21 year old Shadine Nortje has always had a passion for fitness since her high school days. Unlike most athletes, Shadine has not always been in shape but has consistently trained hard to achieve her current physique. Shadine’s biggest transformation has been during the past three years when she made the decision to get to her fitness goal. And now that she is ripped, Shadine has a new goal – to compete for the first time in the International Federation of Bodybuilding South Africa (IFBBSA) Ladies Bikini Fitness category. I met up with Shadine for a Fitness Chat over coffee at Menlyn Maine. Read on to find out what she had to say about her training routine, nutrition and how she is prepping for the competition, 9 weeks out.
You are ripped and shred Shadine, how easy was it for you to get here?
Not easy at all. I had been battling to reach my goal, not because I didn’t have the motivation, but because I didn’t have the knowledge of how to go about it. I eventually looked at different types of training programs and how my body reacted to each one of them. That is how I figured out what works for me and it got me to where I am now.
What is your weekly training split like?
I train five times a week, twice a day. I train my clients first in the morning then afterwards I get on to do my session which is usually 45 minutes cardio. In the evenings that is when I go back to the gym and focus on specific muscle group training.
Abs and back
Legs. But I split my leg sessions between posterior and anterior muscles on Tuesdays and Fridays. I do quads and calves on a Tuesday, followed by cardio.
Shoulders and lower back
Biceps, triceps, and abs
Legs again, but this time it is glutes, hamstrings, and calves. This split allows my muscles enough time to grow and recover for the next session.
This cardio you speak of, what does it consist?
I do different types of cardio. I do HIIT on the treadmill where I will work at 80-90% of my maximum, for 45 seconds, then rest for a minute and repeat for 20 minutes. I also do steady state cardio at 65-70% of my max.
What is your daily nutrition like?
I think any nutrition with this lifestyle is that it should be maintainable. If you have to force a diet down then it is not going to work. Nutrition has to be enjoyable. I know people say nutrition is about filling your body and not about the taste, but I feel you have to eat something that you enjoy and should be looking forward to it on each day. Life is about food, you shouldn’t feel like you are depriving yourself with a diet.
So, for breakfast, I usually have protein pancakes (egg whites and protein powder) with peanut butter. And yes, I do measure my peanut butter because if I just had to take a scoop every time, I would be like “no wait, this is less than what I had yesterday ha-ha”. Measuring my PB helps me stay disciplined.
Lunch would be another protein meal and vegetables (tuna and broccoli).
The biggest reason for my transformation hasn’t been determination but consistency and I have made sure that it doesn’t feel like I am depriving myself or dieting. From Monday to Saturday I eat 100% clean and then on a Sunday, I will have one meal of something that I feel like I want to have such as pizza.
Do you ever have cravings, how do you deal with them?
Well, I do have cravings but not so often because it all depends on one’s mindset. If I do have cravings, I think about what my bigger goal is. “Is this going to be satisfaction for a few minutes and leave me feeling like crap afterwards”? Giving in to cravings just leads to another cycle of more cravings as hormonal responses are increased. Usually, you end up depressed and if you are depressed, you want to be happy and the way to get there is to eat more food like chocolate. So, I don’t really give in to temptations at all.
What are your short and long-term goals?
My short term goal at the moment is to compete in the IFBBSA in April.
My long-term goal is to inspire people and get more people into fitness. I want to help people both physically and mentally. Yes, I want to help you get that six-pack but I also want to help you maintain it because anyone can lose weight but how do you keep it off?
My fitness story is not only supposed to be about Shadine Nortje, but also others. I want to create awareness about living healthy and enjoying the process and what comes with it.
This brings me to the sponsorship that I currently have. I didn’t train to get it, I trained because I loved it and enjoyed what I did and on the road to getting there, the things came in place.
People approach me and ask “how did you get sponsored?” My response is “it is grace from God and hard work”. If you go in with an ulterior motive and try to chase fame, money or sponsors, you are bound to fail because that motivation is not going to last long. Same as wanting to lose weight to fit into a dress; it is not long-term motivation, you have to have that internal drive to reach your goal.
What inspired you to want this physique?
Well, it all happened when I came across a poster in a supplements shop near the gym I use to train at. I was in grade 9 or 10 at the time. There was this woman with a ripped body on the poster and I said to myself,” I want to look like that one day”. And from there, I had the vision to get there one day, however long it took me.
But I have to say that it is not necessarily the physique that is appealing to me, but how to get that physique. The determination, passion, drive and discipline that is what is appealing.
What supplements do you take?
Since I am sponsored by PSN Lifestyle, all my supplements are from them.
I take multivitamins in the morning, CLA 1000 and Omega 3 and PH Balance.
I take their fat burner which I like because it is not harsh on my body, but I am currently on a break from it because of the competition prep.
I also use the Just Whey protein powder and my favourite ones are the fruity flavours. The great thing about the PSN proteins is that they don’t have any sweeteners in them.
How much protein do you take?
Well at the moment I just follow my diet protocol which consists of very high protein and low carbs but sometimes I do carb cycling; on days that I train bigger muscle groups I have more carbs. I do quite high fats but obviously, I do not do high fats and high carbs at the same time.
Why do you want to compete in the IFBB?
I feel it might be a way for me to reach places I wouldn’t normally reach because of the exposure that comes with it. That, as well as the mental challenge of the whole journey and process leading up to the competition. I have always wanted to compete ever since I saw that picture years back.
How are you prepping for the competition?
The comp prep diet consists of a lot of fish because it is a protein that digests quickly. I am eating a lot of that and green veggies (broccoli, green beans, and spinach) with some carbs and fats.
Training stays more or less the same because I always push myself regardless.
Do you want to make a career out of fitness?
Certainly, that is the goal but my other interest is in law. In April I will be enrolling with UNISA to study law as it is important to have something to fall back on. I want to be stimulated mentally and physically. You can’t just have a great body, you got to have something going upstairs.
Are qualified as a trainer?
I am almost finishing with my personal training qualification in about a month or so.
How long did it take you to get to where your body is physically?
It has taken me about five years. The last there years, I have been more intensive and focused on the details.
If you have to grind, make it a lifestyle where you don’t feel like you have to suffer to get it. Ask yourself if it is really what you want because motivation dies, but determination keeps going. You have to have the drive to keep going. Your day isn’t done until you have trained.
What next after the competition?
This will depend on how well I do but I know I am not going to half-ass it. The competition will qualify me for the Arnold Classic Africa and that will help me keep improving and strive to be better.