(Cover and story photos credit: NPC News Online/Amir Ramandi and Dreamworks Studios)
Every week, the Louisville Women’s Sports Network highlights a local woman by asking her six questions about her health and fitness routine. Sponsored by Baptist Health Sports Medicine, this week’s guest is Monica Hornback. If there is a woman you’d like us to feature, email suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
My full name is Monica Hornback (age 40) and I am a 1992 graduate of Presentation Academy. I have been married to Jimmy Hornback for 20 years and together we have two sons, Tyce (16) and Hayden (12).
Like many teenage girls, I struggled with my weight throughout high school. After the birth of my second son, I decided I had finally had enough and, with the help of my husband, began making better food choices. I never even stepped into a gym for the first six months; I simply ate better and watched the weight come off. When I finally joined a gym, Jimmy and I became workout partners and I realized how much I liked to lift weights and see my body change.
I competed in my first physique competition at the Kentucky Muscle in 2005, and I was hooked! With the exception of training around a recurring back injury, I’ve been at it ever since. I was fortunate enough in July of 2015 to compete at the NPC Masters Nationals in Pittsburgh, PA. By winning both the “Over 35” and “Over 40” age divisions, I earned the coveted International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB) Professional Status. Just a few short weeks later, I competed in my first pro show, also in Pittsburgh, and placed fifth.
My husband and I own Derby City Sports Nutrition and offer personal training, nutrition advice, and posing classes. I am also a credentialed judge for the NPC and judge shows in Kentucky and surrounding states. I find it very rewarding to help people find their best look as I struggled with it for so many years myself.
Six Questions About Your Fitness & Health
1) What is your weekly training/exercise routine?
I weight train every day, rarely taking a day off. I train using a body part split, and work one body part during each training session. I do not use cardio in my training unless I am prepping for a show. In that case, I prefer to use the stepper, as I feel it is much more efficient at shedding body fat.
2) How do you prepare for a workout?
I prefer not to focus too much on getting ready for my daily workouts. When I walk in the gym, all I know is what body part I’m training for the day. I don’t decide which particular exercises I will do until I’m warming up. This keeps me mentally fresh, and I don’t start getting anxious about my workout before I need to.
3) What do you eat, drink or do for quick energy?
When I’m prepping for a show, I am very limited on what I can eat, so I don’t have the luxury of eating things particularly for energy. I do drink unsweetened tea, so I’m able to get some caffeine from that. I tend to stay very regimented in my day and this seems to keep me from being fatigued. I make sure to get enough rest, usually going to bed and getting up at the same time everyday regardless of my schedule.
I prefer to use a ketogenic diet. It has always worked wonders for me. It’s easy and requires very little planning, so it’s high protein, moderate fats, and zero direct carbs for me. I do have a cheat meal on Friday and Saturday to keep my metabolic rate high and to also keep me mentally focused.
5) What do you snack on between meals when training?
Because I’m judged on my level of conditioning, I’m not able to eat anything between meals that isn’t already planned and accounted for in my meal prep.
6) What are your fitness & health goals?
I already achieved my first goal, which was to earn my IFBB Professional status. Now, I’d like to continue to place well enough to earn an invite to the Ms. Olympia contest- the premiere contest in the world. Beyond that, my primary goal is to continue to help both everyday people as well as competitors achieve their best-ever look. That is extremely rewarding!