I’m often accused of not having enough female success stories on MuscleHack.
After Myra Marshall’s awesome article, more ladies started stepping forward. One of the latest is Brandi McAtee who used both MANS and Total Six Pack Abs to place higher in a recent competition than ever before – and with a LOT less effort!
I conducted an interview with Brandi to get a more in-depth look at the secrets of her success. You gotta read this!
MARK – Tell us a little about your background. How did you get into bodybuilding? How long have you been in the game and so on…
BRANDI – I’ve always been active. I played sports growing up, and most of my jobs have been active as well. I started really lifting a couple years ago. I suffer from severe Systemic Fibromyalgia, Degenerative Disc Disease, and Osteoarthritis in my spine. 2 years ago I hit rock bottom. I was in so much pain.
I had RFLS surgery on my back and my Fibro just spiraled downhill. It was everything I could do to get out of bed in the morning. I knew that wasn’t what my life was meant to be at 30 years old. I started slow with a stretching/strengthening class in a heated pool. A few months later, I was walking well again and began lifting light weights. As I improved I set out to prove that people with debilitating diseases could live a healthy life. I decided to start competing in Figure Competitions last July, never really expecting to win anything. It’s very difficult to build muscle with Fibro, but it CAN be done.
MARK – So how and when did you find MuscleHack?
BRANDI – After a few competitions, I found the MuscleHack site in January of this year (2011). I couldn’t believe the difference it made in my training! I gained more muscle and got so much stronger in 2 months than I had the entire YEAR of training before! The difference in the amount of muscle I have now is amazing!
MARK – How do you train? I’m talking off-season here. Do you train in the same way men do?
BRANDI – I pretty much train the same off-season as I do on except I will go a day without working out if something comes up…just 1 though! I train to failure on every set. Well, I try. If I get to 12 reps and think I could do a couple more, I up the weight on the next set, then do an extra set to failure. I love the burn!
Most of the men I see at the gym train like I do. But it seems that a lot of them don’t push to their limit like I do. I’ve also noticed in the few months I’ve been at my gym, my physique has changed drastically more than the men I see every day. I’m sure we have the same goals, to build mass, but the progress is much faster the way I do it.
MARK – You told me earlier that you bought Total Six Pack Abs only 4 weeks out from your most recent competition. What was your experience with the program and how did you fare this time around as compared with previous competitions?
BRANDI – T.S.P.A. worked great! I had been using the M.A.N.S. diet before that, so upping the carbs was like a treat every day! I was 1.5% body fat leaner at this competition than the last one, plus I felt 100 times better. I didn’t feel run down and exhausted like before. Obviously this was the best program for me, I placed better than ever! I believe if I had started the TSPA a few weeks earlier, I would’ve won it! [Ed: Brandi Placed 2nd In This Comp & It Was The First Time She’d Ever Beaten Anyone] Another great part is that I didn’t lose any muscle. That’s what made the difference in how I placed at the competition. Lean is great, but you have to have that muscle to show off!
MARK – How was your cardio in the run up to the competition?
BRANDI – I did HIIT only the 3 weeks leading up to the competition. 3 weeks out I did 2 session, 12 mins each, with 2 min high; 1 min low. 2 weeks out I did 3 sessions, same as before. I did 12 mins HIIT, same ratio, every day the last week before the show. Most competitors, myself included previously, do 2 sessions a day for 45 mins each. I didn’t miss that at all! 🙂
All the girls backstage were complaining about all the fish and asparagus they’d eaten in the last 6 weeks, and I was bragging about bacon I ate on my bunless cheeseburger, and the cream in my coffee! It was awesome! They were also dragging from the 2-times-a-day cardio sessions, and I was only doing about 12 mins 3 times a week for 2 weeks. AMAZING!!!
MARK – What advice would you have for any women out there aspiring to really transform their body once and for all?
BRANDI – Get up and do it! There will always be distractions: work, kids, stress, financial roadblocks, etc., but this is something you HAVE to do for YOU! Your health and self-confidence are the most important things to keep up, and they will lead to better work, time with your kids and family, and dealing with stress. You might find 100 reasons in a day to NOT workout, but you only need 1 good one to do it..and that’s YOU.
I tell people about your site all the time. They look at me like I’m crazy when I tell them how much fat I eat in a day, but it works! Your programs are amazing! Thank you so much!!!!
MARK – I just want to congratulate Brandi on her incredible achievement! The passion and dedication she has, especially in light of her fibromyalgia, is inspiring to us all!
This is Brandi’s Facebook profile (and this is her Fan Page). She also posts on our MuscleHack Facebook Fan Page (join us).
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Great story, I thought my progress was impressive but it pales into insignificance ready Brandi’s story. Truly inspiring, all the best for future comps Brandi you’ll be 1st placed in no time with help of MuscleHack.
Brandi is surely to be First place next time <3!
P.s. I wonder if they get tired with their arms out like that O.o
this is very nice!
Mark, I guess u only have a tiny idea of how much your website is inspiring and helpful. Thanks so much for all the effort u put here!! Keep up the good work! I am also a big advertiser of the site! 🙂
WTG Brandi! You have made amazing progress using Mark’s methods and it has a pleasure getting knowing you. Your passion for the sport is contagious and inspiring. I can’t wait to see how well you do at your next competition!
It’s nice to see a woman doing it. I find the male stories inspiring too, but it’s nice to see another woman managing on (I’m assuming) the low calorie range and getting leaner without lots of cardio. It goes to show that diet is more important than exercise.
Amazing difference in the before and after shots, the muscularity and definition in your back, legs and shoulders btw!
Thanks Mark, and everyone for the support! It’s been a lot of hard work, but it feels AMAZING! And yes, my arms do get tired! 🙂
Thanks, everyone! @Daniel. I hope so! I’m just as inspired as anyone by this stuff! 🙂
What an inspiring story! I’ll stop complaining about training to failure being painful now.
Brandi! Thank you for sharing your story on here. This really is a nice alternative to the typical “diet”, eh? Enjoyable foods and fuel for amazing gains in lean mass and balanced hormones as well. Mark is so awesome for providing us with all of this information and, in turn, inspiring us all with positive success stories of others. Knowledge is power and our power is also increased by our personal successes. Keep training hard and all the best to you!
Sincerely, Myra Marshall.
Thank you Myra!!!! I’m a little “star-struck” right now! *blushing* I was like anyone else when I first saw Mark’s site, skeptical. I figured it was working for the people on here who didn’t compete, but what would it do to a competitor? Could you really lean down on this? Reading YOUR story is actually what got me to try it! I’m SO SO SO glad I did! I can’t wait til the next show…This time, I’ll have more than 4 weeks to lean down with TSPA so I should rock it! Thanks again Mark, and thank you Myra….you’re both amazing!