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Jordan Saunders


Vital Statistics Weight Body Fat %
June '14 69.2kg 27%
Oct '14 59kg 14%
Jan '15 72.3kg 28%
Apr '15 62.2kg 15%

"So I halved my body fat both times, was leaner first time round but had a better stage condition with a little more muscle mass second time round.

My current weight I like to sit at on off season is 10 stone 7/8lbs. That's healthy for my heights and I get my curves back!"

Two and half years ago, Jordan Saunders was known as the ‘bigger friend’ and the ‘dustbin at the dinner table.  That's not to say she didn't enjoy fitness, after all she trained as a competitive swimmer until the age of 16 staring at that black line at the bottom of the pool for 20+ hours a week, not to mention the competitions and 5am starts.

When she left the competitive swimming world behind, Jordan found refuge in the gym as a cardio bunny. She, like many other females, believed that eating less and running more meant weight loss.  To her frustration, though, she found this wasn't the case.

In her own words, Jordan has “always struggled with weight” and although she admired the look of the fitness model, she never believed that she too could one day achieve it.  All that changed when her then boyfriend (now fiancé) Ray Bath introduced her to the weights room.  Needless-to-say, she's never looked back…

Jordan Saunders transformation - Before & After

In October 2014, just 18 months after she lifted her first dumbbell, Jordan Saunders stepped onto the competition stage having lost 20lbs of fat after an intense 16 weeks of prep.  Then, in April 2015, she competed at the UK Miami Pro Championships almost a further 2 stone lighter and with incredible definition.

The key to Jordan's unbelievable success not only lies with her determination and obvious fervour for fitness, but she is fortunate to have a loving fiancé with just as much passion for the sport.  They train together, prep together and compete together. 

In fact, while Jordan was chomping on cupcakes once she finished her stage run at the UK Miami Pro Champs, Ray was busy placing 5th in the over 75kg category!

Together, they've set up BODYBYJR, an all-inclusive personal training business that provides weekly bootcamps, personal 1-2-1 training as well as personalised online training guides and diet plans.  Their aim is to help others achieve their goals just as they did.

In this EXCLUSIVE interview with the lovely flame haired fitness beauty, we find out who her WCW's are, her top three tips for getting into fitness and discuss her obsession with ice-cream…

Training Plan

My workout schedule is now a changing one. I love to train every body part so my general spilt is; legs, back, shoulders & arms, upper body circuit, legs and cardio 3-4 x per week for 30 mins either jogging or stepper with an ab circuit afterwards for 15-20 mins.

  • Back

    Back

    • A1) Underarm barbell rows
    • B1) Seated cable row
    • B2) Straight arm pull down
    • C1) Lat pull down
    • C2) Upright cable rows
    • D1) High row
    • E1) Pull over
    • E2) Rear delt flys

    Every other back session I start with deadlifts

  • Legs

    Legs

      li>A1) Squats
    • B1) Leg press
    • B2) Leg extension
    • C1) Hack squat
    • C2) Abductor
    • D1) Walking lunges
    • D2) Glute kicks
    • E1) Ham curl
    • E2) Straight leg deadlifts
  • Shoulders

    Shoulders

    • A1) Dumbbell press
    • B1) Side raises
    • C1) Front raises
    • D1) Reverse press
    • D2) Clean and press
    • E1) Upright rows
    • E2) Rear delts
  • Arms

    Arms

    • A1) Bicep rope curl
    • A2) Single arm hammer curl
    • B1) Laying skull crushers
    • B2) Tricep push downs
    • C1) Bicep preacher curl
    • C2) Tricep overhead press

    I train chest in with arms as bench press and flies - not a whole workout based on chest but a few exercises as it's important not to neglect a muscle area also those exercises engage shoulders and arms too.

  • Cardio

    Cardio

    • 3 x 30 mins a week either running or stepper
  • Abs

    Abs

    • Only when body fat is low! So many girls think by doing 100 crunches per day will get you abs but exercises like squats deadlifts train your abs too!

Meal Plan

I love carb cycling, I find it very effective in and out of prep personally!

A typical low day would be;


1700 cals / 50% pro 40% fat 10% carb spilt

High day;

  • Meal 1:
    50g oats mixed with water 1 scoop EGNutrition whey 1 banana
  • Meal 2:
    110g chicken breast with mixed veg and 100g cooked weight rice
  • Meal 3:
    110g chicken breast with mixed veg and 100g cooked weight rice
  • Meal 4:
    3 x kallo rice cakes in 300g 0% total fage yogurt 1 scoop EGNutrition whey left over night in fridge... Tastes like cake!
  • Meal 5:
    4 egg whites 40g oats mixed with water - scramble all together sounds weird but tastes good!

