Home / IFBB / IFBB Physique Pro Jessica Gaines Talks With Muscle Munch

IFBB Physique Pro Jessica Gaines Talks With Muscle Munch

Quick Stats:

Age: 38
Height: 5’5
Weight: 139-145lbs Off Season; 126-128lbs Contest Prep

Bench: 175-180lbs (Max bench), I don’t get too wrapped up in benching due to MY particularly goals/look I’m trying to obtain. There’s not much of a requirement to lift heavier than I already do.
Squat: To be honest, I don’t squat nearly as much as I used or would like. Naturally the older we get, our body & joints require more attention and careful movements to avoid injury. I have bad knees, therefore must always be mindful of certain exercises that can potentially do me more harm now/later than good. There are several modified versions of exercises I can do (aside from squats) that put less pressure on my knees and lower back, especially if I want to remain in this game a little longer; However, this is probably one the BEST exercises anyone can do to get a full body workout. If done properly, you can incorporate just about every muscle group during, to include abs & gluts, which we all love!
Deadlift: Same rules apply as with squats, Max at the moment is between 175-185lbs. For back exercises, I focus more on single arm DB rows, seated rows (machine & cables), pull-ups, T-Bar back rows.

How did you get started with physique/lifting?

I started lifting weights in 2003 in order to gain strength and mass, along with losing a few pounds after giving birth to my 2nd child. At this point I was averaging about 150 pounds and as a known fact it gets harder to shed a few pounds after children. At this point, I had to step it up a notch. I’ve always been extremely active into sports, primarily softball and lifting weights; however, never possessed the ability or drive to lift as focused as I do now or completely change my physique. Looking cute in a two-piece bikini or a short skirt was the pentacle of my fitness goals!

jessicagainesifbbproBy 2005 at 140 pounds, I began to experience a whole new level in my workouts. It wasn’t until I found myself surrounded by other bodybuilders and met my husband that I became interested in the bodybuilding lifestyle. I must admit, I’ve always been fascinated by how individuals possess the ability to put on lean muscle mass and change their entire physiques. I view this as a true art form, but unlike art, anyone can be the actual artist.

In early 2007, my body has come a long way from the usual slim and common sexy frame that most women posses by just staying fit and working out. I began to see actual muscle development and potential to actually do something I’ve never done before. The thought of stepping on stage alone was beyond intimidating, especially after comparing myself to current figure competitors. At this point, I still had not shared with anyone that this was one of my ambitions, not even my husband.

Later in 2007 my husband and I were stationed in Texas and was approached by a fellow gym rat/personal trainer in reference to future bodybuilding competitions. Again, I disregarded and downplayed my interest on ever considering stepping on stage half naked in front of a crowd of critics and possibly getting tomatoes thrown at me! Maybe not! After weeks of her insisting, I thought I would at least try it once, so I finally discussed it with my husband. He felt it was possible; I definitely had the drive and potential to do it. In preparation for my 1st show, this is where it all became real. Aubrey threw on his drill Sergeant Hat and we went to work! Nothing but hard work and sweat in the chamber from here, to include 16 weeks of hard-core dieting; Something I was just not prepared for, not on a competing level. “What do you mean no more Twinkies and Ding Dongs??!! This is madness”! Is what I would say, but he would quickly remind me that this was solely my idea, no one forced me…and if I wanted this as bad as I say I did, I would need to shut up and put up, kissing and hugging me after the work out of course.
While I knew my husband was extremely knowledgeable and talented in this field, obviously, (reflecting on all his success bodybuilding), it still made for an interesting evening once getting home, cooking and Switching Roles. I had to now shift into the loving mommy/wife and do away with the mind-set of serving my husband cold food for bringing me so much pain in the gym. Remember, bodybuilders are not always in the most rational state of mind due to lack of all the goodies we over indulge in daily. But I knew in my heart I was in good hands. Not only was he going to train the socks off me, but patch me up when we got home. Got to love that!
Competition time…2007, I took 6th place in my height class. I was bummed, yet thrilled in the same breath due to the fact that not only did I get the nerve to step on stage, with scant clothing, allowing people and judges to stare at my flaws, but I was not far from top 5!, Which is always our goal. We all want to win, but sometimes the experience alone is grand. At this time, I took 2 years off in order to train harder and focus on key areas that I was not genetically blessed with. The time off definitely paid dividends.

