More than Heels with WBFF Pro Carissa Johnson
Q: Hi Carissa, thank you for taking time out of your schedule to chat with us! We all know you are a WBFF Pro and fitness model, but for those that aren’t familiar with the WBFF can you explain what you do to compete in that federation?
CJ: It’s my pleasure! The WBFF is the World Beauty Fashion & Fitness Inc. It’s an incredible mix of beauty and fitness; almost as if fitness collides with Victoria Secret’s fashion and style. The WBFF has transformed the fitness industry from un-relatable to a marketable and respected industry. To compete in the WBFF I attempt to stay in fitness model shape year round, while continuously making improvements to my physique in areas I’m lacking. I use a mix of bodybuilding, CrossFit and cardio to achieve my ideal physique. Closer to a competition date, I cut carbs to cut any additional fat.
Besides fitness, beauty is a huge component, so the perfect tan, makeup and hair are essential. A huge part of the competition is fashion, so it’s important to find the perfect theme wear and suit to flatter my figure and to bring my personality to present to the judges.
Q: What intrigued you about the WBFF that made you want to start competing in it?
CJ: People at the gym first sparked my interest in competing. My very first competition was a Colorado NPC show. I competed in Figure and won 2nd place in 2 categories. I was happy with my performance but was not impressed with how the show was run. After that I got the competition bug. I wanted my Pro card but decided to research different federations. I did independent research and asked around; people recommended the WBFF for the best exposure. I also discovered I could bring more personality to stage which intrigued me. I liked how the WBFF encouraged women to remain feminine and embrace their beauty. It also appeared they took pride in their shows as evident by the entertainment and presentation factor, which far exceeded what I saw in the NPC.
Q: In preparation for a show do you have a very specific nutrition and training regimen?
CJ: Yes! As the show approaches, I increase cardio and resort to an extremely low carb diet.
I alternate legs with push and pull days, incorporate at least 2 CrossFit days, throw in a shoulder day since it is my biggest weakness and do core work every other day. I finish my training sessions with intense stairmaster cardio, and add in an additional cardio session later in the day about every other day. And, as always, I supplement with PEAK ATP every day to improve my endurance and muscle recovery time.
As far as nutrition goes, I tighten everything up completely. I cut carbs drastically and increase protein significantly. I incorporate a cheat day at least once a week to keep my metabolism revved up and to keep my sanity.
Q: What top 10 foods would you always find in your kitchen?
CJ: Fresh Spinach
Quest Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Protein Bars
Q: How has PEAK ATP contributed to your training and meeting your goals?
CJ: Oh my goodness, PEAK ATP has helped improve my training significantly. The amount of improvement I’ve seen in intensity during workouts, as well as increased muscle endurance and strength has been mind blowing. I need to lift heavier, more volume, etc. to improve my physique and that’s exactly what PEAK ATP has allowed me to do. I’ve achieved new PRs in lifting, and I’m excited to continue growing. Thankfully PEAK ATP has helped me step up my lifting game tremendously.
Q: You stay in great shape year round, what advice do you have for people out there to help them keep fit and lean year round?
CJ: Train hard and with intensity (I try to sweat at least once a day), train smart, and eat healthy the majority of the time. So many people restrict themselves from food all of the time, but I’ve found that eating everything in moderation is key. Portion control is essential in order to maintain control. Also, make working out a priority, not an option. Schedule your workout session into your daily routine for an optimal physique year round. Rest days are important but don’t allow a rest day to turn into a rest week.
Q: What’s your favorite body part to train?
CJ: Currently my shoulders are my favorite body part to train. They are the weakest link in my physique, so my project and focus is to build mass and sculpt them. I love the feeling when I make my delts burn; It feels like progress.
I love the challenge in bodybuilding. Perfection is never attained yet always desired. You always have something to improve, work on and grow.
Q: We all love to jam out during our training sessions… what would we find on your iPod when you’re training?
CJ: That is so true! I love blasting the music to help me crush a workout. Right now I’m on a Pandora kick with 90’s Hip Hop like, “It’s Tricky” by RUN-DMC, “Good Vibrations” by Marky Mark & the Funky Bunch, “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)" by C+C Music Factory, mixed with some current Hip-Hop hits like “GDFR” by Flo Rida, “Get Low” by Dillon Francis & DJ Snake, and “Turn Down for What” by DJ Snake & Lil Jon. I have Eminem songs mixed in for heavy lifting days.
Q: What do you think is the hardest thing about competing in the WBFF?
CJ: The hardest thing about competing in the WBFF, for me at least, is finding the ideal physique to compete as a Pro Fitness Model against 70+ of the top fitness models in the world. My category is full of former Figure girls, who have massive amounts of muscle. I have a smaller, tight frame that makes it hard to stand out on the stage against tall women with a ton of muscle mass. I’m constantly trying to improve my physique and work on presentation so I won’t be lost in the crowd. It’s a great challenge.
Q: Who has been your biggest influence in fitness?
CJ: I’ve had two main fitness influences. The first was an ex-boyfriend; he was a bodybuilder and got me on the bodybuilding kick. He taught me so much about the sport and encouraged me to compete. But it’s my husband, Matt Johnson, who has had the biggest fitness influence on my life, challenging me in so many new ways. He believes in me, pushes me, supports me, and helps me to grow in ways I never thought possible. He inspires me in his CrossFit career as he continuously pushes himself above and beyond his former achievements. He’s my hero, my motivation, and my inspiration.
Q: What’s in the future for Carissa? Big PRs you want to set or other goals?
CJ: I’m working on an Ab E-Book and writing a book on my accident and recovery with hopes to inspire people to never quit and motivate them to take their training to the next level. Before, I lifted for “the illusion of strength” as I would call it. Now, after meeting my husband I desire to set PRs for all of my lifts, as well as work on Olympic lifts. I also desire to eventually master kips in all the different CrossFit movements. It’s been a struggle with my bodybuilding background strictly focusing on the negative portion of most moments, to attempt to work on more functional, power movements. It’s almost like speaking another language; it’s crazy. Lol.
Q: Any other shout outs you want to share?
CJ: I can’t express how much PEAK ATP, HMB, and BetaTOR have all helped significantly improve my physique, lifting, and all around fitness endeavors. I can’t recommend these products enough!
Thanks Carissa for all the wonderful advice and information. We wish you the best prepping for the WBFF Worlds this August!