Name: Tarryn Zelow
Age: 27
Height: 1,63 m
Competition weight: 58 kgs – 60 kgs
Current weight: 59 kgs
Current city: Johannesburg, South Africa
Occupation: Essie Aesthetics Fitness Coach

How long have you been training consistently for and what got you started?

I have been training for the last four years consistently taking only around three weeks off each year, around the christmas season to spend time with family. I do this to give my body the necessary time to recover. During my schooling years I was always very sporty and liked to be active. I used to use the gym as my “me time”, just that time of day where I got to zone out and just take my mind off of everything.

Obviously after being in the gym so long it is human nature to strive toward the next big step (which for me was to take to the stage). Interview With Fitness Coach And Athlete, Tarryn Zelow


What made you enter your first show and how did the preparation go for it? Did you do it all alone or did you have someone to help you and coach you?

At the time I was living in Zimbabwe, where most trainers have no knowledge of competition prep, word of mouth spread that Jack Lotter was the man to contact. He then prepped me for the Rossi Classic in September 2014 which was my first show. I am naturally very dedicated and disciplined, so my first prep was extremely structured and I felt very much in control, diet has never been an issue for me, and I obviously love the training.

Who has been your biggest influence/support in your life and how did they affect you?

How could I not say my business partner, best friend, and boyfriend Stefan Estment. He has supported me, trained with me and prepped the majority of my meals (haha) throughout most of my preps and off seasons from the start. He has never hesitated to put my goals ahead of his own and would without a doubt drop everything in a second just to make sure even the smallest thing like eating a meal on time was done perfectly.

That alone has been the biggest reason why I am where I am right now. Interview With Fitness Coach And Athlete, Tarryn Zelow


Is it easy staying motivated to train everyday? What do you do on days when you really lack the motivation and drive?

Absolutely. Those days comes very rarely, and when they do, music, especially my christian music, seems to be the answer. Music stirs emotion, and emotion fires my love for lifting.

What are some things newbies should be aware of, going into their first prep? And what were any mistakes you made in your prep?

  1. Listen to your coach, and ONLY your coach (too many cooks spoil the broth).
  2. Never add or take away things from your meal plan (chicken means chicken not steak and eggs).
  3. Competition prep is not for the faint hearted.
  4. Post show is probably harder than the prep for a show, so keep in mind that reverse diet !!!

Some of the mistakes I made in my past preps have been things like, over training, skipping rest days, and of course that sneaky extra TABLE spoon of peanut butter, haha. Interview With Fitness Coach And Athlete, Tarryn Zelow


Did/do you ever have to deal with negativity from other women in the gym regarding the ‘fitness’ sport and your involvement in it? How do you deal with that?

To be honest, not so much in the gym, but more so on social media.

How do I deal with it? Ive worked so hard for what I’ve got, I tend to just brush the negativity off, so it doesn’t really affect me.

Why do think some people are like that?

In my mind, the majority of people out there don’t really understand what we do or how hard we work on our physiques, I suppose you either love it or you don’t.

What are your future plans?

2017 IS MY year for the international stage (obviously working past my recent injury, which has been a major setback). Growing our business, ESSIE AESTHETICS, and all aspects of it. My relationship, and the longterm goals there of. Interview With Fitness Coach And Athlete, Tarryn Zelow


Take us through an average day of yours:

  • 4:15 AM: my alarm will go…..the screen flashes, TARRYN ZELOW its time to become a PRO.
  • 4:20 AM: I’ll roll out of bed, flat cap on and a massive hoody, take all my pre cardio supplements and have a black coffee of course, and off to cardio I’ll go.
  • 5:30 AM: I’ll be seeing my first clients in the gym.
  • 6:30 – 7:00 AM: I’ll be having my first meal.
  • Between 7:30 and the afternoon: I’ll be seeing clients, catching up on my online clients and their plans, and fitting my meals in between all the madness.
  • 11:00 AM: My usual training time, that is where all those selfies happen, if only stef could manage to take a decent photo, maybe they wouldn’t be selfies.
  • 12:30 PM: Lunch time, and getting on with my usual day of work with clients and my laptop, giving myself a few breaks in between to get all my daily chores done.
  • My day at work will usually end between 6:30 – 7:00 PM where I’ll jet home to get in my next meal before spending some quality time at home with Stef and our fur babies.