Something my husband and I have in common is that we are both very competitive, with ourselves mostly. In 2009, we were stationed in Hawaii and continued competing there where I entered another competition 8 months later and actually won the overall for the Armed Forces Bodybuilding competition. My prep was so intense, it enabled me to cross over into bodybuilding and then back to figure with just a few changes in my diet and preparation. This led to my overall win of the 2011 Stingrey Classic. A few months later, I progressed to compete at the national level for women’s figure, in Las Vegas 2011. “Wow! Little ohl me in Vegas!!!” What a great feeling. Not only was it an honor to share the same stage with so many beautiful women but also to place 16th was an even bigger honor.


After taking some time off for personal gains as well as attending to family matters, we found ourselves back in competition mode. By now the NPC (National Physique Committee) developed a new category for women called Woman’s Physique, a cross between woman’s Figure and Woman’s Bodybuilding. This was exceptional news for me being that for the past few years it seemed like I just did not fit anywhere within guidelines of the competitions. Either I was too small or I was leaning over into too much muscularity. Naturally when I heard the breaking news I was completely thrown back for now – I knew where I belonged! From there, I competed in the Branch Warren Classic/Woman’s Physique Class and placed 4th. This made me nationally qualified (the next level before becoming pro). I was super excited. The Teen, Collegiate and Masters bodybuilding Championships is a pro qualifier. I competed and place 2nd in my class. So close! This takes me back to the lab.

We finally we come to May 2013 where I competed in the Jr USA Bodybuilding Championships in Charleston, SC. This is where I won 1st place in the Woman’s Physique category! “Could this be? Is this real?” Someone pinch me because this is not happening, not to me!! Feels like I waited so long to hear the words “You are now a Pro”, the feeling is surreal. I believe we are our own worst critics and I see some adjustments within my body I would like to make in order to improve in this sport and advance to the top. I’m very passionate about my goals and will strive hard to get good results.

What does your training routine look like? (you can put the days and bodyparts, or if you have time and want to even put the exercises and rep schemes, your choice)?

My training regimen changes every 6wks or so; it ranges mostly from 5 days on – 2 off or 4 days on – 3 off. For contest prep, I’ll dial back a bit (week of the show) and do 3 on, 4 off (until competition day – where I get good pump). On a regular work out week, I’ll concentrate on one major muscle group at a time and throw some abs & calves in there if time permits. In addition, depending on how many weeks out from a show and how much weight/fat I’ve actually put on during the off season, this will also dictate the intensity of my work out sessions, most times requiring some conditioning exercises in between my sets. My style of training can be slightly unorthodox at times; they also vary on combinations of a few cross fit movements (the safe ones), boxing, kickboxing, MMA/grappling, cycling, interval training on the treadmill or calisthenics in between sets. It truly depends on my mood, what types of food sources I’ve consumed that particular day (to provide me the fuel necessary to take it to the next level).



On days I do not want to limit myself to an enclosed environment (gym), my husband and I will go cycling to enjoy the outdoors and change of scenery; this takes the focus off the actual workout, where it’s not as boring. Cycling is truly one of my favorite types of conditioning methods due to the aforementioned, but also because it develops certain untapped areas within your quads, hams, and the rest of the muscles in the legs that are more difficult to expound on by performing tradition leg exercises. I also enjoy swimming, especially during the summer; another great full body exercise to help with fatigue, maintain a healthy heart, and it takes away that feeling of yawn…more exercise.

As far as sets/reps go… this is another area I don’t put too much emphasis on. I focus more on fatiguing the muscles and pushing myself until reaching muscle failure. It is my belief that people often get lost in reps/sets, which in turn do themselves an injustice, simply because every one is different; to include their tolerance for pain and discomfort. I can tell someone (clients) all day long to do 15 reps/3-4 sets of an exercise, but if I’m not physically in their presence to monitor their heart rate, breathing, whether or not to call “bull” on their whining/complaining, this makes for a very confusing experience for all parties. I believe the usual 12-15 rep/3-4 set rule is a good gauge to fallow, especially for beginners, but once people have hit a Plato or need to push past a threshold, this method becomes obsolete.

Favorite exercise and why?

Wide – leg Sumo squats (bar bell or smith machine). I LOVE this exercise, especially for us ladies always looking to improve in the assets department! *Wink* Not only is it great for the gluts, but also works the inner thigh area where most of us ladies carry our yum yum. Everything else takes care of itself during this exercise in terms of quads, abs, and hamstrings (if properly executed).

