Name: Marisca de Beer
Height: 1.63 m
Current weight: 64 kgs
Current city: Johannesburg, South Africa
Occupation: Online Trainer, Bootcamp instructor and Senior Customer Service Administrator
What made you get started with training and living a healthier lifestyle?
I use to lead a very unhealthy lifestyle in my early twenties (Drinking a lot, partying every night and being totally reckless) and I was one of those girls who barely ate and pretty much starved myself to fit into society’s version of “beautiful”.
One day I just decided that enough is enough and that I need to look after my mind, my body and my health. I have never looked back.
What made you enter your first show and when was it, and how did the prep and competition go?
I had a friend who was a competitor and that was pretty much how I got introduced to the sport. When I started prepping for my first show in 2016, the NABBA Pretoria Classic, I was clueless about bodybuilding and I just wanted to look good.
My preparation was only 7 weeks long and it was difficult but not as tough as I anticipated it to be, in fact I realized very quickly that I love the lifestyle. The competition itself was incredible, as nervous as I was, I loved it and walked away with a 5th Place – we were only 5. *hehe*
Needless to say, last place in my first show or not, it woke a fire inside of me, and I have been hooked on the lifestyle ever since.
Who has been your biggest influence/support in your life and how did they affect you?
I know that I am supposed to name an individual here but then I would be lying. My biggest influence/support has been the “mean” people of society. Those who hurt you intentionally, those who manipulate you and break you down, those who always have something negative to say about your aspirations and your dreams.
I have had so many people in my past tell me that I would fail in life and that I just do not have what it takes to be successful. Those are the people who influenced me the most, it is because of ‘them’ that I learned to always have my own back.
To believe in my own abilities and to push hard no matter what. It is thanks to their “support” that I have cultivated an attitude to always support others and to remain compassionate and kind no matter what. I would never have been the person I am today if it were not for them.
How do you manage to balance all the aspects of life with your training and eating? Has it ever been difficult to?
Oh yes, there have been times where balance seemed nearly impossible, especially when it comes to prepping for a show. But I believe that if you really want to do something then you will find a way no matter how difficult it may get.
Excuses will not get you the results you want, and we all have 24 hours in a day, if you plan everything then I guarantee you will find the time to check everything off your list.
What are your future plans?
I have quite a few but to name two: I recently launched my online training business and I would love to grow and evolve that into something much bigger, but I guess you will have to keep an eye out and see what is in store. **giggles** I would also like to get more involved in the fitness industry, to be more out there and to do what I set myself out to do – inspire others and help others believe in themselves more.
Take us through an average day of yours:
- Usually I will get up for fasted cardio at about 4.30am (I have not been as religious about this one lately) thereafter I will have a sauna and a shower to get ready for work.
- I do have a 9-5 job at a Tertiary Educational Bookstore in Sandton.
- Sometimes it feels like I lead a double life ha ha.
- Then after work I give boot camp classes with corporate clients until about 6 pm.
- After boot camp it is my time to go and get a weight training session in which usually lasts until about 8 pm.
- Once I get home, I will prepare my meals and work on some client programs and spend some quality time with my partner.
- I try get into bed by 10 pm latest.
Do you find the prep for competitions gets easier each time? Do they differ much?
Each prep is very different and there are so many factors that come into play, you can never really tell how the preparation is going to go. For me, my last prep for the iCandy Classic Jozi in April this year, was by far the one of the hardest preps I have ever had.
I was the leanest I had ever been, and my cravings were insane, I literally burst into tears one day because I wanted chocolate so badly and I was incredibly hungry. I did walk away with a first place though, so it was all worth it in the end.
In terms of prep getting easier each time; I guess it depends on your goal and how much work you are willing to put in to achieve that goal.
Give us a brief description of your philosophy on your diet:
It will depend on whether I am eating for a competition or just to remain healthy and maintain. My diet consists of red meat, chicken and eggs for my source of protein, then I also have a few carbohydrates such as sweet potato and brown rice. Most of my vegetables are green leafy vegetables and I get most of my fats from avo’s, egg yellows or olive oil.
