Jazzy Marie - Figure Competitor

Jazzy: I started lifting weights when I was 13 years old. I always admired the women on the cover of fitness magazines like Oxygen, but when I was younger I was unsure of how to achieve their look. In high school I played a variety of sports including: cheerleading, competitive show choir, flag corps, wrestling (first and only girl), swimming/diving, track (pole-vault), and rugby. When I went to college I continued to play rugby and lift weights but when the weekend came I would drink and eat junk food in excess. Like many young women I was unsure of how to get in shape. When I was 11 years old I got the idea to start throwing up my food after a large Thanksgiving meal. For the next 7 years I battled Bulimia Nervosa, including one hospitalization at the end of high school.

I met my husband in 8th grade, Joe Fisher. We dated for 10 years and then finally got married a year ago on October 18, 2014. He has always been supportive of me, and he helped me slowly begin to overcome my eating disorder, however even once I had stopped purging my food I did not have a good relationship with food. In college found myself eating extremely low calories and working out more than anyone I knew, except I just could not lose weight or gain muscle. On the weekend, I would not eat all day so I could drink at night and then the following day I would be doing cardio for 2 or more hours to attempt to burn off the calories from the alcohol and poor food choices from the previous night. It became a vicious cycle and my weight went up and down and then finally I started to steadily and slowly put on body fat. I felt tired no matter how much I slept. I was always hungry and I felt uncomfortable going out because I felt like nothing fit me and I was embarrassed of my body. I think I went an entire two years of not wearing shorts because I was so ashamed of my “chubby” legs.

One Sunday morning after a night of partying I went on Facebook and Facebook recommended that I become friends with Stephanie. I had to double take at her profile picture because she looked like an absolute goddess. She had six pack abs and was in a bikini on the beach. She looked like a model form Oxygen magazine. I immediately messaged her requesting some advice, and bless her heart, even though she was in school studying for her doctorate and in the midst of competition prep, she messaged me back and started giving me tips. The very next day I poured all the booze out and got rid of all the dirty foods in the house. I went shopping and started following a clean diet that she and I wrote together. Six weeks later I was home from college and on a mission. I joined Bally Total fitness in Broadview Heights (now FX Fitness) and started training there almost every day.

One day I was doing squats and a buff looking man walked up and started asking me questions about why I was training so hard, etc. Little did I know that this person, Matt Kimmich (Fitness FX) would become my trainer and contest prep coach. Joe and I were still in school and tight on money, however Joe put his full confidence in me and without even batting and eye he put the entire contest prep fee on our credit card that we had just paid off. Matt performed my training and meal plan and after 19 weeks I stepped on stage at Dave Liberman’s Natural Northern NPC competition in Lakewood OH, and took 1st place in Bikini class B in 2011. It was at that moment that I knew that I had to share this life changing experience with others. I completed a 60 day apprenticeship and started working at Bally’s as a personal trainer. I am so thankful to both Matt and Stephanie for taking the time to help me, because once I started competing and training clients, I knew I had found my purpose in life and my truest passion!

A video posted by Jazzy Marie (@jazzyfitnessxo) on

Currently I work with IFBB Pro Mike Ely at Worlds Gym in Sheffeild OH. After competing in my first Bikini competition with Matt as my coach, I competed in North Americans (for pro status) and then several other Bikini competitions following. I ended up working with another coach for my last Bikini prep in 2014, and did not respond well to their style of coaching, nor do I agree with it from a health perspective. I was told to do cardio for 45 minutes a day 7 days a week at 6mph (meaning I was running 9 miles a day 7 days a week). I was put into ketosis (no carbs) and my only source of carbs for two cycles of 12 weeks was vegetables. I felt terrible most days. I lost significant muscle mass and felt myself become weaker and weaker during my workouts. I was sick, dizzy, in pain and emotionally and unhappy. I stepped on stage at 119 lbs, and at that time I was proud of the physique I brought to stage, however after the show I suffered the consequences of doing such an extreme prep. Post show I was not given a reverse diet or guidance on how to re-acclimate my body to carbs. I suffered thyroid damage and gained 25 lbs of fat in 4 short weeks. After that show I was convinced that my competition days were over because I could not fathom putting my body or mind through this torture ever again, not to mention the health risk… until I met IFBB Pro Mike Ely.