We usually cook and eat our last meal together at home while watching a movie and getting in our catch up session and a few laughs for the day.

Give us a brief description of your philosophy on your diet:

I’m not a big fan of carbs unless its around training times, even then I stay away from any sugary carbs and stick more to things like rice cakes and rice.

My philosophy is simple, KEEP IT SIMPLE!! The basics have always worked, so stick to them.

I diet all year round, even in my offseason, and allow myself one cheat meal per week and in the off season I allow myself a bit of fruit over the weekends.

What are your top Nutrition tips for gaining muscle for the ladies?

Don’t be afraid to eat. Having the right nutrients at the right times will reward your body. Interview With Fitness Coach And Athlete, Tarryn Zelow


Do you manage to stay in shape all year round? What tips can you give to people wanting to be in shape all year long?

Diet is a lifestyle, if you want to stay in shape all year round you have to keep your structure and routine or you’ll end up falling off the band wagon.

People who just stop dieting after a competition prep will find themselves in an absolute mess.

What process do you follow when its time to start getting ready for a competition/photoshoot?

As I am always dieting, and sugar is a no no even in my offseason, my first go to would be to lean out my protein sources and to cut out my offseason simple carbohydrates.

Give us a brief description of your philosophy on your training/training schedule and on average how long do you workout for?

Never end a training session if you feel like you could have done more. I believe in hitting the weakest body parts twice a week, making sure to get in a high volume and a high intensity workout on each of those muscle groups.

My sessions will last a minimum of an hour to an hour and twenty minutes depending on where I am in my contest prep. Interview With Fitness Coach And Athlete, Tarryn Zelow


Do you include a lot of cardio?

Absolutely, I change up my cardio depending on my current conditioning at the time.

What are your essentials that are always in your gym bag?

  1. Earphones
  2. BCAA’s and Glutamine (yes I do have white powder all over my gym bag, haha)
  3. Shaker Bottle
  4. Wrist straps and my lifting belt
  5. Flat cap and a spare shirt

Do you have any fit fashion tips for the ladies?

I only have two words, LORNA JANE.

And for the guys?

Stringers and tights work for me, and you can’t say no to a pair of high tops I guess.

What are your 3 favourite exercises?

1. Romanian Dead Lift

2. Military Press

3. Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown Interview With Fitness Coach And Athlete, Tarryn Zelow


Which body part is your favourite to train and what are some of your trips to training it and favourite exercises?

My favorite body part to train has got to be shoulders. Shoulders get injured very easily so heavy lifting isn’t always the answer.

Shoulder sessions with higher reps and shorter rest intervals will lead to a far greater pump which means increased myofibrillar and sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, so in the long run leads to bigger and better shoulders.

Tell us a bit about Essie Aesthetics, how it started and what you guys do?

Essie Aesthetics has been around for a while, but really only blew up shortly after WBFF SA 2016. We decided to create a christian based team where we have a coach for the male clients and one for the female clients who are all coached within one family unit.

Our goal was to bring people together from all different levels, allowing them to guide, motivate and support one another. We pride ourselves on the fact that we encourage our family to be positive, confident and to lend a helping hand to those around them. Even though this industry is a competitive one, Essie Aesthetics tries to bring friendship and unity amongst everyone in it.

We offer an elite online training and personal training service that caters to all walks of life, we are also currently branching into some new and exciting ventures, so stay tuned to our social media pages.

What other forms of exercise do you enjoy and incorporate?

I try add a bit of swimming, but sink most of the time. Majority of the time I’m very strict with my prep and stick to the cardio required so I don’t lose any hard earned muscle mass. Interview With Fitness Coach And Athlete, Tarryn Zelow


Favorite male Fitness models or bodybuilders?

  • Fitness Models: What is a fitness model?? Haha 😉
  • Bodybuilders: Shaun Rhoden, William Bonac and Dexter Jackson.

Favorite female fitness icon(s):

Dani Reardon, Larissa Reis. Interview With Fitness Coach And Athlete, Tarryn Zelow


Favorite Quote:

“I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.”

What is the most common question you get asked?

  • Q: “How do you get your legs like that?”
  • A: “From walking in high heels” 😉

What competitions have you competed in?

2014: Interview With Fitness Coach And Athlete, Tarryn Zelow




where can people get hold of you?

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