1700 calories / 50% pro 40% carb 10% fat

I like to cycle as 2-3 low days 1 day high and enjoy a treat day at the weekend. I drink 5-7 litres of water a day too!

Interview with Jordan Saunders

Jordan Saunders runway

Hi Jordan - thank you for taking the time to chat with us, let's start off with an easy one, when and why did you start training?

Hi Muscle Food, thank you for having me! I used to be a competitive swimmer 20+ hours a week training, 5am sessions, every weekend competing up and down the country, so I've had discipline for training from a young age (I thank my mum for that!).

At the age of 16 I stopped competing, and found love for the gym. However I was a cardio bunny and only started weight training properly 2 and a half years ago when my fiancé said this will get you better results… And I haven't looked back since!

I've always struggled with weight, I have to work my butt off to stay in shape otherwise I put lbs on looking at cake! I've got a bachelor of honours degree in sports and exercise science - I'm very passionate about the industry.

You competed in your first bikini body competition in October 2014 and then in Miami pro in 2015 - what made you want to compete?

I've always been known as the 'bigger friend', 'dustbin at the dinner table', chubby and ginger one, ha... So doing something I never thought was possible for my body to look like was a goal I really wanted to achieve to prove to myself that I can do it.

I'm not a posy person either so it was a massive self-esteem boost! I look up to so many fitness models and think wow I wish I could like you, and now I have people say that to me, it really is over whelming. After competing once, I got the bug for it and wanted to get back on stage!

How long did it take to get bikini body competition ready?

For my first competition in October 2014, I did a four month / 16 week prep so June - October and lost 20lbs. For my second competition in April 2015, I did a 13 week prep which starting in January and lost just under 2 stone - I enjoyed Xmas! I'm determined to stay in shape and maintain 6-7lb over stage weight. Being competition ready means making a lot of sacrifices, the prep is not easy.

In your opinion, what's the biggest misconception about a bikini competition?

People do not realise the work that goes into it. You have to make big sacrifices, put your social life on hold, make sure you have a positive circle around you. It's not about being lucky or just going to the gym, it takes 100% dedication to diet and training.

Jordan and Ryan

You have more low than high days and it really is an emotional journey. Unless you've done it yourself, I can't explain the emotions you go through but when you stand on stage it's all worth it. Also, when you first say you're competing, immediately people think you're going to be a huge bodybuilder!

What are your favourite workouts/exercise moves?

I didn't use to enjoy shoulder or back day, as I didn't see much progression - but now I love it! Seeing progress is definitely motivating. I love doing heavy dumbbell shoulder press and high reps of side raises.

Leg day is a love / hate relationship! The pain is horrible, but afterwards you're on a high! Barbell Lunges are one of my favourites as it gets your heart rate up whilst your legs are screaming at you.

We know you follow a really clean diet, what are your top tips for curbing the sugar cravings?

WheyHey Ice cream

I have the biggest sweet tooth for ice cream, icing and pic'n'mix!! Chewing gum and coffee are fitness saviours, also you can get flavour drops which you can add to your yogurt or oats, they really help as you feel like you're eating a naughty treat!

What's your number 1 foodie weakness?

Number 1? Ah I have three - ice cream, sweets and icing [laughs], but ice cream is definitely number 1 - I can demolish a tub in minutes!

What was the first thing you ate after your competitions?

Cupcakes! I'm really bad at eating the icing and leaving the sponge… My mum bought us cupcakes for after the show I ate 2 and was so full where my stomach had shrunk after 4 months! I then wanted a really cold fizzy diet coke, but I had 2 sips and my stomach was growling at me.

How do you feel about supplements?

There is no magic pill, however throughout my prep I used EGNutrition lean whey protein and extreme shred fat burners. Alongside diet and training, these really helped me achieve results. I'd never promote supplements that I do not believe in.

Jordan back and side shot

What's your best body part?

My back is definitely my strongest body part, it leans up the quickest, hence why I love training it! So I'd say my back or shoulders are my best body parts.

And the one you reckon needs more work?

My legs need to be leaner, which I'm working at, also I want more of a shoulder / bicep split so that needs working on too.

What 3 tips would give to any woman wanting to get a feminine, yet strong and cut physique like yours?

  • Set yourself a realistic time frame - I've been working on my body for two years. Results do not happen overnight.
  • Hire a GOOD personal trainer - at BODYBYJR we work really closely with clients, and are passionate about results - don't be afraid to lift weights! If your trainer doesn't give you a personalised meal plan, or practice what they preach, sack them ;)
  • Go to your local supermarket and invest in Tupperware! Have the discipline to prepare your meals to take into work, fail to prepare, prepare to fail!