In 2015 I met IFBB Pro Mike Ely and instead of committing to doing a show, I committed to the lifestyle. In the past, I had done an off season and an on-season. During on-season I would abstain from alcohol and follow my prep plan and then during the off-season I would still train, but go back to a “normal” diet. Big Mike explained to me that the most important time is during “improvement season”. He said if I was going to work with him, we were going to do this right, and there would be no off-season. It took Mike and I about 6 months to repair my damaged metabolism. For 65 weeks I abstained from alcohol, trained like a beast, and followed his meal plan (with one cheat meal a week) and on March 26, 2016 I stepped on stage for my Figure debut at 147lbs and took first place at the NPC Powerhouse Classic in Walled Lake, MI in Figure Class B. Right after my show I was immediately put on a reverse diet and I am currently on track to bring my best physique yet to the Northcoast Championships in Kent, OH on May 28, 2016. Hiring Mike and committing to the lifestyle has been the best decision of my life and it is my recommendation to anyone looking to compete or live a fit lifestyle that you take your time and enjoy the process. Remember, “slow and steady wins the race.”

Diet and Training

As a fitness model it is imperative that I maintain a good physique year round so that I can be ready for bookings at any time.

My contest prep diet is geared at maintaining/building muscle while losing fat. This is typically done with a high protein diet and the carbs and fats are manipulated in a way that your body drops fat slowly over a period of time so that you are nice and lean for your upcoming show. My diet includes lean proteins, complex and simple carbs, green veggies, and a weekly cheat meal.

My diet for a model booking is the same as contest prep. It includes a lot of clean foods every three hours and lots of water and a weekly cheat meal. The week before the shoot Mike has done some manipulations with fats/carbs and water in order to give me a healthy and athletic look for my shoots and bookings.

My regular diet is very similar to my contest prep diet. The goal of improvement season is different for everyone. My goal this past season was to put on muscle and slowly lose fat, while building up my previously damaged metabolism, therefore my training and nutrition plan mirrored that. I had high protein and slightly higher fats and carbs during improvement season. However, my diet has been scripted for the last 65 weeks, but always includes good clean foods that I love, lots of water, vitamins, and a weekly cheat meal. For my upcoming improvement season (after Northcoast Championships) the goal is to stay lean and continue to build muscle. My goal is to have one clean cheat and one dirty cheat each week and follow my meal plan per the usual.

Each competition I have had different goals, therefore my diet plans have been drastically different. In addition, each coach has their own style and philosophies. I would say that the most challenging diet plan was my last contest prep for the NPC Bikini division (2014). I was in ketosis for 12 weeks (no carbs except vegetables) and my coach had me doing 2 rounds of 45 minutes of cardio a day at 6 mph for 7 days a week (for those of you that are good at math, yes that is 9 miles a day and 63 miles a week). This was extremely unhealthy and very dangerous. I have now learned that doing this amount of cardio, especially with no carbs is not only dangerous but can cause immediate and intensive weight gain post-show and serious damage to the metabolism that may take years to repair. My biggest piece of advice to anyone that is thinking about competing is to hire a knowledgeable coach that is experienced, well-educated, and also cares about your health just as much as getting a trophy.

Reaching a short term goal (like losing 30 lbs in 12 weeks and stepping on stage) is not worth the years of damage and body image issues that may ensue as a result of poor training and nutrition practices. Slow and steady wins the race. Hard work and consistency over a long period of time will ensure you get real long-term results and maintain your health. Fitness is a journey not a destination, and you should enjoy your journey!! My last prep with Big Mike Ely was 64 weeks long and I enjoyed my prep and have repaired my metabolism! I also took first place in Figure Class B at The Power House Classic, which was my first figure competition. It is a week after my show and I am on a proper reverse diet and feeling amazing!!!

