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Fitness Competitor and Vegan BodyBuilder

Erin is not only an advocate for lifting heavy weights but she is also  a vegan bodybuilder!  She says that  by lifting heavier weights  than ever she has been able to maintain a body weight lighter than before.  Keep reading to find out more about Erin…


1. What is your name ?

Erin Fergus

2. What inspired you to get fit?

I have always lived an active lifestyle because I grew up playing softball and basketball.  I was on the high school dance team and also did gymnastics, and I started weight lifting in high school.  I have always loved feeling strong and independent and love the look of muscle tone on women.  I also thrive on setting goals and am very competitive.


3. What keeps you motivated to live the healthy life?

I always feel amazing!  I never get sick, I can manage my stress better, I have plenty of energy, I have functional strength to do any activity I want, and I turned 30 on Aug. 23 but most people guess I’m 25 🙂  I work as a personal training instructor and enjoy educating my students and others about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.


4. What time of the day do you workout and why?

First thing in the morning because I leave feeling on top of the world and ready to tackle my day.


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5. How do you balance life, work, training and family?

I recently moved to SC and don’t have anyone to care for other than myself and my dog.  I am also lucky enough to have a career that doesn’t feel like “work” and a set schedule with no tasks that have to come home with me.  Sometimes I feel like all I do outside of work is exercise, cook food, pack my gym bag and wash workout clothes, but I make sure to fill my weekends with equal parts social activities and relaxation.  I remind myself that the people who don’t take the time to make healthy food and physical activity choices are the ones who can’t enjoy life the same way I can by taking care of myself.


6. What do you for fun?

I enjoy anything and everything active, and I am always on the hunt for the next new thing to try.  The one on my list right now is slacklining, and I took trapeze classes earlier this year.  I love traveling, waterfall hiking and exploring South and North Carolina, but I also enjoy watching movies, playing piano and reading as many book as I can get my hands on.


7. What do you think is the biggest misconception about women in fitness?

I think women still don’t realize the importance and benefits of strength training.  I am an advocate for lifting heavy weights, because I am lifting heavier than ever but am maintaining a body weight lighter than before.  Having a great body, inside and out, takes a combination of strength and cardio.  I try to encourage women that while losing weight is great, the goal should be to be streamlined, not squishy (which can happen even if you look thin.)


8. What is your favorite body part to exercise?

Although you can’t always see them, I love to train abs because they are incredibly strong and I can do some pretty unique, challenging exercises.


9. If you had to pick three key exercises – what would they be and why?

Any variation of squat for overall lower body toning, pull ups for a strong and sexy back, and sitting on a BOSU ball for ab work.


10. If you compete, what excites you the most about competing?

I am 100% vegan, so my favorite part is telling people that my muscles are built by plants and seeing their faces.  Standing on stage and having all eyes on you is a rush and a feeling of success that no one can take away.  The night shows are always entertaining, and you get to meet lots of impressive people.   It’s also an accomplishment when you dedicate yourself to a goal that may be 3-6 months out.  It’s hard at that point to imagine actually reaching the goal, but you complete each workout and eat each clean meal until you get there.


11. What is the best advice you can give someone that is considering entering the competition arena?

I have trained for several types of endurance events, but I would say that any type of physique competition is hands down more mentally challenging than other sports.  You have to always think like a competitor, and everything is geared toward your goal – every workout, every meal, every stretching session, every sleep, every time you do something relaxing so you don’t go insane.  You have to realize that your body can transform through training, but some things you just can’t change.  I have a straight torso and narrow hips, so I have been discouraged from competing in certain categories.  You may have a small chest, or cellulite, or some other thing that you think is a flaw, but you just have to play up your strengths.  You also have to stay true to yourself, because you will inevitably face criticism and unsolicited advice.  You are the only one who knows what feels right for you, so stick with it.

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12. What are the three things you always have in your gym bag?

A powerful, sweet smelling body splash such as Victoria’s Secret Sweet Craving for when I smell a little funky, an extra towel in case my sweat can’t be contained with just one, and extra food such as half a grapefruit or a protein shake. (I always have an iPod and book, too, but they tend to be with me instead of in my bag.)


13. What is your favorite cheat “treat”?

When I’m really eating clean, I tend to dream of sweet potato fries.  I also recently started baking cupcakes from the Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World cookbook.


14. Anything else you would like us to know?

I placed third in my first fitness model competition, the OCB Presidential Cup on August 10, 2013 in Laurel, MD.  The pictures are from that show 🙂  I looked at every website I could find with matching sports bra and shorts sets, and the outfit I chose was and still is the cutest one I’ve ever seen.  Thanks for helping me feel beautiful on stage!


15. Web Address?


16. Photo Credits: Matt Shepley


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