NellibloomSeptember 21, 2016
James: Fit for LifeMay 1, 2017
Dentist by day, "gym rat" by night; Barbadian born Trinidad resident Cornelia Blackman gives us a peek into her life and hectic schedule. Supported by friends, family and her boyfriend this 'dumbelldentist's' journey to the stage began innocently, as an item to cross off her bucket list. She first competed in 2015 at the Trinidad and Tobago Junior National Bodybuilding Competition and has just recently wrapped up 2016 at the Darcy Beckles Invitational Classic. And it doesn't seem likely she will stop there; bodybuilding and fitness are now a very integral part of her life. Having alluded that fitness modelling is also an area of interest for her, we are eager to see where her passion will lead.
How old are you?
25 years old
What industry do you work in?
Dentistry. I’m a dentist by profession.
How and when did you get started in fitness? Tell us about your journey.
As long as I knew myself I was always active. My dad was a bodybuilder and my mom was very health conscious so that combination instilled healthy practices that continued throughout life. I tried many sports in school from athletics and cricket to football and tennis but never mastered any of them. What was certain was that I loved exercising, constantly challenging my fitness level and feeling good.
What are some of your accomplishments in fitness/sport?
Fitness at a competitive level is still new to me. I started to compete in 2015 just as something to cross off my bucket list but I was able to place second in two shows consecutively.
When do you train? (Mornings/Lunch/Evenings/Night)
I train whenever I can. Late evening to night is my usual time however during competition preparation, some days I train morning and evening.
Cornelia and boyfriend having a fun moment in the gym
How do you manage your workouts?
My boyfriend is an experienced trainer and he plans my workouts so he knows what I’m capable of and how much to challenge me. It is usually more tasking mentally than physically but once I can get to the point where I’m determined to kill my workout they usually go really well.
How do you manage your nutrition?
It is no walk in the park because I love food! However, I understand how important nutrition and a healthy lifestyle is so I try my best to be committed especially during show season where every ounce of food is measured and weighed.
What are your long term goals?
Currently my boyfriend and I are building our fitness company Bodygoals Fitness TT and my long term goal is to be able to use my experience to help persons achieve their body goals through nutrition and exercise.
What is your favourite body part/body part you are most proud of? Why?
The area of my body I’m most proud of is my stomach/abs. Most women think having abs are manly because of how it can obscure the feminine figure. I always tried my best to maintain my curves yet keep my abs by choosing right exercises
How do you work on your favourite body part?
Abs are made in the kitchen. A diet in favour of fat blasting is ideal for showing up the abdominal muscles. I also incorporate lots of leg raises and planks into my workouts.
What do you need to work on the most?
In my category, the objective is to be as lean as possible so my main focus it work on my conditioning. For me this means working on achieving more defined but not necessarily bigger muscles while still maintaining a feminine physique.
Team Eat clean or Team IIFIYM?
I am definitely team eat clean. I am one to overdo if I am to try fit things like pizza into my macros. Maybe on off season but definitely not for show preparation. Clean food, clean fuel!
What are your favourite meals?
I love food in general, barbecue chicken, pizza, Wendy’s Baconator, buss up shut, Singapore noodles just to name a few,
Do you have “cheat meals”? What are your favourite ones?
I am addicted to nuts during my competition so I cheat by overeating cashews and peanut butter.
What supplements do you take if any?
Whey protein is a must to supplement diet as well as a daily womens vitamin. I love GNC for active women. I also use BCAA, (branched chain amino acids) consistently.
When eating out, where do you go to find a tasty healthy meal?
I usually grab a rotisserie piece of chicken breast and some almonds on the go or I look for a home style dining restaurant where I can chose provision some veggies and grilled/ baked chicken
What is the most challenging part of your journey?
Being able to maintain what I have built. A good physique is hard to get and easy to lose. Some people think that when you are fit you can just relax but you have to work just as hard to stay that way.
What sacrifices have you had to make?
The most sacrifices I’ve had to make is during competition preparation. Not being able to attend gatherings due to training or eat at festivities because I am on a strict diet can be tough. Also because sleep is very important; some events I’d have to miss or leave early.
Sportsworld Classic 2016 Invitational
Darcy Beckles Classic 2016. Courtesy: Kryptech
What have you learned about yourself and others along the way.
I’ve learnt that my mind is much more powerful than I thought.To be able to work full time and still muster energy to prepare intensely for a bodybuilding show can be a mental battle. Many days I have felt like giving up but its important to remember why you started in the first place. I’ve learned to value those who genuinely support you and to ignore the background noise.
Have you had any negative comments about your appearance or lifestyle? How do you deal with them?
Yes most definitely. I have had persons tell me not to get too big or don’t get too muscular and when I couldn’t go, stay out late or eat “normal food’ I was bashed. At the end of the day I kept my goals in mind, kept my head down and worked hard to prove that a woman who lifts can have a feminine physique.
What motivates you?
Being better than I was yesterday and never being satisfied because I believe there is always room for growth.
Who inspires you?
I’m inspired by the fitness model Michelle Lewin
. She proves that a woman can be strong and still sexy.
“If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you”
Tell us about your support system.
My dad has been my inspiration and my biggest supporter from day one. My boyfriend is not only my trainer by my biggest motivation. Because he is in the fitness industry as well, he is able to encourage me to stay committed to my diet and workouts as well as comfort me on the days I feel like giving up.
Do you find it challenging to have a "social life"?
Out of competition season it is fine but when show time is close it is hard to schedule meal preparation, gym, work, 7 hours of sleep and a social life.
What hobbies do you have outside of fitness/sport?
Sleep. I love to sleep, that’s like a hobby for me.
What advice do you have for people looking to get in shape?
Its an investment in yourself, don’t make excuses that you know you can get around. In order to get the results you want you have to challenge yourself, get your head in the game and you will eventually see results
What advice do you have for people wanting to compete?
Do it! If you want to challenge your body to reach the goal you have in mind, do your research, get a trainer and go for it!
Where can we follow your journey? Can we find you on Instagram?
You can find my journey on Instagram @dumbbelldentist and on my professional page @bodygoalsfitnesstt which also has a YouTube channels with vlogs of my journey.
Cornelia with boyfriend/trainer, Aaron