My training includes high-volume, high-intensity weight training with minimal cardio (to spare lean muscle loss). My weight training spread is typically 6 days per week and each session lasts 45-60 minutes. I work hard year round in the weight room and I am always pushing myself and my body to grow and improve. Right now my spread is as follows: Monday-delts, Tuesday-glutes/hams, Wednesday-back Thursday-gymnastic/dance Friday-bi/tri, and Saturday-quads. I also try to hit my abdominals at least 2-3 times a week.

A video posted by Jazzy Marie (@jazzyfitnessxo) on

Every few weeks I rotate the order of my workouts in order to shock the system and keep my body on it’s toes. Right now (8 weeks out from show) I’m doing fasted cardio for 30 minutes 6 days a week (this will decrease during the improvement season of course). On a typical day I get up at 4:00 am and do cardio (even on Saturdays), eat my first meal, and then get ready for the day. During the week I work for a school district as a licensed school psychologist then I go straight to the gym to lift by myself (or with Mike two times a week) and then I train clients till 8:30 pm and go home and get ready for the next day and try to be to bed by 9:30pm. Sleep is crucial for building muscle and general well-being. On Saturdays, I wake up do cardio and train clients before and after my session with Big Mike. Friday and Saturday evenings I set aside for bookings and time with friends. Sunday is my day off from training and the day I prep all of my meals for the week, and enjoy time with my husband and family.

Since I run such a tight schedule, preparation is imperative. My husband and I function as a team (#teamJazNJoe) and he supports me by attending training sessions, helping prep food, and taking care of house work as needed. I would not be able to do this without him, so he deserves just as much credit as me!! I prep every meal on Sunday and half goes in the refrigerator and half goes in the freezer. Each morning I wake up and I grab all my meals for the day and throw them in my cooler and I am out the door. I follow a strict meal plan filled with lots of healthy and delicious foods. I eat every three hours, including before and after lifts, and right before bed to ensure that I continue to build muscle and keep my metabolism firing.

On Stage

Each competition season I learn so much about myself and the sport. This past season my focus has been on not comparing my results to other people and giving my personal best. Everyone has different genetics and responds to training, cardio, and nutrition plans differently due to genetics and metabolic history. The goal for me each show is not to take first place or even to get a trophy, the goal for me each show is to better myself as an athlete mentally and physically. A trophy is just a bonus, but the true prize is stepping on stage knowing that you gave 100%, never gave up, and that you are now a wiser, more mentally disciplined, and more conditioned athlete than you were at the start of your prep. I still get butterflies before I step on stage, however I remind myself that everyone gets nervous before they step on stage and that this is the moment I have worked so hard for. I actually love performing and being on stage and in front of the camera lens. For me, this is the best part of competing, besides the internal growth and external physical improvements of course.

My most recent contest (as I mentioned above) was the NPC Powerhouse Classic on March 26, 2016 in Walled Lake, MI.

The day of the show I had a wide-array of emotions. My coach recently suffered a pulled bi/tri/and peck and had a series of surgeries leading up to my show (including one the Wednesday before my show). I offered to postpone my Figure debut, but Big Mike insisted that we stick to our plan and that he would be there for me every step of the way, and he was. I woke up feeling nervous and excited. I sent Mike pictures and got good feedback and I really started to get amped up. Once my final coat of tan was done I went and got my hair and makeup professionally done. When I looked in the mirror I felt so beautiful and proud. Not just proud of how I looked, but proud that I made it this far. Then my supporters started to arrive and my heart just melted. One of my bosses from Ultimate Fitness George Pro, offered to be backstage with me (since Mike was unable to attend). Mike was by my side via text the entire day, but it was nice to have George there to help me get pumped up. George stayed by my side the entire day and was encouraging me every chance he had! I was so honoured and grateful to all my friends and my husband that drove to see my show and give me support.