I avoid dairy as well as any refined sugary foods and bread although I do indulge in sweet things every now and again. I do not take my nutrition very lightly because I strongly believe that it is THE most important factor of all when you are trying to change/better your body.
It will not matter how hard you train, if your nutrition is not on point then you are wasting your time. There simply is no way around it. I believe that healthy eating is not about strict dietary limitations, staying unrealistically thin, or depriving yourself of the foods you love. Rather, it’s about feeling great, having more energy, improving your health, and boosting your mood.
Do you count your calories? Do you think it is necessary?
At the moment I am not counting my calories. I just listen to my body and I have developed great intuition when it comes to what my body needs. I also do not weigh my food anymore as I have developed quite a good eye BUT I am also not going to step on stage in the next few months, so I am just eating healthy and balancing out my macros as I go.
What I will say though is that if you have a specific goal (wanting to lose weight, gain weight etc.) then yes, counting your calories is very important. I still believe that weight loss is about calories in vs calories out.
Do you think, to generally lose fat one needs to be super strict and repetitive, as strict as a diet for a bodybuilding competition?
I would not say that you need to be as strict as someone preparing for a bodybuilding competition, but I am going to say that to achieve the results you want, you will need to make a few sacrifices and you will have to put in the work.
Consistency is and will always be key.
Have you seen any common mistakes that ladies may make when trying to lose fat or gain muscle?
This is a topic I could go on and on about but the one thing that is most common is women who are afraid to train heavy. They are afraid gaining some muscle because they are afraid that they would look like a man, so they skip the heavy weights and stick to light weights and tons of cardio.
I can’t begin to count the number of times I’ve seen women avoiding heavy lifting because they “don’t want to get too big” and would rather “just tone.” But unless you plan on taking anabolic steroids, have insane genetics, and dedicate multiple hours daily to training, then you’re never going to look bulky. The cold, hard truth is that women have 1/15 to 1/20th the amount of testosterone as men, and testosterone is the primary hormone responsible for muscle growth. So, it’s genetically impossible to develop a hulk-like physique, unless that is your actual goal—and even then it’s extremely difficult to achieve.
Female bodybuilders have trained for many years to achieve a very specific look, I promise that no one ended up looking like that by accident.
Then you have ladies who completely stop eating in order to lose fat. This just breaks my heart because you are only damaging your metabolism and you are depriving your body of much needed nutrients.
What process do you follow when it’s time to start getting ready for a competition/photoshoot?
It usually depends on the theme of the shoot; if I am doing a fitness shoot then I will go straight onto a strict diet to try lean down. I hardly ever cut all my carbs out of my diet because my body functions much better on carbs than what it would on fats, thus I usually cut down on my fats and increase my training. If I am preparing for a lifestyle shoot, I just clean up my diet a little – nothing too drastic.
Give us a brief description of your philosophy on your training/training schedule and on average how long do you workout for?
My training program is modified every few weeks but I am currently doing one weight training session a day along with one cardio session a day. My cardio alters however, some days I do HIIT training on a bicycle or the stepper and other days I will do a slow pace cardio on the treadmill. My cardio is usually between 25-45 minutes depending on the day.
My current split is as follows:
- Monday: Legs, Calves & Abs
- Tuesday: Chest, Shoulders & Triceps
- Wednesday: Back, Biceps & Abs
- Thursday: Legs & Calves
- Friday: Chest, Shoulders ,Triceps & Abs
What are a few of your weight training tips for the ladies?
1. Seek Better Balance
Balance the time you spend on cardio machines and the time you spend lifting weights. Women often resort to machines in hopes of staying lean, but the real long-term winners will be those who find the right balance.
2. Pay Attention to Workout Order
Many women go into a gym without a plan. They pump out a few sets of lightweight reps on whatever machines are open or look the least intimidating. As a general guideline, work your muscles from large to small when performing full-body workouts. Start with your glutes, quadriceps and hamstrings, as they make up 60 percent of your muscle mass. Next, work your chest or back, followed by shoulders, biceps and triceps. It’s also recommended to start with compound movements (exercises that work more than one muscle group at a time) before isolation exercises. For example, do lunges before hamstring curls, deadlifts before lying leg raises, or pull-ups before planks.
