my journey away from looking skinny and like everyone else, and more toward looking strong and healthy.

What is your ultimate goal with fitness?
My ultimate goal is to to become a better version of myself each and every day. I do not have a weight-loss goal, a weight-gain goal, a certain placing in a competition, or anything like that. My goal is to beat myself, grow to be mentally and physically stronger, and become more knowledgeable than the day before.

What is your current training program?
Currently, I lift 5 days per week, with 2 scheduled rest days dedicated to muscle recovery. My training split is:
Monday:  Glutes/Hamstrings/Quads
Tuesday:  Rest
Wednesday:  Back/Shoulders
Thursday:  Glutes/Hamstrings
Friday:  Rest
Saturday:  Shoulders/Chest/Triceps
Sunday:  Back/Biceps

I dedicate the first part of my lifts for strength exercises, focusing on higher weight, lower repetitions. The rest of my workout is for hypertrophy, with 3-5 sets in the 10-15 rep range.

What does your diet consist of?
My diet consists of nutrient-dense foods, with very, very little processed foods. I follow a flexible dieting plan, and fill my macros with foods that are optimal for my goals and digestion. Common foods I eat are: eggwhites, eggs, chicken, lean ground turkey, venison, vegetables, oats, sprouted grain bread, jasmine rice, rice cakes, farro, bananas, berries, avocado, and coconut oil.
My macros change according to my goals. In my off-season, while trying to build muscle, I was eating in a caloric surplus with about 160g protein, 55g fats, and 320g carbohydrates per day. During contest prep, those macros are cut down significantly (especially carbohydrates) in order to maximize fat loss.

What are your top 3 favorite EVL products?
BCAA Energy™  - no doubt, favorite product. This gives me just enough energy to get my through my early morning lifts without making me jittery, and helps keeps muscle soreness to a minimum.
LeanMode™  - Anytime I am cutting fat, I add in LeanMode to help my body use my fat stores for energy throughout the day. Fat burners usually make me nauseous and jittery, but since this is stimulant-free, I don't have those side effects!
Stacked Protein®  - the protein powders in any variety (lean, natural, or regular) are an awesome way to curb sugar cravings and meet my protein macro goals. A full serving of BCAAs is a plus as well! I love coming up with protein-packed desserts and treats using this protein.

Advise to people starting out with fitness:
My top 3 tips for people just starting their fitness journey are:
1 - Keep it simple  - simple exercises can be the most beneficial and will allow you to concentrate on the muscle being worked. There is no need to get super fancy - just keep it simple until you get the hang of what you are doing! The same principle goes with your nutrition. Educate yourself on the nutrient content of your foods, and keep your meal prep as simple as possible to make it sustainable long-term.
2 - Mind-to-muscle connection  - focus on what muscle you are trying to exercise with every movement you do. Do your research to find out exactly where you should be feeling each exercise work, and focus on that area when you are lifting. Mind-to-muscle connection is a huge help when trying to perfect your form, and to get really good repetitions to get the biggest bang for your buck!
3 - Be realistic and patient  - If you have never been to a gym before, don’t set a goal to go 7 days a week. Set realistic goals for yourself that will fit into your schedule without making your life hectic. A good starting plan would be to make it to the gym 3-4x per week, and spend 1-1.5 hours there. That should give you enough time to do whatever you need to do without taking up your entire day. Be realistic with your goals inside the gym as well. Weight-loss AND muscle-gain take TIME, so make sure that the goals you are setting are realistic for the time frame you are putting on them. Stay consistent and keep yourself accountable to make sure you are always progressing toward your goals.