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Louise Plumb


Vital Statistics Current
Age 37
Comp Weight 9.5st (60.3kg)
Off season weight 11st (69.8kg)
Comp body fat 11-12%
Off season body fat 18%

37-year-old Louise Plumb is not just mum to two “amazing children,” but she is also a fitness model, a muscle model competitor and savvy business woman running HeLo Health with her best buddy, Hedi, where they teach people how to eat real food to gain better health and lose weight.

Pretty impressive – right?

What's even more impressive is that she only began really exercising in 2009 after the birth of her second child!

Yep – in 6 short years, Louise has gone from a relative fitness novice – who used to work out to fitness DVDs in her living room - to a force to be reckoned with in the muscle bound fitness industry, gaining acclaim, respect and, above all, a body that would put many male competitors to shame.

Pure inspiration for women and men alike, we got in touch with Louise to find out just how she manages to juggle her hectic schedule, what her number 1 gym pet peeve is and what her secret is for those incredible abs…

 

Louise Plumb

Meal Plan

My weekly food plan really depends on if I am cutting for a show or off season and therefore eating more carbs.

A typical day would look like this;


Training Plan

I train 5-6 times every week, my workouts involve mostly heavy weight training, but if I am prepping for a competition I will also add cardio in 5 times per week too. The only time I won't train is if I’m ill!

Monday Tuesday Wednesday
Legs Back, Chest & Abs Rest
Thursday Friday Saturday
Shoulders & Arms Glutes & Hamstrings Back & Shoulders

*Sunday is an rest day.

Louise Plumber


Tell us about how and why you got into fitness and competing…

In 2009 I was living in France.  I had just given birth to my daughter (my 2nd C Section) and I was very unhappy with how my body looked.  Determined not to slip into the trap of comfort eating and 'letting myself go', I decided to start eating well and exercising as soon as I got the all clear from the doctor.

I started doing exercise DVD's at home as I had a new born girl and a 2 year old son at home to look after.  I used to do the workouts when they had their morning naps, often adding in extra ab workouts at the end.

Louise Plumb

I managed to shift 2 stone in a few months doing this, but then I hit a plateau, so I took up running.  At first I was only able to run 1k at a time without feeling like I was going to collapse, but I am a very stubborn person so I stuck at it and ran every morning. 

Within a few months I was running 5 miles at a time and I loved it!  I progressed to running longer distances, and by the time we had all moved back to the UK I was running 10k as a standard distance, and had entered and completed a half marathon.

As much as I loved running and doing various classes at my local gym, I was frustrated that I didn't have that 'perfect' body.  I researched the foods I was eating, scrutinised all ingredients of EVERYTHING I ate and stopped all running and gym classes. 

A bold move - but I decided to try weight training.  I had a programme designed for me by one of the instructors at my gym and I decided I would give it 3 months trial.  Along with the new training schedule, I gave myself a set of rules to follow with what and how I would eat.

All my friends and family thought I was completely mad, but in the 3 months I had dropped weight and reduced my body fat by 5%.  My body shape was changing and I was hooked!

This was 3 years ago now, and as I have continued to train, I have changed gyms.  I now train at Xtreme Muscle Gym in Danbury, Essex and it is with their support and encouragement that I decided to go for it and compete.

What's your favourite body part to train?

louise in the gym

My favourite training day is shoulders and arms.  I get the best pump while training shoulders and I would say it's the area I have made my biggest improvement in 2015. 

I have an injury to my left rotator cuff, so I need to be mindful of that when I train, but I have an excellent coach, and together we have worked around the injury so that I can make some serious gains without hurting myself further.

What's the one exercise you hate?

Fasted cardio aside (don't know many competitors that really enjoy that!), I would have to say walking weighted lunges.  It's more of a love/hate relationship I have with them as I usually do them at the end of a very heavy leg session - so my legs are like jelly by that point! 

I always want to push myself, so the minimum weight dumbbells I use are 15kg (each hand) - these are a killer!  However, they really do give great results, so I would NEVER skip this particular exercise no matter how much they hurt.

What's the secret to your incredible abs?

Louise in The Gym

Genetics I think!  I genuinely think I am very fortunate to have such well-defined and 'bumpy' abs - but I had no idea they were there until I sorted my diet out and got rid of the layer of fat covering them. 