3. Shorten Rest Periods
To make sure you can still get that cardio burn, try to shorten your rest periods. Don’t be the girl texting for five minutes between each set.
Muscles need a few things to grow after they’ve been trained: a good balance of vitamins and macro nutrients, and rest. Not allowing adequate recovery time for muscles and joints can result in over training and injuries.
What are your essentials that are always in your gym bag?
I always have my water bottle, my FitFarm girl Fit Band, Headphones and then of course my post workout shake.
Do you advise using supplements, and do you use any yourself?
A very wise man, my coach Julian Naidoo, once told me that if your nutrition game is strong then you do not need that many supplements to achieve your goals. I use Whey Protein as well as Creatine Monohydrate post training which help increase muscle protein synthesis and reduce protein breakdown. I then also use Bcaa’s and L-Glutamine before training and Bcaa’s during training.
What are your 3 favourite exercises?
I absolutely love training shoulders; exercises like side laterals raises (works your anterior deltoids) and shoulder press variations along with some face pulls using a rope (primarily work the rear deltoids) are some of my top favourites.
Can you give a few tips to training legs and glutes and what sort of exercises do you favour the most when doing them?
A lot of people will say that you need to squat more, but that is not always the case. Squats, deadlifts, and lunges hit the glutes, but they also target a lot of other muscles, like the quads, hamstrings, abs, and others.
Although some people may build a beautiful derriere from just squatting, deadlifting, and lunging, one size does not fit all, and this approach may not work for everyone.
If you want to really build an awesome booty you need to hit it directly, with exercises that cause the highest percentage of muscle activation from the three gluteus muscles. The glutes are most activated when the hips are near full extension, so I would say that you need to focus on exercises that target the glutes and achieve this full range of motion.
Focus on exercises such as Glute Bridges, Abductors, Single leg Squats, Glute kickbacks and Sumo Squats.
Remember to focus on SQUEEEEZING those glutes!
Do you do a lot of cardio with your training? How do you schedule cardio and when?
During off season I only do 20 minutes of cardio post workout and I will do about 30 minutes fasted cardio in the mornings. When my time is more limited, I will try get in a HIIT cardio session on the bike.
Favourite male Fitness models or bodybuilders?
Is this a trick question? My friend, life partner and number one supporter; Craig Orr. I look up to him in so many ways and he inspires me to be better and to do better every single day. His work ethic and dedication to this sport is admirable. He has achieved so much and yet he is the most down to earth, humble gentle giant I have ever met.
Favourite female fitness icon(s):
I have so many to be honest. I look up to people like Roxy Amas, Anita Herbert, Veronique Mitchel, Lauren Simpson, Camella Saunders and of course Yarishna Ayala – to name a few 😊
These ladies are all phenomenal. From fitness to motivation and just all-round goodness. Have a look, they might just inspire you too!
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#Tbt to doing legs the other day with Mr @craigi_boi ❤ . . I have to say when I look at this video all that pops in my mind is that song "Wiggle wiggle" by Jason Derulo 🤣🤣 I guess it suits everything I try to say to #ladies and to all my clients 🤷♀️ We all have some jiggly bits – we all have some rolls when we sit down (I mean check mine 😂) but in the end you need to #love yourself with all your jiggles WHILE working on becoming a #better you. 😉🤗 Dont beat yourself up too much – BE #KIND TO YOURSELF. . . Pssst here I was doing a combo of leg presses holding my feet out wide, then narrow, then close. Give it a go 😉❤
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
What is the most common question you get asked?
Are those your real eye lashes? ** ha ha ** and my answer is always yes 😊
Where can people get hold of you?
- Facebook: MariscadBeerFitness
- Instagram: mariscadbeer_fitness
- Email: marisca[at]marib-fitness[dot]com