What does your nutrition/diet look like?

dietjessicaMy nutrition varies depending on time of the year (whether on or off-season). Before I even get started on nutrition, I would like to mention that I LOVE TO EAT!! I know my body, as well as what I can/cannot get away with eating. With that being said, I make it my business to also enjoy life; hence the reason for training so hard. I’m a firm believer that if you put in the hard work in the gym, this allows you to indulge a little more in the foods you like to eat, especially during family time or special gatherings. With that being said, my diets fluctuate in terms of styles/methods, how far out from a show will dictate the diet of choice and time span. Normally, I will use the Ketosis method. The Ketogenic diet I have found works best for me; I’ve noticed I’m a much happier person, mainly during contest prep. In previous years, I never understood why bodybuilders can get so moody at times, well try taking a piece of candy from a baby and that’s how we feel when we can’t partake in the wonderful creations in life such a bacon!!

Hence, the reason why I choose the Keto method; this allows me to consume more fats in order to kick-start the fat burning mode in my system I need to reach a leaner look. I understand some of the resistance individuals may have and why they chose not utilizing this method, especially due to psychological mental block most of us have (he fear of putting on more fat by eating fat). In all actually, science has proven that it’s the complete opposite. In contrast, it is mainly a low carbohydrate diet and high fat diet that makes the body go through ketosis. When the body uses fats for energy instead of carbohydrates, acids called ketones are produced. These help in using fat to burn fuel because carbohydrates are not present. Ketosis is known as protein sparing acid, so the protein that you consume will store up for more muscle building.

I will admit, I was a bit skeptical at first myself, I was one of those hard core “play it safe” types, but then my husband quickly taught me that the body is nothing more than an experiment, if you do not play around with macros, calories, etc., introduce different nutrition methods or ideas, and take certain risks, you’ll never know if/what truly works. So I did and I’m completely satisfied with the results this nutrition plan produces.

There are three types of ketogenic diets:
Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKD): Consuming carbohydrate rich foods are restricted until the body has reached the desired fat loss. This kind of diet is suitable for a person new to dieting, helping the body react more normally to the sudden change in diet.

Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD): In this diet, the intake of a minimum amount of carbohydrates is followed in a cyclic pattern. Eat a low carb diet for 2 days and then eat a carbohydrate diet for 2 days, this repeats like a cycle. You can also restrict carbs in the first half of the day or before the workout, and intake carbs again post workout out or during the second half of the day. The on and off with carbohydrate intake triggers the metabolism for using the combination of carbohydrates, proteins and fats.

Targeted Ketogenic Diet (TKD): In this type, carbs are restricted to be taken only at specific times, like before and after the workout. This helps burning carbs fast without allowing the carbs to break down into glucose. A TKD will typically be followed during the pre-season and post season of bodybuilding.
The various benefits that this diet offers are the protein sparing quality of ketosis, burning more body fat, it also tends to make people less hungry.

Best foods:

*Onion, Mushrooms, Beans, Carrots, Tomato, Green peppers, Red peppers Parsley, Cabbage, Celery, Cucumber, Cauliflower, Lettuce, Beets, Pumpkin seeds, Walnuts, Sunflower seed, Squash, Zucchini, Peas, Parsley.



Rice, Milik, Potato, Sugar, Pumpkin, Corn, Fruit, Chocolate, Bread, Pasta, Cottage cheese, Cereals (Oats, Wheat, Rice) and Grains.

What’s next for you in physique/lifting/etc? Where do you see yourself in the next few years?

jessicagainsifbbproMy main goal for this year is to continue training hard, compete in a few shows in hopes to make it to the 2015 Olympia. My long-term goal is to continue this health/fitness journey in order to Not only meet certain personal goals, but most important to inspire others. I’ve been told for many years that I’ve been blessed with the gift of giving, it brings me great joy to assist others in any way, form, or fashion (uplifting their spirits), so, if it’s through fitness, than ill take it! No matter someone’s status or situation, if I can help, I will. However, I do have a special place in my heart for woman in general struggling to get back in shape. Being a wife, mother of two, a business woman, just finishing my degree and still holding a full time job, I know all too well about the daily stressors of running a home, raising children and not neglecting your significant other in the process. Woman wear many hats, we are like super heroes with an invisible S on our chest!