Strangely, I probably do less ab specific exercise now than I ever did before - but that is because I do a lot of compound exercises now and I know they work the core muscles extremely well.

How has your training changed over the past few years?

When I first started weight training, I would have 3 different sets, all of which was a whole body workout and HIIT at the end of every session.  As I grew more confident I started splitting muscle groups so I could focus on 1 or 2 body parts per session. 

Another massive change has come in the last year; I have finally realised the importance of rest.  So I will never train more than 6 times in a week, but usually it's more like 5 times a week.  In past years I have trained 8-9 times a week, but I have noticed such a change in my shape and overall strength by training less and having full rest days.

You seem really confident in your own skin – what advice would you give to women who want that for themselves?

When I first ventured into the very male dominated weight section at the gym I really didn't feel that confident.  I was pretty self-conscious and thought they were all talking about me.  However, I put my headphones on, blocked out everyone around me and just got on with my plan. 

I trained day after day, week after week and finally I started getting ‘bro’ nods from the big muscle boys.  Pleasantries were passed and then they became my training buddies!  These big boys were all completely lovely and very impressed with a woman that had the balls to go lift.

Be bold. Be brave. Get your head down and train

My advice is to be bold.  Be brave.  Get your head down and train - you will earn nothing but respect from every other gym goer.

What does your EPIC cheat meal consist of?

When I cheat, I cheat BIG.  I give myself a window of 2 hours and then I eat whatever I want - however much I want to.  Usually it's a big homemade burger with bacon and cheese, sweet potato chips, and a big bowl of ice cream to finish

If eating out I love a full stack of ribs, curly fries and toffee cheesecake for pudding

And your favourite healthy snack food?

When off season (as I don't snack at all while on comp prep), I am a big fan of Quest bars.  These are great to throw in your bag when you're really busy.  A very recent snack discovery is banana, crunchy peanut butter in a wholemeal wrap.  Absolutely amazing!

healthy foods

Who is the one person you dream of meeting and/or working with?

I have 2 idols and I would love to meet both of them.  For Figure, it's Nicole Wilkins.  For Physique it has to be the one and only Dana Linn Bailey.  These girls totally ROCK.

When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I always wanted to be a writer.  Writing is still a passion of mine, and I try and contribute to my friend's blog (hedihearts.com) as often as time permits.

Number 1 gym pet peeve…

Leaving the bar fully loaded with plates when they have moved on to another machine.  I then have to waste 5 mins unloading the bar just to start lifting.

This is closely followed by someone slamming down the weights unnecessarily hard and making a big noise.  It's just pointless.

What do you think is the biggest misconception about competing?

Louise Competition

I had no preconceptions before I competed, but what I will say is that I had no idea how all-consuming the prep is beforehand.  It takes up all your spare time with training, cardio, food prep, planning, water consumption, eating etc.  Never realised just how often you had to eat either haha.

What's the most surprising thing you can do?

Probably being able to do 12 unassisted full pull ups.  Gets a lot of appreciation at my gym!

You're extremely active on social media, but putting up fitness and lifestyle posts have recently come under fire in the press saying they express unrealistic expectations – what's your opinion on this??

Not sure how someone's life can be perceived as unrealistic?  I am a busy working mum of 2 young children - I still have time to train and eat clean.  This is not unrealistic at all, it's all about priorities and time management.

Greatest achievement?

Without a doubt my two beautiful, funny, clever and mad children.  They're the light of my life, and my reason to keep pushing and striving for excellence.  I want to be the best possible role model to them that I can be.

What's your favourite movie?

Bridesmaids

Without a doubt - Bridesmaids. I think that film is hilarious!

How do you like to relax?

For me, nothing beats curling up with a cup of coffee and a good book.

What's next for you?

I will be bulking for most of 2016 as I would like to move up a category to toned fitness and in the future to physique.  So this next year I am all about putting on more muscle.

My business HeLo Health is going from strength to strength, so it's a very exciting time for us too.  We will be running clean eating challenges every month and looking at running clean eating and weight training seminars too.  I will also look to gain my PT qualification in 2016 too.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

If you are interested in joining team HeLo, and learning how to eat for health and wellbeing, come and take a look at our many social media platforms: