Name: Taylor Slack
Height: 5’5 (And a half… It counts! Haha)
How did you get started with Fitness?
Throughout high school and university I let myself fall into very unhealthy habits, I ate without having any knowledge about what I was putting into my body. I drank and partied heavily on the weekends with friends and I had no care or regard for living an unhealthy lifestyle. Over time my bad habits caught up to me and still to this day I can remember how uncomfortable I felt in my own skin.
Rewind to summer 2012, I was enjoying the August long weekend at the beach with my family. I was so uncomfortable with how I looked and felt. I felt bloated and sluggish all the time and I definitely didn’t want to be caught dead in a bikini. I knew I wanted a change and that weekend was the turning point to my new lifestyle. That following Monday I signed up for an all women’s gym here in Calgary and the rest is history!
Where does your motivation come from?
I get asked this question a lot and I have two answers for it. My first answer is if you are not where you want to be that should be enough motivation to keep you working hard towards your goals. The second part is I am not always motivated but I am disciplined which has helped me to mold habits. Motivation will not always be there so having control over your actions and keeping in mind the importance of your goals will make all difference. One of the most wonderful things about your life is if you want to embrace change you are the dictator, you have total control over your decisions.
What workout routine has worked best for you?
I have been in the gym since 2012, so I have had a lot of time to play around with different workouts and techniques to find what my body responds best to. I started hypertrophy/strength training in 2014 and that is when I started to see drastic changes in my overall appearance and body composition.
Please provide a typical weeks workout including cardio:
I break my week down into a five-day split with two rest days. Your muscles rip and tear every time you put significant amounts of stress on them and they need time to heal before they can grow. So, your rest days are just as important as training days.
Monday: Glutes, Hamstrings, Calves
Tuesday: Chest, Shoulders, Abs
Wednesday: Back, Arms
Friday: Plyometrics, Quads, Calves
Saturday: Arms, Abs
My cardio regime changes drastically throughout the year depending on if I am trying to add mass or if I am slimming down. During a bulk I would be doing 0-2 cardio sessions per week. And during a cut I would be doing 4-7 cardio sessions a week. I’m not one for long cardio sessions so I like to incorporate HITT (high intensity interval training) into my sessions. I start with a five minute warm up on the stairs. My HITT routine is in two-minute intervals. For a minute and forty seconds I am at a minimum effort and for twenty seconds I am at my 110% max effort. I aim for eight to ten rounds and follow it with a five-minute cool down.
What is your favorite body part to workout and why? What advice would you give others trying to bring this out?
My favorite training day is by far lower body! I love the feeling of training with heavy weight and I have a lot of confidence in the strength of my legs so I am always pushing myself to lift more. On leg days I am just so focused and it’s great feeling to be so present.
If you had to pick only (3) Exercises what would they be and why?
This is a tough one! But since I am a lower body gal I would have to pick hip thrusts, reverse v squats and split stance romanian deadlifts. I get bored of exercises very easily and these are some alternatives to the basic compound movements we all know and love. I have found with lower body exercises we tend to use our entire body during the movement versus isolating a body part and in turn we get extra sweaty! If you would like to try the exercises I listed above type the hashtags below into Instagram and you can view my demo videos on these movements. Enjoy!
#tshipthrust #tsssrd #tsreversevsquat
What is your diet like? How important is your diet to your results?
Just like my cardio regime my diet changes depending on if I am building mass or shredding down. When I am in a bulk I tend to follow an 80/20 rule meaning 80% of my diet is whole nutritious foods and 20% are my guilty pleasures. During a bulk I still want to look and feel good so everything I do is in moderation. I might have an extra cheat here and there but I am never too concerned about it as I train hard! During a cut I follow my diet 100% and I have a refeed meal once a week. Over the past 5 years the most important thing I’ve learned about reaching your goals is no extra cardio, no high reps, no fasting, no skinny teas… Just follow your diet through and through.
What is a typical day of eating for you?
I flexible diet (meaning I track my macros/calories) and this allows me to be flexible with my food choices throughout the day. But I am a creature of habit so I find myself eating the same things day to day. Breakfast I usually have turkey bacon, eggs, whole grain toast and peanut butter. For lunch and dinner I have either salmon, chicken or steak with rice, potatoes or pasta and I always add green vegetables. And my go to snacks are protein shakes, hummus and crackers, nuts, whole grain toast, peanut butter, air popped popcorn, kiwis and my all time favorite is Bayan’s peanut butter cups from Lean on Meals!
What is one food you couldn’t live without and how do you handle food cravings? Do you have a cheat day or Cheat meal?
I didn’t even have to think twice about this answer! I couldn’t live without chocolate almonds, movie theater popcorn and my Dad’s homemade spaghetti, meatballs and garlic bread. They are definitely my guilty pleasures! I have a cheat meal/refeed meal once a week but never a cheat day. A meal is enough for me to fix my cravings but not over do it and feel sluggish the next day. But if my cheat meal is days away and I am dieting I will reach for things like gum, flavored water and diet drinks. It’s really helpful to be eating whole foods while you’re dieting, as they will keep you full the longest.
What is your supplementation like?
I am grateful to be sponsored by Platinum Supplements here in Calgary so they make sure I supplement anything that I may be lacking in my diet as well as anything to improve my training intensity.
• Fish oil – all around good for your health
• Magnesium Citrate – helps with proper digestion/muscle soreness
• Vitamin C – helps repair tissue
• Pre workout and protein powder
What is your favorite quote?
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” -Lao Tzu
Social Media Handles and how people can contact you:
Instagram: @taylorslack and @tsfvideos
Facebook: Taylor Slack
You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for training!