And we have to meet all these obligations with a smile on our face to ensure our love ones have a good day during the course. We hardly ever get “Me” time. But the flip side to all of that is… if I CAN find time (with my hectic daily schedule), then ANYONE can, there’s NO excuse! There are various ways men/women can workout, either in the comfort of their home or find creative ways to get the family involved; knock two birds with one stone. Whether it be a simple run around the block while pushing a stroller or if there are little ones, they can perhaps ride their bikes behind you, finding a fitness facility with a daycare is always great, or create work outs (kid friendly) that can get the whole family involved. Personally, I’ve put on family friendly boot camps in the past and these are always a big hit, because they were tailored around old school-kid games we all used to play back in the day, this way not only did the adults have fun, but the kids had a blast as well (laughing at the parents or just in general). It’s a win – win for all. These boot camps are normally all fitness levels so no one stays behind.

I also look forward to expanding our business, spreading the word on our clean effective products in hopes of assisting others in their health/fitness journey. Health is very important to me, I believe that improving quality of life should be key in everyone’s life, simply because it’s a chain reaction; it spills over into every single aspect of our lives. More times than most, if we are not happy with the way we look or feel, it’s crystal clear to others, creating insecurities in areas of life where one should be excelling, such as the work place. I love the feeling of walking into a room/event/meeting with a command presence! People respect you, they listen to what you have to say, and take you serious. By no means am I implying that physical appearance is everything, but I think we can all agree that when we cross paths with a male/female that’s well put together (presence, articulate, well mannered, properly dressed and confident), they have our undivided attention. I can’t speak for others, but when I want to get a point across, I like to be taken serious and not viewed as some kind of slouch. Unfortunately we live in a vey critical and pretentious world where we judge or are judged from the outside in, instead of the other way around.


What does your supplementation look like?

jessicagainesifbb4My daily consumption of supplements consists mainly of a good protein product as a base. Protein is essential no matter what one’s goal is; whether trying to put on healthy/lean muscle, mass building, tone, maintain or lose weight, so regardless what someone’s goal is, a good protein can play an intricate part in meeting those goals. Although I’m a huge advocate for getting most of your protein source from whole foods, I also know that this is nearly impossible. We would have to eat so much more food in the course of the day in order to meet the grams to weight protein ratio. Hence, the reason why protein shakes are so popular to date. This is a suitable, fast, and effective way to ensure you are making up for the lack of protein. My ONLY protein product of choice is one that my husband and I designed. It’s called IMPACT by G-MIST Nutrition. We’ve designed two types:

1. IMPACT, which contains all the mere essentials you need to put carry you through those tough workouts and can also be used as a meal replacement. It’s a clean, FDA tested protein that already includes most of the daily products most athletes employ into their daily balance nutrition. I use this protein on my bulk cycle, until I reach 2-3wks out from a show and I’ll switch to our leaner protein called Blend Whey. This allows me to lean out a bit more in order to obtain a slightly shredded look for the stage.

Product Details: IMPACT (Protein)

IMPACT is GMN’s most convenient, high quality all-in-one supplement. No longer do you need to take pills upon pills or buy product upon product to achieve your target physique. The GMN team has taken our tried and true formula with its 20g of protein per serving, L-Arginine, Beta Alanine, Taurine, and Creatine Monohydrate and taken it to the next level by increasing protein to 24 grams per serving while introducing a new multi-functional protein blend.
We took our blend of Whey Protein Isolate and Whey Protein Concentrate, and added 3 more proteins (Micellar Casein, Calcium Caseinate, and Milk Protein) each with varying digestion rates and distinct amino acid profiles to provide sustained amino acid absorption both pre and post workout. IMPACT is truly an innovative supplement that will change your physique and performance.
Let this innovative GMN product make an IMPACT in your life.
Flavors: Chocolate, Vanilla