Backstage I stayed focused but of course had to mingle and make some friends. I love bodybuilding because it is like a huge family and each person has a unique and inspiring story. I stepped on stage at pre-judging feeling proud and confident and excited and I felt satisfied with my posing and the package I brought to my debut. It felt amazing to stand up on stage and show case over a year’s worth of hard work, dedication, and sacrifice. At that moment I felt like I had already won because I had reached my goal and made it to stage.

At the night show when the announced that I had taken first place I felt such pride and gratitude to everyone that had been a part of my journey. I didn’t feel like this was the end of a journey, but the beginning! I love the fit life and competing and my plans include obtaining IFBB pro status AND helping others step on stage and reach their personal best! As a matter-of-fact, I am currently coaching my first client/friend Caitlyn Giermann for her Figure debut on August 6, 2016 at the NPC Muscle Beach Competition in New Jersey. It brings me such joy to see her make progress and experience the process as her journey unfolds. You can expect big things from Cat this upcoming season because she works hard and has a positive attitude!

Future Goals

My short term plans include competing in the Figure Open at Northcoast Championships in Kent, OH on May 28, 2016. The plan is for Caitlyn (my client) to take first place at her Figure debut at Muscle Beach, as well. I also am booked for a variety of shoots this summer including bookings for fitness clothing lines, the Black Tape Project, and a collaboration with NPC’s very own Amir Mirandi (NPC News Online). I also have some collaborations in the works with photographer Dan Ray (Muscular Development) and J.M. Manion (NPC News Online) that I am extremely excited about that I hope will take place this summer!

My website jazzyfitnessxo.com is set to launch later this year. A portion of all proceeds will go to charity (charity tbd). The website will feature JazzyFit recipes, a photo gallery, motivational interviews with a variety of athletes, JazzyFitTips, my JazzyFit blog, YouTube videos from the Jazzy Fitness XO channel (we just filmed our first video yesterday), my nutritional/training services, and charity events. I expect to hold another charity event this summer and will post details on Instagram and Facebook (Jazzy Marie) for those that are interested in contribution.

I recently started a clothing line called Wicked Kitten Clothing Co. that is set to release in early 2017. The clothing line is alternative fitness apparel designed for fit, curvy, and full-bodied girls that are looking to expand their wardrobe with unique, fun, and sexy gym and leisure wear.

I plan to take the next year to work on building quality muscle, performance skills, and gymnastics. I started taking gymnastics with coach Greg Skupski out of Gymnastic World, at age 28 because my dream is to compete in the Fitness division eventually. This division has mandatory poses (like figure) but also requires a 2-minute strength routine that showcases strength, flexibility, and requires 6 mandatory moves/holds. I had 0 gymnastic experience when I started and I am hoping to step on stage in 2017 to compete in the Fitness division.

As you can see I have many goals and I am working hard to make them a reality. However, my biggest goal is to continue to motivate and inspire others through my work as a personal trainer and nutritional consultant at Ultimate Fitness in Parma, OH. Nothing gives me more happiness then to help others reach their goals and accomplish feats that they never imagined were possible. I love my job as a personal trainer and it is my mission to help every single client reach their personal best, as well as inspire my followers through motivational posts, pictures, and videos that share my personal journey (the good, the bad, and the ugly).

Contact Information:

Name: Jazzy Marie
Occupations: Licensed Psychologist, Personal Trainer at Ultimate Fitness, NPC Figure Competitor, Fitness Model, and Owner of Jazzy Fitness and Wicked Kitten Clothing Co.
Websites (launching soon): www.jazzyfitnessxo.com,
Facebook: www.facebook.com/jazzy.marie.562
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jazzyfitnessxo/
Email: jazzyfitnessxo@yahoo.com

• The start of my competition journey (2011):
Jasmine Manista Wins Her First NPC Bikini Competition
• Fit2nspire sponsored athlete (2016):
• Fit2nspire video interview (2016):

Competition Prep e-Books

A photo posted by Jazzy Marie (@jazzyfitnessxo) on