Bonus tip: Make sure you have a positive, supportive circle around you, I can't emphasise that enough.

Who are your favourite bikini body competitors, athletes or fitness models?

Major crush on Paige Hathaway! What I love about her is that she came from nowhere and worked hard to get where she is now - hard work really does pay off. I also admire Janet Layug her physique is amazing.

There are loads of people out there who think competitors, like yourself, maintain that seriously shredded stage look 24/7 - thus promoting an unhealthy image - what do you say to that?

Jordan in the gym

It's not healthy physically, or mentally to maintain that low level of body fat all year round. When I'm not in prep I have a more relaxed approach to dieting, I still eat healthy and prepare my meals but if I fancy something I will have it... And may do extra cardio if I over indulge ;) I'm not in stage condition all year round, I have a softer look in the off season 6-7lb over stage weight. It is important to find that balance, especially for clients as you've got to give them a realistic lifestyle change.

What's your favourite cardio workout and why?

I have a love / hate relationship with the stepper, it is exhausting but every step is like a stairway to lean city haha! Okay I love it. I like to put the setting on random at level 17 for 30-40 mins which burns around 600-800 calories! Make sure you are listening to a good podcast to get you through ;)

Were there times during your transformation you felt like you couldn't continue?  If so, what motivated you to keep going?

Oh yes you experience more low days than highs, plenty of times you question your ability, why you're doing it, can you do it etc. but getting through those doubts makes you stronger and want it more once you've overcome them.

My fiancé, Ray, competes with me, so we experience the journey together and bounce off one another. When I'm done he lifts me up and vice versa. Seeing him progress every day is what motivates me. My mum is an ironman so she understands the training side and she sent me texts daily with such inspiring words that really kept me going. Also my clients pushed me through each day and I can't thank them enough.

Here at Muscle Food, we've tracked your transformation from the beginning.  You're really active on social media giving great advice to your followers.  Why do you think interacting in this way is important?

Jordan and Ryan

I've always been honest since day one, it's not an easy lifestyle, you can't buy a physique, you have to work hard to achieve it. I think so many people especially females are brain washed by fad diets and media myths in fitness, I used to think eating next to nothing and doing endless hours of cardio was the way to get 'skinny' and in the media nowadays there are a lot of misconceptions.

As a personal trainer it's my job to motivate people, and I love what I do every single day - now when people say I inspire them, the feeling is priceless.

Being so active on social media, you must get a LOT of positive comments and rude ones - how do you deal with that?

No matter how long you've been in the industry you will always get rude and negative comments. At first they hurt, then you learn to not let them win, and 9 times out of 10 it's down to jealously. It's easier said than done but you've just got to act professional and ignore it. People want a reaction, but you do get more positive that overrides the negative, plus when you've succeeded, the negative ones end up congratulating you!

Favourite healthy recipe?

I admit Ray's the masterchef in the relationship! I do love a healthy spag bol, 5% lean beef mince add in peppers, onions, tomatoes, mushrooms and lots of spices! One of my favourite snacks is total 0% fage yogurt mixed with EGNutrition strawberry whey, it's like angel delight.

Biggest non-food related guilty pleasure?

Holidays! Gives you something to look forward to! Who doesn't love a beach and sun? In the last 12 months we've [Ray and I] been to Mexico, Turkey, Canary Islands, Barbados and Mallorca... We work 16 hour days 6 days a week, so we make sure we earn them!

What's next for you?

[Ray and I] went away at Xmas and got engaged, then prep started again in January 2015 for April's competition – so over a 12 month period I've been prepping for 8 months and for that reason I'm going to have the rest of the year off competing, celebrate our engagement, see friends, family, etc.  I'll still train and stay in shape for summer holiday body.  I'll also focus on our fitness brand BODYBYJR and enjoy weekends, then hopefully compete next April sometime.

Jordan Saunders and fiance Ryan in the gym

Social media accounts:
Twitter; @bodybyjord & @bodybyjr_
Facebook; Jordan Saunders - bikini fitness & BODYBYJR
Instagram; jodsaund & BODYBYJR

Jordan's Sponsors:
Ripped Gym Basildon
EGNutrition
3DMuscle

I'd like to give a shout out to our gym Ripped Gym Basildon who provide the best training facilities and are the biggest hammer strength centre in the UK.

Muscle Food Final Thoughts

Every transformation story featured on Muscle Food outlines that a good diet and a good workout plan are essential to achieving the results you desire. All transformation stories, exercise routines and diet plans are provided by the customer and have not been checked by a nutritionist or doctor. Results may vary for different individuals.