2. BLEND WHEY (Protein)

Product Details: BLEND Whey

GMN’s BLEND Whey Protein is the gold standard of protein supplements because this blend tastes so unbelievably good, delivers all the punch and wattage of the whey protein isolate, is value priced, and provides a quality amino acid profile. We can assure advanced filtration, entirely cold processing, an optimal ratio of isolate to concentrate, and like our other protein products, the guarantee of only the finest quality un-denatured protein. Fully loaded to build lean muscle and strength quickly, each serving of this advanced whey blend formula contains 22 grams of pure protein and only 1 gram of carbohydrate. Every sip of this protein blend is power packed with biologically active micro-fractions, delivering the full range of amino acids to feed your muscles.
Not only does GMN’s BLEND Whey Protein deliver the nutrients you need to grow, it also delivers on taste and mix ability. The blend has been instantized to dissolve quickly into cold water or milk. Using a spoon, shaker, or blender, you can quickly mix up a smooth lump-free protein shake! Whether you’re a bodybuilder or any other elite athlete, or just someone who wants more lean muscle mass, BLEND Whey has the nutrients your body needs to grow, and the taste you need to enjoy your shakes!
Blend Whey Protein Facts: 22g protein per serving! 28.4g serving size with a quality amino acid profile and BCAAs for Maximum Nitrogen retention while enhancing muscle growth.
Quality protein for lean muscle growth and loss of body fat; Supports muscle repair and recovery, speeds muscle building and mass. Low fat, No Trans fats, Gluten free, tastes great and mixes easily!
Flavors: Chocolate, Vanilla

Other supplements:
• Flaxseed
• B12
• Daily multi-vitamins
• Amino acids (a must in my book), although our G-MIST protein line already contains aminos in each protein bucket, having a little more never hurts.
• Pre-work out (occasionally on sluggish days)
I use X-FACTOR, another amazing product we also designed, we are extremely proud of all the products on our line; however, this one right here is a big hit! Lemon flavor, not too sweet, just sweet enough! I love it because it does not give me that well known “crashing” feeling after my work out. We cut the caffeine levels in half; however, still blended well enough to give you that kick a$$ feeling we look for in the gym.
• Fat burner (when dieting/leaning out, I always use for contest prep). I use BLAZE, also designed by us (G-MIST Nutrition), it’s an awesome product; we’ve received great reviews from it due to a few factors:
1. Jitter free during & after use.
2. Doesn’t affect your stomach.
3. Doesn’t suppress your appetite (you Want to continue to eat & nourish your body, especially to kick start your system into fat burning mode, eating every 2-3 hours).
4. Doesn’t raise your heart rate beyond a comfort zone (unlike some other products on the market that make you feel like you’re experiencing a heart attack).
5. Won’t make you break out in hives or make face look flush.

What is your biggest source of inspiration?

jessicagainesGOD is my ultimate source of strength and inspiration. I ‘ve been through so many battles in life (personal, business, careers, and now in the fitness arena) and countless tough times, where I could have easily thrown in the towel; however, had it not been for my strong faith and belief in brighter days, that God will never put more on us that we can bare, I would not be here today speaking with you. I feel that believing in something (a higher being) keeps us humble and accountable for our actions, other wise we quickly think the world revolves around us. Other inspirational people in my life are obviously my husband; I’ve been blessed with the best teacher/mentor in the game! The plethora of knowledge he brings to the table in mind blowing at times; like a walking encyclopedia. My mother is one of my heroes! Nothing knocks that lady down, EVER! She always keeps me grounded. Of course intimate friends and family (I have the best family anyone can ask for). In addition, I do look to others from time to time, I feel that we can get inspired by the simplest things in life, average people, kids, our elders, the homeless; it doesn’t always have to be the obvious actors, singers, athletes, and celebrities (I definitely appreciate those too).
I recently came across a news/YouTube video of a homeless guy in NY preparing for a bodybuilding show (you’ve probably seen it). He was creative with his workouts, using anything he could find to create a decent work out, he would pan handle in order to raise funds for his daily buckets of protein/supps, and this guys was shredded! He looked phenomenal under the circumstances. THIS BLEW ME AWAY and completely filled my cup for many more weeks to come. If a homeless guy can get off his rear and whip his body into shape, with no job/money to purchase groceries, no gym membership, no friends/support to motivate him daily, then what’s our excuse? Simply amazing in MY book!

Any tips for beginners or people trying to follow the same path as you?

My biggest tip would have to be take baby steps and embrace the journey, unlike Beyoncé, I did not “wake up like this” *wink* Take one day at a time, doing something is better than nothing; if you stay consistent with healthy eating/workouts (doesn’t have to be an insanity workout at 1st), you will slowly begin to see improvements and changes taking place. One of the reasons why most people fail is because they place unrealistic goals for themselves in terms of both workouts and nutrition. They give up the gym/workouts after a week due to the sourness (not realizing this too shall pass) or they fail to plan. “Failure to plan is planning to fail”. Plan your meals ahead of time; maybe cooking mass meals on a Sunday that can last for the next 3 days and repeat on Wednesday/Thursday, as well as workout times that will be uninterrupted and best suits their schedule.

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